Wednesday, March 25, 2009

One Year Wiser... Hopefully

Well, I'm not really sure if I'm one year wiser, and that's why you can't see that part of the text very clearly in the photo above. (How humble!) :P

But I'm happy to tell you that I have made a progress.

In the past, I used this kouglof mold only a few times. My first attempt in 2005 was close to a disaster, and on the second one, still the sides of the cake didn't turn brown almost at all. I blamed it on my oven-cum microwave and gave up on the pursuit of "nicely-browned kouglof cake." The mold had been left in the dark corner of my cupboard and forgotten since then.

Yesterday, when I was trying to decide which cake to bake for my birthday, I realized that I was not as enthusiastic as previous years. I didn't want to spend hours in the kitchen decorating the cake, because my Meniere's syndrome was not completely gone and I still felt slightly dizzy once in a while. Also, I didn't want to do a major shopping just for this cake, either. And there was an unopened bottle of maraschino cherries which I wanted to use up somehow. All those lead me to chose this cherry pound cake, my favorite recipe. And I was happy with the decision.

The only problem, though, was the decoration. The typical Japanese B-day cake decoration consists of strawberries and whipping cream, but it didn't look right for this cake. But if baked in a simple round or square tin, this cake would need some kind of icing, which I didn't want. So I thought about baking it in an interestingly shaped tin and simply sprinkling confectioner's sugar on top. The only interestingly-shaped tin I had was the kouglof mold. And I never had a success with it. Mmmmm... should I risk it?

I did. After all. I tried to learn from the previous unsuccessful attempts and did a few things differently this time. First, I downscaled the recipe to 1/4. And this may be a crazy idea, but to brown the sides as much as possible, I pre-baked the mold, then buttered and floured the hot mold right before pouring the batter into it. It seemed to have worked, to some extent. See?

It's slightly browned, isn't it? Much better than the caramel butter cake I baked before. This cake might have browned much more if I were patient enough to keep it in the oven for more than an hour...

Now I don't know why my cake looks so airy with lots of big holes... like ant nest. Too much baking powder? Too much whipping when mixing the batter? Since I have made a little progress, now I want to be even better and be able to bake something like this soon. Would it help if I buy and use a bundt pan instead of this kouglof mold???

Anyway, I'm very happy today with this birthday cake and these small roses. :)




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26 comments:

Jennie said...

always love your posts and pictures!
happy birthday obachan :) hope it's filled with sweet memories and even sweeter foods!!

Skye Hohmann said...

Happy Birthday Obachan! Hope you have a wonderful year.

K and S said...

O-tanjoobi omedetoo gozaimasu! May all of your birthday wishes come true!

Amelia Yap said...

おばちゃん...
お誕生日おめでとうございます!

The cake looks good! a huge improvement from the previous one :)

J*me said...

The cake looks wonderful, Obachan! ^__^

お誕生日おめでとう!

pollyjean said...

お誕生日おめでとうございます!

that cake just looks so good.

daryl said...

happy birthday obachan! (:
may you have a great year ahead! (:

Carolie said...

Happy birthday to my favorite food blogger!

dal said...

Happy Birthday Obachan =) Thanks for all the lovely posts.. Have a great year ahead =)

Fiona said...

That looks gorgeous, Obachan~ ^_^

*loves your cake photos! They're always so pretty!*

Hope you're having a wonderful birthday. Best wishes for the coming year. : )

~Fiona

gardensgirl said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!
That cake looks AMAZING.

Yudy said...

Happy birthday, Obachan.. Wish you all the best!!

Sirpaul484 said...

Happy Birthday, Obachan. That cake does look very delicious, and I think it was a wise decision not to use strawberries and whipping cream to decorate. In my opinion, the sweetness of strawberries and the slight tartness of cherries don't mix that well. Then again, that's just me.

tiptup said...

Happy Birthday Obachan! Lovely cake!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday! Sweet wishes :)

Nicole said...

Happy Birthday Obachan! I just had my birthday too (and it was a 40th birthday -amazing). Hope you had a great day to go along with your beautiful cake.

tofugirl said...

Happy birthday Obachan! Your cake looks delicious :)

Anonymous said...

OH... The best one yet i hope. And, certainly not the best one to come :)

Happy Birthday

Mura

karaimame said...

omedetou obachan! All the best to you :)
And the cake... aaaw, looks soooo gooood!

Anna said...

Your cake looks delicious!

Happy Birthday and best wishes! I hope this year you're starting will bring you great moments. ^__^

Cara said...

Happy happy Birthday to you! Your Gugelhupf looks very pretty and tasty , too!

Mora said...

Happy Birthday, Obachan! Gorgeous looking cake and, as always, equally gorgeous photographs. You might want to consider food styling as a career. May this new year bring you much happiness and many delicious meals.

Rowr said...

Happy (1 day belated!) Birthday!

yamo said...

お姉ちゃん、(僕よりそんなに年上じゃない笑)
お誕生日おめでとう!

Agnes Tan said...

Happy Birthday and
Selamat Hari Jadi (In Bahasa Malaysia)

obachan said...

Thank you so much, everyone. Sorry I've given up responding individually (again!), but I just want you to know that I truly appreciate each and every comment.

And I wish you all a lot of luck!