Birthday cakes are one of the most steadfast traditions when celebrating the birth of a child. The recipe is the one that former private chef to Princess Diana, Darren McGrady, used when celebrating with the royal family.
Royal Birthday Cake
1 pound Ghirardelli semisweet chocolate, chopped and divided
2 cups (1 pint) heavy cream, divided
Prepare at least six hours before baking the cake. Put half the chopped chocolate into a mixing bowl. In a separate saucepan, bring half the heavy cream to a simmer. Pour the hot cream onto the chocolate, letting the chocolate melt. Whisk it until smooth and well incorporated. Refrigerate until it cools and thickens to the consistency of a spreadable icing.
6 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup plus 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1/2 tablespoons Dutch cocoa powder
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter an 8-inch pan and line it with buttered parchment paper. Set a metal mixing bowl over a saucepan half filled with simmering water. The water should not touch the bottom of the mixing bowl. Add the egg yolks, eggs, and sugar to the mixing bowl, and whisk together allowing the heat from the simmering water to warm the mixture. In a separate bowl, sift the flour and cocoa together.
Keep whisking the egg mixture until it doubles in volume. Gently fold in the flour and cocoa mixture. Then fold in the cooled butter. Spoon the cake batter into the prepared cake pan, and bake for 20 minutes, or until the cake springs back slightly when pressed. Remove the cake to a cooling rack.
For the topping:
Put the remaining half of the chopped chocolate into a mixing bowl. In a separate saucepan, bring the heavy cream to a simmer. Pour the hot cream onto the chocolate, letting it melt. Whisk it until smooth and well incorporated, and the asset it aside while you assemble the cake.
For the assembly:
Slice the cake into three horizontal layers. Place the bottom later on a cooling rack. Using the refrigerated icing, top the bottom disc with a thick layer of icing, and then add the next layer, with another layer of icing. Place the top of the cake over the second layer of icing.
Ladle the warm chocolate icing over the top of the cake, allowing it to run down the sides. Cool the cake for at least 2 hours before decorating with chocolate.
Makes 10 servings.
Source: “Eating Royally: Recipes & Remembrances From a Palace Kitchen” by Darren McGrady