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Friday, March 4, 2011

Bird’s Milk Cake

In Slavic fairy tales princesses used to send their suitors to bring them an amazing delicacy that no one had ever tasted before: the Bird’s milk - Ptasie mleczko (Polish), Ptichye Moloko (Russian: птичье молоко), ptashyne moloko (Ukrainian: птaшине молоко).
Here’s one for you :-)
Bird’s milk soufflé - not available in English
Cake and modeling chocolate drape from “Celebration Cakes” by the Australian Women’s Weekly Magazine.

Taste 4 (out of 5)

Difficulty 5 (out of 5)

For the cake (1105 cal)
- 60 g margarine or butter (430 cal)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla essence (5 cal)
- 1/3 cup / 60g sugar (230 cal)
- 1 egg (70 cal)
- 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (340 cal)
- 1/2 tsp baking powder (mixed with 1 tsp apple cider)
- 1/4 cup / 60 ml milk (30 cal)
Fort the Bird’s milk soufflé (735 cal)
- 2 eggs (140 cal)
- 1/3 cup / 60 g sugar (230 cal)
- 40 g margarine or butter (290 cal)
- 3 tbsp / 40 ml milk (20 cal)
- 6 g gelatin
- 30 ml water
- 1 tbsp all-purpose flour (55 cal)
For the modeling chocolate (730 cal)
- 100 g dark chocolate (600 cal)
- 2 tbsp light corn syrup (130 cal)
Total: one 6-inch / 15 cm cake, 2570 cal, 6 servings, 430 cal / serving

For the cake
1. Preheat oven to 350F and grease a 6 inch / 15 cm cake pan. If you don’t have a small cake pan, you can use a small oven-safe sauce pan of this size (make sure it does not have plastic parts that would melt in the oven). If you are using a sauce pan, line its bottom and sides with greased parchment paper to prevent the cake from sticking to the pan.
2. Mix all ingredients until uniform and pour into the pan.
3. Bake for about 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out smooth.
4. Let the cake cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then remove from the pan and let cool on a rack.
5. When the cake has fully cooled down, level the domed crown of the cake with a sharp knife, so that the top of the cake is flat. See a cool, simple leveling / “torting” technique here.
For the bird’s milk soufflé
1. Cover gelatin with 30 ml cold water and let rest for an hour.
2. Separate egg whites from egg yolks. Mix the yolks with 30 g sugar. Add the milk and mix in. Add the flour and mix well. Place the resulting mix in a heat proof bowl on top of a pot of simmering water (double broiler) and heat until thickens. Cool slightly and beat in the softened margarine. Heat the gelatin until all the grains melt and let cool.
3. Whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until fluffy. Add the remaining 30 g of sugar and beat until soft peaks. Whisk in the gelatin. Whisk in the egg yolk mix.
4. Place the leveled cake at the bottom of a 6 inch spring form cake pan lined with parchment paper on the sides. Pour the soufflé mixture on top and refrigerate for at least an hour or until the soufflé stiffens.
If you don’t have a spring-form pan, you can wait 10-15 minutes until the soufflé hardens a little bit, and pipe the soufflé over the base. In this case, keep an eye on the soufflé, as it may solidify very quickly.
5. Once the soufflé is stiff, release the cake from the spring form pan.
For the modeling chocolate drape
1. Melt chocolate in a medium-sized double broiler –a bowl placed over simmering (not boiling) water.
2. Add the corn syrup and stir until the mixture thickens. It might become slightly grainy. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it stand at room temperature for 2-3 hours until it is firm enough to work with.
3. Once firm, knead the modeling chocolate until smooth and then roll between two sheets of plastic wrap until large enough to cover the top and the sides of the cake. Remove the upper plastic wrap sheet. Carry the chocolate on the lower sheet until it is above the cake. Carefully turn the sheet over and drape the chocolate over the cake. Once the chocolate drape is placed the way you like it, release the plastic wrap. Dust the cake with sifted cocoa.
You can use the remaining chocolate to molding flowers, leaves, birds or other decorations. If refrigerated, the chocolate becomes very stiff. But you can microwave it for 20-30 seconds (check it, you might need to rotate it) until it’s pliable again.

- My favorite part is the soufflé. You can also add a little lemon or orange zest and / or extract.
- The butter cake turned a little too dry. Maybe I over-baked it.
- The modeling chocolate drape is pretty cool and very pliable – if you mess things up, you can just reroll and reshape it. But once draped or shaped, it becomes a little too hard to be comfortably eaten. A simple chocolate glaze (chocolate and butter or whipping cream) would have a much nicer texture to go with such cake.
- Check out the Wikipedia article on Bird’s milk here.


eugenia said...

Yum, your Bird's Milk Cake looks delicious!

Sonia said...

Lovely cake and looking delish too ! Congrats on top 9 !

whatsfordinneracrossstatelines said...

I didn't know you could milk a bird! I'm just being silly, what a gorgeous cake. I haven't had a lot of luck with modeling chocolate, maybe I should try it again. Congrats on Top 9!

alyce said...

Congrats on your top 9!

Marianne @ MealMixer said...

Gorgeous - and I love your observations. I may try to make the modeling chocolate just to play with it!

Pudding Pie Lane said...

This is so cool, I love the bird shape and the blackberries!

It looks like a lot of effort went into this cake, maybe to match the effort that the suitors went to, to bring their princesses those delicacies ;)

Threemealsaday said...

Congrats on Top 9 Food Buzz. Great effort here and nice presentation.


Anonymous said...

it's stunning!! thank you so much for sharing!

Mother Rimmy said...

Congratulations on the top 9!

Anne @ Quick and Easy Cheap and Healthy said...

OH, I used to eat these all the time when I lived in Russia. Yum! Thanks for the recipe.

thecoffeebreak said...

This recipe brings so many memories from my childhood... thanks for sharing!

Cook At Home said...

I am Russian and my mom used to make this cake all the time when I was little (still does). If made correctly the cake is very delicate and the chocolate ganache is to die for!

Anonymous said...

A beautiful cake! Thanks for sharing the tradition.

Unknown said...

That looks decadently beautiful - Please do check out my Crazy for Cakes event this would be a perfect entry