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25 Aug 2011

Rose Creams

I have to admit, I have a little bit of a thing for rose and violet creams. Since I was a small girl I was obsessed with the floral fondants from my local sweetie shop.  Since then my adoration has only grown and grown till I can no longer walk past a chocolates without peaking my head through the door and scanning their array of choccies for those magic words. 


My copy of Hope and Greenwoods Life is Sweet has sat in my bookcase unused and gathering dust for many months.  Often I find myself running my painted finger down its eager spine with a far away gaze in my eye, dreaming of candy and marshmallow, before shaking my head and slamming the glass door.  There are few times in my life I find myself with the patience to dig out my candy thermometer and put it to use, but today I felt ready, today nothing would stop me.  That was until I happened upon the recipe for rose creams, no candy thermometer, not even any boiling sugar.  I can live with that.  


Sadly, I found my cupboards were lacking in the rose syrup department so instead was resorted to using rose water.  The result was a little too floral for my tastes and will definitely be on the hunt for a nice bottle of rose syrup for any future adventures.

Rose Creams

Ingredients:
3tbsp double cream
1 drop pink food colouring
3tbsp rose syrup
275g icing sugar
200g bilk chocolate broken into small bits
1tsp groundnut oil
crystallised rose petals or sprinkles for decoration


Method:
place the double cream, 1 drop of pink food colouring and the rose syrup into a bowl and mix well.


Sift the icing sugar over the mixture and stir to combine.  Tip the mixture onto a work surface lightly dusted with icing sugar and knead the fondant till it all comes together in a firm ball.  Place in the fridge to firm up for around 30 minutes.


Using your hands roll teaspoon sized lumps of fondant into balls and flatten slightly, place on a plate while you roll the remaining fondant until your have a plate full of disks.


Melt the chocolate and oil together in a bowl over a pan of simmering water ensuring the bottom of the bowl does not com into contact with the water.   Remove from the heat and cool for 10 minutes.

Line a baking tray with grease proof paper.  Carefully take a fondant disk, one at a time, and using two forks dip it into the melted chocolate until coated all over.  Be quick as you don't want the chocolate to melt the fondant.  Place the coated rose cream onto the prepared baking sheet and decorate with pretty pink sprinkles and put in a cool place to set.

21 Aug 2011

The Forbidden Corner

Last week myself, Kris and a few friends decided to take a trip up to North Yorkshire for a couple of days.  We made good use of Kris' grans static caravan with lots of food, rum and board games. You just can't beat getting away for a few days, especially with some of your good buddies.  While there we packed ourselves a little lunch and headed off for a magical place known as The Forbidden Corner.  

The Forbidden Corner is a folly filled pleasure garden with fantastical surprises at every turn.  With no map to guide you through, the garden is a maze of oddities, statues, underground lairs and installations.  It really has to be seen to be believed!



























19 Aug 2011

Alice in Wonderland

Days like today I really love my job.  I was recently asked to create some darling Alice in Wonderland themed cupcakes for a friend and today I finally got around to designing and topping the dear little sponges.  

I'm really happy with how they turned out. Care to take a peek?






11 Aug 2011

Rolo Cupcakes

Due to an offer I deemed as too good to be true at my local corner shop, I found myself in possession of an abundance of Rolos.  I'm a sucker for a special offer, especially one concerning delicious chocolate covered toffee sweeties!  When I returned home I was confronted with a feeling of guilt, I couldn't possibly eat all of these Rolos myself and no way could I let Kris loose on them.  There was only one thing for it, Rolo Cupcakes!


Take you favorite chocolate cupcake recipe, press a single Rolo into the batter of each cup and bake as normal!  Top with caramel buttercream, melted chocolate and your last Rolo. Specially for the one you love most, you!  

Need a little insperation, find my go to chocolate cupcake recipe below.  

Bon Appetit!


Katies Chocolate Cupcakes!

Ingredients:
175g unsalted butter
175g soft light brown sugar
175g self raising flour
3 large eggs
1tsp baking powder
4tbsp cocoa powder
2tbsp milk

Method:
Preheat the oven to 180C - 160C fan and line a cupcake tray with 12 liners.

In a large bowl sift together the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder. Set aside.

Place the butter and sugar in an electric mixer and mix until light and creamy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well between each addition.  Add the flour mixture in one go ensuring all the ingredients are thoroughly combined.  Stir in milk.

Fill the cupcake liners to 2/3 full and bake for 20 - 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.

Allow to cool in the pan for five minutes before removing to finish cooling on a rack.

Decorate as desired.

7 Aug 2011

Chocolate and Coconut Granola

Last week the lovely Hayley from Away With The Fairy Cakes posted a link on my Facebook page with the caption "You'll LOVE this!!".  The link was the Amazon page for the wonderful book The Vintage Tea Party by Angel Adoree.  Hayley was right, I did love it! So much so I bought it and even stumped up for next day delivery, unheard of!


I received it the following day and, much to Kris' annoyance, took it to work where I spent the whole afternoon drinking tea and pouring over the stunning photographs and mouth watering recipes.  I just couldn't wait to make good use of it.



Recently I vowed to myself to start eating a decent breakfast rather than my usual cup of tea on the run. What a perfect way to start my new mission than with this delicious chocolate and coconut granola from the brunch section of the book.



Chocolate & Coconut Granola
(From The Vintage Tea Party)

Ingredients:

240g rolled oats
175g flaked almonds
70g unsweetened shredded coconut
70g dark brown sugar
40g cocoa powder
90ml honey
50ml vegetable oil
1tsp cinnamon
3/4tsp salt

Method:

Preheat your oven to 120C / 100C Fan.

In a large bowl mix together the oats, coconut, almonds and sugar. In a separate bowl combine the honey, oil, cocoa powder, cinnamon and salt.

Combine the two mixtures, getting your hands in to make sure everything is evenly mixed, spread the granola over two baking sheets and bake for 1 1/4 hours, stirring half way through to ensure an even colour.

Transfer to a large bowl and serve with Greek yogurt and berries. Delicious!

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