>TWD: Rum-Drenched Vanilla Cakes


This weeks recipe for Tuesdays with Dorie was super easy and very tasty: two thumbs up!! The Rum-Drenched Vanilla Cakes were picked by Wendy of Pink Stripes.

I took the cake to work and forgot to take pictures when I set them up, so by the time I finally remembered that I still had to photograph the cake there was only half a slice left!!

The only problem I had with this cake: there wasn’t enough of it!!! I should have never halved the recipe!!
The recipe can found over at Pink Stripes. Go visit the LYL to see what my fellow TWD-ers thought of the Rum-Drenched Vanilla Cakes.
Posted in Cake, TWD. 19 Comments »

>TWD: Dressy Chocolate Loaf Cake


This week Dorie taught us how to dress up a simple chocolate loaf cake to turn it into something quite fancy. And we owe it all to Amy of Amy Ruth Bakes as she picked the Dressy Chocolate Loaf Cake for this weeks recipe for Tuesdays with Dorie.

This cake was so easy to make. I started by baking the cake and then because I was in a rush I tried to take it out of the tin too early: big mistake!! I accidentally dropped half of it on the floor and unfortunately had to throw it out…

After I finally got over this tragic loss, I continued on to make the cherry syrup by combining the cherry marmalade with some water and cooking it. The cake was then cut into three pieces and each piece got smothered with the cherry syrup before it was topped with another layer of cake.

To frost the cake Dorie had us make a gorgeous chocolate sour cream frosting and I added my own touch by drizzling some miniature chocolate chips on top that I had leftover from last years trip to Canada.

The cake travelled with me to a BBQ with lots of hungry secretaries where it ended up being served up as dessert. They all enjoyed their piece. The cake was quite moist, partly due to the cherry syrup, and very dense: a small piece went a long way! I loved this cake, it reminded me of a Schwarzwalder Kirschtorte I ate years ago in Germany. I will definitely be making this again, in fact I’m thinking of serving it at my birthday party!

Go here to check out the problems and questions that were discussed over at Tuesdays with Dorie. The recipe can be found over at Amy Ruth Bakes and be sure to check out the LYL to see if my fellow TWD-ers loved this cake as much as I did!
P.S. Don’t forget to enter one or both of my giveaways:
– to win a surprise foodie package go here to Guess this Food, deadline is Friday 25th, midnight CET.
– to win a $70 CSN gift card go here, deadline is Saturday 26th, midnight CET.

>Rhubarb Upside-Down Buttermilk Cakelets


I’ve done it again…. I’ve joined another group: Have the Cake. Every month one of the members picks a recipe for a cake, cookie, cracker, pie, bar, biscuit or brownie. Everyone can make it as is or put their own spin on it. You have the whole month to complete it and when you are done, you post your baking experience on your blog and on Have the Cake’s blog! Each participant gets to pick a recipe for an assigned month and it should be something they’ve never made before. This month it was Gerri’s turn to pick a recipe, she choose Buttermilk Cake for our May Challenge.
  • Last Saturday I went to the market and bought 2 kilos of rhubarb, with the intention to use part of it for this challenge. I happened upon this wonderful Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake and decided to adapt it by subbing the milk with buttermilk, however I forgot to buy buttermilk. So I used the advice Gerrie gave us and made my own buttermilk by adding one tablespoon of lemon juice to one cup of milk and let it sit for 10 minutes until it clabbers. I used my non-stick 6 hole-baking pan for buns, fairy cakes, muffins & yorkshire puddings. Doesn’t that cake look nice and fluffy?
  • Rhubarb Upside-Down Cakelets
  • makes 12 3-inch cakelets
  • recipe adapted from Taste of Home

  • Ingredients
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2-1/4 cups diced fresh or frozen rhubarb
  • 4-1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • Batter:
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • Whipped cream, optional

  • Directions
  • Butter the baking pan and line the bottom of each individual hole with parchment, butter the parchment. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and butter. Spread into the baking pan. Layer with rhubarb; sprinkle with sugar. Set aside.

  • In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolks and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition.
  • In a small bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar on medium speed until stiff peaks form. Gradually fold into creamed mixture, about 1/2 cup at a time. Gently spoon over rhubarb (pan will be full, about 1/4 in. from the top of pan).

  • Bake at 325┬░ for 25 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Cool for 10 minutes before inverting onto a serving plate. Serve warm with whipped cream if desired.

Posted in Cake, Fruit. 4 Comments »

>Svenska Tosca Kaka


While researching the background of this weeks Tuesdays with Dorie I came across this recipe for a Svenska Tosca Kaka that seemed very similar to the Swedish Visiting Cake: first eggs and sugar were mixed, next dry ingredients are folded in and then the melted and cooled butter is folded in. The cake gets topped with almonds before going into the oven.

But this cake looked so different that I was intrigued by it, so I decided to bake it today. Again: easy to make, but way more dishes are dirtied than with Dorie’s Swedish Visiting Cake. This cake has 1 1/5 teaspoons of baking powder in it, so it rises quite a bit.
Unlike the specimens I encountered during my Google-search my cake decided to dome quite a bit. Taste wise the cakes are completely different: the topping of the Svenska Tosca Kaka is both crunchy and chewy while the base is more like a spongecake, it was a tad dry to my taste so next time I would bake the cake 5 minutes less after topping it, so only 10 minutes instead of 15.
The Svenska Tosca Kaka reminded me of German Bienenstich sans filling.
Another note: make sure that the cake tin is high enough. When I topped my cake and popped it back into the oven, the top of the mixture was exactly level with the tin. The topping will bubble during the 10 minutes in the oven and thus overflow and dirty your oven by burning cause a disgusting burn smell that made me fear my cake was ruined when in fact it was perfectly safe!
P.S. Today I have reason to celebrate: finally one of my pictures got accepted by Tastespotting!!
See it here!! Yay! Btw: Happy Secretary Day!!
Svenska Tosca Kaka
adapted from nami-nami, serves 8 – 10

Sponge Cake
3 large eggs
200 gram sugar
400 gram all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
100 ml milk
125 gram butter, melted and cooled

Tosca Topping
75 gram butter
100 gram almond slices
150 gram sugar
4 tbsp whipping cream/double cream
1 tbsp all-purpose flour

Sponge Cake:

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Butter and line a 25cm springform tin.
Whisk eggs and sugar together until thick, pale and creamy. Mix dry ingredients, then fold gently with milk and melted butter into the egg mixture.
Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for 20 minutes.

Tosca Topping

Mix the butter, almond slices, sugar, cream and flour in a small saucepan and bring to the boil.
When cake is half-baked after 20 minutes, remove it from the oven and set the oven to 225 degrees Celsius.
Spoon the tosca topping onto the half-baked cake and put back in the oven.
Bake for another 10-15 minutes, until the topping is cooked and has a lovely golden color.

Posted in Cake, Nuts. 5 Comments »

>TWD: Swedish Visiting Cake + Foodie Exchange


This week the lovely Nancy of The Dogs Eat the Crumbs got to pick the recipe for Tuesdays with Dorie and she did a good job! She decided on the Swedish Visiting Cake that can be found on page 197 of Baking from My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan or here at Nancy’s blog.

A Google search for Swedish Cake soon came up with Toscakaka, also spelled as Tosca Kaka, which basically is a lemon sponge topped with crunchy almonds. Sound familiar? It looks familiar too, except that the layer of crunchy almonds is thicker than Dorie’s. Could this have been Dorie’s inspiration for the Swedish Visiting Cake? I might give this recipe or this one a try one of these days as it looks really tempting!
Anyways, I baked this on Easter Monday, which is national holiday here in The Netherlands, expecting no visitors and thought this would be another great cake to bring into work with me on Tuesday. It was very easy to put together, I was done in no time and I made it exactly as written: no changes this week! I was quite surprised when the doorbell rang shortly after I put the cake into the oven: it was my mom who had decided to take her dog out on a walk and visit me because the weather was so nice.

As soon as she walked into the door, she asked me what that lovely smell was. I told her to be patient as she could have a taste of the Swedish Visiting Cake when it was done. She loved it and took two pieces home with her (for my dad and herself of course!). So I only had 3/4 of a cake left for about 20 coworkers and not enough stock in my pantry to bake another one. My colleagues were a bit disappointed that they only got slivers of cake, because they loved it, as did I!! Thanks for a wonderful choice Nancy!
On another note, I have registered at Foodie Exchange for my 101 in 1001 challenge. So I’ve started my second goal on the list, #2: Take part in 5 Foodie Exchange. Basically what Foodie Exchange is is a group for foodies from around the planet who wish to exchange their local food specialties as a care package with other foodies. The items in the care package should be limited to about $10.00 in cost, shipping is extra. Each month you can sign up on the monthly exchange thread in the forum where members match themselves up with partners. When you received the package you can share the story by adding you blog post to the Blog Posts section.
I have started several goals, such as signing up for a two-day assertivity training (#90) that will take place in August and starting a new skin care routine (#18), which I will tell you about late this week. I already completed one goal: #80 Register as an organ donor

>A Hot Pink Butterfly Cake instead of TWD’s Milk Chocolate Mini Bundt Cakes


You probably came here today expecting to find the Milk Chocolate Mini Bundt Cakes that were picked by Kristin of I’m Right about Everyhing for Tuesday with Dorie. Sorry, I didn’t make them… As some of you know I accidentally lost about 17 pounds since Christmas and in an attempt to keep them off of me I’m limiting myself to one treat per week. Please go here to see how the mini bundt cakes turned out for the TWD-ers who made them. The recipe can be found over at Kristin’s blog.
So now on to this weeks treat… It was something my mom and I had been looking forward to since the beginning of November 2009: we had planned to take a Christmas-themed cake decorating workshop at Sweet Things in Utrecht on the 23rd of December 2009. However unfortunately we had a huge snowstorm that day and the workshop was cancelled due to the weather. We were so dissappointed!!

Soon we rescheduled the workshop for the 1st of February 2010. When I woke up that morning I was so excited, but that excitement soon grew to worry when I got in the car and heared the weather report for that day: snow, snow and more snow…. I instantly thought my mom and I were jinxed: this could not be happening: the workshop could not be cancelled twice due to snow!! We hardly ever get snow here in The Netherlands: maybe two or three times per winter, now it seems that it has been snowing everyday since Christmas!!!I contacted Sweet Things as soon as I arrived at work and was very happy to hear that the workshop was still on!

I drove to Utrecht from work in Arnhem and picked up my mom from the trainstation. When we arrived we got to sample a cute cupcake and some coffee or tea as we waited for the other 4 people that would attend the workshop to arrive. Soon the workshop started: the cakelayers and buttercream had already been prepared in advance, so we got to pick a buttercreamflavor (strawberry, chocolate or caramel; both my mom and I picked caramel). We layered together two cakelayers and the buttercream of our choice, then the cake was put in the freezer.

Time to colour the marzipan: I wanted to have a bright, hot pink layer of marzipan to cover my cake with, so I got some gel and kneaded it through the marzipan.

Isn’t it that a gorgeous pink colour???

Then we took our cakes out of the freezer and took some regular buttercream to crumbcoat the cake, here’s my mom hard at work!

My cake after crumbcoating it. Then the cakes went back into the freezer and we got to pick colours and figures to put on our cakes.

I went with a butterfly-theme, and picked a lighter pink, a burgundy purple, black and white to cut the butterflies out of.

The next step was to roll out our marzipan, put it over the cake, make sure it covered all sides nicely without any air under it and cut the marzipan to size. The roling out part was fun: instead of using flour like I normally do when rolling out a dough, we had to use confectioner’s sugar to keep the marzipan from sticking to the counter.

On to the decorating: to remove the white smudges of confectioner’s sugar on both the cake and the decorations we used a slightly damp brush and brushed over the cake, then placed the decorations where we wanted them and brushed them with that same brush.
This purple cake is my mom’s.

And here’s mine: pretty pink, covered with butterflies!

All six of us made very different, but beautiful cakes!
My mom and I had a blast, time flew by and before we knew it it was time to wrap up our cakes and go home. I can’t wait to go back to work Thursday and let my colleagues taste this cake!

Mom and I are already planning our second workshop with Sweet Things.
Up next? The Two-Tier workshop!!

Posted in Cake. 7 Comments »

>Update on my Giveaway, the Classic Banana Bundt Cake for TWD and Scott


Don’t forget to enter my Giveaway or the Gift Exchange:
the deadline for the Blogoversary Giveaway is August 14th,
the deadline for the Gift Exchange is August 30th.

I decided to add one more favorite of mine to the giveaway… My favorite beer: Rose beer, this is a belgian white beer with raspberries that is actually coloured pink: a real girlygirl beer!

I managed to save 3 of the 6 miniature bundt cakes: I sliced of the burned bottom and coated them with the lemon glaze: delicious!! The bundt cake was still nice and moist, I will be making this one again!

At the vet’s office we weighed Scott: he actually weighed about 250 grams more than at our last visit in May. However the vet agreed with us that he felt skinny and his fur was not good. Fortunately she couldn’t find anything wrong during the physical examination: the heart sounded good, belly felt okay and his teeth looked great for his age. (Scott will turn 8 this December).

The vet took some blood and sent it of to be tested, I can phone them Thursday for the results. So now I just have to be patient and wait for Thursday to arrive….