Over the last couple of months I have been so hooked on The Great British Bake Off, watching episodes back to back. It’s so good! Paul Hollywood’s breads always turn out so perfect. My brother who is also an addict of the series requested that I make these instead of a birthday cake and so I delivered! This was my first attempt at playing with bread dough and I’ve got to say, it was really fun!
I tried the classic rock salt version, which appeared in Season 4, episode 4. As I am more of a visual learner, watching that episode was a huge aid in the success of my pretzels! However, I will link the recipe here as it is informative too.
I was happy with how they turned out, they were crisp on the outside and had a chew to it.
Have you made pretzels before? If so, what flavours have you attempted? Hope you enjoy the photos. If you have any questions please leave them below. Don’t forget to like and follow if you haven’t already! You can also find me on instagram, @aliciaspunsugar for more pictures and exclusive bakes/treats.
I’m going to share a cake recipe that I used for my friend’s 22nd birthday. He was going for a rustic theme and wanted something summery so I went with a naked cake, using passion fruit and fruits that are in season right now in Australia. I followed the cake recipe by Phoebe Wood and Kirsten Jenkins and a lemon and passionfruit curd by Poh Ling Yeow. The recipe below makes 2x 20cm round cakes. I made 4 batches of this cake recipe, which filled 3x 20cm round cake tins and 2x 27cm round cake tins.
Preheat the oven to 160o Grease 2x20cm round cake pans and line with baking paper.
Beat the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add one egg at a time until well combined. Beat in the sour cream and passionfruit pulp and combined. Fold in the flour. Evenly divide the cake mixture into the cake tins. Smooth the tops and bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes or until a skewer placed in the middle of the cake is clean when removed.
Remove from the oven and cool in the tins for 15 minutes before placing it on a wire rack.
Once completely cool, trim off the domed top of the cake.
Thought i’d make a quick post just to share what I did for my christmas tree. Sorry for the delayed upload, I have been busy running around in preparation for christmas day. I can’t believe it is already christmas eve! Perhaps you could make this during christmas day with the family. I was inspired by nordic christmas ornaments, cookies on pinterest and wanted to recreate this cookie screen saver. I followed this recipe and used store bought royal icing mix added with water.
Again sorry for the late and short post, but if you have any questions, please feel free to leave me a comment. I’m more than happy to answer them.
I hope everyone has a merry christmas and a happy new year!
Last week I was given the challenge to create some Peppa Pig themed treats for my niece’s birthday party. I prepared some Peppa Pig cookie pops, Muddy Puddles and the actual birthday cake. I’ll be uploading these within the next few days.
In the mean time, I’ll be sharing how I completed the cake, some tips, general thoughts on the whole process and problems that I had. I found that the most challenging part was actually covering the cake with fondant, especially because it was my first time using it. I made my own marshmallow fondant to cover the whole cake, but all of the other elements were created with Satin Ice fondant, which I picked up from my local Spotlight and cake-decorating store. I personally thought that the marshmallow fondant was a little more difficult to handle, though tasted much better than premade fondant. The marshmallow fondant, although very sweet, it has a nice textural spring to it. The recipe I followed was by My Cupcake Addiction, her youtube video and recipe is here. I have also the written version of it is below. I’m more of a visual learner, so I prefer to actually see the process of how it was made; this is more crucial when you need to actually see whether the consistency of the fondant is right. Essentially, this will vary with your climate and you will need to adjust the water and icing sugar content accordingly. If you’re in a warmer climate like me, you will generally need to add more icing sugar and less water.
When it came to actually covering the cake (I had a 7inch cake), everything was running smoothly until I was trying to keep the edges sharp. I began to see the dreaded elephant skin. I quickly massaged some vegetable shortening (I used Crisco, which I picked up from my local cake decorating store. Copha should do the same job too, but needs to be softened in the microwave).
Disclaimer: This is my first time working with fondant. I am far from a professional. Sorry if this isn’t 100% correct! This is just how I achieved this finish. I would love to hear your feedback and tips! I have plenty room for improvement.
I just used a basic, dense vanilla cake. Do not use a sponge cake.
After the cake had cooled after baking, I trimmed the tops off to ensure that they were level.
Once the cakes were levelled, I drizzled some vanilla simple syrup (equal parts water, caster sugar and a dash of vanilla essence until boiled) on each layer, including the very top.
I made a dark chocolate ganache. I allowed it to cool at room temperature until it reached a spreadable consistency. I spread some of the ganache onto a cake board that has the exact SAME dimensions as my cake. Place my cake on it and then proceeded to spread in between my layers. Then I stuck it into the fridge for 10 minutes to harden.
I removed it from the fridge, trimmed off the edges and continued to cover the cake with the ganache as a crumb coat. Placed the cake back into the fridge for 20 minutes, until cake has set firm. I then continued to cover the cake with ganache again, to fill in any other gaps and start to really even the surface out. It helps to dip your spatula in get some warm water to try to make everything smooth. I placed the whole cake in the fridge to firm up again for another 20 minutes. During this time, I was kneading out my marshmallow fondant that I had taken out from the fridge. This was my workout for the day!
After kneading the fondant until pliable and at a workable state, I dusted my surface with corn flour and rolled it my marshmallow fondant out to roughly 4mm thick. I then covered my cake, used 2 fondant smoothers to smooth out the surface. I then trimmed the excess and continued to ensure that the surface was smooth and attempted to remove any trapped air bubbles.
I left the cake out at room temperature.
The top tier was a dummy cake (entirely made out of foam). I stuck my dummy cake with royal icing onto a cake board that has the same dimensions, then spread some Crisco on the foam and rolled out the same marshmallow fondant to cover it.
450g (16oz) white marshmallows (I used the massive camping marshmallows from Costco)
2-4 tablespoons water
900g sifted icing sugar
¼ cup vegetable shortening (e.g. Crisco or melted Colpha)
Heat the marshmallows and water (start with 2tablespoons first) in a heatproof bowl; 30 second bursts in the microwave until marshmallows are completely liquid and melted.
Mix in the icing sugar with the marshmallows, kneed the dough until it is smooth.
Roll the dough into a ball and rub vegetable shorting all over the surface of it. Refrigerate for a minimum of 12 hours.
All of the figurines had tylose powder added to it, in order to reduce drying time.
All figurines were moulded using Satin Ice, premade fondant. I used the white one and added gel colours (used both Americolor and Wilton gel colours) to achieve the desired colour.
To make the eyes of the characters, I used a fine black edible marker
I prepared my figurines a week in advance to allow them to dry solid and to give myself ample time to complete the cake.
The whole family Peppa pig family had toothpicks inserted in them to attach the head to the body.
The bicycle was purely made out of fondant; no wires were used to support it. Again, I used tylose powder to stiffen the fondant. I was extremely fiddly but was easy to assemble when everything was dry.
The duck pond was just made out of blue fondant, with some piping jelly on the top to make it look like fluid water. I placed 3 dried fondant ducks on the top.
The appearance of elephant skin on my fondant at the top of my cake, meaning that my fondant was dry. Luckily I had the dummy cake to place on top of it. I massaged some Crisco on top to try to revive it but wasn’t a complete fix.
Does anyone know how to prevent this?
Such a lengthy post! I hope it was somewhat helpful though. If you have any questions, tips or like to share how you would do things differently, please share them below! I’d also love to hear your own experiences on working with fondant. As always, please like and follow if you enjoy this post! Happy baking everyone 🙂
This recipe has been a long time favourite amongst my family. I love baking a batch of these during Christmas and a while back, during my birthday party, I made a large batch and stuck them in a massive cookie jar for everyone to pick at.
2/3 cup chopped dark chocolate (I used 70% chocolate)
2/3 cup chopped shelled pistachios
Cream the butter, sugar, vanilla and salt until light and fluffy (3-5minutes).
Mix flour in until just combined. Add chocolate and pistachios and mix everything together.
Wrap the dough completely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30mintes
Preheat oven to 175C (350F) and line cookie trays with baking paper.
Roll out half of the dough (leave the other half in the fridge) onto a floured surface until roughly ¼ inch thick. Cut out the cookies with a cookie cutter of your choice (I used star and heart shaped cutters, 2-3inch). Place cut cookies onto baking tray. Repeat this process with the remaining dough.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown on the top. Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Enjoy! Please leave a comment below if you have any questions. If you’d like to see more recipes like this, please like and follow me!
My brother bought me a KitchenAid just the other day. He supplies me with the machinery, I bake the food and he eats it. That’s just how we roll. I ain’t complaining because my old stand mixer gave up after serving my mother and I well for the last 10 years. So in celebration of receiving this new machine, I thought it was a great idea to bake a simple cake as a test run. Strawberries are also in season at the moment, so I’m going to utilise them as much as possible in desserts. You can use any other berries, if you’d like. I’m just using what is in season. Any who, the recipe below was adapted from Linda Lomelino’s Summer Cake recipe from her beautiful food blog, Call me cupcake. Her recipes and food photography are on point!
Preheat the oven to 180oC. Line you pie pan 25cm (10 inch) or 23cm(9inch) cake pan with baking paper and grease the sides with butter.
Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl.
In a separate bowl, beat the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the egg, milk and vanilla, and mix until well combined.
Slowly add the sifted dry ingredients into the egg and butter mixture until batter is smooth.
Pour mixture into your cake tin and place your strawberries on top.
Bake for 10mins at 180oC, then reduce the temperature to 150oC and bake for another 30-50 minutes or until the surface of the cake is golden brown and skewer is clean when placed in the centre of cake.
Remove cake from oven and allow it to cool in its tin before turning it out.
Serve when cooled and dust some icing sugar over the top.
Thanks for reading and hope you enjoy! Please like and follow my blog if you like what you see J
310g ground almonds (I used LSA mix – in my opinion, pure ground almond is better)
140g caster sugar
6 large eggs
1 lemon (zest and juice)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground allspice
Icing sugar for dusting
Seasonal berries (I used frozen berries to serve)
Place whole oranges (peel and all) in a saucepan filled with boiling water (about 1L) and boil for 30 minutes. Drain and remove all seeds when oranges have cooled.
Preheat oven to 160C. Line a springform cake tin (20cm/8inch) with baking paper.
Place all of the other ingredients and oranges in a food processor and blitz until it forms a thick and smooth batter.
Place mixture into the cake tin and bake for 1hour and 10 minutes or until cake is cooked (stick skewer in the middle of cake and it should come out clean). Take the cake out of the oven and leave cake in tin until cool (roughly 30 minutes) before turning it out.
Dust the cake with icing sugar and serve with fresh berries (or frozen, like I did)
Note: If you have a NEFF oven, put it on the CircoTherm setting.