It is our eldest son’s birthday at the end of this month, so the start of August heralds a month of birthday party planning; when, where, who, and, of course, which cake. With an older 22-year-old daughter I have been making children’s birthday cakes for two decades. We’ve run the gamut of themed birthday cakes – mermaid, Pokemon, volcano, pirate’s treasure chest, rocket ship, castle, even Harry Potter’s broomstick (the pastry broom head was surprisingly popular). Old faithful The Australian Women’s Weekly Fantastic Cakes and a library of Donna Hay Kid’s Issues are the usual inspiration for our children’s birthday cake selections. Turning 10 is a significant milestone. I wonder if double figures will mark the choice of a more adult cake? With Father’s Day around the same time as our birthday boy’s party you might be looking to make a celebration cake of your own. Here’s our go-to celebration cake, Matthew Evans’ A very good, very chocolaty chocolate cake from Winter on the Farm. Making it, and licking the bowl and chocolate ganache icing pot, is a delight of its own. This cake is so deliciously rich it needs little adornment. Perhaps the best strawberries you can find and some wonderfully tall candles or sparklers to complete the sense of occasion.
Postscript: Our boy's choice was a sophisticated three-tiered chocolate cake with salted caramel popcorn, chocolate fudge frosting and dark chocolate glaze (from Lyndel Miller's Naked Cakes). With the addition of the magical Demeter Baking Powder it became a lot taller than anticipated. Throw into the mix an unseasonally warm day and between home and the park it became a miniature Leaning Tower of Pisa. Make the recipe some time, even if it's one layer. So delicious.