Nothing makes me happier than baking. I daydream of new cake creations every single day. I love discovering new (or new to me) bakeries and pastry stores. I can spend hours and hours browsing through patisserie books. I never get bored but the contrary, it gives me so much joy and energy. The other day, I was browsing through my blog posts that I shared in 2016. It made me so incredible happy and it brought back all the sweet memories.
I today's blog post, I want to share with you my absolute favorite moments of 2016, even though it was not an easy task to choose because all the blog posts that I share with you are close to my heart.



In February, I shared my Cherry Blossom Mousse cake creation with you. The Japanese movie "Sweet Red Bean Paste" (あん), directed by Naomi Kawase, inspired me to make these cherry cakes. It is a very moving movie and it was of my favorite movies that I watched last year.
In March, I went on a very spontaneous trip to Paris and it was my favorite trip to Paris. Every day I walked hours and hours around Paris and visited countless of Parisian boulangeries and patisseries. While in Paris, I visited the Vandermeersch Boulangerie for the very first time and tried the famous kouglof. I am still dreaming of this delicious kouglof. I am also dreaming of all the delicious pastries I tried in Paris, in particular the Saint- honoré cake of the Café Angelina.
In March, I also shared this delicious grapefruit tartlet recipe with the creamiest grapefruit curd that you can imagine. This recipe was a result of having too many egg yolks leftovers. My dad requested 65 madeleines for an event and I used my favorite madeleine recipe which calls for many egg whites ( I needed 600 g egg whites). My madeleines were a big success which made me very happy and at the same time, I created these delicious grapefruit tartlets.
In May, I shared my Matcha Mousse Cake recipe which is another sweet moment for me. I love green tea. I drink more than a liter of green tea every day. Every afternoon, I have a bowl with matcha tea and I love this ritual preparing the matcha tea. My Matcha tea cake is an recreation of a matcha mousse cake that I once ate in Seoul while studying there.



In the summer time, I went on long bike rides in the countryside. On one of my bike rides I found a patch of wild strawberries at the edge of a forest. It was such a moment of happiness and I often reminisce about this summer moment. I decorated my midsommar tartlets with wild strawberries that I picked at the edge of the forest. The photos my midsommar tartlet is also one of my favorite cake photos that I took last year. Moreover, I tried out a new shortcrust pastry recipe by Cheryl Koh and it became my favorite shortcrust recipe using for tart shell.
In June, I shared my strawberry lemongrass mousse cake creation with you which was another sweet moment of 2016. I cannot wait for this year's strawberry season.
I also created my König Ludwig Törtchen (Cherry Chocolate Mousse Cake) cakes with you. The cakes were a recreation of a torte that I tried at the Cafe Palmenhaus on the grounds of the Castle Nymphenburg which is one of my favorite corners of my hometown Munich. These mousse cakes were also part of the 110 cakes that I made for my brother's dissertation party.
My absolute favorite, favorite, favorite cake that I made last year was the my Caramel Apple Mascarpone Vanilla Mousse Cake that I made in December. This cake is my favorite cake that I have ever created in my life. When I tried the cake for the first time I had tears in my eyes. This is how emotional I can get over cake.
I am looking forward to new cake adventures in 2017. For my part, there are changes in the air. I do not want to share it right now but sometime this year I will share it with you. But I am sure you won't be surprised when telling the news.

Happy New Year, my dearest readers! I hope you had a great start into 2017.
In today's blog post, I want to share the Christmas cookies that I made for the holiday season. I think I never ever made so many different kinds of cookies than for the 2016 Christmas season. I made 44 different cookies and in total, I made 1790 cookies (yes, I counted every single cookie that I made). It is my personal record of Christmas cookie baking and I loved every single minute of making the cookies. There are Christmas cookies that I make every single year but every year I also try new cookie recipes. My favorite new cookies that I made this year , no last year, were Soft Walnut Gingerbread Squares and Springerle.
I also made two Swedish soft gingerbread cakes (my recipe is here), a Christmas Fruit Cake and countless of lussekatter (Swedish sweet bread with saffron). Besides my Christmas baking I also made more than 30 caramell apple mousse cakes, more than 15 snowball mousse cakes and I also made a batch of my chocolate brioches.
December has been a wonderful baking month and I am already looking forward to next December.


1 Formar (Little Tart Shells that are served with whipped cream and jam or cherries, These little cakes are eaten during Christmas time in Sweden)
2 Dunkle Wölkchen (Dark Chocolate Clouds)
3 Haselnuss Nussknacker (Hazelnut Nut Crackers)
4 Glühweinschnitten (Mulled Wine Squares)
5 Elisenlebkuchen (German Soft Gingerbread Cookies)
6 Zitronen Terassen (Lemon Curd Terraces)
7 Havreflarn (Swedish Crispy Oat Cookies)
8 Spekulatius I (German Speculoos Cookies, my recipe is here)
9 Spekulatius II (German Speculoos / I dropped the cookie tin and my Speculoos cookies broke)
10 Springerle (Traditional German Christmas Cookies)
11 Basler Leckerli (Swiss Cookies from Basel)
12 Weiße Wölkchen (White Chocolate Clouds)
13 Schokoladenstäbchen (Chocolate Sticks)
14 Wespenenster (Wasps' Nests, Cookies with Almonds and Chocolate)
15 Müsliflorentiner (Granola Florentine Cookies)
16 Vanillekipferl (Vanilla Crescents)
17 Walnusslebkuchen (Soft Walnut Gingerbread Squares)
18 Schokoladensterne mit Rosa Pfeffer (Chocolate Stars with Pink Pepparcorns)
19 Kokosmakronen (Coconut Macaroons)
20 Russinkakor (Raisin Oatmeal Cookies, my recipe is here)
21 Syltkakor I (Swedish Jam Cookies)
22 Syltkakor II (Swedish Jam Cookies)
23 Basler Brunsli (Swiss Cookies)
24 Zimtsterne (German Cinnamon Stars)
25 Sirapskakor (Sliced Sirup Cookies)
26 Schokoladensterne (Chocolate Stars)
27 Minzecken (Mint Corners)
28 Spanisches Brot (Cookies with Almonds and Meringue)
29 Linzer Auge (Cookies Sandwiched with Jam)
30 Walnussschokoladenkekse (Walnut Cookies Sandwiched with Praline Chocolate)
31 Gewürzkugeln (Chocolate Spice Balls)
32 Orangenmonde (Orange Cookies with Orange Jam)
33 Überraschungsiglus (Surprise Balls Filled with Toffee)
34 Pfauenauge (Peacock Eyes Cookies, my recipe is here)
35 Schokoladenmakronen (Chocolate Macaroons)
36 Spritskransar (Spritz Cookies)
37 Grenobler Nusskekse (Grenoble Nut Cookies)
38 Skurnar Chokladkakor (Swedish Sliced Chocolate Cookies With Pearl Sugar, my recipe is here)
39 Skurnar Chokladkakor (Swedish Sliced CHocolate Cookies With Almonds, my recipe is here)
40 Schokoladentaler mit Orangen (Chocolate Rounds with Orange)
41 Pepparkakor (Swedish Gingerbread Cookies, my recipe is here)
42 Zitronenecken (Lemon Corners Filled With Red Currant Jam)
43 Bärentatzen (Chocolate Bear Paws)
44 Snowcap Cookies


A couple of weeks ago I was daydreaming of a cake in the shape of a snowball. I had a clear idea how to make the cake but I was not so sure what kind of flavor to choose for the cake. My first thought was to make a tarragon mousse with lingonberries and a speculoos bottom. I was not entirely sold on this idea but I thought I should give it a try. I went to the farmers market in order to pick up a few branches of tarragon but while I was waiting in line at a vegetable stall, I changed my mind and I bought rosemary instead. The vendor also sold some beautiful looking pomegranates and all of a sudden I knew what kind of flavors I wanted for my snowball cake creation: a rosemary white chocolate mousse with a pomegranate jelly and a cinnamon sable bottom. I envisioned a beautiful color contrast between the white mousse and the dark red color of the pomegranate. Just the thought of it made me so happy. On my way home from the farmers market, I passed a Christmas market and there was the scent of roasted almonds in the air and I decided to add roasted cinnamon almonds to the cake creation as well. This is how I came up with my latest cake creation: the snowball mousse cake with tarragon, pomegranate, cinnamon and almonds. 
I wanted to post this recipe before the holidays but this obviously did not happen. However, the petite snowball mousse cakes are delicious on any winter day. If you are still indecisive what dessert to serve on New Years Eve, you might consinder making these snowball cakes. The cake is a delicious way to end 2016 and it is also the last cake recipe that I share with you this year. I hope you have had a great year with lots of delicious cakes. I wish you nothing but the best for 2017. 





Makes 6 little cakes (7 cm / 2.8 inches in diameter, height 4,5 cm / 1.8 inches)

POMEGRANATE JELLY

  • 1 medium sized pomegranate / 125 ml / 1/2 cup juice of a pomegranate is needed
  • 5 g / 1/2 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 dash lemon juice
  • 1 1/3 (2g) gelatin sheets, soaked
  • Cut the pomegranate in half. Squeeze the pomegranate halves. Be carefully, otherwise your kitchen might be covered in red dots. You need 125 ml / 1/2 cup juice of the pomegranate. 
  • Pour the juice into a saucepan, add the sugar and the dash of lemon juice; heat the mixture. When the pomegranate mixture is warm, remove from the heat and add the gelatin. Stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Divide the pomegranate mixture into six little moulds. The size of each mould I use is: 2.5 cm / 1 inch in diameter and 2.5 cm / 1 inch in height.
  • Freeze the moulds for at least two hours. 

ROSEMARY WHITE CHOCOLATE MOUSSE

  • 50 g / 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon / 2 g rosemary needles, chopped
  • 60 g / 2 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped 
  • 1 sheet / 1.5 g of gelatin, soaked
  • 135 g / 1/2 cup and 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • Pour the heavy cream into a small saucepan and add the chopped rosemary needles. Bring the heavy cream to almost a boil, remove from the heat. Cover the saucepan with a lid and let the rosemary steep for 10 minutes. Pour the rosemary heavy cream mixture through a sieve and pour the heavy cream back to the saucepan. 
  • Bring the infused rosemary heavy cream almost to a boil again. Remove from the heat, add the chopped white chocolate and mix until the chocolate is melted. Add the gelatin and stir well until the gelatin is completely dissolved. 
  • Pour the mixture into a medium sized bowl and let it cool to room temperature. 
  • Beat the heavy cream until creamy. Fold the whipped cream into the rosemary white chocolate mixture. 
  • Place six hemisphere moulds ( 7 cm / 2.75 inches in diameter / I use silicon moulds) onto a tray. Fill the moulds 2/3 with the mousse. Freeze the mousse for at least 4 hours. 
  • Unmould the pomegranate jelly and gently press the jelly cores into the mousse. There will be a little hole in the middle of each cake while pressing the core into the mousse. Do not level out the surface with the mousse because the hole will be filled with the roasted cinnamon almonds. 

ROASTED CINNAMON ALMOND

  • 50 g / 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 45 ml / 3 tablespoon water
  • 75 g / 1/2 cup almonds
  • In a medium sized pan, add the sugar, cinnamon and water. Bring the mixture to a boil. Add the almonds and let it simmer, over medium-high heat, for about 5 minutes until the almonds are covered in a sugar cinnamon glaze. You will notice that the almonds will be coated in sugar which look like a sand. Turn the heat down to medium and stir until the sugar melts again (it takes a while, be patient). As soon as the almonds are evenly coated with cinnamon sugar, remove from the heat. Place the almonds on parchment paper and separate the almonds that stick together, use two knifes.
  • Let the almonds cool completely, then chop the roasted almonds.

CINNAMON SABLE BRETON BOTTOM

  • 75 g / 5 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, soft
  • 75 g / 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 30 g egg yolks / equals 2 egg yolks of medium sized eggs
  • 100 g / 1 cup pastry flour
  • 2 g / 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Preheat the oven to 175 °C / 350 °F.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  • Place the butter and granulated sugar in a medium sized bowl. Mix well with a spoon. Add the egg yolks and stir well again. 
  • In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Add the flour mixture to the butter egg mixture and stir until the dough comes together. 
  • Roll out the dough onto the baking sheet to a 23 cm / 9 inches square. 
  • Bake the sable breton for 12 minutes. Remove from the oven. Cut out circles ( 7 cm / 2.75 inches ) with a cookie cutter. Place the baking sheet back into the oven and bake for another 5 to 7 minutes or until the sable breton is golden brown in color. Let the cookie bottoms cool on a wire rack. 

WHITE CHOCOLATE MIRROR GLAZE

  • 55 ml / 1/4 cup water
  • 25 g / 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 50 g / 2 1/2 tablespoons glucose
  • 2 1/3 (3.5 g) gelatin, soaked
  • 35 g / 2 1/2 tablespoons crème double
  • 50 g / 1.8 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped
  • Place water, sugar and glucose in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil and let it boil until it has reached the temperature of 103 °C / 217 °F. Remove from the heat. Add the crème double and gelatin and stir until well combined. Add the white chocolate and mix again until the chocolate is completely melted and the glaze is smooth. Pour the the glaze through a sieve and let the glaze cool until has a temperature of 40 °C / 104 °F. It is a thin glaze which I like for this cake. The glaze is more like a glue, so the coconut flakes stick to the cake. 
  • You can also prepare the glaze a few days ahead. Store the glaze in the fridge ( in a sealed jar). The glaze gets very thick but do not worry; gently reheat the glaze. 

ASSEMBLING

  • Coconut flakes, for decoration
  • Unmould the frozen mousse cakes. Fill the hole of each mousse cake with the chopped roasted cinnamon almonds. Place a cookie disc on each cake and flip the mousse cakes over. 
  • Place the frozen mousse cake on a wire rack (place a deep plate under the wire rack, so you can catch the excess glaze which you can reuse). Pour the glaze over the mousse cake and cover each mousse cake with coconut flakes. I recommend glazing not more than three mousse cakes at a time. 
  • Place each mousse cake on a cake board and let the cakes defrost in the fridge and keep the cakes in the fridge until consumption.


Merry Christmas!
Fröhliche Weihnachten! 
God Jul!

My dearest reader, I wish you a wonderful Christmas. Enjoy the remaining days of this year. I hope you have time to slow down, take some time to reflect and spend time with your loved ones.
Thanks for reading my blog, for all your Emails and lovely comments. It is such a joy writing this blog and it is my pleasure sharing the recipes with you, my dear readers. Thank you. 
Much love, 
Marianne

PS: This is one of my favorite holiday card. The postcard is from my Swedish great, great, great aunt on my mom's side (I believe the card is from early 1900).


The cake recipe that I am sharing with you today is my absolutely favorite cake recipe that I have ever created. It is the best cake that I have ever made in my life. Here and there, I tell you that I am happy with a recipe but this caramel apple mascarpone mousse cake tops all the cake creation that I have ever made in my entire life. I have no words for how much I like these petite cakes. I cannot tell you how much joy I have making these scrumptious little mousse cakes. Not only the colors of the different layers of the cake match perfectly but the different flavors are a dream. The speculoos flavor of the crunchy cake bottom goes so well with the caramel, the apple ragout and the mascarpone vanilla mousse.
And what do you think of my M chocolate seal? A while ago, I customized the seal and I made seals out of chocolate for the very first time. I could not be more happy about the result. Whenever I give away a cake, I will "sign" my name with this chocolate seal.
I hope you will enjoy these caramel apple cake as much as I do. It is the perfect winter mousse cake and the perfect holiday dessert.



Makes 6 little cakes (7 cm / 2.75 inches)

APPLE RAGOUT

  • 125 g / 1 cup apple cubes, cut into 1 cm 
  • 25 g / 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 pinch of cinnamon
  • Place the apple cubes, brown sugar and cinnamon in a pan. Over medium heat, let the mixture simmer until the sugar is melted which takes about two to three minutes. Make sure that the apples do not get too soft. 
  • Place the apple ragout into 6 little moulds. The size of each mould I use is: 2.5 cm / 1 inch in diameter and 2.5 cm / 1 inch in height.
  • Freeze the moulds for at least 2 hours.

CARAMEL

  • 85 g / 1/3 cup and 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 45 g / 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 55 g / 3 tablespoons salted butter, cut into cubes
  • Place the sugar in a medium sized saucepan. Over high heat, melt the sugar (do not stir the sugar). As soon as the sugar starts melting switch the heat to low medium heat. At this point you can toss the pan. 
  • In a separate saucepan heat the heavy cream.
  • As soon as the sugar is melted and is golden in color, remove from the heat. Carefully pour the heavy cream to the sugar and constantly stir. Add half of the butter cubes and mix well. Place the saucepan back to the heat (medium heat) and mix until the caramel is smooth. 
  • As soon as the caramel is smooth, remove from the heat, add the rest of the butter cubes and mix well again. Pour the caramel to a bowl and let it cool for a minute. 
  • Pour the caramel on top of the frozen apple cores. 
  • Freeze the moulds again for at least 1 hour. 

VANILLA MASCARPONE MOUSSE

  • 15 g egg yolk / equals 1 egg yolk of a medium sized egg
  • 15 g / 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 85 g / 3 tablespoons mascarpone
  • 5 cm  / 2 inches piece of vanilla pod
  • 2.25 g / 1 1/2 sheets gelatin, soaked
  • 135 g / 1/2 cup and 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • Place the egg yolk and granulated sugar in a heat proof bowl, Over a double boiler, heat the egg mixture until it is very hot. Stir constantly. Remove the bowl from the double boiler and whisk the mixture creamy. 
  • In a separate bowl, add the mascarpone and the seeds of the vanilla pod. Mix until the mascarpone is smooth. 
  • Add the mascarpone to the egg mixture and mix well until all ingredients are well combined. 
  • Gently heat the gelatin in a small saucepan. Remove from the heat. Add two tablespoons of the mascarpone mixture to the melted gelatin and mix well. 
  • Add the gelatin mascarpone mixture to the rest of the mascarpone mixture and stir. 
  • Whisk the heavy cream until creamy. 
  • Fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture. 
  • Place hemisphere moulds ( 7 cm / 2.75 inches in diameter / I use silicon moulds) on a tray. 
  • Fill the hemisphere moulds 2/3 with the vanilla mascarpone mousse. Unmould the frozen caramel apple cores and gently press the frozen cores into the mousse, 
  • Place the tray with the moulds in the freezer for at least 4 hours or overnight. You can keep the frozen mousse cakes up to four weeks in the freezer.

SPECULOOS COOKIE SABLE BRETON BOTTOM

  • 75 g / 5 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, soft
  • 75 / 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 30 g egg yolk / equals 2 egg yolks of a medium sized egg
  • 100 g / 1 cup pastry flour
  • 2 g / 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 2.5 g / 1 teaspoon speculoos spice mix, * here is my recipe
  • 20 g / 1/4 cup almond flakes
  • Preheat the oven to 175 °C / 350 F°.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  • Place the soft butter and sugar in a medium sized bowl and mix with a (wooden) spoon until well combined. Add the egg yolks and mix well. 
  • In a separate bowl, add pastry flour, baking powder, salt and speculoos mix and stir well.
  • Add the flour mixture to the egg-butter mixture and mix well. When the dough comes together, transfer the dough to a floured work space and quickly knead the dough. 
  • Sprinkle the almond flakes onto the baking sheet. Roll out the dough onto the baking sheet to a 23 cm / 9 inch square.
  • Bake the speculoos sable breton for 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and cut out circles with a cookie cutter (7 cm / 2.75 inches in diameter). Place the baking sheet back to the oven. Bake the cookies for another 5 to 7 minutes or until the speculoos cookies are golden brown in color. 
  • Let the cookies cool completely. The cookies can be prepared up to two weeks in advance. Store the speculoos cookies in an airtight container. 

CARAMEL GLAZE

  • 125 g / 1/2 cup and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 125 g / 1/2 cup and 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 5 g / 3 sheets gelatin, soaked
  • Place the sugar in a medium sized saucepan. Over high heat melt the sugar (do not stir the sugar). As soon as the sugar starts melting switch the heat to low medium heat. At this point you can toss the pan. 
  • In a separate saucepan heat the heavy cream.
  • As soon as the sugar is melted and is golden in color, remove from the heat. Carefully pour the heavy cream to the sugar and constantly stir. Place the saucepan back to the heat and stir until the caramel is smooth. Remove from the heat, add the gelatin and stir until the gelatin is completely melted. Transfer the caramel - pour the glaze through a sieve - to a bowl or mug and let it cool until it has the temperature of 30 °C / 86 °F. If the glaze is too thick, add a few drops of water to the caramel glaze and mix well. 
  • You can also prepare the glaze in advance. Keep the glaze in an airtight jar in the fridge and gently reheat the glaze. You can keep the glaze up to 5 days in the fridge. 

ASSEMBLING

  • Unmould the frozen mousse cakes. 
  • Place each frozen mousse cake on a speculoos bottom. 
  • If you made the glaze in advance, place the glaze (it has a very thick consistency) in a saucepan and gently reheat the glaze. If the glaze is too thick add a few drops of water.
  • Pour the glaze into a jug (I use a measuring jug) because than it is easier to pour the glaze over the cakes. When glazing the cake, it is important that the glaze is lukewarm (30 °C / 86 °F) and not hot. 
  • Place the frozen cakes on a wire rack and place a deep plate under the wire rack in order to catch the excess glaze, so you can reuse the glaze.
  • Pour the glaze over the frozen the cakes. Make sure that the mousse cakes are completely frozen when pouring the glaze over the cakes. 
  • Place each cake on a cake board and let the cakes defrost in the fridge.