Thursday, December 31, 2009

Ekadasi Shrikhand Cake

This is an Ekadasi Mango Shrikhand Birthday Cake with mango slices on top. After making cakes for friends and family members the past few months I finally got to make one for myself! This is my very own birthday cake, and since my birthday happened to fall on Ekadasi it had to be a no-grain-cake. My husband had been asking me for years to make the same cake I made him for his birthday (on Ekadasi) when we just got married, some 11 1/2 years ago. He liked that cake very much, but would I be able to remember how I made the cake back then? I did have the recipe but it was kind of ambiguous. Plus the measurements were in deciliters! I prefer to weigh all my ingredients. Plus who in the world has a deciliter measuring cup? Back then we lived in Sweden and I suppose deciliters is what they use there when they bake something. Fortunately I brought a deciliter measuring cup with me when we moved to the States. So, that problem was solved.

The problem with Shrikhand is that it is too runny to use it as cake icing even though I started out with some really thick hung yogurt. When I added the mango puree and homemade powdered sugar (no cornstarch in it) it became a challenge to keep the icing on the cake without running down the sides. I think next time I would use something else than mango puree. It is just too liquid. I am sure if one could get the consistency of Shrikhand right it would make a great cake frosting.

Well, here is what I did with my runny Shrikhand. First I put it in the freezer to firm it up a bit, making sure to stir it every now and then. I spread a think layer of icing on the cake which I had poked with a toothpick to help it aborb the Shrikhand. Then I put the cake in the fridge for half and hour to let the cake absorb some of the icing. Another thin layer, back in the fridge, another thin layer, ... (you get the idea). Finally the cake was all iced and it went back in the fridge overnight. Next day it was ready for the final touches - the mango slices on top and the toasted sliced almonds on the side.

The more time you give the cake to absorb some of the Shrikhand, the better it tastes. By the seond day the icing was nice and firm, the cake was nice and moist, and it tasted great.

For my next birthday I will have someone else make my cake though. I was up past midnight to make the cake and on my birthday the kids woke me up way too early because they were hungry and wanted a slice of the cake, and I wasn't even finished yet decorating it!

Maybe I'll put the kids + husband to work next year to make ME a cake for a change. Not a bad idea!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Baby Shower Cake - It's a Girl!

I made this cake for a baby shower I organized. I messed up with the writing on the cake. I guess I was too tired when I got to the last touches. I wanted the writing to curve and it did work on the top part but the "Girl!" did not want to curve...

3 layers of vanilla cake with professional buttercream icing and powdered sugar icing for the basket weave and the writing and flowers on the top of the cake. The layers were sandwiched with raspberry buttercream.

Pretty basketweave. Takes a long time to do.

The baby is not marzipan or anything else edible. Since I did not have much time I just bought this baby at the Party Shop where they sell them as party favors. Still cute though.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Chocolate Birthday Cake

Another birthday cake for one of my son's friends. This time the request was for a chocolate sheet cake with chocolate layers and icing. For the filling I used Raspberry Buttercream. To make Raspberry Buttercream I strained a jar of good quality raspberry jam to get out all the seeds and then mixed it with regular (not chocolate) buttercream.

This cake is very rich, with about 2 1/2 pounds of butter and about 8 oz. of semi-sweet chocolate in it. And very yummy too.....

Saturday, September 5, 2009

LEGO Birthday Cake

I made this cake for my son's 8th birthday. Since Legos is his favorite toy we had a Lego themed birthday party and had to have a Lego birthday cake as well. I did not like any of the Lego cakes I found pictures of on the internet so I had the idea to put the Lego logo on the cake and my son thought this would be great.

This cake was in several ways different than my previous ones. First, I used homemade fondant for the first time and second, I used artificial food coloring. There was no way that I could have made the logo with natural food coloring. I put the Lego logo on wax paper and lifted it off the cake before I cut it but still lots of kids wanted to have a taste of it and the parents did not mind at all that they were eating the artificial stuff. The artificial colors sure make cake decorating a lot easier. I might just as well stick with it. Just use it sparingly. I am sure my kids will not get sick or die if they have the artificial colors once every few months. At least I hope so....

This cakes had 3 layers of my standard yellow butter cake, made with whole wheat pastry flour.
For the filling I made caramel for the first time and then turned it into whipped caramel cream. I really liked that filling. The icing was a classic buttercream, meaning I used sugar syrup instead of powdered sugar. For the vegetarian fondant I used a recipe I found on the internet and I was very satisfied with the result. Making the LEGO logo was quite time consuming. I think fondant is very similar to play dough in consitency. You can make all kinds of shapes and figures with it. I have seen pictues of cakes decorated with fondant that look like a piece of art, but for me the taste of the cake is more important than the looks. But I will see were fondant will take me... The possibilities are endless...

Not my prettiest cake. I did not have enough time to make it. The birthday boy liked it.

Speaking of the birthday boy - here he is, blowing out the candles. Happy birthday Janardan!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Soccer Ball Ekadasi Birthday Cake

I made this cake for my son's best friend for his 8th birthday. Since his birthday happened to fall on Ekadasi it had to be a grain-free cake. I used my buckwheat cake batter for the layers and a cream cheese-butter-icing for the frosting. Since I only use natural food coloring I could not make a black soccer ball but who said a soccer could not be orange? Turmeric was used for the orange color and wheat grass juice powder for the green color.

I find it challenging to make cakes in the hot summer weather here in Florida. I had to put the decorating bag in the fridge every so often because the icing was literally melting in my hands. That's why the cake looks a little bit messy.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Independence Day Cake aka 4th of July Flag Cake

My family was invited to an Independence Day BBQ (vegetarian, of course) party. We were invited kind of last minute and I only had short notice to prepare a dessert I was asked to bring. I immediately thought of making a flag cake since I had seen one a day earlier at the public library here on the cover of a magazine. I did not have the recipe, so I just made one up. I baked a sheet cake and frosted it with cream cheese buttercream icing and whipping cream. The hostess had requested to use spelt flour in the cake batter because her husband is allergic to wheat. I usually use whole wheat pastry flour for cakes but the spelt flour worked great as well.
The blue part is made with blueberries and the red stripes are obviously made with strawberries. Sorry, I do not have time to post the recipe. I have a very active 16 month old and I spend most of my day keeping him out of trouble and cleaning up the mess he constantly makes. He is a very naughty boy, and also very curious and very smart.

Yes, I did put 50 stars and 13 stripes on the cake. I like being authentic....
And I am not even an American, but the rest of my family is.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Basket Weave Birthday Cake

I made this cake for my favorite girl, my daughter Marisha. This year she wanted roses on her birthday cake and I wanted to experiment with basket weave decorations. I did make the mistake of using butter cream made with butter only, no shortening. I would not recommend it as the icing was literally melting in the decorating bag as I squeezed it. And what to speak of trying to make roses with it. The icing is just too soft and even though I refrigerated it to harden it a bit, it did not stay firm long enough to make nice roses. Next time I surely will remember to make the right kind of icing for roses or other flower decorations. Or at least I hope so...

Top view of the cake

A closer look at the basket weave decoration.

And here she is - the birthday girl. As you probably can tell, she really liked the cake...