Tag Archives: cake

Apple Sharlotka

Apple S

I love trying out new desserts and am always looking to expand my horizons and I came across a Food and Wine recipe for Apple Sharlotka and I was intrigued. I had never made any Russian dessert before and bein that there are lots of apples around it seemed perfect.

On my trails to find out about it – I did come across Smitten Kittens recipe and history. She echo’s one of my dear friends who says – ‘When you know someone from a particular part of the world who makes good food – go to their house and eat it!’. I would make Indian food and she would make Vietnamese food and it was perfect. The whole description on her site is perfect. Its such a light airy topping to a nice Apple base. You have to try it to believe it.

So here is my take on it. The longest portion of this is peeling and slicing the apples. Of course, if you have one of those apple cutters then it would go much faster.


Prep time: 30 minutes, Baking time: 1 hour

  • 4 cooking apples (Preferably tart), peeled, cored and thinly sliced
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of baking soda
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
  • 1 cup heaving whipping cream (optional)


Preheat the oven to 350F. Line the bottom and sides of an 8 inch springform pan with parchment paper. Butter (or spray) the parchment paper.

Toss the apple slices with lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of sugar and set aside for 15 minutes.

Sift the all purpose flour, ground cinnamon, salt and baking soda into a bowl.

Beat the eggs and the remaining sugar on high speed until thick and pale yellow. This should take about 8-10 minutes. Add the vanilla and stir gently. Then fold the dry ingredients into the egg mixture trying not to deflate it.

Spread the apples in an even layer in the pan (save any juice that has drained from the apples for later). Pour the batter evenly over the apples and let this sit for 5 minutes before baking.

Bake for 1 hour or until the top is golden and crisp (I did not do the toothpick test but you can). Transfer to a cake rack to cool. Take off the springform sides and then the parchment paper from the sides. Gently slide the sharlotka onto your cake plate. Dust with confectioners sugar.

Beat the heavy whipping cream until soft peaks form. Add 1.5 tablespoons of sugar and beat for another minute. Gently fold the apple syrup that you had saved before (If you did not get a lot of apply syrup you can use any fruit brandy)

Serve the sharlotka with a side of the whipped cream




Wedding cake

Wedding Cake

Wedding Cake

I made this for a friends wedding. This is my second wedding cake and the first time I have used buttercream. It tasted delicious and everyone loved it. I am so glad my friends gave me the opportunity to make the cake. Their only requests were for red velvet, and orchids in burgundy – how brilliant is that, that you get to design and create the cake  and that they absolutely loved it in the end. Don’t you want more friends like that :-).

I tried a couple of recipes before I finally settled on Martha Stewarts Red Velvet cake recipe. It is absolutely devine. A couple of tips for making cakes

  • Use baking strips to get a flat top (this gave me level cake with very little to cut off the top.
  • Once the cake cools, double wrap it with cling film and then put it in the freezer. This helps when you leveling the cake.
  • After you have split the cakes (which are still frozen) brush a simple syrup on them. It helps them to retain moisture.
  • Your buttercream must be at room temperature.

I settled on making Swiss buttercream because my attempts at making Italian Meringue buttercream just came out to be a goopey mess. I have not given up on it yet. For the fondant covering, I used Satin Ice. Most people do not like fondant but it gives the cake a smooth finish and of most of the fondant’s I have tasted, it is fairly good. A point to note with fondant is that as you start to knead it is just put a little crisco on your hands and it kneads much better.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream


For a 9-inch cake (plus filling, or some to spare)

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 26 tablespoons butter, softened (3 sticks plus 2 tablespoons – for us Americans who get our butter in sticks)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Bring the water to a gentle simmer. Put your egg whites and sugar in a metal bowl and start whisking. After about 5 mins start to test to see if all the sugar has dissolved. If you rub a little between your fingers you should not feel any sugar granules. Once you have no more granules you are done with this step.

Transfer mixture to your kitchenaid mixer (or your automated mixer)  and whip until it turns white and about doubles in size. (Make sure you wipe the condensation off the bottom of the bowl so that no water gets into the egg whites)

Add the vanilla, add the butter a stick at a time and whip. You will be able to see it come together.  Use it right away.