From an inside pocket of his black overcoat he pulled a slightly squashed box. Harry opened it with trembling fingers. Inside was a large, sticky chocolate cake with Happy Birthday Harry written on it with green icing.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

recipe (makes one medium-sized cake or two mini cakes):

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk (alternative: add 1 tsp of white vinegar to regular milk and let it sit for 5 mins or until curdled)
  • 1/3 cup warm water (note: if you want to add some extra oomf to bring out the chocolate flavour, dissolve 1 tsp of instant coffee in here)
  • 1/8 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup icing sugar/powdered sugar
  • approximately 4 freeze-dried strawberries, crushed to a fine powder
  • 1/2 tbsp heavy whipping cream
  • pink & green food colouring

method:

  1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celcius and line cake tins with baking paper.
  2. Add flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt to a bowl and whisk to combine.
  3. In a separate bowl, add egg, buttermilk, water, oil, and vanilla essence and whisk to combine. It may look unappealing initially, but don’t worry! It’s supposed to look like that.
  4. Combine dry and wet ingredients and whisk until just combined, taking care not to overmix.
  5. Fill cake tins 3/4 full and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Let cake cool completely.
  6. To make strawberry buttercream, cream butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add in powdered sugar and continue beating until fully incorporated, then add cream. Set some aside and colour with green food colouring for piping on letters. Then add freeze-dried strawberries to the remaining buttercream—if you’d like the colour to be more vibrant, add a touch of pink food colouring.
  7. Assemble your cake in two layers depending on your preference. Pipe on your green lettering with a piping bag. It doesn’t need to look perfect—if Hagrid’s wasn’t, yours doesn’t need to be either! Just don’t sit on it.
  8. You’re done!

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