It has been a long time since I last posted. But here’s a post now – of my delicate little farfalle pieces, each one different than the last.
I read a book that talked about cooking being a form of therapy – a chance to escape all the worries of the future and the regrets of the past. And as I shaped each delicate little butterfly I did just that. I savoured every part of it – the texture of the dough, the clicking sound of the pasta wheel, the scent of flour in the air, the colour of the board peeking through the thin sheets.
For an hour in my little kitchen bathed in autumn sunlight, I was me.
I’ve been doing a lot more home cooking lately and I find it very difficult to photograph delicious food. Somehow, it always looks flat and boring.
Tried my best and managed to get a decent (I think) shot of this one pot rice meal. The trick for me was to make sure all the good stuff like the olives, lemon, chicken and chorizo was sitting on the surface.
It has been a while.
Working full time, planning a wedding and honeymoon, house hunting and general laziness has kept me away. But today I chose to revisit one of my favourite past times – baking.
My efforts produced the lightest yet richest batch of chocolate cupcakes topped with whipped ganache and a generous sprinkle of salt.
The perfect end to a beautiful spring day.
I am a proud owner of a thriving oregano plant and found a recipe from the March 2017 Coles Magazine and decided to give it a go so that I could enjoy the herbs of my labour.
The results were beautiful – so much so I just had to take a photograph of it.
The recipe is recommended however I would suggest checking the flavour balance at the end before serving as mine came out a little bit under-seasoned. Once corrected it was delicious!
Last weekend I decided to churn my own butter out of cream and make some banana bread. This was my first attempt at churning and it was very rewarding! Don’t think I’ll be doing it on a daily basis but I think if I am in need of some buttermilk I might just do it again – doing it in the food processor was a breeze.
Not pretty, but so delicious!
The cake came out nice and light thanks to the buttermilk in the recipe. Recipe was from Coles Magazine September 2016 – which is my new favourite publication. Lots of easy seasonal recipes – well worth the effort!
About a year ago, I made some peacock profiteroles and there were many readers who suggested that I made a turkey version for Thanksgiving. Well – here they are. Turkey profiteroles!
20g cocoa powder
50g dark chocolate, melted
50g white chocolate, melted
Red and orange gel food colouring (do not substitute with liquid)
Nutella, for filling
Template (create your own or feel free to modify my peacock template one to suit)
1. Preheat oven to 200 Celcius.
2. Place water and butter in a pot and bring to a simmer. Add flour and cocoa powder and cook while stirring until it forms a ball. Add the eggs one at a time and beat vigorously and mix until mixture is glossy and comes together.
3. Place dough in piping bag and pipe out small round circles onto baking paper. Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until dry. Leave to cool.
4. Fill profiteroles with Nutella using a piping bag.
5. Colour the white chocolate red and orange using gel food colouring.
6.Pipe melted chocolate onto wax paper following the prepared template. Sequence is displayed in the diagrams on the left. You can watch my chocolate bat tutorial for more information regarding piping chocolate and releasing the pieces from the paper.
7. Assemble by cutting small slits into the profiterole and gently easing the chocolate pieces into the slots.
That’s pretty much it! It’s actually not that difficult, just a little fiddly though due to the delicate nature of the chocolate pieces. Below is my sketch for the project. In regards to the styling – I didn’t do much. It isn’t autumn in Australia at the moment so autumn props such as acorns and pine cones etc are not available at the moment unfortunately.
That’s it for me this time – let me know what you think!
In Australia, a hedgehog can mean the animal or the treat. Today, I decided to combine the two of them and make hedgehog hedgehogs!
250g plain biscuits, coarsely crushed
1/2 cup dessicated coconut
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
100g dark chocolate
1 tsbp golden syrup
100g chocolate (for dipping)
100g chocolate chips (for decoration)
Black piping gel
- Combine all the ingredients of the first list together.
- Mold into egg shaped pieces and leave in refrigerator to set for an hour or two or until firm.
- Dip pieces into dark chocolate and decorate with chocolate chips, black piping gel and nuts.
Below is my rough sketch – originally i was going to do a huge one made out of Hershey’s Kisses as well but decided against it due to the sheer amount of chocolate I would have to consume. Might be cool for one of you guys to make it instead though!
Honey and camomile – my new bedtime beverage before I drift off to sleep on my duck down pillows, which are incidentally my favourite kind of pillow, regardless of how unhygienic and allergy causing it supposedly is.
Here’s my sketch of my vision of what I think my cupcake should look like. Apologies for my drawing skills – drawing was never my strong suit.
Also, on a side note – I would like to tell you that all was not fine and dandy in the kitchen when I attempted this recipe. I photographed my egg disaster:
Tip of the day : Make sure all utensils are absolutely spotless before attempted to beat your egg whites, otherwise…. well – let this photo be a cautionary tale.
Onto the recipe!
Ingredients (Makes 6 cupcakes)
1/2 cup self raising flour
1/3 cup caster sugar
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
3 tabsp vegetable oil
1 teabag of camomile tea
1 egg white
25g caster sugar
Plastic ipettes (I got mine off eBay)
Fondant bumblebees (tutorial here)
1. Preheat oven to 160 Celcius (fan forced). Mix all the cupcake ingredients together and beat with an electric mixer for about 5 minutes or until light. Pour into a piping bag and pipe into cupcake liners for the neatest result. Bake for 20 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly pressed.
2. Whip egg white into soft peak stage in an electric mixer. Meanwhile, heat sugar and water to 121 Celcius. Pour sugar mix into egg white while mixer is running at low speed and then turn up to high speed. Continue to whip for another 5 minutes or until cool.
3. To decorate, watch the video tutorial I made here.
If you wanted to know what my photography set up was, here it is! Just the usual settings – 60mm 2.8f shot with a Canon 7D and edited with Lightroom 4.
My favourite part of Halloween has most definitely got to be the pumpkin carving.
I did it together with a few friends and this was the pièce de résistance, carved by my extremely talented friend:
In case you were wondering, the moon was suspended using a length of flower wire and was curved to insert into the pumpkin and the moon at an angle rather than straight for retention purposes.
It was highly enjoyable – looking forward to next Halloween.