There are a few dates throughout the year that I would hate to have my birthday:
- Christmas Day - people would buy you Christmassy gifts or give you one present for the two occasions, or completely forget it's your birthday.
- New Year's Eve/Day - again, people are generally celebrating the start of a new year instead of your birth, or they are out of town.
- The anniversary of a tragic occasion - makes you think of the negatives, like the fact you're getting older!
I have friend's or family who have birthdays on each of the these occasions. Generally, they celebrate on a different day. My friend who was born on Christmas Day throws a Halloween party and our friend who turned 30 on New Year's Day will be having a 30 and a half party. As I am such a big fan of cake, a 30th birthday could not go past without some form of celebration, therefore it was baking time.
Happy Birthday Mud Cake200g butter, chopped
100g good-quality dark chocolate, chopped
60ml strong coffee
splash whiskey or brandy
30g cocoa powder, sifted
1 tsp vanilla essence
220g caster sugar
3 eggs, at room temperature
115g self-raising flour, sifted
200g dark chocolate
1/2 cup thickened cream
Preheat oven to 160°C. Grease and line a deep base cake tin (I used a spring-base tin).
Combine butter, chocolate, cocoa, coffee, vanilla essence and alcohol in a medium saucepan. Cook, whisking constantly, over low heat until smooth and well combined. Remove from heat and stand for 10 minutes or until mixture is lukewarm.
Whisk sugar and eggs using an electric beater in a large mixing bowl until pale and creamy. Pour in the cooled chocolate mixture until well combined. Add the flour and whisk until combined.
Pour the mixture into prepared cake pan and bake in preheated oven for 55 minutes or until crumbs cling to a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake. (Do not be concerned if the surface cracks a little).
Remove from the oven and stand in the pan for 15 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool.
In a saucepan over a low heat, combine the chocolate and cream. Whisk until combined. Cover and place into the fridge until cooled and thick.
When cake in completely cooled, spread ganache over cake and serve.