Friday, March 26, 2010
My oldest daughter, Andrea, loved to watch me bake when she was little, especially when I was baking a birthday cake for her. She would drag a kitchen chair over to the counter where I was working, climb up and stand on the chair so that she had an ideal view of what was happening. She would patiently wait until the right moment, then ask if she could lick the spoon or beaters. The birthday cake that she remembers best is one that I made into the shape of a bear, but most years her choice was always a triple layer dark chocolate cake with dark chocolate icing. I always made a birthday dinner of her choosing and it was always her favourite, spaghetti.
This year we celebrated Andrea’s birthday a little differently and yet, it was as familiar as always. Andrew and I went to Andrea and Stephen’s home for the birthday celebration, along with Dan and Liz. Liz had recently had a birthday, so we were celebrating her birthday, too. Andrea and Stephen prepared dinner, spaghetti with an amazing wild boar, mushroom and black olive sauce. Absolutely delicious.
As I had done for so many years, I made a chocolate cake, but this year, I made a single layer French cake made with Valhrona chocolate. The cake was similar to a Sacher torte but thinner and was adorned with dark chocolate “leaves” and a dusting of icing sugar. This is a cake that is rich in chocolate flavour but not very sweet. This is a very “adult” dessert and an excellent choice for chocolate lovers.
Presents from me to Andrea and Liz included packages of cookies that I had made for them, dark chocolate cookies sandwiched with white chocolate ganache.
Andrea had a special birthday treat for Liz; gorgeous macarons from Nadege Patisserie on Queen St. West in Toronto.