Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Cheats Chelsea buns

I usually make these by hand which takes a good couple of hours but the last couple of times I've been cheating and using the bread maker. The bread maker is like my new best friend, we use it at least once a week, in fact the last 2 weeks up to Easter its been cranking out hot cross buns galore and nice crunchy breads to have with our soup. So if you have a bread maker and want to try something a little different, I highly recommend this recipe.

Its an Allyson Gofton recipe from her 'Bake' book (She's a New Zealand recipe book author).

You will need:

1 egg
1 cup water
3½ tsp dried granulated yeast

3½ cups flour
¼ cup sugar
1 tsp salt
50g butter, softened

Fruit filling:

75g butter, well softened
¾ cup currants or sultanas

Grated rind 1 orange
¼ cup mixed peel

Place everything into your bread maker and set it to the make dough setting. Leave it to do its bread making magic! it takes about 1.5 hrs, plenty of time to read my new Elizabeth Gilbert book:)

Then all you do it roll out the dough and spread it with the filling. I added some coconut to my filling but you could put pretty much anything you like, peacans and honey work great or custard and jam maybe? Then you roll up the dough just like a swiss roll cake and take 2 cm slices with a shape knife, these will result in lovely big swirls like the picture above. 

Bake them for about 15 mins in a 200 degree oven. When they are still hot, glazed them with a little raspberry jam and ice if you wish. I made a really easy icing with just some hot water and icing sugar and drizzled it on with a teaspoon. 

Mine don't look anything like the recipe I started with (picture from the book is above) I think they look better ;)

Thursday, 21 April 2011

My home-made creme egg adventure

I decided to embark upon this crazy idea of making my own creme eggs this easter and I'm pleased to say that although it was time consuming the result was really awesome!

 Look at these beauties! pure chocolatey indulgence

One of the trickiest parts was having to make my own corn syrup because New Zealand doesn't have such a thing. Luckly I found a rather good recipe on the net which worked a treat. You do need lots of patience though!

 Home-made corn syrup success!

I essentially copied this Instructable on how to make Creme eggs, but for a something a little fancier I added flavours! Hansells natural essences are amazing for this! I add them to icings too and they make your cakes and cupcakes that little bit more special. I then added pink food colouring to the strawberry ones and ta da! strawberry creme eggs, oh boy! 

So as I was saying it was mega time consuming... this was because the whole rolling out the filling ordeal took about an hour plus and then you have to coat them in chocolate, which is a whole other story.

 The first stage of rolling the filling into balls (and my first completed Creme Egg)

There is two ways suggested in the instructable recipe. I tried both and while using the chocolate moulds made for a pretty result after making three this way I was pretty much sick of it. So I resorted to dipping the chilled filling balls straight into the chocolate, fishing them out with a fork and then letting them set. Sooo much easier and a pretty good result I think.

If your feeling adventurous this Easter and want to make something impressive for your friends and family then you should totally give this a go! But be prepared for lots of mess and stickiness, I guess it kinda comes with the chocolate making territory.

Happy Easter blog xx

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Easter treats

This Easter I'm hoping to bake some delicious Easter treats, but I'm on a budget so I thought you lovely readers could help me choose!

Bird's nest cookies?

Homemade creme filled easter eggs?

Easter egg cookies?

or how about some cute Easter cupcakes?

What do you guys think? I'd love to know your thoughts or maybe you have a suggestion


Sunday, 3 April 2011

Toadstool cupcakes

As promised here are my toadstool cupcakes!
These little babies were pretty time consuming but a fun way to fill in my Saturday afternoon.


The red fondant ones have lemon curd on top (it acts like a delicious adhesive) and the green ones have  lemon curd icing with coconut grass (green dyed in food colouring). James then made me some tiny toadstools to place on top of the 'grass' ones, cute huh?

I just used a plain cupcake recipe and added a few tablespoons of lemon honey or lemon curd into the batter, but you could make them any flavour you like :) The hardest part is the rolling out your fondant! I figured out its waaay easier if you place it between two pieces of glad wrap first. Then you just peel it off and cut out your circles. This saves a lot of time and sticky situations (mind the pun). Its also a good idea to use a lot of cornflour in fact cornflour is pretty much your best friend when your using fondant. So don't be afraid to go over the top, you can always add some water to it if it gets too dry.

Ah cupcakes you make me so happy! xx


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