The Bald One turned 30 this week and despite a 10 minute lecture on why we shouldn’t be celebrating his birthday (something along the lines of ‘Clauds, I’m one step closer to death, why would I would want to celebrate that’ and other cheerful thoughts) I decided to ignore all this and host a surprise birthday party as well as bake a chocolate cake – both of which he expressed deep dislike to. What I didn’t bank on was the weather. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m loving these tropical temperatures but not when making a cake, especially a chocolate one. As my kitchen counters and myself became covered in melted chocolate and butter, I was beginning to question my sanity. Whilst in my heat induced baking coma I forgot to put the timer on, and for a good 30 minutes I was thinking ‘blimey this 20 minutes is a long one,’ thankfully rescuing the cake before it was burnt to a cinder. Then came the transportation of it to the restaurant. My taxi never arrived and so, realising I was horribly late for work, I ran down Putney High Street, hurtling into the shade whenever I could. The bus was a sweaty, sticky affair but miraculously the cake and myself made it in one piece. The verdict – well I’m never listening to The Bald One again. He lapped up the attention and even ate some cake. Hooray!
- 8oz/225g margarine/butter (I used Stork… just as good as butter)
- 8oz/225g caster sugar
- 4 eggs
- 8oz/225g self-raising flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2oz/55g cocoa powder
- zest of a large orange
For the Icing:
- Juice of half an orange
- 6oz/170g icing sugar
- 1 oz/30g cocoa powder
- 4oz/125g softened butter
- Turn the oven on to 180 degrees. Butter and line with greaseproof paper 2 20cm sandwich tins.
- Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- In a separate bowl whisk the eggs. Gradually add the eggs into the butter/sugar mixture until fully incorporated.
- Sieve the raising flour, cocoa, baking powder and fold into the batter.
- Carefully divide the mixture into your prepared tins.
- Bake for aprox. 20 minutes until the cake has risen and springs back to touch (try not to open the oven too often, otherwise it will sink)
- Cool on a wire rack.
- To make the icing beat together the icing sugar and butter. Add the orange juice and cocoa and beat thoroughly until well mixed. I usually do this by taste and texture. You might want to add more orange/more icing sugar.
- Fill the middle and top of cake with icing. Decorate as you wish! I chopped Terry’s Chocolate Orange and Flake, scattered on top along with freeze dried raspberry for colour and bronze sugar balls.
Directions for use: If you can bake in 35 degrees you can achieve anything!