Friday, 30 April 2010
I had so much fun making these marshmallows.
I have never been a huge fan of Marshmallows and I only made these because I had promised Baby Love some Rice Krispie Squares and I didn't have any Marshmallows in the house.
I am going to have to reevaluate my position on Marshmallows because these are nothing like shop bought, they are unbelievably delicious, light, fluffy and gooey.
I'm going to have to make some homemade hot chocolate to go with these tonight.
Rachel Allen Home Cooking
450g caster sugar
2 x 7g sachets powdered gelatine
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp sunflower oil
2 tbsp icing sugar
2 tbsp cornflour
1. Pour the sugar and 175ml (6fl oz) cold water into a heavy-based saucepan, place on a medium–high heat and bring to a rolling boil, stirring all the time until the sugar dissolves. Reduce the heat to low and allow to simmer for about 15–20 minutes without stirring, until a sugar thermometer dipped into the mixture reads 113°C. Alternatively, check that the soft-ball stage has been reached.
2. Pour the gelatine and 100ml cold water into the bowl of an electric food mixer and leave for about 10 minutes to soften before stirring to loosen up. As soon as the sugar syrup reaches the correct temperature, begin to whisk the gelatine in the food mixer on a very low setting and then carefully pour in the syrup in a slow, steady stream, whisking all until it is fully incorporated. Add the vanilla extract, increase the whisking speed and leave to beat for about 20 minutes until thick, cool and beginning to set.
5. Meanwhile, grease a 20cm square cake tin with some of the sunflower oil, line with parchment paper and grease again. Toss the icing sugar and cornflour together and place in a sieve. Dust a little into the tin to evenly coat the base and sides, reserving the rest for later.
This picture was taken just before I stopped beating the mixture.
Thursday, 29 April 2010
I am a huge fan of Bakerella and have been meaning to try her cake pops for ages now. The lovely DollyMix Fits posted a gorgeous Bakerella Oreo Truffle recipe earlier this week, her truffles looked fantastic and so I vowed to make some cake pops/truffles/bites as soon as possible.
I made Dulce de Leche Brownies earlier today and I had some candy melts lurking in the cupboard, so I decided to go for it and get stuck in to some brownie bites.
These are unbelievable delicious, so delicious in fact that I could happily eat all of them. The Dulce de Leche makes these super special but I'm sure they would be fantastic with normal brownies as a base, or in fact any cake you have lying around, mixed with any frosting you have lying around.
Dip each ball into the candy melts;
I just chucked each one in and tossed them about until covered.
Remove gently with a tablespoon.
Let the ball roll off the spoon onto greaseproof paper and sprinkle!
Check out Bakerella's site, she has a million and one cake pop recipes and ideas, I'm dying to make the Red Velvet Cake Balls and the Cupcake Pops.◦
It is a Dulce de Leche day.
David Lebovitz posted a picture of these brownies along with his Dulce de Leche recipe. I knew before I had even started to make the caramel that I would be making these.
Like a typical cake designer I had far to much fun making swirly patterns....
Very pretty yes, but consequently my brownies had more of a caramel swirled top than pockets of caramel throughout like David's. Despite this however they are still absolutely, unbelievably, bloomin' delicious!
Next time though I will spend less time swirling and more time dolloping.
Dulce de Leche Brownies
8 tablespoons (115g) salted or unsalted butter, cut into pieces
6 ounces (170g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/4 cup (25g) unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
3 large eggs
1 cup (200g) sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup (140g) flour
optional: 1 cup (100 g) toasted pecans or walnuts, coarsely chopped
1 cup Dulce de Leche
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (175 C).
Line a 8-inch (20 cm) square pan with a long sheet of aluminum foil that covers the bottom and reaches up the sides. If it doesn't reach all the way up and over all four sides, cross another sheet of foil over it, making a large cross with edges that overhang the sides. Grease the bottom and sides of the foil with a bit of butter or non-stick spray.
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Add the chocolate pieces and stir constantly over very low heat until the chocolate is melted. Remove from heat and whisk in the cocoa powder until smooth. Add in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the sugar, vanilla, then the flour. Mix in the nuts, if using.
Scrape half of the batter into the prepared pan. Here comes the fun part.
Drop one-third of the Dulce de Leche, evenly spaced, over the brownie batter, then drag a knife through to swirl it slightly. Spread the remaining brownie batter over, then drop spoonfuls of the remaining Dulce de Leche in dollops over the top of the brownie batter. Use a knife to swirl the Dulce de Leche slightly.
Bake for 35 to 45 minutes. The brownies are done when the center feels just-slightly firm. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
Today wasn't my best Macaron day, you can see my 'foot' or pied is a little off. That being said flavour wise I am seriously happy, the cocoa powder / powdered vanilla combo works brilliantly and tastes really caramely and when you throw Dulce de Leche into the mix these Macarons taste seriously close to the ones I had in Paris. I will definitley make these again on a better Macaron day.
I adapted this recipe from Hisako Ogita: I Love Macarons
For the Macarons:
2/3 cup (3 ounces / 85grams) ground almonds / almond flour
11/2 cups (5.25 ounces / 150 grams) powdered sugar
1 teaspoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon powdered vanilla sugar
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
5 tablespoons / 65 grams granulated sugar
Cut a sheet of parchment paper to fit your baking tray. Draw 1-inch (2.5cm) circles on the paper, spacing them at least 1/2-inch (1.5cm) apart. This will be your guide for squeezing out the macaron batter.
In a food processor, grind together the almonds, powdered vanilla sugar, cocoa powder and powdered sugar together to a fine powder. Sift the mixture through a medium-mesh sieve twice. Set aside.
In a stainless-steel mixing bowl, beat egg whites on high speed until they are foamy. Gradually add the granulated sugar to the egg whites whilst beating.
Add the vanilla and continue beating, when the meringue is stiff, firm, and has a glossy texture, it is done.
Add half the sifted almond and powdered sugar mixture. Stir with a spatula while scooping it up from the bottom of the bowl.
Add the rest of the almond flour and mix lightly in a circular motion.
Macaronnage: When you run out of flour, press and and spread the batter against the bowl's sides. Scoop the batter from the bottom and turn it upside down. Repeat this process 15 times.
Pointer: If the macaronnage step is repeated less than 10 times, the baked macarons will lack luster. However, when it is repeated more than 20 times oil stains may remain on the pastry's surface when the macarons are baked.
Macaronner: When the batter becomes nicely firm and drips slowly as you scoop it with a spatula, the mixture is done.
Transfer batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 1cm round tip. Squeeze the batter into the centre of your drawn out circles, make small circles as the batter will spread out.
Rap the baking tray firmly against the counter. This helps the macarons hold their rounded shape and helps the pied, or little 'foot', to form.
Dry the batter at room temperature, uncovered, for 15 minutes. A slight crust should form on top of the macarons.
If the batter circles do not stick to your fingers when you touch them, the drying process is complete. On a dry sunny day, the drying process takes approximately 30 minutes.
Use two trays one inside the other to prevent the macarons puffing up to much and cracking.
Place the baking trays in the centre of the oven. Preheat to 375 F (190C)
Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until slightly crisp and crackled on top.
When the macarons are done, remove the baking sheet from the oven and cool on a wire rack. When the macarons are completely cooled, remove them from the baking sheet.
Sandwhich together with Dulce de Leche.
Oh thank you God!
That's about all I have to say about this amazing Dulce de Leche recipe I found on David Lebovitz's site.
Creamy, Smooth, Sweet, Delicious, Scrumptious, Divine, Heavenly, Sticky, Silky, Rich, Velvety, Blissful, Luscious, Delectable, Mouthwatering, Flawless, Phenomenal and Exceptional.
Just a few more words to describe this amazing caramel.
Dulce de Leche is usually associated with Argentina and Mexico, however you will now find this delicious caramel all across France, the French however call it "Confiture de Lait" and spread it on leftover baguettes for the previous nights dinner, with butter and dip into their morning café au lait.
David Lebovitz is a genius if you don't already know his blog then check it out, not only is it full to the brim of fantastic recipes but Lebovitz is also a brilliant writer. His description of his first taste of Dulce de Leche is priceless, spooning the sweet and silky caramel into his mouth straight from the can.
I am so glad I found this recipe and even happier that I brought a few cans of condensed milk because I want to make one million and one Dulce de Leche desserts!
Dulce de Leche or Confiture de Lait
Adapted from The Perfect Scoop (Ten Speed Press)
Preheat the oven to 425° F (220° C).
Pour one can (400 gr/14 ounces) of sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk) into a glass pie plate or shallow baking dish. Stir in a few flecks of sea salt.
Set the pie plate within a larger pan, such as a roasting pan, and add hot water until it reaches halfway up the side of the pie plate.
Cover the pie plate snugly with aluminum foil and bake for 1 to 1¼ hours. (Check a few times during baking and add more water to the roasting pan as necessary).
Once the Dulce de Leche is nicely browned and caramelized, remove from the oven and let cool. Once cool, whisk until smooth.
Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Warm gently in a warm water bath or microwave oven before using.
Here are some Dulce de Leche recipe ideas:
I think I am going to make some Dulce de Leche caramel Macarons today and then Dulce de Leche cupcakes, Dulce de Leche brownies, Dulce de Leche Whoopie Pies and then Dulce De Leche Cheesecake Squares!◦
Wednesday, 28 April 2010
NATALIE WILEMAN~FORMER GLORY
No site as yet but I will be raiding Natalie's amazing vintage closset very soon and posting lost of her gorgeous vintage clothing and custom dresses.
CHRISSIE NICHOLSON WILD~CURVE COUTURE
Here is a quick one of the cupcake stands, as soon as I get the pictures of me, my cupcakes and the Mayor of Brighton I'll post it. Very excited indeed!
Tuesday, 27 April 2010
This is not my first attempt at whoopie pies but this recipe is by far the best I have tried. I am really really pleased with it. I found this recipe at the fabulous Donal' blog Good Mood Food , the whoopies in his pictures have perfectly smooth tops which is exactly what I was after. The last recipe I tried resulted in cracked tops like a chocolate cupcake and I wasn't happy. The only problem I could foresee with this recipe was that Donal's whoopies looked a little flat so I added just a smidgen extra baking powder. My whoopies therefore did puff up just a little more, yay!
The filling is good but not Buttercream Bakery good, so next time I think I will use my own recipe. The peanut butter frosting from my last whoopie pie post was, in my opinion much better.
I piped my whoopies as usual, Donal's spoon method seems a bit of a palaver. I decided to do two different sizes big cookie size and small cookie size, I topped my smaller whoopies with milk chocolate ganache.
Chocolate Whoopie Pies.
Makes 16 whoopie pies
270g of flour
5 tablespoons of good quality cocoa powder
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
250ml of buttermilk
250g icing sugar
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
A pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4 and line two baking sheets.
Combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
In another bowl, using an electric whisk, cream the sugar and the butter until pale and fluffy. Add in the egg, mixing again to combine.
Slowly add the buttermilk and vanilla extract and dry ingredients to the bowl, in batches, mixing until everything is combined and you are left with a thick batter.
Spoon (or pipe) rounded teaspoons of the batter onto lined baking sheets, allowing space for them to spread while cooking. Place in the oven for approximately 15 minutes or until the tops have puffed up and spring back when lightly pressed.
While the mini pies halves are baking, prepare the filling by beating together all the ingredients until you are left with a nice smooth mix.
When they are cooked, remove the mini pie halves from the baking sheets with a metal spatula and place on wire rack to cool.
When the mini pies halves have cooled, spread a rounded teaspoon of the creamy filling on the flat side and sandwich together with another.
I highly recommend this recipe, I halved it with no problems at all and the whoopies were deliciously moist and chocolaty. This is definitely going to be my go to whoopie pie recipe from now on and I would like to send a huge thank you to the lovely Mrs Linda Daunt for sending her mother in laws fantastic recipe to The Good Mood Food Blog, these truly are scrumptious and I am so pleased I found I found it.
Sunday, 25 April 2010
Here are the finished Alice In Wonderland Cupcakes.
I am super excited about the fashion show later, thirty V.I.P.'s, including the Mayor of Brighton and Heather Mills will be given one of my cupcakes. I hope Ms Mills likes my Vegan cupcakes!
I am very happy with how they look and am now, as always having palpitations about actually getting them to the venue in one piece!
I think 'Drink Me' might be my favourite but I keep changing my mind.
I will be sure to take loads of pictures of the show and post them a.s.a.p!
Saturday, 24 April 2010
Annie Leibovitz is by far my favourite fashion photographer, her whimsical, fairytale style is stunning and her shoot interestingly scenic as if a still from a movie rather than a photograph.
Leibovitz worked for the Rolling Stone magazine until 1983, her intimate photographs of celebrities helped define the 'Rolling Stone look'.
In 2007 Walt Disney hired her to do a series of photographs with celebrities in playing various fairytale roles and scenes, for Disney Parks "Year of a Million Dreams" campaign.
Annie Leibovitz's fashion photography is also often featured in Vogue and Vanity Fair.
Beauty & The Beast
Hansel and Gretel feat. Lady Gaga and Lily Cole
Alice In Wonderland
Killers Kill, Dead Men Die
Friday, 23 April 2010
I love fashion, I love cakes and I love pastries so when I see pictures like these I can't contain myself.
These images are pretty old now, they featured in Korean Vogue last year but as far as I'm concerned are far too beautiful not to share again and again.
I spy Macarons......