12 April 2010

The Engagement Cake

If there is one thing I've learned from Melissa, the brilliant and talented author-in-chief of this blog, it is that some things in life are just worth celebrating. She has also taught me that celebrations are better when you've put thought and love into some kind of a celebratory food.

My brother Jason got engaged on Saturday and was planning to stop in with his fiance to celebrate on Sunday night. I had been waiting for an excuse to make this decadent triple-chocolate mousse cake and the post-engagement visit was just the thing.

My love affair with this cake began on a Saturday afternoon episode of America's Test Kitchen on PBS. The episode's theme was "chocolate" and my channel surfing came to an abrupt end when they showed the triple layer chocolate cake they'd be making on the show. It was love at first sight. I could think of little else for days. But it required a spring form pan. And bittersweet bakers chocolate. And a couple of other things I didn't have in my kitchen.

It was clear this wasn't just some little cake fling. Making this cake was going to require all sorts of commitment-- taking my five month old to Bed Bath and Beyond to buy a cake pan, going to the grocery store on a case-lot-sale Saturday, and (not to mention) beating cream and egg whites for three distinct layers of chocolate mousse.

But true love makes you do things you wouldn't otherwise do. I somehow knew this cake was worth it. And Sunday night, I showed up to the engagement party with this metaphoric engagement cake on a silver platter.

Engagement is more than a cake fling itself and requires even more of a commitment than buying a spring form pan. Once the "will you..." and the "yes" and the ring are in place, you move forward, even if you are buying $15 worth of bakers chocolate and getting cold feet.

And so to you festive people out there, I'd like to introduce my metaphoric engagement cake. It was incredibly delicious, but gone in an instant. And interestingly enough, the whole wheat toast of being married with a baby tasted great the next morning.

I think I'll make this engagement cake again the next time there is an engagement party in my family (I should have enough time to recover, since the next eligible sibling is 17). You can find the recipe and instructions here, but you do have to register with America's Test Kitchen (it is free, they just want your name and email address).

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