Tag Archives: chocolate

Misadventures in Craft turns 1!

18 Feb

I can’t believe I just wrote that title. So often I start these little whims, like writing a blog and forget about it within minutes, so I am quite amazed that I have stuck with it. I want to thank all of you lovely readers out there that have read, liked or commented

on the things that I have shared.24259092-thank-you-flowers

Today I wanted to share some cute little cupcakes that I made for Valentine’s Day.

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These look impressive but actually were pretty easy and not as time consuming as I was expecting.

I used this  chocolate sponge cake recipe.  I was able to get 12 regular sized cupcakes from this recipe. I had never made sponge before, it was alright but I wish I had used a recipe I was more familiar with as it wasn’t great.

So  to make the cute little cut out heart cakes, take your cupcakes (whatever flavour you like)

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Cut their tops off

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Using a small heart cutter or any other cutter if you don’t like hearts, cut your shape from the top. The little tops are delicate and must be handled gently or they may fall apart.

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For the filling I made butter cream and added fresh raspberries to the mix, you will need to add extra icing sugar as the liquid from the berries makes the butter cream runny.

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Spread the butter cream on the bottom piece of cake

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Dust the tops with icing sugar

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then sandwich them together.

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And there you have it a cute little cupcake for someone special.

I hope in a years time I can bring you another birthday post and I hope you all continue to enjoy the little insights to my life.

Thankyou

Stacie xxxxx

21st cake

3 Oct

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It was my brother’s 21st recently and I made his cake.

I wanted to make something quite impressive so I started with a double batch of white mud cake and added cocoa to half of the batter so I ended up with one white cake and one chocolate cake. I cut the white one into two layers and the chocolate one into 3 layers.

My brother is a big fan of cookies and cream chocolate, while he was living with me last year I think it was all he ate, so I made a cookies and cream ganache to go between the layers.

I used the condensed milk butter cream I have previously used fr a crumb coat. This butter cream is so decadent, it has become my go to icing, Mr Minx will eat it straight out of the bowl!

For the decoration I chose to use the petal technique I have seen so often on Pinterest. Here is a tutorial. The great thing about this technique is that it is super easy, although time consuming, and looks super awesome!image

All you need is an off set spatula or spoon, and Wilton tips number 12, I think I had number 10 as the shop was out of 12s. If you are using more than one colour you will need more than one tip.

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Basically you just dot the icing in a line down the cake

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and then spread the dots with the spatula

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Sorry for the poor picture quality, I was sick while doing this and could only manage phone photos.

On the top of the cake I put one row of dots and spread them towards the centre of the cake. Then I topped it with Oreo truffles. These were so easy to make, I used a packet of Oreos and a packet of cream cheese, popped them in the food processor and wizzed them up, made little balls and then coated them in melted chocolate.

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The cake was a pretty big hit, the family were impressed. The cake was pretty delicious, although very sweet, I couldn’t finish my piece. I forgot to take photos of the cake until we were at the restaurant so they are a bit dark, but you get the idea.

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Experimenting with Paleo Baking- Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Avocado Icing

29 Jun

I am very skeptical of Paleo Baking. I just can’t imagine how the sugar/dairy/wheat substitutes could ever taste as good as the real thing, I mean avocado as icing? Hmmm. I also don’t want to waste the time and food making something no one wants to eat.
For my first attempt at this I chose a chocolate zucchini cake from Elana’s Pantry. I altered the recipe a little, here’s the original.

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For my cake I swapped out 1/2 a cup of almond meal for tapioca starch, I couldn’t get cacao powder so I used unsweetened cocoa, I also didn’t have vanilla stevia so I used normal stevia and added vanilla essence and I reduced the amount of honey and added two Medjool dates.

To make it is pretty simple, add everything to a food processor and whizz till smooth, then bake in a loaf pan at 170 degrees Celsius for 40-45 minutes.

For the icing I found a recipe on Paleo Spirit.

Since I didn’t have any maple syrup and I didn’t want to use honey I substituted treacle, which is not paleo but I used such a small amount I wasn’t bothered by its inclusion.

The icing was meant to go in the food processor, but since I had already put the bowl into the dish washer and I was in a let’s get this done mood I just mashed it all together with a fork and that worked just fine.

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I had a little taste of the icing before it went on the cake, and I must tell you, I wasn’t impressed, it was bitter like dark chocolate, but I went ahead and put it on the cake (the great thing about this icing is that you don’t need to wait for the cake to cool as it doesn’t melt!) I put a sprinkle of coconut on top to pretty it up and cover up the bitterness.

So, the cake passed the first taste test, Duckman promptly devoured a whole slice when he woke up from his nap, which I took as a good sign.

We were going to my step sisters for lunch today so I took the cake with me and after lunch with a cup of tea we all had a small slice.

The taste surprised me and everyone else. It is rich, chocolatey,moist beyond belief,  fudgey and so yummy! The icing even tasted fine. For a cake with only cocoa it is super rich, it tastes like it has melted dark chocolate in it. It has a subtle sweetness which is a really nice change from the sickly sweet cakes that I normally treat myself with.

Mr Minx didn’t like it, but that was to be expected and Rooster did not try it, apparently he doesn’t like chocolate cake, which was a revelation to me.

It was really great to have a slice of cake knowing that it wasn’t laden with sugar and that it might actually be healthy and it was actually tasty. This cake will be made again.

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Chocolate Zucchini cake with Avocado Icing

Ingredients

  •  ¾ cup Almond meal
  •  ½ cup tapioca starch 
  • ¼ cup cocoa
  •  ¼ teaspoon celtic sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  •  2 large eggs
  •  2 tablespoons coconut oil
  •  ¼ cup honey
  •  2 medjool dates
  • ¼ teaspoon stevia
  •  1 cup zucchini, grated
  •  ¼ teaspoon vanilla essence

Icing

  • ½ avocado
  •  1/3 cup cocoa
  •  ¼ cup treacle

Method
For the cake mix ingredients in food processor until smooth pour into loaf pan and bake at 170° C for 40-45 minutes.
For the icing mash or process all ingredients until smooth. Spread over cake

Salted Chocolate and caramel chip Cupcakes

17 May

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Cupcakes are fast becoming a weekly tradition in my house lately, someone always seems to be asking me “When are you making cupcakes?”

This weeks cupcakes were a flavour experiment.

I used my favourite caramel mud cake recipe and did a few substitutions and additions to come up with heaven in a patty case.

This is a melt and mix style cake, there is nothing I like more than melt and mix baking, so easy and less clean up.

This is the recipe the ingredients in blue are my substitutions or additions

185g butter, cubed

180g white chocolate dark chocolate broken/chopped roughly

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1 cup milk

1 tbs golden syrup I left this out 

1 1/2 cups plain flour

1/2 cup S.R. flour

2 eggs

1 pkt caramel chips


5 pinches of sea salt or more or less depending on your taste

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Start by putting the butter, chocolate, sugar, milk and syrup into a saucepan,

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heat and stir until combined.

Now whisk in the flour and eggs

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at this point I put mine in the fridge to cool so that when I added the chips they didn’t melt into the mixture.

Once my mixture had cooled I added the caramel chips and I began to add the salt 1 pinch at a time, stirring and tasting the batter after each addition. If the cakes had been only for me I would have added some more salt, but since I didn’t know how my fussy family would react to salty cupcakes I held back. 5 pinches doesn’t taste overly salty, I can taste it, possibly because I know it is there, but no one else detected it as a distinct flavour.

This recipe will make a 20cm round/square cake, if that is what you want put it in the oven for around an hour at 180 degrees Celsius, if like me, your thing is little bites of deliciousness, mini cupcakes take 15-20 minutes also at 180 degrees Celsius.

When I took mine out of the oven they looked and felt like they might be under cooked

Just a little gooey looking

Just a little gooey looking

but as they cooled they firmed up and looked just perfect, this was confirmed by a taste test.

A pile of perfect little cakes patiently waiting to be iced

A pile of perfect little cakes patiently waiting to be iced

This week I wanted to work on my piping techniques, I used the condensed milk buttercream that I have been making lately and a selection of  Wilton tips to try my hand at a few different piping styles.

Below are my experiments with piping, I have labelled each cake with the tip I used to achieve the look.

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I was very pleased with how my piping came out, although I need to work on getting it in the middle of the cake. I also found that as the buttercream beacame softer from the heat of my hands it lost its shape so I had to put the piping bag in the fridge a couple of times for it to firm up again.

Mr Minx was impressed with my efforts and promptly ate several when he arrived home.

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These little cakes are delightfully delicious. Despite being a dense cake they are not heavy or over powering in flavour,

Even I was not immune to their beguiling and ambrosial qualities.

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My To Bake List

10 Apr

Since Christmas I have been cramming as much food into myself as possible it seems, especially sweet treats! So over the weekend I put myself on a 30 day sugar ban. Crazy, I hear you say, well I am 5 days in and I am still alive but the urge to bake is strong so I thought that I would compile a quick top 5 of the things I plan to bake once I have finished torturing myself.

1. Milo cupcakes with condensed milk frosting

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These little gems come from the bubbly baker, and for those of you who don’t know what Milo is, it is a malted chocolate powder that is found here in Australia. You can drink it hot or cold, add it too icecream or if you’re really naughty you can eat it straight from the tin.

2. Salted caramel chocolate cookies

Caramel Stuffed Cookies[7]

I love the combination of salty and sweet. These look so delicious and come from The Comfort of Cooking


3. Chocolate and Oreo Tart

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This looks deliciously decadent and I can’t wait to try it. You can find it at La Receta dela Felicidad The site is in spanish and you get an interesting translation when using the Google translate option but you are able to work out what is meant

4. Blueberry cupcakes with Honey Buttercream

blueberry cupcakes

Blueberry cupcakes/muffins are one of my favourites, and these are made with fresh berries rather than canned or frozen. These were originally made by Always with Butter

5. Hot Cocoa on a stick

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It is finally starting to cool down here in Brisbane and these will be perfect for an after dinner treat during Winter.

These are found at Intimate Weddings

Only 25 days to go.

Feel free to make any of these and let me know how they go.

Ambitiousness pays off!

31 Mar

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So, the time came to crack open the eggs.
The shell came off easily.
They looked perfect.
I cut them open and…..

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They were better than I could ever have imagined!
They turned out exactly as I had envisioned…
And were they delicious?

You bet your sweet cotton tail they were.
I was going to advise not to do this, thinking the fiddlyness and mess was not worth it, but after opening them and being utterly delighted, I say give it a go!

If you want to see how I made these chocolate and ganache filled eggs see here, here and here.

An ambitious Easter Bunny, part 2

31 Mar

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I finally finished filling the dyed eggs on Easter eve. Earlier this week I put some white chocolate ganache into the eggs.

To do this I used 250g white chocolate and 125ml of thickened cream

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I melted it in the microwave and mixed together to make a smooth mixture.

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I filled my piping bag and added the ganache into the eggs. This was extremely messy! I had ganache all over the kitchen! Martha made it look so easy….she lied!

Hence, there are no photos of the filling process. I then refrigerated them so that the ganache could set.

Then last night, after putting it off for the whole week  I finally topped them up with some melted milk chocolate, using the same melt and pipe technique I have used through out this project.

All that is left now is too crack them open and see what the final result will be…delight or disaster?

Happy Easter!

31 Mar

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Happy Easter!
These are the Minimens baskets, featuring the eggs in cages and the dyed and filled eggs.

An ambitious Easter Bunny…part 1

13 Mar

I found myself at home with no Mini men today so I thought I might start on what could be an overly ambitious idea of filling the dyed eggs I previously made with chocolate and ganache.

I found a how to on the  Martha Stewart  website, I didn’t follow her guide exactly as she tempered her chocolate and I thought that seemed like too much hard work and unnecessary. If you are interested in the whys and hows of tempering chocolate Cadbury explains it well.

All you will need to fill your eggs is some chocolate (whatever type takes your fancy) something to hold your eggs still while being filled and a disposable piping bag, piping tips are optional but it does make it a little easier.

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I broke the chocolate up and put it in the microwave for about 35 seconds.

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You want the chocolate to still be a little lumpy, just stir until it is smooth and completely melted. Then spoon it into your piping bag and you are ready to fill your eggs!

This was the part I was nervous about but I think it turned out much better than I was expecting. First I put some tape on  one of the holes in the eggs and made sure the other hole was large enough for he piping tip to fit into then I just piped the chocolate in swirled it around took the tape off and let the excess chocolate drain out. I then put them in the fridge to set, turning them a few times to make sure the chocolate didn’t pool to one side as it set.

I had envisioned a lot of mess and fiddliness and eggs being broken or thrown across the room in frustration, but it was actually easy, quick and pretty tidy. So far my filled eggs are a success, now I just need to keep them hidden in the fridge so the Minimen don’t find them.

If you want to you can leave it there but I want to also fill mine with ganache, if you are interested to find out how that goes pop back next week some time for part 2 of An ambitious Easter Bunny!

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