chocolate buckwheat torte

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Today we went to visit our friends who live in the same city but 40km away from us. That can make things difficult, mainly finding the time or the whole day for a trip like this. Then again, the bonus besides seeing the friends is that they live near the beach and one 5 year old boy with rather strong opinions pushed us all in that direction. Well, I guess who would resist 40 km driving over a beautiful day spent in good company, with good food, wine and of course cakes. I promised (firstly to myself) to make buckwheat cookies and another cookie (which is going to be part of one of my next posts since I haven’t taken the photos yet) but at the last-minute I decided to make this cake as well. I have seen it on Jul’s Kitchen blog, I was instantly attracted and I couldn’t stop thinking about it; literally. Something had to be done and I was just looking for an excuse, if one needs an excuse for a cake like this.

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christmas in september

Rainbow cake

Something rather interesting happened today but let me start from the beginning. I haven’t been shopping for a long time, but today I had to buy a Birthday present for a young boy and since I didn’t have a clear idea what to buy, I had to spend some time looking for the right present. In the beginning the shops looked the same, you know a book here and a toy over there and a lovely dress just the right shape and size (which I don’t really need because you have to be invited to a nice dinner or a party in order to wear a dress like that) and I see a big problem finding the right shoes…oh but do forgive me, we were on a completely different subject. Well, when a lady goes out shopping, she might as well make the most of it!

So I went into one of the big stores and just when I stepped off the escalator, still hoping that the perfect present (a book) would be there waiting for me, I found myself in the middle of a virtual forest of Christmas trees – plastic but amazingly authentic! And no sight of the shelves and a huge surprise. Strangely enough, we finished reading the Narnia book just a few days earlier and with an imagination like mine, even on a perfectly bright and sunny day, for a moment, I got quite a strange feeling that I am not in the right place or time! So obviously I had to snap out of it, just to realise that Christmas starts in September – in retail, and that sunny days are ahead of us as well as summer and I am living in the Southern hemisphere where December brings Summer and Christmas. No snow or cold weather, you have to walk through the big wardrobe for that purpose!

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egyptian torte

egyptian torte

Special occasions call for a special cake. This is that kind of cake.

I baked it first time at my parents house for the family gathering and all I can say is that was very well excepted and gone so fast that I didn’t have a chance to taste it. Naturally I had to make it again and then again and again…to shorten the long story since then it’s in my recipe book and just occasionally will go through a makeover but with the same ingredients, would not dare to change anything there.

egyptian cake

The only problem that we have with this cake is that tastes even better after day or two sitting in the fridge. At the same time this is one of the cakes that will make you sneak out during the night and stole a peace from the fridge, hoping no one will notice. See the problem?

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little buckwheat torte

little treats

What do you do when a friend is coming for a visit? And it’s sudden! Well, first you take out from the freezer a test bake of dairy free and gluten free cake  (I’ve replaced plain flour with rice flour and I’ve used almond milk). Then you take out leftover vanilla buttercream from the fridge to give it a chance to soften. It’ll go great with the cake except it wont be dairy free any more. In this case that is not an issue so I was happy to add this lovely filling I was saving for, it turns out, this cake. Then last but definitely not  least, heat up the chocolate that you made for glazing the chocolate cake, just the previous day.

little treats

And then you assemble these. Continue reading

the crafty cake

Dark chocolate cake with white frosting

I know a mother who treated her 21 year old son to a ticket around the world as supposed to a big Birthday party. Isn’t that wonderful. An opportunity to learn about the world before you choose to build you own – who could wish for a better present. But then again, she wanted to give him a cake as well and guess what! I got to make it. I liked that too.

Dark chocolate cake with white frosting

I made a cake thinking of her mostly, especially of one of the lines she loves to use when it comes to the cakes I make. “Your cakes are insane “, she likes to say and then adds – in a good way. As I looked at this cake I thought – she might have a point.

As she is such an inspiring and lovely person and she is working with kids, this cake had to be creative, crafty and beautiful. Well, that is how I saw it. 

Dark chocolate cake with white frosting

At the risk of sounding odd, I felt sad when the cake left home. After all we did share some good times together.  Continue reading

sacher torte

Sacher torte

My husband is a very happy person when it comes to me cooking for us. It is just when he likes something to be made again we have to go through the following discussion repeatedly: “Could I write down the recipe and do the same dish or cake again, please?” My answer is always positive, but in reality it is likely to be the first time that I am actually working on it. Recipes are in my head all the time, writing them down, sometimes is a struggle. There are so many options out there in the cake world and often I start working on one and finish with something different. And finally have you tried going to the market and buying ingredients just for the chosen recipe. Never worked for me. The kitchen full of different ingredients is real inspiration. It is so much more fun cooking the way I feel that day, than following the old recipe.

Sacher torte

On the other hand, some recipes that have found their way to my recipe book have simply been wrongly named. At this point, I have to go back, hmm more than a few years. As much as my mum had an effect on my cooking skills and my food education, I can easily say that my best friend’s mother had a huge effect on my pastry skills. She had this profound taste in food – cakes particularly – and I can only say that I was lucky enough to be around to enjoy and learn. This is the recipe adopted from her recipe book and for years was simply called chocolate slices. Not a charming name for a cake. It was baked in a square baking dish so as you can imagine, appearance wasn’t a strong side of this treat. At that stage I had no idea what was hiding behind it.

Sacher torte

When I recognized the famous Sacher Torte behind this square chocolate cake the whole world of chocolate cakes changed for me, as much as it will for you, once you try this one. Now, I am not saying that this is the ultimate and only Sacher Torte invented by young Franc Sacher. The secret recipe dated from 1832, will stay a secret forever I guess. The original cake or rather the version Franc Sacher’s son, Eduard, who was the one who perfected his father’s recipe, can be bought in one of the most glamorous hotels in the World, hotel Sacher in Vienna. Continue reading