Yesterday was my birthday. I turned the grand old age of 28. It's a beautiful age, apparently. (So one of my friends was informed by a Polish lady we work with.) I took the day off work and had the laziest of days pootling around Cambridge and my flat. I had a bath at 1pm. I read a detective book set in Sicily as part of my acclimatisation in preparation for my upcoming holiday. I could afford to relax, you see, because my birthday cake had already been made, taken to work and devoured. (Though there is talk of Mr 'Splorer baking me another just for me and him.)
I toyed with the idea of making this dressy chocolate loaf cake. I still really want to make that cake - it looks so classy and sophisticated. But I decided that for a cake worthy of my birthday I needed drama. And I think meringue just screams drama. Not to mention a cake that contains the best part of five bars of chocolate. (No one tell Mr 'Splorer how much that means I handed over to Green & Black's!) So I chose this Chocolate & hazelnut meringue cake, from the wonderful blog Tartelette. Check out her post for some gorgeous photos of what it should look like! She's adapted the recipe from Martha Stewart. It's basically a rich chocolate brownie-like cake, with a meringue topping with bits of chocolate and hazelnut folded in. It's very rich and very delicious. Personally I wasn't sure that the chocolate in the meringue was really necessary, but it went down very well in some quarters. And I got buckets of positive feedback from the workmates. So, all in all, a highly successful cake and I would totally recommend the recipe.
I do, however, have one small gripe! Why, oh why, do Americans measure butter in tablespoons? (Or am I being unfair? Is it only some Americans?) Why would you decide to measure something solid in spoonfuls, especially assuming that you have a perfectly decent set of scales somewhere about your kitchen? Madness!
Oh, and before I go, I must just be a proud big sis and show you what I got from little sis for my birthday:
This is me 'sploring you see...
And here I have conquered a cake mountain!