It was my birthday this past week. Jonty and I both took the day off work, as it fell mid-week, and we both believe that nobody should have to work on their birthday! It was a beautiful day, and it was filled with many of my favourite things: we started with an early-morning climbing session at Porteau Cove, and were back in town by 1pm, just in time to trundle down on our bikes for a little mid-afternoon food-truck snack and a celebratory beverage (or two!). The evening was filled with birthday cake, tasty snacks, and Sprinter planning. All in all, a most enjoyable day!
Jonty made my birthday cake the night before, so I was able to snap a few pictures before we demolished it over the following days – a chocolate sponge cake, layered with toasted almonds and a cherry reduction, and topped with whipped cream, chocolate shavings and more toasted almonds. It was fantastic!!
I felt very loved on my birthday, and look forward to all the exciting adventures of the coming year, who knows where we’ll be in a years time!!
- Serves: 1 - 8" layered cake
- Serving size: ⅛th cake
- Calories: 476
- Fat: 29.4 g
- Saturated fat: 16.9 g
- Carbohydrates: 48.3 g
- Sugar: 27 4 g
- Sodium: 90 mg
- Fiber: 1.8 g
- Protein: 7.8 g
- Cholesterol: 164.1 mg
- 4 eggs, room temperature
- 200 g caster (extra-fine granulated) sugar
- 200 g all-purpose flour, minus 2 tbsp
- 200 g butter, melted and cooled slightly
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 tsp (scant) baking powder
- 125 mL whipping cream
- 10 - 15 cherries, pitted and chopped
- ¼ cup almonds, coarsely chopped and toasted
- Good-quality dark chocolate (we used Lindt 70% Madagascar Dark Chocolate)
- Pre-heat the oven to 350°F and line two 8-inch circular baking tins with parchment paper (this recipe also works with one 9-inch square pan).
- Place the eggs and sugar in a stand mixer and let them come to room temperature so the sugar desolves. Whisk on high for 6 minutes (less time than this may not give enough leavening to the cake).
- Sift together the flour, cocoa and baking powder.
- In two rounds, gently fold the flour mixture into to the egg mixture.
- In two rounds, add the melted (and cooled) butter and fold gently in.
- Divide the batter evenly into the two prepared cake tins and bake at 350°F for 25 to 30 minutes (for one 9-inch square pan, bake for 35 minutes).
- Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then remove the cake from the pan and cool completely.
- While the cake is baking, pit and chop the cherries, place into a small pan with a drop of water and simmer on low until they have reduced and thickened (10-15 minutes). Remove from the heat and set aside.
- Chop and toast the almonds (toaster oven works well here!) and whip the cream (additional sugar is not needed here - the cherries and sponge cake are sweet enough!).
- To assemble the cake, sandwich the cherries and half the almonds between the two cake layers and spread the whipped cream over the entire cake (top and sides). Use a microplane to shave chocolate onto the top of the cake, and sprinkle with the remaining almonds.
- While this cake tastes best the day you make it, it does hold up (covered) in the fridge for up to three days.