...because you thought Sweden was Switzerland!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Meanwhile... cakes!

During the time I was blogging about the Philippines trip, Marcus turned 30 and we had a party in the apartment. Happy birthday, Marcus! The "decade" birthdays are a big deal in Sweden, but I (we) hadn't planned for anything big, having come back from 2 weeks in the Philippines and returning with colds. We planned a small get-together in our apartment anyway, and celebrated with homemade cakes.

The cake bottoms were not from scratch, but we made "everything else", i.e. the filling and decoration. We browsed recipes and let ourselves be inspired, but we didn't follow any any recipe in particular.

This is our adaptation of Black forest cake, without the expensive hazelnuts. It has two layers of (store-bought) plain meringue bottoms slathered with Nutella and sprinkled with slivered almonds, and a filling of whipped cream, stabilized with an egg white and vanilla sugar. The icing is made of the same ingredients as the cream filling but topped with cherry preserves, almond slivers, chocolate panels and shaved chocolate. The chocolate details were made by melting baking chocolate and then either letting it cool flat or shaving it into ... well, shavings.

This cake was definitely the better one between the two we made. After a night sitting in the refrigerator (to let the flavors blend in!), the meringue acquired a melt-in-the-mouth texture but maintained the meringue taste and crunch. "Real" Black forest recipes with meringue bottoms require nut meringue, but I think the plain one works just as well. If leftovers are any indication about the "saleability" of this cake, we could have made a profit if we charged our guests :-)

The second cake was a Nutella chocolate cake, which we whipped up because we (rightly) didn't expect the Black forest to last for eight people. It's a three-layer cake using store-bought yellowcake cake bottoms. For the cream layers, I used a recipe from The Big Nutella Cookbook (In German, which I got as a gift from Liz and Rob years ago). It's just cream whipped with powdered sugar or san-apart (a German baking product for stabilizing cream) mixed with half a bottle of Nutella. The result tastes like mocha cream with a Nutella aftertaste, and it has a nice firm-foamy consistency that supports the cake layers well enough.

We ran out of cream to top this cake, so I used the remaining baking chocolate and butter we had in the fridge to make a "glaze", that I read about belonging to another cake recipe. Actually, the glaze was too hard over the soft cake, so the glaze layer cracked in pieces when we tried to get a slice (It was really more like a chocolate shell around the cake). Afterwards, I browsed through some alternative recipes for what could have been a better frosting. One idea is to mix a dash of cream (which we didn't have) into the melted chocolate and butter, to make some kind of runny glaze. So, although this cake wasn't as much as a bestseller as the Black forest variant, I must say it's a pretty good breakfast with a mug of strong coffee mixed with an equal part of hot milk. Beats porridge any day!

The bonus for making our own cakes, aside from getting to eat the leftovers, is that making two of your own complicated-looking but easily-assembled cakes costs just a little more than one plain Princess cake ordered from a bakeshop (Flour, cream and butter are all still pretty cheap around here and both wheat and milk and produced locally).


Cake ingredients for two cakes: 240 kronor.
When your friends say that your cakes look almost professional: Priceless.


Anonymous Lara said...

belated happy birthday marcus!

8:04 PM

Anonymous Toni B. said...

Wow... it does look professional...

If u want to get more inspired,me and my friends recommend Yummy Cebu... for Philippine and non-Philippine meals... But if ur planning to visit the Philippines again, me and my friends looked for another site - we found Vacation Cebu, another Cebu site... try it!!!

3:11 AM

Blogger Ahoy! said...

Hey Toni B! Thanks! I haven't been to Cebu, but if I do there next time this site will come in handy. I think one day I also want to make a Pampanga food trip -- it's nearer Manila!

7:33 PM


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