Surprising Birthday Cake

I dearly love my friends, each of them are people who in some way have unequivocally altered my life for the better. So for them I make cake.

This cake is for one of my dearest friends, so she gets a super special cake. I would blather on about her but in terms of privacy and selfishness I want to keep her and the rest of my friends all to myself. I feel the same way about ice cream. The whole internet privacy thing is a biggy; being Gen Y it is hard for me to remember a time when I wasn’t connected to the internet. And I totally understand the faults of that and the bonuses.
Fault: Time keeping has gone out of the window and eye contact is becoming a thing of the past.
Bonus: Internet Shopping! Also I tend to give out more thanks because it’s just easier now.

Mia Freedman wrote an excellent article on this actually –  I love it because I read so many blogs that are pretty much parents parading their children around. As a gal in my twenties I find the situation a bit annoying, you’ve got all these rad people doing awesome stuff and then boom a baby. Cue pictures of baby clothes and ice cream smeared faces. I’m not the maternal type – the whole thing just puts me right off.

I could go on forever about the annoyance of mum blogs, but I feel it is instead more appropriate for me to continue just not being a mum and blogging about that. Ergo one blog that is not a mum blog. Hurrah!

This cake on the other hand is fabulous, inappropriate for children and wildly fun. When I say cake I of course mean a tart.

Adapted from Heston Blumenthals Recipe

For the base

150g all butter shortbread biscuits
30g unsalted butter, melted
2 tbsp white caster sugar
25g neutral popping candy

For the chocolate ganache

175g whipping cream
Pinch of salt
A big handful of frozen Raspberries + extra for topping
50g fresh custard
110g dark chocolate (minimum of 60% cocoa solids), broken into pieces
50g milk chocolate, broken into pieces

For the flocking

500g dark chocolate
200g vegetable oil Or Cocoa Powder


Preheat the oven to 180ºC/gas mark 4. Place the shortbread biscuits on a baking tray and bake in the oven for 10 minutes until golden brown.

Place the biscuits in a food processor and add the melted butter and sugar. Blitz until the mixture resembles fine sand in texture.

Gently stir in the popping candy. Place the mixture inside a 15cm cake ring placed on a tray lined with baking paper. Flatten using the back of a spoon then put to one side to set.

Add the cream, salt and raspberries to a small saucepan and place over a medium heat until it almost comes to the boil. Remove from the heat and allow to stand for 5 minutes, then stir in the fresh custard.

Put the dark and milk chocolate in a bowl. Place over a bain marie (a pan of gently simmering water) and allow to melt completely. Remove from the heat.

Strain the infused cream and add to the bowl of melted chocolate a third at a time, making sure to incorporate the cream thoroughly after each addition. Allow the ganache to cool to room temperature.

Once the tart base has set, use a pastry brush to spread some of the ganache on top of the base and around the edges then place in the freezer for 5 minutes. This will ensure that the ganache will not seep through.

After 5 minutes, pour the remaining ganache into the ring and place the tart in the fridge to set for 2 hours. Place the tart in the freezer at least 4 hours before flocking.

After the gateau is fully frozen, sit the gateau on a wide upturning glass or pot. Remove the metal ring by lightly warming with a blow torch. Remove by carefully sliding the ring downwards. Place back in the freezer.

For the flocking, break the chocolate into chunks and place in a small bowl. Melt the chocolate by placing the bowl over a bain marie. Leave to cool slightly before stirring in the vegetable oil.

Fill the base of a paint gun with the melted chocolate mixture and attach the nozzle. To avoid redecorating the kitchen in chocolate brown, set a large cardboard box on its side to provide a protective roof and walls to work in.

Remove the gateau from the freezer and carefully lift it onto a plate. Place the gateau in the cardboard box then spray it with the chocolate, turning carefully as you go. Return it to the freezer until 20 minutes before serving.


One thought on “Surprising Birthday Cake

  1. Pingback: Five for Monday | Little Cookbook

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