A Special Cherry Cake

July was a very special month this year. My husband and I celebrated 10 years together and 2 years of marriage.  Since our first kiss, our days have been filled with love, happiness, passion, and each day seems to be better than the last. To commemorate these two important days, I prepared a cherry mousse cake: layers of sponge cake soaked in Kirsch syrup, cherry mousse and cherry jam covered with Kirsch whipped cream.

I love balloons! That’s why I used them on my wedding. There were a lot of them as part of the decoration and for guests entertainment too. So I decided to use some balloons on my cake photos making it more nostalgic and adorable.

I prepared a wonderful cherry jam that I used as filling and also to make the mousse. For this reason I opted for just use fresh cherries instead of maraschino cherries. I also used Kirschwasser (also known as kirsch), a colorless German brandy distilled from the juice of the morello cherry. It intensifies the cherry flavor, but it is not sweet like the Kirsch liqueur.

To make our celebration even more special, we enjoyed this cake with Champagne…

Cherry Mousse Cake

The day before prepare the cherry jam and the cherry mousse.

Cherry Jam
(inspired by the book The Advanced Professional Pastry Chef)

1 pound cherry
½ cup water
¾ cup kirschwasser
1 Tb lemon juice
A little bit of fresh coarsely ground pepper
 3 ounces sugar
½ teaspoon pectin powder

Wash, stem, and pit the cherries. Bring all ingredients to a boil in a saucepan over moderate heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 20 minutes (jam will continue to thicken as it cools).

Use half of the jam to fill the cake and half to make the mousse.

Cherry Mousse

1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 Tb butter
cherry jam
1 cup heavy cream
1 envelope unflavored gelatin

Soak the gelatin in 2 Tb cold water for 20 minutes. Place the cherry jam, condensed milk and butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. Stir until the thick consistency. Incorporate the gelatin into the cream. Let cool. Whip the heavy cream.  Carefully incorporate the whipped cream into the cherry cream. Line 2 6-in pans with plastic film and divide the cream between the two pans. Let cool overnight on the refrigerator.

Sponge cake
from the book Ladurée Sucré
Makes 3 6-in pan

1 cup /120 g all purpose flour
2/3 cup / 120 g potato starch
10 eggs
½ cup +2 tbsp / 125 g granulated sugar

Preheat the oven to 340°F/ 170°C.
Prepare 3 baking pans with oil cooking spray.
Sift together the flour and potato starch.
Separate the egg whites and yolks.
In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks with half of the sugar until pale. In another large dry bowl, with a clean whisk, bring the egg whites to foam. Once they are white and frothy, add the remaining half of the sugar and continue to whip until firm.
Right away, gently fold the sugar and egg yolk mixture into the whipped egg whites with a rubber spatula. Sprinkle the flour and potato starch over the mixture. Gently combine: start with the spatula in the center of the bowl, work up the sides of the bowl and bring the mixture back down towards the center, all the while turning the bowl regularly. Continue until you have a smooth and homogenous mixture.
Divide batter equally into 3 greased 6-inch baking pan and bake for approximately 20 minutes until lightly colored. Remove from oven and allow to cool. 

Kirsch Syrup

1 cup sugar
1/4 cup Kirschwasser

Heat sugar, Kirschwasser, and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Let cool completely before soak the cake.

Kirsch Whipped Cream

2 cups heavycream, cold
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup Kirschwasser

Chill a mixing bowl and wire whisk in the freezer for 10 minutes before beginning. Beat heavy cream in the chilled bowl until it begins to foam and thicken up. Add the powdered sugar, kirsch and vanilla and continue to beat until the cream barely mounds. Do not overwhip.

Assembly: Place one layer cake on a serving plate. Brush with 1/4 cup kirsch syrup. Spread the cherry jam over top. Remove cherry mousse from plastic film and place on top. Repeat to make 1 more layer of each. Top with remaining cake. Cover with kirsch whipped cream. Decorate as desired.

Note: I colored the gum paste with the cherry jam to make the sugar roses..