Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Chocolate Walnut Dacquoise Cake with Chestnut Mousse

So, I turned seventeen a couple weeks ago.


I used to love birthdays when I was a younger. But for the last couple of years, birthdays haven’t held the same allure. With each passing year, I’ve become a little older, a little harder, a little more realistic about life. I just don’t feel it anymore.


I think it’s because I’m too romantic; I expect too much. Last year, the pressure of trying to appease everyone else on my “special” day left me feeling empty and disappointed. Not so much sweet sixteen as it was choke-down-bitter-tears-of-frustration.


This year, I stopped expecting anything from anyone. (Although I did expect the decorated locker, courtesy of Jennifer, who repeatedly asked me what my locker number was, lest she decorate the wrong locker. Thank you. I didn't expect the birthday card though, thanks Shannon; or the mini whisk, thanks Tammy.) Instead, I tried to plan various little celebrations, which all revolved around the consumption of delicious food.  


The first one was to go out for dinner with a small group of my favourite people. I thought it was reasonable to expect that my closest friends would be able to all band together and spare one evening to celebrate my seventeenth, but obviously that wasn’t the case. I have a very... busy... group of friends.


On the day of my birthday, I went out for lunch with my mom. I love my birthday lunches with my mom; I don’t really get to eat out with her often so it’s a real treat. After picking me up from school, she let me drive to my favourite bakery/cafe, where we proceeded to split a bacon, ham, and emmental quiche, a pistachio Danish, and a salted caramel macaron. Then we bought a cake for dessert later that night.


After the last school bell rang that afternoon, a couple of my friends and I went down to our favourite crepe place for birthday crepes, just like last year. It’s nice to keep a tradition going, even if it’s only two years old. For dinner, my mom prepared a delicious seared duck breasts with a brandied fig sauce and steamed buttered asparagus.


Then the cake was brought forth. Layers of walnut dacquoise, chestnut mousse, flourless chocolate sponge, and chocolate mousse sandwiched together were topped with a light dusting of cocoa powder. I’m not exaggerating when I say that I honestly think that this was the most delicious cake I have ever eaten. This cake is perfection on a plate.

The best part of any birthday, in my opinion, is definitely the food.

19 comments:

  1. Happy Birthday! I have friends in their late 20s that still expect a giant celebration for their birthdays, but to me its not very realistic. I generally try to sneak my birthday past people.

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  2. "With each passing year, I’ve become a little older, a little harder, a little more realistic about life. I just don’t feel it anymore"

    Bah, wait until you're 29, about to hit 30 this year :D I know what you mean though. I always used to feel my birthdays had a real magic to them... and then over time it just because another day, though I do appreciate them for different reasons now. Usually reasons involving food :D

    Love the looking of the cake Kyleen :)

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  3. Happy Birthday!!! I wish I was 17 again...just because each year since then has been so wonderful I wouldn't mind living them over. Sounds and looks like you had a great day full of delicious food. Just the way it should be!

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  4. Happy Birthday! What a nice cake to celebrate your birthday! Happy feasting!

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  5. Happy Birthday to you! This cake looks just delightful, and I really enjoy those little edible teddy bears on top!

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  6. Happy belated birthday, Kayleen! I sooo agree; food really is the best part. During the summer of my fifteenth, almost two years ago, I stayed in Seoul, South Korea. On my birthday, from breakfast time until midnight, I ate some amazing food my grandmother cooked up for me. Last year, I was in the states and had camp so I had an meh food day, nothing too extravagant. Oh, food... the memories are endless

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  7. Hopefully you'll find the old feeling again though to be honest, I don't feel it anymore, either. I just have b-day and it feels just like any other not so special day. Anyway, food makes me happy all the time :D and a beautiful b-day cake like yours is exactly the thing! It looks so good and sounds even better :D YUM!

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  8. Happy late birthday! I love everyone else's birthday, but mine. I find it awkward when all the attention is on me. It just feels weird! So, I like celebrating my birthday just with a few close people. Your dinner sounded amazing and this cake looks so beautiful!

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  9. Happy (belated) Birthday! Great blog!

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  10. Happy belated! I feel the exact same way about birthdays...it's so hard trying to seem happy for other people that you end up just feeling miserable. I'd rather not do anything other than just sit and eat cake. This one looks amazing!

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  11. Happy Belated 17th Birthday, Kyleen!

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  12. Happy birthday! Sounds like you had some pretty great celebratory meals. I generally don't care too much about birthdays...except for this year when I spent my 30th (gasp!) in Paris (yay!). Definitely celebrated there with some tremendous meals myself :)

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  13. Happy Birthday! The cake does look delicious! =)

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  14. Holy smokes girl, I can't believe you're so young! You write very well. The cake looks heavenly!

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  15. Happy belated birthday! Your cake looks fab - adore the bear on top.

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  16. Happy belated birthday! Welcome to the world of being jaded. As you get older, you'll either continue to not give a damn and secretly love every small thing the people that remember do for you, or you'll just take matters into your own hands, do what you want to do, and if other people partake that's just peachy. It's funny how that works!

    The cake looks delish! That's a serious birthday treat!

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