Browsing articles in "Sweet Treats"
Jan 9, 2014

My top 5 recipes for 2013!

2013 seems to have flown past so quickly that it’s now the 9th of January 2014 and I still haven’t posted my wrap-up post! 2013 was a busy, exciting and sometimes stressful year. I travelled a lot – both domestically and internationally, the blog has been steadily attracting more attention and I feel my photography skills are evolving, I sold my cupcakes at a cafe and directly to customers, I gained many new freelance design clients, I produced and sold my own range of mini food and travel magazines, and I am finally getting the ball rolling on a few personal dream projects (which you will hear more about soon)!

I actually found it quite interesting to go through Google Analytics and find out what recipes my readers loved most this year, and am sharing my 5 most popular recipes:

5. Triple Salted Caramel Cupcakes

These cupcakes are fun to make and heavenly to eat, so I am not surprised this came in as my #5 most popular recipe!

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4. Raw Cashew and Coconut Protein Balls

A rare healthy recipe for Love Swah, but this recipe I created was a hit with health nuts and dessert-lovers alike!

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3. Red Velvet Surprise Cupcakes with White Chocolate Icing

I took the humble red velvet cupcake and jazzed it up for Valentine’s Day – by icing it with white chocolate buttercream and hiding a delicious treat in the centre – a Lindt ball!

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2. Dark Chocolate Guinness Cake with Baileys Cream Cheese Icing

I managed to include not 1 but 2 types of alcohol in this boozy cake delight for St Patrick’s Day! Adding beer to chocolate cake may sound weird, but I honestly think it’s one of the best chocolate cakes I’ve ever made.

guinness-cake-baileys-icing

And… drumroll please… my most popular recipe for 2013? This one won by a landslide!

1. Banana Microwave Mug Cake

I did a series of Microwave Mug Cakes this year that were all really well received, but after my “breakfast in a cup” banana bread-style mug cake got featured on The Kitchn it really took off!

microwave-mug-cake-banana-cake

I hope you all have had a great start to 2014 and I look forward to sharing it with all my lovely readers. Thank you for your support!

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Dec 30, 2013

Coconut and Salted Caramel Ice Cream

coconut-salted-caramel-icecream

I’ve always wanted to try and make my own ice cream, and have had limited success with no-churn ice creams and sorbets. But the texture was always not quite right, and I knew I needed some machinery to get the job done.

When Kitchenware Superstore approached me and offered me something from their range, an ice cream maker was my instant thought. In pink, of course.

cuisinart

My thoughts:

The ice cream maker is simple to use and produces drool-worthy ice creams (and can do frozen yoghurt, sorbets and whatever else your mind can dream up… possibly some kind of alcoholic slushie?). However, it does require organisation and time. The freezer bowl needs to be frozen 12+ hours before you start making your ice cream, something I didn’t initially realise (well, I would if I had read the instructions properly) but after this minor set back I was good to go! After I had churned my cream mixture for the recommended 20 minutes, it was still a little soft for my liking so I transferred it to the freezer for a final freeze per the instructions. And the result? Delicious, flavourful, creamy ice cream filled with coconut and salted caramel swirls. Watch out Ben & Jerry’s!

Here is my cream concoction in the maker in the early stages of being churned. You can see the flecks of vanilla bean scattered throughout.

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As the ice cream mixture thickens and reaches nearly the end of its churning inside the machine, I trickle in the salted caramel.

icecream2

The mixture is then transferred to an air tight container for a final freeze, a little more salted caramel is drizzled over the top and swirled (you can never have enough, right?)

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**Please remember to freeze your freezer bowl per your maker’s instructions prior to starting this recipe**

Coconut and Salted Caramel Ice Cream
 
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Serves: 10

Ingredients
Coconut Ice Cream
  • 1 cup (250ml) coconut milk
  • ½ cup caster sugar
  • 2 cups (500ml) thickened cream
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds removed
  • 2 tsp coconut extract
Salted Caramel
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 120ml water
  • 1 cup thickened cream
  • 2 tsp sea salt

Instructions
Salted Caramel
  1. Dissolve the sugar into the water in a heavy bottomed saucepan and let it bubble away over a medium heat.
  2. The mixture should turn a golden caramel colour after around 5 minutes. DON’T stir the caramel mixture – the sugar will crystallize.
  3. Once the caramel has reached the desired colour, take it off the heat and add the salt and cream. Stir furiously as the caramel will want to harden quickly.
  4. Pop the caramel cream mixture in a small bowl and put it in the fridge to help cool down quickly.
Coconut Ice Cream
  1. Use a hand mixer on a low speed to combine coconut milk and sugar until dissolved.
  2. Stir in thickened cream, vanilla bean seeds and coconut extract and mix until combined.
  3. Cover mixing bowl with cling wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  4. Turn on your ice cream maker, pour the mixture into the freezer bowl and allow to mix until thickened – around 20 minutes. Pour in ⅓ of salted caramel and mix until just combined.
  5. Transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and drizzle over a little more salted caramel and swirl. Place in the freezer for around 2 hours, or until firm.
  6. Serve in scoops with a generous drizzle of leftover salted caramel!

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If you got an ice cream maker, what would be the first thing you make?

Love Swah was gifted the Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker by Kitchenware SuperstoreOpinions expressed here are my own.

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Dec 21, 2013

Gingerbread Decorating Class at Brasserie Bread

I LOVE gingerbread and make it regularly using a recipe I’ve been baking since I was a kid. When Brasserie Bread offered us the chance to take a gingerbread decorating class I couldn’t wait! I have done a bread making course with Brasserie Bread before, and find their courses informative, fun and most of all DELICIOUS (both times I have gotten to sample a selection of their breads at the end and died a little of happiness).

I went along to the class with foodie friends Dining with a StudCorridor KitchenVegeTARAianCooking Crusade and Cats Love Cooking, and we were buzzing with excitement even before we started snacking on the lollies (which were intended for decorative purposes, ehem).

We were each given a big slab of gingerbread dough and we got to work rolling out to about 4mm thick. Then we cut out shapes using a array of cookie cutters including the festive standards of a Christmas tree, stars and baubles, followed by the less standard shapes of cats, dogs and a cupcake!

Gingerbread making heaven!

We put our shapes on a big baking tray and it was sent off to the ovens to bake. Whilst we waited, we were given some shapes that the team had prepared earlier for us. I had great fun decorating them with royal icing, and did you know the green icing was naturally dyed with spinach and the pink with beetroot?

Our cookies are now out of the oven and baked to golden perfection. There is nothing better than chomping down on a freshly baked piece of gingerbread. I took all mine home “to decorate” however my housemates and I thought they were so delicious we ate them… all.

And a class at Brasserie Bread wouldn’t be complete without a tasting of their fine breads along with some Pepe Saya butter and delicious cheeses.

And Brasserie Bread have kindly let me share their gingerbread recipe with you!

Gingerbread
 
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Serves: 20

Ingredients
Gingerbread
  • 560g organic unbleached plain flour
  • 2.5g salt
  • 2.5g baking soda
  • 10g ground ginger
  • 2.5g ground cinnamon
  • 2.5g ground nutmeg
  • 200g unsalted butter
  • 200g soft brown sugar
  • 160g golden syrup
  • 30g whole egg
  • 40g egg yolk
Royal Icing
  • 20g egg white
  • 125g icing sugar
  • Squeeze of lemon

Instructions
Gingerbread
  1. Preheat oven to 160C. Sift flour, baking soda and spices together with salt.
  2. Cream butter, sugar and golden syrup in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add the egg and egg yolks slowly.
  4. Add the dry ingredients in batches.
  5. Mix thoroughly, then shape into a rectangle log. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
  6. On a lightly floured bench, roll dough out to a 3-4mm thickness. Cut out shapes and place on baking paper (off cuts can be remoulded and used again).
  7. Bake for approximately 15 minutes until very light golden colour.
  8. Cool on trays, then store in an airtight container until ready to use.
Royal Icing
  1. Mix together egg whites with a squeeze of lemon juice.
  2. Gradually stir in sifted sugar then whip until light and fluffy.
  3. Colours may be added and could include beetroot juice (for red) and spinach juice (for green).

If you need a last minute idea for entertaining your kids before Christmas than this is the perfect idea at only $20 per child!

Gingerbread Decorating Classes (suitable for ages 5-12):

Click here or phone 1300 966 845 for current availability.

Saturday 21 December, 9.00-9.30am
Sunday 22 December, 9.00-9.30am, 10.00-10.30am, 11.00-11.30am, 12.00-12.30pm, 1.00-1.30pm
Monday 23 December, 9.00-9.30M
Tuesday 24 December, 10.00-10.30am, 12.00-12.30pm, 1.00-1.30pm

Swah attended Brasserie Bread’s Gingerbread Decorating Class as a guest of Brasserie Bread.

Dec 16, 2013

White Chocolate and Lime Christmas Bauble Truffles

I was super excited when I found out that this month’s Sweet Adventures Blog Hop was truffle themed! No, not that delicious smelling mushroom, but a ganache-filled chocolate treat. My mind whirred with Christmassy ideas… snowman truffles with a spiced centre? Truffles decorated as mini Christmas puddings?

I finally settled on the idea of Christmas bauble truffles – I initially was going to make them white chocolate and coconut, and at the last moment changed it to lime. Not only did it taste delicious but the flecks of green in the ganache made it suitably themed! And, this is a big call, but I think these white chocolate and lime truffles taste better than those white choc Lindt balls I go nuts over. Really, try it for yourself.

These definitely ended up more “rustic” (ie messy) than I hoped, as I ideally I wanted a perfectly round truffle to hang from my Christmas tree. But alas when the truffles dry, the melted chocolate naturally flattens a bit on the bottom.

White Chocolate and Lime Truffles
 
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Serves: 20

Ingredients
  • ⅓ cup thickened cream
  • 250g good quality white chocolate, chopped
  • 1 tsp lime zest
  • 300g white chocolate melts

Instructions
  1. Heat the cream in short bursts in the microwave until simmering hot.
  2. Add the chopped white chocolate and stir until it’s melted and smooth.
  3. Stir in the lime zest, cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for 2-3 hours.
  4. Scoop out ganache into balls using a melon baller or teaspoon. Gently roll the balls in your hand for an even finish.
  5. If the weather is hot, put the balls back in the fridge for 30 minutes on a tray lined with baking paper so they don’t stick.
  6. To add their hangers, use a toothpick or skewer to pierce a hole directly through the truffle.
  7. Cut equal lengths of elastic and tie a knot at the bottom.
  8. Thread the elastic through the truffle, the knot will ensure it doesn’t pull completely through.
  9. Melt the remaining white chocolate in the microwave.
  10. Dip each truffle into the melted chocolate, coating evenly. Return to the baking tray to harden.
  11. Pipe a little circle around the base of the string with white chocolate or an edible cake gel pen to make it look like a bauble.
  12. Decorate your tree!

I loved getting creative with this recipe (and enjoyed eating them even more). I hope you like these Christmas baubles too!

Dec 11, 2013

Candy Cane Reindeer Cupcakes

In America I stumbled upon a delicious snack (in Walgreens of all places) which involved chocolate covered pretzels covered in crushed candy canes. The salty pretzel combined with the rich dark chocolate and minty candy cane was a winning flavour combination and NEEDED to be made into cupcake form.

I used my chocolate Devil’s Food Cupcakes as a base, and topped it with a subtle peppermint-flavoured buttercream. It was then adorned with chocolate-dipped salted pretzels (“antlers”) and finished with a dusting of crushed candy canes. Delicious and suitably festive.

Candy Cane Reindeer Cupcakes
 
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Serves: 18

Ingredients
Chocolate Cupcakes
  • 7 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp instant coffee powder
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 250ml boiling water
  • 125g butter (room temperature)
  • ⅔ cup caster sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs (room temperature)
  • 1⅔ cups plain flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
Peppermint Buttercream
  • 160g butter, softened
  • 4-5 cups icing sugar
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract
  • A dash of milk, if required
Decorations
  • 100g dark chocolate melts
  • Salted pretzels (large)
  • Candy canes

Instructions
Chocolate Cupcakes
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line 2 x 12 muffin tins with cupcake papers.
  2. Stir the cocoa powder, coffee and brown sugar in a bowl and pour over the boiling water. Whisk to mix and set aside.
  3. Cream the butter and caster sugar together until pale and fluffy and then add the vanilla extract.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  5. Slowly add the flour, bicarb and baking powder. Pour in the cocoa/coffee mixture and beat until just combined.
  6. Spoon the mixture into prepared muffin tins and fill approximately ¾ full (this recipe should make around 18 cupcakes)
  7. Bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes or until the cupcakes slightly spring back when touched.
  8. Allow the cupcakes to cool slightly in their tin before turning out onto a wire rack.
Peppermint Buttercream
  1. Place the softened butter in a large mixing bowl and beat until smooth.
  2. Gradually add in the icing sugar and beat for around 3-5 minutes until smooth and creamy.
  3. Add the peppermint extract and a dash of milk if needed until it’s a spreadable consistency.
  4. Spoon the mixture into an icing bag with a nozzle attached and ice the cupcakes.
Decorations
  1. Melt the chocolate in short bursts in the microwave, stirring occasionally until melted.
  2. Dip broken pretzel pieces into the chocolate, allow excess to drip off, and then allow to harden on a baking paper-lined tray.
  3. Crush candy canes in their plastic bag(s) with a rolling pin.
  4. Stick hardened choc-pretzels into the iced cupcakes and sprinkle crushed candy canes over the top.

What are you going to bake this festive season? How about some Brownie Cupcakes with Strawberry Santa Hats? Or some Ginger-spiced Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing?

Nov 26, 2013

The Search for the Best Cupcake in America!

What a task I had… to try every cupcake shop I stumbled upon in America (and there are LOTS of them) on my quest to find the best cupcake in America for Love Swah. How I must suffer for my “art”.

The quality of American cupcakes overall, particularly chain cupcakes, was high and much better than the cupcake chains in Australia (you know who you are, you dry and overly sweet places). There were a few major fails (see Magnolia Bakery below), but on the whole this was a very delicious and satisfying search! Now, to the gym.

Starting from #8 – my least favourite, all the way to #1 which I am awarding America’s Best Cupcake!

#8 Magnolia Bakery – Locations in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. See here for details.

Magnolia Bakery is one of New York’s most well-known cupcake shops, made famous by Sex and the City. Does it live up to the hype? Certainly not. Which is why I am awarding it last place in my cupcake search.

Honestly I was quite surprised and disappointed. I have their cookbook and frequently bake their cupcake recipes with great success. The red velvet cake was dry and flavourless, and the icing was overly sweet and I couldn’t taste the cream cheese. I ate barely half before throwing it in the bin. My friend had a similar experience with her chocolate cupcake.

#7 Kara’s Cupcakes - 3249 Scott Street, San Francisco

I couldn’t work out why my vanilla cupcake with passion fruit filling tasted overwhelmingly of marzipan. I later found out they top their cupcakes with marzipan (which I am allergic to as it contains almonds) instead of fondant. This annoyed me and they need to make this clearer. Apart from the “marzipan incident” it was a pretty ordinary cupcake. The base was dry and bland, and the icing a little too sweet. The passion fruit filling was delicious though.

#6 Babycakes - Locations in New York, Orlando and Los Angeles. See here for details

Could cupcakes that are vegan, gluten-free and refined sugar-free taste any good? Well, no. These didn’t. And they were expensive (US$4.75 each)! The flavours were good (lemon and carrot) but the cake was dry and the icing a weird chewy texture (almost like modelling clay… weird).

#5 Crumbs - Across the country. Locations here

I was very excited when I walked into Crumbs. So many giant cupcakes in unique flavours such as Cookie Dough and Stuffed Pecan Pie! I decided to sway from my usual preference of lemon/vanilla/red velvet and get a White Hot Chocolate cupcake. This was a vanilla cake filled with white chocolate mousse topped with vanilla cream cheese frosting edged with mini white chocolate chips and topped with marshmallows and white chocolate drizzle. WHOA.

It was sweet. Very sweet. But given the above description you would assume that. It took me several attempts to eat it over a few hours. I late found out Crumbs uses high fructose corn syrup which I found really disappointing (and explained the sickly sweetness). Overall it was a good cupcake but I don’t think my blood sugar levels could handle another.

#4 Miette - Locations around San Francisco

Miette is so cute and I am sure I will talk about it again in future Sweet USA-related posts. Their chocolate cupcake was rich and moist and the vanilla icing was delicious and creamy but not too sweet (finally!) This cupcake was a strong contender but not the best one I found in my search. Miette does, however, win the award for best confectionary – their Fleur de Sel Caramels were out of this world. Why didn’t I buy 50?!

#3 Eleni’s New York - Chelsea Market, 75 Ninth Avenue @ 15th Street, New York

Eleni’s is a nut-free bakery filled with an amazing array of cookies and cupcakes. I will definitely be talking about it more on future Sweet USA posts. I tossed up between the lemon and red velvet cake before finally settling on the former. I can never go past a lemon cupcake. The cupcake was moist and icing was lemony and delicious. I also heard their chocolate cupcakes are amazing after I left, so please try one for me!

#2 Sprinkles - Several locations around the country. See here

Sprinkles claims the title of the world’s first cupcake bakery and the progenitor of the gourmet cupcake craze. That’s quite a big claim! I joined the long queue of cupcake-fans and finally got my hands on a lemon cupcake. The lemon cupcake was moist and bursting with flavour. The lemon-vanilla frosting was heavenly, it was the perfect texture and had the right amount of lemon zest. I was a very happy Swah.

And the number 1 cupcake in America? Drum roll please….

#1 The Little Cupcake Bakeshop - 30 Prince Street, New York and 9102 Third Avenue, Brooklyn

The red velvet cupcake was so so moist (I hate that word, but it needs to be used several times in this post) and the cream cheese icing actually tasted like cream cheese. Unlike whatever the hell Magnolia used. In fact this red velvet cupcake was almost as good as mine! Haha. The coconut cloud cupcake was light and flavoursome with a strong coconut taste and hit the spot. These cupcakes won for overall flavour, texture and taste. Yum!

*Notable mentions – Billy’s Cupcakes, Georgetown Cupcakes and Sugar Sweet Sunshine are other great cupcake stores that were not visited on this particular trip.

What do you think of my list – have you tried any of these cupcakes on your travels and do you agree or disagree? I’d love to hear your opinions!

Nov 18, 2013

Choc Chip Cookie Cheesecake

I wanted to create a dessert that echoed the beloved cookies and cream flavour combination and with this month’s Sweet Adventure’s Blog Hop being cheese-themed, I knew a cookies ‘n’ cream cheesecake was the answer.

I described this cake to someone as “a choc chip cookie and a cheesecake had a baby and the result was amazing” which basically sums up this new recipe!

Choc Chip Cookie Cheesecake
 
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Author:
Serves: 12

Ingredients
Choc Chip Cookie base
  • 140g butter (room temperature)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 egg (room temperature)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups plain flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 200g chocolate chips
Cheesecake
  • 500g cream cheese
  • ¾ cup – 1 cup icing sugar (to taste)
  • 200ml double cream
Chocolate Ganache
  • 100g dark chocolate chip
  • 100ml double cream

Instructions
Choc Chip Cookie base
  1. Preheat oven to 170°C. Cream the butter and sugars for at least 5 minutes until the mixture becomes light and fluffy.
  2. Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat well.
  3. Add choc chips, flour, baking soda and baking powder. Beat on low speed until just combined (don’t overwork the mixture or it can become tough).
  4. Press the majority of the dough into the middle of a 23cm/9″ round greased springform tin. I baked the leftover dough into 6 small cookies, for decorating or for eating ;)
  5. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until lightly golden brown.
  6. Allow to cool completely.
Cheesecake
  1. Place the cream cheese and icing sugar in a large mixing bowl and beat until smooth.
  2. Add in the double cream and beating until smooth and creamy.
  3. Pour onto the cooled biscuit base and put in the fridge to set for at least 3 hours, but preferably overnight.
Chocolate Ganache
  1. Bring the cream to a simmer either over the stove top or in the microwave.
  2. Add the choc chips to the cream and stir until melted and glossy.
  3. Allow the ganache to cool slightly before pouring over the top of the cake.
  4. Enjoy!

The combination of the thick choc chip cookie crust, creamy cheesecake filling and rich chocolate ganache makes it a decadent and popular dessert with everyone I’ve served it to!

Oct 31, 2013

Baked Doughnut Holes with Jaffa Ganache – A guest post

Happy Halloween everyone! I am currently in New Orleans, so I have the wonderful Erika Rax posting a delicious-looking and suitably-themed recipe for you all!

***
Hey Love Swah-ers! Swah has asked me to distract you guys from the fact that she is off galavanting in the US without us by sharing a sweet recipe. So I’ve brought you doughnut holes. The best thing about these is that they are baked, making it logistically possible for those of us who are too afraid to buy a deep fryer for fear of what we will turn into. I promise they still hit every spot and the rich orange chocolate ganache makes for the perfect accompaniment.

Baked Doughnut Holes with Jaffa Ganache – A guest post
 
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Serves: 24

Ingredients
Doughnut Ingredients
  • 1½ cups Plain Flour
  • ½ cup Caster Sugar
  • 1½ tsp Baking Powder
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • 125g (½ cup) Butter, softened and diced
  • 1 Egg
  • ¾ cup Milk
Jaffa Ganache Ingredients
  • 70g Dark Chocolate
  • ⅓ cup Thickened Cream
  • Rind from ½ Orange
  • Small Squeeze of Orange Juice

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  2. To make doughnut holes, beat all ingredients with an electric mixer until smooth.
  3. Spoon mixture into a cake pop tin (or a rounded patty cake pan) and bake for 12-15 mins until golden.
  4. Cool in tray before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely (unless you’re having them warm which I encourage)
  5. To make ganache, melt all ingredients in a bain marie over low heat until smooth.

I will make sure to eat LOTS of doughnuts in honour of this post!

Oct 24, 2013

Pumpkin & Coconut Cake Bites – A guest post

Whilst I am off eating/drinking/buying everything in sight in America, I am lucky enough to have 3 very talented bloggers to guest post when I am away! If want to follow my USA adventures, my Instagram account is your best bet.

First off I have the lovely JJ from 84th and 3rd with a delicious looking dessert!

Hi, it’s great to be here today while Swah is off on her American adventures! Swah and I met at a bloggers picnic a few years back and have bonded many times since over everything from wine in the Hunter Valley and baked goods of all descriptions, to sharing a table at the MCA Zine Fair and collaborating on a digital food and travel magazine.

Some how we are still talking to each other and planning (scheming?) new projects so we must be equally insane — isn’t it nice when you find someone who appreciates your special brand of crazy?!

I was fiercely tempted to make a decadent dessert of some kind, after all a guest post round these parts is the perfect excuse to go wild with butter and sugar, but having only recently returned from my own American adventure I’m still in recovery from far too much eating over far too many weeks.

So out of respect for my ever-tightening pants I figured I’d stick with a treat that’s a bit more my style — vegan, dairy-free, whole spelt — yet cake-y and entirely appropriate for breakfast, ahem. Not to mention, my pumpkin obsession is well documented and this is simply another one to add to the list.

Swah thanks for having me here to guest post I hope you are having a great time on your trip, you may need a few of these when you get back! For anyone I haven’t met on the Internets before, you can find me at my blog 84th & 3rd or floating around on various social media.

Pumpkin & Coconut Cake Bites
 
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Serves: 20

Ingredients
  • 1 cup roasted pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup mashed banana
  • ½ cup unsweetened dessicated coconut
  • 1½ cup whole spelt flour
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • scant ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1½ tsp pumpkin pie spice (or 1 tsp cinnamon, ¼ tsp cloves, ¼ tsp ginger, pinch nutmeg, pinch allspice)
  • roasted pumpkin seeds, optional

Instructions
  1. Preheat over to 180C (350F) and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  2. Combine pumpkin, banana and coconut and mix well. Sift over dry ingredients and stir to combine.
  3. Drop rounded tablespoons of batter onto the tray, the cake bites won’t spread very much so you can keep them pretty close together. Press seeds into tops if using.
  4. Bake for 8 – 10 mins until just firm and lightly browned. Cool on tray for 5 mins before moving to rack to cool completely.

NOTES

* This recipe has no sugar but if you want a sweeter cake bite add a couple Tbsp of coconut sugar or rice syrup with the banana.

A huge thanks to JJ for sharing this tasty (and healthy!) recipe and stay tuned for another guest post next week!

Oct 21, 2013

Halloween Bleeding Cake

Hello from America! I am writing this post in quite the jet lagged haze, so please excuse if I stop making sense.

I was excited to find out that this month’s Sweet Adventures Blog Hop was Halloween themed! I wanted to create something gruesome but beautiful, and ofcourse delicious. I toyed with the idea of lychee eyeball cupcakes before finally settling on a bleeding cake.

This cake features 2 stories of red velvet cake, covered in cream cheese frosting and adorned with a tasty trickle of homemade raspberry syrup. The finishing touch is a knife plunged into its middle!

Halloween Bleeding Cake
 
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Serves: 12

Ingredients
Red Velvet Cake
  • 120g butter (room temperature)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1⅓ cups caster sugar
  • 4 tsp cocoa
  • 4 tsp red food colouring
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 240ml buttermilk (or add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to normal milk)
  • 2½ cups plain flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp white wine vinegar
Cream Cheese Icing
  • 4-5 cups sifted icing sugar
  • 100g butter at room temperature
  • 250g cream cheese at room temperature
Raspberry Blood
  • 1 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • ¼ tsp corn starch

Instructions
Red Velvet Cupcakes
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease and line 2 x 20cm cake tins.
  2. Cream the butter, sugar and eggs until light and fluffy.
  3. In a separate bowl mix the vanilla extract, cocoa powder and red food colouring into a paste. Add the paste to the creamed mixture.
  4. Add half the buttermilk and mix until combined, followed by half of the flour and baking powder. Mix until incorporated and then add the remainder of the buttermilk and flour and mix thoroughly.
  5. Add the salt, bicarbonate of soda and white wine vinegar and continue mixing for another 5 minutes until combined.
  6. Pour the mixture evenly into the 2 cake tins.
  7. Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
  8. Allow the cakes to cool slightly in their tins before turning out onto a wire rack
Cream Cheese Icing
  1. Cream the butter and icing sugar together until well mixed.
  2. Add the cream cheese in cubes slowly until incorporated. Continue mixing for 5 minutes until the icing is light and fluffy.
  3. Using an offset spatula, spread ⅓ of the icing on top of the first cake layer.
  4. Place the second cake on top and gently sandwich the 2 layers together. Spread a thin layer of icing over the top and sides of the cake. This is referred to as a “crumb coat” which prevents the crumbs from messing up your final ice. Put cake in fridge to chill for around 30 minutes.
  5. With your remaining icing, use your offset spatula to cover the top and sides as evenly as possibly (don’t worry, mine wasn’t particularly neat!)
  6. If you feel fancy, pipe a ruffle of icing along the base of the cake.
Raspberry blood
  1. Puree raspberries in a blender or food processor until smooth.
  2. Push through a strainer to separate seeds from liquid.
  3. Over a medium heat, bring strained raspberry liquid to a boil, add sugar and corn starch and stir until thickened for around 2 minutes.
  4. Allow to cool completely.
  5. Pour over

This was such a rushed job and I finished the photos literally 1 minute before I left for the airport. But I am pleased to report it tasted amazing and had the intended “beautiful yet macabre” look I intended!


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