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    Entries in red (49)

    Thursday
    Aug122010

    Beetroot Chocolate "Yes!", Beetroot Cookies "No!"

    white chocolate coloured & flavoured with dried beetroot (beet) powder

    Using beetroot powder is great way to naturally colour your icings, frostings and is one of my favourite flavourings for white chocolate. White chocolate flavoured with beetroot has a sweet flavour, slight berry notes and a touch of tingly acidity. The pretty natural speckled colour will add another dimension to your chocolate curls, twirls and shapes. 

    Using beetroot powder in white chocolate;

    stir in 1 teaspoon of sifted beetroot powder for every 100g (3.5oz) of tempered white chocolate. 

    Alas, beetroot powder doesn't work for colouring your cakes and cookies. The powder is highly susceptible to changes in pH levels, when exposed to pH levels above 7 the colour quickly fades to tan/yellowish brown.

     

    Before; the gorgeously coloured beetroot butter cookie batter

    After; the combined oven temperature and raising agent (baking powder) fade the colour dramatically

    Soooo, even though you won't be whipping a red velvet cake with your beetroot powder; you can produce deliciously different chocolate, fabulous frostings and fun confectionaries like coconut ice without having to reach for that bottle of red food colouring. 

    Beetroot powder is available is health food stores, selected grocery stores and chef supply stores. 

    Happy Baking :)

    You might also be interested in;

                            Red food colouring

    Thursday
    Jun032010

    Cupcake Cases, Liners, Papers & Wrappers

    bright solid colour cupcake cases

    Cupcake liners can just be pretty, act as an inspiration or match your theme like these versatile solid colour cupcake cases.

    I'm impressed with how these solid colour cupcake cases are true to colour after baking... even with chocolate batter. They keep their shape well & I haven't experienced "case fall" with them. 

    red and aqua blue used that I used for coca-cola and bounty bar cupcakes

     One problem, about 5% arrived with wrinkles still usable but not terrific for presentation

    wrinkle mid way up the case on a small percentage of those that were delivered

    Other than that I love these 100% Nordic greaseproof cases, with over 10 colours to choose from they are sold in packs of 40 from Fancy Flours (US)

    *Fancy Flours; you will need to search for each colour separately 

    Wednesday
    May052010

    Shaping Knife

                                             victorinox shaping knives

    Tool time the kitchen tools and gadgets I love.

    One of most useful and least expensive tools I own is my red handled shaping knife. I use this small Swiss made vegetable and paring knife for a multitude of baking and decorating jobs; the curved blade is perfect for cutting the centre out of cupcakes ready for filling, shaping fruit garnishes & I use it to trim the rough edges from fondant, chocolate and candy work.

    They are super sharp so be careful wielding your blade, other than that a fabulous little knife that is ever so useful & in case your struck with a "cheffy moment" you can turn potatoes with it too ;) 

    I bought my Victorinox knife for $3.95 at Everten (Australia)

    Wednesday
    Mar032010

    Sexy Rhubarb Cupcake

    Two radio food critics were talking about Rhubarb, saying there is nothing sexy about rhubarb... it's always going to be Grannies & chintz whatever you do. 

    I disagreed!! So here is my sexy rhubarb cupcake. Light vanilla sponge, topped with whipped cream, rhubarb pieces gently poached in sugared strawberry puree with shards of real strawberry sugar toffee.

    I did try raspberry first but the rhubarb needed a sweet partner (don't we all!) to balance the sharpness. I sacrificed the clarity of the sugar work to include the real fruit puree.

    When cooking with rhubarb; poach gently to keep the shape of the pieces, barely covered in sugar syrup & if you cook it and it is falling into stringy bits follow the advice of the Grand Dame of Australian cooking Stephanie Alexander; puree the rhubarb and use the puree in your dessert recipes. Totally agree with Stephanie Alexander, it's horrible to be served a bowl of stringy rhubarb floating in water... yuk! Cooked correctly it's wonderful, even "sexy" ;)

    Wednesday
    Feb102010

    Love is in the air


                     Love is in the air 
                     Everywhere I look around 
                     Love is in the air 
                     Every sight and every sound

                               John Paul Young

    Only four days to go to Valentines Day so lets count down with ways to quickly bring romance to any cookie, cupcake or dessert. Today, whether you know them as sprinkles or quins, these pre made small decorations will instantly add the "I love you" to your baking.

    Go out and buy yourself love heart sprinkles, they come in a range of sizes in shades of red, rainbow, pink & white. Sprinkle on you cupcakes, cookies, chocolate truffles or even a scoop of ice-cream for an instant Valentine.

    Mini hearts by CK Products

    Kissing Lips by CK Products

    How gorgeous are these! Pink Edible Hearts by Rainbow Dust

    Tiny glittery love hearts ready to sprinkle on your cupcakes or apply individually with a damp artists brush. Plus they can be added to liquid, I can see fabulous cocktails in your future!

    Happy sprinkling :)

    Stockists: Cake Decorating Stores, some supermarkets, gluten free & vegan stores usually carry a range.

    For future romance.... Cakes Around Town (AU) Cake Deco (AU) for a range of sprinkles, Little Betsy Baker (AU), Jane Asher (UK) for Pink Edible Glittery Hearts and range of sprinkles, Fancy Flours (US) for large range of quins/sprinkles.

    You might also be interested in:   Truffle Pops

    Monday
    Feb012010

    Cupcake Cases, Liners, Papers & Wrappers

    Cupcake liners can just be pretty, act as an inspiration or match your theme.

    I do like a design to carry through to the base of a liner like this fabulous swirl pattern does on these bold solid colour liners. Imagine a spring time yellow theme, blue cries out for piles of white frosting and green is just so minty!

    These cases have straight sides, are of medium size and are made from quality greaseproof Swedish paper. 

    Available in six different colours: Yellow, Blue, Green, Red, Purple & Gold

    The cases cup in packs of 40 from Fancy Flours

    Friday
    Jan222010

    Raspberry Jam

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    I need jam for upcoming recipes this week, raspberry jam to be exact. If you haven't made jam before, raspberry jam is the easiest jam to make, as raspberry seeds are packed with pectin that sets the jam for you without having to add any setting agents.

    It tastes divine, keeps for one year in sterilised jars (though I think it's better when it's fresher), & can be made with fresh or frozen raspberries. 

    Raspberry Jam ( makes 2-3 jars depending on jar size)

    450g (1lb) raspberries (fresh or frozen)

    450g (1lb) sugar

    1 small plate refrigerated (to test for setting point)

    Put the berries and sugar in a large saucepan. Over low heat bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

    Once the sugar has dissolved, increase heat and bring to the boil, boil 5-9 minutes until *setting point is reached. Pour into hot sterilised jars and seal.

    *recipe can be halved if you only need enough jam for one cake, reduce your pan size but do use a pan big enough to allow for the fruit to rise once boiling.  

     

    Bit of tricky shot pushing jam with one finger and holding the camera with other hand, but hopefully you can see the "wrinkle" of jam for the testing stage. 

    Testing for setting point

    Although traditionally raspberry jam has a looser set (a little bit runny) for filling cakes and cookies I like a firmer set. Starting testing for setting point from the 5 minute mark, by putting a small spoon of hot jam on your refrigerated plate. Wait 30 seconds and gently push the edge of the jam with your finger, if the jam wrinkles it's ready. 

    Of course you could use a sugar thermometer if you prefer --- 105C (221F)

    Sterilising Jars

    For larger quantities of jam you can use a dishwasher to sterilise jars, but since we only have a couple of jars here we will use the oven.

    Place your 2 clean jam jars on an oven tray in the oven, heat at 180C (350F) for 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven with oven gloves to a heatproof surface when you are ready to fill your jars. 

    Add in's 

    You can a tablespoon of liqueur if you like at the end of cooking the jam, Grand Marnier is nice with raspberries as is Chambord. 

    Spices are a nice addition, cinnamon, star anise, pink peppcorn all pair well with raspberries. Fine orange zest can be added too, or scrape a vanilla pod of it's seeds and add that for raspberry vanilla jam.  

    Too sweet? Prefer your jam tarter? Add the juice of lemon at the start of the cooking process.

    *You can use your jam straight away but with any add ins at least 24 hours to mature the jam allowing the flavours to meld/soften is a good idea.  

    Here it fills Butterfly cakes; bake simple small vanilla cupcakes like the ones I used for tiramisu cupcakes, cut circle from the top of the cooled cake, cut that circle in half to form "wings". Fill the cakes with pure or clotted cream and freshly made raspberry jam, position the "wings", dust with icing sugar. Pretty cakes for afternoon tea or children's parties. 

    Wednesday
    Dec092009

    Cupcakes Cases, Liners, Papers & Wrappers

    December's Pick

    Cupcake liners can act as an inspiration, just be "pretty" or match your theme.
    These paper liners from Fancy Flours fill all the above criteria. Imagine your blue, white & sliver Christmas theme with cupcakes baked in the blue liners, add billowing white frosting, a little sparkle... gorgeous! 
    Pack size: 45
    Colours: blue, red, pink, yellow, brown, white, green & light blue. 
    The liners are from Fancy Flours one of the best sources for cupcake cases/liner on the net. 
    Sunday
    Nov012009

    Chocolate Black Forest Pavlovas

             Chocolate Black Forest Pavlova with chocolate sauce

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    Love the "retro" of a black forest cake, ditto these chocolate mini pavlovas with the hidden chocolate centre and morello cherry top.  Hope you enjoy them too :) 

    Morello cherries make a lovely addition to the batter of dark chocolate cupcakes, studding a sweet focaccia or as in today's posting topping a chocolate pavlova. If you are in fresh cherry season, fresh pitted cherries poached in a little sugar syrup can substitute for the Morello cherries if desired.

    Ingredients (serves 4)

    2 eggwhites

    pinch cream of tartar

    1/2 cup caster sugar (superfine)

    1 tablespoon dark dutch process cocoa powder (sifted)

    1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

    Chocolate Sauce

    125g (5.3oz) chopped good quality dark chocolate

    125 ml (half cup) of thickened cream

    2 tsp Kirsch (optional)

    Topping

    1 jar *morello cherries in syrup

    2 tsp kirsch (optional)

    125ml (1/2 cup) thickened cream 

    Dark chocolate grated or curls to decorate

    Method
    . Preheat oven to 120C. Draw four 7cm (2.75 inch) circles on non stick baking paper, reverse paper so ink lines will be facing downwards when you use it to line your baking tray. 
    . Using an electric mixer, beat eggwhites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat until meringue is thick and glossy. Add cocoa & vanilla. Beat until just combined.
    . Spoon meringue onto lined baking tray, using circles as a guide.  Bake for 30 minutes. Reduce oven to 120C. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until meringue is dry and crisp. Turn off oven and jar door open a little with the handle of a wooden spoon. Allow to cool completely in oven.

    Place chocolate in a bowl. Place cream in a small pan over medium heat and bring to just below boiling point. Pour over chocolate, then stir until smooth. Stir is kirsch if using.  Let cool until it thickens slighty, break hole in the top center of each pavlova and put a spoonful of chocolate sauce.  

    Whip cream with an electric beater until medium stiff peaks.

    In a separate small bowl, add the Kirsch to 2 tablespoons of syrup from the jarred Morello cherries. Swirl of little of syrup through the cream, spoon onto the  tops of pavlovas (you may have some leftover), top with whole Morello cherries and decorate with chocolate curls and serve with any leftover cream, syrup and chocolate sauce.

    Inside the pavlova, chocolate sauce with chocolatey marshmallow with crisp sugary shell.

    Meringue base recipe adapted from SuperFood Ideas magazines Chocolate Pavlova Nests Nov 2005

    Happy Baking :)

    You might also be interested in POP POP yes bubble wrap chocolate!

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