Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear Mothership, happy birthday to you!
If you haven't guessed already - it was the Mothership's birthday this past week. Usually I buy a cake, but this year, I covertly planned a cake surprise after treating her to dinner (of course!). The cake of choice? Her perennial favourite, the Black Forest Cake. I didn't want to make a traditional-looking cake, so I took all the elements of a BFC and did it zuccotto style - also another favourite of hers.
The base was a dark chocolate cake molded into a medium bowl using a lot of syrup (water + sugar + Triple Sec) to maintain moistness. And it did. Beautifully. I hand-pitted some gorgeous (and fresh!) cherries and layered them in the cake alternately with whipped cream. It was then 'topped' (or bottomed) with a round chocolate cake and more syrup and chilled out in the fridge overnight.
I was toying with different decorating options - obviously I was limited to something that would look good on a dome-shaped cake - and I wanted to stay away from the combed-whipped cream look, so I opted for cream piped flat with a star tip and then covered with shaved chocolate pieces. Looking back, it wouldn't have hurt for me to spend 5 - 10 minutes to actually sketch out a decorating plan. It looked good - but not...great. Oh well - there's always next year.