Berry Smoothie

  
I made this yesterday for breakfast. It follows the same basic recipe as the mango thickshakes but here it is:

Ingredients:

2-3 heaped spoonfuls of Greek yogurt (the more yogurt the thicker it is)

2 or more handfuls of frozen berries (any frozen fruit will work. If unfrozen use ice as well)

Milk (as much as needed to cover all the ingredients. The more milk the more like a smoothie it becomes)

Method:

1. Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend until the smoothie/thick shake is smooth.

2. Serve.


Eliza’s Birthday Cake and Cupcakes

   
 
I made these for a friend’s birthday on the 18th. I have to say it wasn’t the easiest cooking experience i’ve had. First of all I put choc chips in the batter, which is very light and air-rated, so of course they all sunk to the bottom. Then I had issues making the ganache icing. I’ve made ganache a few times but this was the first time it had spilt on me. I think next time I will get a bigger bowl to melt the chocolate and put the cream in at the end. However, slightly melted nutella works as an excellent substitue. I used a women’s weekly recipe for the chocolate buttermilk cake, so here it is with a few adjustments:

Ingredients:

180g butter, softened

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups (330g) caster sugar

4 eggs, seperated

3/4 cup (110g) self-raising flour

1/3 cup (35g) cocoa powder

3/4 cup (180ml) buttermilk

To Decorate

5 large spoonfuls of Nutella

m’n’ms 

popping candy

writing icing

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius. Line a muffin pan with patty cases. Line the base of a small cake pan with baking paper and grease the sides.

2. Beat the butter, extract and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy; beat in egg yolk, one at a time, until just combined. Stir in dry ingredients and buttermilk.

3. Beat egg white in a clan small bowl with an electric mixer until soft peaks form; fold into cake mixture in two batches. Pour mixture into pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes for cak and 20-25 minutes for cupcakes or until skewer comes out clean.

4. Once the cakes have cooled, melt the nutella in a bowl for 10 seconds in the microwave. Then ice the cupcakes and cake with the nutella. To decorate the cake place m’n’ms around the edge and popping candy in the middle. Then using the writing icing pipe a 16 or any number in the centre. To decorate the cupcakes place m’n’ms in a flower pattern in the centre and popping candy around the edges.

Reference:

Clark, P. (2009). Classic cakes. Sydney: ACP Books.

Halloween Gingerbread 

 

Before Baking
  
After Baking
  
Decorated Gingerbread
 
I made these for a friends Halloween party this weekend, I know how very un Australian. I got the ideas for the gingerbread men from doctor Google but the pumpkin and cat were original. The recipe for the gingerbread I used is actually a Mary Berry recipe. Usually we use it to make a gingerbread house as that is what the recipe is for, but I halved the recipe for the Halloween gingerbread so here is the altered version:

Ingredients:

Gingerbread

187g unsalted butter

150g dark muscovado sugar

75g golden syrup

450g plain flour

1/2 tbsp bicarbonate soda

1 tbsp ground ginger

Royal Icing

1 1/2 egg whites 

337g icing sugar

1 1/2 tsp lemon juice

To Decorate

Mini M’n’Ms 

Cachous (for the cats)

Red and black writing icing 

Candy eyeballs

Method:

Gingerbread

1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celcius. Melt the butter, sugar and syrup in a large saucepan. Set aside once the sugar is dissolved. 

2. Sieve the dry ingredients and make a well in the centre.

3. Pour in the melted butter mixture and stir. Once the mixture is cool enough to handle knead to a stiff dough.

4. Roll out gingerbread, a few sections at a time, until about 5mm thick. Cover the gingerbread not being rolled out with cling wrap so it does not dry out. 

5. Cut out pumpkins, gingerbread men and cats. Bake the gingerbread, one tray at a time, for 5-7 minutes until lightly browned. 

Royal Icing

1. Whisk the egg whites in a medium sized bowl until frothy.

2. Using an electric mixer, on a slow speed, add the icing sugar a tablespoonful at a time.

3.  Stir in the lemon juice and beat the icing until it is very stiff and white and stands up in peaks. Cover the surface with a damp cloth if not using immediately.

To Decorate

1. Cut the tip off a disposable piping bag and fill it with the Royal icing. Pipe some icing on baking paper to see whether the thickness is right.

2. For the vampire gingerbread man stick on 4 M’n’Ms with Royal icing. Then using the black writing icing to draw a straight line. Next make 2 fangs by piping little triangles with the Royal icing. Finally stick on 2 eyes with Royal icing.

3. For the mummy gingerbread man stick on 2 eyes with Royal icing. Then pipe on horizontal strips from one side to the other of the man to look like bandages. 

4. For the headless gingerbread man stick on 3 M’n’Ms with Royal icing. Then using the red writing icing pipe on varying dribbles of blood. 

5. For the cat pipe on two ears as well as a collar. Then stick one cachous to the collar.

6. For the pumpkins outline the pumpkin in Royal icing and pipe icing on the stalk. Stick brown M’n’Ms to the stalk until it is covered and stick orange M’n’Ms around the outline leaving an even space between each one. Finally Stick on 2 eyes with Royal icing and then make 4 curved lines in the middle.

The sections in bold are the ones I changed or added to make the recipe read better.