Monday, November 28, 2011

White Chocolate and Raspberry Rocky Road

Armed with only a microwave and an electric frying pan I've had to have a bit of a re-think on my Christmas baking plans. Lucky for me one of favorite holiday treats needs no oven at all. Making rocky road is a bit of a christmas tradition for me and the best part is all I need is a microwave, Its that easy.
I'm not sure what exactly it is that makes a rocky road a rocky road, as far as I can tell as long as there's chocolate, marshmallows, a jelly element and a crunchy element I'm on the right track. With those rules in mind I've decided to make up a bunch of rocky road combinations based on what I think will be yummy and do a little series of posts sharing the results.

Mum and Dad always use milk chocolate, other people I know swear using dark chocolate is real way rocky road, but me I love white chocolate, most days it is my favorite by far. Wanting to make a pretty rocky road I started with white chocolate and went with pink and red sweets, not only was it pretty it was darn delicous too. I think its the crunchy buttery bites of shortbread that make this the best rocky road ever! Try it I promise you wont be disappointed.
For the Rocky Road
100 grams mini marshmallows
180 grams shorbread fingers
180 grans berries and cream lollies
360 grams white chocolate
1/4 cup coconut

To make the Rocky Road- first up get your pan ready, line a 20x30cm brownie pan with baking paper and prepare the ingredients. Chop the raspberries and cream in half and the shortbread into small pieces. Break up the chocolate into a microwave safe bowl.
Microwave the chocolate on medium in 30 second bursts until it is melted and smooth, be careful not to burn the chocolate.
Mix the raspberries, marshmallows, shortbread and coconut together in a medium bowl.
Pour in the delicious melted white chocolate.
Mix all of the yumminess together.
Tip the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth out with a spatula. Cover and pop it into the fridge until it is set.
Chop the rocky road into pieces and try not to eat it all at once.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Itty Bitty Doughnuts

Lets talk about how crazy I'm going not having an oven, we were waiting for a part for almost two months. On Friday I left for work excited that the repair man had got the part and would have the oven fixed while I was out. There were almost tears when I got home and not only was the oven still broken he found a problem with the cook top too. I dont know what I've done to be so unlucky this week, I also tripped on an escalator and hurt my knee pretty bad and then yesterday I squished my finger in a door. No accidents today so maybe things are looking up.
Not baking makes me sad and I needed cheering so I went out and bought a mini doughnut maker, or at least that's the excuse I'm using. It has nothing to do with me being amused by novelty kitchen appliances or because the doughnut maker makes the cutest tiny little doughnuts I have ever seen. Actually maybe those things did kind of push me towards it, plus it was only $12 how could I go wrong.
Using a recipe from the little manual that came with the doughnut maker, I made a whole bunch of yummy baby doughnuts. The the only downside is that you have to eat the doughnuts pretty soon after making them (although you may see that as a upside) I found the doughnuts tend to get a bit soggy if you leave them too long.

If you need some cheering make some baby doughnuts, cover them in Christmas sprinkles and eat them.
For the Doughnuts

2 cups plain flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon melted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk

To make the doughnuts- first of all preheat the doughnut maker and grease the doughnut holes with a little butter, careful not to burn yourself.

While the maker is heating prepare the batter. combine all the dry ingredients together in a bowl, add all the wet ingredients and mix until smooth.
Spoon the mixture into a piping bag, pipe about a teaspoon of batter into each doughnut hole.

Shut the doughnut maker and cook for about 3 minutes or until golden and cooked through.

Pop the doughnuts out with a fork or skewer and allow to cool, repeat with the remaining mixture. While the doughnuts are cooling make the frosting. (If you're too impatient to ice them rolling them in cinnamon sugar is just as yummy)
For the Frosting

2 cups icing sugar
1 teaspoon butter
2 tablespoons boiling water
green and pink colouring (a tiny dot at a time)
1 tablespoon cocoa powder

To make the Frosting- sift the icing sugar into a small bowl, stir in butter and enough water to make a smooth icing. (The consistancy should be similar to thickened cream.)

Divide the icing into 3 bowls, mix the cocoa powder into one bowl and the tiniest bit of pink and green colouring into each of the other two.

While working with icing set the bowl into a second bowl of hot water to stop it hardening. Dip the tops of the baby doughnuts into the frosting and allow the excess to dip off.
Place the coated doughnuts on a cooling rack, add some sprinkles and allow to set.
Eat them all up! Yum!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Barbie Doll Cake

Barbie dolls are so much prettier now than the ones I had when I was young, I was never a big Barbie fan I was more of a Lego kid (still am) but I had a couple and they didn't look like this.
I have always wanted to make a dolly varden cake, I was so happy to be asked to make a barbie cake for a little girls fourth birthday. I'm not sure for which birthday but I remember Mum making one for me when I was little, it was just like the one in the Womans Weekly birthday cakes book, I thought it was the coolest thing ever.
I went out and bought a new tin to make the skirt, I tracked down a dolly tin with a metal rod in the centre and the cake baked through perfectly. Being a fourth birthday I was asked to keep things simple, a vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream.
I covered the entire skirt with light pink buttercream, which I allowed to dry before smoothing over with a icing smoother. To make the bodice, flowers and ruffles at the top and bottom on the skirt I used fondant. I absolutly love how it turned out and am very happy that the birthday girl loved it too.
I really wanted to share a tutorial for this cake but got so wrapped in making it and the leopard cake that I missed taking pictures of a bunch of important steps. I'm thinking maybe about making a Christmas themed one shortly, perhaps an angel, so hopefully I'll have step by step guide soon.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Pink and Leopard Print Birthday

Happy 16 Birthday Phoebe!
I don't think I've ever left it so long between posts, over two weeks! I'm sorry it'll never happen again. I'm back now and have a bunch of things to share with you.

It seems my brain is having trouble putting sentences together today so mostly I'll let the pretty pretty pictures tell the story. I really wanted to do something special for boyfriend's sister for her 16th birthday, she shares my infatuation with all things pink and leopard print so the theme idea came easy.Each time I visited the shops in the last few weeks I've come home with more and more candy. I wanted everything to be pink, black and white so searched for candy to match. I ended up using pink and white marshmallows, chocolate babies, marshmallow ropes, liquorice, musks, cool mints and pink barbie chocolate coins.
Strawberry Oreos continued the pink and black theme.
The little pink pots were from Ikea and the jars were found at The Reject Shop. I made the tissue paper pompoms using instuctions from Martha Stewart.
I found the foil wrapped chocolate bars in Aldi and created new wrappers in pink and leopard print to match the theme.
I used my favourite vanilla recipe for the cupcakes, they were frosted in strawberry buttercream and covered in fondant to match the cake.
The cake itself was my favourite part of the whole table, I used my go to perfect chocolate cake with dreamy chocolate frosting and covered it with fondant. The cake and cupcakes were both hand painted with food colour gels and topped with fondant bows, I'm so happy with how they turned out. Phoebe didn't want to cut the cake because it was too pretty. It survived the party but we ate it the next day.