who eats what when where with whom why?

Mitarbeiter von eßkultur Berlin

Nina - international cake expert

from Russia, with eßkultur since 2010

Yes, there were birthday cakes at home, of course! And yes, of course, they were fancy sponge cakes with butter cream, very nice with butter cream flowers, maybe just a little kitschy, but pretty plain, really. Nina knows everything about baking, she does it for a living. She knows what the dough has to feel like to make a good cake, and she knows it when kneading it by hand and when kneading it with a machine. She watches the dough when it goes into the baking dish, and she knows what the crumb will be like. She bakes cakes from all over the world, German apple pie, Russian bee sting cake, Brasilian banana cake, Japanese green-tea cake.

And all those years she has been looking for new recipes, also on the internet. And this is where, four years ago, she suddenly found: Kysyl Kum! Red Sand! The dough is dyed red with a little tomato paste, and red crumbs are spread on top.

The cake is named after the sand desert in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. Here, 60 million years ago, a sea washing against the foothills of the Himalayas, the Tianhan and Pamir mountains, turned into pumice stone: red stone and red sand. Incredibly beautiful scenery, Nina says. She used to live there, many years ago. She is happy in Berlin and has been so for a long time. But for birthday celebrations (or any other celebration, really), Nina has been baking Kysyl Kum for four years. She says, she "took this cake into her heart". Every time she makes Kysyl Kum and looks over the pinkish crumbs on top of the red sand dough, memories come flooding in. It is a very, very special cake.