Archive of ‘Sweet’ category

Cupcake Decorating 101

This has been an extremely interesting weekend for me. I attended a cupcake class and bought a bird. THAT’S RIGHT A BIRD! I’m not a very big pet person, but myself and hubby have both previously owned cockatiels and thought it might be a nice idea to get one for our little boy. He loves the bird, however, it is terrified of him, no surprise there!

Anyway, back to baking. I attended the cupcake class with Siddiqa from Cupcakes with Siddiqa (go over and check out her blog, some great ideas for cupcake decorating). The class was run by Sumayya from Mio Cupcakes. I’ve had a few orders by them before, their work is amazing, so I was very eager to attend a class with them.







The class is a great experience for beginners. Sumayya shares some simple tips on how to work fondant  for decorations and using buttercream. My personal favourites were the fondant bow and pleated ribbon rose (photo above). After 2 & 1/2 hours of hands on work, we all left with 6 very pretty cupcakes. Check out some more photos below.

Ferrero Rocher Macarons

Don’t mean to toot my own horn, but I have to say, these are amazing! I’ve been wanting to make these for such a long time, and I finally did. There isn’t actually any ferrero rocher in these, but the flavours have been inspired by those yummy hazelnut chocolates.





Ferrero Rocher Macarons

35g egg white

15g sugar

45g almond meal

65g icing sugar

2 tsp cocoa powder

Ferrero Filling

1/4 cup nutella

12 whole roasted hazelnuts

2 tblsp crushed roasted hazelnuts

Measure out your almond meal, icing sugar and cocoa powder, grind these to a fine powder and sift into a bowl. Weigh your egg white and sugar separately. Whip whites until frothy, begin to add your sugar in a slow stream until the egg whites turn stiff and glossy. Sift almond meal icing sugar mixture into egg whites then fold gently until it just combine. Fill mixture into a piping bag and pipe onto baking paper lined baking trays. Leave the macarons to set for half an hour or more. Pre heat oven to 150C and bake for 15 mins. For a more detailed explanation, check out this post.

Fill nutella into piping bag and pipe into half the macarons shells. Place 1 whole hazelnut in the centre of the piped nutella, top with the other shell and roll the nutella edge in crushed hazelnuts.







If you love Ferroros or nutella for that matter, you’ll love these Ferroro Rocher inspired macarons.

Strawberries ‘n Cream Macarons

It’s the Wimbledon finals this weekend, and if you follow the tennis you’ll know that strawberries and cream is a big Wimbledon tradition. My sister in law is staying with us at the moment and she is a huge Federer fan, needless to say she is ecstatic that he is in the finals tomorrow. We’ve therefore decided to get all decked out and have strawberries and cream while watching, any excuse for a treat I say. Since I like to get creative with flavours and love macarons I figured I would just slap some strawberries and cream into a macaron. The flavour is subtle, light and fresh. So yummy!







Macarons

I used the recipe in this post, with the addition of a tiny hint of red food colouring instead of the green.

Strawberries ‘n Cream filling

1/2 cup whipping cream

3 strawberries

1 tsp icing sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla essence

Place sugar, cream and vanilla essence in a bowl and whip till stiff, be careful not to over beat or your cream will curdle and turn into butter. Remove leafy end of strawberry. Finely chop strawberries and fold into cream. Use a piping bag or just spoon the cream filling into half the macaron shells, top with the other halves.

Make sure to add these to the menu for the finals tomorrow, it’ll take the ordinary strawberries ‘n cream to the extreme!

Homemade Jam

We’re not really a jam family. We don’t usually have jam on hand, but we definitely enjoy it when we do. I love jam on toast with a piece of cheese (cheese? what? trust me it tastes good) and hubby enjoys the good ol’ peanut butter and jam sandwiches.





I recently made some Master Chef inspired melting moments and needed some jam for them so I had to rely on a recipe I used to use once upon a time. I haven’t made it often, but it comes out so well and definitely tastes better than store bought jam. I don’t know exactly when and where I started using this recipe but I do remember that I based it on having briefly watched Jamie Oliver making jam on one of his shows, I wouldn’t say this is his recipe because I honestly don’t remember exactly what he did, but some of the techniques and ideas definitely came from watching him.

Homemade Jam

2 cup berries (I used frozen raspberries)
2/3 cup water
2 tblsp sugar (more or less depending on how sweet you like it)
A few drops of lemon juice (not entirely necessary)

Put all the ingredients on a medium to high heat on the stove and let it come to a light boil. Skim off any foam that forms on the top. When foam stops forming, mush the berries with a fork or spoon. When you notice it has thickened it’s pretty much done. It will set further once cool. The recipe is very adaptable, it can be halved, doubled, tripled etc.

No matter how you like it, in a peanut butter sandwich, on biscuits, in donuts or on toast with a piece of cheese, this is a great easy recipe for homemade jam.

Pistachio cupcakes





I made these for a family get together. They were a hit. They’re very simple, especially if you already have a cupcake recipe you love, but they’re different and very tasty.





What you’ll need

1/2 cup crushed pistachios per 12 cupcakes*

1/2 cup icing (I used buttercream and tinted it a light green)

Plus 1 tablespoon for garnish

I used my no mixer cupcake recipe.

*The next time I make these I’ll probably roast the nuts first. It brings out the flavour in the nuts and the crispier texture would go better in the cupcakes

After making your cupcake mixture, fold in half a cup of crushed pistachios. Fill and bake cupcakes as normal. I made these cupcakes with a plain buttercream but I think a white chocolate ganache would go nicely as well. Pipe on your icing and sprinkle with more nuts.

The pistachios add a wonderful texture while still keeping the cupcakes moist and fluffy. If you love pistachios, try my pistachio macaron recipe.

Creme Brulee Macarons

I’ve been wanting to make these babies for a while. Creme brûlée macarons. What a treat! If you love creme brûlée and you love macarons, then this is the combo for you!







After making macarons I always have left over egg yolks, but the best thing about this recipe is that you get to use up that egg yolk. It is used to make the thick custard filling for the macarons, which is then rolled in shards of caramel to give you that hard sugar cracking effect.

I have to admit, nothing beats breaking through the sugar top on a creme brûlée to get to that smooth set custard, but this comes pretty darn close.

Macarons

34g egg white (approx 1 egg white)

25g castor sugar

45g almond meal

55g icing sugar

Measure out your almond meal and icing sugar, grind these to a fine powder and sift into a bowl. Weigh your egg white and sugar separately. Whip whites until frothy, begin to add your sugar in a slow stream until the egg whites turn stiff and glossy. Sift almond meal icing sugar mixture into egg whites then fold gently until it just combine. Fill mixture into a piping bag and pipe onto baking paper lined baking trays. Leave the macarons to set for half an hour or more. Pre heat oven to 150C and bake for 15 mins. For a more detailed explanation, check out this post.

Creme Patissiere
(thick custard) 
1 egg yolk
2 tblsp sugar

1 tsp vanilla essence

1 tblsp cornflour
125ml milk
Heat milk on medium heat on the stove. Mix egg yolk, sugar, and vanilla in a bowl. Dilute corn flour in a about 1 tbslp more milk and add to egg mixture. Once milk is heated, add to egg mixture and mix well. Return milk and egg mixture to the heat. Whisk until thick and remove from stove. Once cool, fill in a piping bag.
Caramel
2 tblsp sugar
Set aside a piece of baking paper. Heat sugar on medium to high heat until amber in colour. Quickly and carefully pour a thin layer onto baking paper. Set aside till cold and set, crush with your hands or a rolling pin.Once macarons are cool, pipe some custard mixture into half the shells. Top with the other halves and roll in caramel shards.





These Creme Brûlée Macarons are incredibly good! Give them a go!

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