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Grandma's Ruffle(d) Cake

Ruffle Cake for Grandma's 80th BirthdayMy Grandma had her 80th Birthday on July 23rd and one of her Birthday wishes was to celebrate it the following weekend with all her family. Of course her children and their family obliged.

So I found myself last Saturday surrounded by A LOT of family at a nice Heurigen where we had a wonderful afternoon meet up with yummy food and nice drinks and family chitter chatter.

My Aunties Ursula and Stefanie plus my eldest Uncle Charly made some nice sweets. My Mum and I added ours to the sweets galore too.

First  I thought I'd just make a big bowl of Tiramisu because Grandma loves it but on a second thought a fragile (and in need to be kept really cool) sweet was not the best choice for a real hot summer day - tho I doubt the Tiramisu would have lasted very long anyway... knowing my family ;o)

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Ruffle Cake for Grandma's 80th Birthday

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Mrs Q. and I love decorating cakes as we have proofed with the Birthday Cakes for Mr. T and the Little One in the past and so we decided to do another nice decorated cake for Grandma.

Ruffle(d) Cake

Ruffle Cake for Grandma's 80th Birthday Ruffle Cake for Grandma's 80th Birthday
yields one very big cake!!

for the cake 

400 g white chocolate
400 g soft butter
400 g sugar (I used brown sugar)
12  large eggs 1
40 g ground pecans
700 g cake flour
10 g baking powder food coloring to your liking

for the filling: 

1 glass blackberry jam a good sip of your favorite Whiskey

400 ml cold milk
1 pkg vanilla custard powder
100 ml cream
1 vanilla pod
80 g sugar
250 g soft butter
100 g caster sugar
1 egg yolk

for the decoration: 

800 g white roll fondant (we used massa tichino)
food coloring powder to your liking

  1. Bake the Cake: Ruffle Cake for Grandma's 80th Birthday
    1. You'll bake 6 thin cakes so you'll need at least 2 baking tins (22cm diameter) to be able to bake them as quick as needed. Line your baking tins with baling sheets (for easier removal of then baked and still hot cake as you will not have time to let the cakes cool down before removing them from the tins...) and preheat your oven to 180C (convection).
    2. Melt the chocolate and let it cool down a little bit.
    3. Beat butter with chocolate and sugar in a big (I mean REAL BIG) bowl (I used the mixing bowl of my Kitchen aid Artisan and it barely held all the dough) until very creamy. Add eggs one by one and be careful that the added egg is well incorporated before you throw in the next one. Be patient this will take a while...
    4. When all eggs are nicely incorporated and you have a nice fluffy dough you can add the dry ingredients: start with the pecans followed by the flour mixed with baking powder (I used the lowest speed on my Kitchen Aid to mix in the nuts and the flour.)
    5. Divide the dough into 6 equal parts (ca. 450g each) into several bowls. Color each dough with the powdered food coloring of your choice.
    6. Fill your baking tins with the first two batches of dough and bake for about 25 min. Remove from oven and baking tin.
    7. Prepare second batch of doughs and bake again, repeat a third time until all the dough parts are baked. Let cool down completely. (Best is to store them in the fridge overnight to make it easier to assemble the cake the next morning.)

  2. Prepare the Buttercreme:
    1. Mix 50ml cold milk with the vanilla custard powder.
    2. In a skillet heat the remaining milk, cream, the halfed vanilla pod and sugar on your stove.
    3. When you see little bubbles on the surface reduce heat and add the milk-vanilla powder mixture plus the egg yolk. Cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from stove.
    4. Put in a bowl and cover with plastic foil. Let cool to at least room temperature.
    5. In your mixing bowl (again I used my Kitchen Aid to do this core) cream the soft butter and caster sugar for at least 5 minutes until the mixture is thick and creamy and pale white.
    6. Now add the custard one tablespoon at a time until all of it is mixed in.
    7. Let cool in the fridge for about 5 minutes.

  3. Assembling the cake:
    1. Take your first cake and place it on a surface you will be able to put it in the fridge with.
    2. Heat the blackberry jam and the sip of Whiskey in the microwave for about 30 seconds.
    3. Top the surface of the fist cake with the jam. Let dry for about 5 minutes. (You can do that with all your cakes in advance before assembling the whole cake with buttercreme)
    4. Drop about 2 tablespoons of buttercreme on top of the first cake. Smear evenly.
    5. Top with second cake and repeat 3. and 4. until you have a real big stack of cakes and buttercreme.
    6. With the remaining buttercreme crumb coat your cake evenly. Make sure that you don not have to much buttercreme on your cake because this will make it more difficult for your decorating it with fondant later on.
    7. Put your cake in the fridge and let cool for at least 3 hours to make sure the buttercreme is cooled enough to ensure your cake is a proper base for the fondant decorations you'll do.

  4. Decorating the cake:
    1. Divide your fondant into 16 parts a 50g.
    2. To cover the top of the cake you'll need 4 parts. Color it to your liking with powdered food coloring.
    3. Knead in the food coloring into the remaining fondant parts to your liking.
    4. Roll out the fondant for the top of the cake to a fitting circle. Top cake with it. Make sure it slightly covers the side of your cake about 0,5 - 1 cm too.
    5. Now roll out the first ribbon for the side: roll out the fondant to a string about 66x2 cm with the back of a spoon frazzle one side of your ribbon so it looks like a ruffle. Roll it up for easier assembling.
    6. Now carefully press the ruffle into the buttercreme, making sure that there is no space between the top cover and the first ruffle.
    7. Repeat with the remaining fondant until all of the cake is covered with fondant.
    8. Put finalizing touches to the cake and the fondant ruffles like rearranging the ruffles where needed.
    9. If your kitchen is very hot due to summery temperatures you may need to cool the cake and the fondant several times before you'll have finished the cake decorating.
  5. Viola! Store your cake in a cool place until further use! (Most people advise that you should not store fondant covered cakes in the fridge due to high moisture in the fridge - I found out with using massa tichino I did not have any problems storing the cake in my fridge but that's just my experience!! )

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Ruffle Cake for Grandma's 80th Birthday

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Astrid 05.08.2012, 17.40 | (1/0) Kommentare (RSS) | TB | PL

Valentine's Day

When January waves his Goodbyes and February approaches our doorsteps one of my least favorite time of the year begins. With every day that passes, our world seems to get more pink and artificially "love-scented". When you see all these heart shaped consume goods around you, when blogs begin to overflow with Valentine's menus and sweet chocolaty treats I start to crank deep inside me.

Valentine's Day

Good Grief, people! Do you really need a DAY marked in your calenders to tell you you should be nice to your Loved Ones? What about the remaining 365 day of this year?

Love and Happiness are the only things that grow bigger when shared!! 

So why limit it to a few "special" days of a year? 

Go hug your Loved Ones whenever you have a chance to (it might be the last you have, by the way!)! Spread your love. Fill your life and those of others with happiness, every day!

No, I am not trying to revive this mindblown state of mind of the late 1968 Love, Peace and Happiness thingy.

Honestly: I'd rather call my Mom and tell her "Hey, I've just been thinking of you and wanted to tell you:  I love you!" - any other day in the year than do that on V-Day or Mother's Day or any other of these "Days". Actually I did this yesterday morning and we had a real nice chat.

I'd rather have my Sweetheart bring home my most favorite "choc drink", we could not find when we were grocery shopping together, without me even knowing he was out getting them, than bringing me some flowers for V-Day. Because it makes me smile that he thinks of me when he is out and about without me. I'd rather send him a text saying "I miss you" when we've just parted because that's the way I feel and I know it will make him smile on his way home.

Me and my family - we have long ago stopped to save up presents for Birthdays and other occasions. We'd rather go and buy something we know that the person in question is longing for and tag it with "you know this is for your Birthday (or Christmas,...)" winking and knowing that this makes him/her happy right at that moment.

When I was home for Christmas this year, me and my brother visited my Grandma for an afternoon coffee and chat. We learned that she accidentally threw away an essential part of her coffee machine. Even after an extended search it was nowhere to be found. The coffee machine was too old to buy a replacement for that piece and she has been talking that she wanted a new one for a long time anyway. So when she sent us to get a new coffee machine and even gave us her purse to buy it, we decided to just give it to her as an early Birthday present (her Birthday is in August). A  few weeks later she called me that she'd just made her afternoon coffee and now whenever she does that she is thinking of my and my brother. This made my day brighter and I am sure hers too.

Thinking of that, the best present to her not even was that she got a new coffee machine but that we took the time to come visit her AND that we went out to get her a new one when she needed it!

Time - yes, I truly think that in our hectic and commercialized world the best gifts are things money can't buy: time, hugs, smiles and the feeling that you are loved by your family and friends.

I think one of the best Birthday presents ever was when Mrs Q. took me out to a lovely little bakery telling me "I just knew you would love it here" - and the only thing we did was sitting there and enjoying breakfast together giggling and chatting away. Now it has become some sort of tradition between the two of us to spent a day at this bakery together once a year (our Birthdays are only 2 weeks apart form each other).

So although today is Valentine's Day - this will not have much effect on how this day goes by in my world. 

I prefer to hug and make my Loved Ones smile whenever I have a chance to. Today I hope Sweetheart will smile about this sweet little treat I made to enjoy with our "after work, welcome home" coffee in the evening. But *pssst* don't you tell him!

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Valentine's Day

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Heavenly Chocolate Tarte

Valentine's Day

recipe source: adapted from Angelika Apfelthaler at the Dining Room

100 grams of your favorite dark chocolate (I still wonder if I could do this with Sweethearts favorite white chocolate but had non on hand today)
125 grams butter at room temp
110 grams caster sugar (I used my vanilla scented caster sugar)
3 big eggs
1 TBS corn starch
I also sneaked in 2 TBS of my best Irish Whiskey! 

And then everything goes so easy and quick but ends up in such heavenly deliciousness!

  1. Melt the butter and chocolate in a bain marie over low heat. Then add the caster sugar and stir until dissolved.
  2. Remove pan from oven.
  3. Now add one egg at a time beating it in carefully with a wooden spoon, slowly and gradually. The mixture will become thicker and gain a pudding like texture, it will even get a little shiny on the surface.
  4. Right at the end add 1 TBS corn starch.
  5. Butter your cake tin (18 cm) or smaller baking tins if you prefer.
  6. Fill it with cake batter and bake in not preheated oven at 180C until surface crackles.
  7. You will want to aim for the moment where the center of the cake is no longer runny but barely baked.
  8. After baking loosen cake from the sides of your baking tin. Let cool for a few minutes and remove from baking tin.
  9. Sprinkle with powdered sugar right before serving.
I've made these today in under one hour!

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Valentine's Day 

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The best thing about this little cake is that, though you'll only have a few bites until it's gone, it so different with every bite you make. The outside parts are more crunchy, almost like a nice cookie. But when you move further near the inner part it gets fudgy, moist and velvety almost like a melting chocolate cloud in your mouth. I love it!

You should not miss the chance to taste it yourself!

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Astrid 13.02.2012, 23.52 | (4/0) Kommentare (RSS) | TB | PL

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