As it was in honour of her 12th birthday, I asked Juliette what kind of cake she'd like me to bake last week. Without a second's hesitation, her answer was "chocolate !" I'd made some rich gooey brownies a few days before so I fancied trying something new. I flicked through a recipe book that I received last year and haven't had a chance to use yet - Paul Hollywood's How To Bake - and his recipe for Triple Layer Chocolate Cake With Walnuts caught my eye. I took an awful lot of liberties, removing the walnuts, making a simple star-shaped sandwich rather than a triple layer loaf and replacing his sultana and brandy-infused filling with a jar of chocolate spread, but it was still very tasty ! The bit that appealed to me - adding crushed digestive biscuits to the cake mix - did give it a nice slightly crunchy texture vaguely reminiscent of cheesecake base.
Crispy chocolate sandwich cake
1tsp vanilla essence
100g self-raising flour
5tsp cocoa powder
1/2tsp baking powder
40g digestive biscuits, crushed
1/2 jar chocolate spread
Preheat the oven to 180°. Cream together the butter and sugar.
Mix in the eggs one at a time, adding a spoonful of the flour in between each addition, to avoid curdling. Stir in the vanilla essence.
Mix in the flour, baking powder, cocoa and biscuit crumbs.
Pour into a silicon mould.
Bake for 40 minutes until firm and springy to the touch. Leave to cool before removing from the mould then carefully slice in half.
Spread the bottom half with chocolate spread (or chocolate and hazelnut spread or marshmallow fluff or whatever your kids like the best).
I had half a tub of Betty Crocker vanilla icing in the fridge so I used that but you could whip up a simple butter icing or a drizzle with icing sugar and a few drops of water or lemon juice. Top with sprinkles - I laughed afterwards because it looks more like she is 72, not 12 !
She didn't mind though !
Happy birthday Juliette !