Today is a momentous occasion as it marks the nineteenth year of my life. Nineteen seems like such a peculiar number. It’s neither here nor there, an unusual age that’s stuck between transitioning youth and adult.
When I was younger, birthdays were magical. I thought I would become a completely new person on each special day. I believed that with new age came new life, that I would somehow feel different – older, wiser and more confident. However, with each birthday (and age) that rolled in, I was left with the solemn realisation that I was never going to be changed in any one significant way… and the magic of birthdays soon faded.
Despite today being my special day, I’m still unsure whether I should embrace this extra number. Regardless of my cynical attitude towards age, I do believe that nineteen years is worth celebrating… don’t you?
This year, I wanted to reclaim the magic of celebrating a birthday again – the feelings of anticipation, surprise and naivety. I have long believed that any celebration should involve cake, and plenty of it. That’s where this Dark Chocolate Ganache and Marzipan Cake comes in… because what brings back and creates more special memories than a rich and dense chocolate cake?
Dark Chocolate Ganache and Marzipan is my favourite birthday cake to date and is my ideal celebratory treat. A basic cake batter is infused with dark chocolate, vanilla and almond. The moist, rich and dense mini cakes are then baked, levelled and stacked into a sky high tier.
Each of the four cake layers is then smothered in a wicked dark chocolate ganache that hides four thick and delicious layers of marzipan frosting. A topping of dark and milk chocolate Ferrero Rochers that are spray painted in edible gold complete the cake.
No matter how young or old you may be, this Dark Chocolate Ganache and Marzipan Cake tastes like a dream and is a keeper. It is a decadent cake that deserves to glow with candles, be ravenously eaten with fingers as soon as it’s cut and is a cake that should be shared amongst friends and family.
This special cake has definitely brought back the magic of celebration again, with many new birthday memories created due to it. If you’re willing to share, tell me your special birthday food memories. I would love to hear them.
- 1 cup butter, room temperature
- 150 g brown sugar
- 100 g caster sugar
- 6 eggs
- 2 tsp almond extract
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 200 g almond meal
- 1 cup flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tbsp dutch processed cocoa powder
- 200 g dark chocolate, chopped finely
- 250 g marzipan
- 400 g dark chocolate, chopped
- ½ cup butter
- ¼ cup thickened cream
- Firstly prepare the ganache. Melt the chocolate and butter over a double boiler. Add the cream and stir until smooth. Set aside to cool, ready for assembly.
- Preheat an oven to 180 C (350 F) and grease and line four mini (10 cm) cake pans.
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars. Add the eggs, one at a time beating well after each addition. Add the extracts and beat until well combined.
- In a separate bowl, mix the almond meal, flour, baking powder, cocoa powder and chopped chocolate.
- With an electric mixer on low, mix the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients until just combined. Then with a wooden spoon, gently incorporate the ingredients well together.
- Divide the cakes evenly between the tins and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the centres spring back when gently pushed.
- Let the cakes cool in the tins completely. Once cooled, level the tops.
- Roll out the marzipan with a sprinkling of icing sugar into a 1 cm (1/4 inch ) thick layer and using the cake tin bases as a guide, cut into three individual cake sized circles.
- On a cake stand or plate, place the first levelled cake layer base side up. Spread with cooled and thickened chocolate ganache. Add one marzipan circle. Spread the ganache on top the marzipan and sandwich with the second cake layer. Repeat this layering process with the remaining cake layers and marzipan until you reach the final layer.
- Once the final fourth cake layer is added, gently crumb coat the layered cake with a thin layer of ganache. Refrigerate to lock in the ganache for 30 minutes.
- Once cooled, spread a final layer of thick ganache over the cake tier. Decorate the top of the cake with Ferrero Rocher’s or any chocolate candy. Serve.
- The cake can be kept in the fridge for a couple of days. Let stand to room temperature before serving.