Monday, July 19, 2010

Mocha Layered Leaf Cake
I made this cake for my best friend Caitlin's birthday. She loves coffee and chocolate so i thought a big mocha cake would be perfect.

Mocha cake
I cheated a bit by using two boxes of chocolate cake mix from Coles. After stirring eggs, and milk and the dry cake mixture together I dissolved about three table spoons of Nescafe' Gold instant coffee in four tablespoon of steaming boiled water then added it to mixture and stirred. I only have one round cake tin so I put half the mixture into a tin bake it, took it out to cool, cleaned the tin and put in the last half of the mixture and baked it. After thoroughly cooling them i cut them in half using a serrated long knife.

Mocha frosting
I made a thick chocolate frosting and added three table spoons of the same instant coffee again and dissolved in three teaspoons of boiling water. I stirred the coffee into the icing then spreading equal amounts of the frosting between each layer.
Mocha Frosting: (recipe doubled)
250g Butter - chopped
3 cups (480g) icing sugar
1 Tbs of milk
3 tsps nescafe gold instant coffee - dissolved in 2 tsp of boiling water

Beat butter using an electric beater on medium speed. Beat butter until white as possible. Gradually beat in half the sifted icing sugar then add all the milk (in which you have added dissolved coffee), then remaining icing sugar.

Chocolate Fudge Frosting
Next i made a very very thick chocolate fudge frosting then covered the entire cake with it. This frosting was so thick it broke my electric mixer and my plastic scrapper. So in future I will follow the recipe properly and use my blender instead.

Chocolate Fudge Frosting: (recipe doubled)
Warning: Do not use electric beaters ( they may explode - learnt from experience)
400g butter softened - to achieve this, place in microwave for 10-15 seconds
400g icing sugar
400g dark chocolate - melted (I used Cadbury dark cooking chocolate)
Sift icing sugar. Place softened butter and sifted icing sugar in a food processor / blender and process/blend on medium speed until combined. Add melted chocolate and process/blend on medium to high speed until thick and smooth. Done!

White and Dark Chocolate Leaves
I made the chocolate leaves by melting dark and white chocolate in separate metal bowls over a saucepan of simmering water on the stove. Don't let the water touch the bottom of the bowls over wise the chocolate will go clumpy, also the same thing will happen if any water gets into the chocolate. Use a metal spoon to stir the chocolate. After melting the chocolate I painted about fifty leaves i had collected earlier. I washed and tried the leaves thoroughly before hand. I used a soft thin brush to paint with. The chocolate hardens after a while so I had to keep putting it back on the simmering water. When the chocolate dried, I carefully peeled it off, peeling from the part which was closest to the stem. They can be kept in the fridge if its a warm day. If you are going to attempt this, be patient, it's fussy work but the end result is worth it.
When i had all the chocolate leaves ready i began to place the leaves side by side starting from the outside of the cake working my way in. I used large leaves around the sides and smaller ones in the middle. I then added a few more leaves to any areas that had spaces between them.

Close up photo of the chocolate leaves.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Sweet Themed Creations

Corset Cupcakes

I made these corset cupcakes for vintage themed party for my friend Kit. I used a simple butter cake recipe for the base and coloured some store bought fondant with gel food dyes. I shaped the corsets by hand, then painted them with black gel dye which I mixed with a few drops of water to thin out. I used a very thin brush to paint with. I then finished them by pushes tiny coloured choc chips around the sides.

Lacy Bra, Underwear and Corset Cookies

These cookies were also for the vintage party. I cheated by buying a Coles brand butter cookie mix. After following the instructions I rolled out the dough and cut them out using a heart shaped cookie cutter. Next i cut off the pointed lower part of the heart the smoothed the sides with my fingers. After baking them i coloured some Betty Crocker Vanilla frosting with pink food gel them piped it on into the cookies. I decorated the underwear further by adding some coloured choc chips.

Beatles cupcakes
I made these cupcakes for my friend Christian's birthday as he is the biggest Beatles fan i have ever met. I cheated and used a Betty Crocker Devil's Food cake mix for the cupcake base then made a butter icing mixture but tripled the amount of ingredients. Next I separated the icing into five bowls and coloured them with gel food dye. I then added gel dye to some fondant, rolled it out and used a sharp knife to cut out number 1 shapes. For the yellow submarines I rolled out the fondant without adding any dye on a floured chopping board and again used a sharp knife to cut the fondant into a half submarine shapes. I then smoothed all the edges with my fingers. I then piped on the details as i looked at a picture of the Yellow Submarine album cover.

Top: Abby Road. Middle: Yellow Submarine. Bottom: Union Jack.

Top: 1. Middle: The Beatles Bottom: HELP!

Above: Yellow submarine

Gun Shaped Cookies
I made these gun shaped cookies for the same birthday as above. I made these because the party was gangster themed. I used a basic butter biscuit recipe the night before and cut them out and iced them the next day. Unfortunately for the people who ate them the dye left their teeth looking a bluey black colour from the dye. I used a lot of black food gel for the icing but dispute using three quarters of the bottle the icing turned a disappointing dark grey colour.
Barbie Cake

I made this Barbie for my friend Charlotte's birthday. I used a butter cake recipe and coloured it with pink gel dye. I baked the mixture in a dolly varden cake tin and doll which i rented from a lovely cupcake shop Once the cake had cooled I iced a thick layer of Betty Crocker Vanilla frosting all over, then piped on home made butter icing using a large star nozzle on the piping bag. I coloured three different shades of pink into the butter icing using gel dye. Lastly i gently pushed the dolls half body into the top of the cake then iced over her chest.

Some ingredients used:

This is how i manage to get all my creations to their destinations safe and sound:

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Honey Soy Pork Spare Ribs
Photo coming soon :)

What You'll need:

- 1kg of pork spare ribs or american style pork ribs ( available at Coles and Woolworths)

- 1 and a half tablespoons of Hoisin sauce

- 3 teaspoons of sugar

- 1 tablespoon of honey

- 3 tablespoons of soy sauce

- 1 teaspoon of garlic powder or 2 fresh garlic cloves

- 1 teaspoon of fresh or powered ginger ( i used chopped ginger from a jar)

- salt and pepper

- a small grinding of dried chilli ( optional)

If you used fresh ginger or garlic finely chop it. Throw all the above ingredients into a bowl and mix until combined. I prefer to use my hands to mix all the ingredients together then add the ribs and rub the sauce all over them.

Place the ribs side by side in a glass or ceramic dish or large bowl, don't use a metal bowl if marinating for longer than an two hours. Cover with plastic wrap and pop int the fridge for a minimum of thirty minutes. The longer you leave them to marinade the better the will taste.

Preheat the oven on 200 degrees for ten minutes. Take your ribs out of the fridge and place them side by side in a baking tray lined with baking paper or foil (save the left over sauce).

Pop them into the oven for forty five minutes ( turn them over and baste them using a spoon or pastry brush after the first twenty minutes).

Serve with rice, yum!
Hope you enjoy, Love Jem.