Monday, October 31, 2011

Blueberry Macarons

Wow! I can't believe it is November already, Christmas is right around the corner! I've finally gotten around to posting about my yummy blueberry macarons I made for my second birthday celebration (yes, it was all the way back in September!) I adapted my Raspberry Macarons recipe to make these and I was really happy with the flavour!

Have I mentioned that I LOVE blueberries AND the colour TEAL?! The colour didn't work out exactly as planned, I probably shouldn't have put the teal in because no one liked the colour...except me! Haha!

Blueberry Macarons

Blueberry Macarons 
Adapted from Women's Weekly Macarons & Biscuits 

Ingredients: 
3 Egg Whites
1/4 C Caster Sugar
Blue (and teal?) Colouring Gel
1 1/4 C Icing Sugar
1 C (120g) Ground Almonds

1) Line two oven trays with baking paper, once you have made your macaron mixture you can use small blobs to secure these to the tray.
2) Sift icing sugar and ground almonds together a few times in a separate bowl, set aside.
3) Beat egg whites in a small bowl until soft peaks form.
4) Add caster sugar and a few drops of colouring gel, beat until sugar dissolves.
5) Transfer mixture to a large bowl and fold in sifted icing sugar and ground almonds in two batches.
6) Spoon mixture into piping bag fitted with 2cm plain tube.
7) Pipe 4cm rounds about 2cm apart onto trays. I like to print out circles on paper and put these underneath the baking paper so I get perfect circles (for some reason they all come out different sizes otherwise!) then you can remove the circle paper before baking.
8) Tap trays on bench so macarons spread slightly.
9) Let stand for half an hour.
10) Meanwhile, preheat oven to 150 degrees C.
11) Bake macarons about 20 minutes. Check to see how your macarons are doing after about 15 minutes. If they look like they are browning too much lower the temperature of the oven by 10-15 degrees for the next batch.
12) Cool on trays.

Blueberry Macarons

Blueberry White Chocolate Ganache 
Ingredients: 
1/4 C Cream
150g White Eating Chocolate (chopped coarsely)
1 T Blueberry Jam (warmed up and then sieved)
Blue (or teal) Colouring Gel

1) Bring cream to boil in a small saucepan.
2) Remove from heat and add chocolate, stir until smooth.
3) Heat jam in microwave and pour through a sieve.
4) Stir in jam and tint with colouring gel.
5) Refrigerate until spreadable.
6) Pair up macarons of similar sizes then pipe on the filling and squish them together. YUM!

Blueberry Macarons

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Mini Pavlovas for the All Blacks

Seeing as this has been a very rugby-filled week (well in NZ it's been a rugby-filled two months actually!) I thought I would share with you the cute pavlovas I made for watching the final game on Sunday.

Mini Pavlova


Pavlova is a very very Kiwi dessert. I think the Aussies tried to steal it from us but it is definitely a Kiwi dessert. It is basically eggs and sugar (a lot like meringue) baked then topped with cream and fruit.

Mini Pavlovas


If you want to make these yourself it's totally easy because you can cheat! (I did!) Buy six mini pavlovas, top with whipped cream and whatever yummy fruit is in season. Strawberries, kiwifruit and mixed berries go really well! I used some passion fruit pulp then topped with kiwifruit that I cut out with a heart shaped cookie cutter, then made some home made All Blacks supporter flags on toothpicks and popped them on top. Voila! Mini Pavlovas perfect for watching the game and VERY Kiwi!

Mini Pavlovas

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Rugby Cakes for the All Blacks Win!

Last night was one of the most amazing moments in NZ history. The All Blacks won the 2011 Rugby World Cup!



Lets celebrate with some cake (and cookies?) Check out these bad boys below:

By Kylandi Catering

Photo from here

By Cakeology
By Heather's Cakes

By Emily's Custom Bakeshop

Rugby Cake Topper Found on WeddingStar.com

By The Whole Cake and Caboodle

Monday, October 17, 2011

Nike 'Kicks' Shoe Cake

My Hubby's work mate saw a photo of the Converse Shoe Cake I made for him a while ago and thought that a shoe cake would be very fitting (sorry, I love puns!) for her son's 18th birthday.

Nike Kicks Shoe Cake

The story goes that every year she gets her son a new pair of Nike shoes, this year she wanted to get him something different for his birthday but she still wanted him to get his Nike shoes, thus the Nike shoe cake idea!

Nike Kicks Shoe Cake
Before...

It wasn't exactly the easiest cake in the world to make, I'd never made a 3D shoe cake before and the shoe couldn't be too small or they wouldn't have much cake to eat!

Nike Kicks Shoe Cake
The Picture I was Working From

Nike Kicks Shoe Cake
Just Do It!

Nike Kicks Shoe Cake
Stitching!

I didn't take many photos along the way (sorry) but I baked two square cakes and one loaf tin cake using 2 x my chocolate cake recipe then basically stacked them, with icing in between layers and hacked away at it with various knives from my kitchen. Then I covered the cake in black fondant and stuck on the other fondant colours, layer by layer. After all the fondant was in the right places I drew and indented my cake to give it all the details.

Nike Kicks Shoe Cake
The Finished Product

I hope you like it, I'm pretty proud of it myself!

Monday, October 10, 2011

How to Make Black Icing

I've had quite a few people ask me how to make black icing and I thought it might be a good idea to share with you my experiences.

Black icing quite often can make your mouth black too, it's not pretty! But sometimes you just gotta have your icing black (like if you're supporting The All Blacks?)

Black Buttercream:
I think the easiest way to make a black buttercream is to start with a chocolate buttercream (or add cocoa to your icing) it tastes good and will instantly make your icing darker.
Next add a small amount of black gel colouring using a toothpick and mix in.
Keep doing this until your icing is starting to look a bit darker. The colouring will develop over time so it's best to make this in advance and leave it for a few hours. That way you can check back on it to see if it has turned completely black, if it hasn't then just add a little bit more black again.
You can use liquid colouring too but you may have to use lots!

Photo from here
Black Royal Icing:
Royal Icing is a bit harder to make than buttercream. The best method I have used it to add a whole bunch of gel colours together to get a disgusting dark colour, then add black gel colouring. The reason I do it this way is because when ever I have added black gel to royal icing all it does is eventually go dark grey, not black.

Photo from here
Black Fondant:
Black fondant is a pain in the bum! If you are planning on covering a cake in it I would suggest buying some because it will save you a lot of time. You can also buy it then add it to a chocolate fondant then add a little black gel, that way you're stretching your bought fondant a bit further.
Failing that, here's how to make black fondant: start with a chocolate fondant (I use Bakels) add black gel colouring using a toothpick, knead the colouring into the fondant until it is all one colour. This takes quite a long time but in the end you will get black! Remember that the colour will develop over time so best make this the day before you need it...also because your hands will go BLACK!

All Black Rugby Cupcakes!
Photo from here