For the cake, I returned to Jo Wheatley's A Passion for Baking as I have always found her recipes reliable. The Chocolate Birthday Cake recipe I have made several times, so knew it would be the perfect moist chocolate cake. Instead of the ganache, I filled and covered it with chocolate buttercream, as I felt this would be more suitable for the occasion. I then completely covered it in Sainsbury's soft chocolate flavour icing, which comes ready to roll (cheat, I know...but I'm still getting to grips with making icing from scratch!).
I was planning to finish the decoration by just cutting some star shapes from different coloured ready-to-roll icing, when my husband reminded me about the small Mickey Mouse cookie cutter I'd recently purchased and was yet to use. As Mickey Mouse is another of my sons favourites, this seemed like the perfect addition. The stars and Mickey shapes were easily attached to the cake just by painting a little water on the back and gently pushing them on to the cake.
The end result was a simply but effectively decorated moist chocolate cake...and something I've already been asked to make for another birthday!
Before I end this chapter of my baking journey, I must admit to a slight mistake! The decorated cake was actually the second one I made as I over-baked the first one! To be fair, it would still have been delicious if it was just for tea, but I wanted the birthday cake to be perfect. It did not go to waste though! Oh no, it became the most perfect Black Forest Trifle!
To make the trifle, I sliced each sponge in half horizontally and sandwiched them back together with a good quantity of Red Cherry Conserve (I used Sainsbury's Taste the Difference). I then cut each sandwich into large chunks and placed a layer of these into a trifle bowl. Next I drained a tin of cherries, reserving the syrup. I mixed some of the syrup with a couple of tablespoons of brandy and drizzled half of this over the sponge in the bowl. Next I added the cherries and then another layer of the sponge, finishing by drizzling the remaining brandy/syrup mix over. This will sit quite happily in the fridge for a good few hours or overnight.
Before serving, whisk some double cream until thick and layer this over the sponge base. Finish with a generous grating of dark chocolate. The perfect way to salvage a chocolate cake.
Sadly, I didn't get a picture of the trifle. But I hope you like the cake!
notes: You've seen Sharon's cakes on here before! Check them out here & here!