Monday, May 27, 2013

Lemon and Raspberry Prinsesstårta

Korena of Korena in the Kitchen was our May Daring Bakers’ host and she delighted us with this beautiful Swedish Prinsesstårta!

Do you want to know what Prinsesstårta is? It is a dome-shaped cake consisting of a light sponge, a fruit jam, vanilla custard and whipped cream – and covered in green marzipan. They say, the original recipe was created in the 1930s by a Swedish home economics teacher named Jenny Åkerström, who taught the three Swedish princesses of the time. She published a series of four cookbooks called “The Princess Cookbooks” and in one of the editions, there was a recipe for “Grön Tårta” (green cake). One story is that this later became known as “princess cake” (prinsesstårta) because the three princesses are said to have loved it so much. Another story is that Ms. Åkerström actually created three very elaborate “princess cake” recipes – a different one for each princess – and that the current version is a simplified combination of all three.

I’ve decided to make a modified version of Prinsesstårta – with raspberry pate de fruit, lemon custard and lemon flavoured chocolate plastique. I assembled the cake upside down in a bowl (which I find to be a more comfortable way of dealing with dome-shaped cakes) and decorated it with freeze-dried raspberry powder and fresh raspberries.

A classic combination of raspberries and lemon in a form of a Prinsesstårta was impeccable. Thank you, Korena, for telling us about this beautiful cake from Swedan!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Cauliflower and White Chocolate Ice Cream

Since we have started to discuss the use of vegetables in desserts, I couldn’t but recollect a wonderful dish by Matt Moran (Aura restaurant, Sidney) which he presented at a master class in one of the episodes of Masterchef Australia Season 4.  It was a cauliflower and white chocolate ice cream served with vanilla cauliflower puree, nutmeg sponge and caramelized honey bread. Sounds weird, doesn’t it?  But do you know what I love about cooking the most? Nonconformality!  Thus, I decided to try the recipe at home.

I really enjoyed cooking this dish. There was much fun about putting sugar and vanilla in cauliflower puree. And I loved the technique of making honey crumble with the bread (I used a French baguette). And despite the “craziness” of the idea the dessert turned out to be one of the best which I managed to try recently. Even my husband who was very skeptical about it (at first he even thought that he misunderstood me when I said that I’m making a cauliflower ice cream) confessed that he liked it. Indeed, there is just a hint of cauliflower aroma in the dish which beautifully compliments white chocolate. The overall sweetness of the dessert is counterbalanced by the tartness of fresh raspberries and freeze dried raspberry powder (which I decided to add in order to get another texture and taste dimension in the dish).

I strongly recommend you to try this dessert and it definitely proves that we should step  out of our comfort zone of cooking and start searching new, nontraditional combination of ingredients!   

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Zucchini and Pecan Cake

Ruth from Makey-Cakey was our March 2013 Daring Bakers’ challenge host. She encouraged us all to get experimental in the kitchen and sneak some hidden veggies into our baking, with surprising and delicious results!

The challenge was supposed to be a wonderful opportunity for young mothers to make their children eat veggies in a form of a dessert. For me, however, it provided a great opportunity to feed my husband!

He is not a great fan of vegetables but he definitely has a sweet tooth (well, who doesn’t?) Ironically, once I’ve made a vegetable-based dessert. It was a cauliflower and white chocolate ice cream (by Matt Moran from one of Masterchef Australia master classes). My husband refused to try it when he learnt what it was made of. But when I finally convinced him into trying it, he was amazed and confessed that it was really yummy.

So, as I’ve chosen to make a zucchini cake for this month challenge, I made up my mind to keep the list of ingredients in secret. I presented the dessert as just “another cake”. And my husband was absolutely happy to have it. He enjoyed every single piece of it – and was quite shocked afterwards, when I revealed the secret ingredient of the cake.

I loved the cake myself as well. It was super moist due to zucchini and had a nice spicy note. I’ve a made a sour cream frosting – not an American-style one with lots of icing sugar (which I find to be way too sweat) but a Russian-like (more creamy and less sweat). The cake couldn’t have a better frosting and – topped with the nuts – served as a healthy and amazing dessert.
Yum, yum, yum!
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