I feel as if I’m back from a trip to a world of cakes and pastry delights. The last month has been filled, chock-o-block, from the beginning of Toronto’s fabulous Spring to the beginning of what is turning out to be a mild, soft, gentle Summer, with parties and cakes. The air has sparkled with the sounds of popping champagne corks, clinking glasses and merry, laughing people congratulating each other for various accomplishments. Birthdays, Weddings, Feasting, Fancying and Foot-Loosing turned our ordinarily calm lives in to a train-station platform for the travelling spirits of love, happiness and joie-de-vivre.
Now, on a day when the soft rain falling from a Summer-grey sky cools my temperament from feverish to fathomable, I thought I’d take a moment and share just some of the fun with you. I’m going to make, for your reading pleasure, a sandwich of sorts. A dense yet frothy layer of Birthdays makes the perfect base for a filling of petit Wedding don’t you think?
A little after my own birthday celebration, appropriately consummated with a glorious Raspberry White Chocolate Charlotte and Smitten’s Pistachio Petit Four, a couple Wondrous Friends, the maverick Mr D and his wonderful J, decided, impromptly and in a fuzz of love, to get married. Being unfortunately, as they both were, so far from all family and loved ones, we organised, in the limited time we had, a delightful petite reception de l’amour chez nous, complete with un petit gateux de marriage. It was my first attempt at a real French Butter Cream frosting, and not without it’s little , ahem, learning curve shall we call it. But a gorgeous evening was had by all and the happy couple left beaming and cuddling and well set for a long and joyous journey through life together. How could love go wrong when sent off on it’s voyage with a petite tarte a la pomme d’amour, a Monk Fish a la Gazpacho on a bed of Sicilian Buckwheat and a four layer passion fruit cake with mango curd filling?
And then, just to test my abilities and patience to the brink of my own sanity, My handsome, enthusing, devestating Mr P turned a year older and required a cake worthy of his own standing in my life. What could it be? I scoured my books and bookmarks. I looked under the couch, in the sock drawer and behind the French Puy lentils for inspiration. I had to find a cake to match his countless qualities: there had to be something out there. After days of thinking and sketching cross-sections of cake slices and jotting down notes I came up with the following:
A dark chocolate and whisky cake; something dense and dark and smokey, just like someone else I know. A cake almost, though not quite, like a brownie.
A sour cherry filling, slightly sweet and slightly tart and altogether moreish
A cream cheese frosting to complicate the palate a little and smooth out any sharpness in the whisky.
And despite the fact that the cherry conserve I used leaked sticky, pink syrup all over the plate (and a guest who helped me transport the thing, sorry Ms R); and depite the fact that the cream cheese frosting slowly melted in the heat of the night and started a steady migration down the side of the cake, and despite finding out that cream cheese frosting does not like to stick well to cherry conserve (note: spread the cream cheese frosting first, then top with cherry) It turned out to be a very handsome, tasty and slightly confusingly, undefinably good cake. Just like someone else I know.