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Cake Creation

On the weekend I attempted my first full cake! This is a step up from cupcakes and smaller desserts I have previously baked and a quest which proved to be much more time consuming.

I recently went to a demo at Bake Boss and learnt how to make chocolate sails, shards and bark, so I wanted to put these new skills to the test to decorate the cake. I decided on a mud cake as I thought this would be the most stable type of cake to decorate and to push chocolate into. There are many variations of a mud cake, some using milk to melt in with the butter and sugar, others using water, and some using neither. I decided to go with a recipe using milk as it makes sense this would be the most creamy and dense recipe, and without the milk or water the recipes just seemed to be regular cake rather than mud cake.

It was a long process with the cake taking one hour and fifteen minutes to bake, phew! And then I swear it took another hour to cool, I even put it in the freezer for 10 minutes and it was still warm in the centre.

I used a recipe from the Cadbury website for a chocolate ganahce which called for microwaving the cream and chocolate for 2 minutes. After this the texture was far too runny, so I popped it in the fridge for 20 minutes, then I whipped it but the chocolate must have seized because it was a lumpy mess. I dumped this in the bin and since I was out of chocolate I decided to cover the cake in whipped pure cream instead, probably a good thing to balance out all the chocolate this cake had going on!

I made marbled chocolate shards for around the cake and a chocolate sail to top the cake, I’m pretty happy with the outcome for a first attempt!

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What is your favourite mud cake recipe, let me know in the comments?

Xx Tess

 

 

Celebration Cupcakes

How was your weekend? I spent Saturday getting (legally) married to the most amazing, caring man, and what better way to celebrate than with cake! I say legally because we’re having a destination wedding and found it easier to get legally married in Australia before our trip. Anyways… back to cake! My then fiance’s request? Red Velvet Cupcakes to which I happily obliged, although the recipe did seem daunting with ingredients I’m not used to baking with, such as vinegar and buttermilk, but I thought “why not!”

I wanted to bake these cupcakes and have them ready for presentation to our family on Saturday, so I needed to bake them Friday night. With my local Bake Boss only being open while I work, I sent my then fiance/now husband (gosh this is confusing) off to collect a few bits and pieces for me. I called the store and requested individual pink cupcake boxes, a Wilton 1M piping tip and baking cups, I said my Husband would be in to pick them up later in the day, I felt a bit naughty referring to my fiance as Husband, but it was the best white lie I’ve ever told.

So Friday night I had everything I needed and begun baking. The cupcakes came up nicely, unfortunately my baking tray isn’t perfectly flat, so some cupcakes were crooked, but those are the ones I got to snack on! The Red Velvet cupcakes tasted nice and balanced, with less sugar than my traditional cupcakes, meaning I can eat WAY more before I feel regretful.

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Next step, the cream cheese frosting, I followed the instructions to the dot. After combining all the frosting ingredients it called for a minute of beating on low, followed by 3 minutes beating at medium high until light and fluffy, about half way through beating it was already runny and I sensed I had over beaten it, but I desperately mixed on hoping light and fluffy would magically appear like the recipe promised… It didn’t. I think I even made it worse. At 8:30pm I had searched, ‘beating went runny’ and all the results mentioned cream cheese, so obviously it’s not just me, please tell me its not just me?!.. Skip to 10 o’clock at night and there was no saving my runny cream cheese frosting. I added a bit of cornflour and popped it in the fridge overnight, but worried even if cooling it gets me a piping consistency it will just melt again when it reaches room temperature upon serving….

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Thats what I get for following a recipe so meticulously, next time I’ll stick to my gut feeling! The recipe also called for room temperature cream cheese which I’ve since read is incorrect, and it should be chilled. I just wanted easy yummy cake, that’s my motto! So the next morning to save my frosting I used a packet Green’s frosting mix which I had in the cupboard, because surely I couldn’t stuff up a packet frosting?!

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So I follow the box instructions and realise this packet mix seems to be just icing sugar, and it asks me to add butter and milk, so this seems to be a regular buttercream, well gosh I can make buttercream! Besides, the packet mix made enough frosting for like.. one cupcake, so onto my THIRD batch of frosting, but who’s keeping count, I made a large batch of my traditional american buttercream, added the greens frosting mix to it because rules were out the window at this point, and then proceeded to add a few tablespoons of my sloppy cream cheese frosting for taste.

VOILA! it worked!

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I finally had the correct consistency, I wouldn’t have even cared about taste a this point but it did taste fine and it did taste slightly of cream cheese, so that was good enough for me, I had my wedding to get to! I piped the cupcakes using the Wilton 1M tip, the first time I’ve used it and i was impressed with the shape. I sprinkled them with “Over the Top” love hearts.

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I was going to share the recipe that I used but I believe there are much better ones out there, do you have a great red velvet recipe? Let me know in the comments.

Xx Tess

 

Salted Caramel Cupcakes

I have to share these salted caramel cupcakes with you!

I have a box of Favourites chocolates on hand and used this as inspiration for these delicious cupcakes. I would love to say that I stuck my hand in the box and picked out a chocolate at random… but really I picked Caramello because it’s my all time favourite, I guess that is why they call it a box of Favourites!

For this I made a half batch of my  Rich Butter Cupcake recipe. I topped these cupcakes with my Traditional American Buttercream recipe, but for a twist I asalted_caramel_flavour__41502-1462428240-1280-1280__67786-1464072061-500-659dded a couple of drops of Roberts Confectionery Salted Caramel flavouring to the buttercream. DO NOT be tempted to add more than a few drops! My first attempt I added 1.5 teaspoons of the flavouring as my motto was “there is no such thing as too much caramel,” I was wrong.

imageI piped the cupcakes using the Wilton 190 drop flower tip, for soft ruffles. I then topped these delicious cupcakes with Caramello chocolate cut in half and crumbled flake, because why stop at one type of chocolate.

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They tasted great and looked fantastic to present to my family.

Let me know your favourite frosting flavour in the comments!

Xx Tess

Blending the Best Buttercream

Today I’ve been experimenting with buttercream, funny because I actually hate getting butter on me, I find you have to wash your hands at least 5 times to get the smell off!

Did you know there are SIX types of buttercream?! I didn’t.

  • American buttercream
  • Flour buttercream
  • French buttercream
  • German buttercream
  • Italian buttercream
  • Swiss buttercream

The last batch of buttercream I made tasted delicious, I used a traditional american buttercream recipe, but I found it buckled a bit under the Australian heat, mind you I was buckling too! So I did a quick online search for a solution to my problem, and found one woman who swore by the following rule: 1 parts butter to 3 parts icing sugar. The theory being, the less butter, the less likely it is to melt. So today I set out to test this rule, taking my normal amount of butter and upping my icing sugar to match this three times over.

The first thing I noticed was the buttercream did not appear as silky as normal even though it was finely sifted and added in gradually. I took a quick lick of my spoon and all seemed well taste wise and it was definitely holding up in the heat better! So I topped my cupcakes and offered one to my mum, my sister and my fiancé, and of course one for myself. I peeled back the bright pink patty pan and took a bite…. It was honestly so sickly, the small lick of the spoon was entirely different to a mouthful, I gave it another bite and my sugar headache was immediate, it still aches as I write this now!

It was not a success, but I know I can count on my traditional american buttercream recipe to be a crowd pleaser, and maybe that means turning the air conditioner on for now, knowing it will hold just fine once this crazy heatwave of a summer ends! For my traditional american buttercream recipe click here.
Disclaimer, i take no responsibility for it drooping in temps above 30 degrees HAH!

What’s your favourite type of buttercream? Do you have the perfect recipe? Let me know in the comments.

Xx Tess

Chasing Cupcake Cups

Cupcake cups, I’ve always referred to them as patty pans, although I suppose I don’t put patty’s in them…

Thin cups of paper for baking cake batter, the ones you always seem to have in the far back of your pantry. Well, you think they would be a) cheap, and b) easy to find *in a specific colour. Last night was late night shopping and I had prepared my list, prepared my wallet and prepared my fiance, ensuring he had plenty of warning for what was in store for the night…. Patty pans, or so I thought.

Our destination, Spotlight. I wandered the store looking for the cake decorating section, and found some items but was convinced I must be missing where the rest of it was because surely this was not all they had to offer?! Rainbow and pirate patty pans! I had simple requests, white patty pans for a simple base that does not distract from the decoration, and red patty pans for red velvet cupcakes. I searched high and low, and bless him so did my fiance, but none in sight. Next stop, Woolworth’s. Nope. Only rainbow again. Next stop, Stacks Variety. Lovely gold patty pans, no white or red. Note fiance is still eagerly helping me look, he’s so sweet. Next stop, the reject shop. Red spotty patty pans, I’m getting close! But nope. Okay, one more shop, Big W, I spot a mixed pack with 10 white and 10 red patty pans among others, and my heart beat quickens with excitement, but at $12 for the packet it’s a bit steep for only getting 20 of the colours I need! I would’ve tried the next shop but my fiance had been a good sport, 2.5 hours searching for patty pans I’m sure is any mans limit.

Jumped on the computer when I got home and found 100 white patty pans for $1.67 with free shipping from eBay, and $1.35 for 50 red! Always worth a look online, but I had a fun evening shopping anyways and enjoyed the enthusiasm my fiance showed for my baking. Now to wait 3-4 weeks for them to arrive in the mail.

Tell me in the comments, what do you call patty pans? And who’s your go to supplier for all things cake?

Xx Tess