Monday, February 22, 2010
Rich iced birthday cake
I'm an absolute sucker for magazines that feature Christmas feasts. It doesn't matter how many recipe features I have with Christmas dishes (and I already have my own extensive collection of family favourites that I usually make each year), if I see a new magazine with an enticing spread, I buy it.
I admit that the December issue of Notebook magazine was one such purchase. I am a big fan of Notebook magazine, which seems to be one of the few women's magazines that addresses women who might want to read something more substantial than celebrity gossip and sealed sex sections. There's always lots of inspirational reading, with articles on finance, personal improvement, spiritual wellbeing and work-life balance interspersed with fashion and cooking spreads.
One of the dishes that caught my eye in the December issue was the rich iced mud cake with boozy berries. I didn't have time to make it at Christmas (nor did we really need extra cakes!) but I bookmarked it and decided it was the perfect cake to make for Adam's birthday.
It's always a risk to make a new cake for a special occasion, in case it doesn't work, but the method was easy and the combination of chocolate, coffee, Marsala and mascarpone was tempting. It's a big cake, suitable to serve at least 12 people, so it's an excellent occasion cake. The original method called for the cake to be made in two loaf tins but I made it in one big square cake tin and just had to adjust the cooking time accordingly.
The end result was enthusiastically received by both the birthday boy and the family members who attended the birthday feast. The cake is moist and dense, with the subtle coffee and Marsala flavours blending harmoniously with the chocolate. A mixture of mascarpone, whipped cream, Marsala and icing sugar sandwiches the cake together. The alcohol softens the rich mascarpone and ensures that this cake, while rich, is not overpowering and will not leave you feeling like you've overindulged.