Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Triple Chocolate Cookie recipe - my fav chocolate cookie eva

Well today was supposed to be a Daring Bakers Challenge post, but that's not happening.

Instead I'm going to share the recipe for those rich looking cookies from Robert's birthday party, my favourite Triple Chocolate Cookie recipe.

It's based on an old Family Circle recipe with a little tweaking. Make sure you use Large eggs, not Extra Large as it will make a difference.

Try to use nice quality chocolate and cocoa I used a good Belgium brand, but whatever you like eating will probably work.

Sometimes I replace some of the dark choc chips with Macadamia nuts and they become oh so yummy triple chocolate macadamia cookies.

However you make them I hope you enjoy them they have been a favourite of mine for years.

Triple Chocolate Cookies - makes about 25 large cookies

1   1/2 cups plain (all purpose) flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1   1/2 cups soft brown sugar
180g (6 and 3/8 ounce) unsalted butter
150g  (5 1/4 ounce) dark chocolate, chopped
3 large eggs lightly beaten
3/4 cup dark choc chips
3/4 cup white choc chips

Preheat oven to 180 C (375 F), line a couple of trays with baking paper.

Sift flour, cocoa and brown sugar into a mixing bowl.

Combine butter and chocolate in a bowl and melt in microwave on short bursts at med/low mixing well between each session.

Add butter mixture and eggs to dry ingredients and mix until combined, do not overbeat.

Stir in choc bits.

Drop about 2 tablespoon for each cookie onto tray, flatten slightly and bake for 12 mins.

Cool for 5 mins before transferring to a wire rack to cool.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

These are a few of my favourite things

I love cookbooks and have shelves groaning from the weight of the many I have collected over the years. Most of my cookbooks are specifically baking and decorating and like everyone I have some favorites, and if I use a recipe exactly as it has been written in a cookbook I don't copy it into the blog so I thought I would share a couple of my fav Baking books (that is books I use specifically for baking not decorating tips).

Whimsical Bakehouse: Fun-to-make Cakes That Taste as Good as They Look

Whimsical Bakehouse: Fun-to-make Cakes That Taste as Good as They Look

My number 1 fav is The Whimsical Bakehouse - "fun to make cakes that taste as good as they look" by mother and daughter team Kaye and Liv Hansen

This is one book that actually lives up to it's promise. I admit I haven't tried every recipe in this book but the ones I have work every time and are completely delicious.

My favourite chocolate buttercake which I also use for cupcakes,

creamiest Italian Meringue Buttercream,

the chocolate chip pound cake for my son's recent birthday cake

and the golden buttercake I used for the Wizard of Oz rainbow cake.

I love every recipe I have tried. There are lots of colour pictures and detailed explanations on their decorating technique. Be warned however that this book does not use fondant decorations so if your looking for a book dedicated to that type of decorating grab something else.

The book is from the US so if you are Australian like me you'll need to do some converting, but I promise it's completely worth it. Just remember a stick of butter is 4oz or 114g, a US tablespoon is equal to 3 Australian teaspoons and buy a pyrex measuring cup and you should be pretty good to go.

Book I can't live without #2 is More from Magnolia "recipes from the World Famous Bakery and Allysa Torey's Home Kitchen"

More from Magnolia: Recipes from the World Famous Bakery and Allysa Torey's Home Kitchen

More from Magnolia: Recipes from the World Famous Bakery and Allysa Torey's Home Kitchen

Yup these are the cupcakes famously featured in Sex and the City and they are simply delicious. Best vanilla cupcake and simple frosting * recipe ever....need I say more. (this is my own opinion and I know everyone has different tastes, please don't send me any hate mail, although if think you have a better recipe I would be happy for you to send me that).

OK I will say more, simple is the key to these recipes they are plain old fashioned baking, no fancy decorating tricks to deceive you, so the focus is on the taste. Other favourites from this book include black bottom cupcakes  and the Cream Cheese Crumb Buns which are a little fiddly but soooo soooo worth it.

Black bottom cupcake - chocolate cupcake with choc chip cheesecake baked on the top, I know......YUM, The pic above is modified with an Oreo on the bottom.

It also has a handy conversion table in the back for temperature and weights which is super handy for us Aussies. I only wish it had more pictures, I love pictures in cookbooks and this book only has a few colour pictures included.

Example of magnolia frosting.....

and here is a coffee version.......Mmmmmmm 

These books do sometimes use baking items that may not be easily found in your local grocery store, sometimes they use graham crakers or butterscotch chips etc, however you can just substitute a more easily accessible item. But all the recipes I have specified above and lots lots more that I use all the time are totally grocery store friendly.

*note when I make the frosting for the magnolia vanilla buttercream I reduce the milk to around 100m which seems to suit the Australian climate a little better.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Pink Ribbon Chocolate Dipped Macaron Pops for Pinktober

This month for Pinktober the online macaron group mac attack decided to do Pinkarons, which I have to say wasn't much of a challenge for me because I'm such a girly girl I make pink macarons at least once a month.

In Australia, the National Breast Cancer Foundation symbol is a pink ribbon, and women across the nation are having "A Girls Night In".

So instead of cheating and using pics I already had, I decided to create a macaron that would be perfect for a girls night in swish soiree with your family and friends.

Pink Ribbon white chocolate dipped macarons on a pop.

Didn't wait long enough before taking this bit, the choc was not quite set but it was oh so delicious

I've been a naughty blogger lately and haven't been taking many pictures of the process so I'll just have to give you some steps.

1. Make your macarons - this is my favorite recipe: Pink Macarons

2. Make your ganache  the recipe is included in the above link for macarons.

3. At the filling stage pop in a Wilton 6" lollipop stick or some other food safe type pop/stick

4. Stick in fridge to set

5. Make pink ribbons by rolling out fondant with a small rolling pin and cutting thin strips with a clean pizza cutter, you can use a knife if you like but the pizza cutter is super easy and leaves as mooth edge. Shape into ribbons.

6. Melt white chocolate with a little copha (copha is a white hard vegetable shortening, like crisco but harder you could substitute a little less crisco), around 15g copha to 120g chocolate or so.

7. Carefully dip macaron pops into chocolate.

8. Allow extra chocolate to drip off whilst holding upside down, shake a little, when you think all the excess has dripped off keep on waiting, there will be more.

9. Pop into styrofoam or similar stand upright to allow to dry, just before the chocolate is set pop the fondant ribbon onto the front of the macaron pop.

If you like you can omit the pink fondant ribbon and just do a plain pop tied with a pink ribbon like these ones below.

Swish and Delish what more could you ask for?

Anyway I can't wait for later in the month for the full line up of the  Mac Attack #12 Pinkarons,

there have been some cute and funny posts so far, they're a fun baking bunch, yup Lora especially you.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Cookie and Babychino 2nd Birthday Party

My Baby Boy turned 2 and a couple of his absolute favourite things in the world apart from his bunny, sisters and me are babychinos and cookies.

Which made choosing the theme for his party pretty easy, and also the cooking, if you can bake a batch of cookies this is the party for you.

I'm feeling pretty pleased as I actually gave myself more than 2 weeks to plan this time and as a result I managed to get some themed invitations from Fairydust designs they have a great range of invitations, but if you need something special they can also do custom design.

They do cupcake toppers, thank you tags and bunting so organising a co-ordinated party is as easy as the click of a computer button. My girls loved the invitation so much they insisted I use part of the design to decorate the cake.

and how amazing are these Ah tissue pom poms, I am in love with the gold ones at the moment......

Selection of Pom Poms from Ah-Tissue

Random not so plain chocolate chip cookies on table

What about these, the perfect little box for a perfect macaron? I think so.

These lovely little boxes are from Details Details, and we all know its ALL about the details.  I got a stack of stuff from them, if you follow me on facebook you would have seen the cute strawberry cookies I made using one of their cutters. The wide blue ribbon is from Brown Button Trading Co.

more after jump

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Babushka Decorate Sugar Cookie quick tutorial

Cute pink babushka decorated sugar cookies I made for a project I was working on, and now I'm going to share with you all how I made them.

Now I'm just sharing how I made the heart ones on the right I came up with to match the project I had going on - you can go crazy with the decorations, pretty much anything will look great on these doll cookies. Don't get stressed out if you don't have exactly what I used below, just find something else that works.

This red one below I used an oval shape instead, just use whatever kind of shapes and decorations you have on hand.

The not really a baby anymore work up early and no time to finish this one, was piping with a two year old hanging off me, but I think it looked ok as is. The eyes are black fondant instead of edible pen.

oh and they were inspired by some lovely pics I saw on Flickr from Three Honeybees.

More after jump

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Halloween Vampire Cake pops, you'll be team cake pop after this

Vampires and cake pops seem to be big at the moment so I thought as a Halloween treat I'd combine them and I came up with these Vampire bite cake pops.

One bite from these and you'll definitely be team cake pop like me.

Now I'll have to admit here that I don't actually follow Twilight or a lot of the vampire stuff around at the moment, not because I don't like it I just never have a lot of time to read books or watch TV.

But.......I have managed to read the Sookie Stackhouse novels (True Blood) and I'm totally Team Eric, well book Team Eric all the way.

I'm not really sure why I thought y'all might like to know that, but maybe it's an insight into how I came up with these cake pops, they were inspired by the cover of the dvd box set.

I know your thinking that's just not normal. I see food everywhere, what can I say.

These pops are chocolate cake and vanilla buttercream inside and raspberry flavour chocolate outside, the teeth were made by hand.

I shaped the cake mixture into lip shapes, popped them into the fridge to set, inserted the sticks/pops with some melted chocolate, back into the fridge and then dipped them into some red chocolate flavoured with raspberry. After they were set I added the decorations with ready rolled fondant.