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  1. I hope it works for you ). You're probably right about the cupe of batter you take out before adding the liquid. I do that with a shortbread, put the extra dough in the freezer and crumble it over the filling. It works great!
  2. We make streusel cakes quite often, this is the recipe my mom's mom developend and we have used for years. There is a recipe for the crust and a recipe for the streusel. The curst has an egg, the streusel traditionally does not. I suspect they just use the egg because the mix is used for both crust and streusel. Hope you enjoy this one! Crust: 250 grams of self-rising flour (scant 9 oz) 100 grams of sugar (1/2 cupe) 100 grams of butter (1 stick minus 1 TBS), slightly softened 1 egg pinch of salt Mix butter and sugar with electric mixer using paddle attachment (do not overmix, it needs to be mixed but not creamed until light and fluffy). Scrape down bowl, add lighlty beaten egg. Mix briefly, add flour and salt and only mix on low speed until dough forms. wrap in Saran wrap and put in refrigerator for at least an hour (up to three days). Let soften 10-15 minutes on room temp before rolling out. Streusel: 125 grams of self rising flour (scant 5 oz) 100 grams of sugar (1/2 cup) 100 grams of cold butter, cubed (1 stick minus 1 TBS) Mix all streusel ingredients with your fingers, rubbing butter into dry ingredients until clumps form. (Can be made up to three days ahead). Filling: Your choice of fruit, we use apricot puree, cherries, plums, apples, sometimes even custard. The apricot is our favorite. Preheat overn to 350 (I use convection setting, if you don't, use it at 375). Butter round pan (springform works great too), 10-12 inches in diameter. Roll out crust onto bottom of buttered pan. I actually do this IN the pan, using a small pastry roller. Just patch up tears, you're fine as long as you have the whole bottom covered. Spread fruit filling (don't skimp, use a nice thick layer), sprinkle with streusel so filling is completely covered. If you want, sprinkle sliced almonds on top. Bake in preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, or until golden brown and slightly firm. The more fruit you use, the longer it will take. If it's very loose, you'll notice when you jiggle the pan a little. Just keep it in a little longer. This is a very forgiving recipe, and it keeps great for days. Taste improves with age actually (we never eat it the day it is baked). Also freezes well. I usually double the recipe, bake a whole sheet and feed an army ;o)
  3. I'm in the Netherlands as well (born and raised!) and I can promiss you if your guests are not into sweet things, decrease sugar in Dorie Greenspans recipe. It is over the top sweet for what we are used to. I think your idea of a lemon tart is brilliant. It is a little different from the average things, and light and fruity. Lemon bars might be a good alternative as well! Something else I'm thinking is maybe make a trifle? Bake a nice cake, and layer it with some curd and fresh berries, and you fulfill the idea of baking and 'toetje' all at once. Another suggestion might be a non-baked kwark cake. I usually make a génoise for this, then fill with a gelatin-stabilized kwark-heavy cream-fruit puree filling. Perfect for summer )
  4. Thank you so much for your description. It doesn't sound very simple to me yet, but I now know where to start experimenting ) !
  5. Wow, that cake is simply stunning!! I *love* it. Would you share how you made the flower?
  6. I wouldn't freeze the whipped cream either. What would work is using a thin layer of marzipan to put the picture on (so whipped cream, marzipan, picture). I've done that succesfully before. It's no different than using fondant, just a different flavor. I do think marzipan goes well with black forest. If you want to go the fondant route, just buy a package, roll it out until it's not too thick, then put it on the cake. It's really not hard if you buy the fondant ). Another thing you could do is make a chocolate plaque the size of the picture. Melt/temper the chocolate, pour it into the desired size, let harden, put picture on, and you're set !
  7. I made the gingerbead town-square cake as pictured on the cover of MArtha Stewart Living (December issue) today, or I should say constructed it over the past week I don't know how to post a picture, but it's in my blog at www.cookiejourney.blogspot.com THE cake was well received, I personally thought it was *very* rich, and a tad on the sweet side. VEry impressive and festive looking cake though!
  8. What about biscotti? There are lots of recipes that have no added butter, so are significantly lower in fat. That, and meringue cookies )
  9. I add an egg, which loosens up the texture and makes it a littel creamier, and add some lemon zest or finely chopped candied lemon. Very good!!
  10. I *love* it. It looks stuningly beautiful, that simpl flower on top adds more drama than any elaborate decoration ould have in my opinion. Fantastic!
  11. THere's a really cool haunted gingerbread house in one of Teresa LAyman's books (IIRC it's in 'Gingerbread for all seasons'). She colors the dough partly with black food coloring, has gingerbread piped trees that look like they have dead branches, ghosts, spider webs, the whole thing. I do thinhk it's really a great pattern. I happen to have a Martha Stewart pattern for a haunted house as well. The roof is shingled with black licorice pieces. It is a pattern that was available through her web shop (when she still had it) and a friend gave it to me as a gift once when it finally was on clearance. It was rediculously expensive before. I don't think I ever saw that pattern on the website for free though..
  12. A great book for beginners is IMO one from Wilton. It is called something like 'the Wilton school of cake decorating'. It is a paperback with a pink cake on the cover, with icing roses on top. That book clearly shows some basic techniques in icing as well as fondant. I found it very useful when I had never seen anything decorating related years ago. Other than that, I'd give her some bags and some basic cake decorating tips (Wilton sells them in sets), some spatulas, maybe a few icing colors and a package of fondant so she can play some. Hope that helps!
  13. That's good to know, thank you. My next attempt will have a 25% sugar reduction as well!
  14. Thanks for sharing your experiences. I often find American recipes too sweet, and as a consequence often reduces sugar. I will experiment with less sugar now that I know! I was added the suager to the cake, KNOWING it would be too much, but I didn't want to tweak the first recipe I tried from this book )
  15. I finally got my copy (at last!!) and my first try was the brown sugar bundt cake. It baked up beautifully, texture was great, it come out of the Bundt form without a glitch, all good. Taste wise, it was too sweet for my liking. For those of you that have tried more recipes, are they all on the sweet side or is this an exception (i can imagine it is, being called 'brwon sugar bundt cake)
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