Jay’s Birthday Cake
This cake is a labour of love and it’s definitely a celebration cake, so if you have a cake lover like my nephew Jay who you know will appreciate the hard work that goes into making this cake then that’s the one.
This dense chocolate cake is honestly easy to make and is easy to cut and assemble. The chocolate and vanilla pudding goes perfectly with this cake. However, you do need patience and time to make it.
My family asked me why I made such an elaborate cake. I have two reasons: Jay does NOTHING in halves so I thought that really represents him and 2, he is a pretty good cake baker himself so I knew he would really appreciate this.
Jay, this cake is just how I see you, over the top, loads of layers of interesting combinations, super delicious, hard work but like you so worth it! Happy birthday my love. The cake I made is HUGE, I doubled the cake ingredients and added vanilla pudding for extra decadence. That night my guests (some family and friends, 14 people) and my neighbour, who entertained 15 people, enjoyed this cake and there were still leftovers. My guests, not mentioning any names (Rita), complained (but in a good way) that their tummy hurt because even though they were full they couldn’t stop eating it. It really is easy to make folks, all you need is a saucepan and an eggbeater, it just takes time and patience but if you have someone special that you want to make it for then it’s worth it. You can make this cake a day ahead.
2 packets of wafer sticks. You will need to cut them down to size depending on how high your cake is.
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 cup coffee (I used 2 teaspoons of instant coffee)
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
300mls pure cream
1 cup milk
1 packet instant pudding vanilla
2 tablespoons vanilla sugar
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup cornflour + 2 teaspoons dissolved in a teaspoon of water just in case the pudding is still liquidy
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups thickened cream
1 cup full cream milk
200g dark chocolate (finely chopped/grated) or chocolate chip
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 160c.
Grease and cover two 20cm cake tins with baking paper. I made double the ingredients and used two 24cm cake tins and cut each cake into three layers. (my cake was huge).
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate soda and salt.
Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the cocoa and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat, and whisk in the coffee, buttermilk, and sugars until dissolved. Whisk in the eggs and vanilla, then slowly whisk in flour mixture.
Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake tins and bake Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Cool in the cake tins for 15 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack to cool completely, at least 1 hour.
In an electric mixer mix all the vanilla pudding ingredients together till firm. Transfer to fridge.
In a large saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cornflour, salt, cream, and milk. Set the saucepan over medium heat. Add the chocolate and whisk constantly until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture begins to thicken, look glossy and large bubbles break on the surface. If this doesn’t happen (it didn’t to me) I added 2 teaspoons cornflour dissolved in water and it thickened immediately.
Remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla extract.
Transfer the pudding to a large bowl and press plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or up to 1 day.
Assemble the Cake
Cut each cake in half horizontally so that you have four layers.
Divide chocolate pudding into four even quantities and do the same for the vanilla pudding. Place one cake layer on a serving platter or plate. Spread 1 portion of chocolate pudding over the cake layer and top with another layer of vanilla pudding. Repeat. You should end up with pudding for the top of cake off.
Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. The cake can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
Note: You cannot taste the coffee in this cake - it is used to enhance the chocolate flavour. If you cannot use coffee, you can substitute it with water, but be advised that it will alter the flavour of the cake.
PS - I love hearing from you! Let me know how it went and feel free to spread the word/passion/love, the more the merrier!