04 – Chocolate Celebration Cake

Chocolate Celebration Mae
My niece Mae (the birthday girl) admiring the last of the sparklers. Not pictured: oozing layers of nougat and deliciously moist cake.

As the saying goes: if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Evidently, whoever coined that term didn’t account for the fact that each attempt costs $15 in dark chocolate alone.

I gather that you’ve made the assumption by now that things did not go well with this recipe; how perceptive you are.

cooking 1 006
Before the chocolate shavings and the fanfare created by the sparklers. Perhaps the nougat would have worked better if I’d actually been able to find double cream instead of just using whipping cream. I don’t think I’ll ever care to find out.

Apparently cakes are difficult to make “pretty”. After lamenting over the look of my final result, my mom and younger sister started talking of freezing cakes and applying thin base layers of icing before the real icing, and why cakes in magazines always have so much icing in order to look good, and a whole bunch of other things that would extend this run-on sentence if I were to let them. Thankfully, I wasn’t going for pretty, but rather “presentable”, as well as “able to withstand a few slices being cut without completely disintegrating. Unthankfully (apparently that’s a word according to the word processor I’m using) I didn’t achieve what I was going for.

The cake was a bit of a mess: the sponge was dry, the chocolate/Rice Crispy layer couldn’t be spread without falling everywhere (and turned rock hard when it was time to cut and serve), and the nougat layer was uber-thick and didn’t spread at all. In addition, my personal opinion is that it was way too rich – in a “too much dark chocolate and vanilla extract” sort of way.

Honestly, I can’t take any more time on this post when there are much better recipes to celebrate rather than recipes to lament, such as this. The one saving grace was that the recipe called for sparklers (sort of), and it’s nice to have an excuse to light those things off.

Before I finish though, I should direct you towards the website for this recipe, so that you may see the contrast between my version and that of it’s original creator, Jamie Oliver.

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Best to end on a positive note – the technique Jamie Oliver’s site showed for cutting a triple layer cake seemed to work pretty well. Here you see my attempt at spreading the chocolate/Rice Crispy layer.
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