Chocolate Passion fruit Cake

I made four different chocolate cakes in last couple of week, using all different recipes. Some for friend’s and family’s birthdays and some for just to eat as my friends who came for tea. A perfect chocolate sponge recipe for a birthday cake is a thing I am searching for many years, and I am still not set on one. (If you have an absolute favourite, please do give me the recipe!)

I made this cake once nearly two years ago for my husband’s birthday, and I remembered that I thought this might be ‘the one’.  So I tried a few times more with different creams and then I forgotten about it.

When I thought about a birthday cake for a friend of mine a few weeks ago, I remembered this cake. It’s a recipe from a BBC bake off winner, Jo Wheatley, and you can get the recipe here.

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This is a chocolate sponge cake with cream cheese + passion fruit frosting. It is quite sweet but the passion fruit give a nice sharpness. A real treat for a birthday party.

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In original recipe linked above, the sponge is baked in a 20cm tin and sliced into three. But I used two of 18cm tin, and slice a cake into two to get four layer. I also pipe the cream with a large round nozzle to decorate.

I thought this is a perfect cake for grown-up party, but in fact, my kids and friend’s grand-children enjoyed it, too. As long as you like a passion fruit, this cake is a wonderful treat for a special occasion.

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Orange Almond Cake with Chocolate Cage No2

This orange and almond cake has a big fan. A friend of mine orders it time to time, whenever she is having special occasion with her friend who has gluten allergy.

This time she only needed small cake, but rose and chocolate caging were called for to celebrate her friend birthday.

Remember this post?

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Orange and Almond Cake with Chocolate Cage (reviewed recipe there)

First time I tried this cage, I used white chocolate to contrast with dark chocolate ganache. It was lovely and I love the look.
However, the friend wanted dark chocolate only this time, as another friend of hers does not like white chocolate.
Well, that’s I am here for. These sort of tweaking can be only possible because you are ordering your cake, not buying from a shop.

Ta darrrr….

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(Spayed part had birthday lady’s name, not anything rude in case you are wondering! Just I haven’t asked her if she is happy with her name out here.)

Well, I said I liked white cage before, but black on black wasn’t bad.

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Sorry no inside picture of this cake, it had two layer of 15cm orange almond cake, with more chocolate ganache in the middle. The cage/ring is 18cm, dark chocolate. This cake is very moist and orangey, as it contains whole boiled orange. Very different from usual sponge.

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Chocolate rose are made of chocolate clay. White leaves and birthday lady’s name are piped white chocolate.

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Happy Fiesta Friday! No54  This week’s hosts are Angie@thenovicegardener and co-hosts Sonal @simplyvegetarian777 and Josette @thebrookcook. Thank you for all the hard work!

Have a nice weekend!!

Raspberry Chocolate Mousse Cake

I made these mousse cakes some time ago, but this is the perfect opportunity to write a post about it. Something special for Fiesta Friday Anniversary Party Part 2!

It was an order from a friend for hen party. She wanted individual, mousse or cream cakes which she would find in Japanese cake shops. I thought and thought, and came up with an idea for pink and chocolaty cake, something special and elegant.

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When I discussed this idea with a friend who ordered those cakes, she told me that bridal theme color was black. Dark chocolate coating of the cake fitted perfectly!

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(Inside: it is a bit messy picture. This was the one I squashed the top by accident, and ended up in my mouth.)

Base was thin flourless chocolate cake, topped with tangy raspberry mouse, then chocolate mousse, coated with dark chocolate coating. I used gold shimmering powder and broken fresh raspberry on top.

I love sharpness of berry with sweet chocolate. These combination will be the one I cannot resist in Japanese cake shop.

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Another big THANK YOU, for hosting this big Fiesta Friday Anniversary Party, Angie and this week’s co-hosts, Selma @ Selma’s Table and Nancy @ Feasting with Friends. I am looking forward to seeing lots of main course and dessert this week. Yum!

Have a nice weekend!

Yule Log Birthday Cake (and the end of 2014)

I wanted to squeeze this Christmasy post in this year, 2014. Just managed with a few hours to spare.

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This cake was an order from a friend as a gift, the friend’s friend was celebrating her granddaughter’s birthday just before Christmas. So I made Christmas-y chocolate-y cake with full of little decorations. (She ordered smaller one for her own family. Thanks, K-san!)

It’s cocoa chiffon sponge roll cake, filled with caramel cream, coated with milk chocolate ganache.

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Chocolate squirrels collecting some caramel hazelnuts. (see the post about chocolate squirrel here)

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M
eringue mushroom, coated with white chocolate.

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****

2014 has been good year for me, but it was also a year to make me think lots about life and time. My grannies (both) had fallen ill while I was in Japan in summer, and one of my granny had past away since then. A few more loss and life changing things happening around my family and friends, it made me think. It’s difficult to contemplate clearly, but something is there to be thought about and brought into my life. Whatever that is, that is my new year’s resolution. Well, I need to give it a New Year pondering, while others party tonight.

Happy new year to everyone!!

Cake Sale

I had a wonderful opportunity to open my ‘cake shop’ at Japanese women’s coffee morning club last month. ( It was end of November, but time is flying since we hit December, and I haven’t had a chance to post photo. Phew! )

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I made several type of cakes, some traditional Japanese, and some other cakes which are common in Japanese cake shop. (With excitement and stress of organizing everything, I forgot to take my camera, so my friend Y-san kindly took photos of cake sale on her phone and send it to me. Thanks, Y-san! And I manage to take a few more photo at home afterwards.)

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S
HIOMAME DAIFUKU (rice bumpling with Azuki bean paste with salted red pea)

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CHIGO DAIFUKU (Rice dumpling with Azuki beans with fresh strawberry)
You may find this combination strange, it is certainly not traditional. But it is now common to see this at Japanese WAGASHI (traditional Japanese cake) shop in Spring time.

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G
reen tea & Azuki Millecrepe: Layers of thin crepe and green tea cream and Azuki bean cream.

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M
ilk Chocolate Cake: Simple cocoa genoise sponge and milk chocolate ganache, topped with a chocolate macaroon.
My son’s favorite is those simple chocolate cake.

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M
ont Blanc: Chestnuts cake, it is French cake, but very popular in Japan in Autumn.
[Almond meringue base, creme pat, chopped sweeten chestnuts, whipped cream, and then covered with chestnuts cream topped with chestnuts. sugar coated hazelnuts at bottom. ]

It’s a time consuming thing to make it from scratch, but it taste wonderful. I only make them in Autumn when fresh chestnuts are in season. I am still learning how to cook sweeten chestnuts (SHIBUKAWANI) perfectly like my granny would have done. But it is a skill and also it depends on quality/freshness of chestnuts you can get.

To whom wondering why it is not white, even if it is called white mountain (mont blanc), nowadays, Mont Blanc is just a name for this cake, this cake doesn’t have to be white on top at all. Sometime you see them with dusting of icing sugar, but I just didn’t have non-melt icing sugar. You can sprinkle usual icing sugar if you are eating it straight away.

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R
aspberry mousse cake: Mousse cake is very popular in Japan. Many cakes sold in Japan contain some sort of mousse. I guess Japanese likes soft light texture in their cake. I love sharp fruits in my cake, so I love those raspberry mousse.

[from bottom, genoise sponge sandwiched with raspberry jam, raspberry puree, vanilla bavarois, raspberry mousse, raspberry gel, topped with fresh raspberry and white chocolate decoration]

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A
 little box set packed for a friend’s order. Thanks to many friends who came to buy my cake. It was fun to try my ‘pop cup cake shop’.

Have a nice weekend!

Dinosaur Cake – cream version

Every year since my first one was born, we did birthday party, inviting friends and their kids, and classmates nowadays.
Last year, we had a cowboy theme party for both boys.
This year, my big one didn’t seem so fussed about party, so we went out and took him for ten pin bowling instead. He really enjoyed it.
My little one wanted to have a Dinosaur Party for his birthday. I wasn’t sure if I am up for it this year but I deiced to give it a go again.

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He already took a cake for his birthday at his pre-school (dinosaur cake – iced version), so I made different type of cake for the party. It’s genoise sponge with fresh cream, raspberry and white chocolate shaving in the middle.

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Then topped with pale green colour coconuts and more white chocolate, and dinosaur biscuits.

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(T-Rex couldn’t stand up on his own feet, so he decided to stay down and spy on those sweet looking herbivorous. )

Big rocks are shop bought chocolate coated Brazil nuts and small ones are chocolate raisins.

Those cookies cutter is from Lake Land.
Very good cutter, sharp cut and cute shape. Four different shape of dinosaur.

I also made a few more things with dinosaur theme, but as I was frantically cooking and serving party food, I didn’t have a chance to take a shot.

Anyhow, my boys enjoyed the party with friends, and some animals!

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  “ROARRRR! I’m FOUR!!!”

Have a nice weekend!
And happy Fiesta Friday! (Yes, I managed to put a post on Friday, Yay!)

(Nov 2014)

Gluten Free Naked Summer Wedding Cake

Don’t worry, no one is naked here.
Yes, we all got clothes on.
You can open your eyes now. (see, you were looking between your fingers, otherwise how do you know if I said to open your eyes.)

Only the thing naked is the cake.

Is that new term? I don’t know, but apparently, layered cakes without any icing seemed to  be called ‘Naked Cake’.

Special occasion cakes often has butter cream icing and regal/fondant icing covering exterior. But those icing can be sickly sweet.  I often peel off the icing and eat sponge and cream. I thought it was because I was from Japan and not used to those type of cake.  But apparently it wasn’t only me. There must have been many people dislike icing on the cake.

I was asked to make a gluten free naked cake, for a friend’s relative’s wedding.

A wedding cake.

This was why I was doing a trail (which I posted about here). It’s a big deal. I couldn’t mess up.

The bride and groom are lovely couple, and asked me to make my usual gluten free Victoria sponge which they had eaten before, then fill them with mascarpone cream and summer berries.

The wedding was in July, in a beautiful garden of Mount Stewart (National Trust).

They are having a simple family wedding, just ceremony and coffee+cake later on, so rustic summer feeling of naked cake fitted the theme very well.

I did trial and I know I was fine.
But I had a mishap of shopping, I got to know that Dove’s gluten free self-raising flour does not simply equal to Dove’s g/f plain flour + baking powder. S.R flour also contains xanthan gum, so it gives better texture than just using plain flour + baking powder, which was good but not quite perfect. (Thanks to my lovely helping husband it was all sorted.)

I baked layers of the cake, and sandwiched cream and fruits a night before, kept each tiers wrapped and refrigerated till next day.

On the day, my good friend minded my boys for me, and off I went with cakes. Each rumps and turn, I was so worried that the cake will be moving about and being squashed. I do not know how professional cake decorators deliver their cakes, or do they simply have strong hearts?

I get to the garden well ahead of the time, and stuck up the tier and decorated the cake with lots of fruits and bit of mint.

Well, the setting was so lovely. A simple wedding in such a beautiful surrounding.
Sunny July day in a historic garden, full of flours and greens. What more do you want for a wedding?
I really enjoy decorating the cake under a little white gazebo in a beautiful garden.

The results.

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Gluten free Naked Summer Wedding Cake

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I used strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries from shop, and white currents from my garden. I added some mint for colour.

Sponge is gluten free victoria, cream is mascarpone cream.  Strawberry jam is also hiding between the cream.

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I run out of the battery of the camera, so I couldn’t take good shots of surrounding garden, but it was beautiful garden filled with bright summer flowers. Naked cake really suited the occasion.

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Congratulation to M&M.

Happily ever after.

and as for the rest of us, Happy Fiesta Friday! (I had to skip a few weeks, but I am back to the party this week. Thank you for Angie and co-hosts.)
and happy weekend to all!!