On the 1st of January Taylor turned 1, I can’t quite believe it. I have a 1 year old! So naturally on New Years Eve I was baking a 1st Birthday Cake after having the crazy idea of a last minute tea party. Of course the theme was Foxes… What else?
The cake itself was baked following a lovely chocolate devils food cake recipe which I have shared with you below then decorated with the help of Taylor’s Grandma. I’d have made a real mess of it otherwise!
I used the Joseph Joseph Nest9 set for baking the cake which lead to me having a very small amount of mess at the end which is always a plus. The set is compact and can be stored as one in the kitchen so it saves space and is convenient to pull out when baking, it includes measuring cups, jug, sieve, a strainer and a mixing bowl so you have everything in one bundle.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4/350°F.
- Line the bottoms of two 20cm / 8inch round sandwich tins with baking parchment and butter the sides.
- Put the cocoa and 100g / half cup dark muscovado sugar into a bowl with a bit of space to spare, and pour in the boiling water. Whisk to mix, then set aside.
- Cream the butter and caster sugar together, beating well until pale and fluffy; I find this easiest with a freestanding mixer, but by hand wouldn’t kill you.
- While this is going on – or as soon as you stop if you’re mixing by hand – stir the flour, baking powder and bicarb together in another bowl, and set aside for a moment.
- Dribble the vanilla extract into the creamed butter and sugar – mixing all the while – then drop in 1 egg, quickly followed by a scoopful of flour mixture, then the second egg.
- Keep mixing and incorporate the rest of the dried ingredients for the cake, then finally mix and fold in the cocoa mixture, scraping its bowl well with a spatula.
- Divide this chocolate batter between the 2 prepared tins and put in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.
- Take the tins out and leave them on a wire rack for 5–10 minutes, before turning the cakes out to cool.
I may have had a little help from my KitchenAid which certainly sped up every process however it can easily be done by hand, I’ve been doing it for years!
I particularly liked using the nest 9 as it was convenient to have everything in one place, from measuring cups to a pouring bowl. I’ve usually stopped half way through baking before now to dig out a 1/2 teaspoon measure or find a measuring jug.
The mix itself was so chocolately even I wanted to lick the bowl! – A professional baker would never so this. I did this. I am not a professional 😉
The aftermath – I’m amazed that I baked a birthday cake at the last minute and didn’t make the kitchen look like a bomb site.
- Onc the cakes are in the oven, get started on your frosting: put the water, 30g / 2 tablespoons muscovado sugar and 175g / 1 1/2 sticks butter in a pan over a low heat to melt.
- When this mixture begins to bubble, take the pan off the heat and add the chopped chocolate, swirling the pan so that all the chocolate is hit with heat, then leave for a minute to melt before whisking till smooth and glossy.
- Leave for about 1 hour, whisking now and again – when you’re passing the pan – by which time the cakes will be cooled, and ready for the frosting.
- Set one of the cooled cakes, with its top side down, on a cake stand or plate, and spread with about a third of the frosting, then top that with the second cake, regular way up, and spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides. Then if you wish, decorate to your own taste. – We foxed ours!
Phills mum is basically a sugar craft guru who came to my rescue and sat with me until 11:30pm on new years eve to decorate the cake. She then went home to embroider him a personalised fox crown until 5am – The things Grandmas do!
From crafting ears and attaching them with spaghetti to cutting out a fox face I was really pleased with our end result. Considering time restraints and how poorly planned this was Taylor still had a lovely cake for his birthday. This was also the first time Taylor has ever tasted cake. We managed an entire year without letting him taste cake so it would be more special on his birthday and I think he approved! He crashed and burned 5 hours later after a mad sugar rush but overall I think he liked it.
If you’ve ever baked a Birthday cake for your children before you’ll know how stressful it can be. Especially when it’s the night before the big day, it’s new years eve, and they keep waking up. Baking with a baby is hard! How I didn’t burn the cake or make a mess of it I’ll never know!
The Nest 9 Plus retails at £45 from Joseph Joseph – We were sent the Nest 9 Plus in exchange or an honest review and to help bake this fabulous foxy cake