We sang the Happy Birthday song with double the gusto on Tuesday the 29th December, when two gorgeous boys each celebrated their special day. My son Jovan turned 16 – a towering 16 at that – whilst my nephew Jack smiled like the sun as he turned 3 years old. 

Jovan and Jack dreaming of eating THAT cake NOW!

To satisfy the many enthusiastic cake eaters, I made this most manageable and moist Chocolate Fudge Cake, topped with speedy hand piped chocolate dusted meringues. A quick coating of chocolate ganache with rows of Kit Kat fingers stuck around the cake edges, made for a mouth watering but relatively quick decoration. Wrap around a colourful ribbon, pop in some candles and the cake is ready to serve. 

A cast of cousins celebrating on a sunny day in Perth. 

We were in Perth visiting family and friends during this time and with the temperature hitting 41 degrees, I was conscious of the need to spend less time in the kitchen and more time in the cool ocean waters along the coast. During hot weather refrigerate the cake until 20 minutes prior to serving. 

Although this cake may look complicated and time consuming, it is not. Don’t roll your eyes as you read this, it is really, really easy to make. The hardest part is trying to resist the urge to eat the Kit Kat fingers or nibble on a meringue before it is all assembled. 

Tips for making this scrumptious cake…

1. Use a moist, dense cake base. Banana, buttermilk vanilla or traditional chocolate works best. I tuned to the recipe by David Herbert for Chocolate Fudge Cake which I published previously on Cabinet of Cookery on the 18th April 2015. 

2. Quick chocolate ganache is made by melting equal quantities of dark chocolate and cream together then beating until smooth and thickened. I used 75 grams of chocolate and 75 mL of cream for this deep 20cm cake. Melt in the microwave or in a bowl suspended over a saucepan of simmering water on the stove top. Refrigerate for half an hour to thicken up further and beat with a hand whisk once more. Finally smother this over the entire cake using a smooth spatula. 

3. Mini Meringues can either be made from scratch (beat together 2 egg whites, 120 grams caster sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar) until stiff glossy peaks form. Scoop into a piping bag fitted with a nozzle and pipe out onto a baking tray lined with baking paper. Pop into a preheated oven at 180 degrees conventional setting and then turn down immediately to 150 degrees. Bake for 15 minutes. Turn OFF the oven but the meringues remain inside for another 15 minutes. I also sprinkled each meringue with chocolate milo granules prior to baking. If time is super short, then reach for a box of commercially made meringues. You need to do what works for your family. 

4. Kit Kat Chocolate comes in various sizes. I used 4 x 170 gram bars (more economical than the single serve size) to decorate the cake. I bought an extra bar in case of breakage (so 5 bars in total) as the fingers ned to be cut using a sharp knife. Just as well because my son Luka who must have inherited his devotion to chocolate from me, managed to whisk away a fair few Kit Kat fingers during the decoration stage. Yes, yes I ate several too. Well, I had to check they had the right balance of chocolate and wafer enough, of course…