Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Rum Butterscotch Sauce

I have a thing for homemade butterscotch sauce. Brown sugar, butter, cream... what's not to like?
So, when my husband requested something to go with ice-cream for a team-build function he was organising, naturally that was my first thought. But he wanted something with a "punch". Yes, it's that kind of an event...
Hence the addition of the rum.

I added a little more rum than the original recipe called for.
Um ... like double.
But it's not rum butterscotch sauce unless you can taste the rum right?!

Rum Butterscotch Sauce 
Recipe adapted from Epicurious 

200g light brown sugar
60g golden syrup
60g butter
125ml cream (35-40% fat content)
1 tsp vanilla extract
40ml rum, or to taste

Combine the sugar, golden syrup and butter together in a small heavy-based saucepan.
Cook on medium-high heat.
Stir continuously until the sugar crystals have dissolved.
Brush any stray crystals down the side of the saucepan with a pastry brush dipped in water.
Allow to boil for 10 minutes undisturbed.
Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla, cream and rum. (Be careful: the mixture will bubble vigorously and rise up in the saucepan.)
Serve warm or at room temperature.
Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.

It pairs deliciously with chocolate and vanilla cakes and ice-cream. Imagine it as a secret centre for cupcakes, and a fill for macarons. Or [coming soon to a blog near you] swirled in a cheesecake ...
Have I convinced you to try it yet?!

Happy baking!


Monday, 21 September 2015

Nautical Cupcakes: Fondant Reef Knot

I was neither a Brownie nor a Girl Scout. I can tie two basic knots (and often have to pause as I ponder the next loop...)
But baking and decorating stretches your abilities in many different ways, and I can now proudly claim to have mastered the reef knot!
But only in sugar paste...
Which is good enough for this landlubber!

Nautical Cupcakes

Sugar-paste Reef Knot - made from a fondant / modelling chocolate blend.

Roll out two long strands of paste

Loop them


Feed the ends of the top one down and through the loop of the bottom one
Bring the ends of the bottom one up and through the top one's loop


Trim off the messy ends (if you wait for your fondant/ modelling chocolate to set up a little, the ends won't be as squashed as they are in the pictures - I was rushing for the tutorial!)  

Ta da... Reef kot! 

Happy sailing decorating! 


Saturday, 12 September 2015

Western Themed Cookies

It was Grandparents Day at my daughter's school this week; and the last one that I'll be involved in. *Sob!*
Next year she'll be joining her brother at "big school" and while they still host a Grandparents Day there, it's not the big event that it is for the pre-schoolers.
And it really is an event - there's a marquee and music (courtesy of the kids); decorated tables and waitresses (moms); lots of good food and good fun.
And there's always a theme.
This year it was "Western". So I made a few sets of decorated cookies for gifts and lucky-draws.

It's such a fun theme to decorate. Why haven't I done it before? The closest I've got is Mexican. 
But Western is now definitely on the list of classes-to-do for next year. Yee-haw

 For a tutorial on bandana cookies, visit one of my favourite cookie artists, Sweet Sugarbelle - here:

Happy decorating!

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Rose Water and Poppyseed Cake

I made this a while ago, but it seemed like such a pretty floral cake, that I thought I'd hold onto the recipe until spring.
Of course, this being Durban and spring being spring, it's colder now as I write this, than it was when I baked it mid-winter!
But it's also the season for cleaning out the archives (well, cupboards really - but I'm never going to get around to those!), so here it is: Rose water and Poppy Seed Cake.

Rose Water and Poppy Seed cake
Recipe by Tea, Cake and Create

Preheat the oven to 180'C
Grease a rose silicone cake mould / a Bundt cake pan.

180g butter
180g caster sugar
275g cake flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1tsp vanilla extract
3 large eggs
250ml double cream yoghurt
60ml vegetable oil
30ml rose water
50g poppy seeds

Sift the flour, baking powder and baking soda together in a bowl. Put aside.

Cream the butter and sugar together; beat until pale.
Add vanilla extract and then the eggs, one at a time. (Add 1tbs flour with each egg to prevent curdling). Beat well.

Add 1/3 of the sifted dry ingredients, then half the yoghurt and oil to the above mixture. Mix briefly.
Then another third of the dry ingredients followed by the remaining yoghurt and the rose water. Mix.
Finally add the last of the dry ingredients together with the poppy seeds.
Mix until just combined.

Pour into the prepared cake pan.
Bake at 180'C for approx. 60 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out just-clean.
Remove from the oven.

Leave to cool completely before turning out from the cake pan.

Pink Ganache

180g white chocolate
60ml fresh cream (35-40% fat content)
Pink powdered food coloring.

Melt the cream and chocolate together in a double boiler. Stir frequently.
Stir in the food colour.

Allow to cool slightly.
Pour over the cool cake before the ganache sets.
(If you're using ganache that has already set, heat it gently - either in the microwave or double boiler - until it is a pouring consistency.

Serve with a scattering of rose petals.



Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Winnie the Pooh Cookies

This past weekend I did a mini-class: it was a small Kitchen Tea for a Winnie the Pooh lover.

Now, you'd think that someone (moi) who owns a gazillion cookie cutters would be likely to have a Winnie the Pooh one, wouldn't you?

Well, clearly not!
I dug through my boxes (and boxes) of cookie cutters several times and no Pooh miraculously appeared.
But I do have a jam jar cutter. And the jar became Pooh (and Pooh's honey pot - love the symmetry in that!)
Here's how...

It's a jam jar...

Now it's not...

Ear idea courtesy of tastespotting.com


Baked and decorated: 

Happy decorating!