This year, I wanted to surprise my husband with a special cake. As he doesn’t like to be reminded of his age, Ididn’t put candles on it…

I wanted to bake a chocolate cake because he doesn’t like fruity ones. The frosting is his favourite ganache; I modified the sponge cake though.

400 g sugar
10 g (one sachet) bourbon vanilla sugar
250 g soft, unsalted butter
5 eggs
350 ml milk
180 ml hot water
500 g flour
120 g Dutch cocoa powder
3 tsp. baking powder
300 g dark chocolate
100 g milk chocolate
400 ml heavy cream
chocolate, cookies, etc. of your choice

Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Mix the butter with the sugar and the vanilla sugar. Add the eggs one by one and combine well. Pour in the milk and the water, then add the dry ingredients. I always “collect” the dry ingredients in a separate bowl and mix them with a whisk before adding them to the wet ingredients. It might sound stupid but I do it because I like it when everything is spread evenly in the mixture and there are no lumps of cocoa powder or baking powder.

Line a brownie pan and an 18-cm round cake pan with parchment paper. Transfer about 60% of the batter to the brownie pan and about 40% in the round pan. Bake them for about 50-60 minutes and let them cool to room temperature.

For the ganache, melt the dark chocolate with 300 ml heavy cream over simmering water. In a separate bowl, melt 100 g milk chocolate with 100 ml heavy cream, also over simmering water. Let them cool to a spreadable consistency.

I cut the numbers with two templates that I found on Pinterest.

After assembling the numbers, I spread a thin layer of dark chocolate ganache on the cakes to avoid crumbs peaking through the frosting. I used about 1/3 of the ganache for this purpose. I put the leftover dark chocolate ganache and the milk chocolate ganache to the fridge and let them cool until they could be piped. I piped droplets on top of the number cakes and decorated them with cookies and chocolates.

Tip: For the sugar-free version, use low-carb baking flour mix, xylitol and sugar-free chocolate.

You can watch the how-to-make video of this cake here: