|Cherries waiting for sugar and booze|
I've just had a birthday. Not a *big* birthday, the one before that. I don't usually make too much fuss about my birthday, but this year I decided that I wanted to make myself a cake.
I actually began thinking about this cake about a month ago. I started with the way I wanted to decorate it, and worked my way back. On my first birthday after I moved to the UK, my mother sent me a very pretty card with cherry blossoms on it, and made the point that even though it was autumn where I was, I'd been a spring baby.
So I knew I wanted to decorate it with cherry blossoms. And that pretty much decided me on it being a chocolate and cherry cake (although I had a brief moment of flirting with the idea of a green tea sponge, to make it more Japanese).
We've had a terrible summer for cherries. We sponsor a cherry tree in an orchard in Kent, and the newsletters we were getting through the summer became progressively gloomier as everything that could go wrong for a cherry tree did. In August I did spot some English cherries in the supermarket, and put them down in some sugar and alcool pour fruits, a strong clear spirit.
I made my normal chocolate cake, using a mixture of sour cream and evaporated milk, thinned with a little water, instead of the evap milk and water mixture in the recipe. And butter not marg, of course.
I rolled out about 100g of bought pink fondant quite thinly (could have been thinner though, I think) and cut out cherry blossoms (I have some Japanese cookie/vegetable cutters in cherry blossom, plum blossom and maple leaf shapes). I sandwiched 2 blossoms together, slightly offset, with a dab of edible glue and pressed the end of a chopstick in the middle to give a bit of a divot and splay the petals out into more of a cup shape. Then I put a dab more edible glue and a few gold sugar pearls into the middle of each and dusted them with a sprinkling of decorator glitter.
I made a sourcream buttercream from not-quite-enough butter, sourcream, vanilla and icing sugar. About a third of the frosting I mixed with the drained, boozy cherries, and used it to fill the split cake. The rest of the buttercream I spread over the cake, and allowed to set in the fridge overnight.
In the morning, I used chocolate writing fudge to draw on some branches, and placed the blossoms on the cake. I thought it looked really effective. Tasted very good too!
|The finished article|