To my Mom, with Love

This week was my mother’s birthday. And of course a special occasion like this deserves a really special cake. But before describing the cake, let me talk first about the decoration.

My mom has a great passion for flowers like me. Therefore, I couldn't think anything else besides flowers to decorate the cake. And I was so glad that I could find one of the most beautiful flowers: english garden roses. I’m fascinated for those heirloom roses. What a such perfect gift to flatter some one you love, don't you think?

After photographing some of these beauties, I created these sugar roses to embellish the cake. I have to say they were one of the most beautiful sugar flowers that I have ever made so far. Maybe because they were made with extra love!

Talking now about the cake, it consists of butter sponge cake filled and covered with coconut cream. I love this butter sponge cake recipe from Julia Child's book Mastering the Art of French Cooking. It’s light, fluffy and it made a great pair with the coconut cream. 

I love you, mom!

Coconut Cake

Butter Sponge cake
(from the book Mastering The Art Of French Cooking)
For a 10-inch cake pan - I used two 6-inch pans.

4 Tb butter
2/3 cup granulated sugar
4 egg yolks
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 egg whites
pinch of salt
2 Tb granulated sugar 
3/4 cup cake flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Butter and flour cake pans.
Melt the butter and set aside to cool.
Gradually beat the sugar into the egg yolks, add the vanilla, and continue beating for several minutes until mixture is thick and pale yellow.

Beat the egg whites and salt together in a separated bowl until soft peaks are formed; sprinkle on the sugar and beat until stiff peaks are formed. Scoop one fourth of the egg whites over the top of the egg yolks and sugar mixture. Sift on one fourth of the flour, and delicately fold in until partially blended. Then add one third of the remaining egg whites, sift on one third of the remaining flour . fold until partially blended, and repeat with half of each, then the last of each and half of the tepid, melted butter. When partially blended, fold in the rest of the butter but omit the milky residue at the bottom of the pan. Do not overmix; the egg whites must retain as much volume as possible.

Turn into prepared cake pan, tiling pan to run batter to the rim all around. Set in middle level of preheated oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Cake is done when it has puffed, is lightly brown, and has just begun to show a faint line of shrinkage from the edges of the pan. 

Coconut Cream
(Adapted from the book Extraordinary Cakes, Karen Krasne) 

1 1/3 cup coconut milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup unsweetened medium shredded coconut
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoon all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into 1/4-inch cubes

Place the first 6 ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk continuously until the mixture cooks and thickens to a custardlike consistency.  Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the butter until smooth and homogeneous. 
Pour into a clean bowl, cover with plastic wrap pressed directly onto the surgace of the cream, and cool in the refrigerator for 1 hour.


Place one cake on a serving plate. Spread 1/4 recipe coconut cream over top. Place the second cake on top.  Cover with remaining coconut cream. Coat with coconut flakes.


White Open Rose

Unfortunately I’m still waiting for spring. After weeks of snow, it seems that finally now we will have the flourish of crocus, daffodils and magnolias. Can’t wait to see them!

While I'm expecting the blossoms of my favorite season, I’ve been making some new types of sugar flowers. Today I present to you this white open rose. This rose is different than the others that I made so far.  It has a core with some yellow stamens and I used some round cutters to make the petals.

I really love it. It’s perfect as a wedding cake topper, don’t you think?


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