Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Perpetual mourning

I am currently in a state of perpetual mourning over the finaleof 30 Rock which is due to air in United States of America on 31 January 2013.I am dealing and processing my grief through the consumption of copious amountsof food.

In honour of 30 Rock and my need to overindulge duringthis difficult time, I have made 30 Rock cupcakes. Complete with my favourite30 Rock characters: Liz Lemon, Jack Donaghy, Tracy Jordan, Jenna Maroney andKenneth Parcell.

 (From the left: Jenna Maroney, Tracy Jordan, Liz Lemon, Jack Donaghy and Kenneth Parcell).

The cupcake toppers are based on the cartoon depiction of 30Rock by the Huffington Post.

Plain and simple - basic vanilla on vanilla cupcakes madefrom my tears!**

Given that I am in no state to do anything other than eatmy feelings, I will leave this blog post here. Blerg!

**DISCLAIMER: For the health and food regulators outthere - clearly the cupcakes were not made from my tears as that would beunhygienic. I am just trying to channel Tina Fey and be remotely funny. It isdoubtful that I am actually funny, but I certainly award myself an ‘A’ for effort.Oh dear, perhaps I should just stick to baking… 

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Outrageous Chocolate Cookies!

I knowposting about something that is not cupcake related – outrageous! But I tell you what, this cookie recipe is AMAZING and certainly lives up to it's name, it certainly is outrageous.

I came across this recipe when trolling the Martha Stewart website. The reason why it caught my eye was because I thought the proportion of the ingredients were wrong. But from all the comments I saw on the webpage, everyone was raving about the recipe just as it is. So I had to give it ago. However, I did make a few variations.

Here is my take on the recipe.

Outrageous Chocolate Cookies

277 grams of 70% cocoa dark chocolate
60 grams of salted butter
2/3 cup of plain flour
½ teaspoon of salt
2 large eggs (600 grams)
¾ cupcake of packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste
100g of dark chocolate chunks or chips
100g of milk chocolate chunks or chips
100g of white chocolate chunks or chips
40g of raisins

1.      Heat the dark chocolate and butter in the microwave at 20 second increments, stirring between each, until the chocolate mixture is melted. Be careful not to overheat the chocolate mixture.
2.      In another bowl, shift together the flour and salt.
3.      In a mixing bowl, whisk (by hand) the eggs, brown sugar and vanilla until combined. Gradually add the melted chocolate into the mixture. Mix in the flour mixture until just combined. Stir in chocolate chunks or chips and raisins.
4.      Spoon the dough in the centre of a sheet of gladwrap 1m in length, in the shape of a log. Wrap the gladwrap around the dough and roll the dough into a circular log, approximately 5cm in diameter. Freeze the mixture for 30 minutes.
5.      Preheat oven at 170°C (150°C fan force).
6.      Remove the dough from the freezer and unwrap the dough from the gladwrap. Cut the dough at 1cm intervals. Place the dough onto baking sheets approximately 3cm apart.
7.      Place the cookies in the oven and bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until cookies are shiny and appear crackly on the surface (approximately 15 to 18 minutes). Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets.

Thanks Martha Stewart - this recipe was yum!

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

DIY pavlova

One of my favourite desserts of all time is pavlova. For my international readers (beyond the borders of Australia and New Zealand), pavlova is a meringue dessert with a crisp crust, and soft, light, fluffy goodness on the inside. Kind of like me, a little rough around the edges and a bit too much loose jelly in the centre!

Pavlova is delicious! Given that pavlova is usually served with whipped cream and fresh fruit, I always think of it as a healthy dessert option. And yes, I do realise the irony of my last statement given that it is made entirely of egg whites and sugar!

I had the family over on the weekend for a belated Christmas lunch celebration. Given that it has been so HOT, HOT, HOT in Perth the last few weeks (averaging about 35 degree Celsius every day), I wanted to make a light dessert. So naturally pavlova is what had come to mind.

Wanting to maintain my love for cupcakes but wanting to explore my love for pavlova, I decided to merge the two. Combining the two was relatively easy, I just baked the pavlova mixture into cupcake patties.

Given that the kids, Zachosaurus and Mini Mousey, were coming over, I wanted to arrange an activity to occupy them. And let’s face it, there is no better activity than a food related activity! So I decided to construct a DIY pavlova station. I cut the fruit into little pretty shapes using cookie cutters and plated them up Master Chef style! Next, I put the freshly whipped cream into an icing bag with my all-time favourite nozzle, the Wilton 2D. And before you knew it, I had a pavlova dessert station.

 From the left: passionfruit, mango, kiwi and strawberry.

 Needless to say, the kids had a ball decorating their own little pavlovas. This is a great activity for the little kids and big kids too. Another option is to leave the fruit uncut and allow the kids to cut their own shapes out of the pieces of fruit. Although this can be potentially very messy, it can also be potentially very fun!

TIP: It is best to use metal cookie cutters, oppose to plastic, as they are just that little bit sharper.

Given that Australia Day is just around the corner, I got all patriotic and decided to decorate my cupcake “Australian” style! After all, it was very fitting, given that we did invent the pavlova!! New Zealand who?

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Back to basics!

Despite undergoing a little blog revamp, I have decided to get back to basics and reconnect with my old blogging roots. I must admit, I have neglected my blogging duties since starting the business and I have been feeling very guilty as of late.

To be entirely honest, I have wanted to change the direction of the blog for quite some time, but was not entirely sure how to go about it. After half a year of oohing and aahing, I decided to stop procrastinating and get the blogging into motion. And here we are.

Basically, the need for change was stemmed from my desire for readers to get something practical out of my blog and not just a random account of my banking adventures and the occasional mishap! It is my intention to release cupcake, cake pop, iced cookie and macaron decorating guides, templates and recipes through the blog. But not just that, I also want to share with readers awesome blogs I have come across that I have found to be particularly helpful in my various baking quest.

So bring on 2013! Same blog, same blogger but with a revised vision.