Sunday, 27 September 2015

A Twist On My White Chocolate & Macadamia Cookies

I feel in life everything we eat should be as pretty as it is delicious. I personally love cookies, I could eat them by the dozens (although.... I really shouldn't). Cookies look delicious but I wouldn't say they are pretty, not something you could display on a delicate cake plate at a party. I've decided to turn one of my favourite cookie combos white chocolate and macadamia into something that not only tastes amazing but looks just as good!

The Twist ?? The white chocolate is used as a frosting on top of the cookie instead of inside the cookie. This is a great way to use an ingredient to decorate the cookie without compromising the taste.

What You Need:
Cookie (Makes around 12)

- 120 grams of unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup of packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup of white sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 cup of plain flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt 
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste 
- 1 tablespoon of golden syrup
- 1/2 cup of roasted chopped macadamia 


- 1/3 cup of heavy cream 
- 200 grams of white chocolate 
- Food colouring gel of your choice ( I used Sky Blue )
- Jimmies
- Pearls

What To Do:

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees 
2. Beat together the butter , white sugar and brown sugar
3. Beat in the egg until combined
4. Add in the vanilla and golden syrup 
5. Mix in the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt
6. Mix in the chopped macadamia nuts
7. Scoop a mound of baking dough on to baking paper lined trays using a small ice cream scoop
8. Bake for 14-15 minutes (Until golden brown)

Cookie dough scooped using a small ice cream scoop

1. Place the cream and white chocolate into a microwave proof bowl
2. Microwave for 50 seconds 
3. Mix until smooth 
4. leave to cool (around 30 mins to an hour)
5. Whip the cooled mixture until it pales in colour (white chocolate usually has a yellow tinge to it, whipping makes it whiter in colour)
6. Add your food colouring and whip until well combined (Only use gel colouring not liquid)

Assemble :
1. Apply the frosting onto the cookies using a mini spatula ( If you don't have one a butter knife will do the trick!)
2. Add Sprinkles of decorations of your choice 

Now the cookies are ready for you! Perfect for you to display proudly on your favourite plate :)

My Cookies go on my beautiful Milk Glass plate I bought for $4 !


xx Mel. 

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Raspberry White Chocolate Cupcakes

Raspberry and White chocolate .. Can you think of a better combination ? Fruit and Chocolate mixed together ! This counts towards your 5 a day right ? The Yummy tart and intense berry flavour contrasting with the creamy milky flavour of white chocolate. One word... YUM

Here I show you how to make my Raspberry and White chocolate Cupcakes.

What you need:

Raspberry sauce:
- A glass watertight jar (microwave safe glass)
- 1/2 cup of frozen Raspberries
- 2 tablespoons of sugar
- a piece of lemon rind
- 2 tablespoons of hot water

- 120 grams of unsalted butter
- 1 cup of caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cups of self raising flour
- 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon of plain flour
- 2 tablespoon of sour cream
- 1/2 cup of milk
- 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste
- 1/3 cup of raspberry sauce
- 1/4 cup of diced white chocolate
- pinch of salt

White chocolate ganache:
- 200 grams of white chocolate
- 1/3 cup of cream

What to do:

Raspberry Sauce:
1. Place all the ingredients in the glass jar
2. Squash the ingredients together
3. Microwave for 1 minute (lid off) (be careful it will be hot)
4. Close the lid of the jar and shake very well until the ingredients turn into raspberry sauce.
5. Save 1/3 cup for the cupcakes and then sieve the rest to remove the seeds.

My Easy Raspberry Sauce (ingredients in the jar )

Raspberry sauce done! quick and easy. 

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees
2. Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy
3. Mix in the eggs and sour cream
4. Mix in the flour and salt
5. Add the buttermilk and vanilla Bean Paste.
6. Fold in the chopped white chocolate and raspberry sauce (until you can see swirls of raspberry but not all the way combined)
7. Spoon into Cupcake case lined muffin tins, 3/4 of the way filled)
8. Bake for 25 mins (until golden on top and skewer comes out clean)
9. Allow to cool completely

Make sure you have nice swirls of raspberry sauce through your cupcakes

White Chocolate Ganache:
1. Place ingredients in a microwave proof bowl
2. Microwave for 60 seconds , 30 seconds at a time to make sure you don't overheat the mixture
3. Mix the ingredients and allow to cool
4. Once it cools whip the white chocolate ganache for a few minutes to thicken it up, this also makes the ganache whiter in colour.

Assembling :
1. Ice your cupcakes with the white chocolate ganache (I use a small flat spatula to spread it on)
2. Put the sieved raspberry sauce into a pipping bag and drizzle over the cupcake.
3. Now apply to face and devour!


xx Mel.

Sunday, 13 September 2015

The Ugly Duckling Brownie

I love giving people gifts that reflect my personality, that is why my friends and family often find themselves unwrapping a beautiful teacup or some homemade delights.

It's hard to find ways to turn food into something beautiful enough to give to your loved ones, sure you have cupcakes and cakes that you could work your magic on. BUT what about those not so pretty favourites like brownies and caramel slices that everyone loves but rarely make it into a gift box?

I'm going to show you how to turn the ugly duckling brownie into something you would be proud to be wrapping up and gifting !

The ugly Duckling slab of fudge brownie 

 What you need: 
-Brownie (recipe below)
-Chocolate to melt (choose one that you would eat, I prefer dark to counter the richness of the brownie but I only had milk on this occasion)
-Square cutter (to cut perfect squares of brownies or simply freehand it with a knife)
-Little flower cutter
-Ball sugar flower tool (can be purchased online )
-Edible Gold lustre dust
-White fondant
-Gold sugar pearls (or alternatively you can pipe royal icing in the middle of the flower)
-Soft paint brush

Brownie Recipe: ( This recipe produces an incredibly fudgy brownie!)
-8 inch square pan
-150 grams of butter
-1 cup of dark cocoa powder
-4 eggs
-1 1/2 cups of white sugar
-1 cup of plain flour
-1/4 tsp of baking powder
-A pinch of salt

What to do : (To make your brownie)

1. Preheat your oven to 160 degrees
2. Melt Butter in the microwave (around 40-60 seconds)
3. Mix in the cocoa powder with the melted butter
4. Then mix in the eggs one at a time
5. Mix n the sugar, flour, salt and baking powder
6. pour into a 8 inch (20cm) square and bake for around 45 minutes

*The texture when out of the oven should be the slightest wobble on top this will ensure an extra fudgy brownie once cooled.

Fudge Brownie Cut into squares with a cookie cutter

What to do: (To transform your brownie)

1. Let your brownie cool completely.
2. Cut out square blocks of brownie either with a cookie cutter or freehand with a knife.
3. Melt your chocolate (I microwave mine for around 60 seconds)
4. Dip the sides of the square blocks of brownie and then the top
5. let the chocolate harden
6. Now for the fun part! Making your Golden flower decorations (what better way than to show you!)

7. Once you are done with the flowers and they have dried lustre dust the chocolate dipped fudge brownies and place your flower on top
8. Your fudge brownie squares are now ready for gift wrapping!

*Tips: I don't have a foam pad to make my flowers on so I replicated one using folded up paper towel with a piece of baking paper on top.
*I also like icing sugar dusting bags that help stop your fondant from sticking to everything. I make by placing icing sugar inside a paper towel pouch and using a fine knife to pierce it a few times.

The perfect little gift. Great for little party favours or place multiple in a larger box for a big gift 


xx Mel.

Saturday, 5 September 2015

DIY: Wedding Cake On A Budget

Do you ever find yourself speechless at the price of a wedding in this day and age ? I find myself lost for words when people start listing all the prices of things for their wedding (usually in the thousands). The truth is any time the word wedding is tacked onto an object the price appears to increase ten folds ! Wedding cakes are a big one. Ask for a cake for a party and it may cost you under $100 , ask for a cake for a Wedding and you see yourself forking over hundreds , even into the thousands. Why ? It is all about demand , cake stores almost know you are expecting to pay a lot so when they give you a ridiculous price they know you may hurt a little but inevitably accept it.

I am here to show you how to DIY your wedding cake. Stress free and without the hefty price tag !

What the top layer of cake should look like - Overdoing it with flowers? No such thing!

What you need : (Depending on the size and amount of people you need to feed this will vary )

For around 80 serves : 10 inch cake, 8 inch cake and 6 inch cake (3 tiers)
- Store bought cake (I suggest plain chocolate mud cake, don't mention wedding!- I wouldn't suggest making it yourself either, it's too much stress and work  and the less stress the better!)
- A few small bouquets of flower (You only need it for the top tier and a few in between- I get mine from a nice flower van down the road and I spent $15 all together on a bunch of roses, stock and free babies breath)
- A simple sugary buttercream (Butter,lots of icing sugar and some gel food colouring)

You can prepare this cake around 2-3 days in advance (I would ask someone you trust to assemble the decorated cake layers at the wedding venue to avoid any last minute cake travelling disasters- bring spare buttercream with you)

What to do : 

1. Choose your colours!
2. Cover the cake in a thick layer of sugary buttercream , this will seal in the moisture of your mudcake and keep it perfect and moist for a few days
3. Keep it looking rustic , a few swirls or peeps of the chocolate mud cake underneath is fine! People pay good money for that rustic chic look!
4. Plan out how you want it to look, draw a little picture if that helps you.
5. Cut the flowers as you go making sure you wrap the bottom of each flower stem with florist tape so you don't have any stem moisture leaking into the cake
6. Just get in there, start with a ring of flowers on the bottom and work your way up
7. Babies breath is your best friend if you want to go for that rustic vibe. It also covers up any holes and turns any cake into a whimsical work of art.
8. There you have it , a wedding cake! Something that normally cost hundreds you now have for around a hundred. Don't forget the calming bit of decorating therapy you get from this.

* If you make any mistakes don't stress! Buttercream covers everything! :)

What all the bottom layers should look like: Just iced in the coloured buttercream

P.s. This cake is actually for someone really special , my beautiful friend Zena!! Happy Birthday gorgeous!


xx Mel.