Like all good stories, it began one night, over a Japanese Single Malt.
A dear friend was in the throes of a long- distance relationship which (according to her) was going fantastically. I’d hear her talk about him for over a month. She was flying, he was fawning. Cute nicknames were exchanged, the Amazon delivery guy became a regular and the wifi got a booster pack for late night FaceTime. All seemed chocolate and peaches.
And then one day she showed up with a bottle of Yamazaki and a look of horror. Turns out he’d been MIA for three days. And she’s freaking out. We debated that he may be hurt or in jail or overworked or maybe his phone was lost? We did what all self-respecting women would do in this situation. Stalk the hell out of him on social media.
By the time we reached half the bottle, the answer was pretty clear. He had ghosted on her.
For the (lucky) few unfamiliar with ghosting, it’s the cowardly act of vanishing into thin air without so much as a ‘it wasn’t you, it was me’. Much like a 90s Indian horror movie with zero CGI budget, the ghost is ugly AF. And you can never un-see it.
It got me thinking of the times I’d been ghosted on, or the times I had been a ghost. It’s universally accepted as the shittiest way to breakup. What could prompt someone to completely abandon ship with such disgrace? I got speaking to friends, both single and married. And the stories that unfolded were both amusing and heartbreaking.
From a friend who got ghosted immediately after the first night of intimacy (fourth date mind you) to a three year old relationship where the man was later found holidaying in Ibiza! My favourite is one where the woman disappears only to send him a wedding invite three months later!
No matter what the story, the aftermath plays out the same. Being ghosted is like diarrhea. You feel uneasy, it’s impossible to sit still and you’re spewing out emotions from all ends.
Sounds like the universe swiped left and it’s time to clean up the slime. Who you gonna call?
The only pro ghostbusting crew known to man and womankind: Chocolate, cherry and brandy. Say hello to the Black Forest Mousse Cake. Cause it ain’t afraid of no ghost.
It’s black like the soul of your ex but sweet like the sight of you. Moist chocolate cake under a luxurious layer of brandy macerated cherries that is slathered with a dark chocolate mousse and a hint of chocolate ganache. It’s more decadent than any lover you’ve ever had.
The best part about this treat? It takes little effort and is perfect for a day that calls for wine and sweatpants. I combined fresh cherries with an Indian summer berry called Jamun which is a tangy plum-like fruit. I have an over-enthusiastic tree in the garden that turns our driveway purple. And while I would have loved to macerate them in kirsch (like a traditional black forest) I had brandy at hand. Which works just as well. Especially if you’re trying to eat/drink your feelings.
Top it all up with some tough love and practical advise to move your ass in the forward direction. Now I am no relationship expert, but here are a few things you could try:
- Instead of figuring out what went wrong, focus on what you’ve learned from this experience. Change the rhetoric from “I got rejected” to “I just learned an incredible lesson that will make me better in future relationships”
- UNFOLLOW this piece of s*!t person from all your social media NOW. He or she is not worth any space on your newsfeed.
- If you’re really hankering for closure, plan an imaginary funeral for the jerk. In your mind, picture this person powerless and dead to you. Eulogize them with a few nice words and bury em forever.
- Be Grateful! You’re a 100% free from a person who’s a 100% spineless. Thank god it happened sooner than later. You can see this person for who he/she really is, and move on knowing that you’re better than this.
- Eat this Cake. It’s better than my advise.
Douchepocylapse is here. It’s time to bring out the spoons.
Black Forest Mousse Cake
For the Cake
- 60g Dark Chocolate, Chopped
- 50g Unsalted Butter, Chopped
- 1/4 Cup Sugar
- 1/4 Cup Hot Water
- 1/4 Cup Flour
- 1/4 tsp of Baking Powder and Baking Soda
- 1 Tbsp Cocoa Powder
- 1 Egg, Whisked
- Preheat the oven to 160 Degrees Celsius and prep a springform pan by lightly greasing it with butter and a pinch of cocoa powder.
- Melt the chocolate, butter, sugar and water in a double boiler (over barely simmering water) till it’s well combined. Let is cool properly before whisking in the egg.
- Sift together all the dry ingredients in a separate bowl and gently fold this into the chocolate mix.
- Pour into the ready cake pan and bake for about 20 mins till a cake skewer comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave it to cool.
For the Boozy Cherries
- 200g Fresh Cherries, Pitted + a few reserved for garnish
- 50g Jamun or Plums, Chopped
- 1/4 Cup Demerara Sugar
- 1 tsp Berry Jam (Cherry or Raspberry)
- 3 tbsp Brandy
- 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- Pinch of salt
- In a saucepan, soak the fruit in brandy and vanilla for a minimum of 30 mins.
- Tip in the remaining ingredients and cook over low heat till the fruit has softened. You’re looking for a slightly liquid jam consistency. Keep stirring to avoid the fruit from burning.
- Scoop out the fruit and put the remaining liquid back on the heat. Reduce till you have about 1/2 cup of juice. Remove from heat and let it cool.
- Using a toothpick, poke holes in the cake. Then spoon over the cherry liquid and add the fruit in an even layer. Place the bigger cherries on the edges of the cake.
- Make this while the cake is in the oven so you can spoon the cherry liquid once the cake is cool enough to handle. This will prevent the cake from drying out.
For the Chocolate Mousse
- 1 Cup Whipping Cream
- 300g Dark Chocolate (atleast 70%), Chopped
- Melt the chocolate using a double boiler and set aside to cool.
- Meanwhile, whip the cream to soft peaks.
- It is really important that the chocolate and cream are at a similar temperature to avoid the chocolate from seizing up. You’re the best judge of this.
- Carefully mix the melted chocolate with the whipped cream, one spoon at a time.
- Tip the mousse mix into the cake tin and gently level it out. Be careful not to disturb the cherries on the edges.
- Refrigerate overnight.
For the Chocolate Ganache
- 100gms SemiSweet/Dark Chocolate, Chopped
- 4 Tbsp Cream
- 2 Tbsp Brandy
- Remove the cake from the fridge.
- Heat the cream and brandy together on low flame. Keep stirring to avoid burning around the edges.
- Add in the chopped chocolate and let it sit for a while till the chocolate melts. Stir the ganache using a spoon to smoothen any lumps. Let it cool.
- Pour the chocolate ganache over the cake and gently even it out using a spatula. Place it back in the fridge for about 30 mins to let it set.
To assemble, gently release the cake from its tin. Top with cherries and a sprinkle of cocoa powder if you like.
Enjoyed best with a side of sass and zero F*#@s
All images by Ishita Thakur