It was hubby’s 40th birthday party on the weekend and I made his birthday cake.
The party theme was glitz and glamour so the cake had to look spectacular – I tried to achieve this by decorating the cake in gold and silver cake dust & cachous soft sugar pearls with Ferrero Rocher Chocolates . I flavoured the cake according to Ben’s all time favourites – chocolate cake for the base, cherry ripe & coconut cream for the filling and a fluffy light Italian Buttercream to coat the cake.
Ben loved his party and the birthday cake!
I, like Ben, love cherry ripe and coconut flavour combination so I thought it would be the prefect cream filling between the layers of chocolate cake. Chocolate, cherry and coconut are a wonderful marriage of flavours. Visually, you have a vibrant cherry red colour parallel to dark brown layers and so the effect is very inviting.
465g Butter, unsalted, softened room temperature
660g Caster Sugar
5 tsp Vanilla Bean Paste
6 each Eggs, whole
150g Self-raising flour, sifted
445g Plain Flour, sifted
2 & ½ tsp Bicarbonate of soda
120g Dutch Cocoa Powder, sifted
375g Butter, unsalted, softened room temperature
3 cup Pure Icing Sugar
350g Glace Cherries, chopped into small pieces
2/3 cup Shredded Coconut
3 tsp Cherry Brandy
2 drops Red Food Colouring (optional)
400g Caster Sugar
200g Egg whites
600g Butter, softened room temp
- Preheat oven to 180c. Lightly grease the tin and line the base with baking paper.
- Pre-condition ingredients – take our butter, weigh and cut into small cubes – leave out till reaches room temp. Weigh all ingredients.
- Beat on med to high speed the butter, castor sugar and vanilla bean paste in an electric mixing bowl (use paddle) until light and fluffy – about 2 mins.
- Add the eggs one at a time making sure to beat in egg thoroughly after each addition. Ensure to scrape down sides of bowl after each addition of egg to allow even mix and emulsify egg with butter/sugar.
- Transfer to large bowl and fold in the combined sifted flours, bicarb of soda and cocoa powder and alternate adding the buttermilk.
- Spoon the cake batter into prepared baking tin and gently smooth top of mixture with small palette knife.
- Bake for 1hour & 40mins or until cooked through – check with a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake and if comes out clean – it is cooked.
- Remove cake from oven and leave in tin for at least 5 mins before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
- Chill cake in fridge overnight and cut in half (in the middle) the next day.
- Beat on med to high speed the butter and icing sugar in an electric mixing bowl (use paddle) until light and fluffy – about 2 to 3 mins.
- Add red food colouring if using. Beat until well combined.
- Add the glace cherries, coconut and cherry brandy.
- Add 2 tsp of boiling water and mix till all combined. Set aside till needed to use.
- To make the Italian Buttercream, place water and caster sugar in a small pot and on high heat, bring to boil till it reaches temperature of 115c – 118c on sugar thermometer.
- Meanwhile, in a clean mixing bowl, whisk egg whites until firm peaks.
- Once water/sugar reaches required temp, slowly pour it into meringue while it is mixing on slow to med speed. The mixing bowl will feel hot to touch – keep mixing until bowl cools down a little.
- Change to paddle/beater on the mixer and start adding butter, slowly. Ensure each addition of butter is mixed through before adding more butter. Once all butter is mixed through – you will have a lovely, smooth, fluffy Italian meringue Buttercream.
- Once cake has chilled overnight in fridge – cut through centre the next day and spread each layer (only use 3 layers of chocolate cake – can freeze the 4th layer for another dessert such as trifle, etc) with the Cherry Ripe & Coconut Cream filling. Make sure to leave the top layer as chocolate cake.
- Coat the entire outside of cake with Italian Buttercream.
- Decorate with silver and gold cake dust & cachous sugar balls and base with Ferrero Rocher Chocolates.
- Can hand pipe birthday wishes on top or place ready made signs.
I used a 30cm round cake tin as I was catering for 45 guests and wanted to create a grand cake to fit in with theme. I also baked the recipe twice so that I could cut both cakes in half to gain 4 layers. I ended up using 3 of the layers only as it would have been too high (I wrapped and froze the 4th layer to use another time for a trifle).
Recipe for Chocolate Cake (baked this cake recipe twice)