Posts Tagged ‘Whipped Cream’

Chocolate Decadence

Blondies and Chaocolate Musse Torte 035

It was a weekend with family and a birthday to be celebrated.   The birthday person has a very special place in my heart, she is the mother of my beautiful grandchildren.  When I asked her what kind of cake she would like me to bake for her she immediately answered a “Chocolate Cake” of course.   It seems chocolate is her primary food in life…maybe chocolate is the cause of her beauty.

I immediately thought of a Sacher Torte, but when we chatted about what kind of a chocolate cake that she wanted she told me that it had to be all chocolate, no jams, no nuts, no combinations of creams simply a chocolate cake with a chocolate icing.

Well, I am known not to make simple cakes, there has be to something about a cake that makes it special and better than what I had done in the past.  The Sacher Torte as a base was still what I thought would please her, and the chocolate ganache  was certainly special and I knew she would like it, however, there had to be something else that would make this birthday cake even more special.

I started looking through my chocolate pastry cookbooks, and while I was turning the pages my thoughts and imagination clouded while reading between the lines of the recipes.  I was just about to give up when I came upon a chocolate mousse.  Yes, why not a chocolate mousse filling and piling the same mousse all over the cake. It certainly would make it a very special cake and worthy of celebrating a special person and her birthday.

Chocolate Mousse Birthday Cake


Sacher Torte – ala Maja’s Viennese Kitchen

            3/4 cup butter – softened

                1 1/2 cup sugar

                3 eggs (large)

                1 1/2 cups flour

                1/4 cup cocoa

                1/2  tsp baking soda

                1 /2 cup sour cream

                1/2 cup boiling water

                1 tsp Vanilla

                1 tsp Almond Extract – optional


                Cream butter and sugar until very fluffy

                Add egg yolks – one at a time – beat between each until well incorporated

                Add Vanilla Extract

                Combine flour, baking soda and cocoa, sift then add to the eggs

                and butter mixture

                Alternating, between flour and sour cream

                Now add the very hot water – slowly – keep mixing until well mixed

                Bake in 2 –  10 inch cake pans lined with parchment paper

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                Grease and dust the sides of the pans with flour.

                Bake at 325 F for about 25 to 30 minutes (depending on your oven)

               Or, until cake tester comes out clean

Note:….If  my time is limited I reach for a “Duncan Hines” Devil’s Food cake mix…..it is a great alternative….and I have never been disappointed.

Simple Chocolate Mousse

Use Fabulous dark chocolate…I use 2 bars…..

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Lindt “Excellence” Supreme Dark Chocolate ( 90 % Cacao 3.5 oz, 100g)

Ghirardelli  Intense Dark, Midnight Reverie  (86% Cacao 3.17 oz, 90g)

3 cups heavy cream – whipped

½ cup powdered sugar

2 tsp Vanilla


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Melt the chocolate in a double boiler, stirring until smooth.

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While the chocolate is melting, place the cream into a chilled bowl,  helping the cream to whip faster.  Whip the cream until it forms soft peaks.

Add the powdered sugar and mix just enough to blend thoroughly.

Add half of the whipped cream to the melted chocolate, and mix well until combined.

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Then gently fold in the remaining whipped cream until mixture is smooth and well blended.

Chill the mousse for about 30 minutes to an hour…then fill and ice the cake.

Note!  I piled the mousse about 2 inches high on to the first  cake layer

then refrigerated it for about 30 minutes.  This helped to hold the mousse in place when I placed the  second cake layer on top of it.

Once the filling was between the two cake layers I iced the cake and piled the rest of the mousse onto the top, and decorated it.  I used a pastry bag and a star tip to fill the top.

To give the cake a special touch…I went to my garden and wondered what I could use to make the cake special.  I have a huge bush of Russian Sage and it is in full bloom.  There is also  Marjoram with it’s delicate pink blossoms.  The pink blossoms would go well with the dark chocolate, but I felt that the aroma of Marjoram would not compliment the chocolate…I went back to the Sage and looked at it for a while, picking off the leaves, smashing them in my hand and smelling the potent sage fragrance.  Yes, Sage would go well with chocolate the two aromas are strong  yet  they would not clash.  They would compliment each other. When I finished decorating around the cake I inhaled the two aromas with delight.

 Here is today’s creation!

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Unauthorized use, distribution, and/or duplication of proprietary material without prior approval is prohibited. If you have any questions or would like permission, I can be contacted via email at: maria@majaskitchen.com   Feel free to quote me, just give credit where credit is due, link to the recipe, and please send people to my website, http://www.majaskitchen.com

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Maria Reisz Springer

Maja’s Kitchen LLC

Maja’s Kitchen LLC



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The beautiful plum and its irresistible  juicyness makes it the perfect fruit to create a wonderful jam or dropping it into a dough for a perfect ending…

When the plums ripened in the late summer at my grandparent’s orchard in Croatia…life around the house became very busy. Every morning the maids had to go and pick up all the plums that had fallen off the trees and gathered them in large buckets.  Then my grandfather hired men from the village to set up the still just outside the barn and the process of making Slivovic was started.  Sliva is the word for plum in Croatian and Slivovic is the brandy that comes from plums.

I cannot describe the process of making Slivovic, all I remember I was watching the men sitting around this contraption (still) talking and tasting the drops that came out of a small tube/hose.  One afternoon I found all four of the  men snoozing in their chairs.  I gathered up my courage to taste the next drop that was hovering at the end of the tube to drop into the container below.  I put my finger under the drop and when it fell onto my finger I stuck it into my mouth and to my horror it had a terrible flavor.   At this point one of the men woke up and I had just enough time to escape his reaching hand that was going to let me know that I was not to be where I was.

I was about 6 or 7 years old….

You see, my grandfather had an Inn  that was a part of the big house called Bela Villa.

And while the Sliovic was brewing, my grandmother was busy making a Plum Cake – Pita od Slive, but not just one, she usually made several cakes to be sold as dessert at the Inn.

Here is my version of a Plum Cake which is translated from my mother’s recipe.

Plum Cake

3/4 cup unsalted butter at room temperature

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs

zest of  1 to 2 lemons – depending on the size of the lemons

1 tsp Vanilla

2 1/2 cups flour

2 tsp Baking Powder

1/2 cup milk


2 lbs of any kind of Plums


Set the oven at 350 F

Prepare a 10 inch tart pan with a removable bottom, by greasing and dusting it with flour.

Remove the stone from the plums by cutting them in half and slice each half into 2 quarters.

With an electric mixer or hand mixer beat the butter and sugar until very light in color, and very fluffy.  Add the eggs  one at a time.  Add the zest of the lemons and Vanilla.   Mix the flour with the baking powder.  Add the flour mixture to the butter, sugar and eggs alternating with the milk.   Mix well until it becomes a smooth, soft dough. Transfer the dough to the tart pan and smooth it with a spatula.

Add the cut plum sections, skin down, on to the dough.


Bake the cake at 350 F for about 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean.


Cool the cake on a rack completely then transfer it onto a serving platter.

Serve with softly whipped heavy cream sweetened with powdered sugar before serving.


Or… just dust it with powdered sugar and serve it with Coffee or Tea!

Everyone loves this cake in my family especially with a big serving of ice cream!


Do you have a Plum Cake or Tart recipe?



Unauthorized use, distribution, and/or duplication of proprietary material without prior approval is prohibited. If you have any questions or would like permission, I can be contacted via email at: maria@majaskitchen.com   Feel free to quote me, just give credit where credit is due, link to the recipe, and please send people to my website, http://www.majaskitchen.com

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Kaese Sahne Torte

An Austrian Cheese and Cream Cake    

It was a few years ago when I last spent some time in Vienna with my family.  The week there was filled  with Concerts, Operettas, Operas and  Plays…….it was the Musik Woche in Vienna……..

While there a childhood friend had telephoned and asked to meet him and his family in the Wiener Wald Kaffee for an afternoon of reminiscing and catching up.

It was a time of nostalgia – as we remembered our youth and at the same time we exchanged stories of our happy times with our spouses and children…..life had gone on…..to be better and more fulfilling.

We did all that over coffee and pastry…….the kind of pastry that one can only find in Vienna.

When the pastry cart arrived my eyes simply overflowed with delight and my heart beat a little faster.  I simply could not make a choice from the selection that I saw in front of me.  I really wanted a bite of every one of the most beautiful pastries I had ever seen.  My friend suggested the Kaese Sahne Torte. It was a huge slice and I knew that I could never finish it – even with the help of the cup of coffee.

The first bite was heaven! I closed my eyes, and just sat with my mouth full of this most delicious cream that melted in my mouth…slowly, making me taste every drop of whipped cream, smooth cheese, vibrant vanilla, lemony lemon juice and, every crystal of sugar.  It took me a while to swallow all this goodness.  As I relished this  most profound experience, I found myself taking one bite after another and soon finished the  slice that I thought was too much and too huge…. before  I realized I had eaten it all……

I was totally in love with this pastry!

Next morning I spent several hours on the Ring Strasse visiting every book store that was there, in search of a cookbook that contained the recipe of this most incredible dessert.  By the time I found a pastry cookbook that had the description and ingredients listed for a Kaese Sahne Torte……my hands were shaking and I hardly could pay for my treasure.

Every evening on our trip I was studying this beautiful cookbook and could not wait to get home to start translating it from German into English.  But, not only the language had to be translated also the measurements of the ingredients.  It took me many trials……but, now I have this most incredible pastry recipe in my files…..executed in an American Kitchen.

My husband and son claim the Kaese Sahne Torte to be their most favorite pasty of all the other recipes that I have translated from Austrian cookbooks.

Today I am going to share this most incredible cake with you!

It is not difficult, but you have to be organized and follow my directions explicitly.  I am going to write the procedure as if I were to teach it in my cooking class which is different than most recipes are written in today’s blogs or cook books  because, there are certain points in the recipe that are very critical in attaining the results that you have to have at the end.   And, I so want you all to be able to make this special dessert.

 Here we go!

Making  the  Cake layers

As you can see from the picture there is a 2 to 3 inches filling between two cake layers.

Prepare a 10 inch Spring Form baking pan:  have a 10 inch round parchment paper to cover the bottom of the spring form…this is to avoid the cake to stick to the bottom of the pan….I have greased and dusted the pan originally, but found that it would stick more often than not…therefore, I now use the parchment paper to avoid this problem….Do NOT use wax paper…unless you are used to working with it…I prefer parchment paper.. I do grease and dust the sides of the spring form however.

¾  cup (1 ½  sticks) unsalted butter – at room temperature

¾  cup sugar

2 tsp Vanilla

2 eggs – at room temperature –  Extra Large

¾  cup flour

2 tsp baking powder

Zest of 1 lemon

I use a Stand-up Electric Mixer –  add the butter and the sugar and beat them until very light in color.

Add  the  eggs one at a time – and incorporate the eggs until the whole mass is light and fluffy.

Add the 2 tsp Vanilla and mix well.

Add the  flour and  baking powder,  they do not have to be mixed and sifted – just add them into the batter and incorporate them well.

Pour the batter into the prepared spring form and bake it in a preheated oven…set at 350 F.  Depending on your oven…it will have a light brown color in about 20 to 30 minutes…or it is baked when tested with  a toothpick .

Remove the cake from the oven and let it  cool on a rack.   This part of the Sahne Torte can be prepared a day in advance and kept at room temperature covered with a tea towel.

When cooled – take the cake out of the Spring form and cut the cake horizontally  in half ….you need one halve for the bottom and another for the top….

Prepare the mold for the cake and filling

Take a cake platter or a cardboard…if a cardboard is used cover it with foil..

Take the 10 inch spring form, ring only, and grease it with butter or Crisco and place it onto the cake platter;  line it with wax paper strips.  The wax paper needs to be cut wider than the spring form ring so that it is about 1 inch  higher than the ring itself.

When lining the ring overlap the wax paper to cover the whole interior surface of the ring.

Making the Filling

The most important part of the cake!

2 pkg Knox Gelatin

Into a small bowl add 6 Tbsp water and add the gelatin- let it bloom for 5 minutes or more

Zest of 2 lemons

6 Tbsp lemon juice – about 2 lemons…use fresh lemons only…do not use bottles juices

2 cups low fat cottage cheese no salt added – at room temperature

2 – 8 oz packages cream cheese – at room temperature –  the 1% fat cream cheese can be used

1/3   cup  sugar

2 eggs whites – Extra Large…..throw away the egg yolks,  or keep them for another use

The egg whites need to be at room temperature

2 tsp Vanilla Extract

2 cups heavy cream – need to be very cold, straight from the refrigerator, the colder the cream the quicker it will thicken.


Dissolve gelatin on low heat or  (or, microwave 2 times for 10 seconds) set aside to cool.  Softened gelatin needs to stay warm or it will congeal again.

In a food processor cream the cottage cheese and cream cheese making sure that the mass is very, very smooth…there absolutely cannot be any lumps.  The processing might take about 10 minutes  or more.

Add the lemon juice ….and  zest

Add 1/3 cup of sugar

Add  “bloomed” still warm gelatin

Add 2 tsp Vanilla

Process to mix……until very, very smooth

Transfer to a big mixing bowl and set aside

Beat egg whites and 1/3 cup of sugar until soft peaks form and set aside. When the egg whites are half way whipped the sugar needs to be added slowly…..one spoon at a time and beating after every addition of sugar…the crystals of the sugar need to be dissolved between  every addition.

Whip heavy cream  until it forms soft peaks…this is very important…do NOT beat cream until it has a yellow hue….also, add the 1/2 cup confectioner sugar slowly when the cream is  half way whipped and continue until  soft peaks form.  When cream is whipped  and shows a pale yellow hue…it is one step before it is butter, it is better to under whip it.

Add Vanilla Extract

If the  confectioner sugar is slightly damp and is lumpy…sift it to eliminate lumps then add it to the cream slowly while  slowing down the speed of the mixer.

Mix gently – there cannot be any lumps in this filling.

I am going to repeat – how to mix the three masses together.

Use a whisk with the least amount of wires that you have in your kitchen. I found that a densely wired whisk does not work…since this is a very light mixture and you are mixing not whisking ….the gelatin holds it together at the end after it is refrigerated.

You have the cheese mixture from the processor already in a large mixing bowl.  To that add the meringue while mixing small portions at a time with a whisk until the mass is very smooth.

This is very important…the meringue has to be mixed into the cheese mixture FIRST. If you mix the cold whipped cream first you will have big lumps in your mixture.  The cold whipped cream congeals the gelatin in the cheese mixture instantly and creates the lumps, therefore, make sure that the whipped cream is added last.

Now add the whipped cream which is cold…take a small amount and mix it rapidly into the cheese/meringue mixture…keep adding the cold cream..mixing quickly…do not worry about mixing slowly like you incorporate it in other recipes…this is different…

If you follow my method you will prevent having lumps in your Sahne Torte.

Pour all the cheese filling into the prepared spring form, it will fill it to the top or a little higher than the rim of the ring, then place the second half of the cake on top.  I use a tart pan bottom to transport the cake layer to prevent breaking it. If you have some of the filling left over, fill small bowls or glasses for a treat before your guests arrive.

Refrigerate the cake at least for four hours or overnight before serving.

To un-mold the refrigerated cake….

Release the spring form ring from the cake…wiggle the ring a little to loosen it around the cake and lift it away from the cake.  Peel off the wax paper around the cake, sprinkle it with powdered sugar and it is ready to be served.  You can decorate it with some piped whipped cream and fruit or use some fresh flowers….make sure they are not poisonous.  Check with Google for edible flowers.

To make it even more special you can mix some Plum Jam or any jam with a little Kirschwasser and spoon it over each slice before serving….or have a bowl of the jam mixture at the table and let the guests serve themselves.

The Plum Jam is mixed with a little Kirschwasser just enough to thin the jam and making it more like a sauce…


If you have any questions or comments…

I will be happy to answer all of them!

And do let me know if you like the Kaese Sahne Torte!


Unauthorized use, distribution, and/or duplication of proprietary material without prior approval is prohibited. If you have any questions or would like permission, I can be contacted via email at: maria@majaskitchen.com   Feel free to quote me, just give credit where credit is due, link to the recipe, and please send people to my website, http://www.majaskitchen.com

Find me on Face Book! LinkedIn and Pinterest!

Maria Springer's photo



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