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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Matthew's 18th Birthday Computer Cake




Back to making character cakes ! Matthew's finally turned 18 - Congratulations Matthew. Love mum x

Monday, November 28, 2011

Anthony's 16th Birthday Croquembouche !


Anthony and I had so much fun making this croquembouche especially the final delicate touch of stringy caramel. For a complete recipe check out the croquembouche posted in January 2011 and included below is the caramel topping.

Caramel

175mls water
200g sugar

Place water and sugar in a saucepan and boil without stirring until it changes to a golden light toffee colour. Be very careful as this mixture will be very, very hot.

Take off stove and allow bubbles to subside. Using a fork, dip into caramel and alloiw stringy caramel to swirl around croquembouche !

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Icings and Fillings (updated 21/4/12)

I have compiled a useful list of recipes of Icings and Fillings to fill and ice those wonderful creations of yours at easy reach.

Fluffy Frosting – Meringue (by Country Women's Association Classics)
(enough to cover 12 cupcakes)

1 cup caster sugar
1/3 cup water
2 egg whites

Combine sugar and the water in a small saucepan; stir over heat, without boiling, until sugar is dissolved. Boil, uncovered, without stirring about 5 minutes or until syrup reaches 116oC on a candy thermometer. Syrup should be thick but not coloured. Remove from heat, allow bubbles to subside. Beat egg whites in a small bowl with electric mixture until soft peaks form. While mixer is operating, add hot syrup in thin stream; beat on high speed about 10 minutes or until mixture is thick and cool.


Ganache
(chocolate sauce or hard topping to cover 22cm springform cake)

¼ cup thickened cream
75g milk chocolate buttons
75g dark chocolate buttons

Put cream in a small bowl and place and microwave until hot about 1 min. Remove from microwave and quickly add all the chocolate. Set aside for ½ minute than stir to combine allowing the chocolate to melt in the hot cream. Set aside to thicken and then pour over top and sides of cake. Allow to rest in fridge for hard set.


Mock Cream (1)
(to fill profiterols or cream buns)

2 tab butter or margarine
2 tab sugar
2 tab hot water
2 tab milk
Vanilla essence or food colouring (optional)

Cream butter and sugar well. Continue beating while you slowly add hot water alternatively with milk, until all sugar is dissolved. Add vanilla essence and colouring as required.

Mock Cream (2)
(to fill profiterols or cream buns)

2oz butter
1 tab sugar
1/4 teas cream of tartar
1/2 teas vanilla essence
1/2 teas gelatine
1 1/2 tab hot water

Beat the butter and sugar to a cream, stir in the cream of tartar and vanilla then gradually add the gelatine which has been dissolved in hot water. Whip for 10 minutes or until creamy.



Butter Icing
(enough to cover/middle high swirl 12 cup cakes)

2 cups icing mixiture (for soft setting) or pure icing (for hard setting)
2 tab margarine
2 teas milk, approx

Sift icing into bowl, add margarine and press margarine against side of bowl as you incorporate the icing, keep stirring and pressing until all the margarine is combined into the icing sugar. Add milk, a little at a time and keep stirring until desired consistency. Add flavouring and food colouring.

Variations

Vanilla topped cupcakes:
Add ½ teas vanilla essence

Strawberry topped cupcakes:
Add 2 drops of preferred flavouring and
1 drop of pink food colouring

Chocolate:
Add 2 tab Cocoa

Cream Cheese Frosting
(enough to cover 12 cupscakes)

227g cream cheese, room temp
½ vanilla extract
½ cup/60g icing sugar, sifted
2/3 cup/160ml cold cream (35% – 40% butterfat content)

With a paddle attachment on the Kenwood beat cream cheese until smooth. Add vanilla extract and continue beating. Then add sifted icing sugar. Continue beating until smooth. Change to whisk attachment. Beat cold cream in gradually until thick.

Cream Cheese Frosting
(enough to cover 20cm round or square cake)

125g “Philadelphia” cream cheese, softened (full fat not lite)
40g margarine
1 ½ cups pure icing sugar
1 teas lemon juice
Zest of 1 lemon
Sprinkle cinnamon for topping

Beat Philadelphia cheese until soft and creamy, add margarine and beat again. Sift icing sugar into cheese mixture and beat on low speed, add lemon juice to taste and desired consistency. Spread on top of cake and sprinkle with cinnamon.

Chocolate Frosting
(Makes 1 3/4 cups enough to ice a 19cm square cake)
250g spreadable cream cheese
1/2 cup chocolate hazelnut spread
1 cup icing sugar, sifted

Using an electric mixer, beat crease cheese and hazelnut spread in a medium bowl until smooth. Gradually beat in icing sugar until combined. Chill.

Royal Icing (firm)
(to decorate cupcakes and writing on cakes)

1½ cups pure icing sugar
1 egg white
½ teas lemon juice
Preferred food colouring

Sift icing sugar through very fine sieve. Lightly beat egg white in small bowl with electric mixer; add icing sugar, a tablespoon at a time. When icing reaches firm peaks, use a wooden spoon to beat in juice; cover tightly with plastic wrap. (Keep adding water if you want a more softer consistency for “flooding”)


Fondant Icing (1) (AWW Cupcakes, Cheesecakes & Cookies)
(enough to cover 12 cupcakes)

300 white prepared fondant, chopped coarsely
1 egg white
½ teaspoon orange essence

Place icing in a small bowl over a small saucepan of simmering water; stir until smooth. Stir in egg white and essence. Stand at room temperature for 10 minutes or until thickened slightly. Spread fondant quickly over cakes; use a metal spatula dipped in hot water to smooth surface.


Fondant Icing (2) (Pretty Party Cakes by Peggy Porschen)
(enough to cover 30 cup cakes)

1.5kg ready- made fondant
150ml sugar syrup (see below)
1 tab lemon juice
1 tab liquid glucose
Selection of food colours

Place the fondant in a large microwave-proof bowl, cover with hot water and leave it to soften for about 15 minutes.

Pour away the water and add the remaining ingredients.

Heat in the microwave cooker for about 3 minutes at medium power. Stir to combine well, then heat for another minutes.

For dipping cup cakes and fondant fancies, divide the fondant among small bowls and colour each with different food colours, adding them a little drop at a time.

Before you start dipping, heat one of the bowls in the microwave for about 10 – 20 seconds at full heat. You want the fondant to be very warm (not boiling) to the touch.

Check the consistency of the fondant. If it feels thick and heavy when dipping, add a little more sugar syrup to thin it down until it runs smoothly.

Sugar Syrup:
250ml sugar
250ml water

Place sugar and water in a saucepan, stir well and bring to the boil. Let it cool down. When lukewarm, add the flavourings. Store in the refrigerator if not using immediately.

Caramel Cream No. 1
115g caster sugar
250ml cream

Place the sugar and 2 tablespoons water in a small heavy-based saucepan and cook, swirling occasionally, over medium-low heat for 4 - 5 minutes, or until a rich caramel colour. Remove from the heat, cool slightly, then add 80ml of the cream. Return to the heat and stir over low heat until the caramel has dissolved and the sauce is smooth. Remove from the stovetop and allow to cool completely. Combine remaining cream with the caramel in a bowl and beat with electric beaters until soft peaks form.

Caramel Cream No. 2 (adapted from The Birthday Cake Book by Fiona Cairns Page 160 - Liquorice Toffee Cupcakes)


100g demerara sugar
60ml double cream

In a small heavy based pan, dissolve the sugar with 3 tbsp water over a gentle heat, then increase to a boil.  Leave the pan undisturbed for a few minutes, until it turns a lovely rich caramel colour and has thickened.  Give it your full attention at this stage!  Remove from heat and add the cream, protecting your hands with a tea towel.  Stir well and reduce the heat to very low, stirring all the time and continue to cook until the mixture thickens.


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Lara's Cupcakes



Here they are - Anthony and I had fun making them, we added so much red food colouring enough to get the colour just right. We made them for Lara's 24th birthday "The Mad Hatter's (Melbourne Cup) Tea Party".

Monday, June 13, 2011

Celebration Cake !



My sister Georgette and I created this beautiful cake for our mum's 80th. We used a basic chocolate cake mixture and covered both cakes with fondant icing. Georgette made all the flowers with fondant icing, isn't she clever, and I helped her put it all together.

Amira's Orange & Chocolate Cake



Oranges are in season at the moment so a wonderful time to bake this cake. Combined with chocolate, this gives it a lovely jaffa flavour. The cake keeps for up to a week in the fridge which would also give it time to develop its flavour. But I don't think it will last that long.

Ingredients

4 eggs
1 ¾ cups sugar
1 cup milk
1 cup sunflower oil
1 teas vanilla essence
Rind of 1 lemon
Rind of 2 oranges
½ cup orange juice (or Juice of 2 oranges)
3 ½ cups self raising flour
1 tab cocoa

Method
Preheat oven 180oC (170oC fan-forced). Mix with a balloon whisk eggs, sugar, lemon rind, orange rind, orange juice and oil and vanilla essence. Sift flour and add to mixture alternatively with milk, stir gently with a wooden spoon. Take 1/3 of the mixture and add sifted cocoa, stir to combine. Place plain cake in large greased ring pan, add blobs of chocolate cake around and swirl with a knife to give a marble effect. Pop into oven and bake for approx 40 minutes depending on your oven.

Amira's Apple and Almond Cake



Here I've combined two recipes and made into one. You can possibly say it's an apple pie with a variation. The almond topping gives this cake a delicious crunch especially served with warm custard or cream.

Inspired by Australian Women’s Weekly & ‘delicious” Magazine

Ingredients

Apple Cake

1 ½ cups self-raising flour
¾ cup castor sugar
2 tablespoons full-cream powdered milk
125g butter
1 tablespoon water
1 egg
¼ cup water, extra
¼ teas ground cinnamon
425g can pie apples
Icing sugar

Almond Topping

50g unsalted butter
30g caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
125g flaked almonds
2 tablespoons milk

Pouring Custard

4 egg yolks
4 tab sugar
1 tablespoon corn flour
1 ½ cups milk
½ cup cream
Rind of ½ lemon

Method

Preheat oven 180oC. Sift flour, sugar and milk powder into bowl, rub in butter. (This can be done in a food processor.) Divide mixture in half, add 1 tablespoon water to half, mix to a firm dough. Spread this half onto bottom of 25cm pie dish.
Place mashed apple on top of this base.
Place remaining flour mixture into small bowl of electric mixer. Add egg, extra water and cinnamon, beat on low speed until ingredients are combined. Increase speed to medium, beat until mixture is smooth. Spread this mixture on top of apples in dish.
Place all ingredients for Almond Topping in saucepan over low heat, stirring until butter has melted. Spread this topping on cake batter in dish.
Bake at 180oC for approx 30 – 40 mins depending on oven.

Allow to cool and dust with icing sugar. Serve with cream. ENJOY!!

Pouring Custard

In a saucepan over medium heat, heat up milk, cream and lemon rind until hot. Switch off heat.

In a medium bowl, add egg yolks, sugar and corn flour. Stir to combine using a balloon whisk. Add ½ of the milk mixture into egg mixture and stir slowly to incorporate. Add the rest of the milk mixture and continue stirring. Return egg/milk mixture back to saucepan and stir with balloon whisk until custard thickens, this should take around 10 minutes. Remove from heat, serve warm. To reuse later, cover the surface of custard with cling film and allow to cool to lukewarm. Then place in the fridge until required. To reheat, place mixture in bowl over saucepan of simmering water until warmed through and pour custard into a clean glass bowl.

Amira's Peanut Biscuits



I enjoy the taste of peanuts and especially as a sweet as the slight saltiness of the peanuts keeps these biscuits from being too sweet. These biscuits are crunchy, just as I like them, especially nice for dipping in your cuppa.

Ingredients

½ cup lite crunchy peanut butter
125g margarine
¾ cup white sugar
1 egg
2 cups self-raising flour, sifted
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

Method

Preheat oven at 180oC (170oC fan-forced). Line 2 biscuit trays with baking paper. Cream peanut butter, margarine and sugar until creamy. Add lightly beaten egg and beat again. Add flour and bicarb of soda and lightly beat with K-beater of "Kenwood" electric mixture until mixture comes together. Form 23g of mixture into a ball and lightly press to flatten. Place on prepared trays 3cm apart, press top lightly with a fork.
Bake in preheated oven for approximately 18 mins or until brown as desired.
Makes about 28 biscuits.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Amira's Pumpkin and Date Scones




Pumpkin is in a hugh supply at the moment and quite cheap, so what better way to enjoy on a cold winters night. I enjoy these for breakfast, you might too.

Ingredients
3 cups S/R flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sugar
¼ tsp salt
1 cup dates, chopped
1 cup cold mashed pumpkin
100ml cream
200ml milk
1 tsp vinegar

Method
In a large bowl add flour, baking powder, sugar and salt, stir to combine. Then stir through the dates and pumpkin. Combine together cream and milk and heat until warm, add vinegar. Pour the milk mixture over the flour/pumpkin mixture and stir with a spatula until combined, do not over mix. Turn out onto a lightly floured bench and flatten with your hands. Cut out into rounds and place onto prepared baking tray. Bake at 210oC (200oC fan forced) for 12 minutes or until cooked.
Remove from oven and serve warm, cut in half with butter.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Amira's Lemon Cheesecake



This cheesecake is so lemony, smooth and light. Enjoy with a cuppa on a warm summer day.

Base
2 cups crushed biscuits (Marie or Milk Coffee)
125g unsalted butter, melted

Filling
2 x 250g cream cheese (philly)
395g can condensed milk
Zest of 2 Lemons
Juice of 3 lemons
1 cup cream, whipped
3 teas gelatin
¼ cup boiling water

Topping
150ml – 200ml cream, whipped
Any fruit of your choice, eg strawberries, kiwi, banana, peaches.
¼ x can Passionfruit pulp

Melt butter, crush biscuits finely in food processor. Mix butter with crushed biscuits. Line 21.5 cm springform pan with baking paper. Spray sides with oil spray. Press biscuit mixture evenly on the base of pan, pressing to evenly coat the bottom of pan. Place pan in freezer while you prepare the filling.
In food processor, whiz the cream cheese until soft (you might like to soften it first for 20 secs in microwave), add the condensed milk, whiz that together, add the lemon zest, then lemon juice, whiz that together. Whip the cream until soft peaks form, add the cream to the cream cheese mixture, whiz together. Pour boiling water over gelatin and stir with fork to dissolve. Pour the gelatin mixture into the cream cheese and whiz again until smooth.
Remove biscuit base from freezer and pour cream cheese mixture into base. Place in fridge overnight until set.
When cheesecake has set, carefully remove from springform pan and baking paper. Place on serving plate. Spread over cream and decorate with fruit as you desire and drizzle passionfruit pulp over the fruit.

Croquembouche (updated 23/1/13)



I would like to share this recipe with you, it's not too hard you just need time, patience and a celebration !

Makes 85 choux puffs (approx)

Choux Pastry

2 cups plain flour
2 cup water
250g unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
8 eggs

Sift flour into a bowl and set aside. In a saucepan, over medium heat, add water, butter, sugar and salt. Stir to combine until melted and bring to a boil for ½ minute. Add flour all at once and stir with a wooden spoon to incorporate until mixture forms a ball and leaves the side of the pan. Remove from heat and place mixture into a food processor with blade attachment. Allow to cool to lukewarm. Add eggs, one at a time, and process until mixed through well. The mixture should be shiny and smooth.

Preheat oven to 200oC (190oC fan forced). Line baking trays with baking paper.

For Profiteroles - Fill piping bag with 14mm nozzle and pipe 3 cm rounds, 5cm apart onto baking trays. For Chocolate Éclairs - Fill piping bag with 14mm nozzle and pipe 8 cm long strips, 5cm apart onto baking trays. Bake immediately for 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 190oC (180oC fan forced) and continue baking pastry rounds for 10 minutes. Remove trays from oven and with the tip of a knife make a small slit on the bottom of each pastry round. Return the pastry rounds to the oven and switch oven OFF. Leave the pastry rounds to cool in oven before filling with whipped cream or custard (recipe below).

Custard

12 egg yolks
12 tab sugar
12 tab plain flour
2 teas vanilla essence
6 cups milk (full cream)

In a saucepan over medium heat, heat up milk until hot. Switch off Heat.

In a medium bowl, add egg yolks, sugar, flour and vanilla essence. Stir to combine using a balloon whisk. Add ½ of the milk into egg mixture and stir slowly to incorporate. Add the rest of the milk and continue stirring. Return egg/milk mixture back to saucepan and stir with balloon whisk until custard thickens, this should take around 10 – 15 minutes. Remove from heat and pour custard into a clean glass bowl. Cover the surface of custard with cling film and allow to cool to lukewarm. Then place in the fridge until required.

Chocolate Topping (sets hard)

150g milk chocolate
150 dark chocolate

In a small bowl put chocolate and melt in microwave at 10 second intervals, stirring at each 10 seconds until smooth and melted.

Day 1 – Make choux pastry and custard. Store choux in air tight container. Place custard in fridge with cling wrap touching the custard.
Day 2 – Fill choux pastry with custard. Line inside of tin with baking paper and dip choux in melted chocolate and place inside tin with outside round edge touching the tin. Invert onto serving plate, peel away paper. Decorate with dusting of icing sugar or as desired.