Nathan’s Birthday – Part 1

2010 September 4

On Saturday the 28th August 2010, we were going to find presents for my little boy. He was going to be three on the 29th of August. We have been thinking what kind of present should we give to him since he already had lots and lots of toys (courtesy of his daddy who likes to buy more and more toys almost every weekend without Nathan even asking for one… hmm how lucky you are boy). I said to my husband to skip all the toys sections and go to the educational and art n craft sections. Our apartment seems to shrink day by day because of all the overcrowded “junk”. We ended up buying a colouring book and a paint set. Not bad, since he is really into this art n craft stuff especially with the encouragement of his favourite TV shows “Mr. Maker”.

I didn’t plan to make anything for him on Sunday as I thought he would have his Robot birthday cake (as he requested) at his preschool on the coming Tuesday. Late in the afternoon, his daddy asked me whether I am going to prepare something for him or not. I thought better to make something simple yet interesting for Nathan. “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”, that is easy, simple and quick. The decoration is no fuss, just need to find an easy, quick yet tasty recipes to make. Before I begin my recipes hunting, I asked my husband what flavour he would like to have on the cakes (He is not a cake and dessert eater, but he loves chocolate). I did my research at night and decided to make Martha Steward’s Double Chocolate Cake and Shelly Kaldunski’s Chocolate Cupcakes.

When Martha Steward’s Double Chocolate Cake is done, I started the carving while waiting for the cupcakes being baked in the oven. I started to pass on the unused cake to Nathan, so he could have a nibble. Suddenly we had this conversation:

Husband: OMG I can’t stop (speaking while watching the series of old cartoon “Duck Tales”)

Me: I never understand how people can’t stop watching this kind of cartoon. I couldn’t seem to find the addictive part of this series.

Husband: I am not talking about the Duck Tales. I couldn’t stop eating this chocolate cake

Me: (surprised and can’t believed what I heard) Really??? Why??????

Husband: I just love the taste… What the difference from the usual cake

Me: There is no egg and butter in it. It uses oil instead.

Husband: Owww probably that is why BUTTER. I don’t like the greasy feeling on my throat after eating them.

Me: Isn’t oil greasy as well????

Husband: (finished the whole cake left over from the carving)

Ingredients for Double Chocolate Cakes

Recipe adapted from Martha Steward, for details click here

  • Vegetable-oil cooking spray (I used butter and baking paper instead)
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder (I used Cadbury cocoa powder)
  • 1 1/2 or 192 gr cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup or 128 gr granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sunflower oil (I used canola oil)
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
  • Swiss Meringue Buttercream to frost

Instructions for Double Chocolate Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 190 C. I used 8.5 inch round tin.
  2. Whisk water and cocoa in a small bowl until smooth.
  3. Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl, and make a well in center.
  4. Add cocoa mixture, oil, and vanilla. Whisk until smooth.
  5. Whisk in vinegar.
  6. Pour into pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes.
  7. Run a satay stick around edge of cake and invert it onto rack. Let cool completely.
  8. Cut the cake in half and carve it into desire half round shape. (It is so much easier working with half of the cake instead of carving the whole cake) When the half cake is done then you could place it on top of the other half and use it as a guide. Combine both of the half to form the head of the caterpillar. You could trim the edges to perfect your round shape.

Ingredients for Chocolate Cupcakes

Recipe adapted from Iheartcuppycakes: Chizzler Cupcakes, for details click here

  • 2/3 cup or 85 gr plain flour
  • 2-1/2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Cadbury Cocoa Powder)
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt (I better omit this next time, the saltiness is too obvious)
  • 3 oz or 85 gr bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I used Nestle dark cooking chocolate buttons)
  • 1/2 cup + 3 tbsp or 142 gr unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tbsp sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions for Chocolate Cupcakes

  1. Preheat oven to 175 C. Prepare pan with cupcake liners.
  2. In a bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. Put the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl and set over simmering water in a saucepan. Stir frequently until melted, about 5 minutes. Remove bowl from saucepan and let cool to room temperature, about 10-15 minutes.
  4. Stir in the sugar until combined.
  5. Add eggs one at a time and beat until combined.
  6. Then add vanilla extract.
  7. Gradually add flour mixture and fold into chocolate mixture. Try not to over mix.
  8. Fill the cupcake liners about 1/2-2/3 full. Bake for about 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool before frost.

Please leave your comment/suggestion if you find this recipe useful. Can’t wait to hear from you and Thank You!!!

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2 Responses leave one →
  1. 2010 September 5

    So cute! I remember reading that book when I was little.. Love your cake designs :)

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