I love this time of year, you can keep your warm sunny days filled with sandy beaches and ice cream cones. I love those freezing cold days, with skies so dark it feels like dusk at noon, torrential rain and thunderstorms, days to snuggle up on the sofa in fluffy socks drinking hot chocolate and reading Fall and Christmas magazines from years gone by.
I love the flavours of Fall, toffee, apple, maple, cinnamon, pear and pumpkin. I love the beautiful bakes and heartwarming dinners and I especially love that it's Halloween, bonfire night, my birthday and Christmas all in a short three months!
Fall has finally fallen and I couldn't be happier. As well as preparing for Halloween, I am already in full Christmas mode, with a whole new range of Christmas characters, cakes and cupcakes that I can't wait to show you. It is taking everything I've got not to post anything Christmassy until after Halloween!
These beautiful Fall cupcakes are dusted with gold lustre dust and topped with pretty autumnal sugar leaves. The delicate leaves are also dusted with lustre dust, using a range of beautiful autumnal shades.
Not only are these cupcakes perfect for any fall celebration but they also make a beautiful and stylish choice for decorating Thanksgiving cupcakes.
I love biscotti and what is better than biscotti...?
Adorable mini biscotti of course!
This recipe is super simple and can be adapted in so many different ways. Omit the apricot and add chopped pistachios and dried cranberries instead, or up the orange zest and add dark chocolate chips. I also think dried blueberries and white chocolate chips would be gorgeous. You can pretty much add any dry ingredients, so go crazy.
This biscotti recipe makes beautifully crisp, crumbly biscotti, the biscotti crumbles as soon as you bite the cookie, so no rock hard, break your teeth biscotti here.
I always bake loads of biscotti at Christmas and give them to people in big glass jars, biscotti will keep for up to one month, so it makes a fantastic gift.
Apricot & Almond Biscotti
115g unsalted butter, room temperature
75g vanilla sugar (or caster sugar), plus extra for rolling
95g light brown sugar
zest of half an orange
2 large eggs
250g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
75g ground almonds
75g dried apricot, chopped
Preheat your oven to 190C (375F).
In a large mixing bowl beat the butter with an electric until creamy. Gradually add both sugars beating continuously until fully combined. Add the orange zest and beat to combine.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and ground almonds. Add to the butter mixture, beating at a low speed just until blended. Fold in the dried chopped apricots.
Sprinkle a clean work surface with vanilla sugar (or caster sugar). Divide the dough into three equal pieces and roll each portion into a log around 1.5 inches wide and 1 inch high.
Place all three logs onto a large, lightly greased baking tray, leaving space for the logs to expand.
Bake the logs for around 20 minutes or until they feel firm and dry.
Remove the biscotti logs from the oven and cut each log on a slight diagonal into slices.
Place the biscotti slices onto a clean, ungreased baking tray and bake for around 4 minutes; turn all the biscotti over and bake for another 4 minutes. The biscotti should feel totally dry in the centre but not completely hard, the cookies will firm up once cool.
Remove the biscotti to a wire rack to cool completely.
I think these might just be the coolest cake decorations I have ever made!
I must admit I haven't even seen Star Wars (I know, it's a travesty!) but I will have to watch the movies very soon because I have fallen head over heels in love with Yoda! Yes Yoda...
That little face is just the sweetest face of all time!
When you look at the dark side, careful you must be ... for the dark side looks back. - Yoda
Yoda is so wise!
I made these decorations as a special order and my client absolutely loved them.
With home baking going from strength to strength I am receiving more orders for decorations and toppers than ever before.
As you can see, these Star Wars Lego Characters are very highly detailed and I have to say they were not simple to make. Each one stands at just 2.5 inches tall and as always I wanted to include as much detail as possible.
Apart from Yoda, who is just perfect in my eyes, I also love the Stormtrooper's guns and the variations between each Stormtrooper. Darth Vader's billowing cape and scary face are pretty awesome too, I can almost hear his breath....
This was actually my very first fondant Gorilla so he was really fun to create, the most difficult part was making his little hands and feet, I had to have a few goes but I'm glad I persevered because the hands and feet add so much character.
I'll be back with another post really soon, I've got lots of yummy recipes coming up including a glorious layer cake and chocolate brownie cookies.