Apricot & Orange Blossom Pudding

This delicate dessert has all the looks of showstopper without the forty steps of a complicated recipe. I love custards and especially a french egg and vanilla bean creme pastry but this milk pudding is egg free and thicken with cornflour. Ive gone a little off the norm by using stevia to add sweetness and poached fruit.

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Lets start with I don’t know the exact origins of this pudding and at the risk of looking it up on Wikipedia it appears as a dessert loved by many different cultures. Lets face is desserts should have no boundaries. Flavoured with lemon in Italy, rose water in the Middle Eastern also called “Muhalbiyah”.

The Greek pudding called “Alevria” which can also be lactose free is often made with a reduction of grape juice to make a syrup or the milk version flavoured with mastic or orange blossom water. It is the Greek versions that I am most familiar with and most probably the first ever custard I ate as a child.

A variety of toppings common in to both the Middle east and the Mediterranean almost always include crushed walnuts or pistachios and spices like cinnamon.

Ive add poached fruit and its juices for freshness, like apricot halves but peaches are also perfect and if you preferred passionfruit or a raspberry coulis then go for it.

This pudding is flavoured with orange blossom water and a sprinkling of crushed pistachios and for added decadence Ive added a few dry edible rose petals.

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“Apricot & Orange Blossom Pudding”

4-5 serves

Ingredients

500ml Milk

40g Stevia

35g Cornflour

1 tablespoon Orange Blossom water

5-6 Poached Apricot halves reserve the juices

50g Pistachios – Crushed

Method

  1. In a medium saucepan add the stevia and the cornflour mix well.
  2. Add Milk and whisk together till no lumps of cornflour are visible.
  3. Continuously stir to stop it from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Mix while on medium heat till it thickens and large bubbles rise to the top and keep mixing for a further 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and add the orange blossom water stir to combine.
  4. Pour the pudding into individual heat proof ramekins
  5. Allow to cool to room temperature then cool in the refrigerator
  6. Top with an apricot half, pour a little syrup over the top and sprinkle with crushed pistachios.

*For extra decadence Ive used edible dry tea rose for a little WOW! Factor 🙂 …………………..(I purchased the roses from T2 the tea shop)

*This recipe can be doubled if required

*Fresh edible flowers can be used (please be mindful to purchase these for consumption purposes as you do not want to be serving up flowers sprayed with pesticides)

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Gingerbread Angels

Christmas just isn’t the same if I don’t bake gingerbread Angels, Deer or Gingerbread Men!

…. well if Im honest there will always be something baking.

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I love this spicy biscuit especially when just baked. Who needs exotic air fresheners when all you need to do is a little baking. The warm aromas of Ginger, Cinnamon, Nutmeg and All Spice will have you reaching for the kettle and sitting down with your favourite brew in one hand and a Gingerbread Angel in the other.

I’ve been asked a few times and its worth noting that to build a gingerbread house the dough is a little different slightly dry and once baked not as soft and fluffy as the gingerbread men you might be familiar with. My recipe can be used for both individual biscuits like these angels or if you want to make a gingerbread house. After baked the biscuit is crisp but after a few days they begin to soften slightly.

To decorate the angels or other shapes I like to use Royal Icing and a few soft shell sugar pearls and sprinkles to add a little glam like the red and green and red garland wreath or the gold sugar crystal hearts its really up to you. In the past Ive also used 100’s and 1000’s and they look great too. I hate to admit this but its all up-to the Christmas Tree and the overall household decorations  that dictate that years colour theme…..That’s a bit over the top but then again thats me!

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You will need:

Rolling Pin

Baking trays

Baking Paper

Cookie Cutter (Angel, Reindeer, Santa) Ive used Angel

Ingredients:

100g Unsalted Butter

200g Soft Brown Sugar

150g Molasses

150g Golden Syrup

1 Egg

700g Plain Flour

1 teaspoon Baking Powder

1 teaspoon Ginger powder

1 Tablespoon Cinnamon Powder

1 Tablespoon Mixed Spice

1 teaspoon Bicarbonate of Soda

1 teaspoon White Vingar

A little extra flour for dusting your work surface

Method:

  • Bring the butter, Molasses and Golden Syrup to a gentle simmer mix well, remove from heat, allow to cool.
  • Sieve the flour, baking powder, Mixed spices, Cinnamon and Ginger together and set aside
  • Add the egg to the cooled butter syrup and mix well
  • Mix together the Bicarbonate of Soda and Vinegar, mix into the butter syrup
  • Add the butter syrup to the flour, fold through to make the dough
  • Wrap the dough and rest in the fridge before rolling out for baking.
  • Pre Heat oven to 180 Degrees and bake biscuits for approximately 12 minutes

Remove the dough from the fridge. Very lightly sprinkle some flour on your work bench. Roll out the dough to about 3-4mm thick. I like to dip the cutting edge of the cookie cutter into the flour shake off the excess and then cut the shape (repeat till you have cut out all) Gently lift the dough shapes onto the prepared baking trays. Leave a good 1-2cm between each shape.

Bake the gingerbread for about 12 minutes (you know your oven, sometimes they run hotter than others so watch the first batch and adjust your time accordingly). Allow the baked gingerbreads to cool slightly on the baking tray before you move them to a cooling rack to cool completely before decorating.

To decorate your Gingerbread you will need some

Royal Icing

Small Pipping Bag

Sprinkles – Ive used Queens White Soft Shell Pearls (which are great ….No more chipped teeth using the other hard ones “Great Ideas Queens”

Mixed Red and Green Sprinkles for the Garland Wreath

Black or Brown Food Colour Pen to draw on the face (which can only be done after the royal icing has completely dried……don’t be tempted to do it any sooner, trust me! )

Step 1

Fill the piping bag with royal icing (2-3 Tablespoon full) cut the tip of the piping bag so that you can pipe a line. If the royal icing is too runny thicken it up with a little more icing sugar or if too thick add a tiny amount of water (a little goes a long way)

Step2

Trace the shape of the angel all the way round, allow this to dry as you finish the other baked gingerbread.

Step 3

Once the outer edge is dry, time to fill it in. This time you want the royal icing to have a little movement so that it will spread easy but not run away ….if you know what I mean 🙂 Using the same piping fill it with the royal icing again and slowly fill in.

Step 4

Once again wait till the royal icing is dry before you continue with this step. To make the Garland wreath pipe a ring of royal icing onto the angel and sprinkle with the sprinkles. Allow it to set and then shake off the excess. For the hallow pipe a line of royal icing and then gently place the soft shell pearls across and allow to set dry.

Now the rest is up to you! I like to put the angels in clear food / lolly bags tie some colourful ribbon over the top and give them as gifts. Ive used them as name cards for Christmas lunch. Ive even used them as ornaments on the christmas tree. What ever you choose to do Im sure they will be enjoyed by all.

 

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Lucy's Friendly Foods

There’s not a great deal to say about these other than they’re part brownie, part cookie… they’re chocolate brownie cookies! So they have that soft chocolate texture in cookie form, and they taste just like brownies. Best of both worlds, right? They got a thumbs up here anyway.

Chocolate Brownie Cookies (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

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makes 10-12

  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsps plain flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup sunflower oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsps oat milk
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

– Preheat the oven to gas mark 3

– Line a cookie sheet with parchment

– Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder and soda. Stir in the sugar and salt.

– Pour in the oil, vanilla and oat milk.

– Bring together to a dough.

–…

View original post 61 more words

Golden Gaytime Cake – Layered and Perfectly Naked

Recipe makes 1 (6 inch) layered Naked Cake

Serves 8 – 12

Equipment

1 (7 inch) Cake Board

1 (6inch) Cake Ring

1 Strip of Acetate approximately 40cm length and approximately 13 – 14cm wide

Assemble Cake Instructions

  1. Place a piece of baking paper on your work bench, invert the cake onto it and remove the parchment from the cake.
  2. Use the cake ring to cut out 2 complete cake circles which will be the top two layers of your cake and the remaining cake should be enough to cut two circle halves and scraps to fill in any gaps for 1 bottom layer.
  3. On a baking tray place the cake base, clean the cake ring and place this in the centre of the cake board. Line the inside of the cake ring with the acetate. Now we are almost ready.
  4. Place the two halves and any cake scraps you require to fill the first layer (base) to make a flat even layer.
  5. Warm the Cho-Malt Fudge Sauce spread, one fifth of the Choc-Malt Sauce over the base. (The sauce is so much easier to spread when its warmed)
  6. Spread half the quantity of Caramel Creme then sprinkle with the (small particle) Malt Crumble gently push them into the Caramel Creme to fix them in place.
  7. Spread another layer of Choc-Malt Fudge Sauce. Repeat the process for the next cake layer.
  8. Place the last layer on top spread the last amount of Choc-Malt Fudge Sauce and cover with the Chocolate Butter Cream. Garnish the top with the remaining large Malt Crumble Biscuit pieces.
  9. Place the cake in the fridge and allow to set for a minimum of 12 hours.
  10. Use a hot knife to slice and serve.

 

GGC9

 

Vanilla Bean Cake

makes 1 (12 by 12 inch) square cake

55g Unsalted Butter (room temperature)

210g Caster Sugar

60g Rice Bran Oil

2 Eggs

1 Egg yolk

1 tsp vanilla Bean Paste

110g Buttermilk

185g Plain Flour

1 tsp baking Powder

1/2 tsp Salt

  1. Pre-Heat the oven to 170 Degrees Celsius
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar together then add the rice bran oil, vanilla bean paste and eggs one at a time. Add the extra egg yolk. Cream till pale and fluffy.
  4. Alternate the addition of the flour and the buttermilk till both have been combined.
  5. Pour into a square baking tin lined with baking paper spread out the batter evenly and bake for approximately 20 – 25 minutes.
  6. Allow to cool completely.

Caramel Creme

280g Milk

75g Cream

100g Caramel

1tsp Vanilla Bean

25g Cornflour

50g Caster Sugar

2g Salt

3 Egg Yolks

2tsp Maple Extract

4g Gelatin (2 Sheets) or  (2 teaspoons Gelatin Powder – Bloomed)

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40g Cold Butter

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160g Cream

  1. Pour the milk, cream and caramel into a sauce pan and bring to a boil.
  2. Combine the cornflour, sugar, salt and mix. Add the egg yolks and whisk till the sugar has dissolved.
  3. While whisking pour the boiling milk over the egg yolk mixture a little at a time till the egg mix is tempered.
  4. Pour the entire mix back into the pot and whisk continuously till the custard creme thickens and has reached a boil. Remove from heat and add the maple extract and the cold butter. Whisk continuously till the butter has combined and the Caramel Creme is smooth.  If the custard has any lumps pass it through a strainer.
  5. Pour into a heat proof bowl cover the caramel custard with plastic wrap, press the cling film directly onto the custard to stop a skin from forming while it cools completely.
  6. Once the caramel creme is cold. Whip the fresh cream to soft peak. Place the caramel creme into the bowl of a standard mixer and re-whip till smooth. Fold the soft whip cream into the caramel creme.

Malt Crumble Biscuit

30g Low Fat Milk Powder

40g Flour

12g Cornflour

40g Malt Powder

25g Caster Sugar

2g Salt

55g Butter (Melted)

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60g Malt Powder

90g White Chocolate (Melted)

  1. pre-Heat the oven to 170 Degrees Celsius
  2. Place the powdered milk, flour, cornflour, malt powder, sugar and salt into the bowl of a standard mixer with the paddle attachment. Mix all till well combined then add the butter mix till a fine crumble is formed. Pour the crumble onto a baking sheet lined with baking paper and bake for 20 minutes. The crumble should be golden and the buttery aroma should have filled the room.
  3. Allow the crumble to cool completely. Sprinkle the malt powder over the crumble and break up any large pieces of biscuit.
  4. Melt the white chocolate and pour over the crumble, using your fingers enrobe the crumble with the white chocolate. You will notice some large crumble pieces and small pieces have formed. Allow the crumble to cool and set aside about half a cup full of the larger crumble pieces aside for garnish and the rest for between the cake layers (make sure these are all about the size of rice grains).

Chocolate Buttercream

115g Unsalted Butter (room temperature)

80g Icing Sugar

1g Salt

2Tbs Cocoa Powder

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55g Milk (Cold)

  1. Using a standard mixer with the paddle attachment cream the butter till pale in colour then add the icing sugar, salt,and cocoa powder.
  2. Cream until the buttercream is light, smooth and fluffy while whipping add the cold milk. (Don’t forget to scrape down the sides).

Milk Chocolate Malt Sauce

60g Milk Chocolate

80g Malt Powder

1g Salt

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200g Glucose

50g Caster Sugar

150g Cream

  1. Combine the milk chocolate, malt powder and salt in a heat proof bowl and set aside.
  2. In a saucepan combine the glucose, sugar and cream, bring to the boil remove from heat and pour over the milk chocolate and malt mix.
  3. After a few minutes slowly whisk the chocolate malt sauce until the mixture is smooth and silky. Pour the sauce in a food processor and blend till the sauce is completely smooth.

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Coconut Blossom Caramel Sauce


CSR SUGAR Australia has released a beautiful range of traditionally farmed sugars. Each one with its deep rich and delicate notes of caramel, butterscotch, toffee and treacle. The unique molasses content in each gives the unrefined sugar its golden colour and decadent flavour.

So I thought I’d put it to the test!

I adore this recipe it can be use in cakes and buttercreams or warmed and drizzled over ice cream, puddings or eaten straight up with your favourite spoon or simply smear over toast.

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Be creative Ive made this recipe with all of the different sugars and each time its been a delicious result. So make a caramel sauce to suit your personality and your taste buds.

France – French Caster Sugar

Colombia – Panela Sugar

Sri Lanka – Rapadura Sugar

Indonesia – Coconut Blossom Sugar

Australia – Muscovado Sugar

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COCONUT BLOSSOM CARAMEL SAUCE

Makes about 1  1/2 cups

UTENSILS

1 x 2 Liter Heavy base saucepan

1 Candy Thermometer

1 Whisk

1 Heatproof jar with lid to store your caramel

INGREDIENTS

125g Cream

60g  French Caster Sugar

60g Coconut Blossom Sugar

60g Unsalted Butter

45g Glucose

1/4 tsp Salt

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1/2 tsp Vanilla Bean Paste

125g Cream

METHOD

Bring the 125g Cream, sugar, butter, glucose and salt into the heavy base saucepan uncovered over medium to high heat. Once the sugar has dissolved  whisk the mixture just a few times to combine and continue to boil till the mixture reaches 120 Degrees Celsius take off heat.

Add the vanilla and cream in a thin stream while whisking constantly till well combined. Place back on the heat and boil again. Remove from heat straight away. Allow to cool for a moment.

Pour the caramel into a heat proof container.

Leave to cool then cover it tightly and store in refrigerator.

Re-heat to use.

Don’t forget this caramel sauce makes a great gift too!

Enjoy 🙂

Salted Caramel TWIX Cake…for the busy baker.

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“Salted Caramel TWIX Cake” ……..this is for the busy baker!

Equipment you will need 1 x Loaf tin approximately 26cm x 8cm x 6cm.
Cooling rack
Baking tray
Plastic food wrap
Hair Dryer

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Ingredients

1 x Vanilla / Butter Cake

Pre heat the oven to 180 Degrees.

Prepare your tin by greasing with cooking oil spray. Line the tin with baking paper.

Prepare the cake mix as directed and bake as recommended or till golden and baked through.

Chocolate Shortbread

For the Chocolate Short bread (This will be the biscuit base of the cake)

300g 00 Flour
30g Cacao Powder
130g Icing Sugar
150g Unsalted Butter
3 Egg Yolks

Place the Flour, Cacao, Icing Sugar, and cold unsalted butter in the bowl of a food processor and pulse till all the ingredients have combined. Add the egg yolks and pulse again till it all comes together, push the dough together (careful not to over work the dough). Make a ball flatten it slightly and wrap the dough with plastic wrap, rest in the fridge for 15- 30 minutes.

On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough to 5 millimetre thickness cut a rectangle the size of the widest part of your loaf tin pierce holes over the dough with a fork. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 Degrees for 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on the baking tray.

Caramel
1 x 300g Salted Caramel Dessert Sauce ( the brand I used is Safeway Gold Salted Caramel Dessert Sauce)
50g Milk Chocolate Melts

Place the salted caramel dessert sauce in a saucepan and heat through while constantly stirring.

Remove form heat as soon as it comes to the boil. Add the milk chocolate stir all till well combined till you have a smooth glossy caramel. Set aside to cool slightly.

To prepare the mould / channel (to form the dome shape which will be the top of the cake) for the caramel use the same loaf tin. Place cling wrap over the top of the loaf tin and allow it to evenly sink down creating a channel. Secure all four sides of the plastic to the loaf tin and pour the semi cooled caramel into the channel then set aside.

Chocolate Ganache

450g Milk Chocolate Melts
220g Cream

14g Glucose
60g Unsalted Butter

Place the chocolate in a heat proof bowl.

Bring the cream, butter and glucose to the boil and pour it over the milk chocolate pieces.

After 5 minutes use a whisk to stir the chocolate and cream together till it is smooth and glossy.

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Assemble the cake

Smear a layer of caramel on to the biscuit base.

Trim your cooled butter cake so that the top of the cake will now sit flat on the rectangle biscuit base.

Place the narrow side of the butter cake on to the caramel. Cover with plastic. Place the cake into the freezer for about 30 – 45 minutes.

Remove the cake from the freezer and carefully flip it over on to a cooling rack, the caramel will set frozen, peal the plastic off leaving the cake with a caramel dome on top.

Place a baking tray under the cooling rack and pour over the chocolate ganache. The cooling rack will allow the excess ganache to drip through leaving a smooth coating.
Technical Trick

To get the cake looking like a TWIX Bar use your hair dryer on a cool setting to blow air over the top of the ganache this will create the rippled effect.

Chop some TWIX bars and use them for decoration on top.

 

Aromatic Wine Poached Pear and Almond Tart

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Poaching pears in a blend of good red wine, and boosting the warmth of the poaching liquid by adding spice aromatics like a cinnamon stick, star anise, lemon and orange peal and you have a pear that will tantalise your every taste bud with every spoonful.  

Wine Poached Pears

150g Marsalla Wine

750g Red Wine

150g Caster Sugar

1 Cinnamon Stick

Lemon and Orange Peal

1 Star Anise

10-12 Small Corella Pears (pealed and seeds hulled)

Now don’t over complicate this its as easy as.

1: You will need a pot (with a lid) that will fit all your pears side by side in an upright position.

2: Add all poaching ingredients to the pot – the wine, sugar, spices and peal. On low heat stir till sugar has dissolved.

3: Peal pears and remove the core if possible leave the stems for now (you can remove after they have been poached and cooled)

4: Place the pears in the pot, lid on and allow them to poach for about 20 – 30 minutes. Test the pears to see if they are ready by piercing with a small knife if  the tip of the knife slides in easily then they are ready, under poached pears do not have a very pleasant texture.

Just a note: At this stage you can ditch the rest of the recipe, pop the cooled poached pears with the liquid  in the fridge. They make an amazing dessert on their own with a dollop of double cream, or your favourite vanilla ice-cream and for crunch place the pear on some recently baked puff pastry sprinkled with some cinnamon sugar and you have lovely individual desserts. Don’t forget to drizzle some of the poaching liquid over the top!

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Sweet Pastry Crust

125g Butter (cubed)

125g Icing Sugar

1 Free Range Egg

250g Organic Plain Flour

25g Almond meal

The hard work has been done its time to let the food processor take over.

1: Place the flour, butter, almond meal and icing sugar in the bowl of the food processor. Pulse 4 – 6 times till all resembles an even crumble.

2: Add the egg yolk and 1 tablespoon of cold water, pulse the flour mix again till it starts to come together. Remove the pastry dough push it all together, flatten out into a disc shape wrap in food grade plastic wrap and rest in the fridge for 10 – 15minutes.

3: Time to make the Almond creme, once again another a handheld mixer standard mixer is perfect for this job.

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Almond Creme

125g Butter (room temperature)

125g icing Sugar

125g Almond Meal

2 Free Range Eggs (room temperature)

1 teaspoon Queens Vanilla Bean paste

1: Cream together the butter, icing sugar and vanilla bean paste, be a little patient and don’t rush. Once the butter and sugar are pale light and fluffy in appearance add the eggs one at a time.

2: Add the almond meal, stop beating when all ingredients have combined. Set aside for the moment.

3: Pre-Heat the oven 180 Deegrees.

Tart shell filled with almond creme
Tart shell filled with almond creme
Baked to a golden finish
Baked to a golden finish

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Arranging the poached pears
Arranging the poached pears

Assembly

1: On a lightly floured surface, roll-out the pastry about 4-5 millimetres thickness. Line the base and sides of a 26cm round nonstick fluted tart baking pan and trim the edges.

2: Fill the tart shell with the Almond Creme filling no more than 3/4 full.

3: Bake the tart on the middle shelf for approximately 25 minutes or till light golden colour. Once baked remove form the oven and allow to cool completely before removing from the baking pan.

4: Decorate the cooled tart with the poached pears.

Just a note: Baking is part science and a whole lot of creativity! So you can either cut the pears in half, or slice them into wedges and arrange them around the tart. If they are small pears they look great left whole as an individual serving. Its up to you.

Happy Baking by Baking Beautiful

Maria – The Great Australian Bake Off

Band of Bakers Australia

Instergram: BakingBeautiful

 

Sugar and Spice Gingerbread

To say that there is a special place in my heart for gingerbread would be an understatement. While baking my house is filled with the sweet spicy aromas of ginger, cinnamon and clove. I think its a warmth that touches your heart and soothes the soul that feeling of comfort and security….who would of thought that a humble biscuit was this and so much more. Christmas must be around the corner but when I really think about it there’s no need to wait gingerbread is lovely any time of the year.

Ginger Bread House and Template

  Gingerbread Dough:

100g butter chopped

1 cup Brown Sugar (Firmly packed)

1/2 cup Molasses

1/2 cup Golden Syrup

1 egg (lightly whisked)

4.5 – 5 cup Plain Flour (extra for dusting)

1 Tablespoons Ground Ginger

1 Tablespoons Cinnamon

1 Tablespoons Ground Cloves

1 teaspoon Bicarbonate of Soda

Royal Icing:

1 x Queen Royal Icing (Instant mix)

Method:

1: Place butter, brown sugar, Molasses and Golden Syrup in a saucepan over low heat until the butter has melted and the sugar dissolved. Set aside for 10 min to cool. Add the egg well.

2: Sift together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and bicarbonate of soda. Add to the butter and egg mixture. Combine all and knead until smooth. Alternatively –  pour the butter mix into the bowl of a mixer with a paddle attachment and on slow add the flour mix till all comes together.

3: Wrap the dough in food plastic flatten out into a disc shape and rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.

4: Preheat oven to 180C. Roll portions of the dough out directly onto the baking paper about 3 – 4 millimetres thick.

5: Use the template to guide you and cut out the shapes required,  remove excess ginger bread dough.  Place another piece of baking paper over the dough and cover with another baking tray. (this will help to keep the gingerbread flat).

6: Bake for 12 minutes or until golden. Once baked use the template to guide you once again and trim any edges straight. Please note the gingerbread will still be soft and Very Very Very HOT! so take care.  Once trimmed transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough.

7: Decorate the baked ginger bread and set aside to set before assembling the structure.

After you have cut all your Gingerbread pieces any remaining dough would make perfect gingerbread figurines to enjoy with a cup of tea while showing off your masterpiece.

The decorations are really all up to you.

I have used stencils as well as the:

Queen Royal Icing

Queen Pansies

Queen Soft Sugar Pearls – Pink

Which you can find in most supermarkets in the baking section.

Biscotti – Pistachio and Cranberry

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More and more I look at these biscotti I am reminded that the festive season is quickly descending upon us. With all those flecks of red and green it must only mean one thing “Christmas”. Maybe I have found a wonderful solutions for the gift giving season. A gift from home to treat the taste buds for friends and colleagues to enjoy.

“That little something that means so very much, a gift from the oven is a gift from the heart”.

I have always maintained that my desire to bake has always been fuelled by the need to share, create something delicious and enjoy it with friends and family.

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Pistachio and Cranberry Biscotti

Ingredients

For the biscotti base

250g Plain Flour or Biscuit Flour

½ teaspoon Baking powder

220g Caster Sugar

3  Eggs, lightly beaten

200g Pistachios, chopped

125g Dried Cranberries, chopped

Zest of 1 lemon

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. Preheat the oven to 160C Degrees
  2. Mix together the flour, baking powder and sugar in a bowl and add the eggs slowly to make a dough.
  3. Add the chopped pistachio and cranberry lemon zest and vanilla extract
  4. Knead the mixture gently and then separate and roll into two logs.
  5. Place on a lined baking tray and bake for 25 minutes in the preheated oven.
  6. Cool slightly and cut into 1-2cm thick slices.
  7. Reduce the heat of the oven to 150C return to the tray to the oven and bake for another 10-15 minutes, turn each biscotti over and continue to bake for another 10-15 minutes until golden-brown.
  8. Serve the hot chocolate sauce in a cup with the biscotti on the side to dunk in.

*Note: The biscotti batter may look a little wet. To shape the batter wet your hands a little to stop the dough from sticking and shape in a log.

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Having had so much success with Merry Berry’s Creme Caramel recipe I thought it would only be fair to test one of Paul’s recipes and Im so glad I did its simply wonderful. The Biscotti has all the flavour of freshly roasted nuts and an abundance of sugar to satisfy any sweet tooth. Do I dare to say that I have made a few little changes to the original recipe but without any disruption to the value of satisfaction.  Another recipe keeper!

This recipe was inspired by Paul Hollywood

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Heavenly Snickers Cake – Made Easy!

“Where love has no boundaries”

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For those who adore chocolate, love the smooth silky taste of caramel and the salty crunch of peanut butter this gorgeous cake will have you giddy with excitement. Willy Wonka would be both delighted and shocked to see that a beloved confectionary bar can be transformed into a feast for the eyes and a playground for the taste buds.

Lets not talk about the hips – moderation is always the key!

While flicking through the pages of favourite magazines I came across a few recipes  by Heston Blumenthal and his version of a Giant Snickers Cake tempted as I was at the time I thought I would set my own challenge and try to recreate or deconstruct this recipe. This version is for the “Home Baker” an easy and quick version that I think everyone should bake and enjoy with the whole family, neighbours, friends or workmates…..It’s a Show Stopper!

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You will need:

2 x 7 inch cake tins greased and lined with baking paper

1 Packet of White Wings Chocolate Heaven Cake

Snickers Filling

250g Cream Cheese

1 cup Caramel (Store bought is ok to use)

1/2 cup Crunchy Peanut Butter

Chocolate Ganache

225 g Milk Chocolate (for melting and cooking) roughly chopped

115 g Cream

1 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter

1 Tablespoon Honey

Method:

1: Make the chocolate cake as per directions on the packet, divide the batter between the two cake tins and bake as directed.

2: To make the filling place the cream cheese in the bowl of a standard mixer or use a hang held mixer to cream the cheese to a smooth paste with no visible lumps. Add the caramel and blend well to combine remember to scrap down the sides of the bowl so that all the cream cheese has been incorporated. Add the peanut butter and mix well. Set aside.

3: To make the chocolate ganache place the chocolate in a heat proof bowl. Place the cream, butter and honey in a small pot and bring them to a gentle simmer pour over the chocolate and mix till smooth and glossy.

4: Once the cake has cooled evenly trim the tops off to form and even surface. Slice each cake in half. Divide the filling into three portions and use one portion per layer. Check that your cake is stacked straight. Allow to set in the fridge for 30 minutes.

*Note: Make sure you use the bottom layer of one of the cakes as the very top, in other words you will need to flip it this will allow you to have a lovely smooth and straight surface to work with.

5: Pour a little ganache over the top of the cake and allow it to roll over the side. With the remainder of the ganache – smear it around the edge of the cake filling in and gaps (if the ganache is too runny wait a little for it to cool further and thicken).

* Note: I have finely chopper up some more chocolate and loosely decorated the sides.

6: For a finishing touch pipe little dots of caramel around the edge of the top of the cake.

This really is a cake with decadent proportions, but I have always found that the best way to enjoy it is by sharing a few delicious calories with friends.

When I made this cake originally it was a Swiss Roll and I made everything from scratch even the caramel. I think this is a lovely quick and easy way to achieve almost the same gorgeous results.

Enjoy 🙂

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Episode 6: The Great Australian Bake Off – Time for Dessert

Red Velvet “Sweet Heart’s” Cake

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As six Home bakers remained our next challenge was all about dessert.

As you would have see and heard this particular showstopper was always destined to be my favourite. Everything about this cake for me said romance the colour, the flavour down to the decorations. We had five hours to make bake, frost and decorate!

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Red Velvet Engagement Cake
(Serves 60–80)

Ingredients

For the first cake
  • 1 cup rice bran oil
  • 2 cups caster sugar
  • 1½ tablespoons dark cocoa powder
  • 4 teaspoons red food dye
  • 3 cups self-raising flour
  • 1¼ teaspoons salt
  • 1¼ teaspoons vanilla bean paste
  • 1¼ teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
  • 1¼ teaspoons white vinegar
  • 3 large free-range eggs
  • 1¼ cups buttermilk
For the second cake
  • 1 cup rice bran oil
  • 2 cups caster sugar
  • 1½ tablespoons dark cocoa powder
  • 4 teaspoons red food dye
  • 3 cups self-raising flour
  • 1¼ teaspoons salt
  • 1¼ teaspoons vanilla bean paste
  • 1¼ teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
  • 1¼ teaspoons white vinegar
  • 3 large free-range eggs
  • 1¼ cups buttermilk
For the third cake
  • ½ cup rice bran oil
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • ¾ tablespoon dark cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons red food dye
  • 1½ cups self-raising flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 large free-range egg plus 1 yolk
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
For the frosting and filling
  • 250g unsalted butter, softened
  • 500g cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups icing sugar, sifted
To finish
  • white fondant
  • quilting tool
  • royal icing
  • red gel food dye
  • stencils
  • 12 red roses
  • florist tape
  • lustre dust
Utensils
  • 2 x 25cm, 2 x 20cm and 2 x 15cm cake tins, greased and lined with baking paper
  • wooden dowel

Preparation Method

Preheat the oven to 170°C. To make the first batter, combine the oil, sugar, cocoa, food dye, flour, salt, vanilla, bicarbonate of soda and vinegar in the bowl of a freestanding electric mixer and mix on low speed. Increase the speed to medium. Add the eggs one at a time, until combined. Slowly add the buttermilk to make a thick batter. Pour into a 25cm and a 20cm tin and bake for 40—45 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Make the second batter (the same way) and pour into the second 25cm and 20cm tins. Bake as above. Make the third batter and divide between the two 15cm tins. Bake for 35 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and cream cheese together until light and fluffy. Mix in the vanilla. Add the icing sugar a few spoonfuls at a time, beating until light and fluffy. Cut each cake in half and fill with frosting, then sandwich back together. Place frosting between each of the same-sized cakes to sandwich together and form a tier. Place each tier on a matching-sized cake board secured with a little frosting. Cover the top and sides of each tier with cream cheese frosting and place in the fridge to set. (You will now have three frosting-covered tiers.)

Roll out the white fondant until smooth and cover the base tier and the top tier. Using a quilting tool, add decoration to the base tier. Pipe a fine lacework pattern of dots on the top tier using royal icing. Add enough red food gel to make bright red fondant, knead well and roll out to cover the middle cake tier. Smooth. Cut out red fondant hearts, stencil with patterns and secure to the red tier with royal icing.

When ready to assemble, insert 3—4 wooden dowel pieces, cut to size, in the base tier to support the middle tier. Put the middle tier in place. Add more dowel pieces, cut to size, to the middle tier to support the top tier. Place the final tier on top. Finish the cake by topping with red roses wrapped in plastic or florist tape (so the stems do not touch the cake). Sprinkle a little lustre dust over the roses.

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 The Signature Challenge – Cheesecake

Through out these challenges week after week I have always tried to create something that everyone can be inspired to bake at home, no fancy gadgets or unattainable complex ingredients. I have tried my best to show how I bake at home. This cheese cake has all the citrus notes of both orange and lemon, the sweet fragrance of honey and spice. Well it all begins with a picture!

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A step by step view

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Honey & Orange Blossem Rose

Ingredients List:

Please supply us with an ingredients list for your Baked Cheesecake (below)

Base:

1 pkt Ginger nut biscuits (Crushed)

1 t Cinnamon powder

100g Butter (Melted)

Filling:

750g Cream Cheese (Room temperature)

1 c Caster Sugar

1 T Orange Blossom Water

1 each Orange and Lemon Zest (fine)

1/4 c Milk

3 eggs

1/2 c Light Sour Cream

1 T Vanilla Bean Paste

Honey Jelly:

100 ml Hot Water

1 T Gelatine

300 ml Water

2 T Honey

2 Drops of Queens Rose Pink Food Colouring

1 T Rose Water

1: Put 100ml of hot water and gelatine stir to dilute add sugar, honey and food colouring. Add 300ml of cold water and stir to combine. Allow the jelly to come to room temperature.

2: Allow to cool slightly before pouring onto the cheese cake. Place the cheese cake in the fridge to set before piping the cream.

Topping: Whipped Cream

1 1/2 c Cream

2 T Icing Sugar

Garnish:

Fresh 8 x Pink and 8 x Yellow Rose petals (few extra of each)

Method:

Pre-heat the oven to 170C. Bake for 50 minutes in a water bath.

Grease and line with baking paper one 10 inch springform cake tin outer base covered with foil, to be placed in a deep baking dish for a water bath.

1: Place all in a food processor add the crushed biscuits and melted butter and pulse till fine crumbs. Press an even layer into the base of the cake tin its optional but you can line the sides too.

2: Using a large standard mixer (medium speed) cream together the cream cheese, sugar, zest of lemon and orange and the orange blossom water until smooth.

3: Add the milk and beat till smooth (on low to start).  Add the eggs one at a time beating well after each addition. Add the sour cream, vanilla bean paste beat until combined.

4: Pour the cheese mixture into the cake tin. Making sure that the cake tin is water proofed with the addition of foil wrapped around and up the sides of the outer edges. Place the cake tin into a deep dish and add hot water about a third of the way up around the tin.

5: Bake for approximately 50 minutes, leave the cheesecake to cool completely, place in the fridge, to firm before decorating (preferably overnight but at least 4 hours).

6: Whip the cream till almost thickened and them add the icing sugar to sweeten. Fill a piping bag with the whipped cream and pipe a neat circle around the edge. Place it back in the fridge again. Make the honey jelly as you are using hot water leave the jelly to come to room temperature before pouring it slowly into the inner edges of the cold cheesecake leave in the fridge to set.

7: Once the jelly has set pipe large rosettes of cream around the edge of the cheesecake about 8 equally spaced (approximately the size of a 20 cent piece). Place pink and yellow rose petal on the cream swirl all round the cake.

Ta-Dah! I hope you enjoy my recipe!

A word of advice once you have made “HOME MADE CHEESECAKE” nothing will ever taste as good!

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