Is there such a thing as baker’s block? If not, there should be. I bake on Thursdays and by Wednesday afternoon this week my mind was still blank. Frustration set in. Instead of forcing the issue I cleared my mind and did some other stuff. And by stuff I mean planning a wedding.
4 months until we indulge in a little champagne and decadence. I can’t wait! The initial momentum I experienced right after the “will you-yes I will” moment disappeared after a couple of months. So with a venue booked, caterer chosen, dress bought and photographer and DJ picked, I went into wedding hibernation mode. And that’s where I’ve been for the last 6 months. Now I’m desperately trying to get it back so I can finish off the last bits and pieces. Any tips?
And then I saw this tweet:
I met Natalie in April at the Hive Conference in Berlin. She is a fabulous woman with bundels of energy and enthusiasm. She is part of Apartment Diet and I am bummed I missed their workshop at the event. Anyway, Natalie just published a book called “The Wedding Virus” (find it here) and I downloaded it last night. I am now counting the hours until I can start reading it this evening.
Now, back to that Tweet…
I was sitting at my dining room table, wedding planner open and budget spreadsheet on my laptop, baking still in the back of my mind and then I read this quote on Natalie’s Twitter Feed. And I had a moment. I sighed and thought: “Yes, and you can add chocolate and champagne to that”. So I did! I immediatly got out of my baker’s block and then I got rid of the line in the planner that said: start wedding fitness routine.
(P.S. Feel free to enjoy this cake with champagne in the bath. But I will not be held responsible for the consequences.)
Chocolate cake with strawberries and vanilla mascarpone cream
(Glas of champagne optional but recommended)
Ingredients for the chocolate cake:
1 tsp vanilla sugar
2 heaped tbsp cacao, unsweetened
100g melted butter
Ingredients for the vanilla mascarpone cream:
200ml whipping cream
3 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tbsp vanilla sugar
250g-500g strawberries (depends how many you want inside the cake) roughly all the same size
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C
2. Line(or grease and flour) 2 18cm/7inch springform tins.
3. Throw all the ingredients for the cake in a standmixer (or a bowl and use a handmixer) and mix with the paddle attached. Be careful that your melted butter isn’t too hot or your eggs will cook.
4. Divide the mixture equally between your 2 tins. If you only have 1 tin I suggest you make half the batter, bake it and then make another batch.
5. Bake for 20 minutes.
6. Cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then cool fully on a wire rack.
7. Make the cream when the cakes have completely cooled down. Do this by putting all the ingredients in the bowl of your standmixer which is now fitted with the whisk (or use a bowl and handmixer). Mix on high until the mixture becomes thick and creamy.
8. Wash the strawberries and cut the tops off flat so that they can stand on their own, upside down as it were. Slice in 2 vertically. When you have enough to cover the circumference, stop cutting the strawberries in half. Keep them whole with the tops off.
9. Take your (cleaned) springform tin and put one of the cakes in. Put the sliced strawberries on the cake around the edge with the cut side lightly pressed against the springform.
10. Put the rest of the unsliced strawberries inside the strawberry edge you’ve just made. Strawberry tops onto the cake surface so they don’t fall over.
11. Carefully fill the gaps with the mascarpone cream. Smooth over the surface when you have covered all the strawberries. Don’t overfill with the cream. You’re looking to just cover the strawberries.
12. Place the second cake (top side down) on top of the cream.
13. Put the cake in the fridge so it can set a bit. When ready to serve, take it out of the fridge and carefully remove the springform. Let it sit for about 15 minutes so that it can warm up a bit to room temperature.
Optional: dust lightly with powdered sugar and serve with some champagne and the rest of the strawberries.