As I type this blog post, I am less than an hour away from turning thirty-three years old. Ugh! I don't like the sound of it and to be honest I haven't fully enjoyed my birthday after the big 3 0. It's something to do with getting close to forty! ;) I get nervous and I feel like time is running out to finally decide "what to do with my life". Does anyone else feel the same way?
Luckily there are also a few awesome things about birthdays, like eating in my favourite restaurants, spending time with my friends, receiving lovely gifts and...baking my birthday cake!
I have been looking at birthday cake recipes for the whole month, but when I saw Vanilla Bean Blog Chocolate Cake I knew I had found the perfect one. Then I had to choose the right frosting. I didn't want to use extravagant ingredients and, at the end of the day, I do really love chocolate. So I took inspiration from a Call Me Cupcake recipe and frosted my cake with Chocolate Mascarpone Cream. I also filled and topped the cake with fresh berries and icing sugar, just like Linda did with her mascarpone cake. I loved the mood of her photos and I wanted to re-create something similar for my blog post.
I am really excited about this cake, I think it looks beautiful and it tastes delicious! The chocolate sponge really is the best I have ever tried! I decided to eat the cake before my birthday as on the 20th we will not be home for the whole day (we are going to Duck & Waffle for dinner, yeah!).
For the chocolate cake
- 1 3/4 cup plain flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 3/4 cup good quality cocoa powder
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup buttermilk, shaken
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
For the chocolate mascarpone frosting
- 250g mascarpone
- 2/3 cup cocoa powder
- 2/3 cup icing sugar
- 1 1/4 cup double cream
- 150g blueberries
- 150g redcurrants
- 150g raspberries
- icing sugar to decorate
Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Butter two 20cm (8 inches) round cake pans (make sure cake pans are at least 5cm/2 inches tall). Butter and flour the pans, then line with parchment paper.
Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients. Make the coffee and pour it into the cake batter. Stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
Divide the batter into the two cake pans and bake for 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely, removing the parchment paper.
While the cakes are baking, prepare the frosting. Whip the mascarpone, cocoa powder and icing sugar until creamy. Add the double cream and whip until you obtain the desired consistency.
Place one cake layer, flat side up, on a cake stand. With a knife or offset spatula, spread the top with frosting. Add one third of the washed berries. Place the second cake layer on top, rounded side up, and spread the frosting evenly on the top and sides. Place in the fridge to set for one hour.
Before serving the cake, decorate the cake with the remaining berries and sprinkle with icing sugar.