Monday, March 28, 2011

In Love with.........Miette the cookbook

Miette: Recipes from San Francisco's Most Charming Pastry Shop

Miette: Recipes from San Francisco's Most Charming Pastry Shop

I am totally in love with the cover of this book.

It looks like the kind of simple but sooo amazing baking that I like, the basics if you will behind all the decorating. Reminds me of some of my other favourite cookbooks that I talked about previously (click here for link)

and of course it doesn't hurt that it's from a renowned patisserie in San Francisco.
I have already pre-ordered my copy and can't wait for it to turn up so I can try out all the recipes.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Orange and Poppy Seed Macarons for MacTweets

The MacTweets challenge #17 for March 2011 was Sugar & Spice and Everything….Fruity… with a requirement to make sure the macarons incorporate both a spice and a fruit, at least one of each.

I have to admit I nearly didn't make this challenge, I have been a bit busy and although I had quite a few great ideas I just wasn't feeling spicy this month.
Then I noticed poppy seeds in the spice section of the supermarket and I was inspired.

Poppy seed macarons filled with an orange curd based buttercream, just the perfect thing for a refreshing afternoon pick me up.

I'm sure the rest of the MacTweets crowd will have a great bunch of macarons in the end of month line up, looking forward to seeing what they come up with on this one.

Recipe after the jump.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Creme Egg Easter Macarons

A while ago I came across a site that had a recipe for Cadbury Creme Eggs.

Wow I though Cadbury Creme Eggs on tap that could be cool! But as I'm no longer 8 there are really only so many I can eat these days so I didn't end up making them. I stored away the idea for a maybe one day closer to Easter kinda thing.

Anyway as it's closer to Easter I realised that it might be fun to take the recipe and incorporate it with some macarons to make Creme Egg Macarons.

For some reason I felt a bit odd marring a dainty macaron with something so commercial and highly processed as the Creme Egg, but hey it tastes good so I'm gonna ignore that funny feeling.

I based the fondant filling on this recipe (Click here) but reduced the amount of sugar. I also used liquid glucose instead of corn syrup, simply because I know that everyone in Australia will ask what they can use instead of corn syrup.

I get my liquid glucose from Coles in the baking aisle near where the cake decorations, colours and flavours are in a clear jar with a red lid. You can also get it from deli's and incidently most good deli's will also sell Karo corn syrup here in Australia.

Also I dipped the eggs in chocolate thinned with a little vegetable oil once again as people ask me if you can do it. Yup I usually use copha melted with the wilton melts but it seems vegetable oil works as well and actually seems to make it melt a little easier. I didn't like the taste as much but that's a personal thing. The macarons in the picture had been sitting out at room temperature for a day and not refrigerated at all and it's quite hot and humid here at the moment so yes they do set using vegetable oil.

I wanted to mention one of my blog friends ButterSugarHeart had a similar idea and made the macarons using real Cadbury Creme Eggs so for a different version pop on over and have a look.

Creme Egg Macarons for Easter

French Macarons

190g (6  5/8 ounce) ground almonds
190g (6  5/8 ounce) Icing (powdered) Sugar
140g Egg Whites, (5 ounce) aged at least 3 days, separated into 2 lots of 70g (2 1/2 ounce)
190g (6  5/8 ounce) Granulated Sugar
48g ( 1 5/8 ounce) Water

1. Mix the ground almonds and icing sugar together and pulse a few times in food processor to make almond meal finer. Do not over process as the meal can become oily. Sieve into a large bowl. Add  70g (2 1/2ounce) of the egg whites to the sugar/almond mixture but don’t mix in.

2. Place remaining 70g (2 1/2 ounce) of egg whites in bowl of mixer fitted with the whisk.

3. Pop granulated sugar and water into saucepan stir to combine and cook without stirring to 118C. If required brush down the sides of the pan to stop crystallisation from occurring. Once the mixture reaches 115C start mixing the egg whites on high (The eggwhites should be quite stiffly whipped before the syrup is added). Once the sugar syrup reaches 118C remove from heat and immediately pour in a thin stream down the side of the mixer bowl continuing to whisk on high.

4. Continue to whisk the meringue on high until the side of the bowl is only a little warm to touch, around 50C.

5. Add meringue mixture to almond mixture and using a large spatula fold the mixture together until it starts to shine and forms a ribbon that stays visible for about 30 seconds.

6. Add the mixture to a piping bag fitted with a plain tip and pipe small circles in lines onto parchment lined baking sheets. To make the macarons as even as possible I apply a constant slow pressure to the piping bag and count a few numbers like up to 3 for each one.

7. Set aside for about 30 minutes or until the macarons have formed a skin that doesn't stick to your finger. If the weather is humid this will take longer. If the weather is very humid it is best to make these in an area with an air conditioner which reduces humidity.

8. Preheat oven to 140C (285 F). Once ready bake the macaroons for around 13 to 15 minutes depending on size, they should not be browned. To test if the macaron is cooked you can open the door and gently press on the side of the macaron. If it jiggles on the 'foot' it is not cooked close the door and cook for another minute or 2 and repeat the jiggle test.

Remove the baking trays and immediately slide off the macarons and the parchment onto the work surface and let cool completely before removing the shells.

Fondant Filling

1/4 cup liquid glucose
30 g unsalted Butter (1 oz) at room temp
1tsp vanilla
1 cup icing sugar sifted (powdered sugar)
Yellow food colour

Combine liquid glucose, butter and vanilla and mix well. I used a hand held beater. The mixture will resemble condensed milk in appearence and consistency. Add icing sugar (at this stage my hand held beater was struggling a little so I mixed by hand) and add enough food colour to achieve the desired colour. Cover until needed.


Match the macarons into like sizes (when you are piping macarons by hand you will end up with different sized macarons. They look best if you can find similar sizes to join together)

Dollop fondant onto macarons. The mixture is very thick but if you allow it to rest it will kinda sink and spread over the macaron half and then you can join it with another.

Melt around 400g chocolate and if required add vegetable oil to make the chocolate into a dip-able consistency.

Using a dipping fork or normal fork dip the joined macarons into the chocolate and place on trays covered with baking paper until set.

If you have left over chocolate you can pour it onto baking paper and allow it to set. It can then be stored in an airtight ziplock back and be used next time you need dipping chocolate.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Chocolate Chip Hot Cross Muffins for Easter and the new Peekaboo magazine

Before you get too taken away with these Chocolate Chip Hot Cross Muffins I have to mention that Peekaboo Magazine has published an original recipe I created in their latest March Issue.

Yay for me!

They are super delicious Cranberry Hot Cross Muffins made with wholemeal flour and macadamia oil, so you won't feel so bad about popping them into the kids lunchbox or serving them for Easter brunch.

While I was waiting for the magazine to come out I had a bit of a craving for them, but decided to modify the recipe a bit and came up with these wholemeal chocolate chip hot cross muffins.

I'm thinking the wholemeal flour cancels out any potential unhealthy qualities in the chocolate (# note I'm not actually a qualified nutritionist so it's possible and probable this information could be completely incorrect).

and if you like the colour combination on my photo's here I'm gonna have to admit I totally stole it from Sharnel Dollar who styled the Peekaboo Shoot.

I didn't however steal the cute little baskets in the above shots, I bought those from Sharnel's online store. How completely perfect are they for Easter treats.

Chocolate Chip Hot Cross Muffin Recipe after jump

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Best Friend face Cookies - eggless recipe

One of our friends decided at the last minute to have a party in the park for her 6 year old little man. She let him pick the theme and he chose 'friends'.

I know that's adorable isn't it. Although when I first heard the day before the party just after I had offered to make some cookies to bring along I though gosh, couldn't he pick cars, or dinosaurs, or rockets cause like I have stacks of cutters for those things.

As I said it was the day before the party and plus the birthday boy is highly allergic to eggs so I quickly did a brain search for something suitable.

and I remembered some sweet face cookies I had seen on flickr using the candy/ lolly shaped cutter I have for little girls with pigtails and decided to make some best friend face cookies.

I'm going to have to send out apologies to someone here - I know I saw something like these on flickr months ago but although I tried and tried I could not find them again so I can not give a shout out to whom ever's idea I have been inspired by.

anyway I decided to go with shortbread cookie as it's eggless and marshmallow fondant as again eggless (although check the ingredients on the marshmallow you use).

The finished cookie was quite yummy, but way more crumbly than a normal sugar cookie, lucky it was a party in the park.

I've got a little tutorial for you on how I made the little girl face cookies, for the boys just modify to suit the round cutter.

Best Friend Face Cookies
(note if you like you can draw on the mouth and nose etc. I was just trying to use less food colour because of the recipients)

Equipment and Ingredients
Marshmallow fondant or Ready Rolled Fondant
Gel colour light peach (flesh tone), yellow, brown, white and various colours for small flowers I used pink, blue and purple
small rolling pin
Wilton tip #7
small sharp knife
Black edible pen
Small flower cutter/ ejector
Ball tool
Brush and water

Make cookie dough using shortbread cookie recipe (recipe below), and cut out using candy cutter. If you prefer and cookies do not need to be eggless use this vanilla sugar cookie recipe, or this chocolate cookie recipe.

Colour the fondant with the larger portions in light peach, brown and yellow and small amounts in the accent flower colours.

Roll out light peach fondant until quite thin and cut out using candy shape cutter. Adhere fondant to cookie using a small amount of water brushed onto the cookie. Using small rolling pin smooth fondant and ensure it reaches the edges of the cookie.

Roll out brown or yellow fondant and cut out using candy shape cutter. Using the small knife cut inside the round section of the candy shape to make the fondant look like parted hair. See picture.

Adhere hair to cookie and using the small rolling pin smooth out and ensure the edges are even.

Repeat for remaining cookies.

Roll out the various colours and cut out the small flowers adhering to the cookies 'hair' with a small amount of water. I press the flower onto the cookie with the small end of a ball tool which indents the flower and also presses the flower on well. Roll a small ball of contrasting fondant for each flower and stick into the center of the flowers with a teensy amount of water (normally I often use royal icing for this but as the cookies needed to be egg free I used the marshmallow fondant).

Using the small round end of the wilton tip cut out small round white eyes and adhere them to the faces with a small amount of water. Repeat for all cookies

Also using the small end of the wilton tip press in on one side only to make a small indent for the nose.

Then using the large round end of the tip indent a mouth.

Allow the cookies to dry for a while and then draw pupils into the eyes, eyelashes and if you like freckles.

Shortbread Cookie recipe modified from Joy of Baking

 225 g (1 cup or 2 sticks) unsalted butter room temp
50g icing sugar (powdered sugar)
2 cups flour sifted
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla (I used vanilla bean paste)

Beat butter and sugar until creamed in a stand mixer on high speed, beat in vanilla. Reduce speed to low and add flour and salt mixing until incorporated. Chill mixture approx 10 mins

Roll out dough, cut out shapes and place on tray lined with baking paper. Pop in fridge to chill.

Preheat oven to 170 C (350 F) and bake for approx 12 to 15mins or until golden. Remove from oven allow to rest on tray 5 -10 mins before moving to wire cooling rack.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Invite with Style shoot

I just had to share some pictures with you of  Invite with Style's new range of wedding stationery.

I made some of the treats scattered around the shots.

 I guess I don't have much to say about this other than WOW it all looks so pretty.

Oh and of course head on over to Invite with Style not only do they design elegant and beautiful wedding stationery they also have a range of children's invitations and a graphic design business called Design with Style. I know super talented (and nice as well)!

I am thinking of popping up some tutorials on the wedding cookies I made, then you can make your own treats to match the stationery, how cool would that be.


Invite with Style beautiful stationery

Photography Deep Grey 

Styling Imbue Weddings

Sunday, March 6, 2011

"Cookies make me happy" rice paper decorated flower button rosette cookies

A little while back I started naming all my cookies, you know just to give me something to do. Have y'all noticed?

I've called this design 'Cookies make me happy'....yep that's pretty self explanatory.

Anyway there is a little more to the name story. It's actually what the words say on the rice paper I have used as decoration. I was writing little sayings across the paper with edible pen, just whatever came to mind and this is what happened to be on this batch.

I though for a moment, hey what happens if I write something else next time I make them, then the name won't make sense, but in the end I decided just to go with it as - you know......these cookies make me happy.

They are little blossom cookies covered in fondant with flower rosettes using rice paper I have decorated with different methods.

They were an experiment for something else I am thinking of doing just to see how the rice paper idea would work out.

Now the really weird thing about this is that I am not a crafty person....not at all. I am not even sure why I have the cutters I used to make these cookies or even the couple of crafty items I used as props in the photo's. I won't even embarrass myself any further and talk about the boxes of items I have wasting space in my cupboards from Spotlight (Australian Craft store) I don't know what is going through my head when I walk out the checkout except I must get out of here before I lose the kids in the fabric section again.

Well I guess all I can say is finally some good has come of it.

Hope you love these cookies, they made me very happy.

"Cookies make me Happy" tutorial

Step 1 decorate rice paper

Ingredients and Equipment
Rice paper
edible writing pen (I picked up a pack online at Inspired by Chocolate)
small dish with a mixture of coffee and sugar mixed with a tiny amount of water
large bristled brush
Small amount of thick royal icing (or icing sugar mixed with a tiny amount of water)
Gel food colour

Rice paper with writing - using the edible pen write words across the paper. I wrote the same small sentence over again and started at a different part of the sentence each line to give a bit of variety. As a starter here are a couple of the lines I wrote....'Cookies make me happy', 'Fairy wishes and Butterfly kisses', 'I love you'. We read a lot of my little pony at the moment, these are the types of things we say around here feel free to come up with your own not so sugary sayings. Set aside to dry.

Brown brushed rice paper - using the large bristled brush with uneven stokes brush the coffee and sugar mixture onto a piece of rice paper until the sheet is covered roughly making sure it does not get too soggy. Set aside to dry. You could just use brown food colour if you prefer but I wanted to give a little hint of flavour. Also I used some crystalised sugar which did not dissolve for a little bit of texture.

Brown and red brushed paper - follow instructions for brown brushed rice paper, you do not need to wait for it to dry. Mix the royal icing (or icing sugar) with the food colour until the colour you desire is achieved and then using either a brush or your gloved finger brush on the colour mixture just wherever you like. Bring out your inner abstract artist.

Ok you can stop now....not to much. Set aside to dry.

Step 2 -Bake cookies

Click here for chocolate cookie recipe or here for vanilla sugar cookie recipe links

Make up a batch of cookies as per instruction and bake. I used a small blossom shape cookie cutter.

Step 3 - Decorate cookies

Ingredients and equipment

decorated rice paper
ready to roll fondant (I used bakels) or marshmallow fondant in at least 2 colours I used white and red
scissors or craft cutter
small blossom cutter same as cookie
water and brush
small fondant rolling pin
small amount of royal icing (or icing sugar mixed with water just for a little sticking)
toothpick or fondant decorating tool (to make indents for button)

Roll out white fondant until quite thin with small rolling pin on a bench dusted with a little cornflour and cut out blossom shape using the cookie cutter. Adhere fondant to cookie using a teensy little bit of water brushed onto cookie and smooth out by using the rolling pin gently.

Cut out rounds of decorated rice paper - I used a craft cutter but you could easily use scissors. Gently scrunch the rice paper rounds up in your hand to give a crinkly effect. With some of the rounds snip into the rounds to give a kind of petal effect.

Using a small amount of royal icing just in the middle attach the rice paper rounds to the cookies. You can just use one piece of rice paper or layer a few. If you are using more than one layer just repeat the process by adding another dab of royal icing and popping the rice paper round on top.

With a small piece of contrasting fondant shape a round to represent a button and then using a toothpick or some other pokey object make a couple of indents to represent the holes in a button. Adhere the button on top of the cookie in the center with a little royal icing.

There you have it, rice paper flower decorated cookies. I have used this method to make quite a few items and I'm really hoping to share some more with you all soon.


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Pretty pink flower musk cake pops

One of the great things about cake pops is that you can do anything with them.

Really pretty much anything with a bit of imagination, so many options for decorating and flavor combination.

These are some pops I whipped up last year for a pretty photo shoot and then promptly lost the notes I had written. That happens a bit to me, I'm not really super organised.

But luckily for me I found the measurements I had scrawled on the back of someone's business card a few days ago.

The cake was a dryish cake and the buttercream quite firm so your ratio's might need to change a little depending on what types you are using. For example if you have a moist cake use a little bit less buttercream.

The buttercream I had leftover when I made these was already coloured purple which was great luck, I probably would have made it pink but I think the purple contrast with the pink chocolate was lovely.

Ummm I'm not sure exactly how many this makes but it wasn't a huge batch I guess this post is more about encouraging you to experiment with your favourite flavors.

Go on get to it :)

If you want to see the original photo shoot post which has much better photo's by Naomi V Photography, clothing by LaToriana, Ah Tissue Pom Poms and lots of other treats click here Once upon a time magical forest tea party

Recipe after jump