Happy birthday, Agatha Christie! September 19, 2010Posted 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!