A handmade cake is a gift from the heart. It tells the recipient they are important, they are loved and hopefully, they are known. That’s the part where the baker tries to match the birthday boy or girl to the cake that they would like the most.
Also, I am trying to make a cake that is recognizably a “birthday cake.” No dis to folks who dream of birthday pies or Jell-O molds, but I want to present a cake that reads “Birthday Cake.” For my birthday, I want a birthday cake with a deep chocolate, moist crumb, covered with pale pink frosting. Bonus points for cherries to be somewhere in or on there. This year for my birthday, Suzi baked me a chocolate cherry layer cake, with dipped cherries decorating the top. Beautiful, mouth-watering and my ideal of what a birthday cake “should” be. Suzi definitely nailed it!
Perfect chocolate cherry birthday cake from Suzi
For my favorite sister-in-law’s last birthday, I knew I wanted to make an extremely chocolatey layer cake for her. It is her intense love of chocolate that makes Rose and I revaluate every tea menu to see if it passes the Tiffany test. Is there enough chocolate on the menu to make Tiffany happy? If, heaven forbid, there is not enough, we add some. We always want Tiffany to feel that there is plenty of chocolate.
I dove deep into my clipped recipe file and found a very luscious-looking candidate, “Cocoa-Almond-Coco Cake.” Beyond its seductive good looks of satiny chocolate and dense coconut filling, the inclusion of coconut milk in the cake batter itself made me want to try the recipe. I’m a proponent of piling on multiple layers of the same flavor to really maximize the intensity.
A word about recipe evaluation: I first clipped this recipe back in the day because it not only looked delicious and flavorful, it seemed like a well-written, sound recipe. A good chocolate cake recipe needs to include a lot of cocoa, here a generous ¾ cup, plenty of butter and eggs, check, and sour cream or yogurt for richness and tang. The addition of coconut milk adds richness, tang, and extra coconut flavor: excellent. I was remiss to not get the recipe developer’s name so I could properly attribute the recipe. Thank you very much, whoever you are.
I made the recipe as written, the only change being that I scattered some additional sliced almonds on the top. The birthday girl said the recipe is indeed a keeper.