Chocolate Birthday Cake

Today I turn 35.

And today I cross over the mid-life point. They say thirty-five is the start of middle age. It's a strange period. Too young to start talking nagging like your mom. Too old to pull a when-you-are-young-and-reckless late night or do something frivolous. Trust me, you'll regret badly the next day. Hangover make you look worst than leopard tights. Nothing planned are good plans - my kind of ideal nights tend to be on the sofa in front of the television. I run and still feel fat. My Facebook friends are all about the baby pictures. Family tends to come first now. You'll I'll take a day off to bake a cake for yourself.
As much as I’ve crave this extraordinary adventure in life. There are undoubtedly times in one’s life that call for a hunk piece of chocolate cake. Whether you are happy, sad, depressed or stressed. This chocolate cake is exactly what you need. Especially more so for birthdays. Today, I just want my chocolate birthday cake with a candle.

Now that I am thirty-five, being thirty-five didn't matter anymore. I am thankful I woke up to another day with the person I one. I've arrived on this day with many lessons learned and ready to fill my future me with many more years of laughters, tears, optimism and contemptment . Life will only gets better. It does with time.

Happy Birthday to me.

Other birthday cake: Cloud nine chocolate cake and Mixed berry chocolate pavlova
This recipe is foolproof, mix and pour type batter. For this cake to taste extra luxurious, use the best quality chocolate you can find. I use Valrhona with 70% cocoa.

Recipe loosely adapted from Ina Garten: Beatty's Chocolate Cake
- makes 1 3 layer 6" cake or 2 layers 8" cake
350g granulated sugar
200g plain flour
85g unsweetened cocoa powder
1½ teaspoon baking powder
1½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 large eggs, beaten
275ml buttermilk or milk with 1 tablespoon vinegar
135ml canola oil
1 tablespoon coffee powder
 275ml boiling water
100g dark chocolate
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 180C. Line the based of three 6" cake tins or two 8" tins (not ones with removable bases, the batter is too liquid).

Sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking power and salt into a bowl. In a electric mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the eggs and sugar until light and thick (about 3 minutes). Pour the oil in a single stream while the mixer is still mixing then add the vanilla extract.

Melt the chocolate and instant coffee with the boiling water. Mix the flour into the batter followed by the hot chocolate. Stir until smooth - it is very watery. Divide between tins and bake for 30-40 mins, until a cake tester comes out clean. Leave to cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes in the tins then turn out and remove the paper.

Chocolate Frosting
180g dark chocolate
250g butter
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
150g icing sugar
1 tablespoon instant coffee powder or any liquors

Break apart the chocolate and place it in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water or you can microwave it to melt. Stir until just melted and set aside until cooled to room temperature.

With an electric mixer on a paddle attachment, beat the butter with the sugar on medium-high speed until light yellow and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and continue beating for 3 minutes until smooth and creamy. Dissolve the coffee powder in 2 teaspoons of the hottest tap water. On low speed, add the chocolate and coffee to the butter mixture and mix until blended. If you are in a hot kitchen, place the frosting in the fridge to firm up Spread immediately on the cooled cake.

- till next post, ss. 

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