Monday, 20 April 2015

Pastel Cake

This spring is so amazing - came on time with its refreshing warm rains, very gentle to the flowers in my garden, generous in sun and escorted by the birds songs.

We are so blessed to live in a place, loved by small colourful birds. After the cold winter silence and the rich burned wood aroma, the birds' songs resonate in the air and fill the days with joy. It is almost painful for the untrained ears and so beautiful. 

My flowers are trying to reach and catch the sun rays - still very small, not blooming, but I hear them breathing. Before my garden is in full bloom, eager for colours, I made the pastel coloured cake to celebrate this beautiful season. What an inspiration!



You must remember my Flower Power post. The great technic from that cake is used here as well. I just filled it with the good old-fashioned Bavarian Style Cream with a touch of strawberries. Lots of creamy taste, light texture and beautiful colours.

for the cream:

6 egg yolks from large eggs
125 g sugar
25 g corn starch
500 ml milk
5 g vanilla

20 g gelatin, preferably sheets
cold water for soaking

500 g heavy cream



1. Soak the gelatin sheets in cold water.
2. Heat the milk, but without bringing to boil.
3. Whip the egg yolks with the sugar and corn starch. Add half of the milk, whisking continuously to dissolve the sugar. Pour the egg mixture back to the pan with the rest of the milk. Place over a water bath and stir until the cream thickens. Add the vanilla extract, after the pot is away from the heat.
4. Add the gelatin to the hot cream, discarding the water. Stir to dissolve.
5. Place in a bowl of a self-standing mixer and beat the cream with the paddle attachment to cool to ambient temperature.
6. Whip the heavy cream to soft peaks. Keep in the refrigerator until needed.
7. When the pastry cream is cooled, fold in the cold heavy cream.
8. Fill the cake and let it set overnight.


I used a small strawberry cake in the centre, which added a little twist to the Vanilla Bavarian.




Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Spring Linzers


for the cookies:

230 g butter
150 g sugar

1 egg
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

300 g flour
5 g baking powder
110 g hazelnuts, finely ground

for the filling:

apricot jelly
Nutella


prepare the cookies:

1. Toast the hazelnuts for 3-5 min in a hot oven (160C).
2. While hot, rub the hazelnuts in a towel to remove the skin. Let them cool completely.
3. Grind the hazelnuts in a blender with one third of the sugar.
4. Sift the flour and baking powder in a bowl.
5. Add the hazelnut mixture. Stir.
6. Beat the butter until creamy.
7. Add the rest of the sugar. Beat until very light.
8. Add the egg. Beat until well combined. Add the vanilla extract.
9. Add the whole quantity of the dry ingredients. Beat very slowly for 1-2 min.
10. Divide the dough in two. Roll each part between sheets of parchment paper or wrapping foil. Refrigerate for two hours.

11. Flatten the dough more. Cut out cookies in the desired shape. Cut out the centres of half of the cookies.
12. Bake at 180 C for 8 min. Let the cookies cool.


Tailoring:

1. Spread some of the jelly, or Nutella on the back of the uncut cookies.
2. Cover with the a cookie with a cut centre. Press lightly to distribute the filling evenly.
3. Sift with icing sugar.

Store at room temperature in an air tight container. Serve with tea or coffee at room temperature.