Happy Birthday SU!

3/17/2009 06:23:00 PM

Choc-Chip Sponge with Chocolate Ganache and Raspberry Cream

Just a few weeks ago was the birthday of our beloved Su, and her boyfriend (my brother) decided to organise a SU-per special surprise birthday for her. (God, I'm good).

Sandra and I had the responsibilities of baking the cake, and keeping the birthday girl occupied in the afternoon before the party so that Dan could get to Su's house and prepare with Su's mum.

The cake was adapted from a white-forest cake from from Neil Perry's Good Food, which itself is a pared-down version of black forest cake. I would have made a black forest cake, except Su doesn't like alcohol in her whipped cream, and you just can't have a black forest cake without kirsch in the cream!

The chocolate sponge cake ended up being a chocolate chip sponge because I was too lazy to process the chocolate until it was properly pulverised. We layered the cake with bucketloads of whipped cream (Su loves whipped cream), raspberries (couldn't find any decent cherries on short notice), and chocolate ganache. We topped it with yet more whipped cream and Dolfin 77% Cocoa hot chocolate flakes. (Whipped cream + chocolate flakes = WIN!) And I finally used my sahnesteif, brought back from Germany last year, which helped the cream to keep its shape.

The party was on a Monday night, so we picked Su up after work and we took her to Pancake Parlour for coffee... for 2 hours. Su totally knew something was up. I'm horrible at lying, and the only cover-story we could come up with on-the-spot was that Daniel wanted to make naked sushi for Su. (You know, like Samantha did in the Sex and the City movie). Wrong, wrong, wrong!!!

Anyhoo.. at the appointed time, we whisked the birthday girl to the appointed location... and everyone yelled out SURPRISE! Daniel really outdid himself - apart from organising all the invitees, he'd gotten heaps of beer, drinks, balloons, a photo slideshow of Su, Guitar Hero, snacks, and all sorts of fun things!

1 dozen original glazed, 1 dozen mixed... y'all know it was me who brought the donuts!

Su's mum (and family) made an awesome spread of food. Su's mum is a professional!
Fried Wontons; Chicken Wings; Dan & Su
Brie rolls (there were also peking duck rolls, yummy!); Bread and dips; Guacamole made by Mexican Oscar

The cake was nice - moist and not overly sweet. I found the whole combo a bit too intense though. With that much chocolate in the cake, I'd have been better off using a lighter dark chocolate.. maybe around 55% instead of 70%.


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  1. Hi Sarah, what a wonderful surprise you guys put on!! Can I ask you about the Guitar Hero, did you hire that or buy it? Sounds like such a great party that it has inspired me to do the same!! Vida x

  2. Everything looks so good! What a great friend you are!

  3. Sounds like an awesome party...all that food looks amazing. I was totally skeptical about Guitar Hero at first but it is pretty moreish.

  4. Anonymous12:31 PM

    I agree that the cake was a bit too rich. Still delicious though!

    @Vida: Daniel owns Guitar Hero. It's more fun than I thought it would be, also a great way to introduce kids to some classic old-school songs. We love it.



My email address is sarahcooks [at] hotmail [dot] com.