Cake Decorating Basics #11


Cupcake Frosting Technique using Wilton Tip #16

Another cute YouTube video by ‘strawberrychicblog’ demonstrating the Wilton tip #16.

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What do you think of this technique? Any other suggestions?

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Cake Decorating Basics #10


Cupcake Frosting Technique using Wilton Tip #67

This is such a cute frosting technique! The tip is actually a leaf decorating tip, so I would never have thought to use it in this fashion. It’s so simple, yet so effective! Thank you ‘strawberrychicblog’ for sharing this!

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What do you think of this technique? Any other suggestions?

Cake Decorating Basics #9


Cupcake Frosting Techniques

These YouTube video’s by ‘CupcakeCentralAU’ show you several techniques on how to decorate cupcakes with butter cream frosting. These are fantastic techniques if you’re a beginner or just want new ideas. Enjoy! x

The first video demonstrates the Wilton 1M Open Star and Petal Tip 127.

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The second video demonstrates the Wilton 11 plain round tip, a french tip and a plain star tip. These come in different sizes as per the picture below.

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What do you think of these technique? Any other suggestions?

Almond, Maple Syrup and Salt Biscuits


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I’ve been trying lots of different savoury recipes from Gwyneth Paltrow’s new cook book ‘It’s all good”, so I decided to give one of the ‘sweet tooth’ recipes a try. I decided on the Almond Cookie & Maldon Salt. Now, I wasn’t able to find this Maldon salt at the supermarket, but the recipe said I could substitute it for any coarse sea salt, which is what I ended up doing. Also, the recipe mentions the use of almond butter, which again, I couldn’t find at the supermarket. So I Googled a recipe and attempted to make my own. Needless to say, I’m not really sure it turned out the way it was meant to, but I used it anyway. The cookie has a gingerbread style texture.
Let me know what you think?!

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I’ll give you the baking instructions first, as I’ve included recipe alterations of the 2 batches I made.

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius
2. Whisk together almond spread, maple syrup and vanilla extract.
3. In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients: flour, fine sea salt and baking powder.
4. Add the dry ingredients to the almond and maple mixture and whisk until combined.
5. Spoon out 1 tablespoon of mixture and use your hands to roll into a ball. Place on a baking paper lined baking tray approximately 2 cm apart.
6. Bake for 10-12  minutes “until air is fragrant and cookies are slightly firm”.
7. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.

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First Batch:

1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour
1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup natural almond butter
1 cup maple syrup
(I used what I had in the pantry… Green’s Maple Flavoured Syrup)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt

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Honestly, these cookies were so salty and bitter! Not the caramel and salt taste Gwyneth claims it has. So I’m putting it down to my substitution choices and lack of proper almond butter… but I’m posting this anyway. See if you can find a way to improve this.

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Second Batch:

I went to Woolies to check out the maple syrup range, and honestly, was a bit shocked at how much pure 100% maple syrup costs – $6-8 for a 250ml bottle. Now this recipe uses 1 cup of maple syrup (which is 250ml), so it really becomes an expensive cookie recipe once you add in the cost of the almond spread and gluten-free flour.

Oh, I googled almond butter, and we do have it in Australia, but it’s labelled as almond spread. You can find it in the health food section of your local supermarket, but again this cost me $6.98 (from Woolies) for a 250ml jar of Macro Natural Almond Spread.

For this recipe I used Steeves Canadian maple syrup $5-6.

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Now this batch was delicious! The maple flavour was there, but it still didn’t have the caramel taste I was hoping for. I did add a bit more vanilla extract to this batch as well (about an extra teaspoon). I would definitely make this again.

The art of living like Gwyneth

it-s-all-good

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Toblerone Non-Bake Cheese Cake


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This is one of my most requested desserts! So easy to prepare and make. No baking required.

**You can use any type of chocolate you like

INGREDIENTS

BASE
1 packet plain chocolate biscuits
*(I use Arnott’s Choc Ripple and usually use 1/2 to 3/4 of packet)
80g butter, melted
1/4 cup almonds (optional)

FILLING
500g block PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
*(I generally use 250g of Original and 250g of Light)
*(I wouldn’t recommend 500g of Light… not as tasty)
1/2 cup caster sugar
200g TOBLERONE** Milk or Dark Chocolate, melted
*(I’m a HUGE chocolate fan and have used 600g chocolate)
1/2 cup thickened cream

TOPPING
200g TOBLERONE** Milk or Dark Chocolate for shaving

METHOD

Biscuit Base
1.
 Lighty grease or line with baking paper a 20cm baking dish/springform pan.
2. Put biscuits into a food processor and process until fine crumbs. Transfer to mixing bowl.
3. Put almonds into a food processor and roughly chop. Add to biscuit crumbs.
4. Add melted butter to biscuit and almond mixture.
(I know I said 80g butter, but I would add small bits at a time in case you don’t need the whole 80g. Basically… you want to add enough butter to get the biscuit crumbs to combine).
5. Once combined, put biscuit crumb base into the pan and use hand to distribute evenly on the base.
6. Place in fridge to chill.

Cheese Cake Layer
2. Beat cream cheese and sugar using an electric mixer until smooth.
3. Melt Toblerone**
4. Add in the melted Toblerone** and cream to the cream cheese mixture and beat until well combined.
5. Pour mixture onto the prepared crumb base and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours until set, or overnight.
6. Serve topped with the Toblerone** shavings.

So easy. I hope you enjoy this one as much as I do.

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Flourless Anything Crumble


Why the “anything” crumble… simple, use whatever fruit you fancy (apple, pears, berries)!

The basis of this recipe comes from Gwyneth Paltrow’s ‘It’s all good’ cookbook. I’ve modified this recipe as I wanted to use what I had in the pantry. It’s a very simple recipe and anyone can make this! I put this together last night in 30 minutes (start to finish), and it tasted so good, I went back for seconds!
For my fruit layer, I used Nannas frozen mixed berries. I ended up using golden syrup as I didn’t have any maple syrup left, and as you know, maple syrup (good quality stuff) is $6-8 for 250ml at Coles or Woolies. So, golden syrup it was. I also added verjuice to the fruit mix. The original recipe doesn’t use this at all, but a friend at work told me about verjuice and how it tends to bring out the flavour in fruit. So figured I’d give it a go. Oh and the cinnamon sugar… it’s a personal favourite of mine and I just had to sprinkle a bit on top of the crumble to ensure that there was some degree of caramelization! If you don’t like cinnamon, you could substitute it for any other dessert spice like cardamom and clove.

I hope you enjoy this as much as I did!

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INGREDIENTS:
4 cups fruit (your choice)
4 tablespoons golden syrup (or good quality maple syrup)
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup almond meal
1/2 cup quinoa flakes
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
a pinch of fine sea salt
1 tablespoon verjuice (optional)
1 tablespoon cinnamon sugar (optional)

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METHOD:
1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
2. Put fruit, lemon juice, verjuice and 2 tablespoons golden syrup into a shallow baking dish and toss together using a spoon.
3. In a separate bowl, mix together quinoa flakes, almond meal, salt, cinnamon. Add 2 tablespoons golden syrup and olive oil to dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
4. Crumble the mixture over the fruit, sprinkle cinnamon sugar over crumble.
5. Bake until the topping is golden brown and the fruit is bubbling.
Approximately 20-25 minutes.

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The art of living like Gwyneth

it-s-all-good

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Verjuice


What is Verjuice?

Gluten Free Product

It’s made from the juice of unfermented, unripened grapes. Its name derives from the French ‘vert’ (green) ‘jus’ (juice). As verjuice has traditionally been made from white and red grapes, leaving the juice on the skins long enough to colour it, the ‘vert’ refers to youth (unripe), rather than colour.

Think of verjuice as a gentle acidulant. It tastes tart, a bit like lemon juice or vinegar but not as harsh.

How to use Verjuice?

You can use verjuice in any recipe as a substitute for lemon juice, vinegar or any other compound which is used as a cooking acidifier (i.e. pomegranate juice, bitter orange juice and wine).

Examples:
Instead of vinegar or lemon juice in salad dressings;
Instead of white wine or brandy when deglazing pans;
Poaching fresh fruit or reconstituting dried fruit;
Drizzle over grilled fish or barbecued baby octopus;
Cutting the richness of sauces or meat dishes, especially with pork;
Instead of balsamic vinegar when caramelising onions;
Heavily reduced as a topping for ice cream;
In the preparation of mustards.

Where to buy verjuice?

You can find verjuice in your local supermarket in the vinegar section. The most common brand you will find at Coles or Woolies is Anchor (or at least that’s the only one I have come across). You can also purchase it from Maggie Beer online.

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Here’s a YouTube video by Maggie Beer talking about verjuice

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