schichttorte.

i can say that i am, without a doubt, nearly a 100% self-taught baker. my grandmother used to make peanut butter fudge with my sister and i in the kitchen when we were small. but for the most part, i didn’t grow up around any extensive baking or cooking. i am still very much learning things as i go along. and this cake happened to be a learning experience instead of a tasteful masterpiece like it was intended to be. we have all seen those really talented bakers work their magic while making these schichttortes on the great british bake off, right? this was one of those moments where i thought i, too, could be a great and make this cake in my own sort of personal kitchen bake off. not the best idea i have ever had. as the ingredients weren’t particularly inexpensive — the recipe calls for golden syrup which we get from a tiny british shop that’s about an 80 mile drive one-way from our house. . . .and the cake calls for 10 eggs. yeah. 10. rum. good quality chocolate. the list goes on. it winds up being sort of pricey in the end. so i wouldn’t recommend using this cake just for fun as an experimental sort of bake. especially if you’re making it for no particular reason at all.

DSC_0044

i set the grill [broiler] to high as it mentioned in the recipe. but after baking all twenty layers, the cake was not only very difficult to remove from the springform [even though i oiled the pan and used parchment for the bottom], but it was burnt on the edges and dried out in the middle. i could tell as it was baking that the sides were cooking a little bit too much but instead of following my instincts i continued following the instructions. i sort of wish i had turned the grill to low once i realized how over-done the cake was seeming to get.

DSC_0085

it was also tricky because of the alternation in times between every second layer. you definitely want every other cake to turn out darker than the last — for the layering effect — but in the end many of my layers sort of blended together. this poor cake definitely deserves a second try in my kitchen. when it’s for company, of course, as i work best under pressure.

DSC_0059

i used the bbc’s recipe & there is a direct link at the bottom of the page. i also referenced colin starfish’s instructional video and found this to be oh so helpful!

DSC_0087

he does mention that the cake is supposed to be more dry than a traditional cake because of the multitude of layers and lack of any filling. . .which makes me feel a tad bit more confident that perhaps mine did turn out. the flavor with the ganache, apricot glaze beneath and the lemon in the cake was delicious — but texture was off. and maybe i just didn’t like it because of the dryness. try for yourself! xx.

DSC_0043

recipe courtesy — bbc food.

 

lemon lavender bundt cake.

i did not have time to add this into the birthday post that was put up on saturday. here is the cake that accompanied the birthday party!

DSC_0129

DSC_0118

i literally picked this recipe out last, laassst minute on friday evening and needed the cake saturday morning. it turned out incredibly moist and the flavor was unforgettable. i added additional lavender flowers and in the end, the flavor was not overpowering at all. i had a massive problem with sticking because i forgot to flour my bundt pan prior to baking. so in some of the photos you can see where i pieced the cake back together as if it were a jigsaw puzzle **OOPS, amateur baker here**.

DSC_0108

birthday girl loved this cake! and the birthday ended with obviously one of the greatest records ever.

DSC_0138

sources & recipe links are listed below. enjoy! xx.

i found the recipe for the cake on mondo fowler’s site, i bake he shoots – she has some seriously incredible dishes & desserts up on her site! but the original cake recipe came from fudge ripple [or soon-to-be sixty acre baker]. i used the frosting recipe from white on rice couple.

old-fashioned yellow cake with orange buttercream.

this was a birthday cake i made last fall for someone special who happens to have a thing for orange frostings, icings & buttercreams. all things orange, in fact.

DSC_0017

i followed the recipe mostly, switching out the vanilla essence for vanilla bean paste and adding a bit more flour. this cake is incredible because it can be made as a loaf and still turn out quite perfectly.

DSC_0036

i didn’t save the frosting recipe [yet again — i promise i’m saving everything from here on out]! however, i’m fairly certain it was similar to the one listed in the link provided at the bottom of the page. i changed quite a few things in the recipe i did find but the one listed should turn out to be close. xx.

DSC_0030

cake recipe courtesy — taste of home.

try this for frosting! — taste of home.

 

german chocolate cake[s].

before the actual post! if you don’t want to read further & you are solely here for the cakes — i’ve placed the links right here at the top of the page. enjoy! xx.

german chocolate cakes – recipe courtesy — bakers royale {& david lebovitz, see if making full cake}.

candied pecans – recipe courtesy — alix.

nick & i have traveled to so many different places together in just four years. i hadn’t realized until i was sorting through old photographs last week for one of his birthday presents. i put together this balloon mosaic in our bedroom sort of as the kick-off to all of his birthday celebrations.

IMG_1900

IMG_1898

IMG_1896

IMG_1901

i had written him this long note about how getting older isn’t so terrible & all of the memories in the photographs hanging off of the balloons are proof that every year only adds to the incredible travels & fantastic experiences he’s already had.

DSC_0158

DSC_0144

DSC_0120

DSC_0130

the whole thing was to try and help him feel less anxious about the big 3-5, stop worrying about the numbers & to see things from a different light. see life a little bit differently.

IMG_1899

DSC_0091

DSC_0112

on the back of the pictures, there were little stories that, when strung together, made up a large written reminder of just how awesome his life is, even at 35.

DSC_0095

DSC_0094

DSC_0076

DSC_0093

DSC_0105

DSC_0082

DSC_0083

DSC_0097

DSC_0100

DSC_0101

all balloons aside, let’s get to the bakes! i baked twice for his big day. the first was a special recipe his grandmother used to make — i don’t have the original recipe but had found the closest i possible could a few years ago. i’ll be sharing this in an entirely separate post. the second bakes were a major labour of love. i thought carrot cake was intense — until i made these. if you plan to make these, give yourself at least one full day, preferably more. they can be made up to two days ahead of time & i recommend doing just that.

so for 35. . . .miniature, three-layer german chocolate cakes [since nick loooooves coconut]. the recipe that i used was a tiny adaptation from david lebovitz {who has some of the best recipes! seriously! the homemade horchata i made for the mexican spice horchata cake was found on his site.} bakers royale decided to take his recipe and make the cake into miniature desserts, which was brilliant. i had such a difficult time finding cake rings to make the individual cakes & torte that i eventually wound up making five extra large sheet cakes and cutting out the cake layers with a biscuit cutter. 95 cakes later and i was ready to assemble. i made my cakes three layers instead of four because — well — three layers & thirty cakes took me two days in the kitchen.

DSC_0386

the rum syrup will seemingly smell as though it is going to be too strong but in the end it will pair SO, SO nicely with the cake & pecan filling. trust me. i am all for booze cakes! of course the booze wasn’t baked in but it makes the cakes so sticky and moist & adds a wonderful rum flavour.

DSC_0310

i made a slight variation and decided, last minute [as usual], that the pecans on the very top would be best if they were candied. i was honestly really unsure of this as i wasn’t sure if the cinnamon would work well with the chocolate ganache and coconut/pecan mixture. it worked sooo well. if you have an extra hour to candy the pecans [let’s face it, if you’re making these little cakes, you have extra time] definitely do so. i have provided the recipe i used but as i had mentioned — i was in a massive hurry. this certainly isn’t the best recipe. it’s basic but they baked nicely. if you’ve made it this far, the recipes are listed just below. xx.

german chocolate cakes – recipe courtesy — bakers royale {& david lebovitz, see if making full cake}.

candied pecans – recipe courtesy — alix.

mardi gras king cake.

this is laaatttee! i meant to get the actual recipe up in time for mardi gras but all i managed to do in reality was fill my IG with photographs of the cake. oh well. . . .you guys can use this next year!

DSC_0177

so, i kind of cobbled together several different recipes to make this. i just picked whatever i liked and then threw it together. that’s the best way to be in the kitchen, right?

DSC_0303

i really do hate the frosting on king cakes. .i felt like every time i was taking a bite, i had to remind myself ‘this is not a cinnamon roll. this is not a cinnamon roll. .’ so that i could quickly get over the lack of cream cheese frosting and try to adapt to the thin, icing sugar-ee dribbles that just don’t do it for me. aside from the frosting, i really liked the filling recipe that i found.

DSC_0323

links to everything are at the bottom! this is a fun project to do in the kitchen with kids around mardi gras and you could try so many different variations. xx.

DSC_0348

cake & glaze recipe courtesy — the kitchn.

filling recipe courtesy — tastebook.

chocolate cherry lava cakes.

it appears this baking frenzy will never end & i am perfectly content in knowing that.

DSC_0050

i feel like i have made so many valentine treats for the week! however, most of which were actually not for us [as is always the case when i’m baking]. i baked treats for eva’s classroom and made biscuits for rigby eleanor & tuna treats for sycamore jones. pictured below were the individual valentine’s day desserts that followed the big annual dinner we made for the kids.

DSC_0070

these are single-serving, rich, decadent chocolate cakes that have a ganache center. the ganache is filled with a cherry & topped with cherry preserves. this is such a lovely recipe because the cake cooks thoroughly around the ganache allowing it to melt in the center.

DSC_0099

so for valentine’s day — this is what happens. . . .i go all out. the whole shebang. our house becomes a ‘restaurant’ & we move furniture around to separate the kitchen from the dining area. we hang sheets up so that the kids can’t see what we’re making in the kitchen. . . .& i spend a few hours every year crafting menus for appetizers, dinner and dessert. the kids think it’s the most fantastic thing ever. and i think that’s absolutely why we continue. 🙂 xx.

recipe courtesy — baking bites.

warm fuzzies.

i had asked the teacher weeks back if i could bring treats in for the classroom party. i know homemade treats are now frowned upon [rightfully so] in nearly all of the schools so i never have the opportunity to share – which is a huuge bummer. i was so overjoyed to be able to take these in for eva’s valentine party this year!

DSC_0201

DSC_0209

they took soo many hours of my precious time and in the end didn’t turn out as neatly as i wanted but they tasted scrumptious. i’m not much a fan of cake pops as they are the epitome of trends but these are similar to the pops without the sticks. . . .so a cake truffle. another trend.

DSC_0242

DSC_0211

a few of them came out with bug eyes. . . .

DSC_0218

and some looking a little bit creepy. . . .like this poor little fellow. . . .

DSC_0229

most are covered in white chocolate & some dark and then all were rolled in colored coconut shavings and adorned with [FRAGILE] white chocolate antennas, candy eye balls & white chocolate [BIG] feet.

DSC_0037

DSC_0021

DSC_0249

i made all different sorts of antennas. .& extras because sooo many broke during the building process.

DSC_0215

DSC_0234

i found this recipe on the hungry happenings blog. there is a direct link listed at the bottom of the page where you can find specific instructions for making the fuzzies. as for the cake, i used a recipe for a moist chocolate cake made with extra strong coffee using the french press and buttermilk. as listed in the fuzzy instructions, you will mix white frosting in with the cake to create the truffle batter — for the frosting i simply used some leftover white chocolate buttercream that i had on hand. i have both of those links listed below as well!

this recipe ended up being incredibly nostalgic for me as these little fuzzies remind me so much of little characters that were created by one of my best friends back in grade school. she called them koodies. i don’t remember how she spelled it exactly but i distinctly recall what they looked like. before long, our entire group of friends were drawing them. . . .doodling away in class and sharing with one another. i spent hours at home drawing the little koodies. anyway, the fuzzies are time consuming so i would suggest giving yourself a couple of hours for the cake (prep, baking, cooling) and at least a few hours for making the truffles, rolling them all out & assembling the little creatures. this is not a quick endeavor. xx.

warm fuzzy recipe courtesy — hungry happenings.

moist chocolate cake recipe courtesy — mamaFaMi.

white chocolate buttercream recipe courtesy — two peas & their pod.