Cassis Macaroons

It seemed to me today that making macaroons was a perfectly good excuse to avoid going outside and meeting the inclement weather.

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Cake-Pop Cassis Macaroons

For the macaroons

Enough for 60 small shells (30 macaroons)

  • 3 egg whites
  • 210 g powder sugar
  • 125 g ground almond
  • 30 g caster sugar
  • Purple food colouring (Wilton Violet icing colour)

Mix and sift powder sugar and ground almond.

Beat the egg whites. When bubbly, add caster sugar slowly and keep beating until very stiff, dense and creamy (3-4 minutes).

Incorporate with a spatula the food colouring and finally fold in the powder sugar and almond mixture in small additions.

Pipe 3 cm diameter circles of mixture onto a baking tray, leaving some space among them. 

Bang the baking tray a couple of times against the table to remove trapped air bubbles and flatten the shells. Smooth any defects on top with a small spatula. If you want to add some sprinkles on half of them, now would be the moment. 

Leave the trays for 30 mins to form a skin on the top, longer if it is raining like hell outside, like here (I had them 90 minutes or so). Maybe it will start snowing soon 🙂 

Bake at 130 °C fan for 14 min, they are done when they feel firm to the touch. When the shells are cold you can assemble the macaroons, using a pipping bag to dispense the filling gives more precision but it is totally optional.

The video in this blog is excellent, take a look.

 

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For the cassis flavoured whipped cream filling

  • Whipping cream
  • Crème the Cassis

Add a good splash of Crème de Cassis to the cream and whip it.

For the cassis flavoured ganache filling

  • 100 g dark chocolate 70 %
  • 20 g cream
  • 30 g cassis liqueur
Heat the cream and liqueur and pour onto the chocolate – mix until well combined and allow to cool.

 

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Pink Marble Cake

Ladies prefer pink, science says so! (or at least a rather small pool of British ladies, although it would be funny to check whether they were all convinced to enrol in the study as they were exiting Juicy Couture…).

This version of science doesn’t seem to convince everyone, but one way or the other, it’s still my first choice for a marble.

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Pink Marble Cake

  • 200 g flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 0.5 tsp salt
  • 200 g powder sugar
  • 200 g rT butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 70 ml milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • Pink food colouring (I used Americolor)

Preheat the oven to 170 °C fan and line a 450 g loaf tin .

Mix and sift together the flour, salt and baking powder. 

Beat butter and sugar until pale. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until creamy and well combined. Beat in the vanilla and milk, and fold in the flour.

Divide the batter into three portions: stir the cocoa powder into one portion and add some pink food colouring to the second. Leave the third as it is.

Spoon alternate dollops of the mixture into the cake tin (you will have one spoonful too many for each colour), then use a skewer to create a marble pattern by dragging it through the mixture in swirls. Do not overmix, the pattern will be  lost.

Bake around 50 minutes, until a toothpick come out clean from the centre and it looks golden brown. Cover with foil during the baking if the surface is browning up too much. Let cool on a wire rack, slice and enjoy!

Orange Chocolate Cupcakes

I’ve never understood food scented perfumes. For some reason, stilton cheese, lobster, pizza or sushi perfumes can be found on the market. There’s even an eau de barbecue  (oddly enough, someone thought that was a good idea…).

Today I guessed how Jo Malone’s Orange and Chocolate cologne must smell: the same as my kitchen when I was finishing these up. If I can choose, I’d certainly rather have sitting besides me in the cinema someone smelling like chocolate, than someone smelling of “intoxicating bouquet of spices, smoke, meat & sweet summer sweat”…

Orange Chocolate Cupcakes

Orange Chocolate Cupcakes

For the chocolate fudge cupcake (adapted from Nigella, makes 10-12 cupcakes)

  • 130 g flour 
  • 80 g golden caster sugar 
  • 30 g light brown muscovado sugar 
  • 20 g cocoa powder 
  • 0.5 tsp baking powder 
  • 0.5 tsp bicarbonate of soda 
  • A pinch of salt 
  • 1 egg
  • 50 ml sour cream 
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract 
  • 60 g butter 
  • 50 ml sunflower oil 
  • 100 ml cold water

Preheat the oven to 160 °C fan and line a cupcake tray with 12 pretty paper cases. 

Mix and sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, bicarbonate and then stir in the sugars and salt. Separately, whisk together the eggs, sour cream and vanilla.

Melt the butter. Using a hand-held electric mixer, beat together the cooled melted butter and sunflower oil until just blended, and then beat in the water. Add the dry ingredients all at once and beat on slow speed until just combined. Add the egg mixture, and beat until blended. As always for cupcakes, remember not to overbeat or they won’t rise nicely.

Fill the paper cases with the mixture up to 2/3 and bake around 20 min until a toothpick comes out clean.

 

For the filling

  • 12 Lindt orange chocolate truffles

As soon as the cupcakes come out of the oven, make an x cross on top with scissors and push inside on Lindt orange chocolate truffle (it will melt).

Orange Chocolate Cupcakes

 

For the orange buttercream

  • 100 g unsalted butter
  • 200 g icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp orange juice or a few drops of orange extract
  • Orange food colouring

Cream the softened butter by beating at low speed and then slowly add the icing sugar. Keep beating until pale. Finally beat in the orange juice or extract.

Blend some orange colouring into 1/4 of the buttercream with a spatula. I used here Americolor gel paste 113.

To pipe the orange edge buttercream roses, place a big closed star tip in the piping bag, add the orange buttercream into the bag and extend it throughout its surface, covering the inside with a thin layer. Open the bag again and add the non-coloured buttercream in the centre. Now help the buttercream set down in the bag as you would usually do and start piping.

Orange Chocolate Cupcakes

Green Velvet Moon Pies

The full moon of the past few days (beautiful) was so inspirational…

Moon Pies

Green Velvet Moon Pies

Chewy cookies  with marshmallow filling and topped with dark chocolate and sprinkles. A slight twist from Sweetapolita’s original.
Makes 6.
For the cookies
  • 160 g flour
  • 1 tsp dark cocoa powder
  • 0.5 tsp baking soda
  • 0.5 tsp cornstarch
  • A pinch of salt
  • 100 g softened butter
  • 100 g sugar
  • 55 g brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Green food colouring (Wilton)
  • 1 egg
  • 0.5 tsp vinegar
Preheat the oven to 160 °C fan and line 2 baking sheets with baking paper.
Beat the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, then add the egg and vanilla until well combined. Beat in the vinegar and food colouring.
Beat in at low speed the precombined and sifted flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, cornstarch and salt. Be careful not to overmix at this stage.
Drop the dough on the lined baking sheet using an ice cream scoop for consistency. Leave 5 cm between scoops.
Bake for 9 minutes (don’t overbake!) and allow the cookies to cool for 10 minutes before transferring them.
For the golden syrup meringue
  • 1 egg white
  • A pinch of cream of tartar
  • 100 g golden syrup
  • 0.5 tsp vanilla extract

Place the golden syrup in a saucepan and bring to boil. Remove from heat. 

Whisk the egg white with the cream of tartar until soft peaks form.

Slowly add the golden syrup mixture to the whisked egg white and beat until thick and glossy (5 minutes), finally beat in the vanilla extract.

For the cookie assembly, chocolate coating and decoration
  • 70 g dark chocolate
  • 10 ml sunflower oil
  • Sprinkles

Melt the chocolate and oil until smooth. 

Fill a piping bag fitted with a large round tip with the meringue and pipe a generous amount on the bottom half of the cookies. Top each one with another cookie and gently press down to bring them together.

Place the Moon Pies on a wire rack over and pour melted chocolate on them.

Top with rainbow nonpareils (or other sprinkles) and let cool down.

 

Moon Pies

 

Moon Pies.

Buttercream Ombré Rose Cake

The saddest thing about living abroad is missing the family and friends little events and get-togethers. Today I am missing my lovely little sister’s birthday, but here is our contribution to the party.

Happy Birthday Sis!!

Happy Birthday Sis

Buttercream Rose Cake

Take 3 layers of your favourite cake, food colouring in your sister’s favourite shade, 250 g butter, 500 g icing sugar, some vanilla, a hand-held electric mixer, a pipping bag, a rotating stand and some free time ahead to follow the step-by-step advice of one of the most inspirational cake decorators online.

Lavender Ombre Buttercream P1100654

Buttercream Rose CakeButtercream Rose Cake

On the importance of having the right tools – Red Velvet Mug Cake

I tried many times to make red velvet cupcakes. They always turn out delicious, but not red. Today I tried this fast approach to red velvetry using a proper food colouring and at last, success! How important it is to have proper tools when baking, just as much as in a lab bench… they might not be that different!

Cosy Red Velvet Mug Cake

My mug cake would have greatly benefited from a bit of cream cheese frosting, but you know how one must wait until the cake is cold to add the frosting… and, after all, the quintessence of a mug cake is the “can’t wait” state of mind of the cook. And since I aaaaalways diligently observe the rules, I kinda had to rush my photographer into it, and didn’t really let him take his time on the picturing process… I must make sure I have a proper bottle of instant whipped cream at all times on my fridge though, you know, for emergencies…

Red Velvet Mug Cake :(

Red Velvet Mug Cake

  • 1 egg
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp red food coloring (Americolor 119 red red)
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 50 g sugar
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 30 g self-rising flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 tsp white vinegar

Whisk together the egg and oil with a fork. Stir in the food coloring, buttermilk, vanilla, and sugar, then add the cocoa, flour, salt, and vinegar, beating until you get a smooth batter. Divide the batter between two mugs and tap them to remove air. Microwave the mugs separately for 1.5 to 2.5 minutes each until risen and firm.

Rainbow Cupcakes

I got some new toys branded Americolor, and I desperately wanted to test them all. Immediately.

Of course, any kind of cake dough on rainbow mode was the obvious choice. I know, I know, such a cliché…

Rainbow Cupcakes

Rainbow cupcakes

  • 150 g caster sugar
  • 150 g butter
  • 130 g self-raising flour
  • 20 g cornflour
  • 3 eggs
  • 30 ml milk
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 6 different food colours (Americolor Cake Colours)
  • 100 ml whipping cream
  • 1 tsp custard powder
  • Decorating sprinkles

Preheat the oven at 160 °C and place 12 cases in a muffin tin. Beat sugar and butter with vanilla essence until light and fluffy. Add 1 egg, one third of the flour and some milk, beat until just combined. Repeat until all the ingredients are used up. Divide the batter in 6 small plastic bags, add a different food colouring to each one and mix. Snip the corner off the purple bag and squeeze a layer covering the bottom. Repeat with layers of the other colours (in rainbow order), and use a toothpick to arrange the batter over the previous colour after each addition.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

Just before eating (and when the cupcakes are cold), whip the cream adding the custard slowly during the process (stabilises the cream and adds nice flavour). Pipe the whipped cream on top of the cupcakes (I used a closed star tip) and decorate with sprinkles!

Rainbow Cupcake

Whipped Cream frosted Rainbow Cupcakes

A little dust of powder sugar is a nice alternative, and easier to handle for traveling cupcakes.

Do you remember from school the correct order of the colours in a rainbow? If not, take into account that Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain!

Rainbow Cupcake