I usually bake my own birthday cake. Although I skipped this “tradition” last year, I thought I’d make up for it by making this year’s cake extra special. With so many different cakes, fillings, and frostings to choose from, where do you start? I had just borrowed Flo Braker’s “Baking for All Occasions” from the library and wanted to bake from it. The idea of a deconstructed Black Forest Cake or Schwarzwalder Kirsch Torte came to me. Now I had everything I needed to start baking.
Instead of the usual sponge cake, I thought the cake would taste good with a vanilla bean-infused white cake. I used Flo Braker’s recipe for Silver Cake with Poppy Seeds and just omitted the poppy seeds as she recommended for a classic white cake.
I love fruit-based mousses and have made them multiple times for cake fillings. In this case, in order to stay in the Black Forest Cake spirit, I thought I’d make a cherry mousse. If you haven’t had a chance to browse through Rick Rodgers’ “Kaffeehaus”, you’re missing out on tons of delectable recipes for European-style baked goods. For my birthday cake, I adapted his recipe for Strawberry Cream Filling. For that extra cherry flavor, I arranged halved cherries on top of the mousse filling.
Now for the icing on the cake (literally), I decided to use white chocolate instead of dark chocolate, so I chose Flo Braker’s recipe White Chocolate/Cream Cheese Buttercream frosting. I highly recommend using good-quality white chocolate for this otherwise it will taste like wax. This frosting was very creamy with a great melt-in-your-mouth feel to it. The vanilla flavor in the white chocolate paired beautifully with the vanilla bean aroma in the white cake. The almond flavor added to the the frosting complimented the cherries very well, in my opinion. On top of the cake, I spread some cherry preserves for that nice dark red color contrast against the ivory-white frosting.