This month's challenge was super-tasty and a wonderfully seasonal challenge. While Jana suggested using strawberries and blueberries to complement a vanilla chiffon and pastry creme, I just couldn't see buying two types of fruit at the store when my garden was overflowing with other varieties.
My cherry tree has gone berserk, and we have a few lingering strawberries still on the plants. The blueberries are dead. Completely dead. Blueberries, then, were a no-go.
Trouble is, cherries and vanilla are a fine combination, but not my definition of gotta have it. Chocolate and cherries? Well, that might be good....especially when combined with the disk of almond paste she directed us to put on top. Wait a minute! I've reinvented the black forest cake. Inspiration was a long time coming, but this was an inspiration worth the wait. Chocolate chiffon, kirsch-enriched simple syrup, and the last of the cherries from the tree.
And, as a nod to Jana, here's the last of the strawberries for 2011...