November 06, 2007

Cake: Round 2

As promised, here is birthday cake number two; it’s my traditional black forest cake done up a little differently. I wanted a black forest cake but I didn’t want to make it as big as usual as there is still cheesecake leftover. To solve this problem, I took a recipe for a 9 inch round cake, baked it in a 9 inch square pan and then sliced the finished cake into 4 equal pieces which I layered to form 2 mini square cakes. I originally wanted to make a super tall 4 layer cake, but then common sense won me over and I realized that a cake that tall would fall over pretty much as soon as it was put together. I made a quick white and dark cherry jam, (with frozen cherries from my Grandparents’ orchard) to spread between the cake layers and covered both cakes with lightly sweetened whipped cream.

Like it is every year on my birthday, it was cold and rainy yesterday, (at least it wasn’t sleet, hail or snow as those are all options for November 5th as well). It doesn’t matter where I am, the weather is guaranteed to be miserable on my birthday. Yesterday was no exception. I’ve come to accept this. I don’t accept it happily, but I accept it. Perhaps this is part of the reason why I’m not a big fan of my own birthday. I like presents and cake and big dinners, but you get all that at Christmas too with a lot less expectations. I find that a lot of people overhype their birthdays and are subsequently disappointed. They build it up to be a big day and if everything doesn’t work out, they become upset. It seems to be a particularly touchy subject if someone doesn’t show up to their birthday, or worse, forgets it altogether. If someone forgets my birthday and remembers three months later and wishes me a happy day, I’m ok with that, I tell them I’ve got another one coming up next year too. No big deal.

None of this is to say that I don’t appreciate the effort that anyone else puts out in order to make another person’s birthday special. I appreciate it to no end. So to all those who brightened my day on my birthday, thank you. And to all those who are only just now realizing that my birthday is passed, don’t worry, I still like you and you’re both invited over for what’s left of the cake. If it’s all gone by the time you get here, I’ll make a new one!

Chocolate Cake (From Gourmet, April 1999)

3 ounces fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened)
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup water
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 large egg
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup well-shaken buttermilk

Preheat oven to 300°F. Generously butter a 9-inch round cake pan (at least 2 inches deep) and line bottom with wax or parchment paper. Butter paper and dust pan with flour, knocking out excess.

Finely chop chocolate. In a small saucepan combine cocoa powder, butter, oil, and water. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring until smooth, and remove pan from heat. Add chocolate and sugar, whisking until smooth, and transfer to a bowl. Cool chocolate mixture completely and whisk in egg. Sift flour and baking powder over chocolate mixture and whisk until just combined. Whisk in buttermilk and pour batter into cake pan, spreading evenly. Bake cake in middle of oven 45 to 50 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean, and cool in pan on a rack 5 minutes. Run a thin knife around edge of pan and invert cake onto rack. Discard paper. Cool cake completely and transfer to a plate.

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K & S said...

I think it is cool that you halved the cake to make it BIG!

Manggy said...

I love that you offered your cake two ways :) I'm obviously in love with BFG.

gigi said...

Happy Birthday, part duex!

Gemma said...

Happy Birthday, both of your cakes look great. Maybe to cheer yourself up on a wet 5th November you should adopt Bonfire Night from us Brits and have a bonfire, fireworks and sparklers to celebrate your birthday next year!

Patricia Scarpin said...

Bri, I love it how you made the black forest cake here!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

And I'm a big believer in making birthday last for as many days as possible. Bring on the cake!

Cheryl said...

You sure know how to give yourself a gift. I think you may start a new trend.

Erin said...

wow. You have been so busy! Your birthday cakes look absolutely mouth watering. In my kitchen in Ghana we don't have a stove at all, so I'm busy figuring out how much baking can be done using a rice cooker. It seems like an invitation to disaster eh?

Happy Birthday!

Deborah said...

I think I will have 2 cakes on my birthday next year, as well. What a great idea! I haven't had a black forest cake in a long time - this one sounds wonderful!

Quellia said...

Very cute!
And if you makes you feel any better (and it may not), Nov 5th here was bright, sunny and warm in the morning, and then rained all afternoon and night. At least we had good weather for a short while.

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Happy belated birthday! Yes, a November birthday can be dreary, but your cake would make any birthday a bright day.

ejm said...

Happy Birthday, Brilynn!!

I love the look of that black forest cake (one of my favourite kinds of cake). We too have done that half circle kind of cake for birthdays. It's a great way to have your cakes and eat them too, isn't it?


P.S. What? No kirsch in the cake?

StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

Happy Birthday, Brilynn! I hope that you had a special day, despite the weather. I feel the same way about birthdays. They never seem to live up to your expectations.

Your cake looks delicious, though. Good cake is reason enough to celebrate!

Tartelette said...

Happy belated birthday! Glad to see there was plenty of cake! and beautiful too!

Elle said...

Happy Birthday's OK to overcelebrate as well as undercelebrate, right?
The cake is gorgeous and the small square is very elegant. Black Forest combo of chocolate, cherry and whipped cream is a favorite.

april (cookworm) said...

These look so delicious...and happy (belated) birthday!

Lyra said...

Hi Brilynn, Happy Belated Birthday!! My grandmother always celebrates her birthday for the entire month. I figure at our age we can at least afford to celebrate for the week, don't you think? My birthday is Dec 3, which meant when I was a college student in the USA that I usually spent it writing papers and taking final exams (so much fun!). So Nov 5 is better-and its a bit warmer too! I hope your personal New Year is a great one, with a lot of wonderful experiences and adventures:)

DANIELLE said...

Yuummm. That looks amazing!

Bake your cake and eat it too said...

Oh black forest cake reminds me of when I was 4 or 5, my mom would take my sister and I to the mall where they had this AMAZING dessert restaurant where their cakes revolved in it's case, and you sit on tall bar stools. I would ALWAYS, and I mean always get the black forest cake!Happy birthday by the way! The cake is beautiful!

Kristen said...

Oh - happy belated birthday! I totally missed it. Any cake left? :)