Saturday, October 31, 2009



For my last post, I was invited to bake... and write... for Mowie over at Mowielicious. I proudly carried over a little something I whipped up in my kitchen, something I created just for Mowie and his stunning little blog, the most elegant creation this simple girl could whip up. Now, my friend Mowie has returned the favor. A knock on my door very early this Saturday morning and there he is, Mowie, standing on my doorstep just waiting to be invited in. He blows me a kiss and pushes past me, rushing towards the kitchen in his excitement. "I have a wonderful surprise for you!" he laughs as he ties on an apron and starts rummaging around my kitchen for pots and pans, whisks and spoons. So after making sure that he's comfortable and has found everything he needs, I tip-toe out of the room, grab the novel I've been reading and go and curl up on the sofa with Marty and wait for the magic to happen, for Mowie only creates the beautiful, the luscious, the divine. Thank you, my dear friend, for all that you've given me. And here is Mowie's wonderful guest post and his fabulous Frankfurter Kranz Gattines!

Mowie takes over my kitchen

Life is a funny thing, isn't it?

Before I get into this post, I would just like to point out that I'm no Jamie in the writing department. Even though I write a blog, I am mostly hiding behind my camera clicking the shutter button. I prefer that to sitting behind my screen, clicking the keypad buttons.

Baking has always been like alchemy to me: bringing things together, mixing them up and creating something completely different, something whole, something new, like a cake, that can't be undone back into each of its original ingredients. I compare Jamies writing to alchemy as it truly is a form of magic: stringing bits of the alphabet together to create something beautiful, that touches the reader deeply on an emotional level, and satiates, just like any good cake, until the hunger pangs strike again, and all you want is some more good writing (and some more good cake!).

Jamie's path crossed mine recently, shortly before she lost her brother. Our friendship had been growing since, and when I'd heard of her loss, I knew exactly what she was going through, having lost my own brother not too long ago myself. Many emails later, much comfort was exchanged, but more importantly much laughter was shared as we realised we had almost exactly the same sense of humour. A bond formed and we started to build on the layers of our friendship, one that I feel will grow even stronger in time. The funny thing is, we haven't physically met yet, and out of our sadness was borne happiness. Life really is a funny thing, isn't it?

So, like the layers of our friendship, I thought I'd have to choose a fitting dessert to match, one that shows light, colour and is my favourite dessert of all. The original is called Frankfurter Kranz (literally, the crown of Frankfurt) and it is a very traditional German gateau. On my yearly trips to visit my grandmother, I knew she would always have some Frankfurter Kranz waiting for me, having worked on it for hours beforehand. As a child growing up, this cake was a piece of heaven on a plate for me, and it still is. What makes it so special are the many layers of buttercream and jam that hold it all together.

I remember my grandmother would spend hours on this cake making it just perfect, and getting as many layers as she could out of it. The original that gets served in cafes and restaurants never has more than three layers of buttercream, but when my grandmother whips one of these beauties up, she creates 6, 7, sometimes even 8 layers - not an easy feat, considering the original size of the cake to begin with - a true work of art. This cake really is a masterpiece when done properly and I was hoping I could create something just as special for Jamie.

Mowie, have you found everything you need?

I really love deconstructing recipes and starting from scratch, again, like alchemy, hopefully creating something new in the process. For this guest post I've made some Gattines (Gateaux in a glass), and given my recent obsession with all things verrines, it only seemed apt. A bottom layer of plump, juicy cherries I had left over from summer which I'd had in a jar of syrup, another layer of a very light vanilla buttercream topped with some lightly caramelized chopped almonds, and covered with a layer of spongecake. I also had some coconut macaroons in the cupboard that I thought completed this dessert perfectly. I hope you enjoy the final result as much as Jamie did.

Please visit Mowie over at Mowielicious where you will find a gorgeous blog filled with amazing, elegant, delicious desserts and his stunning photography. All photos of the Gattines and flowers are Mowie's.


Makes 9 Gattines:

You will need 10 empty glasses (make sure you leave the 10th glass empty for the last step!)

It's best to start with the bottom layer as it can be left to solidify in the time you get the other ingredients ready.

For the cherry jelly layer:

1 jar of cherries in syrup
1 pack of gelatine (I used 1 pack of agar seaweed flakes, as I'm not a big fan of gelatine)

1. Sift the cherries, making sure to collect the syrup.
2. Heat the syrup to a gentle boil and remove from the heat.
3. Stir in the gelatine (or agar).
4. Pour some into each glass, making sure it fills 1/3 of the glasses only.
5. Place 5-6 cherries into the syrup, and place glasses by a window to cool, and once cooled down, refrigerate. Only continue the next steps once the cherry syrup has solidified.

For the buttercream layer:

300ml vanilla custard
100g butter
1 pack gelatine or agar flakes
100g sugar

1. Whip the butter with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
2. Heat custard until warm and take off the heat. Prepare gelatine/agar as per pack instructions by dissolving in hot water.
3. Whisking constantly, pour the gelatine/agar into the warm custard and mix well.
4. Pour on top of the solidified cherry syrup in the glass, filling the next 1/3 of the glass, leaving the top third for the next few steps. Place glasses back in the fridge to allow the buttercream to solidify.

For the caramelized nuts:

150g almonds, chopped roughly
10g butter
60g sugar

1. Melt the butter in a pan.
2. Add the sugar and butter and mix.
3. Keep stirring until the nuts start to go brown. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
4. Place a thin layer over the solidified buttercream in the glasses.

For the sponge cake:

100g butter, at room temperature
150g sugar
Seeds of 1 vanilla pod (or 1 tsp vanilla essence)
Juice of half a lemon
1 pinch of salt
3 medium eggs
150g flour
50g cornflour
2 tsps baking powder

1. Preheat oven to 180˙C. Butter a baking tray (roughly 30cm x 30cm). Whip the butter with an electric mixer until the colour lightens.
2. Add the sugar, vanilla, lemon and salt and mix thoroughly.
3. Add one egg at a time, making sure to mix into the batter for at least one minute per egg.
4. Mix the flour, cornflour and baking powder together and fold into the batter in two additions.
5. Pour batter into baking tray and bake for roughly 30 minutes. Test by inserting a metal skewer into the middle of the cake. If nothing sticks to the skewer when you take it out, the cake is ready. Set aside to cool to room temperature. Once cooled, use an upside down empty glass to cut out the final layers of spongecake to fit snugly on top of the gattines.
6. Place each spongecake layer onto the top of the nut layer in each glass. Decorate with whipped cream, biscuits or flowers.

Mowie, you can come back and bake for me any time you please! Fabulous!


Elra said...

Oh my, that look so elegant Jaime, very beautiful.

MsGourmet said...

Life is like a box of chocolates hey Jamie, you just never know what your going to get!

In your case you got a friend and brother in Mowie and dare I say it, a partner in crime!

Love, love, love the retro pictures you dug up for this post - they're perfect!


Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

A fabulous dessert! Delightfully scrumptious and beautiful!



heidi leon said...

you two are the best blogging duo ever!! I hope you two get the chance to properly meet face to face soon.


Heavenly Housewife said...

Stunning, and absolutely beautiful presentation.

Chef E said...

Jamie, There are spectacular! You just have such a talent girl...and why are you not running a small dessert/ bread/damn good food cafe out of your garage :)

Deeba @Passionate About Baking said...

Just when I thought it couldn't get better Jamie, it did! You compliment each others style beautifully. Mowie's done a jaw dropping job as usual, and I really love this dessert. Do u think he can get our Canon G9 to talk like this. U better get yours, and I get mine, & he'll have to teach us an itty bitty at the FBC! Loved your style meeting his...poifect!!

Asha @ FSK said...

gorgeous gorgeous and you are guys so nicely complement!! :)) and oh yes.. beautiful dessert!!

Katy ~ said...

This is sensational! Beautifully presented. I am in total awe.

♥♥♥Ria♥♥♥ said...

That is such an elegant dessert! WOW!

Sippity Sup said...

This is as elegant as I have ever seen and the photos are not merely pictures on a blog, they are art! Mowie has a new friend in SippitySup! GREG

The Cooking Photographer said...

Mowie and Jamie all in one post! How lucky am I to read this??

This dessert is something more than spectacular!


KennyT said...

S~pec~ta~cu~lar Jamie!!

Nat said...

Great and inspiring text adorned with gorgeous photos! Love the mix between the vintage ones and the modern ones. I did not know the German Frankfurter Kranz... and the Gattines look simply divine & delicious !
Bravo aux deux artistes Jaime & Mowie :))

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

Amazing! Like edible art. :)

Barbara Bakes said...

What a lovely dessert for a lovely lady! Although I am a bit jealous. I want meet everyone at Food Bloggers Connect too!

Sarah, Maison Cupcake said...

Simply gorgeous. I just have to get some suitable glasses to try out these verrine/gattine ideas. My maternal grandmother was from Germany so I must ask my mother if she remembers her making this pretty dessert.

El said...

This is really incredibly creative. Love the photos too!

Cinnamon-Girl Reeni♥ said...

These are just too beautiful for words - absolutely breathtaking! Mowie rocks!

mlaiuppa said...

Very pretty.

I want to eat the tulip too.

Murasaki Shikibu said...

It looks lovely. The photographs are absolutely stunning!

sunita said...

Wpw! That is so very pretty; I would want to gaze admiringly at it for hours; thanks Mowie. And jamie, you're one lucky girl, getting him to whip up such delicasies, but then, you did such a great job too. :-)

Mowie said...

To Jamie and everyone that's commented: thank you so much for such a warm welcome and all your kind words, I really feel so 'at home' here =) xxx

Also, Jamie, it's been such a pleasure working with you on these guest posts, you are a true STAR! I absolutely adore the gorgeous retro pictures you added by the way, they're just perfect.

Here's to great friendships!

The Purple Foodie said...

Mowie has certainly created a stunning dessert for you! I love Mowie's blog.. And I love how you added your quintessential retro twist to it!

RecipeGirl said...

Wow, I want Mowie to come and bake for me too!! Delicious creation -and seems like a pretty nice guy too ;)

Sophie said...

what a delicious creation this is!!

MMMMMMMMM,...can I have your email adresse???

You can mail me at!!!

thanks!! Include your full name & adresse, please!

Hilda said...

Hey, where did my comment go? I wrote it from my iphone, so maybe that was the problem. I just said it was gorgeousness, the petals made me think of the desserts as dancers aux Folies Bergeres and the retro pictures you added are just priceless Jamie. =)

Mary said...

What a lovely recipe. It looks quite elegant and beautiful. It's so nice to have both of you in the same place - even if it's only for a day.

bethany (Dirty Kitchen Secrets) said...

Looks Lovely and extremely elegant; just like the two of you! Lovely retro snaps, Jamie. Perfectly suited. You guys are truly a dynamic duo! Lots of love xx

Junglefrog said...

You two make a fabulous blogging couple.. :) Love the dessert! It looks so gorgeous and elegant!

5 Star Foodie said...

These are so pretty! Love it!

Sarah said...

Absolutely stunning!

Muneeba said...

Holy schmoly Mowie ... u can take over my kitchen any time! Those are such elegant gattines ... and the flavors are so sophisticated!

asiangrrl said...

Mowie, your pictures are gorgeous (as is your food), and your writing is simply elegant. You complement Jamie's style very well. Cheers!

Rolls Royce Middle East said...

No words to appreciate!Simply superb!


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