I was looking for a more unusual winter drink when I found this recipe for a Harry Potter inspired butterbeer. I wanted to make it for Christmas Eve and the recipe seemed to suit well since, unlike the name suggests, there isn’t actually any beer in it. The recipe uses cream soda which I had never had before, so I first bought a bottle to try in case I didn’t like it. In the Finnish stores there aren’t many options for cream soda, so basically the only one I could find was Boylan‘s Creme Cane Sugar. It tasted really great and decided not to look for other brands.
I changed the amounts around a bit because first I had made a bigger batch and in the end we had too much cream left over. Not a bad thing though. The maple buttercream is so delicious I think it would work well in a cake as well. Otherwise you can of course always drink another butterbeer but it is quite heavy and I didn’t manage to drink a second one on the same night, although I really much wanted to! This recipe is with the adjusted amounts, so you shouldn’t have any extra cream but of course it depends depends a bit on the type of glasses you’re using. Same for the cream soda. I used a bit less than a bottle per glass.
Ingredients (around 4-6 servings)
400 ml heavy whipping cream
4 tbsp salted butter
4 + 2 tbsp maple syrup
~ 1 bottle of cream soda per serving, chilled (I used Boylan’s cane sugar cream soda)
Chill you glasses in the freezer or outside if it’s cold enough and start making the maple butter.
Melt the butter and 4 tbsp of the maple syrup on medium heat on the stove and bring it to a simmer while constantly stirring. It will get thicker and smell like fudge. Set aside and whip the cream with a bit of salt and 2 tbsp of maple syrup until it is light and fluffy but not completely firm. You will still have to add the butter mixture, so don’t overbeat it! Add the maple butter slowly to the whipped cream and mix until everything is smooth and foamy.
Now you can take the glasses out of the freezer and add a little bit of the cream (~heaped tbsp) to the bottom of the glass and also some whiskey if you want. Fill it up slowly with cream soda. It will produce a lot of soda foam, so you should take it off. Top your drink with another spoon or two of buttercream and enjoy! If you have cream left over you can use it for desserts or another drink the next day. My cream went a bit runny the second day in the fridge but I could whip it up easily. Enjoy!
This cake has always been one of my favourites. Grandma has been baking it on lots of occasions like birthdays and holidays for probably decades now and the whole family just loves it.
Now that I am living in Finland and rarely get to taste grandma’s cakes I just have to do them on my own. For the second year in a row now Tiia wanted it for her birthday so I also decided to put it up on the blog. If you want to have a look at last year’s Frankfurter Kranz check out our first blog post from last year.
A traditional Franfurter Kranz is a Bundt cake made with buttercream and decorated with caramel covered brittle nuts. Grandma always uses vanilla buttercream and decorates with chocolate sprinkles. The layers are also filled with buttercream but instead of jam she puts sliced bananas in it. So technically I have no idea if it is still a Frankfurter Kranz but that is just how she calls it, so I will stick with the name.
For the decoration I used sugared rose petals. Those are really easy to make. If you have unsprayed roses you can use a pastry brush and coat one by one with egg foam sprinkling with sugar afterwards. Let the petals dry on a baking sheet and then store in an airtight container. They taste really great!
Ingredients for the Bundt cake
250 g softened butter (add a bit of salt to the batter if you don’t use salted butter)
200 g sugar
2 tsp vanilla sugar
zest of one lemon
125 g plain flour
125 g potato starch (or corn)
1/2 tsp baking powder
Preheat the oven to 180°C and grease a Bundt tin. I usually also add home made bread crumbs so the cake won’t stick to the sides.
Beat the butter with the sugar and the vanilla sugar until it’s white and fluffy. Add the eggs and the lemon zest. Most recipes say to add one egg at a time but to be honest I don’t think it makes a difference in the end. Beat until the batter is thick and fluffy.
Combine the flour, starch and baking powder in a bowl and slowly add to the mixture until everything is incorporated and the dough is shiny.
Pour the batter into the Bundt pan and even out with the back of a tablespoon.
Bake around 60 minutes and let it cool down before taking it out of the tin.
When it’s cooled down enough, cut the cake into three rings, set aside and prepare the frosting. If you want to make the frosting the next day, don’t cut the cake beforehand.
For the frosting
200 g butter (not too soft)
250 g powdered sugar
1 vanilla bean
2 bananas (depending on size)
Decoration of your choice (I used sugared rose petals)
Open the vanilla pod and scrape the seeds out. Take a big bowl, add the butter and the vanilla. With a hand mixer carefully mix it with the powdered sugar while sifting it into the bowl. You don’t want any lumps in it. If you want it sweeter or firmer you can always add more sugar to the buttercream.
Cut the bananas in slices.
Take the bottom ring of the cake, spread a nice amount of buttercream onto it and top it with banana slices.
Then place the next cake ring on top and repeat. The top part of the cake won’t have bananas so you can spread the rest of the buttercream on top and in the middle of the cake.
I always make a thin layer at first, then put the cake in the fridge until the buttercream is a bit firm and add the rest of the buttercream afterwards. I do that because I always get a bit of crumbs into the frosting and I don’t like the looks of that. So once the first layer is firm enough you can add more buttercream and it will look a bit cleaner. You can smooth it out or leave it a bit rustic looking. If you want it really smooth you can also put it back in the fridge and once the buttercream is firm you can scrape a bit of to make an even layer.
Add sprinkles or other decoration. You can eat the cake when the buttercream is still a bit soft or when it has firmed up the fridge. Enjoy!
Here it is – finally! My newest macaron experiment, this time with a flower theme. I don’t understand why making macarons is so addictive, but there is just something there. Maybe it’s the endless possibilities with the fillings combined with the adorable and chic looks?
This time I also wanted to experiment with two different types of recipes. I had preferred a recipe that used almost equal amounts of almond flour and egg white, while Stef used one with less egg white and more powder sugar. So I wanted to compare which one suits me and our oven better – the lavender ones (the white ones) are made with Stef’s recipe and the rose ones (the pink ones) with mine.
I think I after all prefer Stef’s recipe, it seems to suit our not-so-good-quality oven in our rental apartment. My recipe seemed to rise in the oven a bit too fast, which resulted in a thin crust and a bit of a hollow inside. This might be avoided by having the oven on 150°C and then putting it down to 140°C right after the macarons go in.
Enough with the rambling, here are the recipes! My recipe is a modification of the one on Mansikkamäki (in Finnish) and Stef’s is originally from französischkochen.de (in German, I doubled the amount).
100 g almond flour
110 g egg whites (around 3 M sized eggs)
200 g powder sugar
4 tbsp sugar
Food colouring (paste or powder)
Flavouring if you want some (eg. vanilla sugar)
Mature the egg whites by leaving them in room temperature for a day or two. You should do that with four eggs (one more than in the recipe), because a bit evaporates.
Preheat the oven to 150°C.
Mix the almond flour and the powder sugar together. If your almond flour is somewhat coarse like ours was, you should make it finer in a food processor (mix an equal amount of sugar and flour, otherwise the almond flour will turn into butter). Sieve the mixture to get rid of any clumps.
Beat the egg whites until they start getting a bit foamy. Add the food colouring and the flavouring. Also add the sugar one spoonful at a time while beating the egg whites. Whisk until the foam is thick and glossy and you can put the bowl upside down without it dripping. It needs to be really dense, but be careful not to overbeat it. I’ve heard copper or ceramic bowls work better with egg whites, but normal plastic ones are okay.
Fold the almond and powder sugar gently with a silicone scraper into the egg white foam. Don’t put it all in at once, but a third at a time.
Put the mixture in a piping bag and prepare the tray with the baking paper. Hold the piping bag vertically to the tray. Keep it still while squeezing the dough into about 2 cm little buttons. To get rid of the bubbles in the dough, drop the tray from 20 cm height onto the table. Don’t be scared of the noise! This makes the macarons more smooth. Let them rest for half an hour. They should get a matte surface in this time.
Put the macarons in the oven for 13 minutes. Take the baking paper off the hot tray, but leave the macarons on the paper for 10 minutes. This way they will not stick to the paper and won’t break once you take them off.
90 g almond flour
150 g powder sugar
72 g egg whites (around 2 eggs)
20 g sugar
Food colouring (paste or powder)
Preheat the oven to 150°C.
Mix the almond flour and the powder sugar together and blend it in a food processor. The bought almond flour is usually still too coarse and blending it together with the sugar will prevent it from becoming almond butter. Sieve it through a fine strainer to get rid of any clumps.
Beat the egg whites. Once they start getting foamy, add the sugar and the colouring. Don’t use liquid colours!
When the eggs are beaten you can add 1/3 of the almond/sugar mixture at a time. Use a wooden spoon or a plastic/silicone scraper and fold the mixture slowly into the dough. When everything is mixed, add the next part until all the almond flour is incorporated.
Prepare a baking sheet and form little 2 cm macaron buttons with a piping bag. Drop the tray from 20 cm height to get rid of the air bubbles in the dough. Let them rest for 15 – 20 minutes. The hats need to develop a little crust so the macarons will have nice little feet later.
Put the macarons in the oven, putting the temperature down to 140°C and bake them for 15 minutes.
After taking them out, immediately take the sheet with the macarons off the hot tray. After 10 minutes of resting, you should be able to take them off easily.
Lavender Honey Buttercream Filling
Butter (room temperature)
Lavender oil (make sure it’s 100% lavender extract, not the one you use for making soaps etc.)
Whisk the butter (around 75 – 100 g of butter should be enough) and sieve in powder sugar until it has a soft but firm texture. If it’s too soft, add more sugar. Add honey and lavender to your taste. Be careful with the lavender, a tiny drop already has a lot of flavour!
If you keep the buttercream in the fridge, it might get too firm for piping. Leave it in room temperature for a bit before you intend to use it.
Rose Sirup And Chocolate Ganache Filling
For white chocolate ganache:
100 g white chocolate
50 ml cream
For dark chocolate ganache:
100 g dark chocolate
100 ml cream
Salt and powder sugar to taste
I made the rose sirup the previous summer from fresh rose petals. Unfortunately I didn’t write the recipe down but a normal sugar sirup mixed with rose water or essence should be the same.
To make the ganache, heat the cream in a kettle to boiling point. Take it off the heat and put the previously cut chocolate in. At this point you can add some salt and powder sugar in the dark chocolate ganache, to cut back the bitterness. Stir until everything is melted and smooth. Mix it with a hand blender to make it more fluffy; be careful not to put too much air into it. Let it cool down in the fridge for two hours or even overnight. If you use it the next day it will be really stiff. You can take it out earlier so it softens up in room temperature or you can put it in the microwave for just a couple of seconds. Whip it with the mixer until it gets a bit lighter in colour and a bit more creamy. Don’t overbeat it or the cream will get clumpy.
Pipe a ganache ring onto the macaron and pour some sirup in the middle. If you have too much ganache, you can just freeze it and use it later.
You can also freeze the macaron shells and even already the filled ones. The buttercream ones need to defrost a bit in room temperature before you can eat them.