Dia de los Muertos-inspired Halloween Cookies

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I.E the result of craving something to paint and needing to bring treats to a Halloween party. These are simply plain (Marie/Vanilla Wine) biscuits sandwiched with bubblegum icing and topped with painted fondant decorations πŸ™‚Β 

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You just fill, cut out fondant circles to size and adhere them to the cookies with a dab of water. Then add some little fondant flowers (daisies and ribbon roses) and attach with water. Then add your colours one by one!

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And voila! Super easy πŸ™‚ I added some sprinkles, silver cachous and edible glitter gel too. I hope your halloween went well if you celebrated it! You could easily take this idea and turn it to whatever theme you have, it’s super simple if don’t have time to bake (hence the store-bought cookies) but want to decorate and make something your own πŸ™‚

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Spring Cupcakes! Some sweet ways to add more flowers into your life :)

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These are just some old photos that it wasn’t worth posting the recipes for, but ended up looking a little pretty πŸ™‚ I made these about 5 years ago actually, some with fresh flowers and some with fondant. These ones above are mini cupcakes with different coloured icing (some have coconut on top to look like grass, like the ones below) with different flowers. There is Mexican Orange Blossom, Cherry blossom (for decoration, not to eat) and lavender and forget-me-not (edible).

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These ones above, I iced them with green coconut and made some fondant daisies and daffodils to decorate πŸ™‚

rose minicakes (3)

Annnnd here are the final ones, ribbon rose cupcakes (mini above and regular size far below). Here is a Wilton tutorial for them that I found helpful. I cut out fondant rounds to put on top of the cakes and made little green leaves too. I had just begun my phase of pastel loving at this time, hence the pastel yellow-green-blue-pink palette. Although this ‘phase’ hasn’t ended…..

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spring cupcakes (3)

 

rose cupcakes (2)

Anyway, just a little inspiration. I know that the Northern hemisphere is very much looking forward to fall/autumn right now, so I hope there are some bakers making the most of the season up there too!

Sam

Banana-Blueberry Cakes with Avocado Frosting

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Avocado is a superfood. Blueberries are a superfood. Banana and apple have always been drilled into us as part of a healthy diet. The result? Not so guilty pleasure! And it looks pretty too πŸ™‚

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If you haven’t made many mini cakes, I would recommend you try it! It’s quite easy to get hooked, I already made some carrot and boysenberry ones previously. All you need to so is bake one sheet cake and cut afterwards. You end up with some off cuts but they never seem to go to waste πŸ˜‰

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For once I went to town on the picture-taking. I hope they give a good idea of how I piped the frosting etc.

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Some of you may have worked with stevia before and be quite familiar with it. If you haven’t, and don’t have any in your wonderful kitchen haven, then you can use some honey and/or icing sugar to sweeten the avocado frosting.

 

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Aren’t edible flowers amazing, may I add……? Thumbs up nature. I also made some smaller ones without the flowers:

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They were just as delicious but they just have another look.

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Now that I have spammed you, I shall get onto the recipe!

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Blueberry-Banana Mini Cakes with Avocado Frosting
Ingredients:
Banana-Apple Cake:
3/4 cup white flour
3/4 cup wheat flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 egg
1 small banana, mashed
1 apple, grated finely
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup water
Avocado frosting:
1 avocado
Dash lemon juice
1 tsp stevia (ground leaf), or to taste
To decorate:
1 small punnet blueberries (only a handful really)
Edible flowers
Desiccated coconut

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line a 20cm square cake tin.

In a large bowl, mix together the flours, sugar, baking soda and baking powder. In another bowl, mix the egg, banana, apple and vegetable oil. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry and add the water a bit at a time until you have a thick but pourable batter. Pour into the tin and bake for about 20 minutes, until a skewer comes out pretty much clean when inserted into the middle. Leave the cake to cool.

Take out of the tin and cut into the desired shapes you have in mind. As you can see, I make three larger cakes (about 10cm diameter and four little ones (about 4cm diameter).

Make the frosting; either use a little blender to blend the avocado, lemon juice and stevia or pass the avocado through a sieve until there are no lumps, and then add the lemon juice and stevia. Mix until combined. Spoon the frosting into a piping bag or plastic bag and snip the corner (Note: I found it best to have all the pieces of cake arranged on a tray and to ice each one, then decorate and decide which to put as the top/bottom after).

Now arrange the blueberries as the filling (on the larger cakes) and on top, followed by the edible flowers and sprinkle with the coconut. Place the top layers on the bottom layers and plate up if you are serving to a group. Or maybe you just want to impress yourself, go ahead!

Enjoy. Please. The frosting isn’t as good the next day, but the cake lasts amazingly, it’s just as good on the 3rd day as the 1st. I blame the fruity goodness.


H
ave a good week everyone πŸ™‚

 

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Royal Iced Gingerbread Cookies

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Another part of my cookie decorating escapade….. And a lot of photos this time too.


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Again, if you have not tried royal icing decorating, you may find it quite amazing what it possible with such a thick and versatile icing.

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If you can spare the time to make the effort, then I encourage you to. And give them to people you want to impress!


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Here is the recipe! πŸ˜€

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Royal Iced Gingerbread Cookies
Ingredients:
Cookies:
100g butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp golden syrup
1 egg
1/2 tsp baking powder
1cup+ flour
Ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg
Icing:
3/4 cup-ish icing sugar
1 egg white
Food colouring

Instructions:
Soften the butter and beat with the sugar until soft and creamy. Mix in the egg and golden syrup too. In another bowl, mix together the baking powder and 1 cup of flour plus the spices to taste (but remember ginger is the star of the show), and then mix into the butter mixture. The mixture will form a soft dough, but if it’s too sticky then add a bit more flour. Chill at least 30 minutes until it’s firm enough to roll out.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line two baking trays.

So, then roll it out! Cut out all your fantastic shapes and transfer to the trays. Bake for about 15 minutes, until lightly golden and the cookies move when nudged slightly. Cool, and meanwhile you can make the icing.

Whip the egg white until soft peaks form, and then add most of the icing sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. You may need to add a bit more icing sugar if the icing isn’t quick thick enough (there are great tutorials online if you are feeling a bit unsure about this). Spoon into a piping bag (a small one) And pipe the outlines of the cookies as you wish. Let them dry, which should happen in about 15 minutes.

In the meantime, water down the icing slightly until thick enough to run and fill in the shapes. Divide and colour icing as pleased, and spoon into more piping bags. Pipe and make designs as you like, I’d suggest a quick search on cool ideas online. Or comment and I can try and explain πŸ™‚ Let them dry and devour!

Makes about 30, mixed sizes, and they keep very well thanks to the icing.

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Chocolate Cardamom Sugar Cookies

Part of sugar cookie madness begins! Prepare to become addicted!

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Although you may be a little busy with Christmas of course…..

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It’s amazing what egg white, colour and icing sugar can do! And these ones are a simple chocolate sugar cookie with a touch of cardamom. I haven’t made a tutorial for the icing, so I suggest these ones here and here.

 

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They make perfect gifts, Christmas or not πŸ™‚

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Chocolate Cardamom Sugar Cookies
Ingredients:
1&1/4 cups flour
2 Tbsp cocoa
1/2 tsp baking soda
3 Tbsp any sugar
Seeds of two cardamom pods/1/4 tsp ground cardamom
75g butter
1 egg
Icing:
1 egg white
3/4 cup-ish icing sugar
Food colouring (I used shades of pink)
Water or lemon juice

Also: piping bags, small ones you can make out of baking paper or ziplock bags

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line two baking trays.

Mix together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, sugar and cardamom. Rub in the butter, then mix in the egg. The mixture will come together into a soft dough. If it’s too sticky to roll out, then add a bit more flour. Roll out and cut out all your wonderful shapes! Transfer to the tray and bake for about 15 minutes, until the cookies move when nudged slightly. Cool, and get ready to ice!

Whisk the egg white until soft peaks, then add in most of the icing sugar and whip till roughly stiff peaks form. More icing sugar may be needed if the icing won’t whip thick enough. Spoon into a little piping bag and pipe the outlines of the shapes. They will set in about 20 minutes, so you can get onto the next bit.
Now water down the icing a bit with water or lemon juice, until not runny but thick enough to spread nicely when piped (Google ‘flooding technique’ with royal icing, there are some great tutorials out there). Divide into as many amounts you can be bothered to use and colour them different colours. Pipe away! Then leave for at least 6 hours to set.

Note: I used a toothpick to drag the icing stripes I piped to create the ripple effect.

Makes about 30 (various sizes). They keep very well for at least a few days, and the icing helps to keep the cookies crisp.

Enjoy πŸ™‚
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‘Artsy’ Cupcake Decorations AKA How to Use Up Leftover Royal Icing!

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Just a cupcake decorating idea πŸ™‚ I had lots of leftover coloured royal icing, so I made swirls and squiggles (plus some candy dots) on baking paper and let them dry over night. They are good to have on hand when you have some last minute baking and decorating to do, and are easy-as to make!

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They look really good on white icing/frosting (these cupcakes are banana, made with gluten free flour).

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I have more cupcakes and cakes to post soon, plus some recipes!
Have a good week everyone xx

Chocolate and Liquorice Allsort Birthday Cake

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I imagine my little 13-year-old self was quite pleased with this one, as was my grandfather; it was his birthday cake πŸ™‚
There is nothing quite like a good cake, is there? And when celebration is necessary, cake comes with it hand in hand….birthday cake is probably my favorite thing to bake in the world anyway! I am sure you have fond memories of your own birthday cakes, or perhaps ones that you have made for ones you love.
Or perhaps you make cakes for a living, in which case, I both jealous and incredibly happy for you!
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This is just a nice chocolate cake with whipped chocolate ganache frosting, and than a brocade of liqourice allsorts for decoration; there is no liquorice flavour IN the cake (although I do have a recipe for that, which I am quite excited to try….!). You could easily make it with any other decorations on top, or just leave it plain. I have a photo of it without the candy below the recipe, in case you want to check it out.

Chocolate and Liquorice Allsort Birthday Cake

Cake:
170g butter
1/3 cup castor sugar
1&1/2 cups flour
1&1/2 tsp baking powder
3 Tbsp cocoa
Pinch of salt
3 eggs
1 Tbsp milk
Whipped chocolate ganache:
150g milk chocolate
3/4 cup cream
To decorate:
200g liquorice allsorts

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 180Β°C and grease two 20cm diameter cake tins.

Beat together the butter and sugar until smooth, then sift together the flour, salt and cocoa. Beat into the butter with the eggs. Combine until smooth. Add the milk if you think the batter is a bit thick. Divide the batter between the tins and smooth over. Bake for about 15 minutes, and until the cake springs back when lightly touched. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes. Remove from tins and cool completely.

Melt the chocolate over a pot of simmering water. Turn off the heat and slowly mix in the cream. Leave until cool. Pour into the bowl of an electric mixer and whip high speed, or use a whisk or egg beaters. Beat until light and fluffy.

Level off the top of one of the cakes and spread a bit of icing. Then place the other cake on top. Spread the remaining icing over the cake. Arrange the liquorices allsorts over the cake. Store in an airtight container.

Lasts forΒ  3 days

Makes 12 slices

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Enjoy your birthday cake endeavours, and the rest of your endeavours for that matter πŸ™‚

Feather Iced-Cookies

Haven’t been keeping the blog as a priority at the moment, I figured it was time for a pretty (well, -ish) post to make up for it.
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I’m really sorry, but I do not actually have time at the moment to post the recipe for the cookies themselves (I know, how poor of me!) but I promise to sometime πŸ™‚ It’s a really simple and easy way to jazz up your plain cookies and they do look great.

Feather Iced-Cookies

20 plain cookies

Icing:
1 cup icing sugar
50 g butter
1 Tbsp icing sugar
1 tsp water
pink foodΒ colouring

Instructions:

Melt the butter and place in a small bowl with the icing sugar. The icing sugar should be a runny consistency, so more butter may need to be added. Colour the icing pink. Mix together the extra icing sugar and water and spoon into a small piping bag. Place the good side of the cookie facing the top of the prongs of the fork. Dip the fork into the icing so that the icing covers all but the bottom of the cookie. Take out the fork and flip the cookie onto a wire wrack so the un-iced side is facing down. Pipe stripes of the white icing onto the cookie and using a tooth pick, drag it across the cookie, at a right angle to the lines. Drag the tooth pick across the other direction, but down the cookie slightly. Do this 2 or 3 more times. Continue with the other cookies and leave them to set. Serve or store in an air tight container in the fridge.

Makes 20

Lasts 2 days

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I
Β went for pink colouring, but you can of course do whatever colour takes your fancy!
Have a good day all πŸ™‚