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How to Make an Even and Tall Cake

I have been asked over and over again if I could do a post on how to make an even and tall cake, so I finally gave in. For that reason I made videos (yes, plural), to help you practice making a tall and very even cake. If I managed to learn it, you will too. I can tell you, I was scared of cutting a cake in more than half (you know like cutting one big cake layer into three) and my cakes were loop-sided. But I promise you, practice makes perfect, so if I can make a nice even cake, so can you. I mean the below three-tiered wedding cake I made does show that it is possible, right? Yes, this wedding cake was prepared by me and yes, I did overcome my fear.

Dreistöckige Hochzeitstorte mit Schoko-DripFor wedding cakes it is extremely important that they are even as you are going to stack one on the other and even if you have the proper support, you want to be sure the weight is distributed evenly. You will find the recipes for this wedding cake here.

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How to Make a Heart Cake out of a Round Cake

You don’t have a heart-shaped cake pan, but you would like to make a heart-shaped cake either for Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day? I got you covered. How you can make a round cake into a heart-shaped cake with minimal loss of cake is explained in this blog post. We are going to cut the cake and cover everything with buttercream. I will show this process with photos. In addition, I will list 14 different cake recipes, which may serve as the base of your heart. The recipe for the pictured raspberry chocolate heart is also part of this article.

How to transform a round cake into a heart-shape cake without a heart-shaped cake form

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The Big Empanada School

I am going to teach you about empanadas today, these are the famous turnovers from Latin America. Empanadas are, I dare say, THE snack of Latin America. Empanadas do require quite a bit of work, first you have to prepare the dough and then the filling, then you need to fill and seal each empanada before it is baked or fried. As many dishes, empanadas are originally from Spain. However, Spanish empanadas have little resemblance with the empanadas from Latin America. Spanish empanadas are similar to a pie. The empanada from Galicia for example is big and round, like a pie, usually filled with chicken and champignons. Often the pie topping has some braided elements and is decorated in some kind of way. This is very different from the empanadas from Latin America. In this article we will have a look at how empanadas are made in Latin America. Of course I will give a lot of recipes at the end of this article.

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How to Make an American Pie

Amerikanischer Cherry-Pie

After a long break I am going to do another “how to” tutorial. This is geared towards German people and non-Americans because I am going to talk about pie. What exactly is a pie? The most traditional pie has a dough base (pie crust) and a filling, it may have a second pie crust it is covered with. It was already popular among the American pioneers as it didn’t contain any leavener and could all be done by hand. It usually contains few ingredients such as flour, sugar, butter, egg, and milk and/or fruit or meats and has reached popularity also outside of the U.S. The most traditional pie is probably the apple pie, pumpkin pie or pecan pie is another classic you will find everywhere for Thanksgiving. In Germany pie is not that popular, even though the Europeans brought their different pies and tarts to the U.S. in the first place before it became so popular in the U.S.

It is impossible to find a proper pie form in Germany, I searched high and low, I used a springform (you can see a few pictures below with a springform), I used a tart form, until I finally gave up and simply ordered one online.  The one I currently use (I have two) is this one and it serves me well. What I do like about a proper pie form is that it chamfered, meaning that you will get more filling than in a tart form or springform. Below I will introduce you to many pie recipes and will give you tips on how to make sure that you are doing a proper American pie.

Amerikanischer Key Lime Pie

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A Few Tips for a Wonderful Picnic and Two Picnic Recipes

Picknickkorb

Are you also such a big fan of picnics? I just love the idea of sitting on a blanket, enjoying a few treats I prepared beforehand and breathing some fresh air in nature. A picnic to me is the best way to relax. Below you will find two recipes perfect for a picnic. One is a berry salad infused with lavender honey, the other is homemade pesto, which I used on a sandwich as a spread, but which may be used as a dip or with some cooked pasta. All of below tips are also from my first-hand experience as a huge picnic lover.

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Coffe Date – What I learned Making a Three-Tired Wedding Cake

Dreistöckige Hochzeitstorte mit Schoko-Drip

This is going to be a slightly different coffee date to the previous ones. I decided to show you a few pictures of the second wedding cake I had the honor of making in August this year. I will try to keep it short, but I will let you know the few lessons I learned along the way. If you are interested in the recipes, please check this blog post. For more details on the process, check out my highlights on Instagram.

Lesson #1: A three-tiered cake requires much more work than a two-tiered cake. For that reason I made the cake layers at home in Munich and decided to freeze them. As you can see, I wrapped them tightly in plastic wrap and also used a plastic bag to keep them fresh. I decided to do this as the wedding was 600km away and I was simply too scared to carry a cake long-distance for such a long amount of time. I am glad I went this route, I ended up 7 1/2 hours on the road.

You can see that I wrapped the cake layers in plastic wrap and a bag in order to freeze them

Lesson #2: Cooling boxes are my new favorite toy. I carried the frozen cake layers for 7 1/2 hours in this box, wrapped in ice and it was not problem at all to continue freezing the cake layers in a freezer. Yes!

Kühlbox im AutoYes, it used a seatbelt for the box

Lesson #3: I finished the wedding cake in an Airbnb. Obviously, I carried with me a lot of the tools, including my KitchenAid. But it was very convenient to have an empty fridge for the cakes at hand.

Drei Tortenböden kühlen im KühlschrankYou will see the three cake layers in the semi-naked style here

Lesson #4: Unfortunately, larger cakes tend to look smaller and bulkier than they actually are. I made 4 cake layers for the top tiers, but decided to use five cake layers (as you can see below) for the bottom tier. Reason for this being that the bottom layer somehow looked smaller otherwise. This is something you should keep in mind when you calculate your sizes, I had to add one extra layer to my bottom tier!

30cm Torte im KühlschrankYou see that the bottom tier of 30xm had five cake layers to get it to look a bit taller

Lesson #5: If the bride tears up when she sees the cake, I feel you have done a good job. And let me tell you, making a three-tiered cake requires a lot of work. I think I spent about 20 hours on this cake, let alone the many hours I did research, tried different cake recipes, checked many flavors, etc. Many of the guests came to me thanking me that this was the first wedding cake ever tasting fresh and fruity and was not so overly sweet. Of course each layer had a different flavor combo and as requested by the couple, I had used very little buttercream, but cream cheese, etc. for the filling. Below you can see how popular the wedding cake was, coffee time was not over yet when I snapped that picture.

Reste einer HochzeitstorteI snapped this picture during coffee time, I think barely anything was left

If you are interested in further details or would like to know the recipes, feel free to leave me a comment. Update: I finally gave in and posted the recipes for the three-tiered wedding cake here. Also, I did do a whole series on the first wedding cake I made, you can check it out here:

Part I How to bake a wedding cake at home

Part II How to schedule a plan when making a wedding cake at home

Part III How to convert sizes and recipes

Part VI How to transport and stack a wedding cake

Part 4 How to assemble, stack and decorate a wedding cake

Anschnitt einer Hochzeitstorte

In the last part about how to sucessfully bake a wedding cake at home we will have a look at assembling, transporting and decorationg the cake. Just to recap, these were the previous parts:

Part 1: How to calculate the size of a wedding cake

Part 2: How to plan a baking schedule

Part 3: How to convert recipes for the different sizes

For this part, let’s start with the assembling

Tip #1: Divide your fillings prior to frosting so that each layer is equally thick

My 26cm chocolate cake consisted of three thick cake layers and therefore only two layers of filling. This meant I knew I had to evenly divide the filling between these two layers. I didn’t need to coat the cake with any of it as I was going to use Swiss meringue buttercream instead so this was pretty straight forward. If you plan on using the same frosting for the filling as well as the outside of the cake, as a general rule of thumb you need at least double the amount for the outside tan for one layer. So if I were to use my filling also for the outside, I would have divided it by four.

My 18cm carrot cake had four cake layers and thus I had three layers of filling, which I divided by three before applying. I did use the cream cheese frosting, which I made like the Ermine buttercream, so has a flour base as I wanted to be extra sure that it would be stable. I use it also for the frosting of the carrot cupcakes. The regular cream cheese filling I usually use for the carrot cake is a bt too thin as it only consists of whipped cream mixed with cream cheese. I was too scared that my cake would not be stable enough and was happy to report that it worked out perfectly well, even in the middle of summer in Spain. I even had enough frosting to apply a very thin outer layer on the cake before I generously frosted it with the Swiss meringue buttercream.

The cake on the left after the crumb coat, the cake on the right is placed in this ring to become extra straight

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How to bake a wedding cake at home, part 1

Zweistöckige weiße Hochzeitstorte

Probably most readers are going to say that I am crazy. Because when I made my first wedding cake, I did this in another country (Spain) with different ingredients, and another oven. I guess I simply have to accept that because it is the truth. I guess I am crazy. But I decided to start a new series, which is all about how to make a wedding cake at home with a regular oven. I will start this series with some fundamental questions, which you should have an answer to before you even start thinking about baking that cake. Let’s get going.

#1 How many guests are attending?

#2 When is the wedding cake going to be served?

These two questions are fundamental to how large your cake is going to be. So please be sure to have a proper answer before you calculate anything. Let me try to walk you through this. So let’s assume that you are going to serve the cake right after the ceremony. People will most likely be pretty hungry. In this instance, it is easy to calculate. You should have at least the amount of pieces as you have people attending. So if 50 people attend, you should have 50 pieces of cake. Believe me, many people don’t manage to eat properly before the ceremony and will be happy to have some cake if served early on. Of course it does make a difference if you offer further cakes, desserts, etc. alongside the wedding cake. But as stated, if served right after the ceremony, people will eat more than if served at another time.

Hohe Erdbeer-Stracciatella-TorteCake of 20cm in diameter, height about 12.5cm, recipe Strawberry Stracciatella Cake

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Cute Little Hedgehogs from Pie Crust

Süße Igel aus Mürbeteig

I am almost to ashamed to admit that I don’t have that many animal recipes on this blog even though I am a huge animal lover. For that reason today these cute little hedgehogs from pie crust need to be published. I am a huge fan of anything related to fall. I love to watch hedgehogs looking for heaps of leaves, it is so cute to see squirrels happily looking for nuts or birds being content that there still is enough food.

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How to Make Homemade Dulce de Leche

Selbstgemachte dulce de leche

Today I am going to introduce you to dulce de leche. Never heard of it? This is Spanish and literally translates as “sweetness of milk”. In English it is often translated as milk caramel. Its taste is similar to traditional caramel, but since it is prepared with milk, it has a slightly different taste. Dulce de leche is widely used in Latin America and served with desserts, pastries, but also along cheese or as sweetener for coffee.

Selbstgemachte dulce de leche Continue Reading…