Thursday, April 17, 2014

How to make pretty chocolate Easter eggs

(How to decorate pretty Easter eggs tutorial down below)

Easter is almost here so I thought it would be fun to decorate some homemade Easter eggs.


These eggs are for non-chocolatier people like me. No fancy tempering the chocolate and the edges are a bit messy.

But what they lack in perfection they make up in charm and the kids sure didn't notice any problems with them.


I made a few in dusty pink and soft mint green, decorated them with some sugar flowers and then bribed the kids with the eggs so I could get a couple of nice pictures.


Oh how sweet is that old basket they are holding, I've had it for years and years. I may have even got it from the Easter Bunny when I was a little girl :)


The Destroyer even joined in, see that is I can believe I have to hold these eggs when I really want to be eating them face.

Easter egg moulds can be found for a very reasonable price in discount and dollar stores around Easter.

How to make pretty Easter eggs
These eggs are quite delicate and not really suitable for very warm weather, if you do a double layer of chocolate they will be a bit more stable. Can be made 1 week ahead of time and stored in a cool place.

Here is a quick free video tutorial showing how I made them, for written step by step instructions, plus links to the fondant flower see below:


Ingredients and Equipment

White chocolate melts  (US - these are actually white chocolate not candy melts)
Oil based food color (or gel food color and Flo-Coat)*
#optional - Oil based raspberry essence
Egg Mould
Sugar Flowers (see below for links to tutorials)
Royal Icing

How to make Blue fondant Flowers Tutorial CLICK HERE for link
How to make Easy Sugar Blossoms CLICK HERE for link

Place the white chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and melt at medium low heat in the microwave for 2 minutes. Make sure the heat is low otherwise the chocolate may seize and become unusable. Remove from microwave and stir for 30 seconds. If required return to microwave and heat at medium low heat for another 1 minute, then remove and stir until smooth. Continue until all the chocolate is melted.


To color the chocolate add a drop or 2 of oil based food color. You can not use regular water based food color* or the chocolate will sieze and become unusable.

*To make gel food color suitable to use with chocolate, add 1 drop food color to 11 drops flo-coat, mix until well combined and then add to the melted chocolate.

Optional - If you would like to flavor the chocolate add a few drops of the raspberry oil essence.

Spoon melted chocolate into the egg mould, using the back of your spoon to ensure the chocolate comes up to the edge and then tap sharply on the workbench quite a few time to bring any air bubbles out. Most of the chocolate will have pooled in the center of the mould, so use the back of your spoon to push it back up to the edges making the chocolate coverage as even as possible. Run a knife around the top to ensure that the edge of the egg is even.


Pop the mold into the freezer for a few minutes until the chocolate is completely set.

Remove the mould from the fridge, gently pull the mould away from the chocolate at the edges and then turn the mould over. The chocolate should release easily. If it happens to crack don't worry just remelt the chocolate and start again.


Using royal icing attach flowers or decorations as desired. I added 3 large blue fondant flowers and 3 smaller sugar blossoms to these pink eggs.


Gently join the eggs together using extra melted chocolate, the edges may look a little uneven, you can carefully press extra chocolate into the gaps rubbing over the top to smooth the chocolate, or add ribbon to hide the seam.


Linda Vandermeer is a blogger, baker, maker and author of the cookbook ' Sweets on a Stick': More than 150 kid friendly recipes for cakes, candies, cookies and pies on the go!. Published in the US the book is available at most online book stores.

Affiliate links may earn me money and contribute to supporting this blog.

Original Ideas, photography and recipes by Linda Vandermeer do not reuse without permission. 



Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Easy to make Blue Fondant Flowers


It's no secret I like to decorating with sweet blossoms and flowers and especially these easy to make embossed blossoms.

I love to make them in this teal blue color, they add such a lovely pop of color, and the best thing is you can make them weeks ahead of time and have them ready to put in place making decorating a cinch.

The step by step photo instructions are below plus I've even made a super fast YouTube tutorial up so you can watch me.

 

DIY Fondant Flowers

Equipment and Ingredients

 
White Fondant
Teal Fondant
cornflour (cornstarch)
Small plastic rolling pin
5 petal blossom cutter
Flower veiner or embosser (see link below mine was Sunflower Sugar Art Blossom set)
Clean bush and water or edible glue
flower formers (I use a small artists palette)


Dust a workbench with a little cornflour (cornstarch) and knead the fondant until pliable.

Redust the workbench if necessary and roll out the teal fondant until around 1mm (16") or so in thickness. You may like to lift the fondant and turn a little to ensure it is not sticking.



Using the blossom cutter, press into the thinly rolled fondant to cut out the blossom shapes.

Place the cut out shapes onto the top of one side of the flower embosser/veiner. Place the other side of the embosser on the top and gently press down around the edges. Note if you press too hard you will press through the fondant.

Carefully remove the embossed blossom from the press.

Dust the flower formers (paint palette) with a tiny amount of cornflour (cornstarch) and place the shaped fondant blossoms into them to set/dry.


Roll 3 small balls from the white fondant for each flower and adhere 3 small balls of fondant in the center of each flower with a very small amount of water.

Once dry the flowers can be used immediately or stored for a number of weeks until required. I store mine in airtight containers. Some people like to pop little packets of food safe silica gel in the containers.

Linda Vandermeer is a blogger, baker, maker and author of the cookbook ' Sweets on a Stick': More than 150 kid friendly recipes for cakes, candies, cookies and pies on the go!. Published in the US the book is available at most online book stores.

Affiliate links may earn me money and contribute to supporting this blog.

Original Ideas, photography and recipes by Linda Vandermeer do not reuse without permission. 


Sunday, April 13, 2014

10 fun DIY homemade Easter treats

I've rounded up 10 of my favourite Easter inspired treats from the Bubble and Sweet blog. From a show stopping ruffle cake and delectable macaron treats, to easy make fudge and muffins there is sure to be something fun and delicious to tempt everyone.

To find the recipes in the original blog posts click onto the links under the photo's.

(Clockwise from top left)
Spring Inspired Easter Cake with recipe for Lemon and Poppy Seed cake included (CLICK HERE)
Blue speckled Robin egg cake truffles (CLICK HERE)
Creme Egg macaron recipe (CLICK HERE)
Easter egg macaron inspiration includes link to macaron recipe (CLICK HERE)
Pastel Rainbow Ruffle Cake (Ruffle decorating Instructions CLICK HERE)
Bunny food fudge (RECIPE CLICK HERE)

(Clockwise from top left)
Hot cross bun cake pops (Instructions CLICK HERE)
Easter inspired nest cupcake toppers (Instructions CLICK HERE)
Coconut Easter Eggs (Recipe CLICK HERE)
Chocolate Chip Hot Cross Bun Muffin (RECIPE CLICK HERE)



Linda Vandermeer is a blogger, baker, maker and author of the cookbook ' Sweets on a Stick': More than 150 kid friendly recipes for cakes, candies, cookies and pies on the go!. Published in the US the book is available at most online book stores.

Original Ideas, photography and recipes by Linda Vandermeer do not reuse without permission. 




Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Bubble and Sweet in my home - Pink scales

Pretty pink scales from Mollegaarden

I've decided to start posting about some of the items I love in my home and kitchen on a regular basis, but don't worry I am keeping up my regular recipe posts.

I get quite a few emails and messages asking me where I get stuff, almost as many as the comments and questions about decorating cakes and cookies.

So I'm starting off with this swoonworthy pink set of scales I picked up earlier in the year from one of my current favourite shops Mollegaarden.

They are made by a company called Bloomingville and also come in aqua, white, silver plus stacks of other colors. Yup I totally wish I could have an aqua and white one as well.


The basket pops off for easy cleaning and pouring your stuff into wherever it needs to go. When it arrives in it's box you need to screw the holder on the top before you start using it. It has an adjuster to set the weight under the weighing basket an it goes up to 5kg.

So a little problem if your from the US yup it's in metric, well that's not a problem if your making recipes from this blog 'cause I use metric and imperial. But to try and help you out I did find these ones on Amazon in the US just no pink ones:



Anyhoo I think you could totally get over the whole metric thing just for the looks, seriously set it up next to your KitchenAid and everyone will think your a baking pro.

Sigh, I kinda wish I had a pink KitchenAid to go with it but my KitchenAid is actually so old (and still working) that they only came in 3 colours when I bought it.

Raspberry Chocolate Chip Cookies - RECIPE CLICK HERE

Yup you can see what I'm talking about in the photo's above, just sitting in the background looking all pretty and functional.

Happy baking, make sure to let me know if you've seen anything in my posts you would like to know about.

* Note the little scoop did not come with the scales.

This post was not sponsored.


Linda Vandermeer is a blogger, baker, maker and author of the cookbook ' Sweets on a Stick': More than 150 kid friendly recipes for cakes, candies, cookies and pies on the go!. Published in the US the book is available at most online book stores.

Original Ideas, photography and recipes by Linda Vandermeer do not reuse without permission. 


Saturday, April 5, 2014

Bunny food fudge


Oh my goodness I love bunnies. LOVE THEM, they are sooo cute! But sadly they are banned as a pet in my state, I guess 'cause word has it they breed like rabbits.

So no bunnies for me :(


But I'm not one to dwell on stuff I can't have so I've moved on and I created a recipe for bunny food fudge instead.

The fudge is a white chocolate and marshmallow base which I have flavored with a little raspberry.

And then colored yellow - I know, bit weird......I guess you can color the fudge a light pink instead of yellow or leave the raspberry out ( it will still taste good without the raspberry flavor). But it worked for me like this, I like raspberry and the yellow looked so pretty with my bunny ♥.



I've used the crispy M&M Easter eggs from Australia for my fudge as that is what I had sitting around. In the US you can use the Speck-Tacular egg range for a similar result, or actually pretty much any Easter eggs you have on hand.

Of course as an extra bonus this fudge will be perfect after Easter to use up any left over eggs you may have laying around.


Bunny Food Fudge
Makes 20 large pieces or 60ish small pieces - the ones in the picture are large. Once cut M&M eggs can start to lose their 'crispness'. I store mine in an airtight container and cut pieces off as required.
 
200g (7oz) white marshmallows 
1 1/2 cup white sugar
2/3 cup evaporated milk (not low fat)
1/4 tsp salt
500 g (18 oz ) white chocolate chopped into very small pieces
1/2 tsp raspberry essence*
 few drops yellow food colour (I use gel food colour) 
packet Easter eggs (I used M & M speckled eggs with crispy centre)
1 cup marshmallows extra cut into quarters (or mini marshmallows) for top

*do a taste test as there is a big variance between different brand and types of essences I used raspberry oil concentrate and only added 1/4tsp.

Line a 20cm X 20cm (8" X 8") square tin with foil.

Place the white chocolate into a largish bowl and melt in microwave at 50% heat for 3 minutes. Allow to rest a couple of minutes and then stir until smooth.

Pop 200 grams (7oz) marshmallows, sugar, evaporated milk and salt into a saucepan on medium low heat, stir until the marshmallows melt. Stir the mixture over the heat for another 5 to 7 minutes, do not allow it to boil.


Pour the marshmallow mixture into the bowl with white chocolate, add raspberry essence and yellow food colour and mix well until combined and the mixture starts to thicken.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin using the back of the spoon to level the mixture until it looks pretty smooth.

Press in the extra marshmallows and the Easter eggs. Add as much or as little as you like and then lightly press them onto the fudge to ensure they stick.

Cover with plastic wrap and leave overnight to set.

Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.



Linda Vandermeer is a blogger, baker, maker and author of the cookbook ' Sweets on a Stick': More than 150 kid friendly recipes for cakes, candies, cookies and pies on the go!. Published in the US the book is available at most online book stores.

Original Ideas, photography and recipes by Linda Vandermeer do not reuse without permission. 


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Spring inspired Easter cake and Lemon and Poppyseed cake recipe



OK I know I normally go overboard with ruffles, and ribbons and well pretty much everything. But this time I decided to go simple.



Y'know and let the delicious lemon and poppy seed cake speak for itself.

I've popped the recipe for this cake below so you can try it out yourself. To decorate, just layer the cakes up pop on a crumb coat, make sure the top is even/flat and using a stiff butter cream apply the yellow butter cream around the edge with an offset spatula (or butter knife) using long even upwards strokes.

OK it's a little bit trickier than I made it sound but you get the picture.



I have a skewer in the center, and I chilled the cake in between adding each layer. Oh plus I cut off the brown edges of the cake so it looks nice in the picture (y'all don't have to do that).

Then 'cause it's Easter soon I added some little speckled chocolate eggs.

I'm hoping to pop up a youtube video soon making up a layer cake, I've just been an insy bit sick lately.

Oh and if simple is just not your thing then below is my Easter cake from a couple of years back


Lemon and poppyseed cake 
Cake in pictures baked in 6" tins. To make a cake as tall as the picture you will need 1 plus another 1/2 batch of this recipe which will make a total of 6 layers.  The cake can also be baked in one 8" tin for 1hr.

Cake in picture is filled with alternate layers of butter cream and  homemade lemon curd/ butter.
 
300g flour (10 5/8oz)
1 Tbsp (1 US Tbsp + 1 tsp) Baking powder
100 g (3 1/2 oz) almond meal (ground almond)
40 g (1 3/8oz) poppy seeds
170g (6oz) unsalted butter room temp
230g (8oz) caster sugar (or regular granulated white sugar)
Grated rind from 2 lemons
4 large eggs
170g (6oz) low fat yogurt (I used Chobani plain)
1/2 cup low fat milk

Line pans and preheat oven to 180 C (170 C fan forced) (350 F).

In large bowl sift together flour, baking powder and almond then mix in poppy seeds pop aside.

In a separate bowl combine milk and yogurt and set aside.


Using electric mixer cream  butter and sugar together at high speed until light and fluffy (a couple of minutes).

Reduce speed to medium low and mix in eggs one at a time, scraping down sides as required.  Add the lemon rind.


Reduce speed to low and add 1/3 of the flour mixture mixing until just combined. Scrap down sides and add half of the milk mixture once again mixing at low speed until just combined. Repeat process adding flour, milk and then finishing with the flour mixture.

Divide mixture evenly between 2 tins, place in the middle rack of preheated oven and bake for approx 50 mins or until the top is golden and a skewer inserted into cake comes out dry.




Linda Vandermeer is a blogger, baker, maker and author of the cookbook ' Sweets on a Stick': More than 150 kid friendly recipes for cakes, candies, cookies and pies on the go!. Published in the US the book is available at most online book stores.

Original Ideas, photography and recipes by Linda Vandermeer do not reuse without permission. 


Sunday, March 23, 2014

Raspberry and Brown Sugar Peach pancakes


Weekends are made for pancakes around here.

Pretty much most every Saturday I whip up a batch of easy mix pancakes (or the kids do), then we pop out a whole heap of toppings, the kids get out the plates and cutlery and we all sit down together for a family breakfast.

Yup, it's our thing at the moment and it totally makes me happy :)


Over the past few months we have been having raspberry and fresh peach pancakes, along with our usual blueberry, maple syrup, cinnamon sugar and bacon. But sadly I guess it's the end of stone fruit season around here and the peaches this week were less than perfect.
 
So although in general I prefer my fruit fresh and uncooked I fried them up with a dab of butter and a few spoons of brown sugar.

With a dash of maple syrup, some raspberries and a sprinkle of cinnamon everyone seemed happy.

Phew crisis averted, time to sit back and enjoy my morning coffee.


Easy Mix Pancake recipe
we have a few different pancake recipes but this one is easy to make, is not overloaded with sugar, the kids can whip them up and they cook quite quickly. I usually make them smallish so the kids can try out a few different pancake topping versions, plus I make a few extra small ones for the kids dolls/special toys.

1 1/2 cups self raising flour (US rounded/generous cups)
1 tsp baking powder
2 Tbsp caster sugar (US 2 Tbsp + 2 tsp)
1/8 tsp salt
60 g (approx 2 oz)  unsalted butter, melted
2 Eggs
1 cup trim (2%) milk (8 fl oz)

Sift together flour, baking flour, sugar and salt.

Add the butter, eggs and milk and mix well with a whisk until no lumps remain. Allow to stand for 15 minutes

Set the oven on very low heat and pop a serving plate onto a rack in middle of the oven.

Heat large frying pan to medium heat. Rub a small amount of butter onto frying pan, spoon dollops of pancake mixture into pan and smooth into an even circle with back of spoon. Cook on one side until the sides set (they will look dull instead of wet and shiny) and bubbles appear. Using a flat spatula flip the pancake and cook the other side until golden.

Remove from frypan and pop onto the warming plate in the oven until all pancakes are cooked.

Serve with topping of choice.


Toppings - yes we have all these toppings on the table to choose from
Brown Sugar Peach - saute 2 sliced peaches in pan at medium high heat with 1 Tbsp butter and 2 tsp brown sugar.
Raspberries - we use frozen berries for economy and heat in the microwave for a minute or 2 to make a 'compote'.
Blueberries - same as the raspberries we ususally use frozen, heat in microwave and serve warm
Cinnamon Sugar
Bacon
Maple Syrup


Linda Vandermeer is a blogger, baker, maker and author of the cookbook ' Sweets on a Stick': More than 150 kid friendly recipes for cakes, candies, cookies and pies on the go!. Published in the US the book is available at most online book stores.

Original Ideas, photography and recipes by Linda Vandermeer do not reuse without permission.