Running to the beat of a birthday cake

It all started with grappling with my ipod. It wasn’t behaving, wouldn’t go to the next song and was trying to deafen me with the volume. That ipod had firm ideas of what it wanted to do and didn’t want to involve me. It wanted it loud and not to skip any songs. Once I had shown it who was boss, and my running had got some sort of rhythm my thoughts turned to cake… as it so happens sometimes.

As my knees began to complain, and my lungs heaved under the strain, my brain was in its happy place. I was thinking about what cake to make my husband for a birthday coming up. See these sorts of things need a lot of thought time to put in to it. I can’t just make ANY cake. I’m the sort of person that starts planning the week AFTER his birthday what sort of  cake I could make for next year. Odd I’m sure. But I like birthdays, I like making cakes and like thinking about  what sort of deliciousness I can make for the following year… a birthday is a lovely excuse to make an effort.

Something that you are not going to find in the cake tin on a Thursday afternoon, (unless your birthday falls on a Thursday of course.) Last year I made an adapted version of a Tiramisu Cake from Smitten Kitchen- oh my! That was a good one.

As my thought were firmly on cake, (and keeping one foot in front of the other) I did think briefly that there was rather a lot of fog about for this time of year. As the sun rose, it was filtering through looking all mystical and lovely. Fellow exercisers ran on regardless, looking like Tolkien’s orcs running a silent battle run through the mist.

Then my thoughts turned back to the cake.

This year had to involve chocolate (of course.) The man had only one requested key ingredient. As long as it involved chocolate he was happy. Who am I to argue?

Running… what about a simple mud cake….

Running…. doesn’t the sunrise look beautiful….

Running….should the cake have different layers.

Running….darn ipod.

Running….butter icing?….

Running….oh look the sun is glinting off the city sky rises- so pretty!….what cake would look pretty?

On it continued until I finally thought of….


Dense and moist, chocolatey but delicate.

Chocolate Hazelnut Flourless Cake

200 grams chopped dark chocolate (50%)

150 grams unsalted chopped butter

3/4 cup raw sugar

1/2 cup buttermilk

5 eggs separated

250 grams ground hazelnuts

1/2 tps baking powder

1/3 cup cocoa powder

1 tps cinnamon

1/2 tps nutmeg

Melt the chocolate. set aside to cool. Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl until pale and fluffy. Add the egg yolks one at a time. Add buttermilk. Fold in melted chocolate. Add all dry ingredients into the chocolate mixture.

Whisk the egg whites in a bowl until stiff peaks form. Fold egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Pour into 20cm lined cake tin. Cook for about an hour at 170C or until skewer comes out clean when inserted into the middle.