winter wonderland

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I promised I would post a cake with a full recipe.. with a filling and decoration and all. Tadaaaaa.. here it is 😉 Ok, it is some time ago that I made this cake.. like a month, but it is still up to date, I think. With snow and snowstorms everywhere, it feels like winter just got here and will stay for a while. Isn’t it like this every year? People say that “this time we didn’t have a real winter” and I always think: “it is only january.. just wait.. winter didn’t even really start”. Often enough snow comes in January and not before.. winters are long.. a little too long, if you ask me. First it’s grey and grey and rainy and then gray… it is depressing. Then it changes… into another shade of grey. In January, it gets colder, people start to complain and then….the first snowflakes tickle our noses and we forget that it is actually cold and wet outside. Winter finally makes sense, when the world turns white and the nights are not so dark anymore, but illuminated by the brightest fields of white and soft snow. I don’t like winter.. at least not the grey days, but when the first snow falls, I feel so peaceful. Have you ever walked through a busy town after the first snow? Somehow, the noise seems to vanish. It is covered by the silence of falling snowflakes. They fall in silence and place themselves in silence. It is like another world. I remember that I experienced this silence and peace while I was living in vienna. I recall the feeling when I got out of the subway and went through the streets to my apartment. I never experienced this silence, peacefulness and calmness in this town and it just transferred into every fiber of my body. I felt calm, peaceful and just happy. Weird, right? I love it 🙂

Unfortunately, Christmas is usually not blessed with snow-covered streets. It is more often one of the grey days (maybe this is the only positive thing about those short days.. at least, it gets dark early, so we don’t have to see the grey 😉 ) Christmas 2014 was way too warm for winter and rainy as well.. :/ I was supposed to work until Christmas Eve, but got sick and stayed at home until the 23rd. When I arrived at my mom’s place (where we celebrated Christmas), I did not have much time for preparations for a cake. I made some cake pops for Christmas Eve and was supposed to make a cake for the second day of Christmas, when the rest of the family would come over. The type of the cake I found weeks before on my several trips through the baking sites on the internet 😉 So, it was clear, I would make a “Spekulatius” cake – a cake with the traditional Christmas Almond cookies (I love them 🙂 ) The recipe sounded great, so I wanted to try it. I used only the filling, though, because I like to take my own sponge cake recipe, for I am sure it always works.

For the decoration.. well, like I said, I did not have much time and also no plan at all. I would do it spontaneously. After the cake was done, I decided to go for a winter wonderland. I whipped some cream (I used a light cream mix, that you only add milk to.. we did not have heavy cream and the stores were closed, so I used what we had, but you can just use whip cream or butter cream) and covered the cake with it. I did not smooth it out on the top, to make it look more real and piped a small snowman. For the trees, I colored some cream with food coloring and decorated the trees with some sprinkles. For the river I used some blue crystal sprinkles.
It is a fast and easy way to bring some winter wonderland onto your table 🙂 I really liked it, although it was not as perfect, as I wanted it to be. Well.. next time 🙂

And here is the recipe:

As I said before I used my own recipe for the sponge cake, which I used for so many others before.

I used it with

6 eggs

6 tbsp sugar

6 tbsp flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder.

I always use this one, cause it is easy to remember – 1-1-1-1/4 – and never fails to perform well 😉 In a shorter post I will post this one individually, because it is a basic recipe that can be used with so many fillings. Easy and fast to make and simply a recipe you need to have available quickly when needed 😉

and this is how to prepare it:
1. beat the egg whites with the sugar and vanilla sugar

2. add the egg  yolks

3. add the flour and baking powder and quickly mix everything together

4. bake for 25-30 minutes at 180°C. Let cool

 

filling of the white spekulatius cake:

(http://www.chefkoch.de/rezepte/668651168858023/Weisse-Spekulatiustorte.html)

500 g raspberries

125 g sugar

2 packages vanilla sugar

100 g spekulatius cookies (a traditional almond christmas cookie with spices)

1 tbsp lemon juice

6 leaves gelatin 

500 g mascarpone

500 g cream cheese

1/2 tsp cinnamon

some cold water

400 g heavy cream

 

1. if you are using frozen raspberries, defrost in a strainer

2. For the filling crumble the cookies and set aside

3. purée the raspberries with 25 g sugar and the lemon juice 

4. prepare the gelatin as directed on package – most likely you will need to resolve it in some water, let sit for a few minutes and heat it up after it gets hard. Once it is fluid again, pour 3 tbs of the raspberry purée into the gelatin, mix it and pour the gelatine into the remaining raspberry purée.

5. let cool for approx. 5 minutes until it starts to thicken.

6. cut the cake into three layers and put a cake ring around it for support. 

7. pour the raspberry purée on top of the first layer and let cool for approx. one hour

8. mix the mascarpone, cream cheese, cinnamon, 100 g sugar and 1 package of vanilla sugar

9. add cookie crumbs

10. spread half of the cream on top of the raspberry purée and cover with second layer of cake. Spread remaining cream on top and cover with last layer. Let cool

11. whip heavy cream with one package of vanilla sugar and decorate cake

If you want you can use white chocolate for the cake as well. It is used in the original recipe, but it is only used for the decoration and since my cake didn’t need it, I did not mention it in the ingredients list.

Go out and build a snowman if you have the chance.. and if not, build one on your cake 🙂

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