Saturday, August 11, 2012

Here I am!

So, yes, it's been like decades since I posted something here! What can I say? Still, to the point of sounding very cliched, I do have to say that too much has been happening in my life lately. For starters, we had our baby, then got totally into the 'what-just-happened' phase where everything was so overwhelming! Then when I slowly started getting it, we moved house. Then there was more of that overwhelming feeling with at least a few dozens of cartons waiting to be opened and things inside to be put away, all while managing to maintain the routine that we had painstakingly set up for our Little Miss. Phew! Talk about growing up, it kind of suddenly happened in our lives I guess :)

In the midst of all this, I still cooked. And sometimes made some yummy, really nice things. But as usual, I did not take pictures and write down recipes. Like I had the energy and patience, didn't I just finish whinging? And then slowly, the strong creative juices, bottled somewhere deep inside my soul, started oozing out to the surface and I did make it a point to take some impromptu pictures on my (new buddy) iPad. 'I'll blog about it later', I'd say to myself as I clicked a few pictures before things went on a plate and into our (waiting) tummies.

Here's something I made when we had friends over on a Saturday night - Black Forest Cake. I'd never thought I'd attempt to make it at home, something we always bought from a bakery for Birthdays and Anniversaries. But then I thought I'd try it myself when I saw how easy Madhura made it look. Actually, I had stocked my pantry with everything I needed and had planned to make it when a good friend had come to stay with us with her little darling kids. But sadly, the big baking project was doomed right at the beginning when the base chocolate cake gave way and cracked right in the middle as my heart let out an exasperated sigh. So we just salvaged the crumbly cake and ate it as is.

But the next time I was careful. I started by baking two round chocolate cakes, then carefully sliced them into two, so ended up with four layers of basic chocolate cake, waiting to be transformed into the much-loved Black Forest cake. You could make the chocolate cakes from scratch, but I cheated and used cake mix. If I can do it, so can you. Here are the other things you'll need -

  • Cherries in syrup (or fresh cherries and then some cherry liqueur, mmmm)
  • Thickened cream, the kind suitable for whipping
  • Icing sugar
  • A bar of chocolate
Once your layers are ready, drizzle a couple of tablespoons of cherry syrup all over them so they turn nice and juicy.
Next start assembling your cake, preferably on a cake pedestal.
Whip cream and icing sugar until fluffy and stiff enough to spread. The amount of cream and sugar is entirely up to you and depends on how much you want to slather on your cake (yum!). I used about 2 jars of 300mls thickened cream and about 3/4 cup icing sugar.
Now simply layer all the slices with a generous spread of whipped cream between each layer.
Once you put the last layer on top, cover the entire cake with whipped cream. Top with cherries and grated/shaved chocolate. You could go all over the cake, the sides and everything with grated chocolate, but I couldn't get how to do it without it looking messy. Then again, who cares right? Messy or perfect, chocolate and whipped cream? You could never go wrong :) As you see in my picture, I do need some serious cake decorating lessons :) But the cake? Oh-so-delicious! And the gooey feeling in your heart that it is home-baked is absolutely awesome! This turned out to be a rather tall cake with some really gigantic slices, but no one's complaining :)

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