I have a book called “The best – ever book of cakes” written by Ann Nicol. It’s big, it’s lovely, and full with great recipes of all sorts, yet I only baked twice from it. First time 3 years ago, just one day before my due date with my youngest daughter, and now for the second time, when my little girl is almost 3. Both times the same recipe, the Black Forest Gateau. The only changes I made was that this time I made mini cakes instead of one large. More time consuming, but totally worth it. I have a post about my large cake from 3 years ago, but I wasn’t in the mood to copy down the recipe from the book back then (baby anxiety, I guess), but I’ll do it this time, because I really think that this recipe worth the trouble.
Here’s my Valentines Day treat for the family, although we don’t care much about Valentines Day at all. Anyways, as red is one of my favourite colours I was happy to make something to suit this day.
I’ve been playing with the idea of using Matcha in my recipes for a long time. But I didn’t rushed things because knowing that Matcha is such a special ingredient which will define substantially the taste and the look of anything I make, I tried to figure out what exactly should I make.
I got my first batch of matcha from my Japanese friends, and tasting it, I instantly loved it. I could get used to eat or drink it regularly, if only would be cheaper.
Finally, I came to the conclusion that cheese cake would be the perfect choice, because it will restore not only the real taste, but the vibrant, healthy green colour of the Matcha as well. Not to mention, that no baking opposed to baking is always a winner 🙂
I looked up many Matcha recipes. Even though there are hundreds of them out there, I ended up making my own version of matcha cheesecake. I pinched something from here, something else from there, and the final results are Matcha cheesecake with double chocolate oreos and coconut cream cheese.
I only made 6 mini cheesecakes.
Cup of tea turned into a slice of cake. Hm…..
Surfing the net for inspiration, I came across a black tea cake. The pictures, the writing got me instantly, and I knew I had to make it happen. The recipe was haunting me for few weeks until I finally decided to give it a try.
I am not a tea drinker, hence my hesitation. Needles to say, my first thing in the morning is to brew a fresh cup of coffee while I warm the milk for the kids. So, I am a coffee lover, and not for the need of caffeine, because I drink decaff most of the time, but purely for the love of the coffee, the taste. I’m not a morning person either, but that first sip of a good coffee makes it all better.
But, let’s turn back to the tea now. As I said, I saw this cake on the net, and caught my attention immediately. I do not keep black tea at home at the moment, all we have is a few green teas, and we always have peppermint tea, because that is what I like to drink if I don’t feel well. With honey and lemon, of course. Now, that’s the other thing. Whenever I do drink tea, for any reason, it must be served with honey and lemon. With all do respect for the country I live in, I could not drink the tea with milk. It’s a definite no, no from me. Sorry, guys. But, good thing we’re all different, right? Anyways, this cake here is for you, nice tea lover people! Enjoy! I know, I did!
About the recipe. I had some problems with the original recipe, specially with the given measurements, mostly the quantity of sugar used. Eventually I did use as stated, but I was right to assume that this cake will be sweet. And I mean, too sweet, for me anyway. I never put so much sugar, and even though I added fresh lemon zest to this recipe, and lemon juice in the frosting, it was still too sweet for me. So, be aware if you decide to bake it, or use less sugar. I will probably bake it again, and I will adjust the sweetness more to my personal taste. Also, if you follow me, you know that I usually don’t frost my cakes with buttercream, so there comes even more sugar. In the future I will ice this cake with a different frosting, I’m thinking a lemon cream cheese would be perfect…..Nevertheless, this cake was delicious enough to evaporate within 1,5 days from the kitchen, and I had my more than fair share of it…..me, the nonteadrinker-and-toosweetforme….. Well…..
The tea used in the original recipe was PG black tea, I choose Earl Grey, the Decaff version, so kids could also eat without problem. The smell of this tea is really nice, and as opposed to the PG, at least I know this tastes lovely, whilst the PG I never tried, so I can’t relate to that.
-235 ml milk
-content of 3 tea bags
-55 gr butter at room temperature
-220 gr brown sugar (wohoo….see, told you!)
-1/4 cup vegetable oil
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-zest of 1 lemon
-175 gr flour
-1+1/2 tsp baking powder
-1/2 tsp baking soda
-1/2 tsp salt
-125 gr butter at room temperature
-3 Tbsp honey
-250 gr powder sugar (oh, boy, have mercy!)
-fresh lemon juice (depending on personal taste, but be careful, because adding too much liquid will result in needing more sugar to keep the buttercream in good consistency)
-pinch of salt
1. Preheat the oven, then grease the cake pans. If you only make cupcakes, put the cupcake cases in the cupcake pan, you will have about 15 cupcakes, depending of the size.
2. Warm the milk until almost boiling, and add the tea. Cut the bags open and stir the tea powder directly into the milk. Let it cool down.
3. In a bowl beat together the butter and the sugar. (It will not get light and fluffy because not enough butter and too much sugar, but when adding the eggs, the batter will get better.)
4. Add the egg, one at a time, and beating after each addition. Beat in the oil and vanilla, too.
5. Stir in the flour mix (flour+salt+baking powder+baking soda).
6. Pour the milk and stir only until all is perfectly combined, but don’t over mix.
7. Transfer the batter in the prepared pan and bake for about 30 minutes. After baking, let the cakes cool before icing.
8. Beat the butter and honey until smooth and creamy, add the salt and start adding gradually the powder sugar and lemon juice. Keep on like this until you are satisfied with the taste and consistency.
As I promised few weeks ago, here they are. My husband’s absolute favourite, the strawberry cheesecake.
Recently I bought three little cake tins and this is how I tested them. They worked perfectly so I am more than happy with my purchase.
I made a chocolate sponge and to fill the cakes I whipped 300 ml Double cream with a pack of Mascarpone cream cheese and few tablespoon of Raspberry conserve. I also put in the middle a layer of natural whipped Double cream.
For decoration I used artificial flowers, which saved me a good amount of time….again 🙂 I usually have fresh, real flowers in my kitchen, but not this time.
There is a lovely magazine called Daphne’s Diary where I found these pumpkins. I enjoyed cutting out and putting them together.
Since lately I don’t make cake toppers from fondant too often (which means less sugar intake for my kids, so overall is not a bad thing), I thought I will use the pumpkins on something because they compliment autumn so well.
Now about the cake. For a change I didn’t bake these, but bought a finest quality Coffee and Walnut cake from the store and using a round food ring I cut out four identical mini cakes and placed the paper pumpkins on top. I chose coffee and walnut cake because the flavour and colours fits this season perfectly.