*Dusting off the cobwebs with an old fashioned feather duster*
Hoo! It’s been a while, three whole years. And I’ve done so many amazing and interesting things! At the time of my last post, winter-ish of 2012, I had just gotten a job at The Ravens Club as a Food Runner/Expo. That winter, I got to work in their kitchen as a pastry/prep cook, and then in the summer I became the Garde Manger (cook or chef that manages the cold food line, where dishes like salads, meat and cheese boards, and desserts are prepared).
While I was there, the Ravens Club was featured in the Detroit Hour magazine, and I got to have my picture taken for the magazine! Click the link to see the article. I had to brag, I’m sorry. I’m not looking too spiffy in the pic, but I’m still going to brag about it. In all honesty, the face that I’m making in that photo coined my nickname in the kitchen, Bitchface. It’s funny, I promise. Call it a term of endearment. Working at the Ravens Club was an incredible experience, and I’m grateful for everything that I learned there.
That following fall, I decided to leave the Ravens Club because I couldn’t work the crazy hours of the food service industry and manage to finish my senior year of college at the same time. I admire the kids my age who do. I got a job as the baker of an Ypsilanti coffee shop, B-24’s, and then that spring, I graduated college! April 2014, I received a Bachelors of Science in Creative Writing, with a minor in Psychology. Why it was a Bachelors of Science, I don’t know….
I decided to give the service industry a break this winter, and completely changed my career path. I found that I wanted something more stable, with normal hours, more than $20,000 a year, health benefits, and a 401k. I still don’t have any of those things besides the normal office hours, but I know that I’m where I’m supposed to be. I’m currently a temp, but I’m assigned with a really great company, and I would love to get a job there. Either way, I’m gaining great experience and making lots of wonderful connections with my coworkers. And part of the reason that I’m so inspired to have my shit together with a grown up job and apartment, and cat (I adopted a cat last year, Bells, she’s an adorable little bastard with a Hitler stache) is because of this guy: Bronson. He’s my incredible partner, one of the best people I know. I’ll gush later. We’re currently living in Southgate, MI, and having a ball.
|This is what I actually look like, by the way. It’s nice to see you too…|
|Look at those bright cherries!|
I have decided to change something about my posts though; taking pictures of every step a bit tedious on my part. From now on, for the most part, I’m going to post the pictures that I feel are really necessary when things might get confusing, when you’re having that moment where you think, ‘Shit, is it supposed to be doing that?’, and of course, the beautiful finished product.
I had set 1 cup of water on the stove a little while earlier, so I had the boiling water ready to add to my batter. I switched to a whisk here so that I wouldn’t be splashing boiling hot water around myself and I could stir the batter easily. The batter was fairly thin at this point, but the directions told me that was okay.
As my last step, I decided to add my cherries. This wasn’t part of the original cake recipe, so I had to improvise this a little bit. The problem with wanting to bake a black forest torte with fresh cherries in Michigan’s early spring is that there are no fresh cherries. So, that favored option was out. I thought that maybe I could be slick, and re-hydrate dried cherries with liqueur or something. But then I could find no dried cherries. However, there were plenty of cans of cherry pie filling. My problem was that everyone I know hates that overly sugary, corn-syrupy sauce that the cherries are canned in. I decided that I would drain the cherries! Unheard of and unorthodox, I know. But, it worked! I was left with some very sweet, very red cherries. Which wouldn’t be a bad thing in a deep, dark, decadent cake.
Bam! That’s it, the best whipped cream recipe that you’ll ever get; two ingredients, two steps. I plopped a large cloud of whipped cream on top of the first cake layer. Then, I gently set the second layer of cake on top. I was afraid of dropping it too hard on top of the whipped cream, in case it caused the whip cream in the center to fly out the sides and lose its height. I decided that I liked the cake’s simple look with the stark layers of white cream and black cake. So, I just garnished the top of the cake with a layer of dark chocolate shavings. I made sure to keep the cake in the refrigerator so that the whipped cream wouldn’t fall. If you’re ever overly concerned about your whipped cream falling, add a few tablespoons of corn starch to it. Be careful though, too much corn starch gives the whipped cream a chalky texture.
My father loved the cake! My family had taken him to Metzger’s German restaurant for his birthday dinner, and we had all stuffed ourselves silly. But that didn’t stop anyone from holding off on birthday cake. The cake was literally gone by the end of the night! I had barely finished my first piece when everyone was going back for another. And then it was all gone. So sad, but I was quite proud of myself. This cake was everything that I had wanted in this torte; the sweet cherries, the dark, rich cake, and the mellow soft cream. I’d been bragging about this cake at work, and a coworker of mine asked me to bake him one for his birthday on Thursday. I’m so excited to make this cake again. I hope that you enjoy it just as much!
Update: Here is the cake that I made for my coworkers! It turned out that there were actually three birthdays in my office this week, so instead of writing Happy Birthday with each of their names on top of the cake, I cut out letters from construction paper and laid them over the top of the cake. Then, I shaved chocolate over the whole cake and pulled up the letters. But, it didn’t spell their names…
|What does that spell, boy and girls?|
I decided to spell a generally positive, peppy, partying statement, YAY! Who wouldn’t be happy with a cake that said, ‘Yay!’? My coworkers were so surprised to see it, and then to hear that I had made it myself. The black forest torte got rave reviews, and my coworkers all had a very happy birthday cake.