Chocolate Swirl Cookies

I made these cookies this week, using this recipe: http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2014/06/27/double-chocolate-chip-swirl-cookies/

I won’t bore you with how because there is plenty if detail on her post. Basically you make the two doughs, roll into balls and smash together, then bake.

I will, however,  share a few thoughts on these cookies.

– They are a great make ahead treat. I needed some for a friend on Wednesday and for a family visit to my great aunt on Thursday so I made them Tuesday and just kept them in the fridge ready to pull out roll and bake whenever I needed. The original post also said you can freeze balls and bake from frozen – that I have to try!

– With my oven the longer baking time was necessary as I found the 9 minute batch a bit too squidgy almost uncooked. I found 11 to 12 mins perfect. However the batch I forgot about that had nearly half an hour were my husband’s favourite batch – he liked them crispy!

– I used a silicon baking tray. I’ve wanted one for ages, especially for when I bake cookies but I couldn’t find a cheap one that wasn’t floppy. I finally submitted and paid full price for the Lakeland one. It is really good, great non stick and easy clean but a bit small. I could only bake 4 cookies at a time!

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Profiteroles with double sauce

Profiteroles are my husband’s absolute favourite dessert so I decided to try and make them for our 2nd wedding anniversary. 
I followed the recipe at 

Chocolate Profiteroles

This recipe worked brilliantly but doesn’t include many photos so here are mine. 

Even though this recipe doesn’t state to, I’d read to measure the flour onto baking parchment so you can easily pour it in.

It took a good few minutes to melt the butter entirely in the water.

It came to the boil quite quickly after that but I wasn’t sure if it was actually boiling as it only boils in the spaces between the butter.

I then tipped in the flour and stirred vigourously.

This was fine as the ball stage although it doesn’t necessarily form into one ball. Once it was no longer sticking to the sides, it was ready. 

It doesn’t say how long to cool for in this recipe so I read another that recommended 4-5 minutes. I used my mixer to add the eggs, one at a time, waiting until the first was fully combined before adding the next. It goes a bit curdly at first but if you keep mixing it, it becomes smooth. 

The final mixture was like a thick cake batter consistency.

I used a plain nozzle to pipe them. My friend had warned me to space them well and not pipe too big as they grow a lot. This advice really helped. I only had 1 flat baking tray so I baked in 2 batches.

I baked as in the recipe: 10 minutes at 200, 10 at 170 but after letting the steam out I only returned them to the oven for 5 minutes as I didn’t want them too crispy. 

I let the steam out by piercing with end of a flower nail. I wiggled it around a bit so it would be a big enough hole to pipe into.

I used the same nozzle to pipe the cream. I’m not a fan of fresh cream so I used a little icing sugar to sweeten it and added some vanilla bean paste too. 

I worried that they would be underfilled so I really pushed until there was no more space. They were very well filled perhaps a little too well!

The recipe above did not provide enough cream to fill these so I would get a little more double cream than stated. 

I used the ganache sauce  recipe from above too but added a couple of teaspoons of butter for shine. The recipe above says to reheat over a pan of water but I found 10 second bursts in the microwave worked well too. 

The other sauce I made was this one:

Homemade Salted Caramel Recipe.

A word of caution – really stick to the times. I didn’t and the sauce went really solid as it cooled. I could bring it back by boiling in the micriwave but it wasn’t ideal for dipping although it was fine for drizzling.

I stacked the tower using fairly cool ganache and then loosened the ganache in the microwave before drizzling.

I finished off with edible gold glitter (Poundland’s Jane Asher version is the best I’ve found).

Ice Cream Popcorn! 

Today I found this recipe and it really works. It’s popcorn that tastes like mint choc chip ice cream! 

Mint Chocolate Chip Glazed Popcorn

I followed the recipe but used coconut oil instead of butter and maple syrup instead of honey. I also couldn’t get chocolate chips so drizzled dark chocolate on instead. 

Basically you just pop your corn (I used an air popper) mix 2 tablespoons of coconut oil and 3 of maple syrup. I couldn’t be bothered to get a pan out so I just placed a glass in a bowl of warm water which was enough to melt the coconut oil. You also add a quarter of a tsp of vanilla and 1/2 tsp peppermint extract. I added less peppermint extract than it said (to avoid the Toothpaste taste). The teal food colouring helps it look like mint but isn’t necessary.

You then drizzle it on and stir it around for a few minutes until all the corn is well coated.

You then spread it on a lined baking tray and  bake it in the oven for 3 minute intervals and stir in between. Mine took about 4 times. 

Then let it cool and dry before adding chocolate chips or drizzling chocolate on it.

Yummy! 

30th Birthday Football Cake

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I made this cake for a friend’s son for his 30th Birthday party. He is a big Cobblers fan so his wife wanted a cake using this theme. Here’s how I made it:

The first things I did were make the cupcake toppers and cover the board in fondant. These were completed a few days ahead to ensure they had time to dry.

I used readymade burgundy gumpaste but I didn’t have a shirt cutter so I drew one on card and cut around it to get them all the same size. I then used my click together letter impressions to write the name and number. Last of all I painted on the white gel colour. Unfortunately the red of the gumpaste bled into the white and it became a little pinky so I decided to stick fondant over the top instead.

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I covered the board in white fondant by partially rolling it out then placing on the board and rolling until it covered the edges. I then cut around the outside and smoothed it with my palm. I left it a few days to dry.

The next job was to bake the main cake. It was a red velvet cake and this recipe makes 4 layers but for this cake I only needed 3. To bake even layers I always measure the bowl beforehand then once mixed, I weigh the bowl and mixture and subtract the weight of the bowl. I then divide the amount by 4 and measure that much into the tin.

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As the recipe makes layer cakes I chose not to torte these but just levelled off the tops once they had cooled.

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I wanted to make this a surprise inside cake so I cut a hole out of the middle of each of the bottom 2 tiers. As I knew I would be placing the football cake on top too I also placed a support in the middle.

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I placed chocolate footballs inside then stacked the final cake on top, cutting the dowel down to size.

I then crumb coated the whole cake and placed in the fridge to set and crust. Once crusted, I placed a heavy book on top to help it settle and avoid any filling bulges. I then added a final coat of buttercream and again let it set and crust in the fridge.

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During all that time in the fridge, I baked the half sphere cake and cupcakes from chocolate sponge. I used Delia’s all in one recipe but replaced a quarter of the flour with cocoa powder and added a bit of buttermilk. I greased the tin well and placed a cross of strips of baking paper across the middle. As the tin is quite deep, I also used a greased flower nail as a heating core. This was also crumb coated, left to crust and given a final coat which was also left to crust.

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Next, I covered the sides with fondant. My skills need a little work here as I had to use a join. I then placed it on the covered board and let it dry for a while before adding the scarf, letters, numbers and stars. I also added another shirt and some modelled football boots. I also added the other 5 dowels (bubble straws) and cut each one to the same height. For a final touch I added personalised ribbon around the edge of the board with double sided tape.

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I didn’t cover all the way to the top as I knew it would be covered by the grass.

The final step was to decorate the football. I used a tutorial on the Lakeland site which explained that the pentagons and hexagons needed 35mm sides. Using the ruler in Word, I measured out the shapes. I copied the pentagon onto card but just cut out the hexagon on paper. I rolled out ready coloured black fondant and then left it to dry a little. Next, I cut the pentagon shapes out and left them to dry a bit so they would hold their shape but still be flexible. Finally, I stuck the first pentagon at the top and using the paper hexagon as a guide, I used a knife to place in the sides of the hexagons. I placed the other 5 pentagons at each join.

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Lastly I coloured the edges of the cake green with a little green buttercream and placed the football on top. After that, I used more green buttercream to hide the join and board with a knife. Lastly, I used a grass tip to pipe grass around the edge.

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I also piped rosettes on the cupcakes and placed the toppers on top.

Tada!

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