The Film:

The Dish:

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The Reason:

We celebrate the advent of years with birthday cakes. Unlike Richard Linklater’s opus ‘Boyhood’, this particular project won’t take twelve summers to complete.  Our delight in watching Mason (Ellar Coltrane) physically age from six to eighteen through the course of the film is matched by the spotlight Linklater shines on the minor milestones in Mason’s Texas childhood; bike rides, road trips, baseball games and camping trips.  It’s by a campfire in the company of Mason’s sometimes-absent father (Ethan Hawke) that we learn the key to a perfect s’more (the most American of outdoorsey treats). A perfect s’more hosts a marshmallow that is toasted until it is ‘honey brown, with no burns’. That’s what’s here adorning this birthday cake. The almond and flax layers of cake have the cinnamon and honey twinge of a graham cracker, but with more give. The chocolate ganache is rich and sweet as a square of molten Hershey bar and the marshmallows have mellowed and toasted on the crown. This is a sweet taste of childhood that’s well worth waiting for.

The Way:

S’mores Birthday Cake

Makes 1 triple layer S’mores cake. Feeds 12 people.

Ingredients

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Cakes
225 g runny honey
275 g unsalted butter
3 eggs
350 g almond meal
125 g ground flax
3 tsp cinnamon
3 pinches salt
2 tsp baking powder

Ganache
225 g milk chocolate
225 g dark chocolate
300 ml double cream

Decoration
24 medium marshmallows
8 large marshmallows
blowtorch

Method

1) Add the butter and the honey to a saucepan and melt over medium heat.

P11504442) Bring to a boil and simmer for two minutes to help thicken.

P1150445 3) Place in the fridge and allow to cool before you add the eggs. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 150C/300 F and grease and line 3 x 20 cm cake tins.

4) When the honey has cooled, add the eggs and whisk well to combine.

P11504465) Fold in the dry ingredients and stir well to combine.

P11504506) Divide the mixture evenly between the three cake tins, using damp fingers to press it out evenly to the edges if you need.

P1150452 7) Bake for 25 minutes until the top is golden and a skewer comes out clean. Cool in the tins for 10 minutes, then transfer to the fridge to cool (this will make it easier to ice and construct).

P11504558) Meanwhile, make the ganache. Combine the chocolate and cream in a saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring often, until you have a smooth, silky ganache. Allow to cool to room temperature (this will make it easier to construct the cakes).

P1150453 9) To assemble the cakes peel the greaseproof paper off the cakes. Place one, top side down on a platter. Apply a quarter of the ganache to the top of the cake and spread to the edges. Add the second cake on top and apply another quarter of the ganache. Add the remaining cake and use the last half of the ganache to ice the top and sides of the cake. Place the small marshmallows around the side of the cake and top with the larger. Prior to serving, use the blow torch to burnish the marshmallows on the top of the cake (and light the candles)P1150466