I hope everyone knows what day is coming up ? Valentines day... where red roses are treated as a hot commodity and chocolate is in the air. If you often feel yourself waving sadly to your hard earned money as you see the florist or gift shop swipe your card... be sad no more!
I'm going to show you guys how to show your love with a thoughtful , delicious and inexpensive knock their socks off gift!
First up I'm going to show you how to impress your other half and their jealous co-workers with some seriously easy piping skills. Then I'm going to show you how to make them the talk of the office with my gorgeous and insanely indulgent jar cakes. Make my treats for your partner and have it couriered to them for a unique gift at probably half the price you would spend on a bunch of genetically engineered roses.
A small brush embroidery bouquet of cupcakes in a teacup. You can buy the teacup for them as something they can keep at work or bring home to enjoy. Include a few teabags so they can enjoy a cup of tea while devouring a cupcake.
This gift takes no time at all to make and all ingredients can be found at your local supermarket (except the teacup and cake box) Buy your teacup at any home wares store - mine is my Morgan and Finch teacup for $6.95 (I got mine 30% off) . For the cake box head to any bargain store and buy a gift box and some tissue paper for ($4-$6)
Vanilla Cupcake with Salted Caramel :
What you need : (Adapted from Magnolia Bakeries Recipe)
125grams of soften unsalted butter
1 cup of caster sugar
3/4 cup of SF Flour
2/3 cup of Plain Flour
1/2 cup butter milk (make yourself with full fat milk with a teaspoon of lemon juice)
1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
1 pinch of salt
1/2 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of cream
1 tablespoon of butter
Pink salt flakes
What to do:
1. Melt the sugar until there are no crystals and it is slightly golden (do not stir!! just swirl your pan gently)
2. Pour in your cream and butter and mix until combined
3. once it has cooled slightly mix in a pinch or two of pink salt.
Preheat the oven to 170 Degrees Celsius
1. Mix the butter and the sugar together till pale and smooth
2. Then mix the eggs in with the butter mixture
3. Mix in the dry ingredients to the egg and butter mixture
4. Add the Vanilla, and milk to the batter until well combined
5. Scoop the mixture into case lined muffin tins (Around 12, some for you some for your partner )
6. Swirl in some salted caramel with a toothpick (pic above)
7. Bake for 20-25 minutes
Now for the fun part...the fondant brush embroidery toppers
What you need :
Fondant (available at your local supermarket in the baking section)
royal icing ( also available from your local supermarket )
disposable piping bag
small round tip (01, 02 tip available online for a few dollars or at any baking goods store)
small tip paintbrush
bowl with a damp sheet of paper towel in it
What to do :
1. Roll the fondant out using skewer thickness guides and cut out circles using a round cookie cutter.
2. Allow to dry for an hour or two (optional)
3. Mix the royal icing to a stiff consistency ( you should be able to make a peak and have it stay in shape. make sure it is completely smooth)
4. Now to pipe... I think this is best shown visually... with my very first video !
Once you have mastered the brush embroidery technique , allow the fondant toppers to dry , spread some chocolate icing (Nutella is always a yummy easy option. I just used whipped chocolate ganache I made for the jar cakes) onto the cupcakes with sprinkles on the edge and top the cupcake with your brush embroidery fondant topper!
This is a simple yet impressive gift. It has layers of moist chocolate cake, whipped dark chocolate ganache, crunchy macadamia and almond butterscotch and sprinkles all packed into an easy to eat out of rustic jar. Oh and if it wasn't gluttonous enough... add a jar of salted caramel which they can warm and pour over the top. Yum!
What you need:
Chocolate cake (adapted from Donna Hays Buttermilk chocolate cake)
60 grams of unsalted butter
4 tablespoons of cocoa powder
1 tablespoon of instant coffee powder
1/2 cup of water
1 cup of caster sugar
1 cup of plain flour
1/2 teaspoon of bi carb soda
1/4 cup of buttermilk (Make yourself with milk and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice)
Macadamia and almond Butterscotch brittle
1 tablespoon of toasted macadamia (chopped)
1 Tablespoon of toasted almond flakes
1/3 cup of white sugar
1-2 teaspoons of cream
1 tablespoon of butter
Whipped dark chocolate ganache icing:
1/2 cup of heavy cream
150 grams of dark chocolate
50 grams of butter
Salted caramel (recipe above)
What to do:
Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius
1. heat the butter, water, coffee and cocoa in the microwave for 30-50 seconds until melted
2. mix in the egg
3. mix in the dry ingredients
4. Add buttermilk to the mixture
5. pour into a square 9inchx 9 inch (approx.) lined baking pan.
6. bake for 30-35mins (depending on your oven) size for your jar
7. Once cooled cut circles out with a cookie cutter that is the right
1. Melt the sugar in a pan until there are no crystals (do not stir ! only swirl the pan around)
2. When the sugar is a light golden brown add in the cream and butter and mix
3. pour onto a piece of baking paper and sprinkle the nuts over.
4. Once cooled break into piece (big and small)
1. Melt the cream and chocolate in the microwave for 1- 11/2 mins.
2. Mix until there are no lumps
3. Add the butter and mix until there are no lumps
4. set aside in the fridge to cool and harden slightly.
5. once it is cooled and set use a electric mixer and whisk until it is light and airy (it will change to pale brown colour and the volume will increase) - this gives you the most melt in your mouth smooth light chocolate frosting.
To assemble , just alternate layers of chocolate cake, Butterscotch brittle, whipped ganache icing and sprinkles. Make sure the top layer is chocolate icing to make it look extra delicious and fudgy.
There you go ! Something extra thoughtful and special for someone you love :)