The cherry on top

Ok, I know it's not exactly cherry season right now.. But I came across some really amazing cherry cake moulds. I knew I had to get them right away and recreate the cutest cake ever.

So dear friends and readers, I present to you my interpretation of Josep Maria Rodriguez Guerola's "La Cirera"which I read about on So Good Magazine,

The Cherry and Lime Cake

I used frozen sour cherries (griottes) for this recipe because not only they are cheaper, they taste just as good and they come already pitted! I made a lime cream and berry compote insert to place inside the cherry mousse, and placed the fruit shaped cake atop a platform of chocolate financier and berry/white chocolate crumble. The cake is finished by a good spraying of red cocoa butter, a chocolate stem and a touch of gold leaf for good measure. 

The lime, cherry and chocolate combination is nothing short of a triumph for the taste buds! This cake has a lot of components and takes a bit of time to complete, but the end result will no doubt impress and surprise the any dessert lover. 

If you have a free weekend and would like a dessert project that would put your baking skills to the test, then feel free to read on, my ambitious friends..


Rosewater and sour cherry cheesecake

I don't know why I've never made cheesecakes before. I'm sure you'll agree that the combination of tangy cream cheese, sour fruits and a rich biscuit base create nothing less than a symphony in the mouth. On my recent trip back to Auckland, I was pleasantly surprised by the new bakeries and cafes that have popped up around town. One that I have been raving about to everyone I've met ever since is "Little Bird Organics" on New North Road. They like to call themselves an "unbakery" because not only is everything in the cafe organic, it is also completely raw! I have to be honest, at the beginning, I was a little cynical. Just how can you have a raw bakery? Even the concept is oxymoronic! So of course I made the trip out to Kingsland to taste test their creations and feed my curiosity. I purchased some delicious coconut macaroons, some organic white tea and a raspberry mini cheesecake. The mini cake was the triumph of the day as it reminded me of how simple and delicious cheesecakes can be. The experience has been playing so much in my mind ever since, that I knew I had to try to make my own when I got back to Paris. 

I then remembered that Natalie Smith had asked me to base a cake on another object after I had done the "candle cake" for Curio Noir for the Simon James Design blog. My muse this time is the bow ring by London-based fine jewelry designer Jessica McCormack. I tried to think about the kind of flavors that can be associated with diamond rings, and couldn't really come up with anything that wasn't so farfetched. So I did a little research and found out that these bow rings were inspired by the 1983 collection by French fashion house YSL. 

The dresses featured huge pink bows which combined playful femininity and classic symbolism. So from this, a flavor profile slowly started to come together.

I knew I wanted to use rosewater to symbolize the classic and romantic nuances of the ring's design. I paired it with a compote of French sour cherries "Griottines" - a very traditional french ingredient, which will emphasize the origins of the ring's muse YSL. For the base, I used girly pink ladyfinger biscuits from "Massion Fossier" called "Biscuits Roses de Reims" which I ground up into a fine powder. I moulded the whole thing in an adorable bow-shaped PVC cake mould. For the decoration, I went with a simple rose petal and a sugar diamond to give it a bit of regal quality. 

Mini cheesecakes and mini "Biscuits Roses de Reims"

I think this cake would be perfect served in a wedding banquet, especially if the bride herself was wearing the ring that the cake is based on. Don't you think it'd be a great idea for the guests to be able to experience the piece of jewelry that holds a special significance to the happy couple? I think I may be onto something here.

So here's the recipe. You can use any cake moulds for this cheesecake. This recipe will make 6 mini cakes or a 6 or 7 inch round cake.