This cake is from one of the first surprise birthday parties I planned. While there were a few others after this one, this cake was my favourite among all the cakes I baked so I thought I'd tell you where to look if you are planning to bake a decadent chocolate cake.
The recipe's from Dorie Greenspan. In her book, it's a rather elaborate cake topped with caramel and peanuts. What I did was bake the cake, then pour a layer of ganache to cover. And while you don't see it here, the cake then had a happy birthday written on it with a tube of "white chocolate writing icing". Of all the things I discovered on the London supermarket aisles, this little tube of icing is my favourite. Takes the hassle away from piping bags et al, tastes like real white chocolate and even works for people like me who can't ever write with a piping bag. You should get one too, and plan some surprise birthday parties. They are such fun!