Chocolate cherry birthday cake

This is the cake Naomi and I made for her fifteenth birthday. We happened to have some marzipan, or we'd probably not have thought of covering the cake with it. If you can't get any, spreading some of the butter-cream on the outside of the cake and covering it with more almond slivers will work equally well.

cake ingredients

  • 175 g butter
  • 160 g sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 250 g flour
  • 50 g cornflour
  • 2 heaped tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder (or use self-raising flour)
  • pinch of salt
  • about 150 ml milk
  • 50 g almond slivers

The cake base is almost the same as the cupcakes recipe, expanded a bit and with added almond slivers.

cake process

Cream the butter and the sugar together with a wooden spoon. If your butter is cold and hard, microwave it for one minute on the lowest setting beforehand. Add the eggs and mix well

Sift flour, cornflour, baking powder, salt and cocoa all together and mix it in. Add the almond slivers. Mix in enough milk, if necessary between portions of flour, to get a very thick batter or a very soft dough.

Bake in a greased 24 cm spring mould at 175°C for 35-45 minutes or until a skewer stuck in the centre comes out clean. Cool on a rack. Unmould when it's cool but not yet cold. Cut the cake into two layers with a string when it's cooled completely.

butter-cream ingredients

  • 300 ml milk
  • 100 g sugar
  • 75 g cornflour
  • 100 g butter

butter-cream process

Mix cornflour and sugar and make a thin smooth paste with some of the milk. Bring the rest of the milk to the boil, add the paste, and stir until it thickens.

Take off the heat and let it cool. When it's lukewarm, stir in the butter. Let it cool completely, preferably in the fridge.

garnish ingredients

  • 1 jar stoneless cherries
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • about 400 g marzipan
  • about 100 g plain chocolate
  • candied fruit

putting it together

Drain the cherries and keep the juice. Spread half of the butter-cream on the bottom layer of the cake and press in the cherries. Finish with the other half of the butter-cream and put the top layer back. (If you aren't using marzipan, use less of the butter-cream inside and spread the rest on the top and sides of the cake after pouring the cherry juice over.)

Thicken the cherry juice a bit with cornflour, let it cool to lukewarm and pour it over the cake.

Roll out the marzipan about 1" larger than the cake (this is hard!), cut a circle with the spring mould and roll it out a little more. Cut strips from the trimmings, rolling them out again if necessary, to cover the side of the cake. Cover the top of the cake with the circle.

Melt the chocolate in a water-bath. Make a piping bag by rolling a piece of parchment paper into a cone, pour some of the chocolate in and write on the cake with it. Use candied fruit to decorate further.

Happy birthday!