Hmm... another red cake, so sorry, but I have a valid reason though (I think) :D.
Two weeks ago was my sister-in-law's brother's bday. Uhm... that's way too confusing, does that make him my in-law cousin? But anyways, yeah it was his birthday. Officially, it was still summer although the weather was a little colder than usual. The sun sets much earlier and the night is not as warm, in fact in was chilly already, but we haven't had a REAL BBQ this year (we as in our circle of friends). This summer for us had been loaded with lots of outdoor activities, hiking, camping, biking, out-of-town trip, you name it. It seems like for the whole summer (or maybe before summer hadn't officially started), every weekend was booked already. So we decided to have a BBQ Pool party, not only for the birthday celebration, but also to celebrate summer!
I was so excited planning the whole menu, I love summer and I love BBQ. To me, summer BBQ means light cocktail or fruity tea, good food, summer fruits, pool, friends, laughter. I started planning on the menu and finally decided on it along with the preparation and the grocery shopping. I already knew what I wanted to make for the birthday cake, it was something involving black raspberry mousse, vanilla bean bavarian, striped joconde, berry compote, cassis syrup, etc., it was one of the "to experiment" cake in my list. So I did the shopping for the cake on Thursday night, I suppose I still have Friday morning and night and part of Saturday to make the cake, plenty of time (at least so I thought)! I was shocked when I couldn't find frozen black raspberries at Trader Joe's! I asked them about it and they said it was discontinued. I think I almost fainted, or at least cried :(. You see, I LOVE black raspberries, and I always wanted to store lots of them in my freezer but I always thought why do that while I can always get them from my trusty Trader Joe's? Now, they're gone!!!! I came home feeling really sad that night and I googled black raspberry on the internet and I couldn't find any that sells them. The next morning, I called a few other TJ and they told me the same thing :(. There goes my only chance.
Friday went by so quickly and I came home late from work, having no energy to do anything else, I just went straight to bed, not knowing what will I make in the morning. I know that I don't have much time to make anything, but I'll figure it out in the morning. Long story short, I have 6 punnets of beautiful red raspberries in the fridge that I bought at Costco earlier (again with the weak will power). I completely adore raspberries but I didn't want to make another raspberry cake, I had it too much. But I had no choice, so I have to make use of them. So, one thing led to another, I came up with this cake. It was two layers of thin joconde, brushed with framboise eau-de-vie, thin layer of vanilla bean mascarpone cream (a mix of pastry cream, mascarpone, gelatin, and heavy cream), and thin layer of raspberry gelee. In my mind, I imagined the thin layers would show perfectly neat, but it wasn't :(. I only freeze the gelee for an hour and it was still soft when I took it out. I had too though as I don't have more time, I had to move on to the next step. That's why the raspberry layer is kinda curly :(. I topped it off with lots of strawberries and raspberries and put a tempered white chocolate sheet on top of it.
Although I wasn't too happy with the neat-ness, but I was beyond happy that they all LOVED it! I brought a small slice home for my nephew to try (I could always count on him for dessert feedback, trust me!) and he loved it! For those who are familiar with rose water, would be able to taste the soft sweet floral taste in the background, following the slightly tart raspberry flavor. I was beyond relieved that night. Yes, I sometimes (of often times) over-analyzed things and put more pressure on myself than what I need to. Oh wells, at least everybody was happy that night, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY DICKY!
Sorry for the poor lighting on the picture, this is the best I can do at that time :)
I realize that it might be a little late, but I want to share with you some of the gorgeous summer produce that I got lately. The small tomatoes are super sweet! I didn't know that tomato can be so sweet, I can munch on them just like that and it's coming from a person who doesn't normally eat or like tomatoes :). I use them to make caprese salad (sweet small heirloom tomatoes, garden-picked basil, herbed-marinated mozzarella balls, good quality extra-virgin olive oil, salt & pepper, and you're good to go) for the BBQ and it was awesome! The raspberries is the leftover from the cake above. Imagine how much will power you need to have to resist these every time you see them. They're just too beautiful to ignore, don't you agree? :D