I’ve been wanting to post this entry for nearly one and a half weeks but as happens all the time life happened 😉 I had most of the post ready for about a week now but was very busy doing other stuff. And then came this month Daring Bakers challenge which had priority of course. So finally today I’m posting about my eldest son’s 3rd birthday party that we celebrated the 22nd.
We started the party in the park children and their parents at 11 o’clock. All week the forecast was bad for Sunday but we were very lucky because the rain and storms stayed clear from The Hague 🙂 The alternative would have been to celebrate at home but our appartment isn’t that big and 11 children, 3 baby’s under 2 months and 13 adults would have been a bit crowded 😉 Next year we hope to be the proud owners of a house with a garden 🙂 but for now we’re still looking…
As you might have thought I catered for the picknick myself 🙂 so I was pretty busy with all the preparations. I tried to keep it simple but even simple takes a lot of time. For sweet stuff I made pandan cupcakes with multi-colour sprinkles, decorated with a marzipan 3’s. And for the birthday boy I made a small tractor to top the cupcake (his most favourite vehicle in the world together with a combine….) He knowns most of the tractor (and car) brands. I made him my favourite brand, a John Deere. Not an exact replica but more or less a green tractor with yellow tyres, he recognised it 🙂 I didn’t have time to make proper pictures so you’ll have the excuse me for that.
Besides the cupcakes I made brownies and nectarine cake. The rest of the picknick consisted of sandwiches, fruit, veggies, herring (the Dutch way, and my son’s favourite fish), marshmellows and some (not home-made but home-baked) mini danish and pain au chocolat. Our planning was to stay till about 1 o’clock, go back home and put the boys to bed before the family came to celebrate R’s birthday at home. But we had such a great time in the park that we stayed till past 2 o’clock. We skipped R’s nap because the family would arrive between 3 and 4, he didn’t mind 😉 So more cake, more presents and more fun.
I prepared an ice cream cake for dessert because unlike most children, R doesn’t really like cake. He likes ice cream though so A suggested I make him an ice cream cake. A few weeks ago my dad brought use a lot of cherries from Croatia. We couldn’t eat them all before they went off so I made them into ice cream. I pureed the cherries and cooked them until reduced by half. I went all the way and made a creme anglaise to make the ice cream. I was looking forward to a wonderful cherry taste but it wasn’t that full. I was glad I reduced it, otherwise it wouldn’t have tasted like cherry at all. I added a few tablespoons of cherry preserves for some more flavour. So the cherry ice cream was the basis of the ice cream cake. Chocolate was an obvious choice to pair the cherry ice cream with. And so the idea of Blackforest ice cream cake was born. All I needed to add was some whipped cream, chocolate sprinkles, some cherries for decoration and a chocolate cake base.
I didn’t feel like making another custard for the chocolate ice cream, instead I opted for sweetened condensed milk. I couldn’t find a decent recipe though, at least not one that didn’t use chocolate flavoured syrup instead of chocolate. In the end I used a recipe I made a few years ago to which I added 100 g (3 Â½ oz) of melted dark chocolate. But I was stupid enough not to think before adding the melted chocolate to the pretty cold mixture of sweetened condensed milk, milk and cream…..result: stracciatella milk 😦 Let’s just say that sometimes I do stupid things…. I tried resolving the problem by heating the bowl but the chocolate just wouldn’t melt completely, not that there were chunks but it not completely smooth. Also it didn’t taste chocolate-y enough so I added some cocoa powder dissolved in hot water. On the one hand I wanted to make a new ice cream base but on the other I didn’t know what to do with the first besides throwing it in the bin. And I don’t like throwing things in the bin. So I just churned it. It didn’t have a completely smooth mouth feel but at least the taste was good.
This was the first time I used my adjustable cake ring. I had a hard time getting the cake out though, even with the help of a blow dryer. I used about the smallest ring size so three quarters of the cake was bordered with a double ring, making it harder to defrost the ice cream. Even though not perfect looking I was very happy with the end result.
So I went through all the trouble of making this ice cream cake for the birthday boy and he didn’t even want any of it! Of course it was understandable after a tiring day without his nap, munching on all kind of goodies and after having dinner that consisted of fries and fish (the birthday boys wish 🙂 But he liked blowing out the candles and eating the cherries that were on top though. I had some left-over cake that I gave him a few days later and turned out he liked it 🙂
This is my entry to I scream, you scream, we all scream for frozen desserts a food blogging event organized by Mike of Mike’s Table.
55 g (2 oz) flour
10 g (about 1 tbs) cocoa powder
65 g (2 Â¼ oz) butter, room temperature
65 g(2 Â¼ oz) dark brown sugar
1 large egg
30 g (1 oz) bittersweet chocolate sprinkles
Preheat the oven to 150Â°C (325Â°F). Grease a 20 cm (8 in) square baking pan. Sift the flour together with the cocoa powder. Cream the butter with the sugar. Add the egg and mix for a couple of minutes. Gently mix in the flour cocoa mixture being careful not to overmix. Fold in the chocolate sprinkles. Bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean (without crumbs that is, some melted chocolate from the sprinkles could be attached though). Allow to cool to room temperature. Cut out a circle with a cake ring of about 16 cm (6 in) width. Keep the ring around the cake and put it on a plate.
Note â€“ you could use a round baking pan as well but I’m not sure how high or low the cake will be that way.
Cherry ice cream (adapted from Just Desserts by Gordon Ramsay)
250 ml (1 cup) milk
250 ml (1 cup) heavy cream
50 g (Â¼ cup) sugar
1 vanilla bean
6 extra large egg yolks
500 g (1 lb) cherries, cleaned
(4 tbs cherry preserves, optional)
Slowly bring the milk, heavy cream, 1 tbs of the sugar and the inside of the vanilla bean and the vanilla bean itself to a boil.
Meanwhile beat the egg yolks with the remaining sugar using a whisk in a big bowl until pale and creamy.
When the milk mixture is nearly boiling, pour about â…“ of the mixture into the egg mixture, whisking well. Return this mixture to the pan whilst stirring. Cook on a very low heat whilst stirring constantly, until it thickens slightly (enough to thinly coat the back of a spoon). Remove from the heat and strain the custard through a fine sieve into a bowl. Let it cool to room temperature whilst stirring once in a while. Refrigerate for up to 2-3 days.
Process the cherries in a food processor until smooth. Pour in a saucepan and allow to cook on medium heat until reduced by half. Strain the cherries through a sieve with the help of a ladle. Allow to cool to room temperature. Refrigerate.
Combine the custard and cherries. Churn in an ice cream maker for about 20-30 minutes. Pour or spoon the mixture into the cake ring (on top of the chocolate cake) until about half way. Sprinkle with some chocolate sprinkles if desired. Freeze for at least a few hours before adding the chocolate ice cream.
Chocolate ice cream
1 can sweetened condensed milk
250 ml (1 cup) milk
250 ml (1 cup) heavy cream
100 g (3 Â½ oz) dark chocolate (about 70% cocoa content), chopped
2 tbs cocoa powder dissolved in
2 tbs hot water
Combine the condensed milk, milk and cream in a saucepan and heat until luke warm. Set aside. Melt the chocolate over hot water and add it to the still warm milk mixture. Add the cocoa mixture as well and mix until well combined. Allow to cool down to room temperature. Refrigerate for a couple of hours. Churn in an ice cream maker for about 20-30 minutes. Pour or spoon the mixture on top of the frozen cherry ice cream. Freeze for a couple of hours.
Vanilla whipped cream
125 ml (Â½ cup) heavy cream
1 tbs vanilla sugar
Whip the heavy cream until thickened but still pourable. Pour on top of the frozen chocolate ice cream. Sprinkle with some chocolate sprinkles and freeze for a couple of hours before serving.
Add some fresh cherries on top before serving.
Tip – Use a hot knife to cut the cake (it helps a lot 😉