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Hello, hello,

*gasp* I know! 2 posts in one week? lol Hopefully this will happen more often now that I have no school (OMG YAY NO SCHOOL!)

My parents are really encouraging (by encouraging I mean threatening my baking lifestyle) by REALLY urging me to start cooking...or else....!

Yes, they blame me for their weight gain and my dad's diagnosis of diabetes, cause I constantly have baked goods in the house. My excuse is: " I don’t MAKE you eat them...control yourselves!" but that is another story all together! ;)

So today, I made lunch. Post on that is coming.

But back to the post at hand, as the title indicates, gardening. I for one have never planted anything in my life (ok, that’s a lie: in 3rd grade we had to plant bean sprouts....but that doesn’t count!) but seems I've caught the bug for it? Its the strangest thing! In fact I've spent hours today just googling up info on it. But don’t get me wrong, this isn’t floral gardening and such, its FOOD. (Though I doubt it will look like anything like the one above)

I'm seriously considering growing a herbal garden and a few other vegetables this summer in my backyard! I’m thinking along the lines of peppermint, basil, and sage, as well as maybe some strawberries, tomatoes and eggplant! I really think growing some of this stuff will really encourage me to get into cooking (and make me eat more healthily to boot!) I've also stumbled upon an article about how to make fresh herbal tea out of herbs you grow! (that got me really excited- even though I hate herbal tea....maybe its cause its not fresh? ;))

Now that I think of seems almost natural for me to grow a seems almost like a MUST for a foodie!

Anywho, Im not mislead into thinking this will be easy, but hopefully it'll work out? Im really excited! And if you have any tips or tricks please do leave them in the comments!

Also, if anybody else is a newbie at this, and is willing to try to get a green thumb this summer, it would be fun to do this with someone else and blog about it ( or 2, or 3 or more people;) )

Well thats it for now, as you can see with all of the " ! " in this post, Im pretty excited about this.

*** P.S. I decided to look back over my browsers and figure out WHY exactly I got inspired to this..... well here’s how: It started when I looked at an article by Skinny Chef "Chefs who grow, know." I was led to this article by the main page of skinny chef, in turn I was lead to the main page by, get this, a post on how to build a better cupcake. and how did I get to that page? From cupcakestakethecake of course! ahh....cupcakes. I knew you would never do me wrong ;)


Strawberry Mousse Cake

Hello, Hello, Hello!

I am free. free at last. Thank GOD ALMIGHTY I AM FREE AT LAST!
I am finally, finally done my essays, homework, school work, presentations, and final examinations. *sigh of relief* Its been a hell of a year, and everyone said that first year is the toughest year of all, and it really was. But alas, I am DONE FIRST YEAR OF MY BACHELOR. Damn ….. it went by fast. But I know you’re all not here to listen to me reminiscing.…you’re here for that yummy nummy looking cake up there. THAT’S right. ;)

Well the day I was done I came home (at around 4) and slept until 11am the next day. During exam time I had about 4-5 hrs of sleep a day, so after about 2 weeks of this…. I CRASHED. But then I woke up all refreshed and what’s the first thing I did when I woke up a free girl? Head into the kitchen of course ;)

At first I was just gonna make something simple…. Drop cookies…. Icebox cookies….and even *le gasp* cake mix! But then I thought, HEY I haven’t baked in SO LONG…it HURTS me….I need to make something DECENT. So I decided on a mousse cake:)

Of course it is never that easy, and it really wasn’t. all the recipes I would find all had missing ingredients or complex methods etc… so I sort of made this one up as I went, and to be honest, best thing I’ve ever ‘invented’ !

The sponge cake is from a recipe I tried a while back (which I now LOVE after this cake) and the mousse is an adaptation from 3 (yes count em 3) different recipes. The strawberries on the side were inspiration from google (only I saw kiwis) and the chocolate topping was a last minute result of me being too lazy to make a strawberry jelly topping.

Aight, so I’ll shut up now and go on with the recipe!;) and *le gasp again*, I took detailed pictures along the process (felt I needed to make up for the lack of baking posts ;))
To make the cake you need: a spring form pan, strawberries for decorating, one sponge cake recipe, one mousse cake recipe.

**ALSO: if you’re like me, and would rather NOT buy self-raising flour, you can substitute quite successfully like so: for each cup of "self-rising" flour that you need, use instead: 1 cup all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon baking soda. Do what I did, and put it into a container to use for the next recipe that calls it!(since you only need 1/3 cup) Alright. Ill shut up now and give you the recipe. Honest. Zip.

Sponge Cake:
4 Eggs
⅔ cup Caster sugar
⅓ cup Cornstarch
⅓ cup Plain flour
⅓ cup Self-raising flour


Have eggs at room temperature. Beat whole eggs with electric mixer until thick and creamy (this is THE MOST important part….beat them like there is no tomorrow! This is when the love for Kitchen aid mixers comes in); beating time on a moderately high speed should be about 7 mins.

Add sugar, about 1 tablespoon at a time, beating after each addition until sugar is dissolved.

While eggs and sugar are beating, prepare pans by greasing evenly ; and sift dry ingredients together 3 times, to aerate and mix the flours.
When sugar is dissolved, sift the flours over the egg mixture, use a spatula to lightly fold the flours through**; heavy handling at this stage will give a flat, tough sponge. Spread mixture evenly into pan, and bake ***

** Make sure you mix well (but not over mix) what I found amusing about this recipe was that the egg mixture was SO light, that the flour fell right through to the bottom! I thought I had finished mixing it in…and ran one final spatula turn from underneath the batter and all the flour came back up! Beware!
*** The recipe didn’t state a bake temp or time, so I just did 350 for about 30 min… but don’t take my word for it….bake with caution ;)

Then, for the mousse!
Strawberry Mousse:
300 g fresh strawberries
100 g water
160 g caster sugar
4 tsp powdered gelatin
400 g cream

Wash and hull the strawberries and place in a sauce pan. Add the water, caster sugar, and gelatin and simmer until all the gelatin dissolves. Cool the mixture and blend the mixture in a blender or food processor until the mixture is pureed.

Beat the cream in a separate bowl until just thickened, not soft or stiff peaks! Be careful not to overbeat the cream which will result in a stiff mousse. Fold in the strawberry puree mixture and mix until well blended. **don’t make the mistake I did….make SURE the puree is cold cold before adding to cream, else it will start melting!

Take the same springform pan you used to bake the cake (all clean by now) and grease the sides VERY lightly with any vegetable oil…im not sure its necessary…but when your winging it….you want to make sure your hard work doesn’t get stuck to the pan! Then align your freshly cut strawberries around the side like so:

Then place one layer of cake, and cover it with a bit of mousse, making sure to fill it up tightly to the sides. Apply the second layer of sponge cake, and apply the rest of the mousse. Refrigerate and/or freeze until the mousse IS FIRM. RESIST the temptation…don’t be horrible like me and try to unwrap your baby before she’s ready ;)

You can also dip some strawberries in chocolate for an added flair...

I topped it off with some melted chocolate….which Im not to proud of….obviously it was impossible to cut through…but alas…that’s what happens when you just wing things….

But the final result was worth EVER LAST BITE. My god. Definitely top 5 best things ive ever baked, if not THE BEST. It was pretty difficult for me to do cause I tried to wing it and do it all in one day while trying to figure out WHAT to do along the way (plus popping out to go buy strawberries etc) haha…twas quite the scene….the kitchen a mess….bowls and cups everywhere….sticky strawberries sauce all over me….me standing in the middle of kitchen going wtf do I do next??!?!?!? LOL

but now that I HAVE the recipe, it should be easy peasy to do! I would recommend making the sponge cake the night before, and whipping your cream to. Then just put it all together the day later.

But alas, all in all, I was very satisfied and happy with the end result, and will DEFINETLY be making it again! Im uber excited to try different flavor….blueberry…raspberry….white chocolate…. Mango…Mmmmm:)

Well that’s all for now! Till next time …Chow! ;)

P.S. If you DO end up making this, post me a link, I'd LOVE to see your twist on things... :)


Random Fun Stuff

Song of the week: Glee Season 2!!

Watching: Criminal Minds season 6 (man! its mind blowing)

Inspirational Quote:

"Life isn't about finding yourself, it's about creating yourself"

Random Foodie Fact:

"The world's first chocolate candy was produced in 1828 by Dutch chocolate-maker Conrad J. Van Houten."

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