party affairs.

recently i have been attending a party or to.
the first being a good friend's 20th birthday
she insists on being 19 forever. hahaha
but never the less, i still piped on "20th".

The cake was specially requested by the birthday girl herself
wanting something black foresty and with milk chocolate macarons somewhere.
the cake was inspired by Tartelette's Raspberry rose vanilla cream cake
which i made before and thought it was the fabulous cause being light and girly,
its a cake that girls wouldnt mind a second helping of due to its deceivingly airy nature.
i made a black forest rendition of the cake by replacing the flavors with chocolate and the raspberry with cherry.
decorated it with a plaque i made out of white chocolate plastic and heart-shaped milk chocolate macarons.
the day after that,
i attended a house warming party of a friend.
along side bruschetta and smoked salmon on crackers as finger food that he made,
the host suggested i bake some macarons
and of course i was glad to =)
All in all there were 4 flavors.
Lemon, Pistachio, Chai Latte and Chocolate.
I followed and tweaked the filling recipes from the book "macaron" by Alison Thompson
and found them to be really light and not too sweet, which is good cause all my previous macarons were deemed to be overly sweet for MrPoasm's liking.
for once, he ate more than one!
Black forest layer cake
Adapted from Tartelette.
For the almond chocolate dacquoise:
1 1 /2 cups (160gr) almonds
1 cup (100gr) powdered sugar, unsifted
1/4 cup (30gr) all-purpose flour
6 egg whites
1/2 cup (100gr) granulated sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder

For the cherry kirsch layers:
2 tablespoons powdered gelatin
1/4 cup cold water
3 cups morello cherries
1/2 cup sugar
syrup from the cherries (reserved 1/4 cup for the cherry glaze)
1/4 cup kirsch

For the chocolate bavarian cream:
6 egg yolks
1/2 cup (100 gr) sugar
2 cups (500 ml) whole milk
2 tablespoons powdered gelatin, sprinkled over 1/4 cup water
2 cups (500ml) heavy cream
250g dark chocolate (chopped)

Cherry glaze: (prepare once the cake is set)
1/4 cup (60ml) cherry syrup (reserved from the jar)
2 tablespoons (15gr) water
4 tablespoons (25gr) sugar
1 teaspoon powdered gelatin sprinkled over 2 teaspoons water
1/8 cup kirsch
Prepare the dacquoise:
1. Preheat the oven to 350F and position a rack in the oven.
2. In a food processor, pulse the almonds, cocoa powder, and the powdered sugar together until finely ground. Sift the flour over the mix and reserve.
3. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs whites on medium speed until foamy.
4. Gradually add the sugar while whipping the egg whites on high speed until stiff.
5. Add the almond-flour mixture to the egg whites and fold gently with a spatula. Try to keep as much air as possible.
6. Line two quarter sheet pans with parchment paper, coast slightly with cooking spray and spread the divided batter among both pans and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden. Let cool. Inver the pans onto a cutting board and slowly peel off the parchment paper.

Prepare the cherry layers:
1.Line two quarter sheet pans with parchment paper.
2. Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water and reserve.
3. In a large saucepan set over medium low heat, bring the cherries, cherry syrup and sugar to a simmer and sugar is dissolved. (smash them down with a spoon if necessary) and the sugar is dissolved.
4. Remove from the heat and add the gelatin and kircsh, stirring until the gelatin is completely dissolved.
5. Blend mixture using a hand-held blender or food processor until a puree is formed.
6. Pour over the prepared sheet pans.
7. Let cool to room temperature and then freeze until firm.

Prepare the Chocolate Bavarian cream:
1. In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until very pale.
2. Melt the chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave (1 minute on high, stir, another 30 seconds).
3. In the meantime, in a large saucepan set over medium heat, bring the milk to a boil.
4. Beat in the melted chocolate into in egg yolks until smooth.
5. Slowly pour the milk over the yolks, whisking constantly. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan over medium low heat and cook until the cream coats the back of a spoon (as if making creme anglaise).
6. Add the softened gelatin and stir until melted completely into the cream. Let cool to room temperature.
7. Whip the heavy cream to soft peaks and fold it into the cooled cream base. Use immediately.

Prepare the cherry kircsh glaze:
In a small saucepan set over medium high heat, bring the cherry syrup, water, kirsch and sugar to a simmer and cook until the sugar is dissolved and the liquid is hot. Remove from the heat and add the softened gelatin. Stir until it is completely dissolved. Let cool to room temperature.

To assemble:
Line a 8x8 or 9x9-inch square baking pan with enough plastic wrap to have about 2 inches overhanging on all sides (easier to pick up to unmold once the cake is set). By all means, use a square frame if you have one instead and build your cake directly in the frame set on a sheet pan.
Cut one of the dacquoise to fit inside the cake pan and place it at the bottom. Remove the cherry jelly from the freezer and cut a piece to fit inside the cake pan also. Place it on top of the dacquoise layer. Pour a little less than half of the bavarian cream on top of the cherry layer (you want to keep a little bavarian for the very top layer). Repeat with a layer of dacquoise, a layer of cherry jelly, a little less than the other half of the bavarian cream. Use the remaining cake cut outs to form a final layer of dacquoise. Smooth the remaining bavarian cream in one thin layer on top. Refrigerate the cake until completely set, about 2 to 4 hours or overnight. Once it is firm, spread the cherry glaze on top. Place the cake back in the fridge and let it set for about 30 minutes. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve. To plate, remove the cake from the pan by lifting all four corners of the plastic wrap and trim the edges.

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