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Posts Tagged ‘Birthday’

I recently wanted to make a present for one of my friends… I wasn’t able to get out to buy one, so I thought the best option was an EDIBLE GIFT. I wracked my brain and decided… I’d never made peppermint creams before, why not use Anna as my guinea-pig?! (My poor friends rarely get tried and perfected edible gifts!)

Luckily, they were a success! And this recipe I am about to provide you with, makes a TONNE of them! So would be perfect for Christmas or any time where you need to make a massive batch… like a Monday when you need a sugar fix!

(The amounts for the icing sugar will vary a bit….. so if it’s too sticky when you’ve used all the icing sugar, you will just need to add a bit more until you get the right consistency!)

Ingredients:

(approx) 200 g Icing sugar,

28 g Butter (softened),

2 tsp Peppermint extract (Extract not flavouring…….. you can use flavouring instead but it just wont be as good…),

2 tbsp Double Cream,

290 g Good quality dark chocolate (I’m a huge Green and Blacks fan, but use whatever kind you love… 70% is best!),

Beat the Butter, peppermint, and cream together in a bowl… You can do it by hand or use an electric mixer, either way make it creamy, then add the icing sugar and mix mix mix! You want it to be soft so it’s malleable, but not too sticky. It’s a hard medium, but you’ll know it when you get there!

Now this is the only slightly complicated part of the whole thing… and this isn’t even that complicated! Ha.

Grab a long piece of clingfilm, and lay it on a spacious table top! Chuck the peppermint icing mush onto the clingfilm, and roll it out into a long sausage and wrap it in the clingfilm. Once it’s in the clingfilm you can roll it to make it smooth. If you want to keep the shape well, then it’s good to put old toilet or kitchen rolls around it to keep it circular in the fridge. If you’re not bothered about them being a circular/oval shape, then don’t worry! (I should have taken a picture of these stages. Doh. I’ll try and remember next time and update it!)

Pop the ‘sausage, toilet roll, icing, peppermint, butter mush, clingfilm’ stuff into the fridge for about an hour.  

Melt the chocolate in a bowl over  a pan of boiling water (make sure the water isn’t touching the bottom of the chocolate bowl!) then leave it for a couple of minutes to cool, so it’s not burning hot! Dip your finger, and if it doesn’t burn you it’s fine! (Of course you’ll have to check a couple of times because it’s necessary, and don’t waste it, so make sure to lick your finger clean! ;))

When the peppermint stuff is chilled and solid take it out and cut it into chunks. It’s totally up to you how fat you want them to be! But don’t make them too thin because they wont hold up in the chocolate dipping stage.

Grab a tray and line it with grease proof paper…. Then grab a big fork. I found my easiest method, see what works for you, but this is what I did…. drop a piece of peppermint stuff into the chocolate, flip with the fork to cover it completely, then lift it out with the fork and shimmy it onto the tray. Do this until all are covered like this….

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Don’t worry about their tails, you can chop them off! I’m a fan of the rustic look, so mine were a bit jagged-y. You can trim them down to be really neat though if you can be bothered!

If you have time to leave them over night, then do that! To keep them shiny, don’t put them in the fridge, but if you’re like me, and impatient/not got enough time, you can put them in the fridge, but don’t be sad when they’re not shiny, ’cause I did warn you… 

And this is the end result….

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I’m not going to lie… They were FIT. If I wouldn’t get incredibly fat, i’d eat them every day………………

Enjoy! And let me know how they turn out for you!

K.

 

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It was my biggest Brother’s birthday at the beginning of this month and so I wanted to make him a big fat cake with his favourite things…. a good carrot cake would be his favourite and knowing that he has a (possibly unhealthy…) love of crystallised ginger, a combination of the two seemed like my best option!

I searched far and wide for a good recipe and ended up blagging it a little bit by using the baking side of my brain and referencing back to a few of the recipes.

It’s a huge three layer cake… and because carrot cakes are always a bit more dense than a regular cake, it end up as a hugggge dessert cake. You could easily half it and it would be just as good.

This is how my recipe ended up….

(It’s in cups because I recently got some cups measurers and wanted to take them for a spin!)

Ingredients:

5 cups of grated carrot (it looks like it’s wayyyy too much, but stick with it…),

1/2 cup of thinly chopped crystallised ginger,

2 1/2 cups of plain flour,

1 tbsp baking powder,

1 tsp baking soda,

1 tsp salt,

1 tsp ground ginger,

1 cup of butter,

1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar,

4 eggs,

2 tsp vanilla extract,

2/3 of a cup of milk.

 

Preheat the oven to gas mark 4.

Peel and grate the carrot… Don’t be silly and use a hand grater if you can use a food processor…. Finely chop the ginger. Set both aside in separate bowls.

I’m normally a manual beater, but this time I went for the electric mixer. Beat the butter in the mixer and gradually beat in the sugar. Leave it mixing on medium for a couple of minutes… beat in the eggs and vanilla and add the flour and milk alternately and gradually. Then fold in the ginger and carrots with a spatula.

Grease and line 3 sandwich tins and distribute the mixture evenly. Tap each tin on the counter to get rid of air bubbles!

Bake for 30-35 minutes until the centres are firm. Skewer it and if it comes out clean, it’s done!

Leave the cakes in their tins for 10 minutes before turning out onto wire racks to cool fully.

Then make up the white chocolate icing.

Ingredients:

1 cup of butter,

6 oz of white chocolate,

1 tsp almond extract,

3 cups of icing sugar

Melt the chocolate either in a heat proof bowl over a saucepan of water, or in the microwave (but be careful not to burn it if you do it in the microwave! It can turn in an instant!) leave to cool! Beat the butter in a bowl until creamy,  stir in the cooled melted chocolate and almond extract. Gradually stir in the sifted icing sugar until it’s the right consistency  Judge it!

Once the cakes are completely cooled, sandwich them together with the butter icing then cover the whole thing with the icing and leave in a cold place to set.

And it’s done…

It really is a mammoth cake… So, make at your own risk!

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K.

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It was my Mum’s birthday recently, and she’s not one for fuss, so it went by quite un-celebrated… Until the weekend afterwards, when both brothers and my Sister in law came to visit for the weekend. If you know me/us, you’ll know, we’re a close knit family, and we like nothing more than when we can all be together… when that happens, food, and wine is very much involved.

We had already settled that we would get a take away to save Mum from cooking, but I decided that it was the perfect time to treat Mum, and give her a little birthday celebration…. (Except we couldn’t call it that because she didn’t want to celebrate… Killjoy!)

Since she doesn’t like cake, in general, a cheesecake was in order. Mum’s absolute favourite pudding in the entire world, is Bailey’s Cheesecake. I had never made it, i’m not a huge cheesecake lover, but… sacrificial love, and all that….

So I did a bit of research of many different recipes, and ended up with this…. (I wanted a non-baked one, because baked cheesecake is Dad’s idea of sick on a plate. I also wanted one that wouldn’t kill me to make, so I could still have energy for fun with the Fam…)

Ingredients: 

100 g Butter

250g Digestives (crushed up with a rolling pin…. great way to batter your worries away!)

600g Philadelphia light (see… it’s  a healthy cheesecake… ;))

30mls Baileys (or own brand equiv)

100g Icing sugar

300mls double cream (Whipped) – I used elmlea low fat double cream…

100g Grated Chocolate

Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the digestives, and mix well until the digestives have absorbed the butter. Press firmly into the bottom of a greased 18cm/7in springform, or loose bottom tin… I used loose bottomed… Leave to set in the fridge for at least an hour.

Meanwhile, lightly whip the cream cheese, then beat in the baileys and icing sugar, fold in the whipped cream and grated chocolate, carefully. At this point… it’s a must that you have a taste… for no other reason than… it’s YUMS.

Spoon evenly onto the biscuit bottom and spread until smooth. Leave in the fridge for 2 hours… at least… Then dust with cocoa powder and serve massive slabs. 😉

Happy Cheesecaking…..

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