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Posts Tagged ‘birthday’

Sometimes things are black and white 🙂

whole-all

Investigator asked for a chocolate mousse cake for his birthday.

So Insightful, trying to be different asked for a white mousse cake for his birthday. Being insightful, he arrived at the conclusion that having a cake the exact opposite doesn’t make him different. So he asked for a different topping and decorations as well.

Chocolate Mousse cake

Same as here, except I added 2 heaped tblsp of instant chocolate pudding to the mousse to make it more stable and then it doesn’t need to be frozen. Writing on top was piped with melted white chocolate.

Investigator cut round.jpg

 

White chocolate mousse cake (no bake!)

Base:

150 gr white gluten-free cookies (vanilla or petit-buerre)
100 gr margarine or butter, melted (was a bit much, will try with 75 next time)

Mix together and level in the bottom of the cake pan.

White chocolate mousse:

1 box whipping cream (250 ml)
1 packet white chocolate (100 gr)
4-5 tbsp water
2 heaped tblsp instant vanilla pudding

Melt chocolate and water in the microwave. Mix until smooth (I had lumps still, didn’t make a difference). Mixture should be liquid enough to pour when warm (not hot).

Whip cream until stiff. Add melted white chocolate and continue beating. Add vanilla pudding and continue beating until smooth. Place on base and level top.

Vanilla cream:

1 box whipping cream (250 ml)
200 ml milk
1 packet instant vanilla pudding

Beat all together until creamy and smooth. Place on mousse and level. Refrigerate overnight (can probably refrigerate less, I didn’t try).

Decorate with melted bittersweet chocolate and decorations of choice. Decorations with food coloring should be placed immediately before serving as the color runs afterwards (the picture above has the few decorations I put before I remembered this 🙂 I added more afterwards).

Insightful cut.jpg

And joy reigned in the kingdom of LeftoverRecipes…

Take Her To A Peaceful Place by FrankAtt

Take her to a peaceful place” by Frank Att

 

 

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I opened one eye at 8:40 today. 8:40! I think the last time I woke up at this hour I was sick. As no one came to ask me for something, I did some stretches (who has the time?). And then my husband knocked and said, “Investigator has made you breakfast. And Insightful left a present of all his favorite drawings by the room” . I went to eat and discovered this:

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Can you believe it? What more can one want?
Add that to the large family dinner yesterday and lunch tomorrow that I don’t have to cook, and an excellent movie with my boys, and this has got to be the best birthday ever :):):)

Shabbat shalom!

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My birthday was last Friday – I am now 30! Goodbye to the roaring 20s…

What I really wanted for my birthday was to be with my family, so Thursday evening we had a BBQ for our family and I enjoyed myself very much. We had entrecote steaks, chicken breasts in two different marinades, and salmon. Everything was amazing! I also made potatoes in the oven (just wash ’em, wrap in aluminum foil and throw them in the oven at 200 C for one hour), carrot, cucumber and red pepper sticks, cherry tomatoes, pitas, hummus, and my mother made my kids’ favorite carrot salad. For dessert I cut up some melon. A good time was had by all. 🙂

Friday I made myself my birthday cake (with my toddler’s help) and we ate it with the kids. I also made sure to give some to my parents –  though my sincere apologies to my in-laws – there is no cake left! My toddler loved it, my youngest didn’t like it a first but got used to it quickly, and it is one of my favorite cakes.

And my husband bought me beautiful flowers.

Not a bad way to start a decade.

Beautiful flowers

Chicken breast marinade I:
Juice from 1 lemon
Olive oil (about equal to the amount of lemon)
One bunch parsley, chopped (a bunch is however many stalks I can hold in my hand with the fingers and thumb touching)
pinch salt

Mix, and marinate breasts for 30 minutes to an hour before grilling. Enough for schnitzels cut from 3 chicken breasts.

Chicken breast marinade II:
6 tbsp white wine
6 tbs honey
6 tbsp mustard
3 tbsp olive oil
3 pinches salt
dried oregano to taste

Mix everything and marinate chicken breasts for 30 minutes to an hour. Is enough for schnitzels cut from 3 chicken breasts. Yum!

Salmon Teriyaki
This is from a food magazine called “Al Hashulhan” (“On the table”). This was amazing.
Teriyaki sauce:
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup soy sauce
1 cup water
6 cloves crushed garlic (I used two as we are not garlic lovers. Next time I’ll try three)
Ginger, chopped (I used dry and it was OK)

Caramelize the sugar (I tried to, I think it was OK) and add the other ingredients (at this point my caramelized sugar became a lump. It dissolved in the end, but if anyone might have comments on how to caramelize and add cold liquids, they would be greatly appreciated. Or maybe I should have cooked the caramel more?). Simmer for 20 minutes. Keeps in the fridge for a few weeks in a closed bottle.

Marinate the salmon fillet in the sauce for 30 minutes to 4 hours and grill. Sublime.

And, as every child knows, there is no birthday without a cake:

Chocolate sponge cake (from “Ugot Lekol Et” – “Cakes for all seasons” by Nina Shuer)
6 egg whites
1 cup sugar
6 egg yolks
2 tbsp brandy
2 tbsp oil
1 tbsp vanilla essence
pinch salt
3/4 cup white flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder

Beat eggs until foam appears. Add sugar in two three times while beating until foam is stiff yet still a little liquid (“flexible”). mix yolks, brandy, oil, vanilla and salt separately and fold in. Mix cocoa and flour (I really recommend sifting it) and fold in. Pour into a greased pan and bake in a preheated oven at 160 degrees for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Because I made this with my toddler, I removed 4 tablespoons of the batter into two muffin cups (2 tbsp each) and baked them first for 7-8 minutes so that my toddler would have something to show for his efforts, and the youngest too. It was very good!

Vanilla cream filling:
1 cup milk
250 ml whipping ream
1 packet instant vanilla pudding

Beat together until fluffy. I already mentioned this cream – this is undoubtedly my favorite food in the world. I could eat this alone. To paraphrase, sometimes the cake is just an excuse… 🙂

Slice cake lengthwise in two, putting the upper layer on a plate. Spread half the cream on the lower layer. Cover with upper layer. Spread cream on top (and I even had enough left over that I could eat it, but not so much that I felt guilty 🙂 )

I decorated the top with melted chocolate chips. My MIL gave me decorating pen (she knows I love these things) so I tried it out. It is a combination pen and syringe: You suck into the pen whatever filling you want and by squeezing on the sides of the pen you write what you want. It was nice an easier to handle than the Wilton piping bag I’ve got, but for even slightly longer or more complicated decoration the piping bag is better as the pen is less comfortable and has more air inside.

Decorating pen

The result was a pleasure to the eye and the palate.

My Birthday Cake

Just before picking up the fork...

Bon Apetit!

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Last Friday we celebrated my 3 year old’s birthday at his day care. We were supposed to bring:

1) a cake;

2) a bag of goodies for each child;

3) a little present for each child.

Now, what most parents do is buy a cake (or two), buy ready bags of sweets, and buy little presents at the dollar store. I couldn’t.

I admit it: I have a problem. I cannot give things I don’t like. I’m not crazy about bought cakes, and as for bought bags of sweets, I think they’re outright disgusting. Now, the children couldn’t care less. My son loves anything sweet and doesn’t really care if it was home-made or not. But I do.

Also, what’s the point of having a birthday party if my son isn’t part of the preparations in some way?

So: He went with his dad to the dollar store. They bought something slightly more expensive, but that can actually be played with without it falling apart (and they got a discount in the end, so that was OK). For bags of goodies, I decide to make pizza dough with my son, cut it with cookie cutter, and fill with different fillings (more about that at my next post). And for the cake – I made a train cake.

I could have bought two loaf cakes, but I made them instead. The recipe is based on what is known in French as a 4-cake or quarter-cake:

200 gr each of margarine (or butter), sugar and flour; 4 eggs, 1 tsp baking powder.

I have never baked with more than 150 gr margarine, and I found that the cake was a little dense for my taste, so I lowered the amount of flour as well. It’s also a little sweet, so I lower the sugar and I have a 150-cake 🙂 . This is a base cake, you can add any flavouring you like. I usually add lemon zest from one lemon, making a lemon loaf cake. For the birthday, I added 1 tsp of vanilla. You can add orange zest, cinnamon, flavoured essence, whatever you want!

Cake ingredients: (for one cake – I doubled this for two loaves)

1 1/2 cups flour (150 gr)
3/4 cup sugar (150 gr)
150 gr margarine (or butter)
4 eggs
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla

Just mix everything in the food processor. Easy – peasy …

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To make it easy to remove the cake from the pan, I lined the cake pan with aluminium foil.

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Pour into a loaf pan, and bake in a preheated oven at 160 degrees C for 40 mins or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Sometimes it takes less than 40 minutes (depending on the size of your loaf) so keep an eye on it.

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I made this a day in advance. The next evening, I removed the cakes from the pans, and cut into cars. I removed the rounded tops and turned the cakes upside down so they would be nice and flat. One of my pans is slightly longer than the other, so I cut the shorter one exactly in half, and longer I cut into three pieces: 2 the same size as the “cars” form the shorter cake, and an extra bit. This extra bit goes on top of one of the cars to make the engine.

Unfrosted

Most train cake recipes advocate a colorful frosting. I am not crazy about food coloring and I hate buttercream frosting. It just kills me that I use a cup of sugar in the cake and 1 Kg of sugar for the frosting 😯 .

So I used chocolate frosting for all the cars, and vanilla cream to “glue” the engine and to decorate.

Chocolate frosting: (recipe from “cakes for all seasons” (Ugot lekol et))

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
1/4 cup water
100 gr margarine

Place sugar, water and cocoa in a little pan. Heat until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat. Mix margarine until fully melted. If doesn’t melt, return to heat as necessary but do not let the mixture boil.

Chocolate frosting

Vanilla Cream:

1 cup milk
1 box whipping cream (250 ml)
1 packet instant vanilla pudding (I love this. I could eat this every day!)

Whip until fluffy.

I used a dab of vanilla cream to glue the engine. Then I used an egg brush to coat all the cars and engine with chocolate frosting.

Frosting the cakes IFrosting the cakes II

Then I placed the vanilla cream in a piping bag and decorated to my hearts’ content. To finish, I placed round pretzels (“beygale” in Hebrew) for wheels: 4 for each car and six for the engine. I also built a tower of Beygale and vanilla cream to make the chimney stack of the engine.

Final Train

My son saw this in the morning. I told him it was for his birthday. After staring at it in complete shock for a few seconds, this smile started growing on his face and then he began:

“For me? I’ll have the engine, and Daddy will get the first car and  – wait, that won’t be enough for everyone… So I’ll give the first car to Daddy and the teacher and …”

He was talking about it all morning –  and the smile stayed on until waaay after the cake had gone.

This is what I bake for.

Bon Apetit!

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