Thirty. Actual. Years. Old.
Thankfully, this does mean we've had at least twelve years to practise partying (read: drinking) and dancing like loons.
And all these parties justify cake.
So, for one of the parties this weekend I attempted this double-decker mud cake from an Australian Women's Weekly book. (I love these books, and have lots. Why isn't the UK Women's Weekly anywhere near as good at recipes, I wonder?)
As there were going to lots of people celebrating this birthday I decided to double the recipe. The vague aim was therefore to end up with a quadruple-decker mud cake.
My oven disagreed. Despite putting four tins of identical cake mix in the oven, only one of them rose enough to be sliced in half. I have a feeling this might have been due to something of an inaccurate eye when dividing the cake mix into four, and an equally slapdash approach to knowing what size my cake tins are... This theory is backed up by the fact that all the layers were the same consistency and ready at about the same time.
Undaunted, I powered though and the final cake had five layers. It also required a little bit of trimming to get all the layers the same diameter, but I consider this a vital part of baking: you get to test the trimmed bits and check it's not horrible. I've not yet made a horrible cake, but I always think it's wise to check.
Yes, it is a bit wonky. But I decided that added to its charm and, anyway, I was serving it to drunk people. There was no way they'd notice.
Because of its remarkably height, it looked a bit... boring just covered in icing. So I stuck some grated white chocolate to the sides. If you do this you will have to tell every single person you offer it to that it's not coconut. But just consider that a useful icebreaker.
(Also: sticking grated white chocolate to the sides is nowhere near as easy as it sounds, gets a lots of mess in a lot of places, and may result in having to eat the left-over chocolate and icing from a saucer with a spoon to unstress afterwards.)
Due to the aforementioned drunkenness of all parties at the, um, party I didn't manage a decent picture of the inside of the cake. But I'm so proud of my achievement I want it recorded for posterity and am going to post rubbish ones anyway.
(Oh yes, there wasn't a big enough knife so I had to cut it with a butter one. Which was pretty much consumed by the cake.)
This cake was possibly one of the best-received I have ever made. This may be almost entirely due to the quantity of alcohol all the receivers had consumed, but I'm pretty sure all the bits I tested (when sober) were also delicious. Consequently, I think this may be a new favourite recipe; it's clearly impossible to screw up regardless of how slapdash or inaccurate you're feeling.
*Academic year, of course. Hence the thirty-parties only starting now.