Saturday, 20 January 2007

Double-frosted six-layer Devil’s Food cake

So, I’ve just learnt how to put pics up by myself (bit of a break-thru) and thought I’d take the opportunity to showcase my birthday cake.

The odd thing was that I made it myself - and check this out (because it must mean I’m growing up), I volunteered to do it. Christmas had been chaos with my (deeply Catholic) uncle arriving with five of his six kids who swarmed the tree like a pack of hungry coyotes, licking their chops and sidling off with other people’s pressies to secret corners of the house. Little piles of par-opened gifts lay pillaged and forlorn and no-one really knew what was meant for whom. Still, at least the Balmoral Flings proved a winner on the booze front and anything chocolatey was sent my way.

People usually avoid giving me chocs these days for fear of getting it wrong. I’m open to all sorts though, as long as….actually, I am a bit of a nightmare, unless we’re talking about M&S chocolate cornflake mini-bites - a tub of which I’ve just polished off very happily. Anyway, the point is that by the time my birthday rolled around I didn’t want the cake to be jeopardised by the wanton chaos of the rest of the house, so I put on my pinny and got baking…

Delicious. Beautiful moist layers of Devil’s Food cake, joined in paradise by the deepest, darkest ganache I could muster (a combo of Green & Black’s 72% cooking choc and some Cote D’Or 85%) with cream from down the lane. The white American frosting that held this tidy package all together was like a magical edible cloud billowing around in my mouth.

Then there were more celebrations back in town, a (very lucrative) trip to the dogs, a misjudged karaoke performance to a crowded bar, an endless conveyor belt of dodgy drinks and finally, I emerged on January 2nd, bursting into ‘07 (not sure what happened to the 1st) feeling AMAZING!

I don’t know what it is but, after a couple of months of wintry indecision and lacklustre feelings, I have got my head around a few fundamental truths with which to find my focus. People say that after your first year of business there is often a really tough patch of not knowing what direction to take things next and that many businesses lose their way - and I love hearing stuff like that, it gives me back the fight. I’m excited about the next year because I’ve lifted my gaze from where it was fixated and now have a much calmer view.

I have so many ideas for Choc Star and am looking forward to getting them going. Jimmy’s down in the country at the health farm, having a bit of pampering before being brought back to London for more adventures. We’ll be back on Brick Lane either Jan 28th or Feb 4th, depending on the roadworks scenario - see you there!