March 2016 - Sugar N Spice

Friday, March 11, 2016

12:30 AM

Memories "Kakekrigen" Semifinal - Day Four

Memories "Kakekrigen" Semifinal - Day Four
Last Day in Kakekrigen…………..

Today, I was very tired. Now, I can tell that in one day we used to shoot for two episodes. The day used to start early in the morning at 06:30 and ends at 06:00 in the evening. It was  very tiring both physically and mentally. But still I had the energy and strength to fight for my position in Final.

It was much quieter in the dressing room and only three of us were left. We all were sitting quietly and were gathering all the strength to perform in the next round. After makeup and interview we were standing in the studio.

Today’s theme was to make Naken Cake or Naked cake . Do not get it wrong :). It means that cake should not be covered with cream. The cake bun has to be perfect there is no scope of hiding any mistake. Judges were looking for perfection :)

My Plan……..

I planned to make Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese frosting and Lemon curd. It was very important to balance the flavors. Lemon curd with cream cheese is a perfect filling for Red Velvet cake. I decided not to go for traditional cake ( simple cake with cream filling). It was about the final day in semi final and getting a place in Finale.

I wanted to make three small cakes instead of one or two big cakes. It would have reduced the baking time and cooling time. But unfortunately, I couldn’t get three equal size of baking molds in the studio. So, I had to go with two baking molds.


At first sight, I was not happy with the cake base but as I started working with it, I realised that the cake was quite moist and was flavorsome. I again regained my confidence and started decorating the cake. My cake was looking pretty and I knew the flavors were amazing. After finishing the cake I did felt that I definitely had a chance to get a place in Final.




Judgement Time-


I was very excited and same time was very nervous. They liked the presentation and different flavors in the cake. But as per them there were many flavors in the cake and was complex for them. As it was such a crucial task, so I decided to think out of box and wanted to create something unique and different. I do not regret of my decision, as I know my cake was amazing.

I am not at all disappointed of not getting a place in the Final. My performance was quite consistent and Judges always liked the flavors of my cake. I am very proud and satisfied with my performance. Nevertheless, it was an amazing experience and learned a lot during the whole process. I am really thankful for this great opportunity :-).




Wednesday, March 9, 2016

10:27 PM

Memories "Kakekrigen" Semifinal - Day Three

Memories "Kakekrigen" Semifinal - Day Three
We all left from the hotel early in the morning, it was still dark outside. But after few hours, sun was shining and it was a beautiful bright morning. Generally, I like to dress up and loves jewellery. As it was such a beautiful morning, so I decided to wear some colors. The girls in the studio stuff at many occassion paid attention and praised my hairstyle and jewellery. It was flattering :)

Out of five, now four are left and today one more person will be eliminated. The competition is getting serious and everyone is trying to put forward their best.
Today’s theme was to make a cake inspired of Mediterranean flavours. I was particularly inspired by one recipe. And for very long time I was looking for the opportunity to make this cake, Rose Cake.This is one of my favourite cake. And it is a big hit among my Indian friends, they simply love it :)

My Plan………….

I was planning to make Rose cake with Saffron cream, caramelized pistachio and raspberries.. This cake is so beautiful both in looks and flavour that no one can resist it. Rose water, cardamom, pistachio, saffron is a heavenly combination. Rose water gives a very refreshing taste to the cake.
Fridtjof was surprised to hear about Rose water. He had never heard of use of Rose Water in a cake. Back in India, it is very common to use Rosewater and saffron in dessert. I was aiming to show judges the innovative side of me and this was the perfect time.
Challenge Ahead……….
The base of the cake was a chiffon cake, which is a very delicate cake. And the challenge with this cake was that I couldn’t cool it in the fridge, as it will shrink. I had to cool it down on room temperature. To tackle this situation, I choose to make small cakes in three different molds. It would reduce the baking time and will have longer time to cool it down.
I was so happy and enjoying the whole process. For the first time, I had enough time to look around and check other cakes. I was relaxed and everything was falling into place. Each and every component of my cake was perfect. As I have used Rose water in the cake, so I thought decorating with Roses will be a perfect presentation. There were some beautiful roses available in the studio which were perfect for my cake.
Presentation………..
I was very excited to present my cake to the judges. When I presented my cake to the judges, I could see on the judge's face that they were mesmerized by the beauty of my cake.
Tasting Time -
When they cut the cake and took one slice out, I do not words to explain that feeling . Judges were very happy with the structure of the cake. They tried the saffron cream and liked the combination of pistachio. They could taste saffron, rose water and spices in the cake. I delivered as promised :)
Someone from the studio stuff commented that this cake is one of those cakes, which you want to put on your Instagram account as your own cake :)

I was more than sure that I would win Yellow Apron. But again, it slipped from my hand. This time I was not sure, why I didn’t win. Honestly, I was disappointed but same time I was very proud because I created such a beautiful and tasty cake :).

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

10:05 PM

Memories "Kakekrigen" Semifinal - Day Two

Memories "Kakekrigen" Semifinal -  Day Two

We all were sitting in the dressing room, chit chatting about the day’s challenge. We all have gone through the same challenge in our week’s challenge. And were asking each other if we have made macaroons, tarts or choux pastry.  It was as nerve-racking as it was for the first time. We all were anxious and finally, we were asked to gather in the studio. But there was one positive thing that I started to bond with the rest of group.
We all lined up waiting for Fridtjof to begin. Fridtjof looked at us, smiled and broke the news. He said we are going to make ‘’patisserie frangipane’’ (something like this in French). We all looked at each other and none of us have ever heard of it. It was a very anxious moment. But then he translated it and said we are going to make Tart with almond cream. We all breathed a great sigh of relief.
 
I was very glad to hear that. I have made tarts many time and was very comfortable with it. Yes but of course we had to use Judge Lars Lian’s recipe.
In between we get a chance to discuss with Judge. Again Fridtjof wanted to make sure that I understood Lars Lian’s dialect and recipe :)
This recipe was very interesting and had different components like pastry dough, vanilla cream and almond cream (mandel krem). I have made pastry dough and vanilla cream many times. But almond cream was new to me.
I was feeling comfortable and was enjoying the whole process. Recipe was very easy to follow with easy steps. As I usually tend to do, I wanted to give my personal touch. This time I was thinking to use Passion Fruit but then realised that others were also using the same. I didn’t wanted to use alcohol as I was not sure about the combination. Then I decided to use my tested formula of mango and cardamom. In addition I planned to make some white chocolate decor on the tart.
Everything went as per plan. I finished my tarts with berries and white chocolate decoration. It was a beautiful presentation with black and blues berries and white chocolate. I was feeling very proud & confident and then suddenly……..

Silly Mistake……….

During the break someone told me that I should have made 6 tarts and I made only 5. I was too occupied and didn’t heard Fridtjof saying this during the program.I did baked 6 tarts but served only 5 because odd numbers looks better in presentation ;-(. I was so upset with myself because this could lead into my elimination. And then I would have regretted for such a silly mistake.

Tasting Time -

My heart was beating fast and didn’t knew what will happen. I didn’t knew what judges will say and what will be the consequence of my silly mistake. When they came to my station and said that I do not have to worry about the numbers of the tarts. My tarts looks delicious and numbers doesn’t matter. It was such a big relief………….. ( This was not shown in today’s episode, they have completely edited it may be due to time constraint )

They liked the taste but I think flavors were little complex for them. I survived the second day and moved on to the third day.

7:20 PM

Memories "Kakekrigen" Semifinal - Day One

Memories "Kakekrigen" Semifinal - Day One
I was back in the studio, all the memories of my first week in studio were flooding back. This time I was feeling comfortable but little bit nervous of the challenges ahead. I was looking forward to meet the week’s finalist and  I knew the competition will be much tougher. I learned a lot from last time and hopefully it will help me in the competition.
Here are the Semifinalist 
As last time, we were picked up from hotel at 06:30. And there I met all my co-participants.They all were very nice people but I was missing my old group :( .

We reached studio and started dressing up. It was my turn for the makeup.
Makeup time
Today for the first time I met, Lars Lian (Judge). He came to the dressing room and introduced himself. It was bit difficult to understand his dialect. He is from North part of Norway. But seems like a nice guy :).

We all were ready for the photo shoot and then we all lined up for the entry. Fridtjof began with the theme. Today’s theme was Eventyr Cake (Fairy Tales). I do not know much about the Norwegian FairyTales but through my son I learned about  some of the Norwegian Fairytales. I choose a story about a brave boy who fooled the Troll and helped his father  ‘’ Askeladden Som Kappåt med Trollet’’. The task was to use this story as an inspiration for the cake.

I planned to make a Chocolate Roll Cake (Roulade Cake) with caramel cream filling and Cloud Berries Jam, Cloud Berries (Multer/cloud berries are Norwegian berries and found in jungle, it has a very special sour taste). In spices, I was planning to use cinnamon in cake and cardamom.
Monica checking Spices 
As the story was about the jungle & troll, so my Roulade  cake would represent a wooden log and sticky caramel will represent the troll and cloud berries  (multer) would represent the jungle/forest. I also made Fondant Troll and Boy to set up the scene.

The most difficult part in this cake was to roll the cake . As this was a flour-less cake, so I knew it will crack once I start to roll it. My plan was to use Chocolate Ganache as glue and to give the cake a wooden log appearance.

I started with caramel and everything was going well. But then I had some difficulty with my caramel. I had to prepare it twice. The first batch was little bit bitter in taste, as the sugar caramelized into darker color than I would have preferred. As caramel was an important element, so I decided to make another batch. And this time it was perfect.......yum :)

Critical Moment……….

As expected, when I started to roll the cake I could see the cracks. Fridtjof was so worried that the whole cake will fall apart and he was standing nearby me. But I knew how to handle it. I told Fridtjof that ‘’it is just like a work of art’’. He was more nervous than me and I assured him that it will be alright :))))

I managed to transfer the cake to a serving dish in one piece :). At last I covered it with chocolate ganache and it was looking like a wooden log.

As usual, I didn’t had much time to look around. I gave the final touch with the Troll, boy, trees, mushrooms, berries. I was very happy with the final result. And then I looked around at other cakes and felt that I had  a chance to win Yellow apron this time.

After that I presented my cake to judges. Judges were very happy with the presentation.


Tasting Time:

Judges did liked the chocolate flavor in the cake, caramel was also upto the mark. They needed bit more sour taste to balance the caramel. For the sour taste, I used cloud berries (multer) but was not enough. The kitchen staff provided me canned berries instead of fresh. I was bit scared that canned berries would contains liquid and cream might turn runny because of that I didn’t used enough :(

Although I didn’t win the yellow apron but my cake was in top two :-).
I was very proud and happy. And there is always a next chance.....