My good friends, and next-door neighbours, Anna and Tom, know that I am a keen amateur baker as they are often the guinea pigs who are brave enough to first sample my bakes! It is Tom’s birthday today (happy birthday Tom!) and Anna asked me to make him a birthday cake to help celebrate. Her specifications were that he likes coffee and chocolate, so I decided to make a coffee sponge decorated with various forms of chocolates. I used a ring mould for the coffee sponge, which I made using a standard sponge cake mixture spiked with home-made coffee essence. Once baked and cooled, I glazed it with a 70% dark chocolate ganache, allowing it to drizzle naturally over the sides. Once the ganache had set slightly, I transferred the cake over onto Anna’s gorgeous vintage-inspired presentation plate, and then had fun with the decorations – I used a block of dark and then white chocolate, and a cheese grater, to cover the ganache with chocolate shavings. Then I filled the centre of the ring with layers of maltesers, chunks of twirl, and milky-bar mixups, to achieve a pleasing visual contrast between the different white, milk and dark chocolate elements of the cake.