Mom’s Chocolate Cake, Gali’s Birthday Dessert

עוגת שוקולד יומולדת“Now I understand why you’re so happy. I want to meet her right now,” she said with a smile that could be seen even from Paris over the phone. This was the sentence my mom told me when I shared that Gali (Mamush), the friend coming to visit me during Sukkot, wasn’t just any friend; she was my love.

I remember that moment as if it were yesterday. I had just finished a workout and stood by the steps of a metro station in the 16th arrondissement of Paris, not far from Champs-Élysées. Adrenaline, love, the realization that my heart had chosen, and the knowledge that Mom would surely approve brought me to stand in the middle of the street in Paris and call her. Of course, my heart was racing not just because of the workout but mainly from excitement because deep down, I knew Mom would welcome me with love exactly as I am.

עוגת שוקולד יומולדתIf you already know our meeting story, you know (spoiler alert approaching) that we were born on the same date, February 18th, and also on the same Hebrew date, 30th of Shevat. These dates, which usually align every 19 years, also coincided in our case despite the 8-year age difference between us. I’m not looking for explanations; I just know that love sometimes falls from the sky.

Mamush has become another daughter of my mom. She loved her so much and knew that I was happy and in love; that was the only thing that interested her—that I was well. This has been the case with every choice I made in my life, both in childhood and in my adult life. Since that moment, Mamush became ingrained in the hearts of the family, and in the recent period when we were with Mom in the hospital, I understood how strong the connection between them was.

עוגת שוקולד יומולדתעוגת שוקולד יומולדתWe spent hours upon hours in the hospital together, and Mamush was my light during that challenging time in the ward. Together we were an unbeatable team. While the end was so sad, the journey was equally important. Moments of kindness, love, connection, and compassion were so numerous and comforting me in every moment of grief. In the birthday post in 2023, I wrote 18 things you don’t know about her, one of them was, “She is the best person in the world, and I am lucky to have her every day.” In the past year, this statement has been my constant strength.

עוגת שוקולד יומולדתעוגת שוקולד יומולדתEvery year I think about what cake to make for her birthday—a clever, special one that can be made only for someone you love. This year, I didn’t have to think. The knowledge that I was going to make her a cake from Mom’s recipes was clear. My childhood cake, simple, with basic ingredients but filled with a sea of memories and love in every bite taken from it. I found the recipe for the cake we grew up on in Mom’s cherished recipe notebook, and it’s the recipe I chose to make for Mamush.

עוגת שוקולד יומולדתMom used to make the cake for every birthday in kindergarten, school, and also just when we asked for it. The preparation ceremony was one of the essential rituals in the house, and we looked forward to it so much.

עוגת שוקולד יומולדתעוגת שוקולד יומולדתI remember her standing by the kitchen counter with the manual beater and the white plastic bowls. One for the batter and one in the form of a cylinder for whipping the egg whites. When the batter was ready, the crucial battle began—the battle for licking the beaters and the bowl. Of course, both Lior and I won it, and together, we cleaned the utensils of any remaining batter. Sometimes, Mom left a little more residue on purpose.

עוגת שוקולד יומולדתעוגת שוקולד יומולדתMom poured the batter into a specific mold, a perfect-sized white oven mold, like the vintage ones sold today. She placed the mold in her special baking oven heated by gas with an exposed flame that always frightened us when we lit it.

עוגת שוקולד יומולדתעוגת שוקולד יומולדתAnd then came the glaze. How hard it was to wait until the cake cooled, until the glaze was poured over it, and until it solidified, and we could taste it. And then, when it finally arrived, we were so happy and couldn’t stop eating, we cut it more and more, and as the hours passed, it only got better. And how sad it was when it was finished.

עוגת שוקולד יומולדתThis cake, which so symbolizes the home I grew up in, Mom who pampered us, the kitchen that worked extra hours, and unconditional love, is the cake of Mamush. I opened Mom’s recipe notebook, which I took with me to Paris, whipped it with her manual mixer, and baked it in the same mold that is now mine. It’s the most worthwhile and emotional birthday cake I’ve made for Mamush, on my/our first birthday without Mom.

עוגת שוקולד יומולדתMom’s Chocolate Cake
30cm square pan

Ingredients
Cake Batter:
200g butter, very soft
300g sugar
360g eggs, separated (around 6 M eggs)
20g cocoa powder 
5g instant coffee
280g flour, sifted
10g baking powder
240g coffee liquid

Glaze:
110g water
70g sugar
30g cocoa powder 
50g butter

Decoration: sprinkles

Preparation
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (356 degrees Fahrenheit), grease the pan, and lightly dust it with flour.
2. Cake Batter: In a mixer, beat butter and sugar until you get a fluffy and airy mixture.
3. Add the egg yolks and continue to beat.
4. Add cocoa and coffee powder and continue to beat.
5. In a separate bowl, mix flour and baking powder.
6. Add the dry ingredients mixture and coffee liquid to the egg mixture, stirring only until the flour is incorporated.
7. In another bowl, whip the egg whites into stable foam and gently fold into the batter.
8. Pour the batter into the pan and smooth the top. Bake for about 35-40 minutes, until the cake is stable. Remove from the oven and let it cool to room temperature.
9. Glaze: In a small saucepan, heat water and sugar until boiling. Add cocoa, stir, and remove from the heat. Add butter and stir until fully melted. Pour the glaze over the cake and cover with sprinkles.

Bon-Appétit
Sharon

Comments

  • 18 February 2024
    GALI

    My sunshine, you are full of love and giving. How exciting you are, and there is no surprise as wonderful as the birthday cake that Tami’s mother baked for you as a child. And the cake is so delicious because it is also full of the abundant light and love that your mother spread everywhere

    And since today is also your birthday, I wish you a day that’s even better, brighter, and filled with surprises and new peaks – LOVE YOU MY MAMUSH

    reply
  • 18 February 2024
    Gabriel

    Happy Birthday.
    Ein Klassiker auch in Deutschland.
    Diesen Kuchen gab es auf vielen Geburtstagen.
    Danke für das erinnern.
    Viele Grüße sendet,
    Gabriel

    reply

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