We celebrated Braxton’s 3rd birthday this weekend – a week early as my due date is on his birthday (what timing!). We weren’t even sure we’d make it to 39 weeks as things seemed to be moving but I’m really glad that we did, for Braxton’s sake, so that he could have a special day just for him before his world is turned upside down!
As you’ve probably seen from his 2 previous birthdays, I usually do most of the cooking and baking myself for parties, but this year I was making no apologies for getting it catered! We also only had closest family which was actually lovely as he loves playing with his cousins.
I may have got it catered but it’s important for me to make at least his birthday cake so I did that. I came up with the idea for a construction cake after seeing pictures of similar ones on Pinterest. It just looked like the easiest option if I’m honest, and I was able to use my existing, fool-proof gluten, dairy and sugar free chocolate cake recipe. The added bonus is that he loves diggers!
His little face when he saw it was priceless; he just couldn’t believe it was a cake. However, in true Braxton style (for those of you who don’t yet know, Braxton is NOT a food lover – oh the irony), he was excited, asked for a big piece, was given it, then didn’t eat even a mouthful. Well, we all did! And it went down a treat. To be honest, the best part was the crumbly bit, which I proceeded to sit there eating with a spoon… What? I’m pregnant!!!
This recipe will make the 2 cake bases needed:
290ml extra-virgin olive oil
100g raw cacao powder
250ml boiling water
1 tsp vanilla essence or powder
300g ground almonds
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch Himalayan salt
300g coconut palm sugar
6 free-range organic eggs
Chocolate Ganache frosting:
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup raw cacao
5-7 tbsp maple or date syrup, depending on how sweet you like it
3 tbsp cashew or almond butter
About 4-5 chocolate biscuits (I used Dove’s Farm organic ones)
Small handful honeycomb pieces
Preheat oven to 170° and grease 2 20cm springform cake tins. The size is important because if they are wider, the cakes will end up lower and it won’t really work for this particular design. Line bases with baking paper and grease with coconut oil.
Sift the cacao into a bowl and whisk in the boiling water with a fork until you have a smooth, chocolatey, still runny paste. You can do this with an electric whisk to make it extra creamy, if you like. Whisk in the vanilla, then set aside to cool.
In another bowl combine the ground almonds with bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and salt.
Put the sugar and olive oil into a bowl and beat together with the electric whisk for about 3 minutes, then add the eggs one at a time, with a slow speed so it aerates. After the 3 minutes, add the ground almond mix, and mix until incorporated.
Finally, add the chocolate mix slowly and mix until fully combined, then divide between the two prepared tins and put on the same shelf in the oven.
Bake for about 25 mins. The sides should be set but not burnt and the top centre should still look very slightly damp.
Remove the cakes from the oven. Leave to cool for 30 mins before removing from the tin.
While in the oven make the ganache by simply putting all ingredients in a saucepan over a gentle heat until combined. If it’s too watery, add more cacao and nut butter.
Put the first base on a plate or cake stand and spread with ganache. Add the second cake base on top and spread the rest of the ganache on the top and around the sides.
Now for the fun bit: cut a large slice and remove the top half of it, then with a spoon bash down the bottom half. Crumble the cookies on top and mix it all in and smash it all down to make it look like mud.
Assemble the diggers however you like them, add some of the crumbly bits to that and put some of the honeycomb pieces in there too, to act as bits of gold.
Add a candle and serve!
Hope your little ones find this as exciting as Braxton did!
Love & health,