Baking Challenge

Cake Number 20: Kransekake (Norway)

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If this cake wasn’t so darn big, I’d make it all the time!  I love making Kransekake (and the fact that in the half-a-dozen, or so, times I’ve made it and it hasn’t gone wrong helps!).  This cake is easily a foot and a half tall – and I probably should have waited until my Dad’s home from offshore to make it, as it’s just Mum and me in the house.  Oh well – I might take it into work and hope they like it!

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This tastes a little bit like a macaron (it’s full of almonds) but has a chewier texture.  Most recipes I’ve found for it call for the marzipan to be ready-made, or shop bought (this book did!).  But, I decided to go back to my tried-and-tested method of making the marzipan from scratch.  There’s something so satisfying about making stuff from scratch and having it work!

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I’m so tempted to just keep making a bunch of mini-Kransekake – just so I can make Kransekake!!

Some news!

Due to some stuff going on in my life right now, I’ve decided to put my baking challenge on hold.  At least I was on track with my bakes, though, so that’s something?  I’ll probably continue baking some of the things in the book (and posting about them on here), but I’m not aiming to do it within a year anymore.  I’ll probably do Cake Number 20 within a couple of weeks, just so it’s a nice, even number 🙂

In other news, I’ve started to sell macarons!  So, instead of posts about my baking challenge disasters, I will now be posting my macarons and the recipes for them.  I hope you enjoy!

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(I am planning on eventually selling them online – but it would only be in the UK, to keep them fresh – and I will update when I plan on doing that 🙂 )

Cake Number 19: Accra Banana and Peanut Cake (Ghana)

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Admittedly, I thought this cake was going to be a disaster, as it just would not bake.  But, a bazillion hours later, it was finally cooked!!  As the title suggests, this is a banana and peanut cake (more like a banana and peanut loaf), but it has also got toffee inside it and it is delicious.

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The dried bananas on top give it a nice crunch – and I’ve now got a bag of dried bananas that I can enjoy 🙂  I’ve no idea why I added the peanuts because I despise peanuts, so I might give them a miss next time (I ate some but picked most of them out).

Cake Number 18: Bienenstich (Germany)

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I managed to bake something and have nothing go wrong (if you don’t count the fact that I dropped the flour, which caused the bag to burst and flour to go everywhere, and the fact that I managed to slice my finger open with a bread knife.  But they didn’t affect the final result!).  I am so pleased with these!  They are lovely little brioche-y type cakes/bread topped with a sugary/honey/almondy mixture.  And the outside is so satisfyingly crunchy!  When I cut these in half to add the vanilla custard (resulting in the sliced open finger), they made such a nice crunch noise!

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Admittedly, I’m not the biggest fan of nuts and I did try it with them – but I think I’ll probably scrape them off the next one I have.  I seem to be the only person in my family who doesn’t like nuts (or mushrooms.  Ugh….).  Strangely enough, though, I like macarons and they are made almost completely from nuts (but the sugar helps!)

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Cake Number 17: Macarons (France)

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I’m gonna be honest here – the recipe in the book calls for individual macarons.  But I’ve wanted to make a macaron cake for so long, so I thought that this would be the perfect time to try!  And I love it!  Admittedly, it doesn’t have feet (I don’t think I whisked my egg whites enough.  Sigh.  There’s always next time, though!)

And this is the first time I’ve flavoured my macaron shells (I know, I know – I shouldn’t just make plain ones but I’m still trying to get them just right, so I’m not really into fiddling with them too much just now).  I ground up some pistachios and added them to the mixture and they taste amazing (and I’m not even a fan of pistachios!)

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For this cake, I made one big disk and a big ring, as I wanted some fruit to go in the middle and I thought it might look weird if they were all piled on top.  Piping the cream onto the disk and them topping with the ring creates a nice well in the middle for the fruit to sit 🙂

Now, I just need to wait for my Mum to come home from work so that I can cut it (I can’t cut it before as many people as possible have seen that I can sometimes bake pretty things).

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