Showstopper Birthday Cake

I always measure the success of a recipe by the amount of leftovers. This cake was a huge hit as there were mere crumbs scattered over the cake stand soon after the candles were blown out and the wishes were made. I often wonder what children wish for over their birthday flames. New soccer boots, nintendo games and pretty dolls would probably be on the top of my children’s lists. On top of mine would be good health, happy home and continued contentment! Will be blowing out 34 candles on my next birthday so will ensure I have a fire blanket beside me following my recent run of bad luck!

For Halle’s cake yesterday I used Nigella’s Devil Food Cake recipe and you will find it here;

To decorate;

3 packets of Cadburys chocolate fingers
20 meringue kisses (2 egg whites, 150g caster sugar, 1tsp cornflour, 1/2tsp white wine vinegar. Whisk egg whites till in soft peaks, add sugar a spoon at a time while whisking, add cornflour and vinegar and give a final whisk. Spoon into a piping bag with a Wilton 22 nozzle, pipe onto a baking sheet lined with parchment. Place in a preheated 150 degree oven for 1 hour or until crisp, allow to cool in oven. Store in an airtight container for up to four days. Makes more than enough but watch them disappear!)
Some pretty ribbon

Once the cake is made and you have covered it in the choclate covering, place the fingers all around the edge before securing it with a length of pretty ribbon. To make things easier, use a knife to smear a little of the icing onto the chocolate finger before sticking it to the side.
Top the cake with the meringue kisses, place on a cake stand and enjoy the compliments!

I have always loved Nigella Lawson and this recipe was so gorgeous. I have tried so many different chocolate cake recipes but this is going to be on the birthday cake list for the forseeable. So many different ways to decorate it, I would love to try it with some edible flowers next time.

I might have fibbed a little about my birthday wishes, one of my top ones would be to have a cookbook of my own! I am so thrilled to be included in the Goodalls Modern Irish Cookbook that is being launched in October, I am looking forward to seeing my recipe in print and to meeting all the other contributors. It’s for a great cause with all the proceeds going to Cork Penny Dinners & Crosscare, how exciting to be involved! I have a busy month coming up when I will be cooking for Derry Clarke as part of the Tesco Fresh Factor competition, how nerve wracking and exciting at the same time! Will be keeping you all up to date with what’s happening and thanks so much for all of your encouragement and kind words over the past while.

To pass on some of my good luck I have a copy of Nigella’s latest offering “Nigellissima” to give away. It’s only just been published and is full of wonderful Italian recipes to keep you busy in your kitchen. To enter all you need to do is leave a comment below! Best of luck!

Competition closes Sunday the 23rd September at 6pm!

The competition is now closed!
The winner is Rosaleen Fitzgerald aka clonrf! Thanks all so much for the lovely comments, much appreciated!

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33 Responses to Showstopper Birthday Cake

  1. Fiona Dillon says:

    What a stunning cake Paula – I really need to move closer! Look forward to meeting up with you on Oct 18th :)

  2. Yummynom says:

    Best of luck with Fresh Factor and looking forward to meeting you on the 18th :)

  3. wiamhey says:

    the cake looks beautiful, i can’t wait to hear how you get on at fresh factor!

  4. Evelyn. Foley says:

    it won’t be long before you have your own tv programme!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Auntie Bernie is waiting for a slice

  6. Elaine says:

    Such a pretty cake for a very pretty little girl!! Can’t wait to try it. Lovely idea with the meringues.

  7. Nichola says:

    The cake looks amazing and I’m sure you will be great in the fresh factor! Best of luck with it.

  8. Nitai Prunty says:

    Love the cake picture 😀
    and cant wait to read the post where you say your won fresh factor… will be a piece of cake for ya (pardon the pun) ;-P

  9. Colette O'Neill says:

    Supergirl strikes again. Onwards and upwards. Go girl!!!

  10. Anna Caterhost says:

    Fab cake and lovely sweet post as always !
    Can’t believe your a year younger than me though lol I would def buy your cook book Paula

  11. Catherine says:

    The cake is amazing and wish you the best of luck for Fresh Factor! Would love the new Nigella book,it is on my wish list :)

  12. Meeting you and other foodies on my twitter timeline has inspired me to start cooking and baking again and it’s great for the soul so, thank you

  13. Geoff says:

    Does the first paragraph of that newspaper article call you “Paul Ryan”?
    And why did they photograph you without your arms?

    Hmmm… curious…

  14. Clonrf says:

    Such a beautiful cake, Paula. Any girl, big or small, would love it. 😉

  15. Cara McDermott says:

    Hi Paula, gorgeous cake for a gorgeous girl! I had that recipe planned but didn’t have time! But had a lovely surprise in one of my Nigella books! Found €300 sitting inside sleeve! No idea when I did that!!! Was delighted. Love her books. Best of luck with Fresh Factor!

  16. Adrienne says:

    Paula’s got the Fresh Factor!
    Cake is beautiful & you are a pro with that camera now too! Can you come over to teach Greig about food shots? :)
    See you in a few weeks! You should probably bring some cake for us!!!

  17. JTMoomin says:

    Looks like I need to clear a shelf for your first cook book, Missus! What. A. Cake :O !! I tell ya what, if I win, when you DO publish (and you will) I’ll give you the shelf right next to my Nigella shelf. How does that grab ya???

  18. Anonymous says:

    Wishes do come true especially with 34 candles to blow out. That amount of firepower can achieve anything!!!!

  19. Helen says:

    A truly showstopping stunner of a cake! I love this recipe too but might try it with half milk chocolate next time so I can eat a bigger portion!! Best of luck with the competition; something tells me it will be a cakewalk for you BOOM BOOM :))

  20. CherrySue says:

    Wowsers!! That’s an absolute stunner Paula x

  21. Anonymous says:

    Great birthday wishes Paula what are you going to come up with for Raymond’s cake? Can’t wait to see. Rosemarie

  22. Such a pretty cake Paula. I do love Nigella made her Baked Alaska for last year’s Christmas dessert. Must try out that cake recipe. Best of luck for Fresh Factor

  23. Anonymous says:

    What a cake,well done..xx Best of luck in the ”Fresh Factor”..

  24. Eimear D says:

    This looks fab, i’ll give it a go .. if i can stop myself from eating the fingers while the cake is cooking!!

  25. Dermie... says:

    Fabulous cake! And I just love Nigella! Dermie

  26. Muireann says:

    Fair play for pursuing your foodie dreams. Hope all goes well in the Tesco cook-off. I really liked the look of your posh pizza, I have calzone in the oven as I speak! Must try the limoncello

  27. You did keep me a slice, didn’t you???

  28. MaudMonaghan says:

    Congratulations on the Fresh Factor. Well done. Halle’s cake was very girly and pretty.

  29. Cormac says:

    Best of Luck Paula!

  30. You’re a hard act to follow ! Beautiful cake , writing and photography x

  31. Arlene says:

    That cake looks just fabulous! Wow! Best of luck with Fresh Factor!

  32. Parisbug says:

    You know, I’ve heard talk of Nigella for years & of course know who she is, but have never laid eyes on a single one of her recipes! Yes, tis true :p Too busy ogling yours!! :-) xoxo

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