It has been quite some time since my friends and I did the dizzy round of 21st birthday parties, and I hadn't expected to attend one again. However, life is often surprising, and one of the guys that I work with, Andrew, has kindly invited our entire team at work to attend his 21st birthday party in a couple of weeks time.
Although his party is not for a couple of weeks (after his exams for this year are a distant nightmare), it was Andrew's actual birthday on Thursday. What now seems like a lifetime ago, I made Zinnur's chocolate stripe cake for the king of striped shirts and chocolate, Tim. Andrew loved this cake and requested it for his birthday cake. How could I refuse? So I whipped out a sinful 400g of chocolate and an ocean of cream to dress up the surprisingly low fat base cakes (none of which contain an ounce of butter).
This time, I cooked the sponge rolls for a little too long, and consequently lost the edges to crispness. They also were not as easy to roll up as they should have been. The resulting cake was therefore a little smaller than last time, but we still had plenty of cake to go around.
I coloured some ready made fondant for the decorations. I could not find a ready made plastic key or a key-shaped cutter anywhere (have these gone out of vogue as tokens of turning 21??), so I washed up an ordinary house key and used it as a template to cut out the key. Finally, I pressed grated chocolate around the sides of the cake. It took almost as long to make the decorations as to make the whole cake (did I mention that I hate grating anything, including chocolate!?!).
I also finally took a picture of the inside of this cake (after 3 attempts) which is clear enough to show the chocolate stripe cake in all its glory. (Thanks to Simon for his assistance with the photography - I have learnt quite a lot about my camera that I didn't know before!) Now you know why this cake has the "wow" factor when people cut into it, not expecting to see the beautiful stripey pattern made in such a simple manner.
Happy 21st Andrew - I look forward to your party!