Birthday Cakes

Somewhat belatedly, here are the latest party food experiments – from my own ‘birthday week’! 😉

First of all, my mum sent me a new cake tin – with a nut cake in it, ready to be decorated with chocolate icing and roses.

What I did instead, however, was eat the nutcake un-decorated (yum!) and use the decoration for a rosewater-flavoured cake & muffins…

Basically you make a standard marble cake, and instead of splitting the dough and adding cocoa to one half, you just add rosewater to the whole of the dough (and, if you wish, some food colouring!). I then decorated the cake with home-made icing, home-coloured sugar and the roses sent by my mum!

My main experiment was the Mardi Gras King Cake. It looked pretty much like one…

… but I wasn’t too happy with the taste of it – and the icing colours are unsurprisingly off-putting! 😉 I combined three different recipes for this, basically making a standard yeast dough with some eggs, sour cream and nutmeg and then making a filling out of pecans (thanks, Sandra, for the pecans!), brown sugar and cinnamon. I also added a dollop of marmalade which did not work so well. Next time, I will just make the normal cinnamon roll dough and tone down the icing a bit!

I also made tray of a related German cake called ‘Butterkuchen’ (butter cake). It also uses a standard yeast dough with egg/milk, but is then rolled out and sprinkled with bits of butter, lots of sugar, cinnamon and almonds – kind of like a sweet bread – yum! I did not remember to take a picture of it until I was about to eat the last piece during a night skate. This is why it’s a bit squished and in tin-foil (and in lit by a street light…).

Here is the recipe:

500g flour
1 packet of yeast
1 egg
60g sugar
75 g butter
125 ml milk

Mix ingredients well, if need be, add some more warm milk. Leave to rise. Bash floured dough vigorously onto a kitchen surface several times, then roll it out. Put onto a large kitchen tray or several small ones. Pierce with fork several times. Leave to rise again for a bit.
Preheat oven.

For the topping use:
approx 125 g butter flakes
100 sugar
125g almond flakes
1/2 tsp cinnamon

After putting the topping on, put into the oven until golden-brown. Eat when still a bit warm!

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