The Cake

Grandson Nathaniel usually makes a cake when he visits. Last summer he made an Eclipse Cake for us the day we saw the total eclipse of the sun. He baked a Black Forest Cake at Christmas over a year ago, knowing it was one of John’s favorites.. I suspect he was guided in the same direction, because Grandpa told him he’d bought several jars of cherries. 24 hours after his arrival, he baked the three layers of chocolate cake. The following day he soaked the cake with cherry liqueur, and the third day he assembled the dessert.

The photos show the progress, starting with layers and whipped cream filling. He took breaks between each step, letting the cake chill. We were the lucky ones, getting to lick the bowls as he finished with them.

When the cake was finished, Nathaniel added a pink candle, announcing the cake was for us in honor of Valentine’s Day. It was absolutely delicious. Just so you know, we are eating it slowly, but it cannot be mailed.

34 thoughts on “The Cake

    1. Well, you aren’t the only one who suggested mailing things!!!! Wouldn’t it be marvelous if we could share cake with all those we love? I dream of a system of pneumatic tubes. I’d put a small package in the tube on my porch, and the magnetic label would send it straight to your house.

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  1. This was a cute story – Nathaniel is a talented young man. Since I just started following you, I saw you gifted him with a culinary tool – does he want to become a chef or a pastry chef? I can remember years ago, before we had e-mail in our offices and you communicated by phone or fax, our law firm had three offices … main one in Detroit and one in Ann Arbor and one in Birmingham. The latter two cities are not close – maybe an hour’s drive away. Every time we had birthday celebrations, the girls in the other offices would request a piece of cake be faxed to them. 🙂


      1. That’s what I thought as I remembered from the picture … years ago a friend of our family was a pastry chef in a big hotel downtown. He was of German or Swiss origin – I can’t recall now but most likely German – but he used to make these exquisite tortes and beautiful pastries and I thought of Rolland when I saw the picture of the torte you showed that Nathaniel made the other day. Anyway, he and his wife bought a German restaurant in a nearby city and they made it look like a chalet and inside had German decor and played German music – it was like Little Bavaria to go in there. They had very good food and he made all the the sweets … he had a nice trade at Christmastime with the stollens … two sizes and wrapped in a Christmas-theme cellophane wrapping with curling ribbons and a tag (To/From) … had them in two sizes and probably made a small fortune on them as they were expensive but they were loaded with fruit … more than you get at the grocery store or some bakeries.


      2. We have a friend from Germany who sends us Lebkuchen every year, and the package includes a Christmas stollen. We also like the stollen at Aldi. Have you ever tried theirs? They are made in Germany. That’s marvelous that you had connections with a pastry chef.

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      3. I’ve never tried Aldi’s Christmas stollen – I gave up sweets for Lent in 2011 and stopped eating sweets after that. I have a friend who gives me Christmas cookies as she bakes batches and gives them away as Christmas nears, and I have eggnog here for the holidays, but other than that, swore off sweets. My mom was a good cook and baker and she did not have a sweet tooth and I ate most of the goodies. I was just thinking that if Nathaniel wanted to ask Rolland (Roland?) Richter about being a pastry chef, I know where he lives and I could ask him if he would be willing to e-mail with Nathaniel. Rolland Richter lived next door to good friends of our family and they both passed away and new people (whom I don’t know) live in their house now. The reason we know Rolland Richter is because he spoke/wrote German. My father was German and left my mom after 30 years’ marriage, taking all the money out of the bank/annuity funds and we found some letters in the basement and asked Rolland to translate them for us to trace her whereabouts – we think he returned to Germany. Rolland read the letters, declared my father was “not right in the head” … we frequented the restaurant as it was delicious food and those stollens as well, and as a favor to him for his translation for us. I wanted to see if there was a website for Richter’s Chalet, and, if so, maybe a write-up about Rolland. He was very nice. I understood his son or daughter, think it was his son, took over when the parents got older. I don’t recall ever speaking to his wife, except she might have been a hostess there. But, when I Googled, I discovered that they closed in 2015 – that is shocking to me. They were not a big restaurant, so there was a long line on weekends. My mom and I went on weekdays when I had a day off or got there when they opened – it was a treat for us a few times a year. I’m really shocked – I thought Roland might provide some insight to Nathaniel – I am wondering since the article mentioned his wife, if Rolland passed away. He would probably be in his late 80s/early 90s by now. I searched for an obituary notice and could find none, but I will dig a little deeper and, in nice weather, I could walk by there. Just amazed. It’s funny, you know people, and you grow older, but never think of those older than you getting older … hopefully that doesn’t sound too strange. Feel free to delete the portion of this comment about my father if you want from your blog – here is the story … still amazed. Good thing I was not setting my sights on a Christmas stollen, and I will have to try Aldi’s because to me that is not like a cookie or pie or cake type of sweet, but more of a breakfast bread.


      4. Yes it does. I would have been fine with asking if he would interact with Nathaniel – I have not spoken with Roland Richter since he helped out with the letters review in 1984 and when we visited the restaurant, he may have waved “hi” or passed the time of day with us, but pretty much stayed in the back of the restaurant.

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      5. I saw this review of the Rolland Richter –
        I believe he worked at the St. Regis Hotel in his hey day … this was written a few months before it closed down. I want to be a detective and find out why it closed, but someone in the comments seemed to suggest that the heavy authentic German food did not appeal to some people as so many people are into healthier diets now, which makes sense.

        Plymouth, Michigan
        Reviewed April 23, 2015
        Five stars for the desserts!

        I am writing this review for the desserts… You can order a cake a few days ahead of time for pick-up, which is what we do every year for my mother’s birthday. Ever since she found the hazelnut raspberry torte a couple of decades ago, that has become our tradition. I don’t believe I’ve ever had a more delicious cake in my entire life, and I’m not exaggerating one bit.

        If I’m not mistaken, the man who owns or operates the restaurant is a German pastry chef– and it definitely shows. If you need a dessert that will have everyone raving for years to come, Richter’s has got it.”


      6. This place was cozy … they were medium-priced I’d say but my mom and I would only go a handful of times per year. My father was German and he used to make potato pancakes in the Summer. They smell the house up due to the frying grease and onions, and the kitchen has no hood or outside vent, so he decided to get an electric frying pan or griddle, think it was a frying pan, and would make them outside in the Summer months. After he left, we were at Richter’s and saw them on the menu, so that was our treat when we went, so that was not too bad price-wise. When we splurged we got wiener schnitzel. I was reading the reviews after I found out they closed and the reviews the last few years were not as good as the one I sent you regarding the desserts. I wonder if the service and food presentation went down after the son took over? It was a fixture in the City of Dearborn for many years and I was shocked to see they closed.


  2. You need to put trigger warnings on these cake posts. Honestly, I’m ready to run out to the convenience store and buy all the Hostess cupcakes after seeing these cakes. The cupcakes taste like dross, but for a cake junkie they’d do. 😎


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