WHAT. A. DAY.
We started early, constructing an epic chocolate layer cake. It was loosely based on Charlie’s birthday cake, but we dispensed with the top layer and added a layer of whipped cream and a thick layer of crumbled Flakes. Oh, and of course those Curly Wurlys – painstakingly cut to size and applied by the birthday boy himself.
Here’s how to make it:
Triple Layer Curly Wurly Chocolate Mousse Cake
For the flourless chocolate cake
Line an 8” high sided loose-bottomed tin with greaseproof paper, and give it a squirt of cake-release spray for good measure if you want. Remember you’re going to add the layers so line the sides quite high. Preheat the oven to 160/gas 3.
125g dark chocolate
3 large free range eggs, separated
125g soft brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Melt the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl over some hot water. As soon as the water starts to bubble, turn it off and let the butter and chocolate melt gently together.
Meanwhile, whisk the egg whites until they’re really firm.
When the butter and chocolate are melted, stir in the brown sugar, the vanilla extract and the egg yolks, then gently fold in the whisked egg whites.
Pour into the prepared cake tin and bake for about half an hour or until a knife inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Leave to cool. It will sink as it cools.
For the chocolate mousse
You only need a thin (ish) layer of mousse. I made my first layer far too thick, so I’ve halved the quantities here.
250ml double cream
300g dark chocolate
3 eggs, separated
So just pop the double cream in a saucepan and break in the chocolate. Put it on a low heat and as soon as the cream is warm enough to melt the chocolate, turn the heat off, continuing to stir until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.
Leave to cool a little while you whisk the egg whites. Do check that the cream/chocolate mixture is cool enough (it needs to be lukewarm otherwise it will scramble the eggs) before mixing in the egg yolk.
Then just fold in the whites, again take your time and wait until everything is a uniform colour. Pour the mousse on top of the chocolate cake layer and put in the fridge to set.
To decorate with Curly Wurlys (or any chocolate bar, frankly)
You’ll need to make up a bit of ganache ‘glue’. I just melted about 100g of dark chocolate in a saucepan over some simmering water, then added a splosh of cream and stirred until it was thick. Spread with a pallet knife around the edge of the cake, cut the Curly Wurlys to fit, then press them on, making sure the cut ends are at the bottom. You might need to use a half piece just to close up the last gap. Back in the fridge again to set.
Just before serving, whip some double cream and pipe, or spoon, over the mousse. Cover with a layer of crumbled up Flakes.
So with the cake ready and lots of booze in the fridge, it was off to Rogue Racing in Aylesbury with ten of Sam’s friends for an epic karting session. It really is immensely good fun – noisy, hot and frantic – we had an AMAZING time and I can highly recommend it. You end up getting so into it – my voice was hoarse from all the shouting and there were some surprise aggressive drivers (I’m looking at you Mickey and Amy!). Here’s the birthday boy:
and here’s the gang after the karting:
Back to English Towers, then, we ordered six massive XXL pizzas and were joined by family and friends for an epic party. The hubby made a surprise appearance (he was supposed to miss the party due to a late duty time), making us all cry, my big bro brought some amazing wine and some fabulous champagne too, the Disreputable One popped in for a drink, and we laughed, danced, drank and giggled (mostly me, that bit) until 2am, eventually leaving teenagers sleeping all over the place and heading to bed.
What a fabulous day. And what lovely friends the boy has. This is my favourite pic of the boy, beaming, mouth full of pizza, surrounded by all his mates, and photobombed by his mate Marshy. Happy birthday Sam xx