Thursday, August 7, 2008

4 birthday cakes

About (or exactly) 7 days ago I turned 23.

Birthdays mean cake. There's really not much other reason to celebrate and the most important thing to make sure a birthday child gets is cake in their stomach.

For my birthday, I had a bunch of friends over. My mom and I made 4 cakes. And no, that's not overdoing it.

At the beginning of July, I was in Germany at my cousin's son's baptism and there was a cake there that blew my mind. It was called a maulworfkuchen: a "mole cake", like the animal because it looks like one of the piles of dirt it leaves after having been in your garden. I found the recipe for it online and tried it out for my birthday. It turned out pretty well, but I would use a ton more whipped cream than the recipe suggests!


350 g flour
175 g sugar
175 g butter or margerine
1 Ts baking powder
1 Ts vanilla
3 eggs
4 Ts cocoa powder
1 cup milk
250 g heavy cream (to whip, but I would use at least 500 g, maybe more)
50 g chocolate, shredded
1 Ts Vanilla sugar (if you use more cream, use more vanilla)
3 bananas

Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, vanilla sugar, and cocoa. Melt butter/margerine and together with eggs, mix into dry mixture. The batter will be stiff. Add a little milk at a time. Grease a round pan with a removable bottom and put the batter in. Bake at 390 degrees fahreinheit (200 celsius) for about 30-40 minutes. Let the cake cool.

Now take the top off with a spoon, leaving the edges. Separate any larger pieces into crumbs and set aside in a bowl.

Whip cream together with vanilla sugar. Grate chocolate into the cream and mix.

Cut bananas in half lengthwise. Arrange so they are covering the cake. Pour whipped cream on top of bananas, then cover with the crumbs which were removed earlier. Maulwurfkuchen!

I don't have the recipes for two of the cakes with me at the moment, because I'm in the middle of moving, but I'll post them when I find them. One of them was an upside-down blueberry cake with fresh blueberries from Nordmarka, the forest near my parent's house and the other was a wonderful raspberry cake with fresh raspberries from my parent's garden, the recipe of which was adapted from an apple cake recipe.
I figured that three cakes with fruit in them meant that I should make one cake that was in a different vein, something without fruit. I've wanted to try making a nut cake for a while, and I found a recipe that looked great online. It was only halfway through making the cake that I realized that this cake, too, had fruit in it: pineapples! I wouldn't want it any other way, though, it tasted awesome.

Swedish Nut Cake

2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
2 eggs
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2 ts baking soda
2 ts vanilla extract
1 (20 ounce) canned crushed pineapple
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup butter
1 ts vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahreinheit (175 celcius). Grease and flour a 9 by 13 inch pan.

Mix flour sugar, 1/2 cup nuts, and baking soda. Add eggs, pineapple, 2 ts vanilla. Beat until smooth and pour into baking pan. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes.

Beat butter/margerine, cream cheese, 1 ts vanilla, confectioners sugar together. fold in 1/2 cup nuts. Spread on hot cake.


It was a wonderful birthday to say the least. The other two recipes later!

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