Sunday, 31 August 2008

Birthday cake

This is not a recipe as such, more a bit of shameless bragging! You see being of the 'roast-chicken-and-veg-followed-by-apple-crumble-and-custard' persuasion, it's nice when I make a cake and it actually comes out as planned.

This one is Nigella's Chocolate Malteser Cake from 'Feast' (page 283) which is an interesting recipe in which you whisk up eggs and an indecent amount of sugar, add what is basically a hot mug of Horlicks and a tablespoon of butter, fold in a bit of flour and cocoa and bake it until it's cake. The icing has a heap of Horlicks in it too, with a bit of cocoa again for good measure and you slap it into the sponges with as many Maltesers as you can squeeze on.

For once I didn't burn it (despite it taking 20 minutes longer to cook than Nigella's recommended 25 minutes); for once it rose all the way up to the top of the tins, and for once it actually looks like the one in the picture opposite the recipe in Nigella's book.

It tasted good too, which was nice as it was to celebrate not one but three birthdays: Mum's 70th, my 42nd and Dad's 68th. Rosie wants one for her 5th birthday in December too, so I only hope that one will be as successful.

Cakes, generally, confuse me. Like mayonnaise they seem to involve some kind of kitchen alchemy that is affected by temperature and humidity as well as quantity and quality of ingredients. On this occasion, despite not having much in the way of an actual kitchen (like cupboards or sink, for example), I got it right.