A very special birthday cake

Another special occasion for baking a cake: A birthday cake for my friend who turned 58. Girly and springy…but delicious for the eyes and surprisingly very light!

  Adi Klinghofer bakes amazing cakes shapes like numbers and letters. She is so creative: she decorates the cake tops with fresh fruit, cookies, meringues, macaroons or fresh flowers to create a unique and colorful cake. I’ve wanted to make a number cake for a long time, today was the perfect occasion and I had a lot of fun!

 

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Le fraisier: the most elegant strawberry cake

Fraisier is one of my favorite fruit cakes. I was so happy to make one for my friend’s birthday. The cake consists of two layers of “génoise”, soaked in simple syrup, filled with “mousseline” cream, fresh strawberries and topped with marzipan.

As usual, I took a lot of pleasure making it!

The recipe looks complicated, but if you follow the instructions, it is not so fastidious. TRY IT !

Let’s go.

 

Ingredients for 8:

Génoise, basic recipe:

  • 90 gr sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 90 gr flour
  1. Grease one 8 inch round cake pan or circle.  Lightly flour .
  2. Whip the eggs and sugar on a bain marie. When they reach the temperature of 55°C, remove from the heat and pour in a mixing bowl. Whip at medium speed for 10-15 minutes.

     

3. Gently fold in the flour with a spatula, without deflating the eggs.

4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake at 350° F (180° C) for about 20 minutes. Place pan on rack. Cool for 15 minutes, then remove from the mold and let it cool completely. 

   

“Mousseline” cream:

  • 400 ml milk
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 140 gr sugar
  • 20 gr cornstarch
  • 20 gr flour
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped.
  • 2 x 85 gr unsalted butter
  • Kirsh ( optional)
  1. In a saucepan, pour the milk, half of the sugar and the vanilla seeds. Bring to a boil over medium heat.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk the cornstarch, flour, rest of sugar and egg yolks.
  3. Whisk the hot milk mixture over the egg yolks .
  4. Pour the egg/milk mixture back into the saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly with a whisk, until the mixture thickens.
  5. Remove from the heat and stir in 85 gr of the butter.
  6. Cover a pan with plastic wrap and pour the hot pastry cream in it. Make sure to cover the cream completely to avoid a skin. Then refrigerate until cool.
  7. Meanwhile cream 85 gr of softened butter. When the pastry cream is cooled to room temperature, add in the butter. Whisk until smooth.If you want to add some Kirsh, go…!

Simple sirup:

  • 100gr sugar
  • 100gr water
  • Kirsh ( optional)
  1. Boil the water and sugar for one minute. Add Kirsh if wanted.

Assemble the cake:

1. Cut the sponge cake in half.

2.Cut a dozen of strawberries in half and place them all around between the circle and the cake base.

3.Place a sponge disk (18 cm ) centered at the bottom of the circle (20 cm ). Brush the first disk of génoise  generously with the syrup.

   

4.Cover with mousseline cream, making sure the cream is spreading well on the sides and between the strawberries.

5. Add the remaining strawberries cut into small pieces. Place the second disc of génoise, moist with syrup.

6. Top with remaining mousseline cream and, with a large spatula, smooth on the surface. Refrigerate for at least 2 h.

 

Decorate the cake:

  • Marzipan pink,  green or white, as you like.
  • Strawberries
  • Melted chocolate

 

  1. Roll the marzipan with a rolling pin ( sprinkle with confectioner sugar , it will help). Place it on top of the cake and cut the excess paste with the rolling pin. Decorate to your taste with melted chocolate, marzipan flower, strawberries…
  2. Keep cool until ready to serve.

Done…

 

 

 

ENJOY!

 

 

 

 

 

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Watercress velouté : Simply green

This is a basic recipe :  Serve as you like with Salmon, bacon, toasts topped with melted cheese or simply crème fraîche…  don’t forget a glass of crisp white wine!

 

 

Ingredients for 4:

  • 500 ml  vegetable stock
  • 1 spoon butter
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 bunches of watercress, washed & chopped (including tender stems)
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
  •  Crème fraîche

   

Method:

  1. In a saucepan, melt the butter , add the shallots, the potatoes and cook until soft . Add the hot stock, bring to a boil then add watercress. Season with salt & pepper. Lower the heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender.
  2. In a blender, purée the soup until ” velouté”. Pour into bowls and add a spoon of crème fraîche. Serve immediately.

   

Enjoy!

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Salmon with lentils, chorizo emulsion

Today I concocted a new & creative recipe: Since I had salmon in the fridge, black lentils in the kitchen cupboard and leeks in the cellar, I was wondering how to cook these ingredients! I found some chorizo which I love so much, and I tried assembling them all : it worked very well!

 

Cook the lentils in a broth with shallots.Cook leeks in butter. Boil cream, infused chorizo’s dice for 20 m. When lentils and leeks are cooked, mix together. Blend cream & chorizo. Cook the fish and assemble in a plate.

Enjoy!

 

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Bread in a cocotte

The French are crazy about bread! I’m used to making homemade bread, but today, I tried baking bread in a pan. It’s easy, quick and it works!

   

Recipe:

  • 500g  flour ( 400gr white & 100gr  whole wheat for me)
  • 30 cl lukewarm water
  • 2 teaspoon  dry yeast
  • Coarse sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Grains as sunflower, poppy seeds, nuts …( walnuts, oats and sunflower for me)
  1. Dissolve the yeast in 10 cl lukewarm water .
  2. Combine the flour, sugar, water, yeast and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the hook. Mix on slow speed until the dough is smooth and elastic for 10 minutes. Remove the bowl from the mixer and cover it with a plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rise until it has doubled in size, about 2 hours.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a floury work surface and knead it to release the gas.
  4. Shape the dough, add sunflower, pumpkin, poppy seeds or nuts and put the dough in the center of the pot, on parchment paper. Score the bread with a sharp knife. Place the lid on. Allow the dough to rise again, 30 to 60 minutes.
  5. Place the cocotte in a cold oven ( surprising!) and preheat at 450°F .
  6. Bake for 40/45 minutes.
  7. Remove the cocotte from the oven, the bread from the cocotte and allow it to cool on a cooling rack.
  8. Enjoy warm or cold

   

Recette en Français:

  • 500 gr de faine ( 400gr blanche et 100 gr complète pour moi)
  • 30 cl d’eau tiède
  • 2 cuillères à café  de levure de boulanger déshydratée
  • 1 c. à café de sucre en poudre
  • 1 c. à café de sel
  • Graines de pavot, de lin, noix…
  1. Mélanger dans le bol d’un robot muni du crochet,la farine, le sucre et le sel. Ajouter le mélange eau tiède /levure et pétrir pendant 10 minutes, jusqu’à obtenir une pâte élastique et souple.
  2. Laisser lever  la pâte dans le bol du robot pendant environ 2 heures, recouvert d’un torchon ou d’un film plastique. La boule va doubler de volume.
  3. Dégazer la pâte en  appuyant avec le poing pour chasser l’air. Reformer un beau pâton bien rond et ajouter les graines ou noix a ce moment.Laisser lever à nouveau 30 a 60 minutes.
  4. Placer un rond de papier sulfurisé au fond de la cocotte ou huiler légèrement. Déposer le pâton et le badigeonner d’un peu d’eau au pinceau.
  5. Réaliser le motif de votre choix à l’aide d’un couteau bien aiguisé. Parsemer quelques graines de pavot et de lin par-dessus.
  6. Placer le couvercle sur la cocotte et enfourner à four froid. Faire chauffer à 240°C,  pendant 40 minutes environ. Ne pas ouvrir la cocotte pendant les 30 premières minutes.
  7. Sortir le pain de la cocotte, le déposer sur une grille et laisser refroidir.
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Le gâteau du dimanche !

Just kidding! I’ve the pleasure to make it for a friend…

The ” Croque en bouche” or ” Pièce montée” is a traditional cake for a wedding, baptism , communion and even for a special birthday. It is made with choux  filled with pastry cream and caramel. A delight…

 

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Happy New Year 2018!

La galette 2018: A little nod to Provence

In France, there are 2 types of “Galette des rois“: King galette with frangipane cream and a brioche sprinkled with pearl sugar and candied fruits. Of course, I love both of them! I remember when my grandfather baked brioches for  Epiphany… So this year, I baked a ” Brioche des rois Provençale”. The shape is like a crown and the  orange blossom water adds a taste from the south…

 

I wish you all the best for 2018!

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