Birthdays Galore!

We have a busy few months with birthdays between February and May… We’re a family of 5’s and multiples of….

  • Adam – 25th February
  • Jack – 5th March
  • Leslie – 5th April
  • Anna – 5th May

It wasn’t planned that way let me tell you!

As Easter was last weekend, and Leslie was running a race down in Ballybunion, I decided to have the celebrations for him turning 3o this coming weekend. So, of course, a cake is needed!

Leslie absolutely adores chocolate cake, so the boys & I made him chocolate biscuit cake last week, but when asked about the party cake, he asked for it not to be CBC as he is running in the Great Ireland Run on Sunday and CBC is a bit heavy *rolling eyes*, so instead, I’m making his absolute favourite chocolate sponge cake. I’ve made this gluten free in the past, and it is just absolutely stunning either way. It also makes fabulous cake balls if you fancy those (or if the cake doesn’t bake quite as well as you’d hoped for whatever reason, mix with some chocolate ganche, roll into balls and voila, delicious mouthfuls!)

So the recipe… Click here for Love for Leslie – Chocolate Cake

The rest of the menu includes:

  • Butterflied Leg of Lamb on the barbecue (lamb from my uncle D)
  • Venison burgers (vension from my Dad)
  • Dalius’ Delicious Barbecued Pork (our neighbour makes THE most delicious pork on the barbecue, my mouth is watering just thinking of it)
  • tons of bread and salads!

Let the fun begin!!


Love for Leslie – Chocolate Cake


Ignore the runny ganache in the picture, this was a test version of the cake!

250g self raising flour*
6 tablespoons cocoa
2 teaspoons baking powder*
300g room-temp butter
300g soft brown sugar (dark preferably)
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
6 large eggs
150g dark chocolate
150ml double cream

*For the gluten free version I used same recipe only with Odlums tritymal gluten-free self-raising flour, 1.25 teaspoons xanthan gum and replaced baking powder with gluten free baking powder.

  1. Preheat oven to 170C/325F/Gas 3
  2. Line base of two 8″ round sandwich tins with baking parchment, greasing the sides also.
  3. Cream butter and sugar together till fluffy.
  4. Beat in vanilla extract.
  5. Sieve flour, baking powder and cocoa together.
  6. Add eggs and flour mix to creamed butter & sugar in alternating goes until all combined.
  7. Put half of mixture in each tin and into oven for 40-45 minutes.
  8. Leave in tin to cool for 5 minutes before turning out onto cooling rack. Peel off base paper.

While cooling, make chocolate ganache by placing cream and chocolate in bowl over saucepan of simmering water. When chocolate is melted, take off the heat and leave to cool – stirring occasionally. Once this is thickened to soft butter consistency, sandwich the cakes together with some ganache, and spread rest evenly over the whole cake.

Alternatively, you can whip the ganache using whisk attachment in your mixer, to create a light, fluffy, pale chocolate covering for the cake. It would work equally well with white chocolate ganache (or both in layers hehe).