A dear friend of mine – the husband of one of my most beloved girlfriends– recently had his 40th birthday. He’s a real Iron Man – loves to run and mountain bike. Being so incredibly fit, of course he needs a generous calorie intake and likes a good chunk of cake, especially if it involves chocolate and caramel. So when I sat down to sketch out what to make for his birthday cake, it had to be something based around these elements.
This three tier cake was meant to represent a mountain trail. I used Nigella’s Sour Cream Chocolate Cake recipe for the tiers, quadrupled the original amounts and baked it up in a 25cm, 18cm and 10cm tin. I double-lined the tins to prevent the cakes cooking too much on the outside before being cooked inside. All three tiers came out quite well – once the cakes started to rise I just kept poking my skewer in every ten minutes to check for dampness. I baked them all separately.
Once I had my cakes cooled, I levelled them off and split each tier horizontally and spread a layer of Nestle Carnation Caramel between each layer. I iced each cake first and then I used cake dowels and cake boards between each layer to support the weight and iced over any visible bits of board/ holes.
The decoration was bashed up Crunchie bars for the rubbly road and Maltesers for the boulders. I bought the little trees in a model shop (they are meant for Hornby train sets) and made the little Swedish flag myself. My friend’s wife made a fantastic little model cyclist to accompany the model runner I added. I realised right before we left for the party that I had forgotten to put a Happy Birthday anywhere on the cake and felt it was lacking a little ‘something’ so I melted down some white choc, piped ‘Jonas’ as neatly as possible and stuck it in the freezer, peeling it off the greaseproof paper once it was frozen. Sadly, the top of the ‘j’ and the ‘s’ broke off when I tried to wedge it into the top of the cake. I am far too brutal with baked goods!
The birthday boy loved his cake – and his surprise party. Happy Birthday Bownuts!! xxx