Food: Nigella’s ‘Birthday Cake’ aka ‘B’s Chocolate Easter Slice’

nigella chocolate cake slice

I wanted to make a chocolate slice for Easter… A slice that was not quite a brownie and not quite a melted butter and cocoa kind of slice either. Neither did I want a chocolate slice full of nuts or caramel or ricotta cheese. Just something nice and shallow cakey with a great icing or something on top. Is that too much to ask for?

Our internet was not working last week {seems BabyCool got into the ADSL splitter… Grrr} so I was a bit stuck. I started going through my recipe books, which felt VERY old school. I decided to start with my favourite recipe book of all time; Nigella Lawson’s book ‘How To Eat’. Oh how I love this book. I love the recipes, I love the simplicity of the book and I LOVE LOVE LOVE the way that Nigella writes her recipes.

I have quite the crush on Nigella. And have had this crush for years and years now. I love her gorgeous accent and tone of voice, I love her style, I love that she unashamedly uses butter and cream and thinks that being able to whip up a risotto is essential to being human. She has changed the way I think about food and cooking and …. well… I just love her. With my whole {butter loving} heart.

I saw her IRL once. Oh, yes I did… When Mr Cool and I lived in London we often found ourselves at the Max Brenner Cafe near the cooking section at Harrods. As you do. I saw Nigella walk past us as she was looking at cookware. I nearly hyperventillated. Mr Cool said I should go and get an autograph and a photo taken with her. I was far too dumbstruck to do this.  I really regret it now… How cool would that have been to, you know, slip a photo of Nigella and I in a post like this…?

Anyway… we were talking about cake…

I found her recipe for a cake simply called ‘Birthday Cake’. In the recipe she said that it could be made in a sandwich tin, I had found my slice. It was going to be a good one!

I will write the recipe in ‘B-Speak’ but will add some of Nigella’s instructions – they are just too excellent to leave out…

Nigella’s ‘Birthday Cake’


B’s ‘Easter Chocolate Slice’

nigella chocolate cake slice

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 35 minutes {for the cake} 15 minutes + standing time {for the icing}

Serves: 12+ decent slices of deliciousness




225g self-raising flour

30g best cocoa

200g caster sugar

100g unsalted butter

200g condensed milk

100g best quality dark chocolate, broken into pieces

2 eggs, beaten


250g best quality dark chocolate

250ml double cream



1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius. Butter a 20cm spring form cake tin or 2 sandwich tins, line the base with baking paper.

2. Sieve the flour the cocoa and pinch of salt into a large bowl and set aside.

3. Put the sugar, butter, condensed milk and 100ml of just boiled water and the chocolate into a saucepan. Heat until melted and mix until smooth.

4. In Nigella’s words, “Then, using a wooden spoon, stir this robustly but not excitably into the flour-cocoa mixture and, when all is glossily amalgamated, beat in the eggs”

5. Pour into the prepared cake tin and bake for 35-45 minutes. When it is ready, the top will feel firm – Nigella says you don’t want a skewer to come out clean!

6. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool.

For the Ganache….

7. Put the chocolate into a food process and “process until reduced to rubble” and put into a medium-sized bowl {a wide shallow one rather than pudding basin shaped}. Heat the cream to boiling {but do not let it boil} and pour it over the chocolate.

8. Leave for 5 minutes. Then beat with a wooden spoon until smooth and glossy. Nigella says you want something between a sauce and an icing… It can be used as kind of a glue if you decide to cut your cake horizontally….

9. Pour the ganache over the top of the cake {or slice} and let it drape over the edges, “swirling the overspill with your palette knife to coat the sides” Oh how I love thee Nigella!

10. Leave for a couple of hours or until set.

11. Finally, in the words of Nigella, “You can make the cake the day before and then make the ganache the next morning before you set off for work. You can then get back in the evening to your gleaming masterpiece with nothing to do save puncture its flawlessly smooth surface with candle holders.” Love love love it!


Don’t change a thing. Don’t add nuts, don’t add sweets, don’t alter this. Everyone needs a simple, no fail, delicious chocolate cake in their repertoire.

Do you own a copy of Nigella’s book ‘How To Eat’? You don’t? You can buy a copy by clicking below…

How to Eat: Pleasures and Principles of Good Food

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  1. Mmmm! I’ll definitely try that one. And you absolutely MUST barrel up to Nigella next time you see her. You know, next time you’re in London. It’ll happen!

    • Yes, I shall have to… I have tweeted her and would be totally chuffed if she replied… How cool would that be!!!

  2. Oh man that sounds delicious. Nigella has a lot to answer for doesn’t she?
    Rhianna recently posted..Getting Priorities SortedMy Profile

    • Yes she is… When I next see her I shall tell her off for writing such devilishly delicious recipes!

      Thanks for commenting, means a lot. Mwah!

  3. It looks delicious! Only 15 minutes to prepare? I’ll have to try it.

    • Yes, no creaming, no beating, no whipping AND no fancy icing – the ganache turns out perfectly smooth and glossy. I will be making this as my birthday cake this year {yes, I make my own – that is how much I love cooking – sad really…}

  4. I love Nigella, too. Mr. Mandie also loves her, but I suspect he does for reasons other than her cooking…! As for that slice – Just. Yum.
    MsMandie recently posted..Cat vs ChildMy Profile

    • Yes, she is totally gorgeous in a ‘buxom and knows how to use it’ kind of way!

      Thanks for stopping by… Mwah!

  5. Have you seen the email doing the rounds, that shows a picture of Nigella, and an old lady with leathery skin and lots of wrinkles? The email reminds us that both are 50ish, one eats lots of butter cream etc (Nigella) and one eats healthy vegan whole foods blah blah blah (the old crone) … LOL … the moral of the story is eat what you love and be happy, that’s what makes you beautiful!!!!!
    Janet recently posted..The Right StuffMy Profile

    • Haha! I love that picture! It is soooo true!

      I agree totally, happiness is beautiful. So are comments. Thanks for being beautiful!

  6. As a totally independent, unbiased reviewer, I can attest that the aforementioned cake was absurdly delicious, the sighting of Nigella in Harrods really happened & I do (reluctantly) allow B to make her own birthday cake. For the record, however, I ice the kids birthday cakes (it’s a lot like grouting/plastering).

    • I love that you comment on my blog! However, when I saw how much you were typing I was worried you were going to mention something of my buxomness… That would have been awkies…

  7. She is cooking porn and I mean that in a good clean way. She makes everything yummy and sexy. I wish I did too. I am going to start. Today I am going to spend the whole day talking like Nigella. Rachel x
    Rachel from Redcliffe Style recently posted..Babushka Babushka Ya-yaMy Profile

  8. Oh yum! I made a cake for Boatmans birthday yesterday that was simh divine. Moist chocolate cake with chocolate truffle icing and coffee infused marscapone. Yummy!
    Jess recently posted..Keeping of the House, and Random OdditiesMy Profile

    • Oh. My. Goodness. That cake sounds AMAZING! Coffee infused marsapone? My heart just skipped a beat! Gonna have to find that recipe… where did you find it!? Please please tell me!

  9. I love Nigella too, she’s so sensual and passionate about her food. Thanks for sharing this, it looks divine. When my oven is working again I’m going to make it.

    Oh and happy birthday fellow taurean (mine was yesterday) x

  10. Kat - The Organised Housewife says:

    Yum this looks delicious definitely add to my recipe files
    Kat – The Organised Housewife recently posted..Love it, Like it, Link it – #18My Profile

  11. This sounds easy enought for me to try! Looks really yummy too!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I hope your chicken will be okay. If it is getting harrassed by the other chickens, you really should separate it. Chickens almost always will take advantage of weaker chickens. If you can separate it and give it extra protein (I tend to spoil my chickens when they are hurt with stuff like tuna and cheese and scraps of cooked meat–they love it and they need the extra protien for regrowing feathers.
    kateri recently posted..Dream WoodsMy Profile

    • Hey! Thanks for stopping by! Very cool!

      Our chook is now in isolation, she did get back into the pen to roost with the other chooks last night, but they were meaner than ever – more feathers this morning than have been there for a week! Tonight I have made her a little nest in our shed, she is not too happy and is roosting in a draft near the door {winter here in Oz}… Just so worried about my dear chookie!! I will give her some more protein tomorrow, however, now that she is out, the crows are pestering her and getting to her food… I am thinking she may need a pen of her own. I am not really great with animals, esp sick ones…. I hope I can get her through this…

  12. When I initially left a comment I appear to have clicked on the -Notify me when new
    comments are added- checkbox and from now on every time a comment is added I recieve 4 emails with the exact same comment.
    Perhaps there is a means you can remove me from that service?
    Many thanks!
    bangla song mila recently posted..bangla song milaMy Profile

    • Oh – I don’t think I have any control over that. I will see what I can do… What a pain that is!

      Thanks for letting me know!

    • Hi there,

      Thankfully one of my lovely bloggy friends knew how to help… If you go to this site: you can manage your subscriptions to WP blogs and comments. You will have to log in and then you can see which blogs you have subscribed to.

      Let me know if this doesn’t work.



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