I never thought I’d be baking on the Adriatic. My kitchen withdrawals have been aided somewhat today and I’m a little excited to be assisting in the kuhinja (kitchen) on board our beautiful ship, Afrodita, as we sail out of Dubrovnik.
We’re baking a birthday cake for one of our passengers. The chef has everything we need out on the benches when I arrive. I beat the eggs and pepper him with questions in broken-English. He tells me his mother taught him to cook and I’m even more impressed when he boasts a photo of the racing car cake he’s just made for his sons birthday (did the AWW childrens birthday cake book make it all the way over here?!).
There’s no cocoa, so we’re improvising with Nesquick and we’re adding cherries to help it resemble a black forrest cake. I ask to see the recipe for it, but he tells me it’s in his head, so a loose translation for the Čokoladna Torta will follow.
As I’m decorating the top with whipped cream, he corrects my icing technique and tells me “You have to do it with love”. This makes me smile – ‘love’ – the essential ingredient that crosses all international culinary boarders.
1 packet vanilla sugar
4 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp cocoa
1/2 packet baking powder Krema:
500g cooking chocolate
100g softened butter
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp coffee
– Biskvit/base: Separate the eggs and beat the whites until they form soft peaks.
– In a separate bowl, beat the yolks and gradually add the sugar, vanilla sugar, flour, baking powder and cocoa.
– Gently add the egg whites to the chocolate mixture and fold together.
– Line the base of a spring form cake tin with baking paper, pour in mixture and bake for 20mins at 180’C.
– Krema/cream; Melt chocolate with a double boiler and add butter and sugar.
– Warm the cream and add to the chocolate mix.
– Combine the coffee and rum and brush over the top of the cake.
– Sprinkle the cherries on top of the base then pour over chocolate mixture and leave in the fridge to set.
– Decorate with whipped fresh cream.