Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Vanilla Cake with Cream and Marzipan- Happy Birthday hubby!

The month of december is my favourite time of the year. There is something special in the air, love, togetherness, not to forget delicious food and all the goodies. All this made even more amazing by beautiful white snow. We do not celebrate Christmas but I don't fail on the celebrations front here... December sees my birthday, my hubby's birthday and our wedding anniversary all in one month.


It was my hubby's birthday a few days ago and he requested that I bake this cake for him. When I heard of it, I couldn't help but smile - he wanted a very sweet (too sweet for my taste bud) cake all by himself :-)


My hubby was overwhelmed and loved it. I was happy with a small bite though (this was exactly the opposite of the kind of cake for me) but I made the birthday boy happy and thats what matters :-)

Ingredients

1 1/2 cup - all purpose flour
2/3 cup - sugar
2/3 cup - sunflower oil
1/2 cup - vanilla yogurt
1 cup - milk
1 1/2 tsp - vanilla essence
1 tsp - baking powder
a pinch of salt
a generous pinch of soda bicarbonate

soaking syrup

1/4 cup - water
1/8 tsp - vanilla extract powder
1 tsp - castor sugar
Mix everything together. 

For the whipped cream

150 ml - cream, minimum 30 % fat
3 tbsp heaped - castor sugar
1/4 tsp - vanilla extract powder
Beat everything together till thick

For the topping

50 grams - marzipan
1 tbsp - castor sugar 
a few drops of milk
Mix everything together and knead until you get a smooth dough, roll out into a 15 cm diameter circle. You can roll it out within sheets of clingfilm or wax paper to make the rolling easier.

For the rose

25 gram - marzipan
1 tsp - sugar
a few drops of milk
a pinch of edible red colour
Mix together all these ingredients and follow this video here

edible glitter to sprinkle over the cake

Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C and line two 15 cms round baking pans with aluminium foil and grease generously with oil. 
  2. In a bowl,mix together the flour, salt, sugar,baking powder and soda bicarbonate.
  3. In another bowl, mix well the oil, vanilla yogurt, vanilla essence and milk.
  4. Make a well in the centre of the flour mix and tip in the liquid ingredients and mix lightly.
  5. Divide the mixture into the two lined and greased pans, tap the pans against the counter and place both the pans in the centre of the preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. 
  6. Let the cakes cool in the pans for a couple of minutes before inverting them on the wire rack to cool completely 
  7. Once the cakes have cooled down completely, place one cake on the cake board and brush the top and the sides of the cake with the syrup. Place the whipped cream in the centre and spread out evenly over the cake. Place the 2nd cake on the top of the cream, brush the top and the sides with the syrup and carefully spread the cream on the sides of both the cakes. 
  8. Place the marzipan circle on the top of the cake. 
  9. Brush the bottom of the marzipan roses with the syrup and place on the cake and sprinkle some eddible glitter all over the cake. 
Notes:

1. If you do not have 2 same sized baking pans then halve the ingredients for the cake and make the batter twice. Do not make it all together.
2. You may need a very little of the soaking syrup. Discard the rest of the syrup. Do not brush the cake excessively with the syrup otherwise the cake will turn soggy.


I am going to India for a month. Wishing all my lovely readers a very happy new year :-)

Enjoy!

Monday, December 17, 2012

I scream ice cream... Matcha Chocolate Ice cream

A bowl of soup, a cup of hot cocoa or coffee is the demand of the season now. After our evening meal today, as usual and expected, my hubby "what's for dessert today?" After a couple of minutes, I served him the ice cream.


The first reaction, "Ice cream, now, in this season..." Then an array of comments started pouring in, "Oh!!! You tried out the green tea powder that we got from our Singapore-Thailand trip". He tried the matcha one first, " How did you make this one?" Mmm... " It is very much like the one we had on our trip." Then he tried the chocolate one, " Did you by any chance ask the vendor for the ice cream recipes?" And, after finishing off his 2 scoops, he looked at me and said, " I hope, you didn't make just a trial batch. Do we have more?" I smiled at him and said, " Ice cream, now, in this season... " I took out the ice cream box out of the fridge and we both enjoyed it, in front of the fireplace, talking about all the fun and adventure of our trip this summer.


We had matcha ice cream in Singapore and I decided then and there that I was gonna try this out. Well, it turned out pretty good and I am very happy and satisfied. 


I am thinking of experimenting a lot with this green tea powder, will update here if I get something good.


Ingredients

500 grams - yogurt
150 ml - cream 30% fat
175 ml - sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp - matcha powder/ green tea powder
1 tbsp - dark cocoa powder

Method
  1. Take a tray, put 2 layers of dish towels on the tray and put a wet muslin cloth on the top of the towels. 
  2. Spread the yogurt on the wet muslin cloth and leave it for appx 15 mins. 
  3. Remove the yogurt with the help of a spoon and a good nice thick hung yogurt is ready.
  4. Put the cream and condensed milk in a pan over a medium heat and let it heat up. As soon as tiny bubbles start to appear, remove the pan from the heat and let the mixture cool completely. 
  5. Add the hung yogurt to the cool cream-condensed milk mixture and mix well. Divide the mixture into 2 equal portions.
  6. Add the matcha powder in one portion and the cocoa powder in to the other. Transfer to seperate plastic containers, cover and freeze till half set.
  7. Place the half set ice cream, one after the other, in the food processor and process. Transfer back to the plastic containers and freeze again till half set. Repeat one more time.
  8. After the third time let both the ice creams set completely. 
  9. Remove from the freezer 10 minutes before serving and enjoy. 

Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Snow and Snowflake Cookies!

It's been snowing and how!! Munich looks so beautiful covered by a blanket of snow. It's picture perfect.


Also, perfect weather to go out to the beautiful, colourful Christmas markets. Almost every neighborhood has its own Christmas market, some are small, some are big, but what is really common is the festive atmosphere. 



One can smell Christmas in the air. The local sweets, Christstollen (German fruit n nut cake), Lebkuchen (German ginger bread), Baumkuchen etc and not to forget the Ghühwein ( Mulled Wine) combined with berries, apples... A cup of Glühwein in the Christmas market to beat this very chilly weather is a treat.


This recipe is taken from a German Christmas baking book. It's called Schneeflöckchen literal translation in English is Snowflakes. I think this is the best time to bake these cookies. I can see the beautiful and soft snow flakes from my kitchen window and also in my kitchen Oven :-)



Ingredients

250 grams - unsalted butter at room temperature
100 grams - castor sugar
2 - vanilla beans, split and seeds scraped
120 grams - all purpose flour / weizenmehl 405
250 grams -
cornstarch / speisestärke
100 grams - castor sugar to sprinkle over the cookies


Method
  1. Beat the 100 grams of castor sugar, soft butter and vanilla seeds together into a fluffy paste.
  2. Add the cornstarch and the flour to the butter mixture and knead into a smooth dough. Divide the dough into 3 parts and form rolls with a 3cms diameter. Keep the rolls in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 175 degrees C and line a baking tray with a baking paper. 
  4. Take out the rolls from the refrigerator, cut each roll into 20 pieces, roll each piece into a ball and flatten it slightly and give a fork impression on the center of each cookie and place them on the lined baking tray, spaced well apart.
  5. Place the tray in the centre of the preheated oven and bake approx for 12-15 minutes. 
  6. Transfer the cookies on a wire rack to cool completely and then sprinkle the castor sugar over the cookies.
Makes - 60 cookies


Enjoy!

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