With the recent celebration of the Queen’s 90th birthday and the upcoming celebration of Prince George’s third birthday, we thought it fitting to post a royal birthday cake recipe. While Kate is known to routinely cook healthy meals for her family, we’re confident that on birthdays, Kate happily lets her family indulge in some delicious cake. And there’s no doubt that “The” Chocolate Birthday Cake – with the adjusted recipe described below – is a delicious cake.
The original recipe for “The” Chocolate Birthday Cake has been in the royal family for years. It dates back to Queen Victoria and was written by her chef Gabriel Tschumi. Darren McGrady, private chef to Princess Diana and Queen Elizabeth II, adjusted the recipe and made this cake for Her Majesty twice a year.
Here’s a fun fact: when members of the royal family request “The” Chocolate Birthday Cake, pastry chefs are instructed never to write a name on the cake. The chefs simply write “Happy Birthday”; they never write “Happy Birthday Your Majesty.”
We couldn’t resist dedicating our cake to HRH though (and we also couldn’t resist tasting some of this delicious royal treat)!
“The” Chocolate Birthday Cake
Darren McGrady from Eating Royally: Recipes & Remembrances from a Palace Kitchen
Makes about 10 portions
- 6 egg yolks
- 2 eggs
- 4 oz granulated sugar
- 2 oz flour
- 1 oz Dutch cocoa powder
- 2 oz melted butter
The topping and filling:
- 1 pint heavy cream
- 1 lb Ghirardelli dark chocolate
- At least 6 hours before baking the cake prepare the filling. Melt 8 oz of the chocolate and bring to a boil ½ pint of cream.
- Pour the cream onto the chocolate and whisk it until smooth, then refrigerate until set.
- Turn on the oven to 350 degrees and set a pan (large enough to hold a mixing bowl) half full of hot water on the stove and bring the water to a boil. Line an 8 inch sponge tin with parchment paper and grease.
- In a mixing bowl add the eggs, yolks and sugar and whisk together. Place over the bowl of hot water to allow the mixture to heat up.
- Sieve the flour and cocoa and set aside.
- Whisk the egg mixture until it doubles in volume and then fold in the butter and flour mixture. Spoon the mix into the cake tin and bake for about 20 minutes until the sponge springs back when pressed.
- Remove from the oven onto a cooling wire and make the topping while the sponge cools.
- Melt the remaining 8 oz of chocolate and bring to the boil the remaining ½ pint of cream. Pour the cream onto the chocolate and whisk it until smooth and then set aside off the heat.
- Slice the sponge into three discs and spread the filling onto the bottom two discs and reassemble. Add the remaining chocolate mix to the hot topping and whisk in.
- Place the sponge back onto the cooling wire and ladle the topping over the sponge allowing it to run down the sides. Cool the cake for at least 2 hours before decorating with chocolate and serving.
Tip: If you don’t have a piping bag for decorating, take a Ziplock bag, cut small hole in the corner, and fill with frosting. Make sure to practice on a piece of paper before writing on the cake!
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