Tuesday, February 25, 2014
One robot cake for one very special little man in my life.
My nephew turned 3 over the weekend and had requested a robot cake. He loves robots. I have had many conversations in robot language the last few months......I. AM. A. ROBOT.... You know how it goes!
The cake was a sponge with a raspberry and blueberry buttercream. I wouldn't say it was my favourite berry buttercream ever but it was tasty none the less. I don't think you can beat strawberry buttercream...it's just too good in my opinion.
The "body" was made up of four layers of sponge squared while the "head" was a three layer smaller square. Actually quite an easy cake to make. He was super happy with it and ate all the fondant "buttons and dials" within minutes of blowing out the candles.
I can't believe we are on to robots already, where does time go?! It seems like only yesterday I was whippin up "Iggle-Piggle" and Thomas the tank engine. I look forward to his birthday requests every year as you really don't know what he'll come up with. I thought for sure I would be making a Monsters inc. or Jungle Book cake this year but nope a robot cake.
So what my fav little man wants, My fav little man gets :)
Happy Birthday Callum!
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
I have been wanting to stuff rolos into baked goods for quite some time. I dabbled around with cupcakes, cookies but eventually decided on brownies. I had seen a pin of a stuffed brownies and it just sealed the deal....I wanted them and I wanted them nooooow! (Enter Veruca Salt from Willy Wonka lol)
I mean just look at them. Drool worthy....perfect for my weekend treat! Warm brownies out of the oven are one of my biggest downfalls.... I HAVE to taste them while they are still warm, I just loooooove the warm chocolate gooeyness.
I used the same recipe as I did for my White Chocolate Chip Brownies and added some frozen rolos. I did not bake them as long as I usually would and I froze my rolos first. I did not want the rolo caramelly goodness to spread just everywhere. I wanted them to remain in one spot so there was globs ( that a word?!) of caramel here and there. Admittedly the chocolate on the rolos melted so the golden caramel colour was lost but all was forgiven after one bite.
They were beyond super moist but just baked enough that there was still a slight bite to it. The minute these hit your lips they just melt in a warm chocolatey goo. Then you get a hit of the sweet gooey caramel that can only be described as moreish. We ate these warm (which was a pain in the ass to photograph!) but they are just a tasty cool. I had two this morning, the second one I gave about 5 seconds in the microwave and it was like it was straight out of the oven :)
Recipe for Rolo Stuffed Brownies
- 175g good-quality dark chocolate (70-80% cocoa solids)
- 175g butter,cubed
- 25g good-quality cocoa powder,sifted
- 3 eggs
- 125g caster sugar
- 100g demerara sugar} alternatively use 225g light brown sugar instead of caster and demerara sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 100g plain flour
- 2 tubes of Rolos (15 Rolos and one or two leftover for you)
20 x 20cm (8 x 8in) square tin
- Stick the two packs of rolos into the freezer for a half hour or more. Preheat the oven to 160°C (fan-assisted oven). Line the base and sides of the tin with parchment paper.
- Melt the chocolate, butter and cocoa powder together in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. Do not let the base of the bowl touch the water. Remove from the heat.
- In a separate large bowl, whisk the eggs, both sugars and vanilla extract for 2-3 minutes on high speed until the mixture looks thicker almost whipped like. Continuing to whisk, add the chocolate mixture until well combined. Sift in the flour and add your chocolate chips. Fold through with a spatula.
- Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and push your rolos lightly into your mixture. I did 5 across and 3 down but fit as many or as little as you wish. Do not put them all the way down to the bottom of the mixture as the mixture will rise up over them while baking. This make the rolos perfectly centered.
- Bake in the oven for 25 minutes. When cooked, it should be dry on top but very 'gooey' inside. If you wish to leave them in longer do so just be sure not to leave it too long or it will become cake and not moist,gooey brownies. Leave cool in tin for 5 mins,then 5 minutes on wire rack and cut, which is difficult if serving warm. I cut them length ways first. Leave them cool for another 5 Minutes and then square them off. Another idea would be to leave them cool entirely, cut and then heat up.
The latter would be a great idea for a quick dessert at a dinner party with a big dollop of ice-cream.
My sweet tooth just couldn't wait :)
Thursday, February 13, 2014
Yaaay! I'm finally back online.
Our poor little city was battered with a storm yesterday and we had a major power outage. We sat by the fire and candlelight all reading our books. It was actually quite a surreal experience. I started to re-read the twilight saga as I felt we were in for the long haul but thankfully it came back just a little while ago. I yahoooed and did a happy dance much to my family's amusement.
We actually had to laugh. You would think what we would miss the most would be lighting or heating or the fact we couldn't cook anything but no. It was tea! We all suffered major withdrawals. The kettle was the first thing to be put on even before the heating....We are tea people!
Luckily some baking had been done already this week. It was my Dad's birthday Tuesday so I made a traditional Strawberry Victoria Sponge. G had also been giving out he didn't get any cupcakes last week so I whipped some up.
A few posts back I showed you How I do my two toned buttercream but I spotted another method on pinterest so I said I'd give it a whirl. This method consisted of filling your piping bag with two different coloured buttercreams.
While this method did look pretty, it was a lot messier. And it used up more dishes. Anything with less wash up is better in my books. I used a light pink and dark pink and it did still give a beautiful effect. I just think next time more striking colours would be better.
How to make two toned buttercream? #2
What you need
- piping bag
- piping tip of choice
- gel food colouring of choice
- two bowls
- Whip up your favourite frosting ( a neutral colour, I used a vanilla frosting ).
- Divide your frosting into two separate bowls. I used a red (poinsettia). Add a drop or two of the colouring to your frosting. Add a few extra drops to the second bowl. Play around with the colouring until you achieve the colours you want.
- Put tip into your icing bag. Using a spatula scoop one frosting into one side of your piping bag. Scoop the other frosting to the other side of the bag. It is slightly messy so don't be too annoyed if the colours mix. Push from the top of your bag and twist. Squeeze out a small bit from your piping bag until you see the two different colours. And pipe!
Hope everyone has a lover-ly (ya see what I did there!) Valentines.
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
What a weekend!
As I told you on Friday I was off to Skibbereen, West Cork with G for a taste of cottage life. G had given me this weekend away as a Christmas gift and let me tell you the boy done well. I actually did not want to leave!
I never really saw myself as a 'cottage-y kinda gal' but oh my! I actually heard myself saying the words "look at these beams". I often watch TV shows where people are searching for their dream cottage and they are all about the beams. I never really 'got' it but now I am well and truly converted!
I mean seriously look at those beams, don't ya just love?!
It's a good thing I loved it so much too as the weather was beyond atrocious. All the walks and exploring our surroundings were put by the way side. Our fab little cottage had an outside jacuzzi which was never even opened. G attempted it once but the wind was beyond crazy. I felt like we were actually in a hurricane at one stage.
I love the people of west Cork in general, they are so friendly and welcoming. It's like you've known them your whole life.
Of course when it was time to leave, the storm let up and the sun came out to say hello.
I didn't really mind to be honest, I was quiet happy pottering around the cottage, drinking tea in my pj's :)
If cottages are your thing, you should check them out at Cottages for couples.ie. They have these amazing treehouses that were closed for the winter but G and I are definately going back to check them out in the summer. They looked so cool and if our cottage was anything to go by I'm sure it will be amazing!
Labels: Slice of Real Life
Friday, February 7, 2014
Happy Fondant Friday folks!
I was asked to make this cake for a little princess who was turning 3!
But this cake ended up being the disaster I was talking about in Tuesday's post. And what annoys me the most is I still can't figure out what went wrong. You see those lovely towers? Well the one on the left decided to snap whilst being transported.
The storm did not help in any way, shape or form. It was fine until I was taking it from my house, shielded under an umbrella from the wind. I was in the car about two minutes when I noticed a tear in the fondant and it just went all down hill from there!
When I arrived with the cake I did my best to repair the damage but the tower didn't exactly have the same height or structure it had previously. I was absolutely gutted, like extremely close to tears. It is my first ever disaster and I must admit it knocked my confidence a bit.
Hmmmmm.......Who knows, maybe it was just one of those days.
What is everyone up to for the weekend?
G and I are headed off to a cottage in 'wesht' Cork for the weekend which should be interesting with the forthcoming storm.......
Wish us luck :)
Hope everyone has a great weekend!
Thursday, February 6, 2014
Awhile back I dabbled in this two toned cupcake craze that I'm sure you've all spotted on pinterest. It's pretty simple really and I absolutely love the effect it gives. With Valentines coming up I thought I'd try a red and white contrast. But actually when I look at the photos it reminds me more of an ice-cream and syrup topped cupcake, which I reckon wouldn't taste too bad either :)
I tried it out for some Christmas cupcakes and said I'd be back when I had the technique down. Well here I am folks and here's the technique I use...
They say a picture says a thousand words but seriously....That's it! Simple right?!
But just incase here's the breakdown...
How to make two toned buttercream?
What you need
- piping bag
- piping tip of choice
- gel food colouring of choice
- fine tipped paint brush
- Put tip in icing bag, I used my Wilton 1M tip. With an artists brush, paint two thin lines of gel food colouring on opposite sides inside the bag.
- Fill your piping bag with vanilla buttercream (recipe is below).
- Twist your piping bag at the top and push from the top of the bag to get rid of any air bubbles. You do not want to squeeze from the sides. It will smudge your colour and you could lose the clean two toned look. And that's it...ready for piping!
Recipe for Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
- 225g unsalted butter,softened
- 400g icing sugar
- 1tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp full fat milk, room temperature
- In a large bowl, beat butter until extremely softened and almost fluffy.
- Add icing sugar and slowly beat working up to full speed. If you go full speed straight away you will end up with an icing sugar cloud and it goes everywhere......been there!
- Add milk and vanilla extract and beat mixture until light and fluffy.
- Scoop into your prepared icing bag and pipe!
Isn't this such a great and easy technique? I'm sure you could dabble around with all different colours. Maybe two or three different colours in the icing bag. A rainbow of colours topping your cupcakes..how fab!
I topped mine with small heart shaped iced sugar cookies. With it being Valentines around the corner it seemed only fitting :)
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
This past weekend was quiet a whirlwind in the cakey bakey department. I had a disaster on delivery of one of my cakes, I nearly cried (seriously!). I had a truimph over my Lemon Poppy seed Loaf (Soo happy....Stay tuned) and the festivities had to be tended to.....
It was my Mothers birthday this weekend and she requested a cheesecake. Yay No Bake....I did a little happy dance inside. But when she told me she wanted a white chocolate one, I nearly went into full blown rave mode :)
I think my love of white chocolate is pretty well documented by now. And get this, I have NEVER tried a white chocolate cheesecake....I almost shocked myself!
I was pretty knackered after all the baking so I went in search of a fabulous no bake cheesecake recipe. I stumbled across Nigellas recipe and adapted it from there. First thing I did was make the base chunkier. I love the base as much I love the filling. I always aim for 1/3 biscuit and 2/3 filling. I just think it's a much nicer balance. I added more white chocolate and I layered the biscuit base with strawberries that I had chopped in half.
The strawberries were an absolute winner to compliment the filling. But to be honest it wasnt the greatest cheesecake I've ever tasted. Simple yes! but it lacked the creamy sweet flavour of the white chocolate. I would, however, recommend any novice cheesecake bakers out there to try it, it really is very easy to make and it sets perfectly.
It has set the wheels in motion, for this white chocolate lover, to come up with the ultimate white chocolate cheesecake. I have a few really good ideas :)
I hope everyone is having a lovely Tuesday!