Friday, 27 January 2012

Adorable Buttercream Panda Cupcake

 Oh yes, it had to be done!

After I fell hopelessly in love with last weeks adorable grizzly bear cupcakes...

I knew I had to make more, they were just so darn cute!

I decided to make an adorable buttercream panda cupcake.  The design was very similar to the grizzly bear only this time I used half a dark chocolate button for each of the ears, piping over them with black buttercream.  I also added the eyes first, after applying only a thin layer of buttercream to the cupcake, I then built up the bears face around them.

The cuteness is killing me!

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Cranberry & Pistachio Biscotti Recipe

I was just about to start another cupcake post when I realised that it was actually high time for a recipe post instead. 

In the last few weeks I have been baking biscotti almost daily at the bakery, selecting and perfecting recipes and flavours for one of my trade customers.

This Cranberry and Pistachio Biscotti is one of my favourites.  You can play around with the flavour, reducing the cranberries and adding some chopped white chocolate in their place.  You could always omit the cranberries and pistachios all together adding chocolate and hazelnuts instead. 

In fact the options for biscotti are limitless, you can add all sorts of dried fruit, nuts and spices to this recipe, just be sure to keep the quantities the same, this biscotti is packed with nuts and fruits, any more would just be overkill. 

Cranberry & Pistachio Biscotti

Makes around 30 biscuits

240g plain flour
175g caster sugar, plus extra for rolling the dough
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
zest of 1 orange
zest half a lemon
1 vanilla pod
2 medium eggs
100g pistachios, roughly chopped
75g dried cranberries, roughly chopped

1. Preheat the oven to 175C.  Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together into a large mixing bowl.

  2.  Split the vanilla pod lengthwise and scrape out the seeds, add the vanilla seeds to the flour mixture along with the orange and lemon zest.  Use your fingers to rub the vanilla and zest into the flour mixture, ensuring everything is evenly distributed.

3.  Make a well in the centre of the mixing bowl and add both eggs.  Using your hands, work everything into a dough.  Add the chopped pistachios and cranberries and mix to combine.

4. Sprinkle a clean work surface with caster sugar, turn out the dough and shape the dough into two small long logs, rolling them in the sugar.  The biscotti will expand quite significantly whilst cooking.

5. Bake the logs on a baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper in the centre of the oven for around 25 minutes.

6. Remove the biscotti logs from the oven and turn the temperature down to 120C.  Cut the logs at an angle into 1cm slices.  Return the slices to the oven and bake for 10 minutes, turn all the slices over and bake for another 10 minutes on the other side.  Remove the biscotti from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool.

Store your biscotti in an airtight jar or container and it will keep for up to one month.

Right, I'm off to update my poor neglected recipe index!

Have a lovely evening everyone. x