New links


I’ve been away on holidays and haven’t created anything in a while, but I wanted to share these two websites I came across. I think they are great with heaps of tutorials and recipes as well.

Bake Happy

http://www.bakehappy.net/

&

Our Best Bites

http://www.ourbestbites.com/

xo

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Ombre Cakes


Petal Technique – Ombre!

One of my girlfriends is having her second baby…. a boy! I volunteered to make her baby cake and decided on everything blue.. Ombre style! I’ve put together this little tutorial for you all so you can also learn how to make these fabulously simple, but effective cakes! My main issue with the petal technique… I found my lines were not very straight. Even though I thought I was following the correct line, I had some “waves” happening. With more practice, I’m sure it would be easier to make each dot the correct size and length, etc.

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What you will need:
Cake(s)
Frosting
Teaspoon or spatula
Piping bag
Round piping tip

Cake Ingredients:
Depending on the number of layers you want to create, double this batch.
Melted butter, to grease
450g (3 cups) self-raising flour
150g (1 cup) plain flour
440g (2 cups) caster sugar
300g butter, cubed, at room temperature
310ml (1 1/4 cups) milk
6 eggs, at room temperature
3 tsp vanilla essence
Desired food colouring

Crisco Butter Cream Frosting
Makes around 3 cups
1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
additional 1/2 cup butter or margarine softened
1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
4 cups sifted icing mixture
2 tablespoons milk
Desired food colouring

OR

Classic American Butter Cream Frosting
Makes around 2.5cups
1 cup unsalted butter, softened (but not melted!) Ideal texture should be like ice cream.
3-4 cups icing mixture, SIFTED
¼ teaspoon table salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
up to 4 tablespoons milk or heavy cream
Desired food colouring

Method (Cake):

  1. Preheat oven to 140°C. Position a rack on the second lowest shelf of the oven. Brush a round 25cm (base measurement) cake pan with the melted butter to lightly grease. Line base and sides with non-stick baking paper.
  2. Place the self-raising flour, plain flour, sugar, butter, milk, eggs and vanilla essence in a large mixing bowl. Use an electric beater to beat on low speed for 30 seconds or until just combined. Increase the speed to high and beat for 1-2 minutes or until the mixture is thick and all the butter is incorporated.
  3. Divide mixture in two (or if batch doubled, in four). Add desired food colouring to each batch until desired colour reached. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan(s) and smooth the surface with the back of a spoon.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for approximately 55 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and set aside for 10 minutes. Turn onto a wire rack for 2 hours or until completely cool.

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Method (Frosting):

In large bowl, cream shortening (or if using American frosting all butter) and butter with electric mixer. Add vanilla. Gradually add icing mixture, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all icing mixture has been mixed in, icing will appear dry. Add milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Keep bowl covered with a damp cloth until ready to use. For best results, keep icing bowl in refrigerator when not in use. Refrigerated in an airtight container, this icing can be stored 2 weeks. Rewhip before using.
For thin (spreading) consistency icing, add 2 tablespoons light corn syrup, water or milk.
For stiff consistency, add more icing mixture until desired consistency achieved.

Divide frosting into even batches (depending on number of colours you want to do). Add food colouring to each batch until desired colour achieved. Add more icing mixture if frosting becomes too thin!

Put a light coat of butter cream over the cake. This is your crumb layer and will give you a smooth, even surface to start decorating on.

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Here’s a cute tutorial I found on Cake Central by ‘The Hungry Housewife’. I’ve also included her youtube video which clearly shows each step!

http://cakecentral.com/b/tutorial/blue-ombre-petal-cake-tutorial

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Here’s my first attempt!! Hope you all enjoy this. X

Happy Baking

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References:
http://savorysweetlife.com/2010/03/buttercream-frosting/

Devil’s Food Cake Recipe


You can never go wrong with a Devil’s Food Cake… I came across this recipe a very long time ago and I love it! The trick with this recipe (as with all) is to read all the way through first.

“While you’re making it, don’t panic. The mixture will seem very runny for ages once the chocolate has melted and you will think you have a liquid gleaming glaze, beautiful but unfit for purpose; leave it for about an hour, as stipulated, though, and it will be perfect and spreadable. It never quite dries to the touch, but this is, in part, what makes the cake so darkly luscious. Goo here is good.”

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Recipe by Nigella Lawson

for the cake:
50g best-quality cocoa powder, sifted
100g dark muscovado sugar
250ml boiling water
125g soft unsalted butter, plus some for greasing
150g caster sugar
225g plain flour
1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder
1⁄2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs

for the frosting:
125ml water
30g dark muscovado sugar
175g unsalted butter cubed
300g best-quality dark chocolate finely chopped
2 x 20cm sandwich tins

Method

Serves: 10 – 12

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Line the bottoms of both sandwich tins with baking parchment and butter the sides.
  3. Put the cocoa and 100g dark muscovado sugar into a bowl with a bit of space to spare, and pour in the boiling water. Whisk to mix, then set aside.
  4. Cream the butter and caster sugar together, beating well until pale and fluffy; I find this easiest with a freestanding mixer, but by hand wouldn’t kill you.
  5. While this is going on – or as soon as you stop if you’re mixing by hand – stir the flour, baking powder and bicarb together in another bowl, and set aside for a moment.
  6. Dribble the vanilla extract into the creamed butter and sugar – mixing all the while – then drop in 1 egg, quickly followed by a scoopful of flour mixture, then the second egg.
  7. Keep mixing and incorporate the rest of the dried ingredients for the cake, then finally mix and fold in the cocoa mixture, scraping its bowl well with a spatula.
  8. Divide this fabulously chocolatey batter between the 2 prepared tins and put in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.
  9. Take the tins out and leave them on a wire rack for 5–10 minutes, before turning the cakes out to cool.
  10. But as soon as the cakes are in the oven, get started on your frosting: put the water, 30g muscovado sugar and 175g butter in a pan over a low heat to melt.
  11. When this mixture begins to bubble, take the pan off the heat and add the chopped chocolate, swirling the pan so that all the chocolate is hit with heat, then leave for a minute to melt before whisking till smooth and glossy.
  12. Leave for about 1 hour, whisking now and again – when you’re passing the pan – by which time the cakes will be cooled, and ready for the frosting.
  13. Set one of the cooled cakes, with its top side down, on a cake stand or plate, and spread with about a third of the frosting, then top that with the second cake, regular way up, and spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides, swirling away with your spatula. You can go for a smooth look, but I never do and probably couldn’t.

 http://www.nigella.com/

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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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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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Cake Decorating Basics #3


Piping Techniques using a Wilton 21 Tip

This YouTube video by ‘LeCordon Bleu’ demonstrates how to create rope, shells, e-motions using a tip similar to Wiltons 21 tip. This shell technique is what I have used to decorate the boarder of my cakes: Elmo, Dinosaur, Pirate, Blue’s Clues and Care Bear.

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Pavlova


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My all time favourite dessert!! I remember my cousin made this at my grandmother’s place many, many moons ago and I fell in love! I think I was  11 years old and I asked mum if we could make this. Well… the first attempt failed and I ended up with a flat disc. Mum had an idea to keep baking this thing and turned it into ‘failed pavlova biscuits’. Actually really yummy! I realised the error I’d made… the recipe asks to fold in corn starch and I may have added self-raising flour instead. Needless to say, I never made that mistake again.

Ingredients
6 eggs, separated
1 1/4 cups caster sugar
2 tsp cornflour/cornstarch
1 tsp white vinegar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
300 ml thickened cream
Fruit of your choice

Method:

Step 1
Preheat oven to 120°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper. (I cheat and use a dinner plate to mark out my circle). Place a dinner plate in the middle of your baking tray and gently dust the edge with corn starch. Life the plate. You will be left with a nice circle which I find helps me mould my pavlova shape (that is, I actually end up with a circle!). Dust the circle with more corn starch, then shake off any excess.

Step 2
Use an electric mixer to whisk egg whites in a clean dry bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition, until meringue is thick and glossy and sugar dissolved. Rub a little meringue between fingers. If still “gritty” with sugar, continue to whisk until sugar dissolves. Add cornflour, vinegar and vanilla and whisk until combined. Spoon meringue onto the baking paper, using the marked circle as a guide. Smooth sides and top of pavlova. Use a small spatula to forms little peaks around edge of pavlova. Bake in oven for 1 1/2 hours or until pavlova is dry to the touch. Turn off oven. Leave pavlova in oven with the door ajar to cool completely. When completely cold, transfer to serving plate or store in an airtight container until required.

Step 3
Use an electric mixer to whisk the cream in a medium bowl until firm peaks form. Spoon cream onto the top of pavlova and decorate with fresh fruit.

You can colour the meringue with food colouring and create a pavlova stack.
Just add a couple drops of food colouring along with the corn starch, vinegar and vanilla.
Make another pavlova batch. Double the goodness!!

                           pav1 pav2

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