2016 Layered Cake

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It’s almost the end of 2015 – can anyone actually believe how fast this year has gone by, how much has happened and what’s to come? It’s been an incredible year – I’ve learned so much about myself, went through challenges of my own, achieved several of my goals, met many new people that I feel so blessed to have in my life and travelled to new countries. With the year ending, always come the new resolutions. I used to not believe in new years resolutions – in the end, I feel that if you want something you need to start working for it immediately and not push it to the next year, the upcoming monday or even tomorrow. Unless you have real reasons, there is no need to push back anything you want to achieve.

I think the new year does give some opportunities to set new goals for the year ahead. At work we need to set our own goals we want to achieve during the upcoming year and it’s the perfect way to learn to set goals that are actually achievable and reachable within one year. So the past days I’ve been thinking of what the year has given me so far, what I did not manage (and why) and what I want to move forward with next year. Nex to continuing my studies and keeping the same grade level, I want to manage my time a little more wisely. Spend more time with the people I love, use some of the weekends to make long weekend trips and discover new cities. I’ve also been stuck in a somewhat comfortable routine in regards to my cooking – I find a good recipe and stick to it, sometimes for weeks afterwards. This year I want to try more recipes from all over the world, adjust them for my own allergies and discover new spices. Since I have an Indian supermarket around the corner supplying me with all kinds of herbs and spices, there really is no reason not to try some of them.

One of my kitchen highlights actually happened this past weekend when I made my first fondant cake. I’ve basically wanted to do one for the whole year but never got the chance. I’ve always been on the go, did not find the right occassions, was too busy or too lazy at other times or simply did not want to make it for myself (given that I would have to eat it myself afterwards). This holiday was the perfect time as the family was here, New Years coming up and all reasons matched for me to try myself with a fondant cake. It’s far from looking perfect (I always admire those amazing wedding and other celebration cakes made out of fondant and sugar paste) but it surely boosted my self-esteem in regards to baking. I cannot wait to make another one! So of course I will share the recipe with you. The cake itself is not too sweet, which I like – though the fondant on top does give a little more sweetness to it. The rasberry-butter cream is, well, buttery – a little fruity but not too much either. I actually stole the recipe from here (in German), though adjusted it to make it gluten (GL) and lactose free (LF), as well as a little easier, for me to eat as well. Before I start the recipe, for those not interested or those not reading it all, I wish you all a HAPPY & HEALTHY START INTO THE NEW YEAR with lots of love and luck to come!

What you need for the cake

3 eggs
130g sugar
180g GL flour
40g GL cacao
12g GF backing powder
130g oil (I used peanut oil)
1 pack vanilla sugar
150g LF milk
a hint of salt

What you need for the rasberry-butter-cream

3 egg whites
250g LF butter
175g rasberries (or any other berry – can be frozen, though let it sit at room temperature before)
175g sugar (I used brown sugar)

What you need for decorations

fondant (I used pre-rolled-out white fondant)
sugar paste for letters & numbers (I used black sugar paste)

What to do

1) heat up the oven to 180°C and separately grease your round baking pan with butter (I used a 18cm diameter one)
2) Start by mixing all liquids, the eggs and sugar until you have a sugary paste
3) add all other ingredients for the dough and mix it well for a couple of minutes
4) the dough will seem a little liquidy, though that is perfect – now fill it into the backing pan and place it into the oven
5) after 45 min the cake should have risen and be done, now take it out and let it cool fully
6) After about 20 min you can cut the cake into three approximately same height pieces for you to later layer up again
7) Whilst the 3 pieces are further cooling, start the rasberry-butter cream
8) Place the egg whites and sugar into a bowl and place it into a water bath
9) stir the eggs until all the sugar has disappeared – you can check using your fingers whether you feel any sugar (though this shouldn’t take longer than 10 min)
10) once the sugar is melted, let it cool down before you whip it – it should become a more or less stiff white mixture, though it won’t be as stiff as cream would get
11) add the sugar and whip it again until you have your buttery-cream – now add the rasberries and repeat
12) once you have your cream, you can place it on the first layer, add the second cake piece, another layer of cream, and the third one piece – for each layer use about ¼ of the cream you made
13) the rest of the rasberry-butter cream should now be used to cover the whole cake
14) once you covered everything, roll out the fondant (if it is not pre-rolled-out) and carefully place it over the cake
15) if you have never done it before, I recommend watching a short youtube video about covering a fondant cake – it really helps! Now you can go all out with decorations – I used the black sugar paste to cut out 2016 and make a bow for the side of the cake

Now you can

1) serve the cake immediately, or
2) let it sit in the fridge – I did to let the sugar paste harden and kept it in over night

The cake should be good up to 3 days after making it, though it surely did not last that long here. My family and I each had a piece the next day and finished about half of the cake. The other half went to one of my working colleagues and his family, whom only live a couple of minutes away. That way I made sure we all had our treat though wouldn’t roll into New Years through gaining any weight :)

With that, again, I wish you all the best for the New Year, a fantastic start into it (mine will thankfully be calm this year), and that all your 2016 resolutions will be reached! xo

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2’501,9m over the sea

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Good morning! It’s been so long – but I’m still alive! Last week has been so busy, you know when you suddenly get swamped with work? Yep, that was me last week, swimming in little circles. But it was crazy good, I’d rather be busy full-on than bored with nothing to do. Except for the end of the week – I managed to sprain my tailbone after I fell quite hideously down some stairs. Haha, it had to happen to me one day!

Friday I went out for an amazing dinner – I was out with a friend who had shown me a steak-restaurant in Zurich. I’m such a meat-lover it’s crazy! So for anyone that loves steaks I can only recommend the Churrasco in Zurich. I had an Entrecôte and I still can’t get over the amazing taste.

Saturday I spent my day window-shopping, going to Ikea and some other shops. I’ve been looking for lamps now for ages – I still have lightbulbs hanging all over my apartment but it’s hopeless to find a hanging lamp I like that is somewhat affordable. I just don’t see why I should spend so much money on a nice lamp. I’ve been thinking about making one myself? I love copper lamps, or playing with copper shades or even something with wood. Anyone got any good ideas or a DIY website for hanging lamps? Let’s see what I’ll be doing next with that haha.
However – I did find some great new glasses for drinking. They fit perfectly with my red wine glasses I got earlier this year. I’ll have to show them to you later this week! I also got small other stuff to cook with – my kitchen seems full already but I always find something great that could help me make pretty food haha.

Yesterday I haven’t been lazy for once – although I did have a lazy sunday evening. My dad stayed over this weekend so we decided to go to Säntis – a mountain about 1 hour drive from Zurich. It was breathtaking. Really, there are no words to describe the beauty of nature sometimes. I still haven’t gotten over the beautiful view. Isn’t it somehow possible to take it with you? I would do anything to wake up to such a view in the morning! One of my future dreams is to have a small little house or apartment in the alps to go there in the winter times and just enjoy the view on a daily basis from time to time. Or I’ll have to rent one out – crossing fingers!

The tiny tinsy house up on on that mountain is where the weather-man used to live the whole year round. It’s insane, as much as I love the view and as much as I would wish to have that view, I would never be able to live up there. Imagine! Back then they had no lift to go up and down within 15 minutes, they actually had to hike up all those 2500+ meters. There is no supermarket around the corner and no neighbor to talk to. Alone the thought is crazy!

I actually took even more photos, also from down where the parking was. The trees were beautiful, full of heavy snow, almost leaning under the heavy weight. I only went a few meters off the pathway and was already stuck in the snow up to my knees. But I do admit, getting back home to a nice hot cup of tea did make me quite happy too. No matter how much I love the snow and the beautiful landscape, I couldn’t live without summer!

Now that I’ve written quite a bit, I quickly need to hurry and leave the apartment to start on time at the office. This week is already quite full in regards to meetings and evening-plans so I’m really looking forward to it. I wish you all a great Monday! xo

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This little house used to be, were the man living up here would write down and record the weather conditions. Today this is done with huge computers and it is the largest weather-station in all of Switzerland!

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