Glad to say that my birthday party was great 🙂
I wasn’t completely ready when the first guests arrived but that was because they arrived early 😉 Didn’t really have time to make pictures of the cakes but I was lucky that my brother was one of the early arrivers and he’s a great photographer. He’s not used to photographing food though but I think he did a better job than I could have done. In my defense he does have the advantage of a professional camera though 😉
The party was great, the food was great if I do say so myself 😉 and the guests were great. I spent a long time (days and days) in the kitchen to prepare everything. As appetizers we had hummus, chickpea salad, tabboulleh (parsley and mint salad with cracked wheat), labna sprinkled with home-made za’atar (kind of a soft cheese), eggplant puree and feta. Everything with the exception of feta was home-made.
The main course consisted of meatballs with pinenuts and tomatoes, stewed lamb with eggplants, lentil salad, rice with pine nuts, green beans with tomatoes and olive oil, tomato and cucumber salad.
And for dessert I made baklava with pistachio’s, date and walnuts balls, apricotina with pistachio’s, walnut cookies with orange and cinnamon and muhalabiya flavoured with rosewater (milk pudding). You’ll get some posts on the desserts in the future.
the cake you see at the top is one of the two cakes I made. This one has a filling of raspberry mousse and is covered in sliced pandan Swiss rolls with buttercream filling. I’ve been wanting to make this turtle bombe cake for a long time but somehow never had a good oppertunity. It might look a bit difficult to make but it isn’t as long as the Swiss rolls go well. The recipe I used sliced the jelly roll into two layers before rolling, this kind of made me nervous because the jelly roll wouldn’t be so high, making it difficult to slice. But I wanted to try it because I thought having one baked side and one cut side would help the rolling. Despite my fears it worked out ok, I cut the baked jelly roll in half before slicing because my knife was not long enough to handle cutting it in one time. So instead of two Swiss rolls I ended up with four.
I used some of the buttercream I made for the other cake but I didn’t take enough to fill all four jelly rolls so I only filled three and just rolled the fourth one and used those slices to cover the bottom of the cake. (in the recipe below there is enough buttercream to fill all four)
For decoration I used petals made out of white chocolate. There are two tricks for making those: using tempered chocolate and using small water balloons as moulds.
Tempering chocolate seems very straightforward when you read the instructions but in practice it’s more difficult to actually succeed in getting tempered chocolate. I’ve done it several times but it doesn’t always work. This time luckily it did. For instructions on tempering check out the recipe part of this post about white chocolate cinnamon chocolates.
With all the preparations of all the food I kind of forgot to think about something to ‘glue’ the petals to the cake. I used some left-over mousse but that didn’t work very well so the flower turned out a bit less pretty than I imagined. My guess is that buttercream would have worked better but other suggestions are welcome.
But in the end I was very happy with the looks of the cake. As for the taste, I didn’t taste the complete cake but the mousse was on the tart side. Next time I would add more icing sugar. But on the other hand, that made it more refreshing to eat.
The pandan taste was nearly non-existant in the Swiss roll but it wasn’t really my intention to get the pandan taste. I used it for the colour.
Most of the children thought the mousse was too tart but most of the adults loved the cake.
I’ll be posting the second cake tomorrow 🙂
Swiss roll bombe lining adapted from Ultimate Chocolate by Patricia Lousada
70 g (2 Â½ oz) self-raising flour
35 g (1 Â¼ oz) flour
3 very large eggs (mine weighed 205 g)
115 g (4 oz) caster sugar
Â½ ts pandan extract or green food colouring
1 Â¾ cup pink buttercream
Line a 25 x 39 cm (10 x 15 in) jelly roll pan with baking paper and grease it.
Preheat the oven to 200Â°C (390Â°F).
Sift the self-raising flour and flour 3 times.
Whisk the eggs over hot water until thick and light. The mixture should drop from the whisk like a ribbon.
Sift the flour onto the eggs in four times. Folding it in carefully after each addition. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and smooth it.
Bake for 9-12 minutes, or until brown and feels springy to the touch. Allow to cool in the pan for 2 minutes. Invert onto a piece of baking powder sprinkled with caster sugar. Take off the layer of baking paper and put it back on the jelly roll. Put the pan on top of the jelly roll and allow to cool to roomtemperature for at least 10 minutes.
Cut the jelly roll into two layers (cut in half across the width if necessary). Divide the buttercream between the 2 (or 4) jelly rolls and spread out. Roll them up started from the long side and tightly wrap in plastic wrap. Freeze for at least 3 hours before slicing.
Meanwhile line a 2 l (8 Â½ cups) bombe with plastic wrap long enough to cover the cake after filling the bombe.
Cut the frozen rolls into Â½ cm slices and line the bombe with the slices. Cover and store the left-over slices to cover the mousse.
Raspberry mousse adapted from the mango mousse mirror cake
750 g (1 â…” lb) raspberries
80 g (3 oz) or more icing sugar
12 g (Â½ oz) gelatine
100 ml (3 â…“ fl oz) water
600 ml (2 Â½ cups) whipping cream
Puree the raspberries. Rub through a sieve to remove the seeds using a laddle. You should have about 600 ml (2 Â½ cups) of raspberry puree. If not, add a little water to the seeds and pulp and rub some more till you have 600 ml. Stir in the icing sugar until dissolved.
Soak the gelatine in the water. Meanwhile whip the whipping cream till soft peaks.
Heat the gelatine/water mixture in the microwave until dissolved. I popped it in for 30 seconds at a time and stirred every time. Add the mixture to the raspberry puree and mix well. Add this mixture to the whipped cream and fold it in. Fill the Swiss roll lined bombe with mousse and cover with the left-over slices Swiss roll. Close the plastic wrap and chill for at least 4 hours before using.
White chocolate flowers
tempered white chocolate
small water balloons
Blow up the small water balloons. Dip two sides into the tempered chocolate and allow to set. Remove the petals by gently pressing the balloon all around the chocolate.
Put on surgical gloves and use the petals to create a flower. I used the mousse as a glue but that didn’t work that well. My guess is that buttercream would have been a much better choice (but I didn’t have any buttercream left)