Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Ateco 852 Icing Tip

We've all got our favourites, right?
 Favourite flavour,  favourite icing,  favourite colour,  favourite child... just kidding! (...most of the time, anyway 😜)

And this is my favourite piping tip - the Ateco 852

If you have access to the Wilton range, you probably use a 1M or a 2D tip to create beautiful rosettes of icing. Locally, though, Ateco is the quality brand to choose, and the 852 nozzle is the one I'd recommend most. 

 It's a closed (the tines curl inwards) star tip. And because its tines are cut more deeply than the other closed star tips, it creates that beautiful ruffled icing/ rosette effect. 

Because it's a medium-sized large tip (as opposed to jumbo) it doesn't smother your cupcake with too much icing, and is a great choice for covering a lot of cupcakes without having to make huge batches of icing. 

So pretty, right? See - it's ok to have favourites! 

Happy decorating! 


Monday, 13 February 2017

Puppy Love Valentines Cookies

 Did you notice that I used my cookie-colour of 2017 in the "Puppy Love" class?!
A brown and white puppy would still have been cute, of course ... but a taupe and white puppy...😍

I nearly didn't do this as a Valentines theme. I had something else in mind, and a pet-themed class was on the cards for later. But with doing fewer classes, it's getting hard to fit in all the themes.
So an amalgamation of Valentines and pets happened. And I think it works, don't you? There's nothing quite like the uncomplicated love of a pet, right? What a great way to celebrate Valentines Day.

Plus it's an option for the single people out there who don't necessarily want to decorate typical V-Day cookies. (I love you, crazy cat ladies!)

 Here's a look at the progression of Patch, the taupe and white puppy: 

(Thank you Lauri from Treat Boutique for the cutest puppy cutter!) 

A best friend is someone who loves you when you forget to love yourself...

Happy Valentines Day!


Sunday, 5 February 2017

Watermelon Effect No-Churn Ice-Cream

Do you ever have those days that never seem to get lift-off? You're  stuck taxiing on the runway... behind a learner driver?
The latter part of that analogy came to mind because in the course of my 5 (yes, count them: f-i-v-e!) trips up and down our road on Thursday morning, one was spent caught behind a pay-loader, one behind a learner driver and another behind what must have been an octogenarian resident of the local retirement village. I'm generally very patient with learner drivers and octogenarians behind the wheel (we've all been there or are headed there, afterall) but not when it's my third trip to the paint shop in the space of two hours!

I had so much more intended for that time than what I landed up doing with it. Paint shop. Drive. Paint shop. Repeat. Grr!

One of my intentions was to make this watermelon effect ice-cream.
My awesomely creative friend, @bridgethcs,  posted a pic of her no-churn ice-cream on Instagram, and I couldn't wait to try it.
The flavour possibilities are myriad. But I had this summer-inspired watermelon-look in mind that I just had to make!

Thankfully, it is such a simple recipe that I managed to make it despite Thursday's time challenges.
(Its simplicity is the whole point of the introduction to this post, in case you were wondering what that rant was all about!)

The flavour layers are raspberry, vanilla and kiwi fruit. My family wasn't wild about the kiwi, but I like its slight pepperiness in combination with the sweetness of the ice-cream. (And the speckle it adds.) But if you'd like to substitute mint, or another flavour instead, go for it!

No-Churn Ice-Cream: Watermelon Effect
Recipe adapted from foodnetwork.com 
Styling inspired by @bridgethcs 

370g (1 tin) sweetened condensed milk
500ml (2 cups) whipping cream, cold
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt

150g puréed raspberries + pink food colouring
100g chocolate chips
100g puréed kiwi fruit + green food coloring

Popsicle sticks

Mix together the condensed milk, salt and vanilla extract.

In a chilled mixing bowl, whip the cream until stiff.

Fold a cupful of the whipped cream into the condensed milk. Mix until combined.
Pour this lightened mixture into the rest of the whipped cream. Fold until well combined.

Remove approx. 300ml of the above mixture for the green layer.
Add the kiwi fruit puree and green food colouring to this portion.

Set aside approx. 180ml for the white layer.

Into the remaining mixture (this should be the largest volume), fold the raspberry purée. Add pink food colouring if a deeper pink is required. Fold in chocolate chips.

Spread the pink layer into the bottom of a silicone loaf pan.
If it is very soft, put it in the freezer to set slightly.

Follow with the white layer. Repeat freezer time if necessary.

Spread on the final (green) layer.

If it is firm enough to support the popsicle sticks, place them in the ice-cream now.
Otherwise freeze until firm enough before putting them in place.

Freeze for 4-5 hours or until set before removing from the silicone loaf pan, and slicing into individual ice-cream lollies. 

Here's a link to @bridgethcs's Facebook page  https://www.facebook.com/bridgethcs/,
and here's the original recipe from foodnetwork.com if you'd like to see their flavour suggestions.