Wednesday, 30 July 2014

A walk back in history {or how I started baking}

Let's talk cake.
I sometimes try to remember when my baking addiction started. Admittedly, I haven't come up with something yet. But I like to think that it was all the way back, when I made my first cake out in our garden.

Back than, my brothers and I love to pretend we were living outside in out own cave (we had built one inside our neighbours trees....cough). Anyway, as a truly outside living person I had to make dinner for us, right? So while I was happily baking/cooking/mud-ing away I was suddenly facing the question: Why not steal inside and get real ingredients outside?! (I had to mull it over a bit, because I wasn't quiet sure if cave man have had flour back than, but than again, you were allowed to use what you had, right? And after all, some hunting and sneaking had to be done in order to get my game (aka: flour, sugar and salt)).

I had a rough idea about how to bake, at least I had seen my mother several times, throwing stuff into a bowl. So out there, in our cave, I recreated what I thought was a cake. The fact that it also had dirt, common daisies and grass in it, just made it even more appealing.
To shorten this whole story, I could convince my mum to actually bake my concoction and after I had applied a generous amount of chocolate to the top the whole family ate it together (they never found out about the grass, daisy and dirt part).

Several years later I still love to make messes bake, though I might have given up on the grass and dirt ;)
So, when I heard that my mum was having a slightly larger birthday crowd, I easily talked her into letting me tend to the cake part. How much I love her ;)

After a short facebook discussion, I came up with those two beauties:

The first one is a Chocolate Mousse Cake by diethood (though no worries, there is nothing diet-y about this cake!). And the second is the Amateur Gourmet's Strawberry Shortcake.

Since I had a pretty big crowd and never had attempted those recipes before, I mainly sticked to the instructions. However, here is what I changed:

Chocolate Mousse Cake

  • my cake pan was 'normal' sized which made the cake bigger but flatter. I was a bit concerned first but really liked it at the end, because this cake is really rich and the slices that we were able to cut that way had just the right size.
  • I skipped the hazelnut flavour which was just fine
  • Also, the cream for the center turned out just fine, when I attempted the outer vanilla cream, things just wouldn't work out. (If you look closely you can still see that under my nicely shaped...uhm....decoration is a layer of pretty flat not-creamy-at-all-cream underneath. What I sprayed on top then was a mixture of icing sugar, cream cheese, white chocolate and (here comes the genius!) wheat bran (weizenkleie oder gemahlene Flohsamen!). This will just turn anything into a spray-able form, is super healthy and close to not visible!!!
Strawberry Short Cake
  • I kind of overread that this recipe is so awesome because it actually makes two cakes (yeeeah I know). So we ended up with one pretty big cake. No harm was done ;)
  • I skipped the corn starch, which worked out, but if I would have had any, I would have used it!
  • The filling: I don't know what it is, but cream seems to avoid me. It just never works out. So, my filling and topping ended up slighty different. It was a mixture of 1 cup heavy whipping cream, icing sugar (again. haha) and a tiny bit of melted white chocolate. Worked wonders!!!
  • I drizzled some melted milk chocolate over the top at the end. This, however, is totally up to you ;)

I finally managed to label my cups accurately! (Before the baking process)
First cake base done, one to go
The beauty of cocoa and flour dust
And that's it. In total: AMAZING cakes (everyone agreed on that and they were gone at the end of the night) and totally manageable!! ;)

Happy and excited soon-to-be-eating-cake-friends. We had to hold them back so we could cut the cake properly...
....which my mum did a beautiful job on. And look at all this moist, soft, creamy, chocolaty cake goodness!!!
And this is me still piling cake on my plate in the middle of the night....after I probably already had more than my fair share of it :D
But you can never have too much cake, right?! So, happy cake baking to you all! :)

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