It's my birthday next week which is as good a reason as any to bake a cake, and in turn an excellent excuse to spend another evening leafing through 'Classic German Baking', instead of writing Christmas cards (though I really can't put that off for much longer).
I'm really inspired by this book (the sunken apple cake is so good I keep craving it) and determined to thoroughly explore it. I said when I first posted about it that I'd been looking for a really appealing book on German baking (and cooking generally) for a couple of years, this one has ticked all the boxes for me (I should probably order Weiss' earlier book too). It's the perfect combination of reassuringly familiar flavours and new recipes. It is genuinely the most exciting baking book I've got my hands on in years.
As for the cake - I had thought about making a sachertorte, but it looks like a bit more effort than I think I'm going to have time for, however, a spiced chocolate-cherry cake sounds like a great alternative.
I had assumed that if there was a spirit involved in German baking it would be kirsch, but it's Rum that keeps cropping up. I'm not really a Rum drinker so it's not a spirit I've really given much thought to beyond noting that it's becoming more popular, with an ever increasing range available on the high street and in supermarkets. 'Classic German Baking' is giving me a timely push to think about it a bit more. (I'm also wondering how and when Rum became such a popular ingredient in German baking - there's an interesting bit of history to trace).
It's dark Rum that's called for here, I've gone for Gosling's Black Seal as it was the most interesting (the one reviews suggested was reasonable to sip neat as well as to mix) easily available Rum I found, and I see no point in having a bottle I wouldn't drink on it's own in the house, or in using something I wouldn't consider drinking for some sort of pleasure as an ingredient. It's quality over quantity every time.
So, maybe not the first book you might think of to go with Rum, but if it's the book that's going to get me to engage with the stuff I'm not complaining.