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.





53 responses to “Birthday Girls…”

  1. Freya Avatar

    The cake looks gorgeous as always.

  2. Anonymous Avatar

    happy bloganniversary!

  3. Helene Avatar

    Freya: thank you!

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

  4. Elle Avatar

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

  5. Anonymous Avatar

    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

  6. MyKitchenInHalfCups Avatar

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

  7. Alicia Avatar

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

  8. Rosa's Yummy Yums Avatar
    Rosa's Yummy Yums

    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!!!

  9. Anonymous Avatar

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

    All my love!


  10. Unknown Avatar

    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!)

  11. Kajal@aapplemint Avatar

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  12. Kajal@aapplemint Avatar

    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 :))

  13. Warda Avatar

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

  14. Anonymous Avatar

    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.

  15. Anonymous Avatar

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

  16. Eva Avatar

    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!

  17. Anonymous Avatar

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

  18. Anonymous Avatar

    Happy birthday!

  19. Lis Avatar

    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.


  20. Stella Avatar

    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!

  21. Anonymous Avatar

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

  22. Gattina Cheung Avatar
    Gattina Cheung

    Have a gorgeous birthday Helen!!!

  23. Anonymous Avatar

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

  24. Aimée Avatar

    Bonne fete, Helen! Stunning cake.Love it!

  25. Jen Avatar

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

  26. Inne Avatar

    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.

  27. Anuhea Avatar

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

  28. Deborah Avatar

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

  29. Anonymous Avatar

    Happy Birthday!!

  30. Anonymous Avatar

    Happy Birthday!
    And that cake looks beautiful!

  31. Laura Avatar

    Happy Birthday Helene!

  32. Barbara Avatar

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

  33. Mandira Avatar

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

  34. Kelly-Jane Avatar

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

  35. Caribbean Dreamer Avatar
    Caribbean Dreamer

    Helene – your creations always look so lovely!

  36. Anonymous Avatar

    Beautiful cake! Happy birthday Helen!

  37. Chez Us Avatar
    Chez Us


    Joyeux Anniversaire ! Beau Gâteau !

    ~ Denise

  38. Anonymous Avatar

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

  39. Nora B. Avatar
    Nora B.

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

  40. Anonymous Avatar

    Happy Happy birthday Helen! The cake looks phenomenal!

  41. anna Avatar

    Happy birthday Helen and Kate…the cake is beautiful…

  42. Anonymous Avatar

    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!

  43. Cheryl Avatar

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

  44. Patricia Scarpin Avatar
    Patricia Scarpin

    Dear Helene,

    Happy belated birthday!

    I wish you all the best, my dear.

    Kisses and hugs,

    P.S.: what a fabulous cake!

  45. Brilynn Avatar

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

  46. Anonymous Avatar

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

  47. Andreea Avatar

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

  48. Anonymous Avatar

    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.

  49. jasmine Avatar

    Happy, happy birthday! Your cake looks absolutely lovely!


  50. monica Avatar

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

  51. Anonymous Avatar

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

    Gorgeous cake.

  52. Parisbreakfasts Avatar

    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 🙂

  53. Anonymous Avatar

    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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