My boss turned 40 this week and it was only right that this happy day was marked with a cat-shaped chocolate birthday cake, right? Our chum Laura christened him Kevin and at a cake-fest in the office, Kev bravely gave his life for the enjoyment of us hungry office-workers. Way to go Kevin.
This cake is very simple to make and keeps for a few days if you don’t hoover it up before then.
For the cake – *200g plain flour *200g caster sugar *1 teaspoon baking powder *half a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda *40g best-quality cocoa (I used Green and Blacks) *175g soft unsalted butter *2 large eggs *2 teaspoons real vanilla extract *150ml soured cream
For the Icing – *150g icing sugar *100g soft unsalted butter *1 teaspoon vanilla extract *a few teaspoons of cocoa *splash of milk
For the topping – *Bassets Licorice selection
1.Take all of the cake ingredients out of the fridge and allow to come to room temperature. Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4/180oC / 160Oc fan and butter 2 20cm sandwich tins.
2. Now, in a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and bicarb, cocoa, butter, eggs, vanilla extract and sour cream. Use a food processor or a hand whisk and beat until it’s smooth and thick.
3. Divide the mixture between the two greased tins and spread flat. Bake until a skewer comes out clean but the cake has a springiness to it. Will take around half an hour or so but check regularly.
4. Remove the cakes from the oven and press and tap out onto a wire rack and cool entirely.
5. Place one of the cakes on a drum and cut 2 triangles out of the other cake. Using cocktail sticks fasten the triangles (ears) to the other cake (face).
6. To make the icing combine the icing sugar, butter, vanilla and a splash of milk in a bowl. Leave a small amount of the white icing in one bowl and transfer the lion’s share to another bowl and add cocoa to taste to this batch of icing.
7. Using a palette knife cover the cake with the chocolate icing. Then add some of the white vanilla icing to the ears and the middle of the cat’s face.
8. I used licorice to make the cat’s eyes, heart-shaped nose and whiskers.
9. Ice a birthday message onto the drum if you like. Add a few candles and say a special wish for the birthday boy or girl. x