Sunday, September 12, 2010

Delicious Death® - Agatha Christie's 120th anniversary cake

On 15 September 2010, it is the 120th anniversary of Agatha Christie's birth. Agatha Christie needs no introduction - she is the best-selling author of all time, with her crime novels selling over 2 billion copies, and translated into 45 languages.

To celebrate Christie's 120th anniversary,
Jane Asher, actress and cake maker extraordinaire, was asked to create a cake recipe. Jane was inspired by a passage in Christie's A Murder Announced, a Miss Marple novel, to create the recipe for Delicious Death®. You can find the relevant passage, the recipe for the cake and more background information here and here.

Delicious Death
® is a rich flourless chocolate cake, filled with brandied fruits, and enrobed in rich chocolate ganache.

The Agatha Christie website has invited everyone to join in the celebrations by making Delicious Death
® and posting a photograph of their creation to their Facebook page created for the occasion.

This was too good an opportunity to pass up - the cake looks scrumptious, I love a historic occasion, and I am a fan of the Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot TV series (although I will confess to never having read an Agatha Christie novel).

Here are my fruits being cooked in brandy:

Next step is to make the cake:

I substituted half of the almond meal for ground pecans (because I didn't have quite enough almonds).

Once the cake is cooled, it is split in half, and filled with the brandied fruits:

The two halves of the cake are then joined back together, and the cake is smothered in a rich, decadent chocolate ganache. Finally, it is decorated with scroll rows of ganache, crystallised violets, crystallised rose petals and gold leaf (or in my case, one row of scrolling, crystallised violets, silver cachous and pink hearts). I also piped "Good Wishes" across the cake, as in the passage of the novel which inspired this cake, the cake baker says that she would do that:

Finally, slice and enjoy!!

Doesn't this look fabulous? And it was - perhaps not worth dying for, but very, very good.


Sarah @ For the Love of Food said...

The brandied fruit and chocolate ganache are making me drool! What a great creation - I bet this didn't live for long :)

SteelCityFlan said...

That looks so good, especially the brandied fruits; you don't see those as much in desserts today. I grew up watching Poirot and Miss Marple on public access. It was a strange childhood O.o

adele said...

Oh, that's a great idea! I definitely remember the book, and the cake!

Happy Cook said...

Wwow that is a wonderful cake i love her books. All her dectective charachters.

Nadji said...

J'ai lu tous les romans d'Agatha Christie.
Je prendrai bien une tranche de ton gâteau qui semble délicieux pour fêter son anniversaire.
See soon

Anonymous said...

How fun to make a cake as a tribute to Agatha Christie. It sounds delicious!

The Caked Crusader said...

Cracking looking cake. I love the whole ceremony of soaking fruits in brandy or rum, not to mention the lovely aroma!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Oooh I love this idea! I might make one too! :D Thanks Cakelaw!

Conor @ Hold the Beef said...

What a brilliant cake. I love boozy dried fruits and combining them with chocolate cake and ganache is pretty fantastic. Well done, I think Agatha Christie would have loved a big slice to get her through a long writing session :)

Johanna GGG said...

I love a cake with a good story - and I guess the mystery is in the inside of the cake - fantastic - must read the passage to find out more about this cake when have more time - meanwhile have it bookmarked

kelly said...

How cool that I found this. I received an email last week explaining the anniversary of Agatha Christie's birth and the cake to celebrate. How great that you've made it. We're on a rotten diet, so I had to pass. Thanks for giving me a glimpse of a delectable dessert!

Anonymous said...

That is one fabulous cake and it is flourless, yet. Wow!

shaz said...

This looks fabulous! I saw it at NQN and came over to check yours out too. I am so inspired to make it now.

Jennifer said...

I LOVE the occasion for which you baked this cake-it does look dangerously decadent!!!!!