Cake Decorating Basics #14


Cupcake Frosting Techniques

I came across these 2 cute blogs by ‘Glorious Treats‘ and ‘Niner Bakes‘. They have a page all about frosting techniques and a few different frosting recipes you could try! I’ve added their photos to show you what each tip can create.

Link to Niner Bakes

Here’s the link to Glorious Treats (these are her pictures below)

Cupcakes wtih tips

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Cake Decorating Basics #13


Cupcake Frosting Technique using a Wilton Tip #97

This is a very cute ruffle technique tutorial by ‘strawberrychicblog’. I can see this at baby showers (pink and blue ruffles)!

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What do you think of this 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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Chocolate Biscuits


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By Cake Star

Ingredients:
250g butter, softened (I use reduced or NO salt)
1 cup caster sugar
1 egg
1 ⅔ cups plain flour
⅓ cup shifted cocoa

These biscuits will keep fresh for up to 2 weeks if stored in an airtight container.

Method:
1. Place butter and sugar in bowl of an electric mixer and, using paddle attachment, beat until creamy and pale. (Note: I used a normal whipping attachment on a hand-held electric mixer and it works fine.)
2. Add egg, beating until well incorporated.
3. With mixer turned off, add flour and cocoa then mix on low speed until just combined. Scrape sides of the bowl then mix briefly again.
4. Use your hands to form the dough into a flat disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before use. (NOTE: Very important to refrigerate. If you don’t the mixture is soft and will lose shape when it bakes)
5. Grease baking tray and line with non-stick baking paper.
6. Knead dough briefly on a lightly floured work surface then roll out between 2 sheets of baking paper to an even thickness of 5mm. (NOTE: I usually divide the dough in half to make it easier to work with. Make sure if you do this, to place the dough you’re not using back in the fridge)
7. Remove top sheet of baking paper and use templates and a sharp knife or biscuit cutters to cut out your biscuits. Transfer to prepared baking tray using a palette knife and place in refrigerator to rest for 30 minutes. Offcuts can be re-rolled and used. (NOTE: Again, remember to refrigerate as instructed. I did a batch where I left them in the fridge for 5-10 minutes and when they baked they didn’t keep their shape as well as those that had been refrigerated for 30 minutes plus)
8. Preheat oven to 170°C (160°C fan forced)
9. Bake until lightly browned at the edges. Baking time will vary greatly depending on size of biscuits.
Small biscuits take around 8 minutes.
(NOTE: If you are unsure how long to bake for, do a test biscuit to give you a rough idea. They should still be soft when you take them out of the oven and they will harden once rested)
10. Allow baked biscuits to rest on the tray for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
11. Decorate as you wish or eat as is. (NOTE: I decorated mine with a white chocolate ganache butter cream… divine!)

If you want chocolate chip biscuits… just add some chocolate chips to this mixture at the end. You will need to knead them in as the dough is too thick for beating. I added 1 cup of dark chocolate chips when I did this and works really well.

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