I find myself pondering the things in life that I simply could not do without.
Everyday ordinary things that somehow have become integral to my very existence.
Like my iPhone. If I couldn’t check my Twitter every hour you might find me shaking in a corner somewhere in a cold sweat. Or if I just couldn’t play Tap Tap Revenge I’d probably start obsessively drumming three fingers on every and any surface I could get my rhythm deprived hands on.
My camera. Being a self-professed shutter bug I snap photos of lots of pretty things edible or otherwise. If it broke or got stolen one day I’d probably cry. Like ugly-face-desperate-air-gasping-cry.
My laptop. I’ve filled this baby to the brim with photos, music and videos. When people aren’t looking I stroke it and whisper sweet nothings into its air vents. One of these days we’re going to have a disagreement regarding the location of some very important files and I want to put that off for as long as possible.
My hair straightener. Without it my hair get’s poofy and I will not walk through life with poofy hair. I just won’t. I refuse.
Burt’s Bees pomegranate rosemary lip balm. I can’t stand lipstick and it makes kissing my fella far too complicated. This lip balm makes my lips just slightly redder and smooth plus it’s pretty much all natural which is nice.
My fella, of course! You saw that coming right? Who else would laugh at my bad puns, warm up my feet when they’re cold or eat the bits of leftover cake I levelled off the top?
Lucky for me this cake has all three of those last things. Now if it was just filled with iTunes cards I’d be laughing.
Swiss Black Forest Cake
Source: Adapted from Rose Levy Beranbaum’s The Cake Bible.
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup boiling water
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cake flour (or substitute)
2 1/2 tsp powdered gelatin
1/3 cup water
3 cup whipping cream
3 tbsp granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 454g can pitted bing cherries
3 tbsp spiced rum
1 ounce semisweet chocolate, grated or shaved
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and position a rack in the center. Butter and flour a 9 inch spring form pan and set it aside.
In a small heavy sauce pan combine the chopped chocolate and water then bring it to a slow boil over low heat, stirring constantly. Remove it from the heat once it thickens to a pudding consistency and stirring leaves temporary lines in the surface. Set it aside and let it cool to room temperature.
In a large bowl with an electric mixer and the whisk attachment beat the eggs and sugar until they triple in volume. Gently but quickly fold in the cake flour half at a time until it’s just incorporated. Next fold in the cooled chocolate mixture.
Pour the batter into the prepared spring form pan and bake it for 25 – 30 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. The top of the cake will rise while baking then lower slightly when it’s done and feel springy to the touch. The sides will also shrink as they pull away from the pan.
Transfer the pan to a cooling rack and allow it to sit for 10 – 15 minutes before releasing the cake from the spring form to cool completely.
While the cake is cooling start on the Super Stabilized Whipped Cream. Refrigerate a large mixing bowl and whisk attachment for at least 15 minutes.
Meanwhile in a small heatproof bowl combine the gelatin and water. Let it soften for about 5 minutes then place the bowl in a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally, until the gelatin is dissolved. Set the gelatin mixture aside and let it reach room temperature before adding it to the whipped cream, about 7 minutes.
In the chilled bowl beat the cream and sugar until traces of beater marks begin to show distinctly on the surface. Add the gelatin mixture in a steady stream while beating constantly then add the vanilla and beat it further until stiff peaks form.
Drain the can of cherries and reserve the syrup. Set aside 12 cherries to top the cake later. With a cake leveller or a long serrated knife level off the top of the cooled Chocolate Génoise Cake and slice it into 2 even layers. In a small bowl combine the reserved cherry syrup and spiced rum then drizzle it evenly over each cake layer.
Place one layer on the cake plate and wrap it snugly with a spring form pan or wax paper collar that is at least 2 1/2 inches high. Reserve 2 1/4 cups of the whipped cream and spread the rest over the bottom cake layer. Poke cherries into the filling then smooth it out with a knife or offset spatula. Top it with the other cake layer and evenly spread about 1 cup of the reserved whipped cream. Scoop the remaining whipped cream into a piping bag fitted with a large star tip and pipe 12 rosettes around the edge of the cake then press the reserved 12 cherries into the middle of each. Sprinkle the top with the chocolate shavings then refrigerate it for at least 4 hours. Unwrap and enjoy!