Black forest gateau

Forêt Noire, et tout ça. It sounds sophisticated but as usual time and money don’t have to be obstacles when it comes to cooking, as I have repeated time and time again. The continued manic nature of university, especially with random weekend and mid-week home visits thrown in, has definitely meant that these two things have been in even shorter supply than usual recently.

Unfortunately, my mum’s birthday falls just a couple of weeks after going back to university – i.e. it does not allow the opportunity for a whole day of obsessive cake decorating! However, there is one cake that is cheap to make (you only need cocoa powder, eggs and sugar for the cake) is particularly delicious, and also very quick to put together. It is fortunate that my mum is a big chocolate fan as it simplifies cake-choices, and Delia’s Black Forest Gateau is a slightly more sophisticated twist on the chocolate cake. It is light, moist and full of cream and forest fruits… yum!

My own little personalised twist was to make it a slightly Alice in Wonderland cake – with some more swirly biscuits (like the ones from the societies fair) which remind me of momewraths or some bizarre flowers from the book, a little ‘Eat Me’ sign and the chocolate ‘Twas Brillig’ silhouette on top.

For my housemates, I also made a couple of little mini cupcake versions which were sweet – soon I’d like to make Black Forest cupcakes, I think they would make a nice treat! I find normal cupcakes a bit dry and over-kill on icing… anything with cream on the other hand…

Finally, in my sleepy stupor, I want to leave you with a poem has been in my head for a few days – perhaps the only poem I know by heart because I love it so much – and the inspiration for my mum’s cake.

Mini black forest gateaux

Lewis Carroll
(from Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, 1872)

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!”

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought —
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

“And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!’
He chortled in his joy.

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

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