Thursday, June 30, 2016

How to Transfer Butter Cream



This is one of the easiest ways I've seen to place a themed decor on a cake. I love this idea from Sweet Wise. Basically it's tracing and coloring in the lines. With Butter Cream. LOve It! Let's get all our frosting prepped and make a couple of these for the next Birthday or Baby shower coming up!

*Baker's Note. I'd pipe any words on a separate parchment and place it on the cake near the themed transfer. I think that's what she meant when she was explaining how to print out a mirror image of the writing. That way when you flip the transfer onto the cake, the words read correctly.

Monday, June 27, 2016

White Chocolate Bark



Hi everyone! What is Chocolate to you or in the case of this post, what is not chocolate? I hadn't thought of White Chocolate as chocolate, because it has no cocoa solids not to mention taste and looks. Made by combining cocoa butter with milk and sugar...
Cocoa butter is the result of processing Cacao beans. Hmm so if cocoa butter comes from cacao beans, does that mean white chocolate carries the DNA of chocolate? I enjoyed reading from Huffington Post about Cocoa Butter. I already know Chocolate is used in spas, oo la la and cocoa butter is used as an ointment, medicinal as well as edible treats, but the HP article also has a video showing the Cocoa butter making process, which is very interesting.
So with the blending of milk and cocoa butter and sugar I get something with a melty chocolate feel. A treat that evokes the aroma of Easter for me making it a comfort treat.
So I can't resist this bark. I love cranberries and pistachios, but you can put in what ever seed, nut or dried fruit you like... Or try the Dark chocolate Bark with the same fruit and nut combos, which makes it a more beneficial treat because the fruit provides a milder sweetness packed with iron and protein. Try them both have some friends over!







makes 16 pieces









1/2 c. white shelled salted pistachios
16 oz. (1 lb)  White chocolate
1/4 c. dried candied cranberries
1/4 c. med. diced dried apricots

Tools: 

A Heat proof bowl and Spatula

Parchment- I didn't understand the point of this step until I didn't do it, but it helps with the thickness you want to have, for coverage of the fruit and nuts. Using a pencil draw an 8x10 inch rectangle on a piece of parchment paper. Turn the parchment over and place on the baking sheet.

Offset spatula or spoon-for spreading and keeping chocolate from going outside the lines.

Microwave or Double boiler- Honestly I'm not in the habit of using a microwave... for cooking, (I love fire) but in the case of White chocolate...a microwave can be better in humid temperatures..less chance of too much moisture.

Sharp knife- for Scoring out the pieces of bark...if you don't care for the rustic look like me and just crack it by hand.



Instructions
  • Bake 350* Place the Pistachios on a baking sheet and bake for 8 min. Tossing on the stove top in a skillet works well and gives you more sensory control of the cooking of the nuts . Generally when they smell toasted. I pour them onto a dish Then cool.
  • Place 3/4 of the white chocolate in  a heat proof bowl, place in the microwave for 30 sec.
  • Stir & Return to microwave for another 30 sec. Stir again, Repeat until melted. Stir in the rest of the chocolate and let it set at room temp. Stirring often until smooth. Pour and spread chocolate onto parchment square. Sprinkle nuts and fruit-Press in. Let set for a couple of hours in the fridg.


* Be sure to compare sugar on the ingredients of the specialty chocolates...their not all created equally.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Chocolate Run...Chocolate Bark and Clusters willl satisfy

I couldn't tell where to put this post. The candy or cookie Page...both? Back in March I posted about fillings for a Parfait. So I used a snicker doodle recipe... made it chocolate... It looked way better than expected. actually  it looked more like a cross between a brownie and chocolate bark. Which put me off on a tangent for chocolate bark...that a healthy thing in moderation...especially since chocolate is a vegetable

What is so weird about the world we live in today is if you have a thought during certain times...nine times out of ten others are on to it too. The last few times I've wanted my favorite chocolate...the store's been out of it! CRAZY right??  When you're dealing with me and chocolate well I will pull out the sunflower seeds, almonds, walnuts and melt down the chocolate shingles on the roof, if I have too!

Now I know less is more, but when I'm making candy...my creative juices start flowing and it's pretty hard to stop.  Anyway those new dark chocolate clusters that cost 2.39 for 2 oz. of goodness were the inspiration to making my version here.




Stirred, forgot shaken but...freeze for 20 min. I forgot in my
greed to oil the cups first but with a twist and a shout they
all popped out!












I started with melted dark chocolate
"mildly sweetend" it's not the really good stuff
but in a pinch it works. I plucked out all the sunflowers, almonds and a walnut or two from a trail mix. Then
I cut up some apricots and put everything in the ice
cubes tray.


I was disappointed at first that I didn't
stir the fruit and nuts well enough, but then I thought better of it because,
It was really delish. The smoothness of the bitter chocolate, the sweetness of the apricots, crunchy nuts and seeds.
Really tasted more like a delicate brownie.








We at it all 





Monday, June 13, 2016

Mini Cake little Techniques

Happy Chocolate Monday! Don't you sometimes wish that everything you put your hands to, turned out as you invisioned it, the first time? Maybe it's just the perfectionist in me. The funny part is sometimes when I look on the flip side of my worst faux pas, perfect is in the eye of the beholder, with the flaws and mishaps of creativity. The crowd the day of this event loved what they saw.
So I just want to share three techniques I used for a set of mini cakes, spoon waves, piped hydrangea, and scalloped frosting. The cakes are all 4 inches and two layers.

 
I was showing my mother how to
crumb coat and frost a cake, and she smiled
the whole time. Then she said let me show
you how to spoon frost. It's tempting to
eat..she was delighted using the mold
for roses too.
This little beauty with cascading hydrangea, was bumped about in traveling, she was too big for cup cake holders and too small
for just a box. What to do? This is where one has to think out of the box from start to finish in making and delivery of cakes. Then eat the cake!
I wanted to try this scallop
technique, since I learned about it in

"Cake Craft Made Easy" I told myself
how much easier it would be
with a mini cake. Uh? Easly 

just as time consuming, but still fun. 




Crumb coats to finished cake. Gladly all of them sold and  were enjoyed. To this cake decorators Delight. Perfect!









Tuesday, June 7, 2016

The Great Chocolate Chip Cookie


For months I've been weighing which of my chocolate chip cookies recipes to post first, while I'm working on  a  vegan chocolate chip. Then lo and behold a very close friend of our family, paid us a visit and brought by her vegan chocolate chip cookies. She said she'd been working on for some time. Most of the ingredients look like a very well known recipe for chocolate chips. Except for the butter is replaced with a vegan spread and the eggs with a non-dairy milk. In all honestly some of the best bakeries and bakers have based their chocolate chip cookie recipe on one recipe and reinvented it as their own signature cookie. I and my family were blown away by our friends vegan cookies. They stayed moist until the next day with no bread. I have tried to duplicate her pumpkin pie recipes before...  To my taste buds it didn't even come close to hers...She's got the delightful Vegan touch, I'm just glad she's my friend.

I've come to the conclusion that recipes are unique to the person making it...and unless you can translate every element they infuse into their recipe, you will not be able to get the exact same taste or the special touch the put into everything they make. Perhaps a delicious close second, but rarely the same. People have shared their recipes with me then they say show me what you would do with what I've given you. I'm always intrigued by the outcome and glad to see everyone's pleasure, when it turns out to their liking. Sometimes someone will say it tastes the same...not to me. Once in a while you create something even better. To me part of the whole fun of discovering the best treats.
This is a simple recipe....and to me it's easy to convert to Vegan.
.
Benefits of an Ice cream scoop and
a mix between butter and shortening
   

 pizza cookie

All butter and corn syrup recipe
ok how'd 10x get on
your cookie


Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe 
crispy cookies (instead of all butter use half Shortening or a Vegan spread )

Dry ingredients
2 ¼ c. A/P Flour
1 tsp. Baking soda
1 Tsp. salt
2 C. Chocolate Chips
1 c. Chopped nuts







Wet ingredients
1 Sticks of Butter

1/2 c. shortening
¾ c. granulated sugar
¾ c. brown sugar
1 Tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs

  1. Whisk all the dry ingredients except the chocolate chips and nuts
  2. Cream softened butter and sugars, and blend in vanilla and eggs until fluffy and creamy.  
  3. Stir the sifted dry ingredients in slowly, then the chips and nuts if you are using them.
  4. Set the dough in the frig. an hour or over night. Bake at 350. for 10 to 12 min or until golden brown.
Cool the baked cookies on a cookie wrack...Before I had a cookie wrack I'd use the oven wrack from my toaster oven, or roaster pan, works great for medium to large cookies.






*

*Vegan bakers Note* Replacing the eggs and dairy for these cookies
I have had really good results with flax seeds, but I grind my own...to a powder. All you have to do from there is whisk with a liquid. Post Punk Blog is very helpful with how to create vegan pastry...(replace with 2 Tbsp. flax seed powder or your favorite non-dairy milk) Which is why I highly recommend the formula there for the flax seed. Which is 1 Tbsp. ground flax seed with 3 Tbsp. = 1/4 c. of water to replace each egg.