It starts with the perfect, moist chocolate cake, laced with honey and rum, and filled with surprising but delightful coffee-flavoured Bavarian cream. The whole thing is piped with chocolate chantilly cream, surrounded with Viennese hazelnut and cocoa cream piroulines, and topped with chocolate curls and shavings. And that, my friends, is a good charlotte. A great charlotte, even.
Now if you can add to this good charlotte some good company, or at least hungry tummies, then you have a wonderful mix. There is nothing better than an appreciative audience for your delectable creations. I only wish I had more time to devote to baking new masterpieces, especially since I seem to have moved on to treats that I can actually indulge in myself (unlike my trademark cheesecakes).
Being married to a great big walking hungry tummy, I have had plenty of practice for my new hobby, and hopefully my future career. One day, when I've had enough of whatever it is that I settle on doing, we can stake our whole life savings on my crackpot idea of opening up a dessert bar so I can spend all my days surrounded by chocolate and booze (what else could a girl want?). By then, I shall have tried out hundreds of samples on families and friends, and I will easily be able to pare down the choices to a very select menu of only the best, most mouth-watering desserts. By then, dear Jason, you will be able to buy me that stand mixer ($400!) and write it off, so it won't hurt you so much. I can spend the whole day in a kitchen making everything perfect and pretty. And if need be, I already have a list of people willing to accept positions at Sweet J's Dessert Bar as official taste-testers.
All of this, of course, is so far into the future that it's just a nice thing to think about when I lay awake at night, wondering what the future will look like. Will my hair turn grey, or will I still be dying it purple when I'm 60? Will I ever shop at Northern Reflections, and think that I look good in a sweater with ducks? Will I live in a big house that needs dusting, or will I have spent all my money on shoes that pinch too much to wear, and live in a little houseboat down South? Will I ever learn to play the banjo, or stop after 8 tattoos, or start a collection of brooches, or take up lawn-bowling? I guess the thing about being 23 is that all of these questions are unanswered, and should be. I don't even know what tomorrow will bring, although I think I have a pretty good idea. And I must say, that as long as I have a nice cake (or a good charlotte) to soften the blows, I can be brave about what lies ahead. Life is sweet.