An EPIC 18th birthday cake!
Last week it was my little sister's 18th birthday...and what does every 18th birthday girl need? A giant birthday cake of course. Now this is a HUGE cake, probably the biggest cake I've made to date, so you'll want to save a cake like this for a big party.
The “one” is made up of a chocolate Swiss roll, whilst the “eight” is made up of 4 Malteser themed sponge cakes. Malteser cakes are another popular choice for a birthday cake, but for this one I wanted to make my own fluffy and light Malteser cake. My cake is adapted from my Victoria Sponge cake as a base, with the added ingredients of Horlicks (for the malt flavour) and cocoa for the chocolate malteser cakes. Due to timing for the “one” Swiss roll, I adapted Nigella’s recipe for the inside of her Yule Log cake. For the icing I used a simple, but effective dark chocolate ganache icing and for decorations several packets of M and M's. I made this cake up within about four hours, which for such a big cake isn't too long really. As the ganache icing (if left at room temperature) can take up to 3 hours to set I find it best to make this first so it has plenty of time to chill whilst you’re baking the cakes.
(For those not wanting to bake such a big cake I shall post the recipe of a reduced size Malteser Cake up on LTE soon)
- Chocolate Ganache Icing:
340g Dark Chocolate, chopped or grated
240ml Double Cream
230g Unsalted butter, at room temperature
140g Icing Sugar
- Heat the cream in a saucepan over a medium heat until bubbles are starting to form around on the surface of the cream at the edges of the pan.
- Place the chocolate into a medium size bowl.
- Pour the double cream on top of the chocolate and let rest for a minute.
- After a minute whisk the double cream and chocolate together until fully combined. Let your ganache cool.
- Either leave to cool at room temperature for up to four hours, or place in the fridge for about an hour but whisking every 15 minutes.
- Once the ganache has fully cooled. Place the butter in a mixing bowl and whisk to make it smooth.
- Gradually whisk the icing sugar into the butter, I say gradually because if you put too much icing sugar in at once you’ll end up covered in it!
- Once the icing sugar and butter are fully combined, whisk in the chocolate ganache to form a smooth, rich, chocolate-y icing.
- For the eight cake:
- 280g Golden Caster Sugar
280g Self Raising Flour
280g Unsalted butter (at room temperature)
5 large free-range eggs
½ tsp. baking powder
5 tbsp. milk
6 tbsp. hot water
- Pre-heat the oven to 180°C and line four 20cm/8inch cake tins.
- Cream the butter and sugar together. This will take longer than you think, with an electric hand whisk on medium speed it should take about 6-8 minutes.
- Add the eggs one at a time and beat them in to the mixture. Make sure each egg is fully incorporated into the batter before adding the next one.
- Sift the Horlicks, flour and baking powder together. Then gradually whisk in.
- Once all of the Horlicks mixture is fully mixed in, whisk in the milk and hot water.
- Split your cake batter into two separate mixing bowls.
- To one of your mixing bowls, sift in the cocoa and whisk to combine.
- To the chocolate cake batter whisk in the final tablespoon of hot water.
- Divide your cake batter between the four cake tins evenly, so it should leave you with two plain cakes and two chocolate cakes.
- Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. When ready a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake should come out clean.
- Remove cakes from the oven and let cool on the side for 5 minutes or so. Then remove from the tin and leave to cool on wire racks.
- To form the eight shape:
- Place a chocolate cake on top of each of the plain cakes, and then push the cake towers together to form something which semi-resembles an eight.
- Using a sharp knife cut about an inch of the bottom of the top cake tower, and another inch off the top of the bottom cake tower. This is to give you a smooth eight shape.
- Push the cakes back together.
- With your cake towers still together, use a biscuit cutter (cm) to cut out the centres of your cakes. This should now leave you with a fully formed eight shape.
- Take the top cakes off, and spread the bottom half of the eight with a layer of icing. Place the top eight layer back on top, and cover with icing, all over.
- Now you have your eight.
For the one cake:
6 large free-range eggs, separated
150g caster sugar
50g cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 180°C
- In a large, clean bowl whisk the egg whites until thick and peaking, then, still whisking, sprinkle in 50g of the caster sugar and continue whisking until the whites are holding their peaks but not dry.
- In another bowl, whisk the egg yolks and the remaining caster sugar until the mixture is mousy and pale.
- Add the vanilla extract, sieve the cocoa powder over, then fold both in.
- Lighten the yolk mixture with a large spoonful of the egg whites, folding them in robustly. Then add the remaining whites in thirds, folding them in carefully to avoid losing the air.
- Line a (35cm x 25cm) Swiss roll tin generously with baking paper, leaving some paper overhanging the ends of the tins.
- Pour in the cake mixture and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Let the cake cool a little before turning it out onto another piece of baking parchment.
- Place a clean tea towel on top of your cake, and taking the edges of one of the longest sides of the cake, gradually and firmly roll your cake up, with the tea towel still inside. If you do this whilst the cake is still warm, then your cake will hold its shape later and reduce the amount of breaks and cracks in your roll.
- Unroll your cake, and then spread a layer of icing across the top of the cake. Re-roll, and then smother in chocolate icing.
- Decorate as you wish