Established in America as "National Black Forest Cake Day," as that's what this indulgent dessert is called in America. Whether "Cake" or "Gâteau", this is one of those days with both reason to celebrate and something to celebrate with.
The ultimate foodie's dictionary, Larousse Gastronomique says "this rich gâteau" (gâteau rather than cake) "consists of dark chocolate sponge layered with sweetened whipped cream and sour black Schmidt cherries. The cherries are lightly cooked and macerated in kirsch, and this liqueur is used to moisten the cake before it is layered."
Kirsch eau-de-vie, AKA kirschwasser, is traditionally distilled in Germany's southwest Black Forest region and the cake's origins are indeed German with confectioner Josef Keller (1887–1981) said to have invented Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte, the German name for a Black Forest Gâteau, in 1915 at Café Agner in Bad Godesberg, some 400 km (250 miles) north of the Black Forest.
So it's a day to scoff on Black Forest Gâteau accompanied by a cherry and chocolate flavoured cocktail, or you could combine dessert and cocktail in one with a Black Forest Gâteau Cocktail.
As Henri Fabre's hydravion ((French for seaplane/floatplane) lifted from the waters of a lagoon outside Marseilles on 28 March 1910, and flew almost 600 metres (over 650 yards) through the blue French sky, he knew he was making history.
His craft, Le Canard, a wood and canvas monoplane mounted on three floats, was the world's first functional seaplane. Fabre would go on to design floats for other seaplane pioneers, yet after World War I he returned to his first love - industrial engineering - with occasional dalliances with inventions. Henri lived to 101 years old, an age impressive in anyone, let alone an aviator from those pioneering days.
Toast him today with an Elder Aviator, an elderflower twist on the classic Aviation.
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