Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Hey look what I found at Woolies Lip and Heart sprinkles

Look what I found just before Christmas in the baking aisle of Woolies.

Heart and lip sprinkles.

'Cause when you live in Australia and love Bakerella and other US sites it can sometimes be heartbreaking (is that word to strong to use for baking?) when you can't find some of the sweets and treats they use for decorating.

It's a four pack of 'Fantasy Fairy' sprinkles with hearts, lips, pink sugar and pink and white sprinkles.

A couple of other places I use is USA foods based in Melbourne Australia who have Candy Corn, Corn Syrup, Peanut Butter baking chips, Criso, Marshmallow Fluff..........and a stack of other items.

Or if your close to Brisbane Chocolate Boulavard in the Myer Center have a smaller range of US (and UK) sweets and some baking goods.

plus those confectionery stalls in the middle of all the Westfields and other major shopping centers have some of the US candy as well.

Hope you all had lovely holidays, Ill be back baking soon.

Friday, December 24, 2010

White Christmas wonderland party

Wow - look at this party my Sister in law Terri and some of her work colleagues popped together at thier workplace.

The theme was white forest and white feast and the table was a collaboration of some of her work mates treats and items I baked all pulled together with some spectacular styling.
Some of the items on the table will look a bit familiar. Yup that's my white stand from Sharnel Dollar designs at the back with the White Christmas on top, also from Sharnel Dollar are the 2 Rosie jars in large and small filled with Marshmallow and white Ferro Rocher.

The little 'otto' jars with milk bottles are from The Brown Button Trading Co and the 'crystal' type jar filled with nougat is from Target and I got the cute little wooden white Christmas Tree from Big W.

The little footed white stand was a gift from my Aunty last Christmas.

White Feast Menu
Vanilla cupcakes with vanilla Italian Meringue Buttercream topped with white sugar flowers
White snowflake sugar cookies (click here for recipe and instructions)
Macadamia Shortbread
French Macarons filled with Salted Caramel and white chocolate ganache
Tim Tam snowflake pops
Sugar snowflakes to pop ontop of white Tim Tams.
Melting moments, white Christmas and assorted lollies/ sweets/ candy were provided by the work team.

Oh and before you ask I can't tell you the name of the workplace or they'll be inundated with resumes :)

 Photo's, decorations and styling by someone else.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

White Christmas snowflake decorated sugar cookies

This weekend I'm all about white while I make some treats for my friends winter wonderland table.

Have just finished up these white snowflake sugar cookies decorated with marshmallow fondant and royal icing.

White stand from Sharnel Dollar Designs Pom Poms from Ah-Tissue

White, although elegant can be a little boring so I tried to add some texture, I also included some silver accents as the table will also incorporate silver, but these cookies would look elegant without the addition as well.

See the 3 different cookies above you can add as much or as little decoration as you like or a mixture is nice as well.

Snowflake Winter Wonderland cookies

Make up batch of sugar cookie dough (recipe below) and cut out snowflake cookies, I bought my cutter from Little Betsy Baker.

Bake as per instructions until golden and allow to cool completely.

Roll out fondant (mine is a mixture of 2 thirds marshmallow fondant and one third white ready roll fondant but you can use what you like) on a surface dusted with cornflour or icing sugar and using the same snowflake cookie cutter cut out the snowflake shape. Make sure the cookie cutter is clean and dry before you start cutting.

Using a clean brush that is only used for food purposes brush a tiny amount of water onto the cookie and then adhere the fondant gently rolling on with a small rolling pin. #

Using a clean foodsafe stamp press into the middle of each cookie to make a pretty indentation.

Mix up a little royal icing, I just used the powdered ready mix packet stuff for this and I added a little white white Wilton food colour. Pop it into a bag or disposable glad zip lock with a #2 tip and dot little decorations around the cookie. If you don't have a tip you could cut a really really tiny hole at the corner of the zip lock bag.

Add edible silver balls or other decorations as you like.

#Fondant dries out pretty quickly so I work with a little fondant at a time covering one cookie. The remaining fondant I leave wrapped in a little cling wrap/ glad wrap until I need it.

Sugar Cookie Recipe

114 grams unsalted butter (1 stick or 4 ounces) softened to room temperature
2/3 cup caster sugar
1 extra large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups plus 1 Tablespoon plain flour sifted
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Using a mixer cream butter and sugar.

Add egg and vanilla and mix well. Add the dry ingredients to butter mixture and mix until dough comes together.

Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in fridge for 30 mins.

Roll out dough to approx 7mm thick, cut out cookie shapes and chill for another 30 mins on trays. Bake at oven preheated to 180 C (350 f) for 10 to 15 mins depending on cookie size.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Have yourself a Merry Aussie Christmas

Catherine G, Chris E and Megan S this prawn cake pop is for you (please don't anyone report me to Cake wrecks this pop is a joke).

When I asked on my facebook page what kind of treats you wanted for Christmas there was a varied response.

But a couple of you suggested some Australian Christmas treats, you know seeings as it's summer here and  we don't have any snowflakes, furry hats and snowmen in December.

I thought about it for a while, I searched for what a true Aussie Christmas is and what I found is that we are a country with many different traditions and surprises there.

I live in Brisbane Queensland and about a half hour drive to the beautiful Gold Coast. Growing up Christmas celebrations meant prawns (shrimp), pavlova, mango, beaches and a bit of cricket. It's Christmas to me but just doesn't lend itself to a bunch of pretty Christmas treats.

So I thought about what Christmas really means to me:

  • Family
  • Joy
  • Love
  • Sharing

and you know what no matter how diverse our country is or what culture we come from I think these values can work for everyone, and not just in Australia.

I was going to make a bunch of sugar cookies with the words stamped onto them but I just didn't get time and all that would fit on the cake pops was Joy.

Fittingly that was also what I felt when I bit into this pop.
There are some basic instructions after the jump

Monday, December 13, 2010

Peppermint Marshmallow Christmas Tree Hi Hat cupcakes

I made these late at night with sore feet from a day of shopping and no will to decorate. I think you can tell.

But see what I did here, I used some free editing and pretty props to redirect your attention so you can't see what a bad job I did.

I've talked about it before I call it the pusscat dolls effect, and it works a treat until you look closely. 

Oh alright I know I didn't really trick most of you and they weren't really that bad but the dipped ones were a bit messy as I used some green wilton melts and didn't really thin the chocolate out enough.

Yup not taking my own advice, but I was really really tired. Please do what I say not what I do.

Oh and loooove these teensy weensy little edible stars I picked up at Little Betsy Baker. 

The marshmallow topping seemed to be a hit in my family, my daughter actually rolled her eyes saying yum as she licked it from her fingers.

If you don't love peppermint you can omit it and I think this topping would also make great 'snowball' cupcakes without the green colour.

Pussycat dolls redirection props
Pom pom from Ah-Tissue
Cupcake Wrapper co Christmas wrapper from Details Details
Single Cupcake Stand from Mon Tresor

 Recipe after jump

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Tim Tam rush pops

If you follow me on facebook you've probably already seen this photo, but what you might not have seen is that this is not just a normal everyday white Tim Tam truffle cookie pop, it's a Tim Tam Rush pop.

Or maybe when you were growing up they were called a Tim Tam Slam.

Or maybe you think I'm a little weird and you don't know what I'm talking about.

It's when you get a tim tam and slurp your coffee up through it and pop the whole lot in your mouth. I was never a huge fan back in the day but when I was growing up they only had original tim tams. Maybe if they had white tim tams I might have been a convert.

Although I'm not so sure, never was a big fan of soggy. But with these pops you get the yummy coffee/tim tam flavour and none of the unpleasant sogginess. Really the best of both worlds don't you think.

Waiting to be made into pops, the coffee ones at the front and plain old white tim tam at the back

I am a convert now and once you try them you might be too.  Recipe after jump.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Salted Caramel Cheesecakes

Here is the recipe for that salted caramel cheesecake that I didn't end up using for the daring bakers challenge.

So delicious, and if you don't like salted caramel you could make the cheesecakes and top it with something else........Ha. Right, as if.

Well anyway you could, just a simple raspberry puree, or mango even just a dollop of cream. The actual cheesecake is very easy to make.

I made a mini dessert table type version as well which was kind of cute, but you will need to adjust the baking times down.

The pics have a base of hazelnut pasta frolla but I recommend just leaving it our altogether.

Salted Caramel Cheesecakes makes 8 single serves

228 gram (8 ounce) cream cheese at room temp
1/2 cup caster sugar
3 large eggs at room temp
1/2 cup sour cream
8 small ramekins or glass jars (I used Ikea tea lights)

Preheat oven to 160 C (325F). Have a large deep baking tray ready (for water bath).

Mix cream cheese and sugar at medium speed with electric mixer until creamy and free of lumps approx 1 min. Add eggs one at a time ensuring each addition is mixed. Beat in sour cream. Scrap down sides throughout process and do not overmix and incorporate too much air.

Strain into a pouring jug and then fill the ramekins/jars with cheesecake mixture.

Place ramekins/jars into the baking pan and fill pan with enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the jars. Bake for 16 mins and turn off oven leaving cheecakes in the warm oven for 2 hours.

Remove from waterbath and refrigerate until cold and firm, at least 2 hours.
 Salted Caramel Topping (recipe makes a lot of caramel you will have around a cup left over to use for other delicious purposes)

1/3 cup water
1/3 cup light corn syrup (use liquid glucose if not available)
2/3 cup caster sugar (superfine)
80 grams unsalted butter (4 US tbsp)
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cups cream

Combine water, corn syrup and sugar in large heavy based saucepan. Cook over medium low heat stirring constantly, brushing down sides with water when necessary until sugar is dissolved. Turn heat to med-high and continue to cook without stirring for 5-7 mins or until syrup turns golden amber, swirling the pan if necessary to distribute the caramel. 

Remove from heat and stir in butter and salt.

Slowly pour in the cream being careful as mixture will bubble and whisk in well. Strain through sieve into heatproof bowl. Cool for at least 20 mins.

Spoon a thin layer of warm caramel onto each cheesecake and chill until cold.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Pink Glamour Girl Birthday Party - Real Party

Pink Girly Glamour
When my friend told me she was having a pink girly glamour party for her daughter's 7th birthday party, I couldn't help but offer to help.

I mean did you hear what I just said PINK..... GIRLY..... GLAMOUR....PARTY.  I was there whether she wanted me or not.

Luckily she was happy for me to help and I did what I do, that is baking and she decorated up a storm.

I was provided with some cookie cutters, a colour theme, a cake preference and was pretty much given free rein.

 Glamour girl cookie pops, sugar cookie with marshmallow fondant, royal icing and fondant decorations

I had a great time making these treats, my girls particularly liked the glamour girl cookies I made with red hair to match the birthday girl's beautiful hair. I cut the sugar cookie freehand without a cutter and the decorations were inspired by the fairy wand cookies I made for my daughter's party.

And I also made the stand to pop them in, y'all know when I do craft it's easy peasy, A styrofoam box wrapped in pink polka dot wrapping paper with some scrap material I had laying around stuck on with double sided sticky tape and then a pink ribbon also stuck on with double sided sticky tape finished with a cute flower.

I told you it was Easy Peasy.

and Jo my friend made these dazzling glam bottles up for the strawberry and chocolate milk.

 Bottle Bling it's my new favourite thing

Yup that's right it's bottle bling.

Jo found this beading bling at Stacks (local discount store) and stuck it onto recycled juice bottles. Some of the mums already have plans for using these at their next party with some more adult type drinks.

Jo also wrapped up chocolates in pink and brown polka dot paper and stuck various glamour stickers she grabbed at the local discount store. Could it get any cuter.....well it did .

Even the juice poppers got the same glamour treatment.

Oh and while she was at 'Stacks' she found these little pink and purple handbags for $2 each she used for treat bags. I think they were a great find.

The party was held at a local dance studio Stepping Out at Underwood. The mum's got to sit upstairs and relax while the hosts played games and entertained the kids until they were ready to tackle the food. Have to love that, happy kids and happy mums.

It was totally girly, totally glamorous and the kids had a wonderful time.
The birthday girl checking out the treat table

Party Menu

Cake Pops

Raspberry French Almond Macarons

Assorted glamour cookies (handbag, nailpolish and mini mirrors)

Glamour Girls with Red Hair Cookie pops

Chocolate layer cake

Strawberry and Chocolate Milk
Assorted lollies (candy and sweets)

mini chocolate tarts

mini jellies and puddings

juice pops

and glamour chocolates

Glamour wrapped chocolates and the party invitation

Party Treats made by Bubble and Sweet
Mini Jellies, puddings, chocolate tarts and decorating by Jo
Party held at Stepping Out Dance Studio Underwood
Pink Beanies and square cake stand by Sharnel Dollar Designs
Round paper lanterns Robert Gordon
Pom poms on ledge by Ah Tissue though you can't tell I had to take them myself this time.

Related recipes in this blog:
Fairy Wand Cookies
Cake Pops
Sugar Cookies