And tonight we partied till we dropped and till all plates were clean 😉 The madness of morning and late night baking seems to work out just fine, which was kind of relief as again I slightly pushed it too hard.
Friday night, after a lovely and busy day in the office (once again – thank you all for making it the best bday ever!), I came home knowing that there’s still some serious baking to be done, plus that I had some more celebration with best friend to do over the web 😉 Yes, I know I’m weird, thank you very much 🙂 So after a nice dinner Daddy cooked for us, I got cracking with preparations The plan was simple – on friday to bake sponge and to make the choco-cherries for the Black Forrest Arebours Cake. Everything went quite smooth, so I was happy when I headed to bed. In the morning I whipped the cream and got the cheesecake ready, then baked muffins and by 3pm I was ready to get pretty for the party. Oh did I mention that I had to finish my homework for studies as well? Yeah, what can I say? Week was quite busy and only saturday I had enough time and will to do it 🙂
The party was great, everyone invited came and we had a splendid time. Old friends, new friends, family and other aquaintances… it was simply fantastic, even if someone was dearly missed. The last two day made me feel very loved and safe. Thank you all for making it so wonderful!
Now, enough of blabbing and let’s go down to business… I spent literaly days on figuring out what bday cake I wanted and why this and not the other. When finally I cut the choice down to two, the cavalery was asked to come and save me… and Big Guy helped me decided on Black Forest Arebours Cake. The idea is simple – instead of making a chocolate sponge – but to keep the sponge vanilla and then soak it with coffee, and make chocolate cherries and then smear it all over with whipped cream and cover in grated chocolate… simple right? Yes and bloody delicious 😉 Sponge isn’t my recipe, we got it few years ago from Mom’s coworker and it always comes out perfectly…
For the sponge:
200g flour (regular and potato flour)
1 pack vanilla sugar
1 tea spoon baking powder
Beat together eggs and sugars, this should be done by electric mixer and take between 15-20 minutes. Combine the flours and sieve them through with baking powder. Add by portions to the egg mixture and fold in gently with a wooden spoon. Transfer to the cake tin and bake for 35 mins on 180C (with circulation) or on 200C if without. Let to cool completely in the closed oven.
for choco-cherries (inspired by this lovely blog):
450g frozen destoned cherries
2 spoons good cocoa
50-70g good quality dark chocolate
5 tb spoons sugar.
2 tea spoons gelatine
In the pot place the cherries, water and sugar and bring to boil. Let cook for a while, then add cocoa and chocolate and cook until the liquid reduces to 1/3 of original. Add gelatine, stir and leave to cool.
1,5 l heavy cream (in POland it’s 36% fat)
4-5 tb spoons icing sugar
2 packs vanilla sugar
few drops vanilla extract.
divide in two portions and whip until strong peaks form.
2 cups strong coffee
2 tb spoons sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
1 cup water
bring all (execpt of rhum) to boil. Let cook for a while, add booze. Let sit until cooled.
Cut the sponge into three tires. Place the first one on the cake plate and soak. Place around the cake the cake-ring. Then smear choco-cherries and on the top whipped cream. Soak the second tier, turn over and place on the first one, soak again. Use some candied cherries to spread and then top it with whipped cream. Soak the third tier and place it on the top. Remove the ring. Whip the rest of the cream and smear the top and sides of the cake. Using the hot water and spatula – warm the spatula in water, then quickly whipe it with palm and smooth the surface of the cream. Decorate with chocolate hearts and grated chocolate. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
The second cake was cheesecake. I do really have a thing for cheesecakes, and I can’t deny it. Sometime ago when I still lived in Switzerland my girlfriends gave me this lovely book on cheesecakes to celebrate my bday. And this year it felt only right to make one for the party. I looked into the book they gave me and found delicious cranberry cheesecake. It called for frozen cranberries, which are hard to get here – so I decided to fiddle around the recipe. The result was nice, creamy and fluffy cheesecake with a delicate sour note. Simply brilliant.
White Chocolate and Cranberry Cheesecake (modified from White Chocolate Cranberry from here)
200g plain biscuits
100g melted butter
1 jar cranberry jam (for meat)
1kg tripple minced curd cheese
250ml heavy cream
200g white chocolate
4 eggs separated
1 pack vanilla sugar
few drops vanilla extract
grated orange rind/1tb spoon cheesecake spice
1 jar cranberry jam
100g white chocolate
Line the round cake form with baking paper. Preheat the oven to 180C (with circulation). Process the biscuits untill fine. Add butter and mix until well combined. Spread the batter on the bottom of the form, press firmly. Refrigerate 30 mins.
In the pan bring the cream to boil, add chocolate and stir until combined. Let cool.
Beat together curd cheese, egg yolks, sugars and spice until nice and smooth. Add the cream with chocolate and beat until nice and fluffy. Beat the egg whites until form the hard peaks, fold in gentely.
Spread the cranberry jam over the biscuit base and then pour over the cheese batter. Smooth and let bake for about 60mins. Check with the toothpick if ready. Let cool for 30 mins in the closed oven, then take out let sit for about 20 mins. Remove the ring and spread the other jam on the top, melt the white chocolate and decorate the jam and cheesecake. Refrigerate or keep in cold basement for at least 3 hours before serving.
I made as well some apple/ginger/cinnamon muffins. But since there are already two big recipes I think the muffin recipe can wait till next time 😉 Please forgive me the lousy pics, but at the table we didn’t have the best light and everyone was very excited to taste so didn’t feel like waiting for me to set the whole lighting set 😉 Which would be stupid anyway.