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Chocolate Birthday Cake

Asked by daniella_alba. Answered on 21st February 2012

Full question

Hi Kitchen Queries team, I am a huge fan of Nigella's Dense Chocolate Loaf cake (from How to be a Domestic Goddess) and would really like to make a variation for my daughter's birthday cake. I was wondering if the cupcake variation (p168) could be used? If so with what size cake tin? Can two pieces be sandwiched together? I appreciate that the Buttermilk Cake is probably a more practical option, however, my daughter would really like a chocolate one! I would really appreciate the help! Many thanks, Daniella Gardner

Our answer

Generally the batter from a 12 cupcake recipe will be sufficient for one layer of a 23cm/9-inch round sandwich tin (cake pan). The oven temperature would be the same but the cake should take 5 to 10 minutes longer to bake. However as this cake has a fairly close texture it may be better to bake it in a 20cm/8-inch pan as it won't rise as much as a more standard cupcake batter (again add 5 to 10 minutes to cooking time). So to make a 2-layer cake you will need to make a double quantity of the batter, split between two tins. Make sure that you grease each tin well and line the bases with baking parchment

Bear in mind that the cake may sink a bit when it cools and also the cake could be a bit delicate and more difficult to move around, so when you turn the fully cooled layers out out may be easier to turn them onto pieces of baking parchment (parchment paper) so that they can be lifted easily. Also if the cake sinks you can hide this a little by sandwiching the cake so the the two top sides are facing each other.

Nigella has several other chocolate cake recipes that would be good for birthday cakes and we would suggest looking at the Sour Cream Chocolate Cake from Domestic Goddess (p169), the Old-Fashioned Chocolate Cake from Feast (p269) and the Devil's Food Cake from Kitchen (p253).

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