life in an ice cream cone

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It was a wonderful day – sunny, hot, the birds singing, kids playing outside. One of those Sundays we are looking forward to during the long winter months.

I packed my gym bag, locked my apartment door and put on my sunglasses.  Accompanied by the soothing sounds of leaves moving in a gentle breeze I walked towards the train station, to meet a friend and spend an hour or two visiting a flee market and park in Berlin. Half way I realized I forgot to pack something and turned around. I would be late, so decided not to walk to the main station, but instead to take another train to save a few minutes. Waiting in the glistering sun, an older lady approached me and asked whether I would help her lifting her walker into the train. Of course, I agreed. She sat next to me and started to talk. ‘I am 91 years old, but it doesn’t matter’ she said ‘I am just returning from choir. Later I will go to a concert. I have always been active and never stop. Tomorrow I will go to the gym […] I have always learned. Never stopped learning. I was a teacher. When I was young working on the fields, I have been asked to apply for a scholarship and study abroad. Back then, that was more than a huge honor. Out of those 60 applicants, I received a scholarship. I have been a math teacher with great passion. One of my students never stopped being in touch.[…] I have a good life. My daughter and my son are both good people. My daughter will leave for Canada for 4 weeks, but I will be taken care of, spending time at a home during that time[…] I am not going to talk about sickness. I am old, cannot write anymore or read. My doctor told me, I shouldn’t expect my eyes to work as if I was twenty. ‘They are 91 after all as well’, though this was really rude to say. […] I had cancer in the 30s, a difficult time[..]’. ‘You never give up, do you?’ I asked. ‘No,’ she said ‘Why would I? Life is beautiful. Learn and do sports and you will be old and happy’.

It now all makes sense: The forgotten item, the decision to take the train and not walk.

A stranger, a 91 year old sweet looking lady, taught me some life lessons. Thinking back to this conversation, I feel that even though she mentioned only two things –learning and sports – to lead a long and happy life, I believe there are three that we can learn from her:

  1. Be open, find your passion, learn
  2. Never stop moving
  3. Never give up and be positive. Fight with a smile on your face and happiness in your heart

 

The way she was talking to me showed me that with an open mind, curiosity, a positive attitude towards this world you can have a long and healthy life.

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The sun matched the encounter of this day. It’s bright and warm beams lightened up my face and made me feel energized. I boarded the train, opened my book and learned. I went to meet my friend and then to the gym. A good start for a good life ahead of me?

Probably the best way to end a day like this is with a huge ice cream 😉 and if not real ice cream, maybe go for a cake that looks like it?

I made this one for a friend, who is a great ice cream lover and also one of the most positive people I have ever met.

Because she also loves chocolate and coffee, I decided for a coffee-chocolate cake. The Ice cream was made of chocolate cake and buttercream (basically like giant cake pops).

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Here is the recipe from my favorite recipe provider Dr.Oetker:

 

Sponge Cake:

4 eggs

100 gr sugar

1 pckg Vanilla sugar

100 gr flour

25 gr corn starch

1 Tsp baking powder

10 gr cocoa powder

½ Tsp cinnamon

2 Tsp Espresso powder

 

for Soaking:

2 Tsp Espresso powder

4 Tbs hot water

 

Light Filling:

200 gr white chocolate

200 gr heavy cream

3 leaves gelatin

 

Dark Filling:

200 gr dark chocolate

200 gr heavy cream

some cinnamon

50 gr butter

2 Tsp Espresso powder

 

How To:

  1. Light filling
  • Cut the chocolate into small chunks
  • Warm up the heavy cream
  • Add the white chocolate and let it melt
  • Cool over night

2. Dark Filling

  • Cut chocolate into small chunks
  • Warm up the heavy cream
  • Add the chocolate and melt it
  • Add cinnamon and espresso powder
  • Let cool over night

3. Cake:

  • With a mixer, beat eggs until fluffy (1 min)
  • Add vanillin sugar and sugar (1 min)
  • Beat another two minutes
  • In another bowl, mix flour, cocoa powder, corn starch, cinnamon, and espresoo powder
  • Add to egg-sugar mixture and mix on lowest speed
  • Bake for 30 min

4. Soaking:

  • Mix the espresso powder with the hot water and let cool

5. Light Filling:

  • Prepare the gelatin as instructed
  • With a mixer, mix the white chocolate-gelatin mixture and add one Tbs to the gelatin
  • Add gelatin to the rest of the chocolate-cream mixture

6. Dark Filling:

  • Mix the chocolate- cream mixture with a mixer
  • Add butter and mix until combined

7. Finish:

  • Divide the cooled cake into three layers
  • Spread the light filling on the first layer
  • Cover with second layer
  • Soak with the prepared espresso
  • Spread dark filling
  • Cover with third layer and sprinkle with rest of espresso

 

I covered the cake with dark chcoloate ganache to prepare it for the fondant.

For the ice cream, I used a normal chocolate cake and some left overs of the sponge cake, mixed it with some of the filling and normal butter cream and formed balls.

Once placed on the cake, I covered them with buttercream in three different colors. The strawberry color was made with food coloring, and for the chocolate one I simply added some cocoa.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t stay to watch people eating the cake, but I received some very good feedback. My friend told me that this was the best cake I have ever made and it was all gone within just a few minutes.

Even though there were some people slightly disappointed that this was not just a giant ice cream, at the end everybody was happy with the taste of the cake and apparently the ice cream part was the best 😉

Hope you all have a wonderful summer with lots of ice cream – real or not 😉

 

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