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.
I have an obsessive personality, and lately I have been micromanaging my apartment into the perfect blend of ‘accidental’ chic and purposeful perfection.
As a break from all of that, I decided to hop into the kitchen to make some jam drops.
First step is to gather up all the ingredients. Story about the butter – Simon Johnson left Echire butter that was 2 days before the expiry date on their shelves and we bought some unknowingly. As an apology they gave us a block of Lescure for free because there wasn’t any Echire left. Not complaining!
Vanilla from Heilala – supposedly award winning and whatnot. I haven’t tried out enough pastes to make a proper comment but seems good so far.
Also, in line with the chia craze, I got a bottle of raspberry jam with chia from Henry Jones & Co. Yes – I’m always searching for the new and novel. That makes this recipe vaguely healthy, no?
Yes, I know that my supposed every Monday and Thursday posts have not been forthcoming for an entire four months. The truth is, life caught up with me and the other truth is that I was lazy. I didn’t want to face the mountain of dirty dishes that comes with baking and decorating, particularly with the more complex projects that I embark on.
Anyway, last night I decided to push myself and baked off a quick and easy batch of friands and they turned out great!
These took almost no time at all to make and best of all, very little dishes to wash up because there was no creaming or whisking or anything fancy involved. And berries makes everything look pretty.
Ingredients (makes 6)
1/4 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup almond meal
2 egg whites
1/3 cup self raising flour
1/4 cup raspberries
Heat oven to 180 Celcius.
Pour all ingredients except the raspberries into a bowl and mix well together.
Spoon mixture into friand tins or cupcake ones if you don’t have them.
Press the raspberries into the top.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden and springs back when pressed.
I have this bright idea of decorating my Christmas tree with edible objects every year. I decided on pretzel wreaths this year – simple, effective and long-lasting.
This isn’t a particularly original idea – I saw this on Pinterest a while ago but wanted to make my own and put my own spin on them. I used up my extra leaves and flowers from a different project and did some of the others with a variety of sprinkles.
Ingredients and Materials
Chocolate, melted (read how I melt chocolate the easy way) Mini pretzels Waxed paper Sprinkles or desired decorations Ribbon
Watch the YouTube video I made below:
And here they are on my Christmas tree! I thoroughly enjoyed the process and I hope you did as well!
I am sorry I have not been posting – I went away to Europe (thoroughly enjoyed myself – I now want to move to Germany for 6 months if I have the chance!) and have just been so busy catching up with everything when I got back that I just did not have the time or energy to come up with any inspiration. Things have changed though and today I finally got round to making something.
To be honest, I am not the most talented when it comes to Swiss rolls – more often than not they become cake sandwiches. This was a slightly fancier version as well as I had decided to pipe holly leaves and cranberries as a motif.
Recipe as follows:
Christmas Swiss Roll
Ingredients and equipment
2 eggs 110g optima flour (an Asian sponge cake mix) 15ml water 1 tsp vanilla essence 30g butter, melted Food colouring of choice 20cm x 30cm baking pan Silicone coated baking paper Disposable piping bags
Line tin with silicone coated baking paper.
Whisk eggs, flour, water and vanilla together until light in colour and double in volume – this may take up to 5-10 minutes depending on the speed of your mixer.
Add melted butter to the mixture and fold in until full incorporated.
Remove a tablespoon of mixture and add colour as desired – in my case I made one tablespoon red and the other green. Place coloured mixture into piping bags.
Pipe patterns as desired onto the baking paper in the tin. Place in freezer until fully set (1-2 hours).
Preheat oven to 160°C (fan-forced).
Pour remaining batter over frozen pattern and even out with spatula. Bake for 8-10 minutes.
Remove from oven and roll. Fill with desired filling.
Tip: Roll the cake as soon as it is out of the oven to prevent cracks from forming and make sure the cake is not over baked.
Just a simple project – hopefully I get into more complex things in the near future but for now – that’s it! Glad to be back.
I’m sorry there was no post on Thursday. The cake in the photo above is the reason for the delay. I got a last minute call requesting for a pillow cake for 42 people and pretty much spent my week either at work being a dentist and managing a practice at the peak period of school holidays and coming home to work on this cake. To say that I am exhausted is an understatement. Truth be told, I don’t even know how I managed to get both jobs done. Adrenaline, I assume.
As a result of that experience, I have decided that I will only be posting once a week on Sunday instead of twice as I was doing previously. The reason is obvious – I just don’t have enough time and as my posts and projects increase in complexity it takes more and more time to complete as well.
Anyway, on to the cake! It was not my original idea as the client had this cake in mind, so the structure and colour scheme of the cake was already prescribed. However, the finishing touches were and my favourite part of it was definitely the tiara which I designed from scratch at 1am on Thursday in bed, trying not to fall asleep.
Zoe’s Pillow Cake
Ingredients and Materials
40g white chocolate, melted Disposable piping bag Waxed paper Tiara template (available for download here) Edible pearls Tweezers
Watch the YouTube video below for full instructions:
Chocolate Cake Recipe
Ingredients (for 2 tiers, one 8 inch round and one 10 inch square)
750g dark chocolate, chopped 750ml water 840g brown sugar
600g butter, room temperature 840g brown sugar 12 eggs 1080g self raising flour 60g cocoa powder
Preheat oven to 160°C (fan forced).
Line all baking tins with baking paper.
Combine all ingredients from List A in a microwave safe bowl and cook in 30 second intervals until ingredients are melted, stirring in between each interval. Mixture may look like it has split slightly but that is okay. Set aside.
Working off the ingredients from List B, cream butter and sugar in a food processor until light and fluffy.
Add eggs one at a time, beating and scraping the sides of the bowl down between each addition.
Pour warm mixture prepared from List A into the bowl and mix. Add self-raising flour and cocoa powder and mix until well combined. Mixture will be fairly runny.
Bake in baking tins – two 8-inch rounds and two 10-inch squares. Baking time will vary – about 50-75 minutes depending on the size of the cake. Cake is done when a skewer when inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Wrap cakes immediately in cling wrap after they are removed from the baking tins and freeze.
500g butter, softened 500g icing sugar 125g dark chocolate, melted (my favourite method for melting chocolate outlined here)
Cream butter and sugar together in mixer until light and fluffy.
Pour melted chocolate in and mix until well incorporated.
Ingredients and Materials
3.5kg fondant (I used Satin Ice) Dowels Decorations as desired 6 inch round cardboard base 8 inch square cardboard base 13 inch square cake board
Roll 1kg fondant into a 14 inch square and use that to cover the cake board. Leave to set for at least a day before placing the cake on top of it.
Stack round cakes fill with buttercream. Cake should be sitting on a 6 inch round cardboard base with a punched hole at the center for dowel to go through
Trim into a shape of a pillow using a serrated knife and cover with buttercream. Put into fridge to firm up. Roll 1kg of fondant into a 17 inch disc and cover the cake.
Repeat with square cakes, rolling 1.4kg of fondant into a 19 inch square before covering.
Place 4 dowels into the square cake to support the weight of the round cake above.
Place square cake on cake board. Insert a taller dowel that spans both tiers into the cake and slide round cake down onto it to prevent movement of tiers.
Decorate as desired.
And that’s it! Other decorations that I used included fondant flowers, quilting the fondant with a stitch tool and ropes for the tassels and trim of the white pillow. The pink pillow was trimmed with royal icing.
I apologize – the photography of this cake was not what it should have been. I had about 10 minutes to photograph it before delivering it thus the very substandard image!
It was quite an experience, but what is going to be an even more exciting experience is when I go to London in a couple of weeks! I will be attending a cake decorating course there so it’s going to be pretty exciting to learn more techniques and improve my skills. Can’t wait to go – I fully intend to check myself into a day spa for a couple of days to unwind. The last few months have been overwhelming.
A while ago, I made some sugar diamonds for fun. I told my assistant that I didn’t know what to do with them and she suggested using them as leaves. And that was how this gingerbread tree came to being.
I decided to let a spider live in the tree, and his name is Alexander. Because I couldn’t think of any other names that rhymed with spider.
Halloween Gingerbread Tree
Ingredients and Equipment (for one tree)
Gingerbread Tree Template (click link to acquire) 70g butter 50g brown sugar 2 tablespoons golden syrup 150g plain flour 1 tablespoon ground ginger
Preheat oven to 160°C (fan-forced).
Cut tree template out and set aside.
In a saucepan, melt butter, brown sugar and golden syrup together until it becomes a thick sauce. Add flour and ginger and mix until it forms a dough.
Roll dough out immediately in between two non-stick baking sheets and place template on top of dough.
Using a sharp knife, cut the outline of the tree and remove all the surplus dough. Do not transfer tree cutout. The tree should be baked on the very same sheet it was cut on to reduce any distortion. Repeat with second tree template.
Place baking sheet on a baking tray and bake for 15-20 minutes or until firm and slightly brown. Leave to cool before removing from tray.
1 egg white (not all will be used) 100g icing sugar Food colouring of choice
Add food colouring to icing sugar and using a teaspoon, gradually add a little egg white at a time while mixing until the desired consistency is achieved.
Ombre Sugar Diamonds
I will be doing a separate post on this later this week so stay tuned for that!
Equipment and Ingredients
25g dark chocolate, melted
5g white chocolate, melted
Black food colouring
Cocktail stick Waxed paper
Pipe chocolate on waxed paper into the shape of a spider’s web. I did it free-hand but if you would prefer to have a template one is easily available by doing a Google Image Search.
For the spider, pipe a round circle and then draw out 8 legs out from the body. Leave to set. Then, use white chocolate to pipe the eyes of the spider. Dip the tip of a cocktail stick into some black colouring and dot the eyes on.
The video at the top of the page outlines the assembly of the tree. If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment and I’ll get back to you!
I didn’t do anything special for the photography this time – just cardboard as the background and light coming from the right hand side of the image.
This was my very first Halloween project. In Australia, it isn’t a very big thing so nobody really goes all out but I have to say that I enjoyed it and might try to squeeze another one in before October ends. Maybe. Can’t believe it’s almost the end of the year!
Guess what? I finally bought myself a camera after years of sponging off my housemate!
To celebrate the fact that it can record HD videos, I decided to make a chocolate butterfly tutorial. I have actually made a template for it in a previous post (Butterfly Chocolate Tart) but I figured this time I’d actually do a tutorial on it as well! You can probably tell I am quite the amateur (half the video was out of focus… oops!) but hopefully they get better as I go along.
The chocolate cakes were tasty – soft on the inside with a slightly crunchy texture on the outside. The addition ganache made everything taste even better – it always does!
Recipe as follows:
Mini Butterfly Chocolate Cakes
Chocolate Sponge Cake
Ingredients(makes 6 small cakes)
1 egg 1/4 cup sugar 1/3 cup self raising flour 1 tablespoon cocoa powder 1/4 cup butter, melted Cooking spray
Preheat oven to 160°C (fan-forced).
Grease baking tin with cooking spray.
Whisk egg and sugar together until light in colour and thickened in texture (3-5 minutes).
Fold in flour and cocoa powder.
Pour in butter and fold until incorporated.
Place mixture into a piping bag and pipe into cupcake pan or mini bundt tins.
Bake for 10-15 minutes or until cakes spring back when pressed.
30g dark chocolate 50ml cream
Place chocolate and cream in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 20 seconds.
Remove from microwave and stir. Repeat step 1 until mixture is smooth and shiny.
Above is my photography set up for this project. It was a frantic race against the sunset and I have to say the good news about that is that I’m forced to take a photograph – any photograph – instead of wasting half an hour rearranging various things. The background is a very well worn baking sheet, which you will all be familiar with by now. The light is coming in from the right hand side of the photograph.