It was that time of the year again, Ryan's mum's birthday. I knew I wanted to bake a cake for her birthday already but this year she actually asked me to make one for her birthday party - and wanted to pay me for it too. There was no way I wanted to take money from her for something I wanted to make as a gift anyway. The idea of baking a cake to impress the future mother in law was tough enough already but add on about 25-30 odd guests (whom I know all have very high standards - and expectations of me too) made me really nervous. Ryan suggested that maybe I could make cupcakes if that would make things easier for me.
Luckily though, her original party plans fell through and the alternative venue charged an absurd amount for cakeage (plus there was a dessert buffet anyway) so his mum cancelled the cake and I was somewhat relieved of the impending pressure. I still wanted to bake a cake for her anyway as a present and in a way was glad that I could make a smaller cake.
Ryan's mum loves black forest cake. I made the same cake last year for her and it went down a treat. I wanted to try a different cake recipe this year because the one I used last year was a little too dense for my liking. I was a little cocky and decided to make up my own recipe - bad mistake. It ended up being a little on the dry side (possible overbake though) and was a little more dense than I had hoped. I also baked them as two smaller cakes so that it would be a bit easier to sandwich them together. I didn't really have time to remake the cake so I was hoping the kirsch and cream would make up for the less than impressive chocolate cake. Next year I might just have to find a sponge recipe to work with.
As last year I used morello cherries for the filling.
The cream filling is simply made by whipping/beating some thickened cream with a few cups of icing sugar.
I brushed on some kirsch on the flat sides of the cakes before doing the cream filling. Rather than spreading the cream onto the cake and then putting the cherries on top, I mixed the cherries into some of the cream and sandwiched the two layers together to give a more even spread of cherries and cream.
The cake was then covered completely in the cream. I speant too much time trying to get the surface as flat and even as possible.
Two perfect decorating short cuts. A pack of glace cherries and a tin of Lindt hot chocolate flakes.
I don't know if there is a certain trick to getting the chocolate to stick onto the sides but I pretty much grabbed handfulls and slapped them onto the side in hope that they would stick. Made me realise that I wasted so much time getting the sides smooth when it didn't really need to be because the chocolate covered it all up and even unsmoothed it all. I did try tipping the cake on it's side but found that the cake started sliding off so that was a bad idea. The chocolate ended up all over the table and also melted on my hands and fingers - finger licking good after I was done =D.
With the remaining cream I piped some cream flowers around and popped a cherry into the centre of each. For the writing I just melted some dark chocolate melts in a small plastic bag and cut the tip of a corner off and quickly piped the writing on.
I was a little worried because I knew it was a little on the dry side and was glad I didn't do this for the party. So I arrived at Ryan's after work and he had kindly picked up the cake from my house before I got there to save it travelling too much in the heat. As soon as his mum saw me she was like 'You shouldn't have, you know we can't take it to dinner right?'. I said 'it's a present for you, your favourite'. She then proceeded to go through a few cake names and eventually guessed black forest. Probably a good thing because next year I can make something different for her birthday.
As with last year I didn't get to try my cake. Ryan did say that both he and his mum though it was a dense cake and a touch dry but the cream did help. 'Why didn't you soak it in more of the kirsch?' - because I didn't want to overpower the cake silly. Well, it couldn't have been that bad because Ryan said his aunty absolutely loved it and when he went for another slice the next day he was sad to see that it had all disappeared.