A friend of mine asked me to make a cake for her mother since she is retiring. I heard she likes gardening and the color turquoise. They wanted the cake to be rather elaborate so on top of the cake I made a marzipan figurine, which I had some problems with, since I didn't have enough time to let it dry long enough and the marzipan was awfully soft this time. Really easy to work, but too soft for heavy figurines.
The idea for the hilltop and the pathways leading up to it I got from KakkuHelmi from a recent cake she made. Mine is just made a little differently. I used an 8 egg basic cake base for this cake aswell, baked in 3 different size round cake molds with the diameters of about 24 cm, 20 cm and 16 cm.
The wished the filling not to be too soft so I made a vanilla cream cheese filling combined to a strawberry puree. I would have used slices of fresh strawberries in the cake instead, but I didn't have time to go buy any. I had cake orders for a 20 person cake on friday, saturday and sunday, and this was the last cake, phew.
Vanilla cream cheese filling:
- 4 - 5 dl whipping cream
- 250 g cream cheese
- a bit less than 1 tsp bourbon vanilla powder (or atleast 2 tsp vanilla sugar)
- 1/2 dl powdered sugar (or a bit less if you used vanilla sugar)
This again is a very simple and easy filling, and also quite sturdy so it's safe to use in more elaborate cakes. I wouldn't use it alone in a cake necessarily, but combined with something fresh and sweet it will be a good combo.
Whip the cream and mix in the other ingredients. The bourbon vanilla powder is the real thing, ground vanilla. It's not sweetened and it's stronger than the vanilla sugar I've used before, so don't need to use as much of it. This stuff is good for especially some things that you heat up, like custards and hot drinks, since heating releases the flavours better. In this filling you might not taste the flavours immediately after mixing, which is also why this was perfect for this cake. It was to be served on the next day and not immediately.
- 3 - 4 dl strawberries (frozen or fresh)
- 1 tbsp sugar
Thaw the strawberries if you're using frozen ones and blend them in a blender until smooth. Add in the sugar and blend or mix it in.
Hint: You can also do the way I first planned if you have fresh strawberries. Slice them up and place them on top of the vanilla cream cheese filling when you are filling the cake.
Cut each cake base into two layers and carve a spiraling pathway around the cake. From the bits you carved out you can also make a pathway on the opposite side of the cake like I did.
Moisten the base with some juice. I used some red and black currant juice. Spread on the strawberry puree and vanilla cream cheese filling. Continue filling the cake like this. Note that you won't fill up to the edges when a smaller cake base is to be put on top. This cake isn't built like a normal layer cake making each cake layer at a time, but instead it's built all at once.
Smooth out the surface of the cake with some sugar cream, roll some green marzipan flat and place it on top of the cake. Start pressing the marzipan gently in the contours of the cake from above with the edges of your palms working your way down. Cut off the excess marzipan off the edges.
Now you can decorate the cake the way you wish. I cut some angular pieces of black and brown marzipan and placed them on the pathways and on top of the cake as a sort of a pavement. Then I placed the marzipan figurine on top of the cake and made some hey and flowers all around the cake. I finished off by dusting the dress of the figurine and the flowers with some shimmering edible powder.
Here's my lady on a peaceful little hilltop:
Puutarhakakku - Polku - Marsipaanihahmo - Vanilja - Mansikka