Let Them Make (and eat!) Cake

November 8, 2016

“Birthdays are nature’s way of telling you to eat more cake.”
― Jo Brand

“Cake is happiness! If you know the way of the cake, you know the way of happiness! If you have a cake in front of you, you should not look any further for joy!”
― C. JoyBell C.

“All is flux, nothing stays still, as Heraclitus said. By the time I wrote this, everything has changed in the universe; everything but the taste of the cakes baked at home!”
― Mehmet Murat ildan

“His sudden mad love  was a psychological phenomenon of no small interest. There was no doubt that curiosity had much to do with it, curiosity and the desire for new experiences; yet it was not a simple but rather a very complex passion.”
― Oscar Wilde


With The Artist’s week long birthday celebration on-going, we had decided that one of the things that we wanted to share together was the making of a cake.

This was not to be a simple cake, no. We wanted something that was complex and had a European feel to it …. something that neither of us had experienced before but we knew existed.

We ended up making this cake over 3 days and enjoyed it this late afternoon on the deck on a day that gifted us with bright sunshine, brilliant late fall colors and “warmish” temps. (55 F!)

A view of the larch trees in full color bathed in the afternoon light…

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We used a wicked recipe as the basis for this cake, and then of course changed it around a bit and added our own twist. You can take a peek at the original recipe here!

DAY 1:

We started out soaking black cherries in the kirsch … damn, they smelled so good! … these soaked overnight.

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Then we made the cake batter and prepared the baking pans … we decided to line these with parchment paper and butter and dust them with flour …. and we were glad we did!!

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Pouring the delicious wet batter into the pans…..

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…and all three ready to go in the oven!

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Twenty minutes later, we had three delicious looking (and smelling!) cakes to cool over night and be ready for Day 2!

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DAY 2:

We started out by draining the cherries, reserving the cherry brandy and slicing the cherries in half …. of course we had to eat some …. good thing we soaked extra!! .. we also saved out a few whole cherries to decorate the top.

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Now time to put the layers together …. at this point we were really glad that we had used parchment paper in the bottom of the pans as they were moist and a bit sticky!

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The first cake layer with about a 1/4 of the cherry brandy drizzled over the top….

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While I started the assemblage, The Artist made the filling and when she had it perfectly fined tuned with some nice additional flair, I used 1/2 of it to cover the 1st layer.

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Then 1/2 the sliced cherries went on top of that.

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The 2nd cake layer goes on next and drizzled with 1/2 of the remaining cherry brandy!

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… then the rest of the filling and the sliced cherries!

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Now on goes the 3rd cake layer and the rest of the cherry brandy is drizzled on …. we wanted to eat it now!!!

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We popped this into the fridge (covered) to soak in all the amazing flavors until the next day.

DAY 3:

After enjoying coffee on the deck this morning, The Artist and I moved on to the last stage in our cake making ….. making the whipped cream frosting and finishing the cake!

Whipping the heavy cream until stiff….
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The finished whipped cream frosting, saved whole cherries, dark chocolate for grating and the cake all ready for finishing..

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…and the finished cake! …. this then went back in the fridge until we were ready to experience the magic!

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With the late afternoon light painting the giant oak tree in the backyard, we sat on the deck to enjoy our 3 day creation.

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The beautiful interior exposed by a the removal of a couple “thin” slices 🙂

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Magic!

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The Artist (around mouthful’s of cake) described how ordinary cakes seemed “primitive” in comparison and how this cake was more serious about rising to the level of a true celebration. We discussed how the German origins of this cake must have used the dark cherries they picked from the margins of the forest and preserved for winter in kirsch, their regional specialty … drawing on backyard-fresh butter and cream, and precious dark cocoa that might have originated with the Dutch trading companies.

“This cake is the cake version of Bergman’s Fanny and Alexander — layered, serious-ish and lightish, too.”

And all of this came together in a slow dance of creativity and joy and appreciation of the gifts given.  I think The Artist and I touched that today.

Happy Birthday my love!

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