Saturday, 25 October 2014

Blueberry Cheesecake

Well, it's been a pretty chillaxed week. 
(I've decided it's ok to use that word if you're 40, just as long as it's not in the same sentence as like and dude...)
No classes this week, no major projects. So I've been in holiday mode. (Mom-holiday, not school-holiday, because that's not relaxing with a 4 and 6 year old!) 
I wondered through a couple of shopping centres, suppressed the panic-tinged thought that I should start Christmas shopping, and basically did very little. 
Then, I woke up Friday morning and realized next week is going to be a humdinger and what-the-heck had I been thinking! I need to start prep-work!

But Monday will be here soon enough, so let's chillax a little longer this weekend with some cheesecake. 
Is that... like ok, dude? 

Blueberry Cheesecake
Recipe by Tea Cake and Create

240g vanilla biscuit crumbs
100g butter melted
1 tsp lemon zest (optional)

Combine all ingredients together and press into the base of a greased springform pan.
Cover with cling wrap and chill in the freezer for 30min.


Preheat the oven to 150'C

2x 250g tubs cream cheese at room temp.
160g caster sugar
250ml sour cream
4 eggs
1tsp vanilla extract
120g fresh blueberries

Beat the cream cheese and sugar together until smooth.
Add the sour cream and beat on med-high speed.
Turn the mixer to low speed and add the eggs and vanilla.
Beat on medium-high speed for 2 minutes.
Fold in the blueberries.

Pour into the prepared base.

Bake in a water bath* at 150'C for approx 70 minutes, or until just the centre of the cheesecake jiggles when gently shaken.
 Leave to cool in the oven with the door slightly ajar for another hour. 

For the water bath, use a roasting pan at least 4-5 cm larger than the springform pan with enough boiling water in it to come a couple of centimetres up the side of the springform pan.


1/2 jar blueberry jam (I use Bon Mamam Blueberry Preserves).

Heat the jam on the stove until it reaches a more liquid consistency.
Pour over the top of the cheesecake and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight before serving.

But I  won't mind if you simply sprinkle the top with icing sugar. We're very chillaxed here, after all ;o)  

(I was using extremely rich free-range eggs in this cake - the yolks were particularly yellow, hence the colour of the cheesecake - just in case you were wondering!)



Sunday, 19 October 2014

Modelling Chocolate Recipe

Yo, ho ho! Merry Christmas!
 Ok, not really (even though you may think so judging by the shop displays!!), but I've finally got around to posting the modelling chocolate recipe!
Why did it take so very long? Well, first I thought that I  should check with Dot Klerck that I could share it (and it took a while for me to put that thought into action.) She laughed and said it's actually Katrien van Zyl's recipe (what me name drop? Never!), and I was welcome to share it. So, that out of the way, I then had the bright idea of making a video of the process. And, um well ... clearly that wasn't going to happen in a hurry. Or at all, as it turns out.
I've have documented it photographically, though. (Yay, me!)

And so, finally... here it is:

Modelling Chocolate Recipe

300g white chocolate (Chockex works well)
60g liquid glucose
10ml water (may omit in high humidity months)

Melt the chocolate. Do this in approx 3 x 30 second bursts in the microwave, stirring in between.
make sure that the chocolate is completely melted.

Microwave the glucose and water  for 10 seconds.  

Pour into the melted chocolate. 

With a gentle folding motion, stir the ingredients together until combined. 

Stop now, or...
(Now... this is what I do a little differently to most*):
if you continue to stir, the mixture will start to separate 

Use your spatula, and press the solid chocolate against the side of the bowl; pour off the cocoa butter. 

As the excess cocoa butter is removed, the paste will come together smoothly

Flatten the paste out and wrap in cling wrap or in a ziploc bag, and allow to rest for a few hours or overnight at room temperature. 
When ready to use, knead until soft (or microwave briefly - 7 seconds). 

If the paste becomes too soft, allow it to rest until it firms up again. 

* This paste blends particularly well with fondant. Mix in a 1:1 ratio. 

Paste may be coloured with gel or powder colouring. 

(For dark chocolate paste, use 75g liquid glucose.) 

If not using immediately, store in cling wrap in a cool dark place.
Modelling paste may also be frozen. 

*These toppers were made with a 1:1 mix of modelling chocolate and fondant kneaded together. 
And, there you have it  :o)

Have a great week! 


Friday, 10 October 2014

Paris Cookies - Ooh, La La!

Did I  tell you about our trip to Paris last year? Well, it was more like a trip through Paris; a brief sojourn between EuroDisney and the Alps.
After a hot morning of dragging baggage and babes through confusing Metro stations and up and down confounding stairs, we checked into a our pit-stop (a small but elegant hotel room). Then set off into the Paris of popular-imagery.
In one afternoon we managed the Eiffel Tower, a trip along the Seine, a walk and ice-cream in the Tuileries Gardens and dinner in a sidewalk café (served by a bow-tie wearing waiter, of course).
What more could you ask for? Um...well, visiting the Louvre and Notre Dame; shopping along the Champs Elysées,  sampling macarons from Pierre Hermé ... perhaps?
But there's only so much that you can do with kids-in-tow in a few hours, even if the sun only sets at 10pm. And so there are just more reasons to return there one day ;)

Here's a glimpse of my Paris-inspired cookies....
(inspired by Paris, but also cookie artists: Sweet Face Cookies, Sugar Bliss Cookies, Arty McGoo, and Cookie Crumbs).

And here are a few work-in-progress shots of one of the cookies, which for some reason I think of as  "Moulin Rouge":

Draw design onto cookie first (I use a graphite pencil, but you can use an edible marker if you prefer).
If you're battling to draw the swags, make a mark at the lowest point of the central swag - keep it in line with the central point of the cookie. Make marks at the highest point of each swag, and marks at the lowest points. Then join the dots : )

Make the cookie look symmetrical by keeping the central black stripe in line with the central point of the cookie (where the plaque peaks outwards).

Outline swags.
Outline stripes (done with outline consistency royal icing and an Ateco 00 nozzle)
 Flood with flooding consistency black icing.

Leave to dry, then flood white stripes.

Leave to dry, then flood pink swags.

Once again, leave to dry before adding finishing details:- white on black stripes, dots, and small fleur de lis flourishes.

I like that one, but I just can't get enough of the pink with black dots... and the black with pink dots...

Ooh, la la!

À bientôt!


Sunday, 5 October 2014

Roses Cake

Ah, Sundays...
Fantasy: A day to sleep in; read the paper; take leisurely drives, and long lunches.
Reality: Get woken up at 5am; harassed to read "Dorothy and Toto"; rush through the shops, and spend hours making meals and snacks and cleaning up afterwards .
So, I have mixed feelings about Sundays. Sometimes, Monday comes as a relief!

But while I might not have had time to smell the roses today, I did manage to make some...

I'm not usually enthused by the idea of making roses, but once I start I get a little carried away.
Everyone has their own preference of which paste to use, but I like a 50:50 mix of tylose paste and fondant to make these flowers. It works beautifully for the task.
You'll find the tylose paste recipe here.
 And a few dozen rose tutorials on YouTube - watch many, try a few and find what works for you : )

Happy creating!