Ramadan is now far behind us, I know, but if you’re like us (we tend to stock up on dates, 7kgs worth), you might still have some left over. If you want to use up some dates or just want a datey (totally a word, right?) treat, try these!
These macarons are slightly different to the norm, brown sugar is used to make the meringue instead of the usual white sugar. The brown sugar gives a subtle taste difference as well as a slight creamy tinge.
Brown Sugar Macarons
40g egg white (1 egg white at room temperature)
56g almond meal
72g icing sugar
20g light brown sugar
Measure out your ingredients. Combine almond meal and icing sugar and grind till a fine powder. Whip egg whites till foamy, slowly stream in the brown sugar until egg whites are stiff and glossy. Sift almond meal and icing sugar mixture on top of egg whites and fold until just combined.
Pre heat oven to 150°c. Fill mixture into piping bag and pipe 3cm rounds onto baking paper lined trays. Let mixture sit for 15-30 minutes. Place in oven for 17 minutes (I found that the substitution of brown sugar required the macarons baking for a little longer then usual) or until tops don’t move when pushed with a finger.
Sticky Date Filling
1/2 cup pitted dates (I use medjool)
100g softened butter
3 tblsp cooled butterscotch sauce (recipe below, alternatively you could use 1/4 cup of brown sugar)
Pit dates and place in a bowl, fill with hot water until all the dates are immersed, leave to soak for 10 minutes. Cream butter till fluffy. Drain all excess water from the dates and process till smooth and pasty. Add date paste and butterscotch to butter, beat until combined. Fill a piping bag, ready to fill macarons.
1 tblsp dark brown sugar
1 tblsp butter
3 tblsp cream
Place sugar and butter on a medium heat on the stove. Mix till sugar dissolves. Add in cream and mix till combined, set aside to cool.
To assemble macarons, pipe sticky date filling into one macaron shell and sandwich with the other. Sticky, datey, yummy macarons!
Cardamon? Cardamom? I’ve always been a cardamon kinda girl, but I get that crooked red line every time I type it that way. How do you spell it? Doesn’t matter I guess, these rose and cardamon macarons are good!
These macarons were from this Eid Dessert Table post. I made them using the Italian meringue method (will be uploading a recipe). But for now, here’s the recipe for the filling.
Rose and Cardamon Filling
(fills approx 20 macarons)
50g softened butter
3/4 cup icing sugar
1 tblsp rose syrup
1/2 tsp cardamon powder
Beat butter till soft and creamy, add icing sugar and beat till smooth. Add syrup and cardamon and beat till well combined. Fill into a piping bag and fill macarons.
Fragrant and flavoursome these rose and cardamon macarons are a treat fit for any time of the year.
I made this cake as an order for some friends. Was quite interesting how it all came together.
I don’t have a soccer ball mould, so I baked the bottom of the cake in a standard spring form pan and the top rounded ball part in a round metal bowl. After baking I realised the round bowl just wasn’t round enough. I cut of all the excess cake to even it out, I crumbed this and mixed it with chocolate buttercream to create a mixture that I could mould (great for cake pops as well). I took this mixture and moulded it into a very round bowl that I borrowed from my in laws, set it in the freezer and it was the perfect shape.
To make the soccer ball black and white shapes I used this template, which I found through Google images. I printed and cut it out, laid it on the cake and marked it by scoring the edges with a blunt knife, I then lined these markings with black buttercream and filled the spaces with white.
Here’s my tip for getting a really black buttercream. I made a big batch of plain buttercream and separated a small portion to be turned black. I kept adding black gel colouring until I achieved black, but lo and behold even after adding the whole bottle I still only had grey. I didn’t have any more black colouring so I panicked a little, then decided to add in some cocoa powder, this worked a treat, I had black buttercream in no time, and what’s even better it tasted really good!
In other news, my baby boy is 20 months today! I cannot believe it! Where has the time gone?
Hope this post helps anyone out there attempting to make a soccer ball cake, wasn’t so hard now that I think about it now!
I sent out a few orders last week, one was a soccer ball cake (will upload pics soon) and the other macarons.
These orange and blue macarons are an order from Siddiqa who requested these colours to match the theme of her Eid Favours for her colleagues at work, check out her blog post about them here. I had free reign on flavours, so I went with salted caramel buttercream for the orange ones and vanilla white chocolate ganache for the blues. Will be uploading the recipes for these very soon.
Just a quick note: I don’t actually take orders, mainly because I just don’t have the time to, but I am willing to help out if I can, so if you need something, feel free to give me a shout.
Peanut butter and nutella is an amazing combination. The best thing since sliced bread, or the best thing on sliced bread rather! Apart from putting together the frosting I also experimented with my own chocolate cupcake recipe. It turned out pretty well, I do think it would work better as a cake or mini cake recipe though. The recipe turned out light, moist fluffy cakes, so light and fluffy in fact that they came away from the cupcake liners, still tasty though so I’m not complaining, and definitely a good attempt for a first try at complete recipe development.
Also, you’ll notice the title of this post is nutella, peanut butter ‘frosting’. We call it icing here, but I think ‘frosting’ sounds so much better.
To get the 2 tone frosting effect I put each frosting in separate disposable bags and then into a cotton piping bag. You can of course put both frostings in 1 bag on 2 different sides, I didn’t do this for 2 reasons, I wanted the 2 frostings fairly defined and I wanted to be able to store each of the left over frostings separately. You’ll notice the nozzle above is round, I did end up changing it as I wanted something frillier.
Chocolate Cupcake recipe
125 g butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 cup plain flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup buttermilk (1/4 cup milk + 1/4 cup yogurt)
Pre heat oven to 180C. In a mixer beat butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla essence. Add flour, baking and cocoa powder. While combining, slowly add buttermilk till completely combined. Using a spoon fill into a cupcake pan 3/4 of the way up. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until skewer comes out clean.
Peanut Butter Nutella Frosting
2 cups icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup nutella
Beat butter sugar and vanilla on a low speed at first so you don’t have any flying icing sugar. Then move to a high speed until light and fluffy. If your buttercream feels a little stiff, add in 1-2 tblsp hot water. Separate into 2 equal batches. Mix in peanut butter to 1 batch and nutella into the other. Fill a piping bag and decorate as you wish.
One of my favourite flavour combinations, peanut butter and nutella works so well together, if you’re a fan too, give this frosting a try!
PS. I was meant to post this a while ago but haven’t had a chance, so just wanted to say sorry to all those people fasting at the moment.
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.