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April, 2013

  1. Finished! Unique Wedding Cake Recipe

    April 21, 2013 by sarah

    After several lots of experimentation, the ‘Judith and Tim Hochzeit Kuchen’ recipe is finished! I apologise for my German if it is incorrect! I haven’t actually made the entire recipe at one time as the deadline has crept up but the individual components have been made and I have tasted it in my head!

    For the sponges

    300g self-raising flour

    300g caster sugar

    250g unsalted butter, soft

    4 large free-range eggs at room temperature

    4 tablespoons milk

    ½ tsp baking powder

    Finely grated rind of 1 orange

    3 x 8”(20cm) sandwich tins, greased and base lined with baking paper

    Heat oven to 180oC. Whisk the butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add all the other ingredients and mix until blended but not separated. Divide among the 3 tins, level off the top and have a slight depression in the centre. Bake for about 20-25minutes until springy and slightly shrink away from the sides of the tin. Cool in the tins for 5minutes before turning out onto a wire rack and leaving to go completely cold.


    For the whisky-orange syrup

    Juice of 1 orange

    50g sugar

    2 tbsp whisky or Glayva liqueur (liqueur of whisky and orange made in Glasgow)

    Put the ingredients in a small pan, heat gently until the sugar is dissolved then boil for 1minute. Leave to cool completely.


    For the raspberry jam filling

    300g tub of frozen raspberries

    3 teaspoons cornflour

    4 tablespoons caster sugar

    2 tbsp whisky or Glayvar liqueur

    Put all the ingredients into a medium sized pan, set over a medium heat and stir until the sugar dissolves in the juices. Then rapidly boil for 2 minutes, stirring until thick. Allow to go completely cold.


    For the mascarpone frosting

    500g tub mascarpone cream

    2 tbsp caster sugar

    ½ finely grated zest of orange

    1 tbsp whisky or Glayva liquer

    Put all the ingredients in a bowl and beat until light and fluffy. Refrigerate for a couple of hours before using to cover the cake.


    To assemble the cake

    The cooled cake tiers, trimmed so flat

    Cooled syrup

    Cold raspberry filling

    Cold mascarpone frosting

    Punnet of fresh raspberries

    Using a pastry brush liberally soak two tiers of the cake on the top surface and one tier on the bottom surface. Place a cake layer on your serving plate of choice, syrup side up, spread over one half the raspberry filling, place on the next layer of cake syrup side up and spread on the remaining raspberry filling, place on the last tier with the syrup side down. Cover with the mascarpone frosting (or other frosting of choice) and decorate with fresh raspberries. Refrigerate until needed but ideally eat the same day it is made.

    And here are the photos from the version I made to test the frosting, this time on a two tier genose sponge:

    weddingcake (1 of 2)

    weddingcake (2 of 2)

  2. Italian Macaroons

    April 21, 2013 by sarah

    Unlike the fickle French macaron, these are a breeze to make and the cracks and other imperfections that plague their french counterparts are all part of the character of these. These biscuits are a chewier version of amaretti. Recipe from Christmas edition (Dec 2012) of Country Living.

    Makes 30-40 macarons

    350g caster sugar

    250g ground almonds

    40g plain flour

    4 large egg whites

    few drops almond essence and zest of 1 lemon

    Heat the oven to 180 oC. Line lots of baking sheets with parchment.

    Whisk the egg whites until soft peaks but not stiff or dry. Add the almond essence and lemon zest.

    Add a spoonful at a time the mixed dry ingredients until it forms a soft mixture and leave to sit for 10 minutes. Form teaspoons of the mixture into balls in you hand and gently press onto the baking sheets. Sprinkle with another tablespoon of sugar.

    Bake for 15 minutes until gold brown and lift of the parchment easily. Turn off the oven and leave to cool for 5 minutes before cooking on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.


  3. Flumping By Brian!

    April 21, 2013 by sarah

    Our cat, Brian, flumps! This is an onomatopoetic word so you can probably guess what it involves. When he lies down, he just flumps! This is him flumping on our bed this morning, and yes sometimes he lands upside down!!!

    catslife (1 of 1)

  4. Friends come visiting

    April 12, 2013 by sarah

    This week  Eilidh and Rachel, two friends from uni days, came to stay. We went to St Albans, Hampton Court Palace and Spitalfields and went to The Rex cinema in Berkhamsted( where we saw ‘Oz the Great and Powerful’ which was surprisingly good fun! Here are some photos…

    friends (5 of 5) friends (4 of 5) friends (3 of 5) friends (2 of 5)

  5. Cake experimentation!

    April 12, 2013 by sarah

    There is nothing better than having some friends to stay on which you can do some cake experimentation! Sadly, I have to report that the Swiss meringue buttercream icing was not a great success – far too dense and buttery and nothing to counteract the sweetness of the sugar. This is the site where I got the original idea from . This is a special cake so I want something beyond the normal cream cheese/ buttercream that I make. I feel some more experimentation coming on! Although this is obviously not keeping the cake under wraps until I reveal the final recipe, I felt I had to share some of the almost disasters as well as the finished products with you.

    judith cake (2 of 1) judith cake (1 of 1)