The story of the Kronenkrakker cake is a long one: I once had a colleague who was married to a Finn, and on the occasion of our first joint cookie baking with colleagues she told me about a Finnish pastry called "Korvapuusti" ("slap"). In this context, I asked her if she had ever heard of a Swedish cake called Kronenkrakker. She said no, even when I told her that it was a wedding cake in the shape of seven stacked rings, hence the "crown" in their name, and that these rings were externally decorated with brittle and brittle is called "krakker" in Swedish (actually "brittle" is called "krokant" in Swedish, just like in German and I still don't speak Swedish).
I did what every computer scientist would do, and googled "kronenkrakker" for the first time. Zero results. I was confused, I could not remember who told me about the cake, and I thought I had seen it somewhere on the internet - but the Internet also did not know it! Shortly thereafter, at a conference, I asked a few Swedish colleagues about the cake, and again, nobody had heard of either the name nor of the form described by me with the seven stacked rings. I was at a loss.
Having had a little time to meditate about it, I remembered vaguely that I had once had a funny dream in which I was an au pair in Sweden, had fallen in love there with a typical blond Swede, and we wanted to get married. So I went to a Swedish supermarket to buy the seven ring molds for the Kronenkrakker cake for our wedding with his mother, a very charming woman, and then I must have woken up at some point. I could not even remember the name of the face of my Swedish dream fiancé, but the cake stuck (which indeed says a lot about me ;-)).
Well, and since my colleagues found the story extremely funny, I set out to design such a cake, of course without having the seven ring forms, which you could buy in any Swedish supermarket in my dream. I used the recipe for the nut wreath by Gaby as a base for the cake. Well, and since I'm in Sweden for the first time in my life, here it is - the (perhaps soon) famous Swedish Kronenkrakker cake! :-)
Yay! My amazing employer, the German Aerospace Center, is sending me on a business trip to Kiruna in northern Sweden, where, among other things, I get to see a rocket launch from TEXUS :-) At the European Rocket Range, most of the residents cook for themselves, i.e., there are common kitchens - and naturally I thought of taking a couple of baking utensils - only the bare necessities, of course ;-)
Regarding Sweden, two cakes come to my mind: the Prinsesstårta is a very famous Swedish cake that I've wanted to bake for a while now. The Kronenkrakker is very unknown, however, because it was invented by me and baked only once - for details see here in this blog...
My dear colleague Alex celebrated his birthday recently and actually the plan was that we would celebrate together whilst on great business trip in northern Sweden. He had mentioned several times and very inconspicuously that he REALLY likes chocolate mousse, so I wanted to prepare one in Sweden - no problem so far! However, the plan had changed and I spent a week in northern Sweden, while he was on another business trip until the evening of his birthday. So, I produced a light and a dark chocolate mousse before my departure, arranged them in a glass jar, froze it directly afterwards and deposited it in the office freezer, so that another nice colleague could bring it to him on the evening after his arrival. Of course, I had previously tested the suitability of chocolate mousse for being frozen: depending on the thaw progress, you can eat it as ice cream, parfait or as completely thawed mousse :-)
My friend Andrea has asked me to help her bake a wedding cake for her sister Judith. I have known the two sisters since my childhood, because we grew up in the same street, and had a lot of fun thinking up a cake together with Andrea. We thought that a "Donauwelle" ("wave of the Danube") would be a great cake for a wedding in Swabia, and decorated it in the wedding colors red and white. The cake decorations are made from gelatin fondant, which Andrea has modeled herself - she had even practiced with play dough ;-) By now, the happy couple got married - Congratulations and have a happy future together, Judith & Jürgen!
For the birthday of my dear friend Andrea, I made a fancy cake with a rose decoration that I had discovered, once again, on Pinterest and had since been dying to try it out! I had chosen the combination of sponge cake and cream cheese-chocolate frosting because Andrea and her family had already been so excited about the rainbow snowman cake, particularly her father, who otherwise seem to hardly eat cake at all. :-) This time, the sponge had only one color, namely pink, and it was filled in the middle with mango mousse. Because I wanted to have the cake nice and high, I squeezed a recipe for a 26cm mold into a 24cm mold, but it has worked well, the batter did not run over (as I was very afraid it might), but yielded a nice and pretty high cake! :-)
For the farewell party of an Australian colleague who goes - as he put it - "back to the land of murderous animals", I spontaneously baked these fish cupcakes. Basis for the cupcakes is the orange muffin recipe I used for the Muffin Buket decorated them with butter cream, mini Smarties, and "Lachgummi" - funny enough, you can use almost every form of Lachgummi fruit somehow use as a fish-tail, even the banana ;-) I had the idea again from Pinterest, but in this picture they probably used mini-M&Ms which have much richer colors than the mini Smarties I had. And, finally, I got to use my monster eyes :-)
I think homemade pasta makes a great gift, especially the colorful and patterned examples - if you can preserve them well, which means to dry them! I've tried a lot in this regard, by browsing various Chefkoch.de forums, which was a lot of fun. Since I've finally become the proud owner of a KitchenAid, I had to benchmark it, specifically with green pasta dough, the dough that I least like kneading by hand, and the main reason why I need a food processor!
Unfortunately, Kitty didn't deal too well with this first dough, in fact, I had to send her in for repair after only one week's use because the head kept raised during kneading (yes, I bought it just because of the design and I'm still not quite convinced that a much cheaper and only a bit uglier Kenwood wouldn't have been the better choice ... But she's just so pretty and blue :-)).
When Kitty finally came back fixed (after about 3 weeks!), I obviously had benchmark her against the dough again, and this time she managed to do it unscathed. :-)
I mostly use this recipe with eggs - on the first try with spinach dough, I used another recipe, and the dough was far too soft, so I had to add tons of semolina. One really should use less eggs to compensate for the spinach. If you want to dry the pasta, it's best not to put salt in the pasta, because it attracts water. However, I have also dried leftover pasta dough including salt without problems!
After my faith in my macaron arts had been restored with the Heart Macarons, I had the idea to bake Easter egg macarons for #PamK. The motto was actually "childhood memories", but my exchange partner lives in a place called "Osterhofen" and together with the date of the exchange, I absolutely had to bake one Easter-themed item! Macarons without food coloring are eggshell colored anyway and colored sugar beads had already worked well on the Snowman Macarons. This time, I were folded the batter probably not quite long enough, the macarons weren't entirely smooth on the surface ... but better like that than if they break during baking!
Another childhood memory of mine is custard, which we have always made with readymade packaged custard powder. Some time ago, I had found an interesting thread in the chefkoch.de forum titled "I will never buy packaged custard again" where some people posted great recipes for pudding from scratch - including these two for chocolate custard and caramel custard. I decided that the custard would best be mailed in a glass jar and that it would be pretty to layer both puddings into the jar. After testing a complicated chocolate pudding recipe with egg yolks, I realized that I am not able to simultaneously deal with hot caramel and the clotting risk of egg yolk, and timing it such that both have the same texture and the layers in the jar work out! I also found the pudding with egg a bit too much, so I decided on the more classic chocolate pudding recipe below, and these two I was well able to prepare and layer in parallel! :-)