When it comes to birthdays, chocolate has always been my cake of choice. My Mum loved spending time in the kitchen with me and my brother as kids, and always encouraged us to choose and make our own cakes. While a simple sponge topped with a mixture of Greek yoghurt and melted chocolate was her standard offering, over the years I can variously remember: a chocolate elephant iced in pink fondant and studded with silver balls; a giant ‘K’ initial decorated with orange and lemon jelly slices; a chocolate biscuit rabbit on a bed of grass-green jelly (this bizarre favourite from the fabulous spiral-bound Keep Out of the Kitchen Mum became a birthday staple for several years in a row and still holds special place in my heart); a giant horse’s head complete with ‘writing icing’ bridle (when I was going through the inevitable pony phase); a classic chocolate fudge cake covered in edible leaves. I could go on . . .