Oct 27, 2013

Sunday's Recipe: Classic Black Forest cake

Multiple layer cakes are not something I bake on a regular basis, the last layer cake labeled under "Kitchen Heals Soul" was two years ago. However, the noces de diamant (60th marriage anniversay) of my boyfriend's grandparents was a special occasion that deserved a bit more effort and thought. A Black Forest cake is classic, depending on the decoration also very retro and who doesn't love the marriage of chocolate, cream and cherries anyway?

Ingredients for a classic Black Forest cake (click here for German source):

For the chocolate génoise:
6 eggs, separated
120 g of sugar
60 g flour
60 g cornstarch
60 g of cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder

In a larger bowl mix the egg yolks with 4-5 tablespoons of warm water and 60 g of sugar until very foamy. Beat egg whites in another bowl until stiff, while sprinkling in the remaining sugar. Give the stiff egg whites to the egg yolk cream in the first bowl. In another little bowl, mix the dry ingredients: flour, cocoa, baking soda and cornstarch. Sift the dry mixture over the egg whites and combine delicately. Fill the batter into a baking sheet-lined springform pan (26 cm diameter). Bake the cake in the preheated oven at 200° C for about 30 minutes. Let the cake cool on a wire rack. After the cake is completely cooled down, divide it into three layers. This can be done either by a sharp knife or by marking the spot with a knife and putting a piece of string, yarn (or dental floss, I'm just sayin') around the bottom and pulling it diagonally. We had a fun time in the kitchen using Vogue magazines to level the three layers, while pulling the dental floss carefully to cut the cake. It's best to bake the génoise ahead of time (I baked mine the evening before I assembled the entire cake).

For the pâte brisée: 
60 g butter
 30 g icing sugar
1 pack vanilla sugar
1 egg yolk
 100 g flour
 1 tablespoon kirsch

 For the pâte brisée combine the cold butter with powdered sugar, vanilla sugar, egg yolk and kirsch, lastly mix in the flour and knead the crumbly mixture for a minute or two until it holds together. Form the dough into a disk and wrap it with plastic to refrigerate at least an hour (i did it the night before like the génoise). When you're ready to bake it, take the cold dough out of the fridge, let it warm a couple of minutes before you roll it out on a baking sheet. Bake in a pan for about 10-15 minutes at 180 ° C .

For the "moist maker":
5 tablespoons kirsch
5 tablespoons cherry juice
1 tablespoon sugar

Dissolve the sugar in a glass filled with kirsch and cherry juice and set aside.

For the cherry filling: 
1 glass of sour cherries, pitted (drained weight 350 g)
 250 ml cherry juice (from the cherries)
3 tablespoons sugar
 1 pinch cinnamon
 2 tablespoons cornstarch
 5 tablespoons kirsch

 Drain the cherries in a sieve and set the cherries aside for now. Boil 250 ml of the collected juice with sugar and cinnamon. Dissolve the cornstarch in a little bit of cold water, then stir it to the cherry juice on the stove. Bring to a boil and add the cherries. Stir gently so that the cherries are not crushed, let boil again, remove from heat and let it cool. In a last step, stir in the kirsch to your liking.

 For the cream: 
 800 ml cream
50 g of sugar
50 g icing sugar
1 pack vanilla sugar
 3 packs whipping cream stiffener (powdered stabilizer)
 5 tablespoons kirsch

Mix together the stiffener, sugar, powdered sugar and vanilla sugar. Whip the cream briefly with a hand mixer, then start slowly adding the dry mixture, while whipping the cream with a mixer. Add the kirsch and keep whipping until completely stiff.

For the decoration: 
 Cherries (maraschino cherries, Amarena cherries or candied cherries)
50 g of shaved dark chocolat, store bought

How to assemble the cake:
(see first photo collage)

Start off with the pate brisée and spread 2 tablespoons of the cherry filling (without the cherries). Then place the first sponge layer on top and soak it with 1/3 of the "moist maker mixture". Now spread the cherry filling making sure you don't go all the way to the edges. Then spread about 1 /4 of the cream.

Second photo collage: Do likewise with the second layer. When you place the last and third layer, use up the "moist maker" liquid. Cover the cake all over with the cream, making sure you leave some aside to put in a pastry bag if you want to decorate it. Lastly sprinkle the chocolate shavings onto the cake. For the borders, my method was to put a handful in the palm of my hands and "glue" the chocolate to the edges - but there is probably a more clever way I don't know of yet. Lastly, decorate your Black Forest cake with some cherries. I bought candied ones (even though I don't like them) because you simply need to have red cherries on top of a Black Forest cake. But for a more modern look I suggest fresh cherries, when you can get them of course.

Let me know when you try the recipe - it's really not as complicated or hard as it looks. You just make a huge mess in your kitchen, it takes hours (in my case to bake the cake, take photos with my sticky fingers, edit them, translate the original German recipe and so on).
But it's worth it, I promise!


Oct 25, 2013

Countdown: Mercedes-Benz Fashion Days Zurich 2013


(Place your mouse curser on the pictures for further information)
Couture is hitting Zurich on Wednesday 13th of November! After New York, London, Milan and Paris, Fashion Week is finally coming to Zurich - not for a whole week though, but for four days filled with great international and national designs, and not to mention the renowned Annabelle Award Show!


Mercedes-Benz Fashion Days Zurich 2013 is opening up the biggest Swiss Fashion-Event with the designers Felder Felder, Gabriele Colangelo and LBD White with their SS14 collections.

Also on board - Designer Maciej Zien

Doing research about the designers and tripping over their past collections keeps us in suspense for the big opening show. We're looking forward to the Mercedes-Benz Opening Gala...and we might have a little something for you too! So, keep an eye out for our next MBFDZH post!
For more updates follow MBFDZH on Facebook and Instagram!


Oct 22, 2013

Sheer beautifiers

This year I haven't really adjusted my makeup routine according to the seasons, which I normally do hand in hand with my skin care routine. It just struck me recently that I developed a thing for sheer bases all year round - and this coming from a girl who used to seek heavy coverage foundations means a lot. For instance I used to love Estée Lauders Double Wear, or Guerlain's Parure de Lumière but nowadys I only reach for those on special occasions or when I am going out. There are many reasons for this I guess, one of the most important being that I feel a bit more confident in my skin and don't feel the need to have an overly perfect canvas each day of the week. These BB and CC creams have been in rotation from spring until now and are the products I reach for the most often.

Clarins Skin Perfecting Cream*: As you can clearly see above, unfortunately this BB cream was sent to me in the wrong color, so I can just report on the consistency and smell - also that my darker skinned sister is happily using it. This fresh smelling cream is a multipurpose product which allows you to skip moisturizer entirely, even though it has a quite thin consistency unlike the last one above from La Roche-Posay.

L'Oréal Nude Magique CC Cream Anti Redness*: One of the most valued products for me, as this light greenish correcting cream saved me when I developed tiny red bumps on my face during summer. I didn't expect to like this one - but I love it and would definitely repurchase. I reach for this when I applied a moisturizer in the morning and find that I have some redness to even out my skin tone. The color changes from green to a rather yellowish color upon application, which seems too dark for me at first but sets to be just the right color. Magique!

L'Occitane Sublime Beauty Cream*: I haven't used it much so far as it's a tad too dark for me at the moment. Out of the lot, this seems to be the one who gives my complexion the dewiest finish - definitely nice but in my case, a dust of powder is needed to keep too much shine on my T-zone at bay.

La Roche-Posay Hydreane BB Cream*: This cream is heavier in consistency than some of the others and I usually reach for this when I don't have the time to put on a moisturizer first which seems to be rather often the case lately. I completely trust in La Roche-Posay to take good care of my skin, giving it the hydration and subtle color it needs to look its best.

*Theses products were provided to me by the manufacturers or their PR companies for consideration on Styleseeking Zurich.

Oct 20, 2013

Weekend getaway

Contrary to what is going on outside weatherwise in Switzerland, here on the blog it's still summerish. In September I had a long weekend away on Mallorca, spending some quality time with my sister. Here's what I wore to enjoy an early evening in Palma de Mallorca... 

This mini-vacation was the best decision ever! Different yet not too far away, warm, relaxing, fun! We promised ourselves we would do this regularly from now on. 

Shorts & Top: Zara Straw tote: borrowed from my boyfriends mother Wedges: Asos 


Oct 8, 2013

In Portofino

I know it's kind of silly to post these photos now since it got really colder where I am right now. It's just that the only time I seem to have time (and someone to take pictures) is on vacation, so I'm just gonna go ahead and share the last ones as well. 

As I had already annouced it, these are from the last day of my Italy vacation, where we made a day trip to Portofino. A couple of hours to quickly take it all in, enjoy a way too overpriced drink on the harbour and leave with memories of the sparkling sea... 

Necklace: gift

Dress: Zara Bag: Marni Sandals: Zalando 


Rose and Apricot

Instagram moments @miji_b
left: One of my recent fave daily essentials: Cheek Blush from La Roche-Posay - I've always been and still am a huge fan of MAC powder blushes, but this one's pretty amazing too. The blush is very finely pigmented and therefore easily blendable. I'm using no. 02 Rose Doré, which is a little bit glittery. I love the fact that I found a second cheek blush to play around with.
right: Always within reach on my desk: Essie Apricot Cuticle Oil - smells and feels so good!
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