Sunday, April 29, 2012

Oh Sweet Mum - A rustic pie buffet party table

I love my mum.

Without a doubt she has been the hugest female influence in my life. She taught me to cook, to love and to be the best I can be, she made me who I am and if my own children end up loving and respecting me as much as I do my own mother...then I'll be pretty happy and call my time here a success.

So when Jacki from Blissfully Sweet asked if I would like to be involved in an E-vent being organised in memory of her own mother I was honored to participate.

When I signed on I had no idea how gorgeous the Oh-Sweet Mum E-vent would be. Jacki co-ordinated a group of super talented stylists, artists, florists, florists, cake decorators and more from within Australia and around the world to come up with a day of amazing events.

I would highly recommend that you CLICK HERE to read the E-Magazine that was created to showcase the E-vent. It includes so many beautiful images, information about the contributors, recipes and diy ideas including my recipe for Caramel Slice.

Want caramel slice to rival these babies over to the E-zine it includes my recipe mission (if I chose to accept it) was to create a Pie, Tart and Slice E-vent and I decided the best way would be a dessert buffet.

That little Mission Impossible pun is due to the fact that Pies are not really my thing.

But I think I met the challenge and came up with a rustic inspired pie and slice table with my own Bubble and Sweet spin. Although there are a couple of traditional pies on display I have included 'Pie' Macarons, Whoopie Pies, Pie Pops and pretty little Chiffon Pumpkin verrines with mini macarons and pecan pie crust bites.

I'm pretty happy with the end result which I'm going to admit is only this good due to the contributions of Naomi V Photography and Ah-Tissue.

With the original concept of the Oh Sweet Mum E-vent in mind and in the interests of women's health, I am going to donate a dollar for every comment on this pie table post up to $100 to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.  (I know that there are many other important aspects of women's health and other great organisations I have just chosen this one this time).

Also as a mother to 3 young children myself I know that sometimes my own health takes a back seat to everything else going on. But regardless of what is happening I do make sure I always keep any of my regular doctor's check up appointments and I try to remember to keep up my own self-examination routine. Please if you take anything from this post today I hope that it how important you are to your friends and family and that you should look after your health.... and the same applies to all you men out there as well :)

OK now that I've got off my soap-box, back to the yummy treats:

Rustic Pie and Party Table menu included:

Sky High Apple Pie
Rustic Cherry Pie

Pumpkin Chiffon Pie with mini chocolate macarons and pecan piecrust bites

Pie Pops (recipes from Sweets on a Stick)
Peanut Butter Boston Cream Pie

Rustic Chocolate Pecan Pie

 Chocolate Cream Mousse Pie with mini chocolate macarons and Hazelnut Tart Shell

Whoopie Pies

Assorted Slices (Rocky Road (recipe from Sweets on a Stick), Mum's Sweet Caramel Slice and Cheesecake Slice)

 Chocolate chunk fudge brownie Slab; and

 Apple Pie macarons

The table theme was inspired by the chocolates and caramels in the treats with some gold and teal highlights.

Ah-Tissue created an amazing display of paper and hessian wall pom poms which I can only describe as wall art.

The gorgeous photography is by Naomi V Photography. and the photo's are taken at her studio

(This was my favorite photo of the day - apart from the girls of course - 
I think because they were my favorite treat - super yum)

Printables are by Style Me Gorgeous.

The dresses and hair pieces that Bubble and Sweet are wearing are Tea Princess purchased from Tea Princess and Vintage Ladybird.

Recipes for the Pie Pops, Boston Cream Pies and the Rocky Road are from Sweets on a Stick

Sweets on a Stick 0ver 150 Kid Friendly Recipes available from Amazon and Fishpond 
(and lots of other places too)

Sweets on a Stick: More Than 150 Kid-Friendly Recipes for Cakes, Candies, Cookies, and Pies on the Go!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Pink Ombre Ruffled Dress Cake

Just a quick peek at the pink ombre ruffle dress cake I made for my friend's daughters birthday party.

The theme was fashionista.

and YES the cake is different layers of pink raspberry mudcake inside.

The party was styled by Putting on a Party who should have a blog post on Friday.

I'll post a tutorial on the cake later in the month.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Marhsmallow Cookie Pops

At Christmas time I was in the local discount store and happened upon some marshmallow rope.

Wow - I thought to myself, that looks just like the stuff that takes me ages to mix up myself and roll into ropes, I bet it would make great marshmallow lollipop cookies. So I bought some with the intention of whipping up a batch of marshmallow rope cookies.

 OK fast forward 4 months........I still haven't got around to it, although I did use the marshmallow rope to decorate some stuff. But I still thought the cookie idea was worth trying so I popped down to the Reject shop last weekend and picked up another packed determined that this week I would get around to it.

and I did. I made marshmallow rope cookie pops, and if you don't like fondant much these are a great alternative to the original marshmallow fondant cookie pops.

Plus for $2 for a bag of 10 marshmallow ropes that works out pretty cost effective when you take into account making your own and the effort of all that rolling and twirling, oh and the packet says 'FAT and GLUTEN FREE' which is totally awesome, of course until you stick them onto the cookies which totally negates those benefits.

For a variation of these marshmallow rope cookies check out the original marshmallow fondant cookie pops on this site. You can make the home made ones any colour you like and also vary the sizes easily. Plus they are easier to bite through.

The kids found that this version was a bit chewier.

Also apoligies for the lack of posting lately, over the 2 months I have had my daughter in hospital been overseas on holidays and then had a quick hospital visit myself which has resulted in not much activity over the past couple of weeks

But I do have a couple of exciting treats coming up very soon including the Oh-Sweet Mum E-vent being hosted by Blissfully Sweet on the 27th of April. I have created a rustic inspired pie table photographed by Naomi V Photography which I can't wait to share. Oh my goodness and just wait until you see the gorgeous wall art created by Ah-Tissue behind the table.

Plus I have made a pretty cake, cookies and some other treats for a fashion inspired 10th birthday party being styled by Putting on a Party.

White Cream Outfit worn by Bubble is Tea Princess from Vintage LadyBug
Pink Outfit worn by Sweet from Eeni Meeni Miini Moh

Marshmallow Rope Cookie Pops

I used Royal Icing for the cookies in the photo's however if you like you could use Candy Coating (you know the chocolate like stuff you use for cake pops) It would work as well, plus it sets a lot quicker.

Sugar Cookie dough*
lollipop sticks
Royal Icing - thick spreading consistency*
Marshmallow Rope

*I used the recipes for Sugar Cookie Dough and Royal Icing from my book Sweets on a Stick however you can replace with your favorite recipe if you like.

Sweets on a Stick: More Than 150 Kid-Friendly Recipes for Cakes, Candies, Cookies, and Pies on the Go!

Sweets on a Stick 0ver 150 Kid Friendly Recipes available from Amazon and Fishpond 
(and lots of other places too)

Line 3 to 4 oven trays with parchment paper (baking paper).

Roll out the cookie dough and using a  round cutter (approx  7cm or 2.5") cut out shapes and place on the prepared over trays.

 Push a lollipop stick into the side of each cookie dough round. The sticks should be parallel to the baking tray. carefully flip the cookies over to see if the lollipops stick is completely covered with dough, if not use a little excess dough and press around the stick to ensure it is covered.

Chill until firm in the fridge and then bake according to your cookies instructions, or for around 10 -15 minutes at 180C.

Let cool on trays for 5 minutes then carefully remove to wire rack to cool completely.

Once the cookies are cool, spread some Royal Icing on each cookie using a spatula.

Take the marshmallow rope and twirl it around until it resembles a lollipop swirl.

 Press the round firmly on the royal icing covered cookie. If the tail end keeps flicking out you may need to add a dab of royal icing in between the marshmallow to stick it together.

It may take a while to set, so I used a couple of heavy based knifes to hold it in place until it was set. You can just use any food safe item you have handy.

Leave to set overnight of until the royal icing is firm.

Store in airtight containers at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Daniel Herbert's Best Ever Baking Recipes

OK - I love baking.

I love decorating as well, but what good is a pretty looking cake if the taste lets you down.

So it makes sense that I love baking cook books. Y'know the type that promises to deliver simple yet delicious tried and tested recipes, some of them handed down through the generations.

When I received David Herbert's Best-Ever Baking Recipes, which by the way has a super temptingly looking chocolate cake on the cover, I looked forward to flicking through the pages to see if there was anything I would like to try.

and I wasn't disappointed. With over 200 recipes included and chapters on Butter Cakes and Sponges, Cakes with Baked-on Toppings, Chocolate Cakes and Brownies, Slices, Biscuits and Cookies and Tarts and Cheesecakes to name a few the book ended up with quite a few post it notes stuck out the side ear marked for future baking endeavors.

I'm thinking for starters in might be the Raspberry and Coconut Macaroon Cake, with a baked topping based on the old fashioned coconut macaroons that I loved as a child. Or perhaps the Orange and Chocolate Chip Pound Cake or maybe the All in One Coffee and Walnut Cake, and that's without even getting past the first couple of chapters.Oh and I must mention I noticed quite a few gluten free options as well.

There are lots of colour pictures with a kind of retro feel and a relaxed styling approach that makes the end product look within the reach of regular home bakers everywhere.

David Herbert's Best-Ever Baking Recipes is available now at most book stores, it is published by Penguin Australia.

Best-ever Baking Recipes

I received a copy of Best Ever Baking Recipes for the purpose of this review

Sunday, April 1, 2012

A super yummy Healthier Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe


The other day I felt like a batch of chocolate chip cookies, but with a party filled weekend on the horizon I didn't really want to fill the kids up with empty sweets, so I decided to modify my favorite cookie recipe and make it a bit healthier.

You'll notice I call them Healthier Chocolate Chip Cookies, not health cookies or anything ridiculous like that.

They are modified to incorporate wholemeal (wholewheat) flour, reduce the butter by half and include some fruit. But they still include sugar and chocolate so a health food they are not.

If you would like to make them even healthier you could replace the chocolate chips with cranberries or sultana's. Or perhaps part white chocolate and part cranberries might be a nice halfway concession.

The finished cookie is not a thin crisp one, it is a dense, more cake like cookie, which luckily is the type I prefer. It's quite substantial and makes a great after school snack with a glass of milk.

Oh and those too cute for words little spotted cups are mini latte cups by Greengate. In case you have not noticed I am kinda obsessed with their range at the moment.

Healthier Chocolate Chip Cookies (makes 16 cookies)
I used just under 1 lady finger banana - I find it's best to weigh as there can be such a variance with fruit sizes and although the recipe will still work it will make a difference to the finished cookie. Weight conversions are rounded.

1 1/2 cups plain wholemeal flour (whole wheat all purpose flour)
1 tsp bi carb soda (baking soda)
60 g (2 oz) unsalted butter
60 g (2 oz) banana cut into pieces
1 large egg at room temperature
1/4 cup caster sugar (super fine sugar or use granulated if you can't find superfine)
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup milk chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 180 C (350 F) and line a couple of baking trays with parchment paper.

Sift the flour and bi-carb (baking soda), when you are finished DO NOT DISCARD the flour husks you must tip all the fibre back into the flour and bi-carb mixture.

In a large bowl cream the butter and both sugars for 2 minutes using an electric mixer at medium-high (or high if you are using a hand mixer), add the banana and continue to mix for a couple of minutes until the mixture is smooth.

Reduce speed to low and add the eggs one at a time and the vanilla mixing in between each addition until combined and scraping down the sides as required.

With the mixer still on low add the flour mixture until combined, do not overmix. Fold in the chocolate chips by hand.

Shape 1 1/2 Tbsp (2 US TBSP) of mixture into a cookie shape on the parchment lined trays and bake for 10 - 13 minutes until the cookies are turning golden.

 This recipe is a modified version of my recipe for Full of Chocolate Chip Cookies on page 64 of my book Sweets on a Stick which is available to buy online, click the links below for Amazon and Fishpond.

Or here at fishpond (Aus/NZ)

Sweets on a Stick: More Than 150 Kid-Friendly Recipes for Cakes, Candies, Cookies, and Pies on the Go!