Valentine’s Cake {honey sweet}

The recipe for this torte (cake) comes from my old recipe book that I started when I was about thirteen years old. There are so many good memories of love and friendship preserved on its yellowed pages. Today is just a perfect day to share with you my recipe for this rich and fragrant Valentine’s cake.

Happy Valentine's

Its sweet and satisfying taste will definitely charm your taste buds. Talking about love at the first bite! 🙂

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Valentine’s Cake

{print recipe}

Cake:

  • 250 g (8.8 oz) honey
  • 50 g (1/4 cup) sugar
  • 1 pack vanilla sugar (or 1 TSP vanilla extract)
  • 50 g (1/2 stick) butter
  • 1 lemon (zest and juice)
  • 1 TSP cinnamon
  • 1/2 TSP ground cloves
  • 2 eggs
  • 250 g (8.8 oz) flour
  • 3 TSP baking powder

Frosting:

  • 130 g (1 pack) vanilla pudding powder (not instant)
  • 200 g (2 sticks less 1 TBSP) butter (at room temperature)
  • 100 g (3.5 oz) cherry jam (red currant jam can be used too)

Also needed:

  • 8 inch (20 cm) round cake pan
  • Same size piece of parchment paper

*** The recipe for the chocolate swirls I found here and it worked perfectly!

PREPARATION:

  1. In a larger sauce pan combine honey, sugar, vanilla and butter. Heat at medium temperature until well blended. Set aside and let it cool completely.
  2. After honey mixture has cooled down, add zest and juice of one lemon, cinnamon and cloves.
  3. Lightly beat two eggs and also add it to the mixture.
  4. Combine flour and baking powder and fold into honey mixture.
  5. Pour the batter into the cake pan lined with parchment paper. Bake at 365 F (185 C) about 30-35 minutes.
  6. For the frosting prepare vanilla pudding as directed on the box. Instead of 3 cups of milk use only 2 cups since a thicker pudding is needed. When pudding is cooked and cooled down, mix it with 200 g whipped butter until well combined.
  7. To assemble the cake, first cut it once across to get two equal pieces. Spread the bottom piece with cherry jam and then with the half of the frosting. Put the second piece on the top. Frost the cake all around with the remaining frosting. Decorate as desired.

Valentine's Cake

Valentine's Cake

Chocolate Swirls

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Artist Trading Cards Party and Razz-Ma-Tazz Bars

After a disappointing Friday when I headed to Chicago to meet with my best friend and didn’t make it there because my reliable German car broke down on the highway, my Saturday turned out to be quite pleasant. For the first time ever I participated in Artist Trading Cards project. There were 30 artists who participated. We all had to make 1 card a day for 30 days starting September 1st. The purpose of making one card a day is just to stay involved in your art since many of us don’t do art for living and in this busy world of  ours it is hard to find time to paint. So after 30 days we all supposed to have 900 cards all together. Party was taking place last Saturday at St. Joseph, Michigan, a beautiful town at the Lake Michigan shore. Everyone was asked to bring a dish to share, so I decided to go with Razz-Ma-Tazz Bars (see my Christmas edition here) that really have never failed to put ones taste buds in awe. Party went very well, cards were traded, food was great and the company of fellow artists excellent. I came home happy, I made some new friends, I got 30 new trading cards and all the bars were eaten! 🙂

Razz-Ma-Tazz Bars

[printable recipe]

*** I use a 1.5 measure of batter for the 9 X 13 inch baking pan. The quantities below are for the 9 X 9 inch square pan. ***

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (115 g) butter or margarine
  • 2 cups (335 g) NESTLE TOLL HOUSE Premier White Morsels, divided
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (125 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 cup (170 g) seedless raspberry jam (I use with seeds and I also add 1 cup of frozen raspberries)
  • 1/4 cup (35 g) sliced almonds

Directions

  1. PREHEAT oven to 325 degrees F (162 C). Grease and sugar 9-inch-square baking pan.
  2. MELT butter in medium, microwave-safe bowl on HIGH (100%) power for 1 minute; stir. Add 1 cup morsels; let stand. Do not stir.
  3. BEAT eggs in large mixer bowl until foamy. Add sugar; beat until light lemon colored, about 5 minutes. Stir in morsel-butter mixture. Add flour, salt and almond extract; mix at low speed until combined. Spread 2/3 of batter into prepared pan.
  4. BAKE for 15 to 17 minutes or until light golden brown around edges. Remove from oven to wire rack.
  5. HEAT jam in small, microwave-safe bowl on HIGH (100%) power for 30 seconds; stir. Spread jam over warm crust. Stir remaining morsels into remaining batter. Drop spoonfuls of batter over jam. Sprinkle with almonds.
  6. BAKE for 25 to 30 minutes or until edges are browned. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cut into bars.

♦♦♦

Here are some of my trading cards that I’ve taken to the party.

Watercolor and watercolor pencil:

An apple in pastel…

…and two pencil sketches:

Here are some photos of other artists cards and of the atmosphere in the studio:


Birth of a Dream Cake

I truly admire people who are able to come up with their own original recipes. I love and enjoy experimenting in the kitchen, be it baking or cooking. I’ve adjusted known recipes to fit my taste and I can even say I improved some (at least I think so :)), but I’ve never created my very own recipe.

Last week, after a quite long pause, I started going to pastel painting class again. I forgot how this class does wonders to my emotional wellness, inspiration, and just overall feeling of joy! As I was doodling on a note pad thinking of what could be my next painting project, I found myself sketching a cake… Weird how my mind switched from thinking of painting to thinking of a cake and my hand followed accordingly.

In the back of my mind I had plans to make a cake this weekend – a cake for my birthday. I could have let my family buy me a cake, but as every other year I am totally almost expected to make a cake for each family member’s birthday. Honestly, I like it that way! Still sketching, an idea of my very own cake came to mind… Raspberries came to mind, vanilla, white chocolate, mmm… why not?! Here it is! From the birth of an idea to the final product – Raspberry Dream Cake!

Raspberry Dream Cake              Printable recipe

Ingredients

Cake:

  • 6 eggs
  • 4 tbsp hot water
  • 3/4 cups (150 g) sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp bitter almond extract
  • 5 oz (150 g) sour cream* ( I added sour cream to the batter for additional moisture and to avoid cake being dry)
  • 1 1/4 cup (150 g) flour
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 5 oz (150) g ground hazelnuts

Frosting # 1 – Semolina, butter, white chocolate frosting:

  • 1 cup (250 ml) milk
  • 1 cup (250 ml) cream
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3.5 oz (100 g) semolina
  • 1 stick (100 g) butter
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) sugar
  • 3.5 (100 g) white chocolate

Frosting # 2 – Raspberry Gelée:

  • 14 oz (400 g) frozen raspberries
  • 6 oz (170 g) fresh raspberries
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100 ml) water
  • 2 envelopes (14 g) plain gelatin
  • 6 tbsp water

Decoration:

  • 7 oz (200 g) white chocolate
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cup (300 ml) heavy cream (whipped)
  • Sugar
  • Fresh raspberries
  • Lemon Balm leaves

Also needed: 7 inch (18 cm) spring form cake pan, parchment paper, plastic wrap, a long sharp knife, cake decorating bag with a star tip

Cake preparation:

  1. In a mixer bowl beat 6 eggs with 4 tbsp hot water until foamy, add vanilla and  bitter almond extract. Slowly start adding sugar and mix at least for 2 minutes, before adding sour cream. Combine flour, baking powder and ground hazelnuts. Turn the mixing speed to low and add the dry ingredients.
  2. Bake in a 7 inch (18 cm) spring form cake pan lined with parchment paper at 365 F (185 C) for about 30 minutes. Cool completely, remove from the spring form and slice across into three even pieces.

Prepare frosting #1:

  1. Combine cream, milk, vanilla and sugar and let it boil. Pour into it semolina flour, lower the heat and mix until all liquid disappears and the mixture has a pudding consistency. Cool slightly and cover with plastic wrap to avoid crust forming. The mixture will harden somewhat as it cools.
  2. Combine butter and sugar, mix until fluffy, add melted white chocolate and mix well. Add it to the semolina mixture and again mix well or until thoroughly combined.  Cover and set aside.

Prepare frosting #2:

  1. Line a 7 inch spring form cake pan with plastic wrap.
  2. Combine  frozen, fresh raspberries and water. Blend until smooth. Pour into a bowl and add sugar.
  3. In a small cooking pan disolve gelatin  in 6 tbsp of water, mix and let it rest for about 10 minutes. Lightly heat gelatin and let it melt, but do not let it boil. Take few table spoons out of raspberry mixture and mix it well with gelatin.
  4. Now add the gelatin into remaining raspberries and mix well. Pour it into spring form and cover with plastic wrap. Place it in the fridge for at least 3 hours.
  5. Remove from the fridge, remove the pan rim. Slowly divide into two pieces by cutting through with a long, sharp knife.

Put together and decorate the cake:

  1. 1st of 3 cake layers
  2. ½ half of semolina frosting
  3. 1st piece of raspberry gelée
  4. 2nd  of 3 cake layers
  5. 2nd half of semolina frosting
  6. 2nd half of raspberry gelée
  7. 3rd of 3 cake layers
  8. Melt the white chocolate with vegetable oil until liquid. Pour and spread over top of the cake and sides. Put it into fridge for about 15 minutes.
  9. Beat the cream with desired amount of sugar until dense. Decorate the sides and top of the cake with whipped cream, fresh raspberries and lemon balm.

Bon Appétit!


Raspberry Gelée