A bit of birthday decadence

Here at Happy Food Baby HQ I like nothing more than a little decadence every now and again or, as The Mammy would say in that tone that only Irish mammies can do: “You’re very good to yourself, aren’t you?” Whipped cream left over from last night’s dessert? That’ll go in my morning cuppa coffee, thanks very much. Popcorn for an evening snack with a DVD? Whip up a yummy caramel topping if you don’t mind (thanks Rachel Allen). So it’s only natural that, in the run-up to my birthday, I decided to go all out in the Birthday Cake Department. Nay, one single cake shall not be enough to sate my wordly and varied palette (as if). Only a total of three different cakes shall do, stacked one on top of the other, an homage to the Cherpumple and a pat on the back for yours truly for making it this far into my twenties without accomplishing very much. Huzzah. It is also, however, necessary work for the Happy Food Baby blog. Sure isn’t my only raison d’être to inspire you all and fill those grumbling tummies?

As I may have mentioned before, and as you may be able to see from pictures in the Happy Food Baby Family Gallery, The Mammy usually makes Chocolate Velvet Cake for our birthdays. This guy is one of my favourites because it’s got almond extract in it and a rich, creamy chocolate ganache icing. So it was a no-brainer that this would feature somewhere in my Triple Cake Stack.

As for Cake Number Two, I had white chocolate and ginger in mind. So a no-bake cheesecake forms the middle layer of my Triple Cake Stack.

And to finish it off, a very delicious, light, airy and rich chocolate mousse. It’ll be made with a mixture of milk and dark chocolate so as not to compete with the Chocolate Velvet Cake but also so that it is tough enough to stand up to the black cherry pièce de résistance that shall go on top – I found a tin of black cherries in syrup, hiding suspiciously in our cupboard.

**Update** After The Event: I started this post before my birthday, it is now one week past. The aforementioned Triple Cake Stack has been attempted, photographed and half-devoured. I’ll say one thing: how did I ever think this would work??

The Chocolate Velvet Cake, as it was the firmest and most well-behaved, formed the bottom layer.

The White Chocolate and Ginger Cheesecake, which actually performed very, very well, went in as the second layer.

At this point, things looked good.

As for layer number three: The Chocolate Mousse, seen here in its mold. At this stage, it had so much potential.

I should have known that a mousse would not be strong enough to withstand transferring from the circular mold in the fridge to the highest point of my Triple Cake Stack. I tried piping it on instead, thinking a bit of texture might actually look cool and solve the problem of not being able to lift the disc of mousse with my spatula. No. As for the black cherries in syrup? How could they go wrong? Well, if you find your black cherries have a consistency – and a taste not far off – of OLIVES, then you can see how this can be very wrong indeed. I took some photos just to share with you the disappointing result of my endeavours. But hey, at least the Chocolate Mousse turned out better than last time.

Maybe I should have been a little less ambitious and just stuck with tradition: one single chocolate velvet cake, with a candle. Happy Birthday Happy Food Baby.


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