Friday, 31 July 2015

Healthy Snacks/Petite Fours

One of my favourite snacks (which I also use for petite fours as they look so beautiful) are Nushi's Jelly Joobies and Raw Coconut Rough.
 

Nushi's Jelly Joobies, and Raw Coconut Rough
 
As like most Thermomix recipes, they are quick and easy to prepare!

The Jelly Joobies are made healthy with V8 Juice and Rice Malt Syrup, and the Raw Coconut Rough uses dates instead of chocolate (but still manages to taste like chocolate with a little bit of cocoa!)

The Jelly Joobies recipe requires to use your choice of V8 juice, my favourite are Orange, Mango and Passionfruit, and Forest Fruits (as pictured). I prefer them on the sweeter side so I put in about 6 tbsp. of Rice Malt Syrup and I use Vanilla Bean Paste instead of extract as I love the flecks of Vanilla Bean throughout the jelly.
 
The Jelly Joobies are kept in the fridge, and the Raw Coconut Rough kept in the freezer.
 
There was one stage my husband and I would just eat a whole batch of Jelly Joobies in one sitting, justifying that we were pretty much having our daily intake of fruit and veg from the V8 juice lol!
 
I use half sphere silicon moulds I bought off Ebay and they present so well on a white plate! They also don't need oiling as they just pop right out after being refrigerated!
 
Nushi's Jelly Joobies:
 
 
Raw Coconut Rough:
 
 
 
Nushi's Jelly Joobies, and Raw Coconut Rough
 
 
Half Sphere Silicon Moulds
 

Chocolate Indulgence Cake

This is what I call a 'Chocolate Indulgence Cake' that I made for the June birthdays in my family.


Chocolate Indulgence Cake

I made 2 x batches of the Too Easy Chocolate Cake and 2 x batches of buttercream icing (halved the amount of milk required and added a tbsp. of cocoa instead of vanilla essence), both from the Basic Cookbook TM5 chip.
I piped the buttercream on with a star shaped icing nozzle. In between the cakes is buttercream and crushed Tim Tams (I chopped them up with a knife as the Thermomix would obliterate them into sand). I iced the top with buttercream then decorated in a messy, ab hoc, but intentional way with broken up ane crushed Tim Tams, Kit Kats, Pokey Chocolate Sticks, strawberries and confetti sprinkles.
I would have usually liked to have a greater height in the decorations on the cake however I needed to travel with it within a glass dome and it juuust fit! On a side note, the wooden platter and glass dome is actually a cheese tray I bought from Aldi on sale at $6! Bargain!

You could make this cake with any chocolate cake and buttercream icing recipe, or even a packet mix! The decorating is what turns a simple chocolate cake into an indulgent one!
Hope this cake inspires you to make your own as it is so easy, delicious, and made with all the naughty junk food at home!

Chocolate Indulgence Cake from the top
Chocolate Indulgence Cake in my $6 Aldi Cheese Dome
Cake Cutting Time!

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Cauliflower Mash

Now that the baby bears are finally in bed, father bear is having a DVD night with his mates (they demolished 14 x hot dog buns between 3 of them...and this is after having maccas for dinner)... mama bear has finally cooked up dinner...
 
 
Pan Fried Salmon with Cauliflower Mash
 
Pan fried salmon fillet, cauliflower mash, drizzled with black truffle oil, caviar and angel hair chilli... such devineness accompanied by a glass from a $2.89 Aldi Semillon Sauvignon Blanc lol
 
The cauliflower mash was made in 12 minutes in ...the Thermomix and I fried up the salmon in that time. On my plate is literally half a huge Costco cauliflower and it tastes amaaazzinng (though that could be the truffle oil!)
 
Cauliflower mash recipe as follows:
 
 
I didn't have Philadelphia cooking cream (didn't know it existed?) So I added 50g Philadelphia cream cheese, and 50g thickened cream. Sooooo creamy!
 
 
 Pan Fried Salmon with Cauliflower Mash + accompaniments
 

Hot Dog Buns (Chinese Sausage Rolls)

Coming from a Chinese Malaysian family, I grew up with Chinese bread from the Asian bakeries, and hot dog buns were always one of the favourites!


 Hot Dog Buns
Hot dog buns are a frankfurt wrapped up in a sweet dough bun which just melt in your mouth!

My Aunty in Malaysia makes them perfectly with her special recipe, however when they are made here in Australia they just don't taste the same - could be the different factors like ingredients, humidity, kitchen etc.

I have used Thermomumma's Sweet Dough Recipe for many things like sweet scrolls and finger buns, so I thought I would use this multi functional dough for hot dog buns. I have made this a few times now and they don't last a day in my household, especially with my meatloving husband.

The first time I made it, I used cocktail frankfurts and the taste of it was very strong. My mum then told me to use skinless frankfurts (cut in half) as they have no added herbs etc and they are PERFECT.

This batch of bread dough makes 16 x hot dog buns. I punch out and roll out the dough, divide in 2, and continue dividing the dough pieces into 2 until you get 16 pieces. I then punch out and roll each piece to get a long rounded shape (kind of like playing with play dough!) and wrap around the piece of frankfurt. Tip: pat down the piece of frankfurt before rolling in dough so it doesn't make it soggy during the cooking process.

After wrapping each frankfurt, I then put it in an oven with a hot water bath to prove for 1 hour. After proving, preheat the oven at 170 degrees and spread milk over the top of buns with a pastry brush. The milk gives it a nice golden crust. I then cook the buns for 10 minutes in a preheated oven at 170 degrees (each oven varies, it may take up to 15 minutes).

Verdict - these hot dog buns taste exactly like they are from the Asian bread shops!!

 Thermomumma's Sweet Bun Dough recipe into Hot Dog Buns:
Ingredients:

275 grams water, lukewarm
5 teaspoons instant dried yeast
550 grams white bakers flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons milk powder, optional
2 teaspoons bread improver
65 grams sugar
45 grams soft butter
8 x skinless frankfurts (cut into half and pat down with a paper towel)
Milk to brush

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees. 
2. Add all ingredients to your thermo bowl in order. Combine 40 seconds, speed 3. Knead 8 minutes dough function.
4. Transfer dough to a thermomat or oiled bowl & cover with a tea-towel. Let this sit & rest for 15 minutes before working with it.
5. Turn dough out onto a thermomat or oiled/floured bench & punch out any gasses that may have formed. Divide into 16 pieces.
6. Shape/assemble to make hot dog buns (see below).
7. Place in a nice warm moist area to prove for approx. 1 hour. 
8. Once grown to the desired size, brush milk over the tops of the buns. Bake for 10 -15 mins, or until tops are golden brown. Place on cooling rack immediately.


Hot Dog Buns


Hot Dog Buns in the making


Hot Dog Buns before proving


Hot Dog Buns after proving for 1 hr and milk on top


Hot Dog Buns in oven with hot water bath


Skinless Frankfurts used in buns - Tibaldi brand

Creme Caramel

My whole family LOVES creme caramel! My husband and I have always bought the ready made ones from the shops for a quick and easy dessert. When I got my Thermomix I couldn't wait to make it from scratch!!

Crème Caramel

Most of the recipes I found mixed the creme caramel in the Thermomix then baked it in the oven, however I really wanted to use the Varoma steaming function in the Thermomix, so after a bit of a search, I found this recipe:


The recipe says it fills 6-7 ramekins, however it perfectly fits my 8 x silicon dariole moulds I bought off the Alyce Alexandra website:
They are SOOO creamy and melt in your mouth, you won't be able to stop at just one!!
This is a great dessert to make earlier as it lasts a few days in a fridge, so you can pre-prepare for a dinner party or have some ready in the fridge for an easy weekday dessert (or snack!).
For serving as pictured, I used chocolate ganache (recipe from the Basic Cookbook TM5 chip) and spread it on with my 99c silicon pastry brush from Ikea. I find the shorter silicon 'bristles' on this brush allows it to have more control and provide a more distinct 'paint brush' pattern on the white plate.

Crème Caramel

Silicon Dariole Moulds from Alyce Alexandra

Silicon Pastry Brush from Ikea

Carrot Cake

For mother's day this year, and my MIL's birthday, I made this delicious (and nutricious) carrot cake!

 
Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
 
Pre-Thermomix days I had made a carrot cake once but it was way too much effort with all the grating required. Now with the Thermomix, it is just so easy to make this cake as it does all the work for you!!!
 
It can be found under the Thermomix Recipe community and is called 'The Best Ever Carrot Cake' and it quite simply is... the best ever!!
 
If you don't have a Thermomix you could use this recipe in a food processor with similar results.
 
I ended up making 2 x batches of the cream cheese frosting. As pictured in the recipe they put a thin layer of frosting on, but as you can see, I LOVE my frosting and decorating! So I piped on rose swirls, and placed whole walnuts on top of each swirl (had to fish inside the packet of walnuts to find the best unbroken ones), and edible flowers.
 
The cake is very, very moist and the icing is so delicious with the hint of lemon! Some of my family actually commented that it was the best icing that they have ever tasted, and that it was a great cake to icing ratio!
 
Best Ever Carrot Cake Recipe:
 
 
Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting Top View

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Chocolate 'Man' Cake

For my brother's birthday this year, he requested a plain chocolate cake with no fancy decorations or icing etc etc etc.

Too Easy Chocolate Cake with Bambino Icecream Cones

I made 2 x batches of the 'Too Easy Chocolate Cake' off the Basic Cookbook TM5 Chip (mixed both batches in the 1 lot), and once the cake was baked and cooled down, I made 1 x batch of the Chocolate Ganache off the Basic Cookbook TM5 Chip.

I cut the cooled cake in half and put chocolate ganache between the 2 layers, then dripped the ganache on top. I use a spoon to drip the sides of ganache then fill out the rest of the top of the cake with the remaining ganache.
It looked abit boring just cake and ganache, so prior to 'birthday cake time', I placed a few store bought mini Bambino icecream cones on top (luckily they just stood up straight just wedged in there!).
The Too Easy Chocolate Cake is such a light and moist cake, it is my 'go to' chocolate cake.
Simple, effective, very very easy and...so manly!!

Birthday Boy, his wife, and their nephews

What happens when you wake up your twin brother....


Marble Buttercake with Inner Heart Shape

Another one of my mums birthday cakes...


Marble Buttercake with Inner Heart Shape

I found this cake tin on one of my fave online shops...EBay. ..for $16.62 and free shipping, why not!


Inner Heart Shape Cake Tins

I used the same (pre thermomix) butter cake recipe that I use in my ombre layered cakes (is very dense and holds shape really well for icing).

I made 2 batches of the buttercake, mixing pink food colouring with one of the batches and spooned in the cake batter alternating between the plain and pink batters to get the marbled look.

Once the cake was cooked and cooled down, I made instant choc mousse (the same just-add-milk Costco mix, however these days I would use my Milo Mousse Recipe) and used a spatula to spread within the inner half of the 'heart shape' which you then place together to get the full 'heart shape'. I iced it in similar fashion to the pink ombre cakes but changed the colours to pink, peach and white.

A few days earlier, I rolled out white fondant and used alphabet cookie cutters to cut out 'MUM' and a heart shape with an embossing kit that reads 'MUM ♡ 54' (I also got this kit for a few bucks on Ebay). And let to dry out in corn flour ready for use on the day of assembly.

The heart shape didn't come out as sharp as in the Ebay photo though a different type of cake with less crumbs and filling may work better with a more contrasting colour, like a chocolate mudcake with raspberry mousse filling...which I may try out someday soon...

Easy, fun and different twist for a birthday cake!

Butter Cake Recipe:

Buttercream Recipe:

Ingredients:

120gm butter (room temperature) 
2 1/2 cups icing sugar 
1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste

Method:



Place all ingredients into bowl and beat until light and fluffy.


Marble Buttercake with Inner Heart Shape


Cake Tin EBay Listing

Home made scarves - Loom Knitting Kits

My ID twin boys, Ethan and Harley were 11 months old yesterday!

 
 Ethan and Harley - 11 months
 
I've taken weekly shots of them since they were born, this week they are wearing scarves that I made with a loom knitting kit.
 
I bought this kit at Lincraft for around $30 which includes 4 diff sized looms, a needle and metal hook. I used the small pink loom for the boys baby scarves, and I made a matching one for Daddy with the slightly wider green loom.
 
It is super easy, I made the 2 small scarves for the boys in just ONE day!
 
The instructions that come with the pack are sketchy so I just youtubed how to start and finish the scarves. I have so far made 4 scarves and 2 place mats (1 half done as pictured in the middle of the pink loom).
 
There's something satisfying making things for your precious ones!
 
If you're into DIY stuff, I totally recommend these loom kits!!
 
 
Ethan and Harley - 11 months
 
 
 Loom Knitting Kit
 

 
Loom Knitting Kit with Ethan, Harley and 1/2 of Daddy's Scarves

Finger Buns


These are a regular in our household, and they are BETTER than the bakery!!!

 
Jumbo Finger Buns

I use the Sweet Bun Dough Recipe by Thermomumma in the link below.
 
I prove the dough for an hour in an oven with a hot water bath, and bake in a preheated oven at 170 degrees for 10 - 15 minutes (depending on the size of the buns).
 
Whilst waiting for them to cool, whip up the buttercream icing recipe on the Basic Cookbook TM5 chip using pink food colouring instead of vanilla essence to get that 'bakery' look (half ...a batch is plenty, however I usually make 1 batch and keep the rest in the fridge for the next lot of buns I make).
 
The batch makes 8 x huge buns, or 17-18 x small ones (approx. 50-60gm each) using the silicon small loaf pans as pictured ($5 each from Kmart).
 
I pour sprinkles, desiccated coconut and flaked almonds on separate dinner plates, then spread icing on the top of the buns, and then turn the buns upside down to firmly press the toppings in.
 
Sultanas can be kneaded in whilst shaping an individual bun prior to proving/baking, however my husband likes putting sultanas in the finger buns when cut in half and buttered up with fresh homemade Thermomix butter.
 
 Thermomumma's Sweet Bun Dough recipe:
 
Ingredients:
 
  • 275 grams water, lukewarm
  • 5 teaspoons instant dried yeast
  • 550 grams white bakers flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons milk powder, optional
  • 2 teaspoons bread improver
  • 65 grams sugar
  • 45 grams soft butter
  •  
    Method:
    1. Add all ingredients to your thermo bowl in order. Combine 40 seconds, speed 3. Then knead 8 minutes dough function. dough mode
    2. Transfer dough to a thermomat or oiled bowl & cover with a tea-towel. Let this sit & rest for 15 minutes before working with it.
    3. Turn dough out onto a thermomat or oiled/floured bench & punch out any gasses that may have formed.
    4. Shape/assemble to make buns (see below)
    5. Place in a nice warm moist area to prove. If you are proving in a dry heat please spray your dough with water & cover or the dough will dry out.
    6. Once grown to the desired size place (around 1 hour), in a preheated oven on 180* fan forced for 15/20 mins, or until golden brown. Place on cooling rack immediately.
     
     
     
     Jumbo Finger Buns Before and After Proving
     
     
    Mini Loaf Pan Finger Buns prior to Proving and Baking
     
     
    Mini Loaf Pan Finger Buns
     

    Sprinkle Cake

    This is my mums birthday cake last year, a sprinkle cake!


    Sprinkle Cake

    This was the first cake I made post-giving-birth and I was busting to bake and make something!
    One of my mums favourite sweets is coconut ice, so wanted a cake to reflect that.
    This cake consists of 6 layers of cake, alternating with plain butter cake, coconut cake, and citrus coconut cake (pre Thermomix days, I made in my Kitchenaid).
    I covered it in vanilla buttercream, a sh*tload of sprinkles and a white fondant bow painted with edible gold paint.
    It was one of the most fiddly cakes I've ever made as it is really difficult to roll the sides of the cake in sprinkles without the layers moving around and sprinkles bouncing EVERYWHERE in the house, but  it looks so amazing when finished!
    Butter Cake:
    Coconut Cake:
    Citrus Coconut Cake:
    This is the tutorial I used to decorate the cake:




    Sprinkle Cake from the Top

    Sprinkle Cake

    Creme Brulee

    I've always wanted to make Creme Brulee, and last week was first time that I made it.
     

     Crème Brulee
     
    I used the Creme Brulee recipe off the Basic Cookbook TM5 chip, and it was amazing!  However, my husband and brother called it the best custard ever! ...hmmm
     
    It was gooier than expected with the texture of a very thick custard (maybe I didn't let it set in the fridge long enough?). I decorated with shards of toffee, Persian fairy floss, a freeze dried strawberry (now available at Costco) and a fresh strawberry.
     
    Easy to prepare earlier in the day or the day before, for quick easy preparation during a dinner party! 
     
     

    Pinterest Mum - Chocolate Balloon Bowls

    I saw this on Pinterest and had to give it a go!
     
    I blew up balloons about half in size, and washed the balloons in soap and water (didn't want some random latex poisoning??!). I dried them with paper towels, then sprayed with oil, and dipped in melted dark chocolate. I placed it on a plate to set in the fridge. Once set, I pierced the balloon at the top 'soft' part near the knot, and peeled the balloon off slooowwly. I then made chocolate mousse (Costco cheats 'just add milk' mix), piped it in, then let it set so it was all ready to go for my dinner party!
     
     
    Chocolate Balloon Bowls
     

    Baby Shower Cupcakes

    I recently made cupcakes for a baby shower for one of my oldest friends, Sarina. She's having a girl and her theme was pink and mint.

      
    Baby Shower Cupcakes
     
    I made 2 x batches of the Thermomix 30 Second Cupcake recipe (recipe link below) and 2 x batches of  the Buttercream Recipe from the TM5 chip which made 4 dozen cupcakes.
     
    I mixed plain white buttercream with green buttercream, and plain white buttercream with pink buttercream as a base to give a coloured swirl.
     
    Cupcake decorations were varied using diff types of icing techniques, decorated with a few different things I had at home including:
    • White Chocolate Tim Tams (roughly broken into small pieces)
    • White Chocolate melts
    • White jellybeans
    • Silver cachous
    • Toasted and shredded coconut
    • Strawberry and Vanilla Wafer Biscuits
    • Toasted marshmallows (I cut up marshmallows and torched it with a blow torch prior to putting it on the cupcake)
    • Coloured sugar
    • Edible glitter
    • Edible flowers
    30 Second Cupcake Recipe:
     
     
    This is a YouTube video that I found as an example of how you can get the 2 tone icing swirl:
     
     
    Baby Shower Cupcakes
     
     
    Baby Shower Cupcakes
     
     
    Baby Shower Cupcakes
     
     
    Baby Shower Cupcakes
     
     

    Baby Shower Pinata Cake

    A twist on the Pink Ombre Cake that I posted earlier, I made a cake for my work colleague Sanda's last day of work before she went on maternity leave. She waited to find out the gender of her bubs, so I alternated layers of pink and blue butter cake.

    On the bottom 3 layers during assembly, I used a narrow glass cup to cut a small round shape in the cake to form a well to put the smarties in, then placed the top (un-holey) layer cake on top. So when the cake is cut, the smarties come trickling out! I frosted the cake with buttercream icing (with vanilla bean paste, as I love to see the flecks on vanilla) and topped with a homemade miniature bunting made of washi tape, string and wooden skewers.
    TIP: Use a plate/platter that comes up on the sides or there will be smarties eeverrrywhere!!

    I made 2 x batches of butter cake, and 2 x batches of the buttercream recipe.

    Butter Cake Recipe:

    Buttercream Recipe:

    Ingredients:

    120gm butter (room temperature) 
    2 1/2 cups icing sugar 
    1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste

    Method:


    Place all ingredients into bowl and beat until light and fluffy.

    Baby Shower Pinata Cake

    Malteser Chocolate Cake

    One of the first cakes I decorated nicely enough to be 'Instagram worthy' was a Malteser Cake for one of my mums (many) birthdays.

     
    Malteser Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Heart Sticks
     
    It was with *cough* Aldi Chocolate Mudcake packet mix and *cough* Betty Crocker ready made chocolate icing. (Disclaimer: this was pre-Kitchenaid, pre-Thermomix days!)

    This cake has two layers with chocolate icing in between, and then covered with chocolate icing on the outside of the cake to form a holding base for the maltesers. When placing the maltesers, start from the bottom of the cake and work your way up.
     
    I put melted chocolate in silicon heart shaped ice moulds from Ikea and placed a wooden sewer in it at an angle. Sooo easy and looks amazing!
     
    Great for the chocolate lovers!
     
    On a reflective note, I remember this being the last cake that I made that my late grandfather ate. He had issues with eating lumpy type food in his final days so I chose Maltesers and plain chocolate moulds (i.e no fancy nuts or cachous) so that they could melt in his mouth before digested.