Again I know not baking related but I am super proud of these. I got a make your own Christmas cracker kit from Spotlight and made they for my little brother and my partner!
Sunday, December 23, 2012
I made these to take into work; chocolate chip cookies (they are Santa’s favourite) and peppermint macarons with white chocolate ganache filling.
The cookie recipe I got from The Joy of Baking. This is my go to recipe and the macaron recipes I got from Cristina Valencia and the ganache recpie I got from Inspired by Michelle Cake Designs and nicely packaged in a box thanks to Ikea!
These gorgeous cupcake papers were a Christmas present from my partners’ sister. They look great with the vanilla cupcakes.
Aren’t they beautiful!
Instead of having all the same cupcakes the same I did different toppers in lots of three. "The Ho Ho Ho’s” were two pieces of fondant in complementary colours or in this case Christmas colours that were layered. On the top layer I cut out the letters so the bottom colour would come through.
As for "the Santa Hats” I moulded them out of fondant and pipped frosting to look like hair and attached them on. Just a tip if you are going to be colouring your own fondant us a gel or powder colour. The colours are a lot more vibrant and you don’t make the huge mess that I did with the liquid colour. Also just for a bit more whimsy I dusted the white with lustre dust.
For “the presents” I had square silicone moulds that I drizzled with green chocolate first and then filled in with milk chocolate. When it had set I pipped on a little bow on each. To make sure they stayed I dipped the whole cupcake in red vanilla frosting and popped on the topper straight away.
I had some fondant texture mats which I got with my cake decorating magazines, which I thought, would be great as baubles toppers. I rolled out white fondant and pressed the mat on until it imprinted. Then I cut out the fondant into a circle that would cover the top of the cupcake and attached it with royal icing. The swirl print ones I dusted with lustre dust and the diamond one I placed a silver cachous on the corners.
Aother thing I got in my cake decorating magazines was this one stencil that looked like I snowflake. With very thick royal icing I stencilled on the snowflake on rolled out fondant. After it had dried I cut the right size circles out and put them on top of the cupcake using royal icing to hold it down. By this stage the fondant will harden so it wont mould to the cupcake but that’s ok, It still looks pretty.
Lastly “the star atop the tree”, I used the same impression mat as the baubles but this time cut out little stars. Green royal icing made the top of the tree (just a simple star tip swirl will do) and when it was about half dry I put the stars on.
Friday, December 21, 2012
These tarts were another “see what you can find in the fridge” creation. I had tart pastry left over from the lemon tarts, don’t worry it was still usable, as well as strawberries and cream cheese from the weekend before. Add a little help from Martha and we're cooking.
This recipe I used I fumbled upon while looking for strawberry tarts that only used what I already had. Obviously I used my pastry so I can’t comment on the pastry she recommends but mine had more of a crunch to it and I think it complemented the soft light centre well.
Since the pastry had been sitting in the freezer it was a little dry when I was kneading it so I added a little milk until it was nice and doughy again. Also I was just a little short on cream cheese so I used Tofutti to make up the difference and no one was the wiser! As usual I made it in the tartlet tray and they came out perfect and because the pastry was chocolate I drizzled a little white chocolate on the finished product just coz’ it Christmas.
And just cos’ its Christmas I shaped it into a tree!
Thursday, December 20, 2012
Saturday, December 15, 2012
Yes I know Halloween was over a month ago and I may or may not have forgotten to blog this (oops) but better late then never right? Anyhow I am sorry and here they are, my very late Halloween cupcakes.
See these were made under huge time constraint and so I went with the “look at what’s already in your cupboard and decorate” method and all completed in two hours flat!
First up, "BOO!" Since I made smaller cupcakes than usual all three letters wouldn’t fit on one so I split them up. I have always liked the fondant finish on cupcakes and even though it was my first go these were super easy to make and turned out really neat. Frost the cupcake lightly and then attach the fondant cut out. I also suggest cutting out the fondant at the very last second so the fondant does'nt start to harden.
Now if it is cooler this will be enough to make it stick but since Melbourne is temperamental I found out later on that frosting does not appreciate spikes in temperature so if in doubt use something firmer like royal icing. I attached the letters with a little bit of water and held it there for a bit to make sure it stayed.
For the classic "spider web" cupcake I didn’t have enough time to make an edible spiders to go with it but I think it’s still very effective. I coloured white frosting green, for a more menacing look, and warmed it a little so I could dip the cupcake right in instead of fiddling with a specular. The dipping gives it a cleaner look when it dries. However once you’ve dipped you have to be quick, draw a spiral with black writing icing and with a toothpick drag away from the centre. Here you have it:
Nothing says Halloween like creepy crawlies especially when they taste this good. For the “worms in the mud” cupcakes I frosted the cupcakes with chocolate frosting, sprinkled Oreo crumbs, halved gummy worms and stuck them in the cupcake. It was literally that easy!
Ah and then there were the “fangs”. My love affair with vampires began thanks to Ann Rice and so naturally vampire fangs had to be on my cupcakes. Again I went with the fondant finish on the cupcake, white offcourse, and then got some teeth candy and sniped the last teeth into points. To add that little bit more I coloured some frosting red and dipped the teeth in and placed it on the cupcake.
All the “mummies” required were two MnM’s as eyes and a piping tip with a smooth flat side. I used a basketweave tip and making sure that the flat side was on top pipe on the bandages. The beauty is that with the mummy the piping doesn’t have to be particularly tidy or symmetrical because hey it’s a mummy! Just make sure to go over the eyes so they stay on.
The “pumpkin patch” took the longest just because I made the pumpkin topper. For the grass I used green frosting and a large star tip. Again it doesn’t have to be perfect, it just needs to look like grass. For the pumpkin I rolled an orange ball of fondant, flattened the bottom so it wouldn’t roll and with a skewer poked a hole on the top and indented the sides to make it a bit more realistic. With a little green fondant I made a few vines and Voila!