Surprise – you’re 40!
An incredible 10 years ago we celebrated the big 30 and on Saturday it was already time to party into the 40s! It was just a little before his 30th birthday that Tom and I got together. I remember celebrating his 30th with a bang. We’ve done and experienced so much in the 10 years – it’s been quite a bit of fun.
2009 is destined to be a year full of big events – Tom finishes his PHD, his 40th birthday, we renewing our vows and of course the move to Qatar. With all these highlights Tom thought it would be best to play the birthday down. Not too much fuss just his family and a bit of cake.
I just could not get used to the idea. I mean 40 is a big thing and one has to make a fuss about it. So I started planning and organizing. Together with a few friends we planned a little surprise party for him. The more friends I called the more they all wanted to be a part of it. In the end many of our friends from around Germany got together and the surprise was going to be a hit.
I am a rotten person though – on the morning of the big day – Soeren and I played the whole birthday thing down. I mean it was what he wanted didn’t he? Nothing big – a breakfast, flowers, and a store-bought cake! The fact that I had baked a cake the day before was a secret.
Finally, in the afternoon his parents, brother and grandmother came over and we presented him with the cake. He was quite happy, as I think he was beginning to feel sorry for himself. I mean, a store-bought cake? LOL!
His parents were in on the surprise party secret and when dinner time rolled around we all sat there discussing where we should go out to eat. French, Greek, Indian - “No let’s go to the great Italian place we went to when your parents were here, Meeta!” said his dad!
As we all walked into the restaurant all his friends gathered around and cheered “Surprise!” and sang Happy Birthday to a baffled but extremely delighted Tom. It really was a perfect evening and I was really glad that it turned out to be a success. Thanks to all our wonderful friends who played along and helped me organize this.
A birthday is never complete without a delicious birthday cake. This aromatic cake is a take on a regular cheesecake using tangy quark for lightness and mascarpone cheese for more body. The orange gives the cake a spectacular refreshing touch adding a lovely juicy bite. Chocolate and orange goes hand in hand and by adding rich bittersweet chocolate to the cake base rounds off the entire cake deliciously.
Orange Mascarpone Quark Torte
Printable version of recipe here.
100g + more all-purpose flour
50g + more butter
150g bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 vanilla bean, scraped
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
3 organic oranges, fillets and juice reserved
300g mascarpone cheese
6 sheets gelatin
- Butter and flour a spring form (26 cm diameter), tapping out any excess flour. Pre-heat oven to 175 degrees C.
- Place the chocolate in a double boiler or a water bath and melt gently. Allow to cool.
- In a separate bowl whisk the butter, 100g sugar, scraped vanilla bean and pinch of salt with an electric whisk until light and frothy. Add the eggs, one at a time and making sure each one is nicely incorporated into the mixture.
- Sieve the flour and baking powder into the mixture and with a rubber spatula fold the dry ingredients gently. Do not over-mix. Pour in the liquid chocolate and fold until evenly incorporated.
- Pour the chocolate cake batter into the prepared spring form and bake for 20-25 minutes. Take out and allow to cool for 15-20 minutes. Tip out of the form and allow to cool completely.
- Place the gelatin in cold water and allow to soak. In the meantime whisk together quark, mascarpone cheese, 100g sugar and the reserved orange juice with an electric whisk for approx. 3 minutes or until the sugar has dissolved.
- Squeeze excess water out of the gelatin, then in a small saucepan dissolve over low heat. Mix with approx. 2 tablespoons of the mascarpone-quark mixture, then whisk into the remaining cream.
- Fold in the the filets of 2 oranges into the mixture.
- Place the cake base back into the spring form close the ring around it. Now spread out the mascarpone-quark mixture evenly over the base. Place in the refrigerator overnight to set.
- Take the cake out of the refrigerator and just before serving sieve cocoa powder generously over the top and decorate with the remaining orange fillets.
Food Guide Tips:
How to make homemade quark
Everything you need to know about healthy oranges
This is slightly different to the regular cheesecake and I personally found it more refreshing with the orange flavor. It’s a perfect party cake or a delicious dessert to top off a wonderful dinner. We enjoyed this with Espresso and a fork. I loved the rich, moist chocolaty cake base contrasting against the fruity and creamy filling.
This makes a truly fantastic treat for your Easter party and you can use any thing from peaches, mangoes and apricots to luscious berries of all kinds.
You might like these cakes from WFLH:
|Orange Cake||Fig Plum Sheet Cake||Caramel Cake with Caramelized Butter Frosting|
From around the blogs:
- Ricotta Lemon Cheesecake with Biscotti Crust – Zen Can Cook
- Lemon-Crème Fraîche Cake – Hungry Cravings
- Mascarpone Cherry Cheesecake – Confessions of a Tart
All photographs and written content on What's For Lunch, Honey? © 2006-2009 Meeta Khurana unless otherwise indicated. | All rights reserved | Please Ask First