Saturday, November 27, 2010

Baked Cheesecake with Salted Caramel, Jam Tart and the Daring Bakers Challenge November 2010


The 2010 November Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Simona of briciole. She chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ to make pasta frolla for a crostata. She used her own experience as a source, as well as information from Pellegrino Artusi’s Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well.

Mmmmmm this salted caramel topped cheesecake was super duper delicious

I just wasn't feeling the pie or tart love and went with a cheesecake instead, I though I could get away with using the pasta frolla (pastry) as a base, and it worked but it just felt wrong.

The cheesecake I baked with salted caramel was so delicious it completely overwhelmed the pastry and I felt I was doing the challenge a disservice.

So I went as plain as I could and made a jam tart, using the same pastry base. It was simple, it was sweet and it worked nicely. Not what I would usually bake but that's what the Daring Bakers is about.

recipe after jump

Monday, November 22, 2010

Chocolate 'Christmas Pudding' Cupcake Tutorial

OK I seem to have a bit of a fake pudding thing going on here. Obsessed much?

Seeings as I don't actually like pudding so I don't know where it's coming from.

I do however like these chocolate cupcakes, they're a bit of a reworked version of the sundae cupcakes I make which were inspired by the super talented Hello Naomi.
Sundae cupcakes.....change the colours and they become Christmas Pudding cupcakes

I did make one change which I am really happy with that I've been thinking about ever since I made the last batch. Instead of a rolled red ball of fondant on the top I have dipped a Tim Tam Truffle in red chocolate. It's like a cakepop topper....sooo much yummier.
I also did a version with some coffee flavoured ganache I had sitting around and I'm loving it as well. Of course you could just use a jaffa which would be tasty as well.
Oh and how lovely are the petite little mini stands. My wonderful friend Jo gave them to me as a gift, and she bought them for me from Mon Tresor.

Of course the cupcake wrappers are from The Cupcake Wrapper Co. I was lucky enough to win this packet of Christmas wrappers on their blog a while back.

I also tried out a version of the 'pudding' using Chocolate Modeling paste instead of fondant. It worked but the fondant is easier to work with, maybe chocolate fondant would be a good middle ground next time I make them.
Modeling Chocolate used instead of brown fondant in this one

Christmas Pudding Cupcake Tutorial

Ingredients and Equipment

Un-iced Cupcakes
Frosting - buttercream or ganache your choice
Rolled Fondant
Brown and Green Gel type food colour
Mini Cake or Cookie pops dipped in red chocolate or jaffas
Cake smoother
Small offset spatula
Mini rolling pin
Round cutter size of cupcake (I used a cup as I didn't have a cutter quite the right size)
Ikea cutters

This is the set of Ikea cutters available from their kitchen wear section

When making your cupcakes only fill the paper cups about half full as pictured so that the end cupcake is even and flat.

Using the small offset spatula, cover the cupcake with frosting in a smooth dome shape.

Colour some fondant brown, roll out and cut out circle shape.
Place on top of frosted cupcake and using a cake smoother gently smooth the fondant out towards the edge.

If you have a lot of overlap you can carefully cut along the edge with a sharp knife.

Roll out white fondant (not too thin as you will be rolling the cut out further) and using the small 'splatter' shape from the Ikea plastic cutter set cut out white fondant.
Using the small rolling pin roll out the splatter shape to make it larger and even more misshapen. Attach to brown fondant using a little water if necessary.
Pop a little buttercream on top to adhere the round 'cherry' I have used red chocolate dipped tim tam cookie truffles for this lot. You could just roll a ball of red fondant or use a jaffa.
Colour a small amount of fondant green and shape some leaves and attach to the 'pudding' using a tiny amount of water.

Once again, wishing I had one of those holly ejector sets, but these hand shaped ones will do in a pinch.

Voila faux Christmas Pudding Cupcakes.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Triple Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies

Triple chocolate cookies masquerading as Christmas puddings.That's my kinda cookie!

Also yummy, give me a choice between a decorated cookie and a chocolate cookie and I'll pick the chocolate one nearly everytime. This way I get the best of both, decorated sweetness and chocolate yumminess.

and look you can even make them into pudding pops.

Is there any baked good that doesn't look cute on a stick. I just popped 8 inch sticks into the cookie dough before baking and allowed them to cool on the tray a little longer.

I like this version with the mini red m&m's in the cookies as well, even though it looks a bit like a weird face with a pudding hat.

I didn't come up with this idea, I was inspired by a picture of a little similar one on Flickr and thought it was so cute. The instructions for my version are after the jump.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Dessert plate on a skewer, macaron, cupcake and cake pops sticks

Found some pics from a couple of months back of some dessert skewers I made for a competition.

I didn't win........I know my mum thought I should have as well, but there are so many talented people around that that's the way the cookie crumbles, and there were some lovely entries with really great styling.

Close up of oreo truffle cookie pop

They did pop my pictures up on the blog so I was happy to see them up there.

These skewers were made from mini cupcakes wrapped in marshmallow ribbon fondant, oreo truffle cookie pops decorated with a fondant daisy and a lemon buttercream macaron.
Cupcake with Vanilla Italian Buttercream wrapped in marshmallow fondant ribbon.

The recipe for the individual portions are mostly already on the blog:

Click here for Macaron with lemon buttercream recipe

Click here for Marshmallow ribbon fondant instructions

Click here for Oreo Truffle Cookie pop recipe

Oh and I did a pink version as well, chocolate buttercake with rose vanilla Italian buttercream topped with a raspberry, raspberry macaron and tim tam truffle cookie pop. Yummo!

and yes I do have some Christmas stuff planned soon, I promise, in fact tomorrow I have the day blocked off for a bit of baking.


here is the link to the contest I entered winner page

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Hazelnut macaron with white chocolate chai ganache Mactweets 13

MacTweets Challenge # 13 is Falling in Love with Macarons, fall being the key word here.

Living in Sub Tropical Queensland a couple of months into spring I struggled a bit in deciding on a fall themed macaron. Nothing really jumped out at me, I toyed with the idea of a pumpkin filling but noticed a few of the other MacTweeters had already taken on that challenge.Nuts......

No, really, then I thought nuts...hazelnuts I would make a noisette macaron.

I searched around the blogiverse for a recipe but nothing jumped out at me so I decided to modify the recipe I already use. It felt a bit risky, but that's the kinda girl I am.....throwing caution to the winds I replaced some of the almond meal with toasted hazelnut meal.

How cute is this stand I bought from Sharnel Dollar Designs

and I LOVED them, more than almond macarons.

The fragrance of the hazelnuts as they toasted filled my house with a wonderful warmth and the finished macaron seemed a little heartier and less sweet.

I filled most of them with a white chai tea infused ganache which had a lovely taste but was a little bit too soft (I've modified the recipe a little to add more chocolate in the below recipe). The remainder I filled with a raspberry jam mix (just IXL shop bought) and those raspberry jam ones were the BEST.

I'm sorry I keep on using capitals but I'm a bit overexcited with these new macarons I came up with, I'm sure you'll love them too. Recipe after jump.....

Friday, November 12, 2010

Lolli-cake-pops tutorial and cake pop bouquet

By popular vote on my facebook page I am doing a tutorial on the lolli-cake-pops I made up.

But first I'm going to bore you with share the story of how I came up with these pops as Amanda asked how I come up with these ideas.

Saw some cute dagashi inspired marshmallows on the decorated cookie blog and I thought wow - they are super cute might try making some cake pops like this.

Timing was just before Halloween so I tried out some Halloween inspired ones. I considered these a big fail which is why you didn't see the pics. Will be going back to these with a new improved formula/process one day soon.

However while I was covering them in marshmallow fondant I saw a vision of lollipop cookie pops and that's how I got to these.

and while I was making these I came up with another great idea which if they work I'll share as well.

Yup that's me...... I see cake in almost everything I look at.

Then after I finished making them I was inspired to make a lollipop cookie pop bouquet by gorgeous photo's I've seen around of lollipop brides wedding bouquets.

Hint - if you are making the pops for a bouquet use real candy melts not just white chocolate like I did in my second batch as the candy melts set harder and will not smudge while your manipulating your pops around in the bouquet.

The bouquets were really cute and they would probably make a perfect little flower girl bouquet if you can stop the kids from eating them for long enough....

Oh and great news I have a cookbook being released in the US December 2011 - here is a link to Amazon, the preorder price is ah-mazing. Stacks more recipes and ideas for pops and other treats on a stick:

Anyway I know you just want the tutorial so here you go. Recipe after jump.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Cupcake pom picks from Ah Tissue Loving them

Thought I would share some pictures of these cute new Australian hand made cupcake pom picks from Ah-Tissue,
how gorgeous are they...... look how effortlessly they add height and colour to the cupcakes.

I was lucky enough to be able to make up the cupcakes and fondant toppers to help showcase this new product.

I sooooo love it when someone who actually knows what they are doing with a camera takes photo's of my treats they always look 100% nicer.

Cute Christmas cupcakes

sweet little ladybird topper

 Baby boy and girl perfect for a baby shower.....

and it goes without saying that I love the pink cupcake pom pick, but I think this one below is my favourite

It makes me think of a delicious neapolitan ice-cream.

Cupcake pom picks - Loving them!

Ah Tissue has a wide range of pom pom products available which are perfect for dressing up your party table

Cupcake pom pics from Ah-Tissue

Cupcakes and fondant edible toppers Bubble and Sweet

Cupcake wrappers by The Cupcake Wrapper Co

All images belong to Ah Tissue and used with permission.