понеделник, 6 октомври 2014 г.

Birthdays

I know it's a hackneyed expression to say that time is ticking away, but it really is! On February 8 I turned 23, but my birthday is not the reason I realized how time was getting on. On February 9 my little cousin turned 9 years! I feel like she was born yesterday! I remember how we were rocking her to sleep in a blanket, because she couldn't sleep nights. I remember changing her diapers on a table, and my aunt made me look at her not to fall over the high table. We were walking in the park, taking pictures and videos of ourselves. When asking her how old she was, she barely could say "free" and was showing three fingers. She is studying English now, she is watching movie series, playing games on the internet, following hard diets (she used that expression when she realized that her trousers will not fit her for the party), making poses for photos, dancing wildly on "Gangnam Style" and Krisko Beats. Can you think of a better way to understand that time is flying, than seeing your children have grown up?


I made a two floor cake, 20 invitations (with my boyfriend's help!) and 32 fondant biscuits for the party. The kids were being amused by an animator in a cozy entertainment place. They were jumping of joy, romping and spreading a good energy all over themselves. As a senior, I was quietly taking photos with the camera, making remarks and keeping discipline. I have to admit that in the inside I was burning in desire to rush forward to their games or to start dancing side by side with them on the Penguin dance.


Madeira cake
Adapted from BBC GoodFood
for 32 pieces

Ingredients for the cake layers:
For the first floor (25 centimeters): 
526 g butter, room temperatute
526 g sugar
9 eggs
750 g flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
a pinch of salt
8 tablespoons milk
vanilla 

For the second floor (16 centimeters):
270 g butter, room temperatute
270 g sugar
4 eggs
220 g flour
1 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
a pinch of salt
4 tablespoons milk
vanilla


Beat the butter and sugar together in a bowl until pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating the mixture well between each one and adding a tablespoon of the floor with the last egg to prevent mixture curdling. Mix together the floor, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Sift the floor mixture to the butter mixture and fold in, with enough milk to give a mixture that falls slowly from the spoon. Separate the mixture in two parts and put 2 tablespoons of natural cocoa in one of them. Mix well, and spoon the mixture into two prepared buttered tins, covered with baking paper, and lightly level the top. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 60 - 70 minutes to 180C, or until a skewer inserted into a center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn it out on to a wire rack and leave to cool completely. Prepare the cake layers for the second floor in the same way, just decrease baking time.

Ingredients for the inside cream:
250 g instant Bavarian cream
500 ml cold water

In a bowl mix together the instant cream with water for 5 minutes until thick and fluffy.

Ingredients for the butter cream:
250 g butter, room temperature
150 g sugar
2-3 tablespoons milk

In a bowl mix together butter with sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the milk and be sure that the sugar is dissolved.

Covering and decoration:
2 kilos white fondant
natural farina 
food coloring
sugar pearls
toothpicks
skewers


Putting the pieces of the cake together:
Cut the cake layers on two. You should have two chocolate and two vanilla cake layers. Place a vanilla cake layer on cake plate, coated with a little bit of the cream.Cream the cake layer, put a chocolate layer on it and press. Do the same with the other cake layers. Put the two separate floors in the fridge for a while. Cream the cakes with the butter cream. Cover them completely, so that you cannot see the cake layers. Put the cakes in the fridge again.
Color the fondant, adding small amount of the food coloring, until you receive the desired nuance. Roll the fondant on a big circle, using natural farina. Using the rolling-pin, transfer it onto the cake and smooth with a cake polisher. Do the same with the second floor. Fix four skewers in the middle of the first floor. Put the second floor over the first. Decorate with sugar pearls, make some small balls, roses, let your imagination roam! To glue the elements, use sugar syrup.


Lemon cardamom biscuits

Ingredients:
for 32 biscuits:
174 g butter, room temperature
280 g sugar
2 eggs
vanilla
grated rind of 1 lemon
a pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
300 g flour + more for kneading

for decoration:
different colored fondant
sugar syrup
sugar pearls
dough cutters
cellophane envelopes
bows


With an electric mixer, cream butter until soft. Add the sugar gradually and continue beating until light and fluffy. Using a wooden spoon, slowly mix in the eggs, one at a time. Add the vanilla, lemon rind, salt and cardamom. Add the flour and stir until blended. Gather the mixture into a ball, wrap in baking parchment and chill for at least 2 hours. On a floured surface, roll out the dough to 5 mm thick. Stamp out shapes with biscuit cutters. I chose asymmetrical squares and rectangles to give them more child's look. Bake until lightly colored, about 8 minutes to 180C. Transfer to a rack carefully and leave to cool completely before decorating with fondant. Use sugar syrup for glue.
My decorating idea was to use same shapes and colors as the decoration of the cake. Wrap the biscuits in cellophane envelopes and bind them with colored bows.

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