“Chemically speaking, chocolate really is the world’s perfect food.”
Days come and go, and amazingly years gallop by. The charming little poppet turned 13, entering into a much awaited phase of his life, scary for the parents in us us we lie in exhausted heaps having battled the other teen and her trying years. For his special birthday, celebrated at the height of the dreaded Indian summer, a Dark Chocolate Cherry Mousse Cake.I used to listen on in disbelief when ‘been there‘ experienced Mums would tell me that angelic little boys begin to become ‘something else‘ once they cross the 10-11 years milestone. Not mine I’d think, no question. Never seen a more charming lad, so thoughtful, so loving … one that planted little kisses on my knee when he was little!All that changed a year ago. Good heavens … where did the ‘angelic’ son go? At times I found him hidden in a monster, behaving in the most unbelievable manner; at other times as good as gold. June baby? Gemini = twins? While I battle the Jekyll & Hyde situation, heeding now to shared experiences and words of wisdom, it was time to bake … again!We’re in the throws of an awful Indian summer, relentless heat, getting worse by the day, power-cuts galore, water shortages … and then we decide to get the house painted. The work carries on, woefully long, taking its toll on our energy levels. Just the kids seem fine … and the dog of course, brimming with boundless energy, racing in and out of rooms. In a house full of ladders, boxes piled high, buckets of paints and masking tape, some pretty summer flowers, I set off on the 10th to bake cake! The lad had said it was OK. “No need for cake, I understand Mama“. But cake there had to be the “dieting once again“ diva declared. ‘She’ who is over 16 doesn’t seem to hold the magical spell over the younger sibling any longer, yet still calls the food shots! Cherries and chocolate was the royal call, and I was happy I had a theme, a dream to play with. Always a good idea to dream up some yumminess!The base was intended to be a sponge until I added melted chocolate to it. I panicked since it wasn’t light as air and soft … so it got a good sugar syrup soaking. Was the right medicine for the cake. It giddily drank up the juices on offer and was just right a base for the balsamic cherries and mousse filling!The mousse filling was adapted from a simple chocolate mousse recipe in my Thermomix cookbook. By the time I had the machine on, I was in panic mode again. Something told me that it was too hot for it to set as a cake topping. Goblets are different; chocolate mousse will always be delicious in any form, barely set in goblets too.I had to do better and couldn’t take a cake chance and eventually added a spoon of gelatin. It worked a charm and I was thrilled to see it had set beautifully when I demolded it the next morning. The birthday boy was packed off with Mr PAB for a film and lunch, so I got adventurous and decided to pretty up the cake a bit!Noel Cowards began playing in head “Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun“. Boy was it HOT at 43C! A lace collar in the heat might well have been the silliest of ideas but there you are. That’s what I decided to do … and that worked too. Some more balsamic and fresh cherries on top, a sprinkling of pistachios, chocolate flakes and we were set for the lads 13th!!
We had a sinfully delicious cake by the evening, one that looked as good as it tasted. 5 star quality declared the hub! The kids absolutely LOVED it down to the last chocolaty crumb, the birthday boy quite happy. I was glad I set 2 goblets of mousse too to make sure that the mousse would hold; a runny mousse cake would have been a mid summer disaster! So glad I got it right!
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