Blueberry Muffins


I was cleaning the house last weekend and had a sudden desire to fill the rooms with the smell of freshly baked muffins! Who doesn’t love the smell of fresh baked goods?!  I had some frozen blueberries and threw together a quick batch of blueberry muffins. It didn’t take long for the boys to come in the house from working in the shed, and ask how long they would be. A great treat!

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Recipe by Donna Hay
(makes 12)

Ingredients

2½ cups (375g) self-raising flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (220g) caster sugar
½ cup (125ml) vegetable oil
1 egg
½ cup (125ml) milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
300g fresh or frozen blueberries

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Method
1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
2. Place the flour, baking powder and sugar in a bowl. Place the oil, egg, milk and vanilla in a separate bowl and whisk to combine.
3. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Add the blueberries and mix to combine.
4. Spoon mixture into a 12-hole ½-cup capacity (125ml) muffin tin lined with paper patty cases. Add extra blueberries to decorate the top and bake for 30–35 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Remove from tin and cool on a wire rack.

Tell me… what’s the secret to your blueberry muffins? Lemon Zest? Sugar on top?

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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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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?

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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Cake Decorating Basics #1


Piping Bags 101 & How to make them

We all want to make beautiful cupcake and cake creations, but we need to get back to basics and learn how to use the tools were working with. I’ve found some excellent YouTube tutorials by ‘Cupcake and Cardio’ that shows you about the different types of piping bags you can purchase, and how to make your own!
I hope these help you!

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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Tylose Powder


Tylose 150g

Tylose Powder is a hardening agent which when added to fondant creates a quick and simple version of  gum paste/modelling paste.

The most common question we are asked about using Tylose Powder is
“How much should you use in the fondant”?

Unfortunately there is no real exact guide as there are different factors that influence the end result such as humidity. In areas with high humidity you will need to use more Tylose than in places with low humidity.

The best way to gauge how much to use is by kneading a little at a time into the ball of fondant you are using.

For example; Try taking a small ball of fondant the size of a golf ball and knead in approximately 1/2 teaspoon of Tylose powder. You will start to feel the fondant consistency change and start to feel firmer.

You will know if you have added too much Tylose as the fondant will be too hard to knead and work with (in my case, the fondant will start cracking). In this case you can add some more fondant to the mix.

Handy Hints:

Only mix the Tylose Powder into the fondant when you are going to use. If you mix the fondant too far ahead of time it will set before you are ready to use it.

When you have made your decorations  leave them overnight to completely set/dry.

Reference: http://www.somethingforcake.com.au/blog/index.php/how-to-use-tylose-powder-in-fondant