Archive for the 'Cakes' Category

Plum cake with crumbles

Sunday, September 6th, 2009

Finally plum season! Unfortunately my two plum bushes that I planted last autumn didn’t even flower this year but luckily for me there’s plenty of plums in the store. And yes, it’s bushes that I have and not trees. I don’t know what flew into me when buying them since it’s practically like serving a buffet to our local roe deers. It’s the perfect eating height for them and they found the bushes already the day after planting and ate half of the leaves so now the bushes are behind net. Let’s hope that they will flower and give some fruit next year instead. But back to this lovely plum cake that tastes like autumn thanks to the plums and spices. There’s something extravagant with a cake with additional crunchy crumbles on top. It also reminds me of my childhood as my mother often made cakes based on yeast with crumbles on top.

    Plum cake with crumbles

    100 gram butter, room temperatured
    200 ml caster sugar (of which half is vanilla infused)
    2 eggs
    100 ml milk
    180 gram flour
    1 tsp baking powder
    1.5 tsp ground cardamon
    1 tsp ground cinnamon
    8-10 plums, cut into wedges

    50 gram demerara sugar
    100 gram flour
    50 gram butter

    Place the sugar, butter and flour in a bowl. With the tips of your fingers rub the ingredients together until you have a crumbly mixture.

    In a bowl beat butter and sugar with an electric beater until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time while beating. Add milk. Combine the flour, cardamon and baking powder in a separate bowl and then fold into the egg/butter/sugar/milk bowl. Divide the batter into a buttered spring form (mine was 20 cm but larger is fine, then the cake will be thinner and therefore will be baked quicker). Stick the plum wedges into the cake. Divide the crumble on top and bake in 175 degrees C (convection oven) for 30-40 minutes, until a tooth pick comes out clean.

More plum recipes:
Plum tray bake with cheesecake ripple
Knedle ze śliwkami (dumplings with plums)
Plum Pie with caramelized almond cream
Ilva’s plum muffins
Pille’s clafoutis

Plum tray bake with cheesecake ripple

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008

I picked up this great recipe at Waitrose in September but I didn’t come around to actually bake it until the other day. This a real “Dagmar recipe” with two favourites: cheesecake and plums. I love the combination of moist sponge cake, creamy parts of cheesecake ripple and lovely juicy plums. You could easily subsitute the plums with another fruit depending on the season. Or add a spice, why not cinnamon or cardamom?

    Plum tray bake with cheesecake ripple
    (adapted from a Waitrose recipe, makes 10 squares)

    200 gram cream cheese
    1 vanilla bean, the interior
    3 tbsp caster sugar
    4 medium eggs
    175 gram butter, softened
    175 gram dark muscovado sugar
    200 gram flour
    1 tsp baking powder
    400 ripe plums, halved, stoned and roughly chopped

Icing sugar to dust the cake

Pre-heat the oven to 175 degrees C.

Grease and line a 28×18 cm shallow baking tin with baking parchment. Make sure that the paper comes higher than the rim of the tin.

Beat cream cheese, vanilla, caster sugar and one of the eggs with an electric beater, until smooth.

In another bowl, beat remaining eggs, butter, muscovado sugar, flour and baking powder with an electric beater for 2 minutes until creamy.

Spread half of the creamed flour mixture onto the base of the baking tin. Dollop half of the cream cheese mixture over it. Scatter with half of the chopped plums. Spoon the remaining creamed flour mixture on top and dot with the rest of the cream cheese mixture. Scatter the remaining plums on the cake. Bake for around 35 minutes until the cake has risen and is just firm to touch. Make sure not to over-bake. Dust the cake with icing sugar and serve it warm or cold with vanilla ice cream.

Daring Bakers: Filbert Gateau with Praline Buttercream

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

It’s time for another Daring Bakers challenge! The idea of the Daring Bakers is that every month one baking recipe is presented that all members have to follow exactly without any modifications except where specifically allowed. During the month we share our experiences and learn to be better bakers. The recipe, our photos and experiences are then officially posted on a specified day.

This month’s challenge was to bake a Filbert Gateau with Praline Buttercream from Carol Walter’s “Great Cakes” and the recipe was picked by Chris of Mele Cotte.

It’s super hot outside and I’m melting so I will keep this post as short as possible. As usual I did the challenge in the very last minute. I baked the cake last night and today during the day I completed the different steps. I decided to do half the recipe, using a smaller spring pan. I used cherry preserves instead of apricot and I omitted the sugar syrup and used Frangelico hazelnut liquour instead. For decoration I used fresh cherries.

I averted two minor catastrophies:

1. My swiss buttercream curdled. But I quickly re-heated it for a couple of seconds, whipped it and it turned out very smooth and nice.

2. After putting the praline buttercream very even on each cake layer and then with the cake in my hand looking for a space in the fridge I discovered the whipped cream that I was suppose to have on each layer of butter cream…. So I gently split the layers and added the cream on my earlier perfect layers. It didn’t turn out too great, but better than I first thought.

The verdict? A gorgeous cake and I’m sure I will make it again in the future. There were many discussions on the private Daring Bakers forum about this very cake, but with over 1000 members it’s a tough choice for the monthly host to pick a recipe that will suit everyone. I’m very glad that Chris picked this recipe, as I would not have tried it otherwise despite the fact that I love hazelnuts all because the fact that I normally don’t like butter cream. But this one was delicious! Thanks!

The recipe can be found here and to see all fabulous versions of this cake go to the Daring Bakers blog roll.

Chocolate cake with yellow beets

Sunday, January 27th, 2008

This week I received yellow beets in my organic vegetable box. I was thrilled and thought about making a yellow beet soup, until I found a recipe for chocolate cake with yellow beets. And as I felt I needed to follow my Garfield quote in the blog header I promptly decided to make the cake instead. And as a matter of fact I still have 500 grams of yellow beets left, which I can use for something else (soup, beets with chèvre, yellow beet cookies?).

I decided to decrease the sugar amount in the original recipe from 400 gram to 300 gram and I also omitted to pre-boil the beets before grating them as I didn’t want all vitamines to evaporate by first boiling and then baking them. To make the cake look prettier I put some walnuts on top of the chocolate glaze. My husband was confused when I served the cake, beets and chocolate? It is in fact a very good combination as the beets are sweet and make the cake moist, but the cake has a distinct beet flavour and if you don’t like carrot cakes you won’t like this one as the amount of vegetables is high. But if you like those kinds of cakes you’ll definitly like this one.

If you don’t have yellow beets you can substitute them with red ones. The differences (that I know about) are that the yellow ones are sweeter and that they don’t bleed when you slice them. And who doesn’t like the beautiful sunny yellow colour now during winter? The colour is so pretty that it makes you smile when grating the beets.

Grated yellow beets.

    Chocolate cake with yellow beets
    (adapted from Ica-Kuriren)

    3 eggs
    300 g caster sugar
    125 ml canola oil
    1 tsp vanilla sugar
    300 ml flour
    1 tsp baking powder
    1 pinch of salt
    150 g dark chocolate
    400 g yellow beets

    Butter and bread crumbs for the pan

    100 ml cream
    100 g dark chocolate

    Walnuts for decoration

    Butter and bread the pan (~1.5 litre). Peel and grate the beets. Melt the chocolate in the microwave.

    Beat the eggs and sugar with an electric beater until fluffy and white. Fold in oil, vanilla sugar, flour, baking powder and salt. Add melted chocolate and grated yellow beets.

    Pour the batter into the pan. Bake in 175 degrees C for 40-60 minutes until a tooth pick comes out clean. On the otherhand you want the cake moist so don’t keep it in the oven too long.

    Un-mold the cake and let it cool.

    Bring the cream to boil, then add the chocolate. Stir until combined. Spread glaze over the top of the cake and let it stiffen in the fridge.

Pineapple cake or How does Moomin taste?

Sunday, November 18th, 2007

Two weeks ago I was in Finland for the first time ever, and even though I was only there for a short business trip I still managed to locate the official Moomin shop in Helsinki for some shopping. One of the things I bought was this Moomin cake mold, and if you like the Moomin cookie cutters and this mold you should make sure to come back here in mid December :-) Before using the mold for the first time I thought a lot about what Moomin would taste like. I know that it sounds bizarre, you shouldn’t eat sweet and kind Moomin, but still… I think that he has a white hard cover, with a chocolate interior. Or maybe coconut flavour. Or maybe as simple as cardamom. I finally decided that my first soft Moomin cake would be pinapple flavoured and it came out very moist and juicy. Not too sweet and perfect to tea or milk. And of course you can make this cake in another mold, just use a small one that fits 400 ml.

When speaking about Helsinki, I want to at least mention the newly opened restaurant Grotesk where we went after a tip from F’s colleague at work. Grotesk was founded by the top chefs Tommi and Teemu of Demo (a Michelin star restaurant) with the goal to serve top food to mid prices. I can just say that the food was fantastic and I enjoyed it a lot even though our waiter was a bit rude, still very polite though. If you’re passing by Helsinki, don’t miss Grotesk.

On this photo you can see the juicy pineapple pieces.

    Moist and juicy small pineapple cake
    (makes one small cake, use a 400 ml mold)

    3 tbsp vanilla infused caster sugar
    1 egg
    150 ml plain flour
    50 gram butter, melted
    0.5 tsp baking soda
    100 ml (about 90-100 gram) well drained crushed pineapple from can

    icing sugar to powder on the cake before serving.

    Beat the egg and sugar with an electric beater until white and fluffy. Fold in the melted butter. Fold in the flour and baking soda. Finally add the pineapple and combine. Pour the thick batter in a buttered mold. Bake in the oven in 170 degrees C for about 20-23 minutes, until a tooth pick comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the mold for 10 minutes. Take it out and powder with icing sugar.

Tiger cake

Monday, November 5th, 2007

Tiger cake, disguised as a teddy bear

Tiger cake, or Tigerkaka as we call it in Swedish, is a simple marble cake. The name comes from the marbled pattern, resembling of a tiger’s fur pattern. The cake is simple to bake and is very good, especially when newly baked. Although I have to admit that I find it a little bit boring, I’m just not into sponge cakes. But I love my husband and he loves tiger cake so of course I bake it for him, this time ready to attack disguised as a teddy bear. But actually we attacked first, by brutally cutting his head off :-O

The teddy bear without it’s head…

    Tiger cake

    200 gram butter
    200 ml (180 gram) caster sugar (vanilla infused)
    3 eggs
    400 ml (240 gram) flour
    1 tsp baking powder
    100 ml milk
    zest and juice from 0.5 orange
    2 tbsp cocoa powder

    Preheat oven to 175 degrees C.
    Grease and bread a mold, with a volume of around 1.5 litres. Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until white and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time. Fold in flour and baking powder. Add milk and combine.

    Set aside one third of the batter in a separate bowl. Add cocoa and combine. To the first bowl (the one with the remaining 2 thirds), add orange zest and juice. Combine.

    Spoon half of the orange batter into the mold. Cover with the cocoa batter and finally cover with the remaing orange batter. To create marbling, run a fork through the batters in a swirling motion.

    Bake the tiger cake for around 40-50 minutes, until a tooth pick or potato stick comes out clean.

    Let the tiger cake cool in the mold for at least 10 minutes until you turn it out. Serve it when still luke warm.

Daring Bakers: Strawberry Mirror Cake

Monday, July 30th, 2007

I’m proud to announce that I from this month am a member of the amazing Daring Bakers. Thank you all very much for letting me join. The Daring bakers consist of proud women and men that love to bake and are not afraid of baking challenges. The idea of the Daring Bakers is that every month one baking recipe is presented that all members have to follow exactly. During the month we share our experiences and learn to be better bakers. The recipe, our photos and experiences are then officially posted on a specified day, this time on the 30th of June.

The challenge for the month of July was a Strawberry mirror cake and was picked by Peabody. When I first read the recipe I thought that it sounded rather easy as I’ve baked quite many cakes with mirrors. But I would soon realise that it wasn’t that easy, especially when I noticed that the bavarian cream was custard based… I’ve lost track of how many times during the baking of the cake I said to my husband: “You better not like this cake because I’ll never ever bake it again. It’s just not worth the effort!”. Apart from the mild strawberry taste, the Strawberry bavarian cream was creamy and light; very yummy. The best part of the cake was the mirror, as I wrote earlier I’ve done a lot of cakes with mirrors but thanks to the homemade strawberry juice this one was outstanding. I will definitly use this mirror recipe for other cakes.

Thanks Peabody for choosing this month’s recipe for the Daring Bakers! I had great fun even though I was very frustated when the clock passed midnight with no hope of getting a whole edible cake for the fika I was planning the day after. But I made it and can’t wait to get the info for next month’s challenge!

Lessons learned:
1. Don’t start baking an advanced recipe too late in the evening or you’ll get very tired. Especially if you’ll encouter any problems.
2. Make sure to make the conversions from cups to milliliters and grams correctly.
3. Learn to make custard. Obviously using room temperatured products and stiring constantly on a low heat isn’t enough. I’ve failed several times, including other recipes and I never seem to learn.
4. READ the recipe carefully. Once, twice, three times and even up to ten times.
5. Make sure to have all ingredients at home. Especially if you start baking in the evening. Or just make sure to have a husband that will go shopping for you in the middle of the night (assumable that you have a grocery or 7-eleven store that’s open).

Number of times I had to make the Strawberry Bavarian Cream:
3, yes THREE.
First attempt: I used the wrong amount of sugar (please refer to point 2 under “lessons learned”) but still decided to go on and then the custard curdled.
Second attempt: I ran out of milk (please refer to point 5 under “lessons learned”) so I had to ask my husband to go shopping milk (and eggs just in case I would’t make it on the second attempt either). And of course my custard curdled again, even though all ingredients were at a room temperature.
Third attempt: At this point I was really glad that I’ve had asked my husband to buy extra eggs. With the new eggs I also realised that the earlier egg yolks were really small compared to the new ones. I googled and read everything about making custard and asked my husband to do so as well. I think that I made it correctly, but I can’t be sure. I didn’t really understand how thick the cream should be, but I guess that it’s was OK as the cake turned out really well. But as I was very stressed and tired (it was past midnight) I forgot to strain the strawberry puree which I didn’t realise until the cake was eaten and gone… Oh well.

What I didn’t like about the recipe:
1. Very time consuming, but most of it was my fault due to the problems with the Strawberry bavarian cream.
2. Food colouring. Why use it when this cake is naturally beautiful?
3. Baking the cake in a jelly roll pan and then cutting out circles. To my husbands delight there were a lot of left overs, but I would have prefered to bake the cake in two spring forms.

What I forgot:
1. To strain the strawberries for the puree.

What I didn’t have at home:
1. Cardboard.
2. Food colouring (and I refused to buy it as the strawberries were so pretty and naturally coloured. Sorry daring bakers!)
3. Kirsch (I substituted with transparent raspberry vodka)
4. Aluminium foil for the bottom.

Eggs used for this recipe (including the extra ten eggs due to me failing with the bavarian cream):

To see all Strawberry Mirror Cakes made by the other Daring Bakers, just go to the Daring Bakers Blog Roll site.

    Strawberry Mirror Cake
    (A Daring Bakers challenge. Adapted from Cakes and Pastries At The Academy by the California Culinary Academy 1993)

    3 eggs
    3 egg yolks
    ¾ cup sugar
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    3 egg whites
    1/8 tsp cream of tartar (I bought my jar at “The English Shop” in Söderhallarna)
    2 TBSP sugar
    2/3 cup sifted cake flour (not to be found anywhere so I used 60 gram normal flour and 5 gram maizena/cornstarch)
    ½ cup water
    1/3 cups sugar
    2 TBSP kirsch or strawberry liqueur

    Strawberry Bavarian Cream:
    2 ½ TBSP unflavored gelatin
    1 ½ cups strained strawberry puree(1 ½ baskets)
    5 egg yolks
    2/3 cup sugar
    1 ½ cups milk
    1 TBSP lemon juice
    several drops of red food coloring
    1 ¾ cups whipping cream

    Strawberry Mirror:
    1 tsp lemon juice
    1 TBSP kirsch
    1 TBSP water
    1 TBSP unflavored gelatin
    Few drops of red food coloring

    Strawberry Juice:
    1 ½ pints of strawberries(18 oz)
    ¾ cup sugar
    ¾ cup water

    1.Preheat oven to 450F. Butter and flour the sides of an 11-by-17 inch jelly roll pan(rimmed baking sheet). Line bottom of pan with a sheet of parchment paper cut to fit bottom pan exactly.
    2.Beat eggs, egg yolks and ¾ cup sugar together in a medium bowl until thick and light. Beat in the vanilla.
    3.In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until foamy, ad cream of tartar and beat until whites begin to form peaks. Add the 2 TBSP sugar and beat until the whites hold stiff, glossy peaks(do not over beat).
    4.Sift flour over the egg yolk mixture and fold in . Stir in one fourth of the whites. Then carefully fold in the remaining whites.
    5.Spread batter evenly in pan. Bake until light brown and springy to touch(7 to 10 minutes). Cool in pan 5 minutes. Run a knife along edge to loosen. Invert cake tin to cut out 8 ¼ inch circles of cake. Wrap the cake layers, separated with waxed paper, and set aside. Cake may be frozen at this point.
    6.To make soaking syrup: Combine water and the 1/3 cup sugar in saucepan; bring to a boil to dissolve sugar. Cool to room temperature; flavor with liqueur. Set aside or refrigerate in glass jar until ready to use.
    7.To assemble cake: Brush sides of 10-inch springform pan lightly with flavorless salad oil or almond oil. Cut out a cardboard circle that is exactly the same size as the bottom inside of the pan; cover cardboard with aluminum foil and fit into bottom of pan. Center one layer of the cake bottom of pan. Brush the cake with some of the soaking syrup to just moisten(not drench) the cake; set aside.
    8.Prepare Strawberry Bavarian Cream. Immediately pour about half of the Bavarian Cream over the first layer of cake in the pan. Set the next layer of cake on top of the cream. Pour remaining Bavarian Cream over cake and smooth top of the cream with spatula. Refrigerate until the cream sets(1 to 2 hours).
    9.Prepare the Strawberry Mirror.
    10.To serve: Wrap a hot towel around the outside of springform pan for a few minutes. Run a small sharp knife tip around the edge of the Strawberry Mirror to separate it form the sides of pan. Mirror will tear when sides are unlatched if it is stuck at ANY point. Slowly unlatch the pan and slide it off the cake. Slice cake in wedges and serve in upright slices.

    Prep Work:

    Strawberry Bavarian Cream
    1.Sprinkle the gelatin over the strawberry puree in a small bowl and set aside until spongy.
    2.Combine egg yolks and sugar in a bowl’ beat until light. Bring milk to a boil in sauce pan. Pour hot milk into yolk mixture ans stir with a wooden spoon(it doesn’t say so but I would temper the egg mixture first to be safe). Return this mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until your finger leaves a clear trail in sauce when drawn across the back of the spoon.(Do not boil or mixture will curdle.) Immediately remove from heat and stir in softened gelatin mixture. Pour into a stainless steel bowl places over a bowl of ice water. Stir in lemon juice and a few drops of red food coloring. Cool over ice water, stirring occasionally, until mixture thickens to the consistency of softly whipped cream.
    3.While gelatin mixture is cooling, whip the whipping cream until it holds soft peaks. When the gelatin mixture resembles softly whipped cream, fold the whipped cream into the gelatin mixture.

    Strawberry Mirror
    1.Prepare strawberry juice (see further down).
    2.Place lemon juice, kirsch, and water in a small bowl. Sprinkle gelatin over this mixture; set aside until spongy and soft.
    3.Measure 1 ½ cups Strawberry juice into a small saucepan and bring to a simmer; pour over gelatin mixture and stir to dissolve gelatin. Tint to desired color with red food coloring. Place bowl over bowl of ice water and stir occasionally until the mixture is syrupy and just beings to thicken(do not let jell); remove from ice water.
    4.When mixture is syrupy, pour a 1/16-inch layer over the top of cake. Refrigerate until set.

    Strawberry Juice
    Wash and hull strawberries; coarsely chop. Place strawberries in saucepan; crush to start juices flowing. Place over low heat; add sugar and water; simmer slowly 10 minutes. Pour juice and pulp through damp jelly bag or cheesecloth-lined colander and drain into a bowl for 15 minutes(Do not press down on fruit).

Kärleksmums or Snoddas or Mocha Squares

Saturday, December 16th, 2006

I can promise you that no matter which Swedish café you’ll enter, they will most probably have kärleksmums. It’s a typical Swedish cake, which translates to the cute name love yummies. In the book Sju sorters kakor (Swedish cakes and cookies, which you can win here) they are called Snoddas and some people even call them Mocha Squares, but I’ve always called them love yummies becuase that’s what they are :-) They are not as rich and dense as the rather similar chocolate gingerbread from Nigella; but they are much lighter and have a rather mild chocolate taste. I really like the frosting and my mother often use the frosting from this recipe on other cakes and cookies.

    Kärleksmums / Snoddas / Mocha Squares
    (makes 30-35 pieces. Recipe from “Sju sorters kakor” aka “Swedish cakes and cookies)

    150 gram butter
    2 eggs
    300 ml caster sugar
    2 tsp vanilla sugar
    1 tbsp cocoa, sifted
    450 ml flour
    2 tsp baking soda
    150 ml milk

    75 gram butter
    2 tsp cold coffee
    1 tbsp cocoa, sifted
    2 tsp vanilla sugar
    350 ml icing sugar

    shredded coconut

    Heat the oven to 175 degrees C.

    Melt the butter and let it cool. Whip the eggs and sugar until white and fluffy. Add the dry ingredients varied with the milk and the butter. Pour the batter into a buttered and breaded rectangular pan, about 30 X 40 cm.

    Bake the cake in the lower part of the oven for about 15 minutes but not too long as you don’t want a dry cake.

    Let the cake cool. In the meantime melt the butter for the frosting. Add the remaining ingredients. Spread the frosting over the cake and sprinkle a lot of shredded coconot. Cut the cake in squares.