I've recently been informed that my hands are just too warm for me to ever become a pastry chef. This is a shame- but then again having hands like ice des not make for the most appealing and welcoming personality. Being a pastry chef is a kind of dream i think a lot of food lovers hold in the back of their mind- it's such a great mix between art and cooking- allowing one to be creative, individual and produce something really to be proud of. I've always thought making wedding cakes would be awesome - working out of my own home and charging $1000 a time- Masie Fantasie is a site that always fills me with inspiration. Still the chances are I'd end up working in a bakery- getting up at 3 a.m. in the morning and becoming increasingly antisocial.
Ah well- it's probably something best to keep as a hobby- bring out some flair for birthdays and what not. At least I will always have my fail safe recipe for Black Forest Gateau- which I am happy to say is indifferent to my warm hands. Try it out and see!
Black Forest Gateau
1 cup sugar, scant
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup best quality cocoa powder
1/2 butter, melted
For the filling and topping
2 1/2 cups whipping cream
2 tablespoons icing sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
(1.5 lbs) jar of pitted morello cherries, well drained (You can get these from Trader joes!)
icing sugar, for dusting
morello cherries (fresh or drained canned)
1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Butter and line three 8 inch in diameter cake pans.
3. Combine the eggs with the vanilla and sugar in a bowl and beat until pale and very thick, about 5-7 minutes.
4. Sift the flour and cocoa powder over the mixture and fold in lightly and evenly with a spatual. Stir in the melted butter.
5. Divide the mixture among the prepared cake pans.
6. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until the cakes have risen and are springy to the touch.
7. Leave them to cool in the pans, on a rack, for about 5 minutes, then turn out and leave to cool completely.
8. Remove the lining paper from each cake layer.
9. Using a hand-held electric mixer, whip the cream in a bowl until it starts to thicken, then gradually beat in the icing sugar and vanilla until it forms stiff peaks.
10. To assemble: spread one cake layer with just under a 1/3 of the cream and top with about half the cherries.
11. Spread a second cake layer with a little less than 1/2 the remaining cream, top with the remaining cherries, then place it on top of the first layer.
12. Top with the final cake layer.
13. Spread the remaining cream all over the cake.
14. Dust a plate with icing sugar, and position the cake carefully in the centre.
15. Press grated chocolate over the sides and decorate the cake with the chocolate curls and fresh or drained cherries. (This is the only hard part and takes a bit of skill and lots of patience!)