...what I made as a birthday cake for him. Four months ago. From scratch. For the first time. It wasn`t easy at all for me. Making my brownies last night is practically nothing compared to this. So I came up with this conclusion.
You just have to love someone so much that you are willing to (do or) cook ANYTHING for him/her.
Years ago I would never complicate my self with cooking. But now, when I asked him what kind of cake he wanted for his birthday (you got me, I`ve never voluntarily offered my self to cook before) and he quickly replied, "Black Forest", I was like, "Well, let`s see what I can do with that". The new me. So I spent weeks to get some doable recipes while trying to make him forgetting about his cake. But he just wouldn`t forget. It was almost a month after his birthday and I still didn`t make the cake. Then, the Day came. The Day when I finally was brave enough to go to my kitchen and risk anything for the cake.
So I started with the cake. It was Gateau Chocolate. Sorry I didn`t take pictures for every step here. But here is how I prepared the batter:
Heat chocolate bar in a microwave or a double boiler. No need butter for this. Just the chocolate. After it melted, set it aside.
Keep unsalted butter at room temperature until it softens and beat in sugar. Keep whisking until the mixture turns pale.
Beat in the chocolate into the butter and stir.
Beat in whole eggs (beaten) and stir.
Now throw in flour and mix until it everything combines.
When you`re done with the batter, pour it in into a baking dish covered with greased parchment paper. Bake it in a preheated oven at 180 C for 25 mins, then continue at 170 C for 25 mins. That`s what written in my cookbook. I won`t be a rebel this time.
Now, continue with the frosting. Or sleep. Like what I did.
Confession: I was too tired after work and making this cake I couldn`t think of anything other than my bed. So when the cake was done, I just let it sit on my TV overnight. Zzzzzzz.....
Actually my cake wasn`t as much as what I expected, judging from the picture in my book. It almost had a brownies-like consistency. I did a quick recheck on the ingredients and cooking direction, but I think I did everything exactly like what`s written on the book. Anyway, I chose to sleep.
I woke up the next morning, which was Saturday, feeling much better and so determined to dress up my cake.Oh yeah, I`m back to the kitchen. Now chop chop!
Well, there`s nothing to chop really.
First, check if your cake is still there on top of the TV. Or whereever you put it before. If it`s still there, split it horizontally in half and set it aside. My cake as seen above is already in half and it was about 3-cm thick. Although this is much shorter than the height I wanted it to be, I figured stacking the halves altogether is good enough to make the cake look pretty.
Good luck with the splitting! Especially if your cake is as short as mine. I accidentally tore mine (of course I did! It`s me!) and I started feeling frustrated already. But I told my self, this should be fine. I could just cover it up with the frosting later. This is a real kitchen drama. No kidding.
Continue with preparing canned red and black cherries..
...and chocolate. I used a regular and cheap chocolate candy, the bitter one. Shave it up using a potato peeler. I love this picture. Love love love.
Now, whipped cream for frosting. I whipped up cold heavy cream and sugar on a bowl placed on top of ice. You can see how it works here. When you`re done, place the whipped cream in a pastry bag and set it aside. This one is for decoration. Save some of the cream for spread.
Now we can start assemble and dress up the cake. Place one layer of cake on a cake plate (I used our daily regular plate), sprinkle some vanilla esssence (and kirch too if you want), and spread some whipped cream using spatula on the surface. Then, arrange black cherries on it and pipe out the whipped cream like what I did here.
First layer is done. Now put the other layer of cake on it. Sprinkle vanilla essence and spread whipped cream on surface and side of the cake as well. When your cake is completely frosted, sprinkle the chocolate shavings over. The surface part is pretty easy to do. But the side is hard. Really hard for me. I just used my spatula to glue the chocolate and it wasn`t pretty at all. I`m sure there`s a good way to do this.
After the chocolate, decorate the top edge of the cake with the cream. If I had more cream left, I would have decorate the bottom edge too. The final (and important!) touch, place red (and gorgeous!) cherries on top of the cream.
Here it is, the belated birthday cake!
For my beloved husband.
Gateau chocolat (12 cm-diameter):
Unsalted butter 125 g
Sugar 85 g
Chocolate bar 125 g
Whole egg 100 g
Flour 35 g
Kirch or rum (optional)
Bake in preheated oven at 180 C for 20 mins and continue at 170 C at 25 mins
Whipped cream 200 ml
Sugar 15 g