I posted about the pleasures of packet cakes the other day, but I didn't mention the actual eating. It wasn't good. Out of three adults and two children who sampled it, only one adult ate more than the m&m's and the icing. The cake had a funny crumb, the texture quite elastic and similar to that of a kitchen sponge! With my fancy for a piece of light chocolate cake unappeased, I returned this afternoon to my old trusty.
In my husband's family my mother-in-law, Helen, makes the same birthday cake for every family member on their birthday, a butter cake with butter icing and then the birthday person's chocolate of fancy over the top - perhaps a crumbled flake, m&m's for the children, for my husband dark chocolate with orange bits in. This recipe has therefore become known as the 'Helen's Birthday Cake' recipe. It's an all in one bowl, all at one time recipe - perfect for those of us without time to peak whites. Generally it's a vanilla cake, but I just leave out the vanilla, replace it with two or three tablespoons of dutch cocoa et voila. Top (in this case) with a simple ganache and it's delish. Whilst the girls eat it straight up, Geoff and I will probably have some orange segments and extra cream on the side.\