Sunday, March 13, 2011

Piece of Cake

As my wife’s birthday, which happens to share the same day with our wedding anniversary, approached earlier this week I had the motivation to do something special. I have only made a cake once before and, while it was successful for the most part, it was overwhelming and took me forever to complete. Years pass though, and there I was on Wednesday flipping through cookbooks and comparing different versions of cake recipes.

What would I make? Well, my wife loves hazelnuts, as do I, so I decided on a classic, German style Hazelnut Torte.

I chose to go with the recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks, Joy of Cooking (Rombauer, Rombauer Becker, and Becker). To limit my time in the kitchen on the weekend, I planned ahead and prepared the cake components in stages; Mocha-Frangelico Buttercream Thursday night, cake layers Friday night, and assembly frosting and decorating on Saturday morning. The result was fabulous, not too sweet, and not too heavy.

To dress it up a bit, I added chopped nuts to the side of the cake, and made some caramel espresso-hazelnut candy broken into 8 wedges, which I placed in a fan pattern on top of the cake.

My cake project didn’t overwhelm me this time and was actually very enjoyable, and the sweet success has me looking forward to the next baking opportunity!

*RAM: See, she got her flowers... Now, Happy Birthday to you!

(Thanks Jean Louise at Juniper Flowers!)