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Birthday Girls…

Tomorrow is my birthday (30 something and rocking…) and Kate’s (20 something and rocking…)

I had no idea when I started this blog over a year ago that blogging would come with benefits. Not only did I become part of a wonderful group of talented, supportive and Daring Bakers (if you knew how fantastic they are you’d get teary-eyed too), I have also been asked to be one of the co-administrators of the Daily Tiffin by my dear friend Meeta….and last but not least I have met a funny and talented young lady, Kate of Applemint while I was hosting HHDD 11.

After exchanging emails we realized we shared the same birthday: May 13th…. We decided to celebrate this coincidence that we would both bake each other a cake.
Euh…Helen, today is May 12th….Ah maybe here in northern America but in Hong Kong where Kate lives it is already the 13th and I want her to see my birthday cake as soon as she turns her computer on. She has made me an awesome lemon sponge with lemon grass and lime leaf mousse with mango compote jelly. I love it! I asked what her favorite flavor(s) was and the answer came in one sweet sentence: "anything with dark chocolate".

In her honor I made a deep dark Devils Food Cake with Dark Chocolate and White Chocolate Ganache.

Happy Birthday to you Kate! Happy Birthday to Me!

Devil’s Food Cake, adapted from Dorie Greenspan:

Makes 8 individual cakes

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 sticks (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
1/2 cup buttermilk or whole milk, at room temperature
1/2 cup boiling water
4 ounces semisweet or milk chocolate, finely chopped, or 2/3 cup store-bought mini chocolate chips

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 8-x-2-inch round cake pans, dust the insides with flour, tap out the excess and line the bottoms with parchment or wax paper. Put the pans on a baking sheet.
Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until soft and creamy. Add the sugars and continue to beat for another 3 minutes. Add the eggs one by one, beating for 1 minute after each addition. Beat in the vanilla.
Reduce the mixer speed to low and mix in the melted chocolate. When it is fully incorporated, add the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk, adding the dry ingredients in 3 additions and the milk in 2 (begin and end with the dry ingredients). Still working on low speed, mix in the boiling water, which will thin the batter considerably. Switch to a rubber spatula, scrape down the bowl and stir in the chopped chocolate. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans and smooth the tops with the rubber spatula.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, rotating the pans at the midway point. Transfer the cake pans to a rack and cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes, unmold them and peel off the paper liners. Invert and cool to room temperature right side up. Cut 8 4-inch rounds with a cookie cutter. Refrigerate for a couple of hours.

For the glaze:

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla
2 ounces white chocolate

Put the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a boil. Remove pan from heat and add the chopped chocolate. Let stand for 1 minute then gently stir until chocolate is melted and the glaze is smooth. Gently stir in the vanilla. Transfer glaze to a small bowl and cover the surface of the glaze with plastic wrap and let cool for 5 minutes at room temperature before using.
Place the chilled cakes, still on the cake round, on a wire rack set over a baking sheet. Slowly pour the hot glaze onto the center of the cake. Smooth the glaze over the top and sides, letting the excess drip onto the baking sheet . Melt the white chocolate and srizzle over the cake.

Kate, I wish you all the best for this new year and wish for the day that you can show me the sights of Hong Kong!

Since I’ll be celebrating my birthday out somewhere tomorrow, I take this opportunity to wish all mothers out there a wonderful Mother’s Day tomorrow. My mom will get her own special post June 3rd when they celebrate Mother’s Day in France.

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Freya May 12, 2007 um 8:15 pm

The cake looks gorgeous as always.

Anonymous May 12, 2007 um 8:34 pm

happy bloganniversary!

Helene May 12, 2007 um 8:40 pm

Freya: thank you!

Leonine: it’s actually my birthday not my blog anniversary, but thank you for the kind wishes.

Elle May 12, 2007 um 9:10 pm

Happy birthday Helen! And Kate! Hope it is a wonderful year ahead for each of you.
The cake looks great…my favorite flavors, too.

Anonymous May 12, 2007 um 9:46 pm

Joyeux anniversaire Helen. Pas etonnant alors que tu sois toi aussi une taureau 😉 On se comprend! 😉
Et contente de savoir que le facteur a fait son travail!

Bises, et quel joli gateau, bien sur

MyKitchenInHalfCups May 12, 2007 um 10:13 pm

Oh Happy Day when you can celebrate two Happy Birthdays!!!
Such a beautiful Birthday cake!! Lucky, lucky two!

Alicia May 12, 2007 um 10:29 pm

What a beautiful cake! It’s so perfectly frosted, it looks like a pretty painted shell box! Wonderful as always 🙂

Rosa's Yummy Yums May 12, 2007 um 10:30 pm

I love this cake, it tastes so awesome and wicked! You did a great job with it and your presentation is really beautiful.
Happy Birthday!!!

Anonymous May 12, 2007 um 11:34 pm

The very happiest of birthdays, my friend! I mean that with all my heart!

All my love!


Unknown May 13, 2007 um 12:37 am

Happy birthday Helen! You are a wonderful person and fantastic baker, and I’m glad I met you on the Internet! Hope your day tomorrow is perfect! (btw, my parents live in HK – so I had to call today to wish my mom Happy Mother’s Day – the intricacies of the international date line!)

Kajal@aapplemint May 13, 2007 um 12:49 am

This comment has been removed by the author.

Kajal@aapplemint May 13, 2007 um 12:53 am

Thank you Helen….Wish you the same….hugs n kisses..! what a beautiful cake….i wish i could just keep that all for my self.I got into depression after yesterdays disaster so i dint bake myself another cake.Its morning now and hubbys still not back so i’m wonderding if i shud get back to baking …i wish i could just have that !!! u have a great day girl….shop all u can ..
And yes the first thing i saw in the morning was this beautiful cake and a wonder card frm you.Thank you :))

Warda May 13, 2007 um 1:35 am

Hppy birthday to you
Hppy birthday to you
Happy birthday dear Helen
Happy birthday to you
Don’t forgot to make a wish.

Anonymous May 13, 2007 um 4:04 am

Happy birthday, Helene! May this birthday be as wonderful as it can be and surrounded by plenty of love (you´ve got the cake part down, obviously, so no need to wish for chocolate or anything). May the year ahead be filled with joy.

Anonymous May 13, 2007 um 5:31 am

Absolutely divine! And happy birthday to you, I hope you have a WONDERFUL day!

Eva May 13, 2007 um 6:37 am

Happy Birthday, Helen! Thanks so much for stopping by at my blog – I’m always so excited when someone new leaves a comment! Enjoy your big day!

Anonymous May 13, 2007 um 6:39 am

What a delicious cake to celebrate birthday! Happy birthday to you!

Anonymous May 13, 2007 um 7:17 am

Happy birthday!

Lis May 13, 2007 um 8:11 am

Happy birthday, ladies!!

That’s got to be one of the very cutest and delectible dark chocolate cakes I’ve ever seen! I can’t wait to go see what Kate has made for you. =)

Great cross post – you brought a big smile to my face.


Stella May 13, 2007 um 10:10 am

What a beautiful cake you’ve baked & what a wonderful baker you are!
helene, I wish you a very very happy birthday, may all your wishes come true & I wish you long life, good health, love, peace & much more!

Anonymous May 13, 2007 um 10:23 am

Now that’s a proper birthday cake! Have a lovely day

Gattina Cheung May 13, 2007 um 10:56 am

Have a gorgeous birthday Helen!!!

Anonymous May 13, 2007 um 11:04 am

Bon Anniversaire! The cake looks delicious as always. Yum yum.

Aimée May 13, 2007 um 12:23 pm

Bonne fete, Helen! Stunning cake.Love it!

Jen May 13, 2007 um 12:47 pm

Hope your birthday was filled with lots of great surprises! If this cake is any indication, then you certainly had a great one : )

Inne May 13, 2007 um 2:05 pm

Bon anniversaire & happy birthday Helene! Hope you have a lovely day. Kate will sure be happy with her cake – it looks incredibly yummy and the glaze looks amazing.

Anuhea May 13, 2007 um 5:14 pm

That is a beautiful cake, I wouldn’t want to cut into it! But Happy Birthday to you both!

Deborah May 13, 2007 um 5:27 pm

Happy birthday!! I hope it is a wonderful one. This cake is absolutely gorgeous…

Anonymous May 13, 2007 um 5:33 pm

Happy Birthday!!

Anonymous May 13, 2007 um 5:33 pm

Happy Birthday!
And that cake looks beautiful!

Laura May 13, 2007 um 6:27 pm

Happy Birthday Helene!

Barbara May 13, 2007 um 7:47 pm

Have a wonderful birthday Helen. The thirties are a great decade.

Mandira May 13, 2007 um 7:56 pm

Have a wonderful birthday Helen. Have a wonderful year ahead. Came here through Meeta’s blog. You have an amazing collection of recipes 🙂

Kelly-Jane May 13, 2007 um 8:24 pm

Happy Birthday! and your (Kate’s)cake is beautiful 🙂

Caribbean Dreamer May 13, 2007 um 10:06 pm

Helene – your creations always look so lovely!

Anonymous May 13, 2007 um 11:31 pm

Beautiful cake! Happy birthday Helen!

Chez Us May 14, 2007 um 1:49 am


Joyeux Anniversaire ! Beau Gâteau !

~ Denise

Anonymous May 14, 2007 um 2:37 am

Happy Birthday Helen
The cake looks really yummy. Simple and sweet. Enjoy!

Nora B. May 14, 2007 um 8:08 am

Happy Birthday, Helen! I hope that you had a very special day 🙂

Anonymous May 14, 2007 um 11:56 am

Happy Happy birthday Helen! The cake looks phenomenal!

anna May 14, 2007 um 2:06 pm

Happy birthday Helen and Kate…the cake is beautiful…

Anonymous May 14, 2007 um 2:22 pm

Hi Helen! Happy (belated) Birthday, dear friend! Your cake is just gorgeous and a such thoughtful and beautiful gift for Kate!

I will pop over to her blog to extend the same wishes!

Cheryl May 14, 2007 um 3:03 pm

Happy birthday! Just the most adorable and gorgeous little chocolate cake I have seen.

Patricia Scarpin May 14, 2007 um 3:36 pm

Dear Helene,

Happy belated birthday!

I wish you all the best, my dear.

Kisses and hugs,

P.S.: what a fabulous cake!

Brilynn May 14, 2007 um 4:37 pm

I hope you had a wonderful birthday Helen, with a cake like that, how could you not???

Anonymous May 14, 2007 um 6:05 pm

Chère Hélène, on se "connait" depuis peu, mais je tiens aussi à te souhaiter un heureux anniversaire !
Bien à toi

Andreea May 14, 2007 um 7:54 pm

happy birthday. 30 rocks! (so does 20!)

Anonymous May 14, 2007 um 8:30 pm

OMG if this isn’t the seriously cutest cake I’ve ever seen…and I almost went nutz when I clicked on the Dorie link and saw that white out cake. Jeez. Maybe I’ll just skip dinner tonight and make dessert. And Happy, happy Birthday to you.

jasmine May 15, 2007 um 1:10 am

Happy, happy birthday! Your cake looks absolutely lovely!


monica May 15, 2007 um 5:49 am

happy birthday!! sorry i’m a tad late, but hope the celebration was fabulous nonetheless…and gorgeous cake!

Anonymous May 18, 2007 um 9:38 am

I just found out about your birthday from Kate’s. Happy birthday to you!!!

Gorgeous cake.

Parisbreakfasts May 20, 2007 um 11:55 am

Another wonderful Taurean!
I’m glad to see that’s an individual cake…rather than one with a VERY BIG candle
You are a wonderful addition to blogdom Helen 🙂

Anonymous May 22, 2007 um 2:04 am

A very Belated Happy Birthday to you!! and oh man .. that has to be the singular most beautiful cake I have ever seen :)!!

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