Archive for the 'Birthday Cakes' Category

Easy homemade marcipan roses for Valentine’s Day

Friday, February 13th, 2009

It’s just one day left to Valentine’s Day and I’m sure many of you are planning a delicious dinner. You don’t need to do anything advanced to make an impressive dessert. Why not make a simple cake or cupcake and decorate it with homemade marcipan roses? They make a plain cake look stunning and it’s really easy. All you need is marcipan, food colouring, cling film and a knife (and plastic gloves if you don’t want to get messy). For instructions you need to watch this YouTube clip that I found and then you’re ready to make your own roses!

I made the roses that you see on the photos for my father’s 75th birthday in January. It was my first time making marcipan roses but definitly not the last! I made the same two cake fillings that I used for the Pacman cake: raspberry and Dumlefluff. Dumlefluff is a filling consisting of soft toffee covered in milk chocolate that has been melted in double cream, then cooled in the fridge overnight and finally whipped to a gorgeous filling (for recipe see the Pacman post). I covered the cake with white marcipan and made pink and yellow marcipan roses. It was a huge success together with the divine chocolate cake that my mother made.

Pacman cake

Tuesday, September 16th, 2008

Another year has passed and yesterday it was time to prepare a new birthday cake for dear F who’s turning 30 today. Every year he wishes a Nonstop (the Swedish variant of Smarties) cake as birthday cake, which he of course never gets. It’s a kid’s cake for crying out load! So instead I made this even more childish Pacman cake, to follow the 1up Mushroom cake I made last year :-) This year I learned a valuable lesson when using sugarpaste on a cake, don’t omit the buttercream. Without the buttercream it was impossible to get the cake smooth, but I must admit it tasted much better. The first cake filling consists of Dumle-fluff, which is done by melting Dumle (soft toffee covered in milk chocolate) together with whipping cream. Let cool during the night and then whip. It tastes heavenly! The other layer consists of whipped cream, sugar and raspberries. The best part of making the Pacman cake is the wedge you need to cut to create his mouth, you can guess where it went….

Recipe further down.

    Pacman cake

    4 eggs
    200 ml sugar
    2 tsp baking powder
    100 ml potato flour
    100 ml flour

    Heat oven (convection) to 175 degrees C. Butter and bread a round pan with removable bottom. In a bowl beat eggs and sugar with an electric beater until white and fluffy. Add sifted flour and baking powder, and combine carefully so the batter remains fluffy and airy. Pour patter in pan and bake for 30-40 minutes until golden and a tooth pick comes out clean. Let cool for 5 minutes in pan and then remove from pan and let cool completely.

    Dumle fluff (needs to be prepared the evening before):
    180 gram Dumle (soft toffee covered in milk chocolate)
    300 ml whipping/heavy cream

    Heat the cream in a pan, add toffee and stir until it’s completely melted. Don’t boil!
    Let cool in the fridge overnight or at least 8 hours. When completly cool, beat with an electric beater just as you would beat ordinary cream.

    Raspberry filling:

    200 ml whipping/heavy cream
    250 gram raspberries

    Beat cream with electric beater until fluffy. Don’t mix with the raspberries as they will be put on top after the cream has been spread on one of the cake layers.

    For assembly:
    Frangelico (hazelnut liqueur)
    Sugar paste
    yellow, pink, red and turquoise food colour
    black food pen
    melted unsalted butter or butter cream

    Reserve a small amount of sugar paste for the eyes. Take 4 pieces of the sugar paste and colour them pink, turquoise, red and orange (use yellow and red). Colour the rest of the sugar paste yellow.

    Cut the cake in 3 even layers. Sprinkle the first layer with Frangelico (hazelnut liqueur). Spread Dumle fluff evenly and cover with the second cake layer. Sprinkle Frangelico over cake and spread whipped cream evenly. Place all raspberries on the cream and sprinkle with a bit of sugar. Cover with the third and last cake layer. Sprinkle Frangelico.

    Cut a wedge in the cake and taste it while rolling out the yellow sugar paste. Before covering the cake with sugar paste, brush melted unsalted butter underneath. This is done to avoid the sugar paste from sweating when coming in contact with the whipped cream. However it will be hard to get the cake smooth without butter cream. If looks are more important than taste, make sure to cover the whole cake with butter cream before covering with sugar paste.

    Roll out the remaining coloured sugar paste and cut out ghosts with a knife. “Glue” them on the cake with a small amount of water. Make eyes with white sugar paste and paint a black dot with a food colouring pen. Don’t forget Pacman’s eye as well.

1up Mushroom Cake

Saturday, September 15th, 2007

As I’ve mentioned before, my husband is a game designer making up game ideas and games. For his birthday I wanted to make a special cake and in the end I decided to do a 1up mushroom from the Mario games. For those that don’t know what 1up means, it can be two things. In old games 1up was used when displaying player one’s score but nowadays it’s used for refering to the acquistion of an extra life in a game. In the Mario games the icon used for 1ups is a cute mushroom and gives one extra life. So a 1up mushroom cake is the perfect birthday cake!

It was my first time using sugarpaste and I found it hard to make it smooth enough after rolling it, but for a first sugarpaste cake I think that it looks OK. My husband was very happy for the cake and I think that he had a hard time when realizing that he had to cut up the cute cake. The cake was delicious but as sugarpaste is really sweet, we both skipped to eat that part of the cake.

    1up Mushroom Cake

    4 eggs
    200 ml sugar (of which half is vanilla infused)
    100 ml flour
    75 ml potato flour
    1.5 tsp baking soda

    Beat the eggs and sugar with an electric mixer until white and fluffy. Carefully fold in the flour, potato flour and baking soda. Pour into a buttered and breaded rectangular springform (mine is 23 cm* 23cm). Bake in 170 degrees C for about 20-25 minutes. Let cool. With a sharp knife cut out a mushroom and then cut the cake in two layers.

    Raspberry filling:
    250 ml whipping cream
    200 gram raspberries
    sugar – to taste
    marsàn powder – a few teaspoons (this is custardpowder for cold vanilla custard that I use to keep the filling together)

    Whip the cream. Add raspberries and combine carefully. Add sugar – amount depending on how tart the raspberries are and the custard powder. Combine carefully.

    Chocolate Buttercream:
    225 gram unsalted butter (room temperatured)
    170 gram semi sweet chocolate
    1 tsp vanilla sugar
    140 gram icing sugar
    0.5 tsp instant espresso powder

    Melt the chocolate, I do it in the microwave oven. Beat the butter with the icing and vanilla sugar with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Add the melted chocolate, it should be lukewarm, and continue to beat. Add the instant espresso powder.

    for decoration:
    about 500-600 gram sugarpaste
    green food colouring

    How to assemble the cake:
    Put the first cake layer on a serving plate. With a spatula place the raspberry filling on the cake and cover with the second cake layer.

    Place the chocolate buttecream on and all around the cake with the help of a spatula. Put more buttercream in the middle of the cake so it will be a bit higher there. Put the cake in the fridge, I left it there during the night so that the buttercream would set properly.

    Roll out a bit of sugarpaste large enough for the mushroom fot. Smooth the sugarpaste to get rid of marks. Carefully place it on the cake. First smooth the top using your hands and then the sides. With a sharp knife trim any excess sugarpaste at the bottom edge.

    For the mushroom cap mix a large amount of sugarpaste with the green food colouring. Roll it out and carefully place it on the cake. First smooth the top using your hands and then the sides. With a sharp knife trim any excess sugarpaste at the bottom edge.

    For the white dots, roll out sugarpaste, smooth with your hands and with the help of a glass cut out 3 dots. Sprinkle some water underneath and place them on the cake. For the eyes I used two chocolate beans that I attached with the help of a small amount of sugarpaste soaked in water.

    Store the cake in the fridge, covered in plastic wrap or in a large container.

Queen’s gâteau

Sunday, August 12th, 2007

Gâteau with 3 cake layers and 2 fillings; queen’s crème and vanilla custard.

During my childhood my mother always made beautiful gâteaus for all family members birthdays. The particular gâteau with berries and jelly on top is a standard in her baking repertoire and people were always amazed of the proffessional taste and look of the cake. My gâteaus are not as beautiful as my mother’s, but I’m working on it :-) I made the cake on the above photo for a friend of my Fredrik’s and mine. Fredrik surprised him on his birthday last week in the morning as they work at the same place, and he was very happy and surprised when he received the cake. Anyway, the cake is super easy to do. I promise!

In Sweden we call the combination of bilberries and raspberries queen. So a rasberry and bilberry jam is called queen’s jam (drottningsylt). As one of the fillings in this variant consist of bilberry and raspberry I’ve choosen to call the cake it Queen’s gâteau. But you can easily change the fillings as you wish.

Queen’s gâteau

1 ready made three layered sponge cake (I usually buy one that’s already baked and ment to use for gâteaus as I find it hard to cut a cake in even layers)

Custard and jam layer:
around 5 tbsp of queen’s jam (bilberry and raspberry jam)
100 ml whipping cream
thick ready made vanilla custard based on 200 ml of milk (I use Swedish snabb-mársan which you just whip with cold milk; 5 tbsp mix + 200 ml milk. Add some extra vanilla if the taste is too bland).

Queen’s crème:
200 ml whipping cream
250 gram bilberries and raspberries
around 3 tsp of caster sugar

For each cake layer:
raspberry vodka to sprinkle over each cake layer

250 gram blackberries
jelly (either use a flavoured mix or do it yourself by mixing gelatin, water and some berry cordial. Read more about it in the text below)

For decoration:
500 ml whipping cream

First cream layer:
Carefully take the first cake layer and put it on a serving plate. Sprinkle with vodka. Spread a thin layer of jam evenly over the cake. Whip the 100 ml of cream and fold in the thick vanilla custard. Spread the mixture evenly over the cake. Place the second cake layer on top, sprinkle with vodka and put the cake in the fridge.

Second cream layer:
Combine berries with caster sugar. Whip the 200 ml of whipping cream with a electric mixer until it’s hard and fluffy. Carefully combine with the berry mixture. Add more sugar if needed. I also always add 1 tsp of the same custard powder which I used for the vanilla custard, just so the crème will hold it’s shape. I know that there is also gelatin for cold mixtures which you can use. Take out the cake from the fridge and spread the berry mixture evenly. Put the last cake layer on top and sprinkle with vodka.

Whip the last 500 ml of cream until it’s fluffy and can hold it’s shape. Spread a thin layer on top the gâteau. Now place the blackberries on top of the cake, start in the middle and stop when you have 3 cm to the edge of the cake. Now decorate the whipped cream around the berries, use a piping bag with a star shaped tip. Don’t decorate anything on the the sides, that will be done after the jelly is put on top, in case it leaks. Put the cake and the rest of the whipped cream in the fridge.

Mirror and final decoration:
Now prepare the jelly. I either use a bag with flavoured gelatine, which can be bought it Polish stores. It’s called “galaretka”. Or when I don’t have it at home I make my own jelly with gelatine, water and a suitable cordial. I think, but don’t remember, that you need 2 gelatine leaves to 150 ml of liquid. But please check that. Anyway, which ever method you’re using, heat the water and mix everthing. Let it cool and when it starts to thicken (resembles of thick cordial or syrup) you carefully spoon it over the berries. Now decorate the sides with the rest of the whipping cream and then put the gâteau in the fridge until it’s time to serve it.

Blackberry cake with vanilla pannacotta

Sunday, March 18th, 2007

Happy birthday to me :-)

The bad thing being a food blogger and having birthday is that you have to make your own birthday cake. The best thing is that you can do which ever cake you want! Ever since our wedding last year I’ve been planning to make a copy of our wedding cake which was made by the bakery Steinbrenner & Nyberg in Gothenburg. The cake consists of almond bottom, vanilla pannacotta, blackberry mousse and a blackberry mirror. I have to say that this first attempt resulted in a beautiful and delicious tasting cake which really holds it own against the Steinbrenner one. But now I have to eat some more of the cake while watching the new episodes of Jamie on Swedish channel 5 :-)

    Blackberry cake with vanilla pannacotta

    Almond bottom:
    300 gram almond paste
    2 eggwhites
    1 whole egg

    (I only did a half batch, but i really recommend doing a whole batch instead with the following quantities:)
    1 tsp gelatine powder + 2 tsp water
    500 ml cream
    1 vanilla pod
    50 ml caster sugar

    Blackberry mousse:
    1.5 tsp gelatin powder + 2 tsp water
    200 ml blackberry purée (450 grams of strained defrosted blackberries will give you 350 ml purée, just enough for the mousse and the glaze)
    200 ml double cream
    3.5 tbsp powdered sugar

    Blackberry glaze:
    100 ml blackberry purée
    1 tsp gelatine powder + 2 tsp water
    0.5 tbsp powdered sugar

    White chocolate

Almond bottom: Pre-heat the oven to 175°C. Line the bottom of a spring form (20 cm wide) with baking parchment. Butter the paper. Grate the almond paste and combine with the eggs (preferably with an electric mixer or beater). Pour the mixture in the spring form. Bake the cake in the middle of the oven for about 20-25 minutes. Let the cake cool and remove the baking parchment.

Put an overhead sheet (size A4) on a cutting board. If the sheet doesn’t fit, then take a larger cutting board. Put the cake on the middle of the overhead sheet. Take two overhead sheets (size A4) and cut them lengthwise in the center so that you’ll have 2 long strips. Attach the two strips together so that you have one long strip, using adhesive/scotch tape. Now wrap the cake sides with your strip, as tightly as you can as you don’t want your filling to leak out, but make sure that your construction is straight otherwise your whole cake will be crooked. As soon as you’re happy with your transparent mold, fasten it with tape. Also fasten your mold to the bottom overhead sheet with a lot of tape.

Pannacotta: Combine gelatin with water, set aside. Cut the vanilla pod in half lenghtwise and scrape out the seeds. Combine cream, vanilla seeds and sugar in a pan. Let simmer for 3-4 minutes, don’t let it boil. Remove the mixture from the heat, add the gelatine and whisk until it’s dissolved. Let the pannacotta cool, when at room temperature you can place it in the fridge. Don’t let the pannacotta set completely, make sure to find the right moment when it’s starting to stiffen. Then pour a small amount of the pannacotta on the cake. If it starts leaking, quickly put the whole cutting board in the freezer and let it stay there until the pannacotta stiffen. Then you can take it out and safely pour the rest of the pannacotta into your mold. Put the cutting board in the fridge and let it stiffen for at least 2 hours.

Blackberry mousse: Strain the blackberries. In a cup, soak the gelatin in the water. Combine the strained blackberries with the sugar. In a separate bowl whip cream to soft peaks.
Place the cup with softened gelatin in a larger cup which you fill with hot water, enough to come halfway up side of cup. Stir the gelatin mixture frequently for 2 minutes, until the gelatin dissolve completely and the mixture is clear. Let the gelatin cool to room temperature. Add 4 tbsp of the purée mixture to the gelatine, stir. Combine the rest of the blackberry mix with the cooled gelatin (If you discover any lumps, heat the blackberry/gelatine mix carefully while strirring and then let it cool again). Finally carefully fold in the blackberries/gelatin into whipped cream.

Take out the cake from the fridge and spread the blackberry mousse evenly over the cake. Let the cake stiffen in the fridge for 2 hours.

Blackberry glaze: In a cup, soak the gelatin in the water. Combine the strained blackberries with the sugar. Place the cup with softened gelatin in a larger cup which you fill with hot water, enough to come halfway up side of cup. Stir the gelatin mixture frequently for 2 minutes, until the gelatin dissolve completely and the mixture is clear. Let the gelatin cool to room temperature. Add 4 tbsp of the purée mixture to the gelatine, stir. Combine the rest of the blackberry mix with the cooled gelatin (If you discover any lumps, heat the blackberry/gelatin mix carefully while strirring and then let it cool again). Pour the glaze over the cake and put it into the fridge for 30 minutes.

Take out the cake from the fridge. Carefully cut the tape with a knife and then carefully release the sides by pulling of the overhead strip from the cake. Transfer the cake to a serving plate. Decorate with white chocolate and blackberries.

Star Trek Cake

Wednesday, January 11th, 2006
Star Trek Cake

My dear brother Dariusz had his 40th birthday in December. I got the honor to make the birthday cake and I bet that he didn’t exepct to get a Star Trek cake instead of the usual birthday cakes that I make. My brother really likes Star Trek and other science fiction, so when I came with the cake on his birthday reception he was very surprised and happy.

The cake consists of a layer with a wonderful homemade Raspberry mousse and a layer with vanilla custard which is covering a small amount of Strawberry Jam. The cake bottom was baked in a large pan and then divided in 3 parts. The whole cake is covered with blue coloured marzipan which was rolled out, apparently not enough as I wasn’t able to cover the cake all to the bottom… The plan was to decorate the misstake with whipped cream but I wanted to do that at my brother’s to minimize possible damages during the transport, and unfortunately at my arrival I noticed that he doesn’t own any electric mixer so I had to skip the decorating. And besides, my little misstake wasn’t so visible after all. The blue food colour was bought at Panduro as the ordinary groceries only have red, yellow and green food colour. The Startrek ship Enterprise is also made of marzipan, just as the stars.

    Large Cake Bottom

    6 eggs
    6 dl caster sugar
    2 dl water, hot
    6 dl flour
    3 tsp baking powder
    some teaspoons of Grand Marnier

    Heat the oven to 175º C. Butter the pan and then dust it all lightly with fine, dry bread crumbs.
    Whip the eggs and the sugar until puffy. Add the water, a little at a time, while whipping. Combine the flour with the baking powder and mix it carefully with the batter. Bake immidiately in the oven for around 35 minutes.

    Raspberry Mousse
    3 dl strained Raspberries (about 0.5 kg Raspberries before straining)
    2 tsp gelatine (you could have about 0.5 tsp more to be sure that the mousse will become a bit more stiff)
    1.2 dl caster sugar
    3 dl double/whipping cream

    Soak the gelatin in a small amount of water. Combine the strained Raspberries with the sugar. Melt the gelatine on low heat while stirring and put aside. Whip the cream hardly, it may not be too loose. Combine the Raspberry mix with the cooled gelatin (If you discover any lumps, as I did, heat the Raspberry/gelatine mix carefully while strirring and then let it cool again). Finally combine the Raspberry/gelatine with the whipped cream. Store in the fridge for about 15 minutes or until it’s rather stiff. My mousse took long time to become stiff, so you could actually add some more gelatin, about 0.5 -1 tsp more

    How to assemble the cake

    Divide the cake bottom in 3 parts. On the first one, sprinkle some liqueur. Spread a thin layer of Strawberry jam. Cover the jam with Vanilla custard. I didn’t do my from scratch, instead I used a mix that you combine with milk. Cover the custard with a cake part. Sprinkle some liqeur over the cake again and then cover it with the Raspberry mousse. Place the last cake part on the mousse and again sprinkle some liqueur.
    Decorate as wanted and then store the cake in the fridge.

Star Trek Cake

Sugar High Friday #12 – Rice Crispies Meringue Cake with Lemon Custard

Friday, September 16th, 2005

This month’s Sugar High Friday is hosted by Elise of Simply Recipes the theme is custard. Read about all the other participants entries on the round-up page.

As I wrote in an earlier post today, it’s my beloved Fredrik’s birthday today and of course he needs a birthday cake!! This year I wanted to try a new recipe and over at the Swedish food blog Cissis Gott och Blandat I very recently saw a post about a Rice Crispies cake that sounded wonderful.

The cake tasted great, even though it was just a tiny bit too sweet. But meringue is sweet as you all know :-) The custard was lovely; smooth and with just the right tangyness.

Here’s the recipe, translated:

    Rice Crispies Meringue Cake with Lemon Custard

    4 egg whites
    200 ml sugar
    300 ml Kellog’s Rice Crispies

    Lemon Custard:
    4 egg yolks
    100 ml sugar
    1 tbsp flour
    100 ml cream
    75 gr butter
    juice from 1 lemon

    300 ml cream
    Fruit or chocolate

    Beat the egg whites until they form stiff firm peaks, add the sugar and continue to beat for a while. Add the Rice Crispies. Spread out everything on a buttered oven paper that’s been placed on a baking pan. Bake in the oven for about 80 minutes, 125 degrees Celcius. Let the cake cool a bit in the pan before you turn it up and remove the paper.

    Mix all the ingredients for the custard, beside of the butter, in a sauce pan. Heat gently and whisk constantly until the the custard thickens, don’t allow it to boil. Remove the sauce pan from the heat and add the butter. Let the custard cool.

    Cut the cake in half, put the lemon custard on one half and cover with the other one. Whip the cream and spread it out on the cake. Decorate with Strawberries or what ever you like.