Tag Archives: icing

Gingerbread Goodness

24 Dec

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Recently at a family Christmas lunch I stumbled upon a NEW delicious Gingerbread Recipe! It is heaps better than my other one; It is soft and not as spicy. Thanks to Aunty Linda for a new recipe to try out! =) I’m still learning about flooding cookies with royal icing (this is only my 2nd attempt, here is my first attempt) but am getting better and learning techniques as I go – Which is the point, right? 🙂

 

Here is the recipe… 🙂 Enjoy!

Gingerbread Recipe courtesy of Aunty Linda

Gingerbread Recipe courtesy of Aunty Linda, from “Woman’s Weekly” (she thinks… :D)

Cupcakes, anyone?

24 Nov

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Now, I know that every man and his dog has jumped on board the “homemade cupcake” train. Sadly I am one of those peeps too. I really get enjoyment out of decorating these pretty little cakes though. They give me satisfaction and usually the process is quite relaxing.

Lately I’ve been working on my fondant work, sugar flowers and butter cream piping. I’m happier with where my skill set is at now.

The problem is that quite often there are too many sweet goods in my house. Too many! Oh, my life is so hard! 😉

So, I’m looking for opportunities to practice my cupcake skills at the moment; opportunities whereby the cupcakes would then leave my house. 🙂

If you would like some cupcakes and you know that you live local-ish to me, let me know when you next have an event and I’ll give it a red-hot go for you! 🙂 It’s a win-win situation for everyone. Go here to see some examples of my work. 🙂

Here are some of my pieces from a recent farewell lunch at my work. Vanilla cupcakes – some with vanilla bean buttercream, some with fresh raspberry buttercream and some with buttercream and then fondant covered.

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Pepper the Fairy vs The Evil Mixing Bowl.

28 Oct

My four year old niece said that these biscuits tasted like “pepper and fairies”. 🙂 Haha. I, of course, instantly conjured up a story in my mind about a sweet little fairy named Pepper, who one day flew too close to the mixing bowl and was never seen again, but of course I resisted telling her that.

She is too young to read this… yet. 🙂

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This was my first attempt at many of the processes involved. I know I’ll look back at them soon and cringe that I put them up here, but for today I am happy with them. I can see plenty of faults to fix up, but that just makes me more keen to try it again! They tasted pretty good, and they are not so ugly that I wouldn’t share them around family and friends.

Last christmas my sister and I both, as many people do, made gingerbread houses. You can check that blog out here. It was the first time I had built a candy house. My mother in-law had bought us a “kit house” and my husband and I had fun decorating and assembling it. I’m not a naturally competitive person, but somehow the suggestion of a competition (for this coming xmas) arose between my sister and I, and I am full on excited about it.

This year I want to do it properly; make the gingerbread and icing myself, from scratch. This year I want to use my new piping skills. This year I’m in it to win it. Haha 🙂 The point is, that this christmas IT-IS-ON!… in the land of building gingerbread houses.

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SO yesterday, mostly in an effort to NOT do my actual work I desperately needed to do, I set out to do three things. ONE to use some of the 99 cookie cutters (not exaggerating)  that were given to us as an AWESOME wedding gift from friends, TWO to make my very first actual gingerbread biscuits (as practice) and THREE to teach myself how to “flood” biscuits with royal icing. I’ve been wanting to learn how to do that for a little while anyway.

Flooding is pretty easy, once you get into the flow of it. (Nice pun, Sam! Why thank you!) 😉 I just watched a few You Tube clips, and then gave it a go. Here is one to get you started.

I let my edges dry before flooding, which is ok, but a different “look” to what this video shows you. It is the same principle. I have a few cookies left over, so I’ll try the quick, “wet on wet” method next.

I’m also going to try this one next too! 🙂 Eeee! Super excited. (I know, Mum I’m a sadcase. :))

These videos are by Sweetambs.

There are a lot of recipes for gingerbread out there. I’m not saying I know anything about them, except that this recipe worked for me. This is a recipe for a WHOLE house. I’m an idiot and didn’t halve it for the cookies yesterday. There are currently A LOT of cookies in our house. Please come and visit soon.

20121028-193413.jpgAustralian Women’s Weekly Cookbooks: BAKE.

Feel free to comment and let us all know any other tips or tricks you have. 🙂 Except my sister. Don’t tell her. 😛

Tee Hee (and I had fun with the letter cookie cutters too…)

Once a moosha, always a moosha. 🙂
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Sam’s Double Choc Raspberry Brownie Cups

14 Oct

These are made with the usual Double Choc Brownie recipe I use, however, in this case I substitute the plain flour with self raising flour. (You can make the normal recipe, if you want more of a “cupcake” rounded look. They still taste great.) If you DO substitute the self raising flour, for whatever reason, they rise, and then collapse in the middle. I suspect they are torn between the will to rise, and their insanely rich density, and it all gets too much for them. Happy accident for us, because it makes the perfect little cup to fill with raspberry buttercream, and then pop a sweet little raspberry on top. If they don’t want to sink in the middle I find calling them horrid names while banging the tray on a chopping board (while they are still hot) helps. 🙂

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For me, in this case, the raspberry buttercream, and even more so the raspberry on top is, as they say on the Telly, the real “hero” here. For me, it cuts through the heaviness of the chocolate brownie.

What’s in the buttercream?

Based on the basic recipe in The Australian Woman’s Weekly Cookbooks: BAKE

  • 125 grams unsalted butter
  • 240 grams pure icing sugar (You might need to adjust this and add more, depending on your raspberries. Keep it handy.)
  • a few raspberries, keep adding until you are happy with the taste/colour (I use frozen, because that’s what I usually have around.)

Beat the butter, until it is as white as possible. Sift the icing sugar. Push the raspberries through a sieve (I usually use both the juice and the pulp, because I like the raspberry seeds in the buttercream, but pushing it through the sieve breaks the fruit down.) Beat the icing sugar and the raspberry “puree” into the butter in two batches. Use a piping bag and nozzle to pipe into the brownies. (If you do not have a piping bag, Google how to make them out of a plastic bag, or greaseproof paper, it’s pretty easy.)

These brownies are full on rich, like for reals people. Rich as, bro. Enjoy!

A note, but not a lecture: When buying the choc chips and the cocoa powder, I strictly avoid the Nestlé brand. I initially came across the international boycott of this brand at my first University. They had a campus wide ban, and I was cranky because I couldn’t buy a certain chocolate bar I liked. It was an effective way of getting the message out there, and it certainly changed my view of things.
There is plenty of information about this boycott on the internet, and I’ll allow you to do your own research. 2 minutes of Googling and you’ll know enough to inform your choice.

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Sugar Rush Wedding Cupcakes

7 Oct

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I recently have taken quite a serious interest in cake decorating. I received a “Wedding Cup Cake Decorating Course” for my birthday this year, and this is my completed box of beautiful cupcakes. 🙂 I was more than a little chuffed with my (first time) efforts. Gosh darn it, I made those! 🙂 Sugar Rush ran a fantastic class, and I will definitely be back for more!

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Ombré ruffles, sugar flowers and piped hearts. Had so much fun learning these new skills!

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Holy Pink Ganache, Batman!

14 Jul

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Its my niece’s first birthday, and I’m trying to make her cupcakes a little bit spesh. I was having a play with using pink (white) chocolate ganache, but I found it too hard to pipe. Suggestions? Tips?

These are the super tiny cupcakes I’m making. They do not leave much room for piping error, that’s for sure. And yes, they are super tiny, it’s not just that perhaps I have giant man hands. Hopefully. 🙂

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I ended up piping with buttercream instead. They turned out quite cute, but I’m still very much a beginner and have LOTS to learn. This was just another excuse to “play” really. 🙂

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Look out! Sam’s discovered buttercream.

20 Apr

Look out! Sam’s discovered buttercream.

This week I am learning how to work with butter cream. After a recent class in Sydney, I have been keen to begin developing some piping skills.

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So sweet and tasty, and so easy to make. There have been way too many cupcakes in our house lately. And some, not so pretty. Haha. But I’m getting better!

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Xmas Gingerbread McMansion

28 Dec

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So, this was our first attempt at a gingerbread house, and we were pretty pleased with the result.

Note the musk stick pile of wood by the side of the house, the raspberry mushrooms growing around the back, and the smarty ducks (as in ducks made of Smarties, not ducks who need to learn when to button their bills) who are swimming happily in their pond nearby.

My husband and I had such a great day constructing it. It was a real return to childhood for us. So much love went into this house! … And then I ate most of it. 🙂

My sister has decided that next year we are having an official family gingerbread house competition. I’m already looking forward to that.

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