Updated: Feb 2
When I thought about what cake to make Natalia, the song “Close to You” by the Carpenters came to mind: “Why do birds suddenly appear every time you are near, just like me they long to be, close to you,” and that’s when I knew what cake I was going to make Natalia, (yes I know, I hear voices in my head, and now songs).
A rich, smooth velvety, mousse wrapped in a Savoiardi biscuit embrace, delicately decorated with strawberries, cream, pretty flowers and edible rose petals (I was going to say at $120 per kg: that’s how much I love you, but then I realized that’s a huge understatement you’re worth at least $125kg).
Natalia is and always has been the kind of person that you just want to be around. In all the time I have known her (which is all her life) I’ve never known her to say an unkind word about anyone; she has always seen the good in everyone.
The only girl in a brood of 11 grandchildren (on my side of the family) you are, and will always be, our baby girl. You are kind, smart, beautiful and caring, and my birthday wish for you is that you NEVER EVER change.
Happy 30th beautiful Natalia.
Love you lots
Your favorite auntie
1 packet savoiardi/sponge finger (500g)
200g dark chocolate
50g unsalted butter
3 tablespoons milk
5 eggs separated
10 tablespoons sugar
1 small carton fresh cream (300mls)
1 tablespoon gelatin (yep I cheat)
2 tablespoons hot water
¼ cup of coffee at room temperature (you can also use Baileys or Kahlua)
Line the bottom of a 22cm round spring-form cake tin with baking paper.
Trim one end of the Savoiardis. Line up the Savoiardi side by side along the inside of the tin, sugary side facing out.
Arrange the remaining Savoiardi (or as much as needed) by laying them flat in the tin, trimming to cover the base completely.
Whisk egg whites with 10 tablespoons of sugar, adding one tablespoon at a time. Continue whisking until stiff peaks form.
In a separate bowl whip the cream until stiff.
Place chocolate, butter, and milk in a heatproof bowl over a pan with simmering water. Stir until ingredients have melted into a smooth texture. Remove from heat and allow to cool for a couple of minutes, then whisk in the egg yellow, (one at a time).
Dissolve gelatin in hot water and whisk into chocolate mixture. Fold egg white into the chocolate mixture and then whipped cream.
Drizzle coffee over the biscuit base and brush the upright biscuits with coffee.
Spoon chocolate mousse into the cake tin, smooth the top, and refrigerate overnight or for 6 hours.
Decorate with whipped cream and strawberries.