Happy Birthday to me!

I woke up yesterday morning hearing a wierd noise. At least wierd for my house at 6am.

Turns out it was my husband setting up a very much wanted birthday present for me.

Black is such a lovely color, isn't it?

With such a wonderful new toy, what's a girl to do but make her own birthday cake?

The cake of my choice on this day? Chocolate Meringue cake, courtesy of The Joy of Baking.

Why this cake? It certainly does not look like a traditional birthday cake. However this cake had three very important aspects to it:

I get to use my mixer to make the chocolate cake layer.

I get to use my mixer to make the meringue layer. (My first ever meringue too!)

I get to use my mixer to make the whipped cream layer!

Okay, and it involved chocolate.

The first step involved the chocolate layer, a quick batter mixed up using the creaming method, that eventually yielded a dense, fudgy, brownie like textured cake.

And in retrospect, I probably had cake pans (yes, those are disposable tin foil - my cake pan collection is slowly growing into real non-stick cake pans the more I bake, but I haven't gotten to this type yet) that were too big. I didn't measure them as I had no other round pan options at that time.

The second step involved making the meringue, to place on top of the chocolate before baking either one. I'd never made a meringue before and admit to a small amount of nerves. Possibly I could have beaten those egg whites a bit more, given them a touch more volume. For a first try, however, I was quite pleased with the results. The meringue ended
up with a golden color, and had the slight chewiness that a good meringue should.

The final mixing stage for my brand new toy was the whipped cream. Real whipped cream only of course. Billowing white, to be sandwiched with raspberries between the layers of cake and meringue.

The final assembly of this cake didn't happen at home. Tuesday night is also soccer night. So out came the cooler, and everything was packaged up for the final product to be displayed on the side lines and shared with family and friends. Which is why the picture of the final product is slightly lopsided, and the cream has lost some of its volume.

The end result was messy, very messy, but it was also quite decadent. This is not a childs birthday cake. It is assuredly a grown up cake, mixing and matching flavors and textures together in a way that makes children cringe.

The children involved in this little celebration had mixed reviews, one liking everything but the raspberries, others liking the cake but not the cream, and my youngest child asking for more cream when he still had most of the cake part left.

The adults were pleasantly surprised by how well the three layers worked together. The cake, though fudgy, was not overly sweet. There was not enough meringue to satisfy those of us who really enjoy a good meringue, but it was goey and airy, and again, not too sweet. The slightly sweetened whipped cream helped to suck up the juices made from the macerated raspberries, and provided a light contrast to the thick cake, though it did nothing to hold the layers themselves together.

In the end I accomplished what I started out to do, which was to test out my new mixer. The final result of a three layered cake was just a side effect of having fun mixing and stiring and giggling like a school girl over my little black machine. (Can you tell I like my present?)

And typical of me, I noticed there were recipes in the manual after I had already started on making this, so now I have a few new ideas I can try out!


Jen said...

Happy Belated Bithday! And what a wonderful present. It looks like you had the perfect day, best wishes.

Fran said...

Happy Birthday! What a wonderful present! Your cake sounds delicious.