A blade shines in the darkest of the nights
This year we decided to do an impromptu birthday celebration of 3 generations - Grandpa Patrick - 66, Aunt Irène - big 30 and Little V - 3. Come to think of it, everyone got a gift that day: my sis-in-law who is back on vacation for a month or two brought with her gifts for all the birthdays that she missed out this year. No prize for guessing who got the most presents on this day.
As it was an impromptu affair, we had to decide on a cake that is easy to make and doesn't take up much to prepare and bake. Not an easy task when you are short of time. Since it's strawberry season, we decided to make a strawberry cake - that got all of us drooling... until we realized that we didn't have any grounded almonds for it. As we still had plenty of black cherries left over (we baked a lot of cherries clafouti a few days ago), my mother-in-law and I decided to go for a 'Black Forest Cake' - according to her, it's my hubby's childhood favourite cake. Technically speaking, one should be able to do this whole cake by himeself sans problem. It's not difficult at all, it just needs a bit of time to put it together. However as we were running out of time, 3 chefs got to work on it - me, in charge of mixing and baking the cakes; Hubby, made the syrup and poached the cherries while my mother-in-law took care of the cream. Little V was of course over excited by this big event... kept coming into the kitchen checking on the progress of the birthday cake. Me, I had to keep an eye on her to make sure she didn't sneakily poked and pinched the cakes as they cooled down.
This day was the occasion for Little V to learn riding on her first bike. Once she nearly got it right, she was impatient to show off her newly acquired skill to us - shouting for us to come and watch her pedal off. Half an hour later, she was off like a little champion - we even had a hard time getting her to stop biking and sit down for her lunch. Even bribing her with singing birthday songs, blowing-off candles and opening presents was a hard sell. Oh yeah .... this little girl of mine understands the importance of wearing a head gear while riding a bike. We forgot all about it, it was she who insisted on putting on her headgear before she started riding her bike.
Immediately after blowing-off the candles, she asked 'Tante Irène, can we go biking now?'
Making the syrup
Making the Fillings
Putting the cake together
I love this version very much - a mix taste of bitter chocolate, sweetness of the cherry syrup with a tint of cherry taste and the cream makes for a great combination. The syrup and cream makes the cake moist and easy to eat, and the kirsch gives it the extra oumph that is missing in the non-alcoholic version.
This recipe is for a small 3 layered cake of 15 cm in diameter. For a bigger 3 layered cake, please double the quantity.
For the cream, I let it chill in the fridge and it gives a nice thick consistent.