Emoji Cupcakes

There’s a first time for everything, and this was my first time making emoji cupcakes and using fondant. As you can probably tell, I had way too much fun with this. After making this order I’ve decided that I’d like to play with fondant a bit more in the future, it’s just so pliable, and a little fiddly if I’m being honest, which is why I need to work on using it. Anyway, the recipes I used for this are recipes I’ve used before; the ultimate vanilla cupcakes found here: http://www.cupcakeproject.com/2011/09/best-vanilla-cupcake-recipe.html

Super moist chocolate cupcakes from Sally baking addiction blog, found here:

https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2017/06/22/super-moist-chocolate-cupcakes/

And Sally’s favourite chocolate buttercream recipe:

https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2017/05/21/favorite-chocolate-buttercream/

To get the yellow icing for the emojis I simply just spilt the buttercream in half before adding the cocoa powder, and added more icing sugar and yellow die to one half. To get the tongue colour I added a little red to some of the yellow icing. I think if I were to do this again, I’d get some cutters for the fondant, to make it look a little more clean-cut and make the poo emoji eyes out of fondant too, as they look a little abnormal. All and all I think I did a pretty good job, and enjoyed getting to be a little creative with this.

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Cheesymite Scrolls

As an Australian, I thought it was time I try to make an Aussie classic, the vegemite and cheese scroll (otherwise known as a cheesymite scroll). That and I’ve been having strong Vegemite cravings of late. While this recipe seemed promising, it did not taste like a true cheesymite scroll, rather a scone with Vegemite rolled up in it. It’s not that it tasted bad, it just didn’t have that light chewy texture of the scrolls you buy at Bakers Delight. For that reason I’ll be attempting the cheesymite scroll again using a recipe that takes yeast in the hope that I can get closer to the real deal. However, if you are looking for an easy way to somewhat replicate the cheesymite scroll, this recipe works fine. The recipe is from this website: https://www.stayathomemum.com.au/recipes/cheesy-vegemite-scrolls/

If I were to make these again, which is unlikely, the only thing I’d do differently would be to heat the Vegemite in the microwave for a little bit to make it easier to spread on the dough. Otherwise, the recipe is easy to follow and works well.

Egyptian Pyramid Cake

So, I got the idea for this pyramid cake on Pinterest, and I’ve got to say it worked fairly well. However, I didn’t use a box cake mix, so I didn’t strictly follow the recipe. Instead I used a butter cake recipe my friend Matt gave me, which was very yummy. The recipe for the icing I used was also a success, and comes from Sally’s baking addiction blog. Here is the link to it: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2017/05/14/vanilla-buttercream/

The only real problems I had were with the carving of the cake as it was quite difficult, as one would expect given the shape. I cut some cardboard into a triangle shape to use as a guide, but even still, I felt like it was a bit lopsided, which is probably because I needed another piece of cardboard on the other side of the pyramid to ensure the knife wasn’t on a funny angle.

Gus’ Birthday Cake

 

cake

So I’ve got to say, I was very nervous about making this cake for my brothers birthday, because of the many opportunities for things to go wrong, but I am so happy with how it turned out. The cake has 4 layers, a white chocolate buttercream on the inside and outside, and chocolate ganache drips. For the decoration I used garnishes, like the stripped chocolate cigars, chocolate bark shards and chocolate fans, that I made with Matt (Head Chocolatier for Lindt in Dubai) last weekend during our chocolate masterclass, as well as some store-bought brownie, cookies and cream hershey’s kisses, and oreos. I was trying to stick to a white and brown theme, as you can probably tell. So unfortunately I cant reveal the recipes I used for the sponge and buttercream, but the recipe for the ganache drips is as follows:

Ingredients

1/2 C dark chocolate chips

1/2 C heavy/ whipping cream

Method

1. Heat the cream in a microwave until it coats the back of a metal spoon (about 2 minutes), stirring it every 30 seconds.

2. Place the chocolate chips in the bowl and allow them to submerge and melt in the cream for about a minute.

3. Stir the mixture until there are no more lumps of chocolate and everything is combined.

4. Place the bowl in the fridge for 15-20 minutes or until thick enough to use for the drips.

5. Place the ganache in a squeezy bottle and do a test drip on the cold cake (this is important). The ganache should be thin enough that it runs down the cake with ease, but thick enough that it sets. If it needs to be thicker put it in the fridge for another 10-15 minutes. If it needs to be thinner place it in the microwave for 5 seconds.

For the tutorial click on this link:

https://youtu.be/F1cc8fkT0C0

Here is the tutorial I used to get a smooth (smoothish, it was my first attempt) finish with buttercream on the cake:

 

 

Baked Raspberry Jam Custard Pie

pie

So this was my first time making a baked custard pie, and for the most part, I’m pleased with how it turned out. I had a few issues with the pastry, which is what I get for using shop bought pastry I suppose, but this is a cheat’s pie, so its meant to be simple to make. Just be careful what brand you choose, as the one I chose kept cracking. In addition to this, I recommend not touching or wobbling, however tempting, your pie until 40 minutes is up, as I think that’s what led to some of the jam coming to the top on my pie. Also, I think I needed to butter the dish so that the pastry didn’t stick to it, or simply crimp it differently around the edges. The one thing that was my saving grace however, was the taste, so I think a second attempt at this pie is in order. Anyway, here’s the recipe from The Pie Project:

Ingredients

435g frozen creme vanilla bean pastry, thawed, or other bought sweet shortcrust rolled to a thickness of 3mm

2 Tbsp vanilla custard powder

1 Tbsp caster sugar

1 tsp natural vanilla extract

500ml (2 C) pouring (single/light) cream

160g (1/2 C) good-quality raspberry jam

Method

  1. Line a 22cm pie dish with the pastry and trim the edges, leaving a 3cm overhang. Using your thumb and index finger, pinch the overhang of the pastry to form a fluted edge. Freeze for 1 hour. Fluted edge, for those, who like me had no idea what this meant:2011_Decorative-Pie-Crust_fluteedges
  2. Whisk together the custard powder, sugar and vanilla in a bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of the cream and whisk until smooth. Transfer to a saucepan over medium heat and add the remaining cream. Cook, stirring constantly, for 6 minutes or until thick and smooth. Remove from the heat and cool completely to room temperature.
  3. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius, fan forced. Line the pastry case with baking paper and fill with baking beads. Place the pie dish in the oven on a large baking tray and cook for 10 minutes or until just dry, then remove the baking beads and paper and bake for 10 minutes or until the pastry is golden. Cool slightly then spread the jam over the base of the pastry and top with the custard. Place in the oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 150 degrees Celsius. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes or until the custard is set but still has a wobble in the centre. Cool completely, then chill until cold.

I ended up covering my pie with foil so the pastry around the edges didn’t burn, so I thought I’d add that in there.

 

 

 

Extra Dark Chocolate Gelato

gelato

My first time making gelato did not go without a hitch. I had quite a few hiccups, which meant I had to improvise, and also that the gelato didn’t really taste how gelato should. Part of the problem was that the recipe wasn’t nearly detailed enough, and possibly uses the wrong quantities for certain ingredients. So now that I’ve blamed the recipe, I’m also going to blame my equipment and go ahead and say that I think the fact that I seem to have lost the splash guard on my ice cream maker might also have contributed to the rather unfortunate end result. Anyway, I’m going to attempt to write out this recipe how I think it should have been written, although in the future, I think I will just use a completely different one.

Ingredients

500ml/ 2 C whole milk

165ml/2/3 cup whipping cream

80g (100g) dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), finely chopped

160g caster sugar

1 egg white

200g (I think 80-120g is more appropriate) unsweetened cocoa powder

Method

  1. Put the milk and whipping cream in a small saucepan and heat gently until it reaches boiling point. Pour the mixture into a heat-resistant bowl and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
  2. Melt the dark chocolate in a heat-resistant bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, making sure the base of the bowl doesn’t touch the water.
  3. In a large mixing bowl and using an electric hand whisk, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Then gradually add in the sugar and cocoa powder, along with the melted dark chocolate. Add the chilled milk milk mixture and whisk for a further 20 seconds until well combined.
  4. Pour the mixture into the gelato maker and churn freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  5. The gelato is best served immediately or can be kept in the freezer for up to 3-4 days.

So the main issue I had was with step 3, which actually said to beat everything together until soft peaks formed. I followed these instructions and ended up with a crumble-like mixture, as there was way too much cocoa powder. I think possibly the quantities for the chocolate and the cocoa powder have been mixed up, or that the recipe meant for you to beat the egg whites first and then add the sugar and cocoa, like you do when making a meringue. Either way, I ended up taking everything out of the bowl, adding another egg white and beating that until soft peaks, spooning in the cocoa powder crumble mess, pouring in the milk halfway through and having to strain the mixture through a sieve to get rid of the lumps of cocoa. I then also had to clean splats of gelato mixture off the wall because I lost the splash guard, as I mentioned earlier. So it’s safe to say I had a very eventful day in the kitchen, but I’m determined to nail gelato eventually.

 

 

Sonia’s Order

Today I spent almost all day in the kitchen listening to music and baking, which is one of my favourite pastimes, despite how sore my feet always get. Because I was baking for a customer I made passionfruit melting moments, rocky road, cinnamon and chocolate chip cookies, and citrus and coconut cupcakes. All of which, turned out pretty well I’d say. The rocky road and citrus cupcake recipes are new so I’ll write them out below.

Coconut and Citrus Cupcakes

These can be found here: http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/coconut-citrus-cupcakes/bfe1a072-19dc-445d-9771-374efabe377c

Firstly, I love how elegant these look with the use of edible flowers and lime rind as decoration, but also how good the cream cheese icing tastes with the coconut and citrus cupcakes. I couldn’t stop eating them, which is why it’s good I was making them for a customer, because I was limited to the rejects. Secondly, the original recipe is for medium sized cupcakes, but it works when making mini cupcakes too, so long as you’re careful about not over filling the party cases. Anyway, here is the recipe:

Ingredients

175g unsalted butter, at room temperature

155g (3/4 cup) caster sugar

3 eggs, at room temperature

1 1/2 tablespoons finely grated citrus rind (combined lemon rind and lime rind, plus extra lime rind, to serve)

1 teaspoon coconut essence

190g (1 1/4 cups) self-raising flour

45g (1/2 cup) desiccated coconut

125ml (1/2 cup) coconut milk

Fresh flowers, to decorate

FROSTING

250g cream cheese, at room temperature

50g unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lime rind

345g (2 1/4 cups) icing sugar mixture, sifted

1/2 teaspoon fresh lime juice

Method

1. Preheat oven to 180C/160C fan forced. Line a 12-hole, 80ml (1⁄3 cup) capacity muffin pan with paper cases.

2. Use electric beaters to beat the butter and sugar in a bowl until pale and creamy. Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the rind and essence. Add flour, coconut and milk, in alternating batches, stirring until just combined. Divide among prepared pans. Bake for 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Stand in pan for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
3. For the frosting, use electric beaters to beat the cream cheese, butter and rind in a bowl until pale and creamy. Add the sugar in 2 batches, beating well after each addition until smooth. Beat in the juice until combined.
4. Use a piping bag fitted with a 1cm plain nozzle to pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes. Sprinkle with a little extra lime rind and decorate with fresh flowers.

Easy Rocky Road

This recipe, was not only super easy as the name implies, but super tasty. I love the nutty flavour of it, which is created by the use of peanut butter in the mix. The recipe can be found here: https://www.spendwithpennies.com/easy-rocky-road/

Here it is written out:

Ingredients

2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips

3/4 cup peanut butter

3 cups mini marshmallows

1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped

1/2 cups peanuts, chopped

Method

1. Line a 9 x 9 inch pan with foil.

2. Melt together the chocolate chips and peanut butter over low heat until smooth.

3. Stir in nuts and remove from heat. Allow to cool 3-4 minutes.

4. Add marshmallows and stir to coat.

5. Spread in pan and refrigerate until firm.