Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Ariel Birthday Cake (Mermaid Cake)

This is the 2nd birthday cake I made for Lien.

Unfortunately I did not have much time to prepare the fondant myself so I used a ready made one. Disaster...

As you can see, the blue fondant is full of cracks plus it did not have the strength to stay on the cake in one piece. Just take a look on the right side of the cake…

Any way, Lien and my kids were thrilled with the overall result so I was happy too.

My kids and Lien helped me as well, so they were busy and happy!

 I had to put the cake in the fridge the soonest possible :-)



Thursday, August 25, 2011

Flip Flops for Lien (Birthday Cake)

On Saturday, the 27th of August 2011, Lien Dong will celebrate her 23rd birthday.  As I promised in an earlier post, this year I was going to choose a summer theme for her birthday. Well, this is one of the two birthday cakes, Lien is going to have this year. The other one is a Mermaid birthday cake.

She helped me to make and decorate the 2nd cake, without knowing that this cake was for her too. She was asking me how old is the girl and she was saying that the girl will be thrilled when she will see it. She only found out that it was for her when I wrote her name on the cake. 

Actually, she was right, the girl was thrilled... :-)!!!
Below you will be able to find the recipe for the cake.  I am so sorry I forgot to take photos of the making process.  I only took a photo from the cake just before I baked it.

Vanilla and Strawberry Cake

Ingredients
100gr unsalted butter
170gr caster sugar
2 medium eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
150ml evaporated milk
80gr Greek yogurt
2 tablespoon water
8 teaspoons strawberry jam

Preparation Method
1) Beat all ingredients in an electric mixer. Do not over mix.
2) Spray Wilton's Non Stick-Spray to a rectangular pan (15cm x 20cm); then pour mixture.
2) With the help of two teaspoons trop the strawberry jam on top of the batter just before baking.
3) Bake in a preheated oven, at 170ºC, for 35’ minutes. Then reduce oven temperature to 150ºC and continue baking for another 10’ minutes.
4) Allow to cool for 10’ minutes before you remove the cake from the pan to a wire rack to cool.
5) Then improvise :-)!!!!


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I promise that I will give you more details about the Mermaid Birthday Cake in the near future.
Lien Dong with her two birthday cakes.
Happy Birthday Lien!!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sinful Apple Madness

I am sure you all know the story behind the "sinful" apple, so now you all understand why I gave my Apple Cake Recipe post this name; if only you could taste it...

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 Yesterday I opened th  refrigerator and I saw apples.  Immediately I new that for dessert we were going to have apple pie or apple cake. I was not sure yet. Finally I ended up with an apple cake.
After the first bite, my father-in-law said that this was perfection!!!  I don't want to be sound arrogant but he was so right! :-)

I will give you some general information about the recipe that will help you recreate the same cake as mine. I hope you like it too...

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General Information
1) Apples weighted a total of 1kg (peeled).
2) You can use less cinnamon. Do not use more; it will make your cake bitter.
3) You can use the same amount of peeled almonds instead of walnuts.
4) You can replace Cypriot zivania* with Greek Ouzo.
5) If you don’t use a silicon pan, you have to spray the sides of the pan with a non stick spray. Do not use oil or flour. Do not spay the bottom of the pan.
6) Before you cut the cake allow it to cool completely.


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Apple Cake with Cinnamon and Walnuts


Base Ingredients
2 apples (Cripps Pink or any other category that you like)
1/3 cup caster sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon powder

General Instructions
1) Peel all apples, remove the seeds and put them on a bowl of cold water. Add the juice of half a lemon to the water.

Base Preparation
1) In a round silicon round pan (25cm diameter)  sprinkle  half of the sugar and 1 tablespoon of cinnamon powder.
2) Then cut the apples into thin slices.
3) Place the apple slices on top of the sugar and the cinnamon clockwise.
4) Sprinkle the rest of the sugar and cinnamon on top of the apples and set aside.






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Cake Filling Ingredients
4 apples (Cripps Pink or any other category that you like)
100gr caster sugar
100gr walnuts (roughly cut)
1 tablespoon of zivania (Cypriot Zivana)*
1 tablespoon cinnamon powder

Filling Preparation
1) Cut 1 apple into very small squares and the rest into bigger squares (1cm x 1cm).
2) In a non stick pan put the apples with the sugar and cook in high heat for approximately 10’ minutes. Stir occasionally. If you see that there is now liquid left before the 10’ minutes elapsed remove from fire.
3) Add zivania and stir. Bring back to fire until the alcohol evaporates. Then add the walnuts.
4) Stir all ingredients and remove from fire. Allow to cool. Do not add cinnamon yet.



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Cake Ingredients
200gr unsalted butter
350gr caster sugar (1 ½ cup)
3 medium eggs
1 vanilla sachet
2½ cups all purpose flour
150ml evaporated milk
100gr Greek yogurt (approximately 1/3 cup)

Cake Preparation
1) Beat butter with sugar until light and fluffy.
2) Add one by one the eggs. Each egg has to be well mixed with the butter mixture before you add the next one.
3) Sift flour and add the vanilla sachet. Add half of the flour to the butter mixture. Then add half of the milk. Do not over mix.
4) Repeat the same procedure with the rest of the flour and the milk.
5) Finally add the yogurt and combine.

Final Instructions
1) On top of the base poor half of the cake dough.
2) Then, on top of the dough, lay the apple filling; add cinnamon (look on filling ingredients).
3) Finally add the second half of the cake dough.
4) Bake in a preheated oven, at 170ºC, for 30’ minutes. Then reduce oven temperature to 160ºC and continue baking for another 35’ minutes.
5) Allow to cool for 10’ minutes before you remove the apple cake from the pan to a wire rack to cool.
6) Serve with vanilla ice cream, icing sugar or plain.






 Now is the time to add cinnamon on top of the filling.




And now you are ready to bake...

Simply Delicious!! Trust me on this...!!!
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Apple Cake with Cinnamon and Walnuts

Base Ingredients
2 apples (Cripps Pink or any other category that you like)
1/3 cup caster sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon powder


Cake Filling Ingredients
4 apples (Cripps Pink or any other category that you like)
100gr caster sugar
100gr walnuts (roughly cut)
1 tablespoon of zivania (Cypriot Zivana)*
1 tablespoon cinnamon powder


Cake Ingredients
200gr unsalted butter
350gr caster sugar (1 ½ cup)
3 medium eggs
1 vanilla sachet
2 ½ all purpose flour
150ml evaporated milk
100gr Greek yogurt (approximately 1/3 cup)


PREPARATION METHOD
General Instructions
1) Peel all apples, remove the seeds and put them on a bowl of cold water. Add the juice of half a lemon to the water.


Base Preparation
1) In a round silicon pan (25cm diameter) sprinkle half of the sugar and 1 tablespoon of cinnamon powder.
2) Then cut the apples into thin slices.
3) Place the apple slices on top of the sugar and the cinnamon clockwise.
4) Sprinkle the rest of the sugar and cinnamon on top of the apples and set aside.


Filling Preparation
1) Cut 1 apple into very small squares and the rest into bigger squares (1cm x 1cm).
2) In a non stick pan put the apples with the sugar and cook in high heat for approximately 10’ minutes. Stir occasionally. If you see that there is now liquid left before the 10’ minutes elapsed remove from fire.
3) Add zivania and stir. Bring back to fire until the alcohol evaporates. Then add the walnuts.
4) Stir all ingredients and remove from fire. Allow to cool. Do not add cinnamon yet.


Cake Preparation
1) Beat butter with sugar until light and fluffy.
2) Add one by one the eggs. Each egg has to be well mixed with the butter mixture before you add the next one.
3) Sift flour and add the vanilla sachet. Add half of the flour to the butter mixture. Then add half of the milk. Do not over mix.
4) Repeat the same procedure with the rest of the flour and the milk.
5) Finally add the yogurt and combine.


Final Instructions
1) On top of the base poor half of the cake dough.
2) Then, on top of the dough, lay the apple filling; add cinnamon (look on filling ingredients).
3) Finally add the second half of the cake dough.
4) Bake in a preheated oven, at 170ºC, for 30’ minutes. Then reduce oven temperature to 160ºC and continue baking for another 35’ minutes.
5) Allow to cool for 10’ minutes before you remove the apple cake from the pan to a wire rack to cool.
6) Serve with vanilla ice cream, icing sugar or plain.


General Information
1) Apples weighted a total of 1kg (peeled)
2) You can use less cinnamon. Do not use more; it will make your cake bitter.
3) You can use the same amount of peeled almonds instead of walnuts.
4) You can replace Cypriot zivania* with Greek Ouzo.
5) If you don’t use a silicon pan, you have to spray it first with a non stick spray. Do not use oil or flour.
6) Before you cut the cake allow it to cool completely.


Good Luck!!

For useful information about apples please visit:  http://www.well-beingsecrets.com/apples-health-benefits/  by Well-Being Secrets 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Hot, Spicy, and purely Greek

In TOP 9 of Foodbuzz, on the 20th of August 2011.

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On the 15th of August my husband and I, invited both our families for lunch. A total of 18 people.

We had souvla, souvla potatoes, pasta (pastitsio), cherry tomatoes stuffed with tyrokafteri, potatoes “boom”, as I call them, (patates antinaxtes), various salads and Greek yogurt. Below you will be able to find photos of some of the dishes.

For dessert I made a New York style cheese cake, a fruit salad and ice cream.

Here I will give you photos of all the steps on how to make these stuffed tomatoes.
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Hot, Spicy and purely Greek
Very Easy

Ingredients
40 cherry tomatoes
450gr tyrokafteri* cheese
1 teaspoon of dry thyme
1 teaspoon of dry oregano

Preparation Method
1) With a knife cut the upper part of the tomato.
2) Using a small teaspoon remove the tomato seeds.
3) In a bowl mix the cheese, thyme and oregano.
4) Fill the tomatoes with the cheese.
5) Serve immediately or in a few hours.

*Tyrokafteri is a spicy creamy cheese salad.
Tyro means cheese, and kafteri means hot.
I used a ready made tyrokafteri, but if you want to make it yourself, you can find the recipe in Ivy’s blog Kopiaste.

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Gather all necessary equipment before you start making this recipe.

With a knife cut the upper part of the tomato.

 Using a small teaspoon remove the tomato seeds.


Fill the tomatoes with the cheese.


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This is our dinner table.
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I had a few filling left, so I decided to prepare some finger food for our guests.

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This is the way we cook souvla in Cyprus. This is the way we use charcoals to cook in my country.


 New York style Cheese Cake, with oreo cookies for the base.  I added some caramel and chocolate chips in the cheese filling.

This is an organic melon from my garden :-)

Our guests enjoyed the lunch and we all had a great time!



Dream of Cakes

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