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Monthly Archives: November 2013

30th birthday cake

30th birthday cake

 

Fondant rose

 

I got to design this tiramisu-flavoured birthday cake myself. The only wish was for it to be classically beautiful.

 

The flower was first supposed to be a peony, but somewhere along the line it turned into a rose. But never mind, roses are beautiful too.

 

Congratulations Kaisu!

 

 

Christmassy apple quark cake

Apple quark cake

Apple quark cake

This close to Christmas even quark cakes get different flavour combinations. Here’s a ginger bread, apple and cinnamon flavoured version:

 

CHRISTMASSY APPLE QUARK CAKE:
Base (ø20cm):
 125 g ginger bread (crumbs)
 55 g margarine
Filling:
 5 gelatin leaves
 1,8 dl whipping cream
 180 g vanilla quark
 260 g apple puré
 1,8 tsp vanilla sugar
 0,5 tsp ground cinnamon
 0,3 dl caster sugar
 1,5 tbsp apple juice
Top layer:
 0,7 dl water
 165 g apple puré
 0,8 dl jam sugar

 

Crush the ginger bread into small crumbs and mix with melted margarine. Press the crumbs to the bottom of a loose base cake tin and place in refrigerator for a while.

 

Soak the gelatin leaves in cold water for 5-10 minutes. Mix together vanilla quark, apple puré, cinnamon and sugars. Whip the cream in a separate bowl.

Drain the gelatin leaves of excess water and mix with boiling hot apple juice until they dissolve. Mix the gelatin into the apple-quark and stir until smooth. Fold in the whipped cream and spread the filling on top of the ginger bread base. Place in the fridge and leave to set for a few hours, preferably until the next day.

 

For the top layer, measure water and apple puré into a pan and bring to boil. Add jam sugar, stir well and remove from the heat. Let the topping cool down slightly while mixing it every now and then. When the topping is slightly cooled down, spread it over the quark cake. Leave to set in the fridge for a while before serving.

 

Chocolate cake

Chocolate cake

There doesn’t always need to be a reason to party. Sometimes the reason for baking can be as simple as a promise to your cake loving nephew (and niece).

Chocolate cake

Last week my 4-year-old nephew called me while I was baking a cake. The phone call went something like this:

Boy: “Will you come to ours for a sleepover tonight?”
Me: “I can’t come tonight, as it’s work and daycare day tomorrow”
Boy: “Well, then you can’t ever come for a sleepover”
Me: “Do you not give me a choice?”
Boy: “No”
…(silence)…
Boy: “Well can you come for a visit then?”
Me: “I don’t think I have time as I’m just about to put a cake in the oven”
Boy: “CAKE?!”
Me: “Unfortunately it’s not for you”
Boy: “Oh”
…(silence)…
Me: “How about I’ll make you a cake next week?”
Boy (and girl in the background): “YEAH!!”

 

So I needed to make a cake. As I promised. At least I got a chance to try out a new recipe as well.

The decorations didn’t quite go as planned this time, as I was a bit too impatient about taking pictures and didn’t allow the chocolate border to fully set before removing the backing paper. This is why the top of the border curled down slightly, but luckily this was just a practice cake for my own family.

For the chocolate cake I compared and combined a few different (American) chocolate cake recipes, and this is what I came up with:

 

 CHOCOLATE CAKE:
cake base (ø18cm):
 2,4 dl granulated sugar
 2 dl plain flour
 1 tsp baking powder
 0,75 tsp bicarbonate of soda
 0,5 dl dark cocoa powder
 1 tsp vanilla sugar
 0,5 tsp salt
 1 egg
 1,2 dl milk
 0,6 dl vegetable oil
 0,5 tsp instant coffee granules
 1,2 dl boiling hot water
Filling/Frosting:
 200 g milk chocolate
 150 g margarine (at room temperature)
 1 dl powdered sugar
 3 tbsp dark cocoa powder
 3 tbsp boiling hot water
 200 g mascarpone or cream cheese

 

Mix together all the dry ingredients. Add egg, milk and vegetable oil and whisk until well combined. Dissolve the instant coffee in boiling water and stir in the batter. (The batter was very runny, and even tried to escape the loose base cake tin, but luckily didn’t have time to before it set)

Pour the batter into a bread crumbed cake tin, and bake in 175°C for about 30-40 minutes, until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool.

 

For the filling, melt the chocolate and leave to cool to room temperature. Beat the margarine and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Add cocoa to boiling water, stir until smooth and let cool. Combine the cooled-down melted chocolate with the margarine and powdered sugar. Finally combine mascarpone (or cream cheese) with the cocoa mix, and add to the filling. Mix until smooth.

Slice the cake into two or three layers and spread some filling between them. Frost the cake with the leftover filling and decorate for example with chocolate shavings of fresh berries. Set in a fridge for a few hours before serving.

 

Burlesque cake

I made this cake as a birthday present for my close friend’s 30th birthday party. The cake wasn’t a surprise, as we planned it together.

My friend is a burlesque enthusiast, so that became the theme for the cake.

All of the decorations were made (surprise, surprise) out of fondant. For the mask, I bought a plastic full face mask from a masquerade costume store, and let the fondant dry in its perfect shape on top of it. The mask’s decorative pattern was made with royal icing, which I painted with silver luster dust. The tassels were decorated with edible silver pearls and painted royal icing. The peacock feather got its colour from an airbrush.

 

 

Congratulations Henna!

 

 

Pirate treasure cake

Alexey got this pirate treasure cake filled with fresh (Belgian) strawberries as his birthday cake, and inside the fondant treasure chest was a map to his birthday present. :)

 

Congratulations Alexey!

Ami Tapani’s Christening cake

My trip “back to everyday life” started with yet another Christening cake. This cake took its design from Leevi Petteri’s naming cake I had made even before Juhlakuu, only this time a teddy was added in between the trainers.

I had a little blunder with this cake, as last night while at decorating stage of the cake, I noticed that this raspberry cake was in fact supposed to be strawberry flavour. For some reason I had written raspberry in the ingredients list of my order book.

Luckily raspberry flavour was fine with the customer, and I didn’t have to start making a new cake in the evening. Otherwise it would have been a long night…

 

Congratulations Ami Tapani!

Juhlakuu in Kerava

As some of you may already have seen on Juhlakuu’s Facebook page, yesterday I went to the Laurea Kerava International Week to tell the story behind Juhlakuu.

I’m a former Laurea student myself, and when a teacher and a good friend of mine asked if I could give a presentation about Juhlakuu, I was in (almost) immediately. I was very nervous about the presentation for a long time, as I personally don’t think I’ve ever been very good at giving speeches.

Therefore I decided to save the situation by offering cupcakes to the audience, as baking I can do!

Auditorium was big and scary

I had about two months to make the presentation, but it still wasn’t finished until last weekend. At some point I decided not to do a traditional PowerPoint presentation with bullets and graphs, and instead show pictures of my cakes while I was telling my story. And of course last weekend’s cake needed to be in the presentation as well!

I wrote the frame of my speech well in advance (on Sunday evening), but in the end I ended up speaking about whatever crossed my mind at the time. It seemed to have worked, as I later on heard that (despite my nervousness) I had been “calm” and “natural”.

The cupcakes disappeared quickly after my presentation, and the audience seemed to be interested in my topic and (unlike normally) asked a lot of questions after my speech.

The cupcakes (in Juhlakuu’s colours of course) were made with the same recipe as the blueberry and white chocolate cupcakes I had made earlier for the opening party.

A few model pieces of fondant decorations got to travel with me to the presentation and despite the rainy weather they also survived the trip back home

Christening cake for a girl

 

This cute Christening cake had two different flavours inside: dark chocolate mousse and strawberry-white chocolate.

Hopefully it tastes as good as it looks!