6/13/2012

The Blue Mustang Cake

Blue Mustang Cake
My sister’s boyfriend had a Birthday coming up and, as he is very special to my sister, he deserved a very special cake to celebrate his existence. So, I decided to make him a car cake (all man love cars, right?). I have never carved a cake before and my first, and only, experience with fondant was a while back and the result not really worth mentioning…  But, he really deserves the extra thoughtfulness, as I said, he is in love with my sister, and so I started baking.My Dad reassured me: „A Mustang really is a universally cool car!“ and I found these and these great pictures of Mustangs to model the cake after.  Besides liking the blue, I hoped it wouldn´t be too hard to recognize because of its clear structure and features. Fortunately somebody even wrote a Wikipedia entry with all the exact measurements so I could get all the proportions right (of course, it is not perfect, but it is just cake after all).  

Der Freund meiner Schwester hatte neulich Geburtstag und  da er sehr wichtig für meine Schwester ist  wollte ich ihm einen besonderen Geburtstagskuchen backen. Ich habe mich recht schnell für einen Autokuchen entschieden (alle Männer lieben Autos, oder?). Ich hatte bis dahin noch nie einen Kuchen in eine Form geschnitten und meine erste, und bis dahin einzige, Erfahrung mit Fondant sollte besser nicht erwähnt werden… Aber er verdient die extra Aufmerksamkeit, jeder der in meine  Schwester verlliebt ist tut das, und ich habe mich ans Werk gemacht. Mein Vater versicherte mir: “Ein Mustang ist wirklich ein Auto das immer cool ist!” und ich habe diese und diese tollen Bilder als Vorbild gefunden. Unabhängig davon, dass mir das Blau gefiel, hatte ich die Hoffnung der Kuchen würde leichter als Mustang erkannt werden wegen seiner klaren Strukturen und Merkmale. Glücklicherweise hat sogar jemand einen Wikipedia Eintrag mit den Maßen des Autos geschrieben, also konnte ich den Kuchenmustang sogar richtig proportionieren (Natürlich ist es nicht perfekt aber es ist ja auch nur Kuchen). 




I made this chocolate cake recipe but I cut the sugar in halve and added a teaspoon of ground espresso beans. The cake is a very fluffy, delicious chocolate cake and would be perfectly sweet enough on its own but it is definitely not missing any sugar when you cover it in strawberry swiss meringue buttercream and marshmallow fondant, which I did.

Ich habe dieses Schokoladenkuchenrezept gebacken jedoch nur die Hälfte des Zuckers verwendet und ein Teelöffel gemahlenen Espresso dazu gegeben. Der Kuchen ist ein lockerer, super leckerer Schokokuchen der so süß genug wäre, in jedem Fall aber süß genug in Kombination mit Erdbeer-Meringue Buttercreme und eingedeckt in Marshmallowfondant. 


I sliced the cake into eight layers, filled them with buttercream and got carving. With all the measurements and pictures it was easier that I expected and the cake got into Mustang shape quite quick. Surprisingly, it actually drew my Dad into the kitchen a lot, which usually doesn´t happen at all. When I thought the cake looked good enough, I covered the whole thing in buttercream, put it in the fridge and rolled out the marshmallow fondant I had made before and then covered the chilled cake with it. I got a bit lazy with all the other decorations. Besides the blue, I only used white fondant and colored all the little details in with edible ink pens but I really think it worked great!

Ich habe den Kuchen in acht Lagen geschnitten, mit Buttercreme gefüllt und dann zurechtgeschnitten. Dank der vielen Bilder und den Maße war das Ganze einfacher als erwartet und der Kuchen hatte recht schnell Mustangform. Erstaunlicherweise hat er dann auch meinen Vater recht oft in die Küche gelockt, was sonst nie passiert.  Als ich fand der Kuchen sah gut genug aus, habe ich ihn komplett mit Buttercreme eingedeckt, in den Kühlschrank gestellt, den vorbereiteten Marshmallowfondant ausgerollt und den gut gekühlten Kuchen damit eingedeckt. Bei den restlichen Dekorationen war ich dann etwas faul. Neben dem blauen Fondant habe ich nur weißen verwendet und die vielen kleinen bunten Details mit Lebensmittelfarbstiften angemalt. Ich denke aber wirklich, dass es so sehr gut funktioniert hat.

stacked chocolate cakes


filled with buttercream

carved and covered in buttercreame



covering the cake in fondant

Not to forget the most important: the birthday boy really loved his Mustang cake, especially his personalized registration plates. I was really happy and proud seeing that I could make such a special cake which made someone that happy and when quite a few guests asked for an additional piece of cake to take home for breakfast, that was just the icing on top.

Um das wichtigste nicht zu vergessen: das Geburtstagskind hat sich sehr über seinen Mustangkuchen und  besonders über das personalisierte Nummernschild gefreut. Mich hat es sehr glücklich und stolz gemacht zu sehen, dass ich tatsächlich so einen besonderen Kuchen backen kann der dann jemanden so glücklich macht. Als einige der Gäste um ein extra Stück Mustang fürs Frühstück gebeten haben war das nur die Krönung. 

personalized German registration plates


How do you show your love to the ones who love your loved ones?
Wie zeigt ihr eure Liebe für die, die die eure Lieben lieben?

3/17/2012

Why everybody should celebrate St. Patricks Day


St. Patrick´s Day, unfortunately, is not really big here in Germany - I don´t think anyone has ever thought of dyeing the Rhine green or holding a parade to celebrate.

But, if you have ever spent an amazing, crazy summer in Ireland, you will never forget to honor your favorite Island on this special day. And, believe me, it is impossible for Ireland not to be your favorite Island after you have been there, or, if you are as lucky as me, been there twice. 

The Irish, although they may seem a bit rough at first, are incredibly welcoming and warm and, while they make sure you have the best of times with music, beer and laughter, you will come to believe that the magic is still alive in Ireland. 

If you have never been, go and buy a plane ticket right now! Or, if you are as broke as everyone seems to be in this economy, at least celebrate St. Patricks day.


I´ve made these brownies before and they were a great hit. The Guinness chocolate combination is perfect and the brownies are honestly the best I have ever had. Deep, rich chocolate taste, soft gooey center and the Guinness gives them the extra special Irish magic you want to have today.

Guinness Brownies
(Slightly adapted from here)

What you need:  
2 bottles Guinness, I could only find 44cl cans of Guinness Draft, so that’s what I used
1 cup / 150gr flour
 3/4 cup / 80gr unsweetened cocoa
½ Tsp / 3gr Salt
6 Tablespoons / 85g butter
8oz / 225g dark chocolate, I used a mix of 70% and 85% chocolates, broken into pieces
1,7oz / 50gr white chocolate, broken into pieces
1 cup / 225gr sugar
4 Eggs
1 Tablespoon Vanilla
Semisweet chocolate chips for decoration

What you will do: 
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (180C convection). Line a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with nonstick foil, or regular foil, lightly greased.
2. Pour the Guinness into a pot, and bring to boil. Be careful to use a big enough pot, as it will foam a lot in the beginning. Simmer on medium heat until it's reduced down to 1 1/4 cups. Keep a measuring cup nearby, so you can check the progress. Leave the beer on the side to cool.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, and salt until evenly combined.
4. Melt butter and all the chocolates together. If you have a double-boiler, that’s good, but you could just as well use a normal sauce pan. Just make sure to put the butter in first and be patient and keep it on low heat, stirring constantly, until the chocolate is melted. Remove from heat.
5. In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy. Add melted chocolate mixture, beating until combined.
6. Beat reserved flour mixture into melted chocolate mixture. Whisk in the reduced beer mixture and the vanilla. Be careful with the mixer, I sure wished my apron had sleeves. The batter will seem a bit thin, but the brownies will be perfect and gooey inside. Pour into the prepared baking pan and drop semisweet chocolate chips evenly on top of batter.
7. Bake 20 to 25 minutes on a low rack in the oven, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean.
8. Let the Guinness brownies cool. I find, they are best when they are still a bit warm.

You can enjoy your brownies plain, dust them with some confectioners sugar or, if you really want to splurge, pair them up with some vanilla ice cream and pour some Baileys over it.


3/15/2012

first blog post: "I am really doing this"

After thinking, planning and talking about wanting to blog for quite some time now, here it is: my very first blog post. It is very exciting and makes me really nervous, but happy.
Hello internet, here I come.