How to make the most beautiful cakes

Berry Tiled Wreath

100 g crown cake mass

Roll the mass into a sausage about a centimeter thick and shape it into a ring 18 cm in diameter. Place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

crown cake topper
150 g crown cake mass

50 g of eggs (1 pc.)

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Blend all the ingredients into a smooth mass in a food processor. Fill the batter into the crown cake and bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Let the cake cool to room temperature.

Cream with spices
1 vanilla pod, 1 star anise, 1 cinnamon stick
2 dl + 1/2 dl milk H
3/4 dl whipped cream
55g sugar
30 g egg yolk (2 small)
20g cornstarch

Split the vanilla pod and scrape out the seeds.

Put two dl of milk, spices, cream and sugar in a saucepan, mix and bring to the boil. Put the rest of the milk and cornstarch in a bowl and lightly whisk together. Whisk the egg yolks into the milk and corn mixture. Pour 2/3 of the hot liquid into the egg mixture little by little, stirring with a whisk. Then pour the mixture back into the mold. Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer for half a minute, constantly stirring at the bottom of the pan with a whisk so that the cream does not burn.

Remove the spices once the cream has boiled. Pour the cream into a bowl. Cover the cream with plastic and put it in the fridge.

200 g fresh berries of your choice

Spread the cold cream over the crown cake. Cover with berries.

See more recipes at the bottom of the case

The angst of the election

– When making a cake table, there are an awful lot of choices to make. I want variation both visually and tastefully, on textures and structure, says Sverre Sætre, who, in doubt, let the classic baked chocolate cake and meringue cake pavlova pop while he had to limit himself to five different cakes.

Instead, crown cake is followed by cheesecake, lemon pie, a soft cake variation, and chocolate cake with orange creme. It must be able to accommodate all kinds of guests.

– Chocolate suits most people. But sour and sharp stuff, so you’re probably a bit grown up if you choose. Walnuts are also adults, we notice, it is not the taste of a child. Cream-based cakes are the prerogative of the grandparents’ generation; for them, it is still the cream cake that is “cake”.

modern phenomenon

What exactly is a cake? The boundary between bread and cake is unclear. In its simplest sense, cake – a word we got from the Vikings’ “cake” – is a flat loaf of bread, but over time also sweetened and enriched with everything good: honey, eggs, sugar and butter, cream and better wheat flour. Already the Romans used honey and fresh cheese to make cakes. In ancient England, cake was round and baked on both sides, while bread was oblong and baked without turning. Now there is bread that looks more like cake and cakes that look more like bread. And not the least cakes that are not baked, but desserts.

The cake, as we know it today, is a modern phenomenon – an airy treat created at a time when innovations in chemistry, technology, agriculture and global commerce collided and created the predictable sweet cooking conditions. The invention of baking powder and the cast iron oven around the same time that sugar production in the Caribbean islands exploded in the 19th century elevated cake culture.

In Norway, where poverty was the norm and fresh fruit the exception, a tradition of baking developed using dry, sustainable ingredients such as almonds, raisins, figs and apricots, says Sætre . Sumptuous creams and tart berries came later. But they quickly got a place on the cake table; next to the crown cake, perhaps no cake is as festive in Norway as the soft cake.

Frozen delight

The soft cake is named not because it is so soft and irresistible, but because the sugar loaves are dipped in juice, sherry or the like before being topped with cream, vanilla and fruit. Over the years it may have become a bit outdated; it may seem that the pavlova, the meringue base topped with cream and fresh fruit, has resumed its role in many festive occasions.

Sverre Sætre himself believes that the soft cake was destroyed by many people’s mistaken belief that it is okay to make a soft cake from factory-produced sugar bread. It’s not. To be really good, you almost have to do it yourself.

In return, Sætre offers a method that takes the stress out of the moist cake on the big day:

He makes a finger cookie base instead of a classic sugar loaf, and instead of whipping cream and vanilla cream in separate layers onto the cake, he blends the two into a cheesecake.

– The advantage is that a well-balanced cheese can be frozen, unlike cream which crystallizes and becomes simply disgusting. But in this cake, I put fresh strawberries between the bottom and the cream, so it has to wait in the fridge. Either way, it’s fine on May 17, because then you don’t have to get up and bake the cake just before the guests arrive, he says.

The Olympic Cake

The same goes for the whipped passion fruit cheesecake, made using the same basic recipe as the cake with which he helped win the Cooking Olympics in 2008.

The cake with a nut base and whipped cream cheese not only can be frozen, it must be frozen before it gets a layer of yellow chocolate frosting so shiny the hostess can almost check the makeup that it contains. At the Olympics, the cake was a play on the classic carrot cake, but for the cake table, it’s flavored with passion fruit and orange. Sætre himself wonders if he really prefers baked cheesecakes, but:

– It is easier to succeed with a whipped, although there are also a number of pitfalls.

Frosting is also easier to pull off than it looks, but as with any cake baking, it’s important to follow the instructions carefully.

– I am a pastry chef, but also a cook. Random bosses on everything. But as confectioners, we don’t. We weigh everything: eggs, water, everything. I don’t think people think about it much at home. The best investment you can make when baking cakes is a regular digital scale. Then you get incredible security in what you do.

The best lead was

A big part of prepping the cake for big days, which are often busy, is all about planning.

– It is important to start a little early. We work like this all the time – we sell almost all our cakes on Fridays and Saturdays, so we spend the whole week baking them, says Sætre.

While the moist cake and cheesecake are almost done in their entirety before going to the freezer, the lemon pie ingredients can stand separately and wait until the last second.

The lemon cream can be left cold for a few days before rising, while the bottom must wait at room temperature to keep the crispness. If you don’t wait until just before serving to decorate it, you must also put it back in the refrigerator once decorated.

– We worry about it all the time. Two hours at room temperature is too much for a cake. For us, this is a matter of food safety, but it is also extremely important in terms of taste and appearance.

If the lemon pie remains decorated for too long, it may crack.

Sætre decorates the tart with shimmering meringue tops that give the surface of the yellow cream a glow of the Mummidalen landscape, while the chocolate cake, which is filled with a rich orange cream, takes on a circular theme. : chocolate UFOs rest on black mulberries in the company of circular gold stamps. Sverre Sætre simplifies cake decorating by placing balls of marzipan and hazelnuts in a plastic box with gold dust and shaking them to brown them, gently dabbing them and building up layers on top of them. layers of berries.

When everything else is done in advance, it’s time for it.

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