Saturday, June 20, 2009

Blue cheese biscuits - Happy father's day!

My husband loves blue cheese so these biscuits + a good bottle of red wine make the perfect present for the perfect daddy :o)
I imagine these make a very good appetizer as well.

I got the recipe from Delicious Magazine:


150g Danish blue cheese, roughly chopped
100g softened unsalted butter, roughly chopped
1 medium egg yolk
100g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
75g quick-cook polenta
1 tsp poppy seeds

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan180°C/gas 6. Line 2 baking sheets with baking paper. In a bowl, mash the cheese with a fork. Add the butter and egg yolk and mix together. Sift over the flour, add the polenta and mix into a stiff dough. Shape into a ball, flatten slightly, wrap in cling film and pop into the freezer for 15 minutes to chill.

2. Dust a work surface with a little flour. Roll out the cheese dough to a 5mm thickness. Using a 5cm star-shaped cutter, cut out biscuits and put onto the baking sheets. Re-roll the trimmings to cut out more biscuits, making 30 in total. Sprinkle the biscuits with poppy seeds, pressing them in lightly so they stick. Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Maybe you'd like to know that, by the time the biscuits are in the oven, your kitchen will be impregnated with a rancid cheesy smell....opening the windows might help!!!

3. Gift-wrap with a card or label explaining to store in an airtight box and eat within a week.

Nutritional info

Per biscuit: 66kcals, 4.6g fat (2.7g saturated), 1.7g protein, 4.7g carbs, 0.1g sugar, 0.2g salt

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Banana cupcakes & marzipan

As I had some nicely ripen bananas in the kitchen, I decided to make some banana cupcakes....yum!.
My son got chickenpox (I know...this word doesn't really sound good in a baking blog! LOL)...he's been a bit poorly these last days so a cupcake likes this would be a good treat, he loves bananas!.

I found this recipe here, it's the second time I use a recipe from Wilton's, they're very good!!. It would be nice though, if along with the recipe using cup measurements, they added between brackets, the measures in grams.
I have to admit, I was a bit insecure with the ingredient I tried the raspberry recipe before and they didn't work very well.

This time I added another teaspoon of baking soda and self raising flour instead of the plain one and it worked very well. Don't know whether the baking soda is more powerful in the US or what...honestly!.
This recipe uses sour cream....what for? I don't know.... do you?...I'd love to know!!!.

I was right next to the oven watching the cupcakes raising beautifully, my heart was shaking just by the thought of seeing them sinking like the Titanic....but they didn't!...well done me!!! :o)
The whole house was smelling like heaven....hmmm!

After the cupcakes were cold I prepared the marzipan to do the garnish:

First, I grabbed a chunk of marzipan and gave it a pale yellow tint using food coloring, then I rolled it in between 2 sheets of baking paper and using a cookie cutter I made a sort of marzipan doilly, placed them on top of the cupcakes and then I made the little wholes with a toothpick.
After this, I grabbed another chunk of marzipan and kneaded it using yellow food coloring. I divided the coloured marzipan into little balls and then started giving shape to the bananas.

This was my first attempt to make marzipan fruits!!.

I placed the bananas on top of the doillies and tried to give them more life colouring the extremes with green and brown food coloring....lots of fun!!!.

These banana cupcakes plus the marzipan taste incredible, give it a try, you won't regret it!!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Marzipan cupcakes

Months ago, and after seeing a marzipan block at the grocery stores I convinced myself to get it (as if it was too hard! LOL) to do some modelling (and chewing!).
I kept the block in a drawer for ages waiting for the real inspiration to come and it came after I saw a tutorial on how to make cupcake earrings with clay! (I'll try to find the link)..... I thought it would be nice to make cupcakes with marzipan.....and this was the result:

I'm very please with them!! they look very cute and taste fenomenal!, they also make a perfect present and would be an absolute success at a birthday party.

Today I went to visit my friend Fernanda, and I gave her the little marzipan cupcakes I made, she and her daughters loved them, great!.

If you have some good links to marzipan related websites please let me know, I'll appreciate it!.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


If I bake something, it's to be shared...otherwise I eat it all and that's not the idea!.

Lastnight I baked some cookies to share with a good friend of mine I visited today, she has 2 little girls so I thought it would be nice to garnish some cookies specially for them and my son.
I used my lemon pie's pastry (although I added one more tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract).

Ingredients (it makes 5 1/2 dozen cookies):
* 1, 1/2 cup of self raising flour
* 2 tbsp of butter (it can be oil instead)
* 3 eggs yolks
* 1 cup of sugar
* 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract.

Preheat the oven to 180 C
Place baking paper on the baking tray.
In a large bowl, mix flour, egg yolks, butter (or oil) and 1 cup of sugar until you get a good consistency to knead and give shape with your hands. If it's too dry add a bit of milk.
Sprinkle some flour on the surface you'll work and roll out the dough till you get a 3mm thickness. Use your favourite cookie cutters. Place the cookies on the tray and bake in the oven for 10 minutes or untill light brown.
Take them out of the oven and let them cool.

You can have them just plane or you can garnish them with chocolate, sugar strands or any other edible decoration.

To stick the sugar strands I used egg white powder as it's safer than using raw egg whites.

For the ones dipped in chocolate: I used the chocolate cake covering, 5 squares for this recipe is more than enough.

Enjoy them!!! :o)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Raspberry cupcakes

After the cupcakes I made for my mother in law, I baked others, also using a ready mix but to be honest, they were not special at all, they didn't have that "yummy" factor... so I had to try making my own from scratch...yes!.
I was looking for easy recipes to start with and I found this one , Raspberry cupcakes....hmm!!

I don't know why, they sank in the middle, could have been too much moisture from the raspberries? if you have an idea of what went wrong here please let me know, I'll really appreciate it :o)

The taste was great, but that hole in the middle didn't look good....I had to save them! I melted some chocolate and poured on top, then I garnished with some rainbow white chocolate buttons:

Monday, June 1, 2009

My first cupcakes

After looking at so many cute cupcakes I decided to give it a go, although I preferred no risks and used a ready mix...not very exciting, I know!.
My mother in law's birthday was coming so I thought it would be nice to bring her something special.
The little cupcakes came out perfect

Using a ready mix might be boring, but I think it's great for beginners like me! and also..... I think it's a very good way to start baking with your children :o)

Okkie....let's go to the next part.....the decoration!....I was soooooo excited about this!....I got all the ingredients for the glaze, writing icing (a bit difficult to write with though), sugar flowers and strands.
It was also my first time preparing icing....which is very easy indeed, but you'll need a couple of attempts to get the desired consistency.

I had a lot of fun decorating the cupcakes and I'm ready to learn more! My mother in law was very pleased, she really enjoyed them :o)

I'll share the recipe I know for the icing:

* 250 grams icing sugar
* Food coloring
* 2 tbsp of hot water

In a bowl, put the sugar and add one tablespoon of hot water, stir until you have a creamy consistency, if you need a bit more water, add a teaspoon first and if you still need more, then add another teaspoon.

If you want to use 2 colors of icing, then pour the mix into a couple of bowls only.
Take one bowl (cover the other one) and add a few drops of food coloring, stir well.
For pastel colors only add a few drops of food coloring. The more drops you add, the more intense the color you'll get.

You can use a spoon or a spatula to cover your cupcake with the icing. If you're adding some decorations, like strands, pearls, or others, do it before the icing sets....let's say then, as soon as you've iced your cupcake :o)

This is the basic recipe, you can also add flavour to your icing :o)

Have fun!!!!

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