Star Cakes

Wednesday at work I was pretty certain we had a birthday so I made some little cakes, if there wasn’t a birthday we would just have a nice morning tea, turns out that one of the girls did have a birthday so I was right after all.
This is what I made πŸ™‚
Star Cakes

The cakes were lime buttercake which was really really really good. very very limey, every time I opened the container I would get this big lime hit πŸ™‚

Lime Buttercake
This made 11 smallish cakes in a standard 12 hole muffin pan. In the future I would multiply the recipe by 1.5 to get 12 decent sized cakes.

90g butter, softened
90g cream cheese, softened
zest of 1 lime or an orange or a lemon or a grapefruit etc.
150g caster sugar
2 eggs
50g self raising flour
75g plain flour

Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan forced) and line a 12 hole muffin pan with patty pans.
Cream butter, cream cheese and sugar together till pale and light. Beat in eggs and zest, then beat in the flours till just combined. Divide the mixture amongst the patty pans and smooth down the mixture as best as you can. Bake for 15 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

To ice.
This was my first time playing with fondant icing and I quite enjoyed it. I was using readymade fondant icing so all I had do to is knead the colour in and roll it out. I do plan to have a play with making my own fondant sometime but not now.
What I did.
Warm some jam till runny and keep over a bowl/saucepan to keep it warm.
On a silicon mat or a bench top dusted with icing sugar, knead a portion of fondant till smooth, flatten fondant out into a pizza and with a toothpick dipped in food dye, prick the surface of the fondant repeatedly. Fold the fondant up and knead again till the colour is evenly distributed. You will have to do this a few times till you get the colour you desire. Roll out icing to about a 5mm thickness. Next comes the hard bit you need to find a circle cutter which is the same size as the tops of your cakes. My circle biscuit cutter was too small, next I tried a glass – too big, then I grabbed a Nalgene container, and it was the perfect size. Using your circle cutter cut out fondant rounds. Brush a cake top with the warmed jam, lift a fondant circle onto the top of the cake and smooth down. Repeat till all cakes are iced. To add the stars it is the same idea, cut out fondant, brush star with a little jam and adhere to the the fondant topped cake. Push a cachous on top and you are done πŸ™‚

Fun in the kitchen

I have been playing in the kitchen this weekend and having a ball. It has also meant that Mum has been able to spend a fair bit of time on the computer organising a talk she is giving on her trip out west last year.

Saturday I made sugar biscuits to have play with icing.

stars, 69/366

Saturday night I listened to the Womadelaide 2008 live broadcast (and loved every single minute of it) whilst decorating those biscuits. I have wanted to go to Womad since 2001 or 2002 when I first saw brochures for it at the library, listening to it this year has just made me want to go 100 times more than I did before. There was just so many artists I enjoyed listening to. At the end of the night I had no regrets not going to see Tiger Army/Zombie Ghost Train with Matthew and his friends (which according to Matthew was an awesome show).

decorated, 70/366

I learnt that so much of it is about getting the consistency of the royal icing just right. As I practice more though I know I will get the consistency better on the first time instead of adding more sugar because it is too runny and then adding more liquid because I made it too solid.

Saturday I also went to the shops and if I go to Chermside I normally tend to poke my head into the kitchenware sections of Myer and David Jones because you never know what might be on sale. Well when I went into Myer I saw a sign which said 30% off all accessories and in the little note below it said it included pasta machines. Well when I saw that they had Atlas machines on the shelf, I knew what I was buying! Ever since I returned the below par pasta machine I bought 16mths ago I have been keeping my eye out, for an Atlas on sale, you know to make the price a whole lot more appealing. So so happy to have a pasta machine again. It also just runs so smooth.

she's my baby

Today I made Ralphs chocolate cake to take to work for a birthday tomorrow and of course I made Pasta! and Mum took some photos.

Pasta is all about the rolling, that blob of pasta would probably go through the machine about 25 times before it is cut, it makes it this most beautiful sheet of pasta.

you want pasta?

I decided to be silly and make very very very long noodles. The first three runs I made as spaghetti and the final run I made as fettuccine. Typically of course you would cut the long pasta strip into 12-20″ strips before cutting it but hey why not?

Pasta!almost done

The final stage, dusting the the fresh pasta with flour before packing it up to pop in the freezer.

Now it is time for bed and the start of another work week.

Chocolate Topped Baked Cheesecake

Last Friday one of the girls at work had a birthday, so I baked a cake. A cheesecake, just like the one we always make. Though this time I added some chocolate to it πŸ™‚ It went down oh so very well, so well in fact that one of the nurses made it the next day for a gathering.

Chocolate topped baked cheesecake, 39/366

Crumb Base
1 250g packet scotch fingers
bit of all spice
50g butter/marg
50g copha
2 tbsps or so of cocoa if desired

Melt the butter/marg and copha together.
Crumb scotch fingers till they resemble fine breadcrumbs. Stir through the all spice and cocoa if using. Stir in the melted fat mixture. The mixture of dairy and vegetable fat is used to give a better “crumb” and how it holds together. Press in to the bottom (and sides if desired) of a greased 20cm spring form pan (line the bottom with foil) and chill in the fridge whilst making the filling.

500g cream cheese
bit of lemon juice
bit of vanilla
4 eggs
2/3C sugar

Cream the cream cheese till smooth. Add in the vanilla and lemon juice. Beat in the sugar till smooth and then beat in eggs one at a time till mixture is smooth. Pour on top of the base and cook in 160deg oven for 40 mins or until cooked. Run knife round edge of spring form pan and cool overnight.

idea very loved from Smitten Kitchen
50g butter
100g+ chocolate – dark or Cadbury Energy or Lindt 70% etc – Mix it up with a few different chocolates, increase the flavour or use up those half used blocks…
2 tsp honey
You could also very easily add some flavours here such as peppermint extract, mmmm.

Melt all ingredients together in a bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water. Pour over top of cooled cheesecake and place in fridge for 30mins to set the chocolate topping.

When cutting this cake (due to the chocolate topping) if you want a clean cut you must dip the knife in a glass of hot water after each and every cut.

In the kitchen just after it came out of the oven.
in the kitchen, 38/366