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Happy birthday, Agatha Christie! September 19, 2010

Posted by inspiredbywolfe in Sweet things.

Some of you may be aware that as well as being a Rex Stout fan, I’m also a big fan of Agatha Christie. September 15 is Agatha Christie’s birthday so I’d like to take this opportunity to wish a happy birthday to…

Wait. What’s this?

A dead body! With a bloodstain! Sounds like Miss Marple or Hercule Poirot need to get on the case. I present to you – a birthday cake for Agatha Christie.

Of course there needs to be a dead body for our detectives to solve a crime…and this one has some suspicious footsteps near the body! Some clues for the detectives to follow. As for which detective – it’s a toss-up between Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot – Miss Marple is represented by the pink balls of knitting, while Poirot’s moustache makes an occasional appearance around the cake.

The cake itself is two flavours – the top cake is lemon and the bottom is the notorious Delicious Death from A Murder is Announced. It is chocolate with a boozy filling of raisins and crystallised ginger. As for the cake design – I thought it was about time I started experimenting with two-layer cakes so decided to make a topsy-turvy cake. I put the top layer on a circle of cardboard and used straws to support it through the bottom layer. This worked fine for a two layer cake; however, I’d want a more secure form of support if the cake was larger!

Here’s some process photos of the cake making…

Simmering the raisins and crystallised ginger in brandy

Filling the chocolate cake with the fruit filling

Crumb coating the cake

Shaping the chocolate cake so the other cake can sit on top

Making the balls of knitting and moustache decorations

Stacking the cake and beginning to decorate. I freehand-piped the footprints around the cake and used a cookie cutter to imprint the body design on the top of the cake – which I then piped over.

Another shot of the finished cake, to show the topsy-turvy effect!

As for the taste – the lemon cake is one I’ve made before and I find it a nice, moist cake. The Delicious Death was very very rich, very chocolate-y – but had a light texture thanks to the whipped egg whites. The fruit filling was excellent and complemented the chocolate well, without being overwhelming.

Anyway, I hope others of you celebrated Agatha Christie’s in good style. Rex Stout’s birthday is December 1, so we will need to see what delights can be served up for his birthday!


1. Teena - September 20, 2010

that’s a lovely celebratory cake.
I don’t normally bake but you had me with the crystallized ginger raisin booze filling. Must try that bottom cake soon.
Not sure I’d have the patience for the art part – love you attention to detail, especially the ‘tache and the footprint.
Bet Agatha would have loved it too.

2. iolanthegabrie - September 20, 2010

This is a top notch cake. And what a good reason to celebrate too. x

3. Elizabeth - September 20, 2010

Death by cake, death on cake, cakes of death…send to Mexico immediately.

Most impressed Kirsten!!!

4. inspiredbywolfe - September 20, 2010

Thanks everyone! I had a lot of fun with this. And the decorations didn’t take as long as I was fearing, which was a bonus.

5. Kathy - September 20, 2010

Ooooo, I did not know you were a Christie afficianado like myself, but now I understand why we’ve always gotten along so well 😉 I made a gluten free version of Delicious Death a few months ago and it was very rich but very good, so I bet yours was even better with normal flour.

The cake looks all-round smashing 😉

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