Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Red Velvet cupcakes

 Delivering 125 Red Velvets as a thank you to all who donated to my 100km spring cycle ride for Cystic Fibrosis.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Icing sugars and Confectioners sugar

Soft Icing SugarPure Icing SugarRich Chocolate Icing SugarGluten FreeCoeliac society Approved

CSR Soft Icing Mixture?

Also referred to as Confectioners sugar.
It is a blend of finely ground cane sugar and starch (4%), which gives this icing its free flowing profile. The starch is gluten free, made from tapioca or maize. instantly making deliciously smooth icings, frostings and fondants. It is also used for dusting, giving a slightly sticky topping/coating when dusted onto warm desserts, and a light fluffy finish to room temperature or chilled sweets

What is CSR Pure Icing Sugar?

It is finely ground 100% pure cane sugar, with a superfine crystal size. It gives a firm brittle set (as opposed to the soft set of CSR Soft Icing Mixture), which makes this icing ideal for Royal icings, flat icings, piping and decorative finishes. This icing is most commonly used for wedding and celebration cakes. Available in 500g pack.

What is CSR Rich Chocolate Icing Sugar?

Making chocolate icing is quick and easy with CSR’s Rich Chocolate Icing Sugar. Simply mix the icing mixture with hot water and a knob of butter, and you have a chocolate icing mixture ready to spread onto cakes, cupcakes and other sweets where a chocolate icing or filling is desired. It has all natural ingredients, being made from 100% cane sugar, cocoa powder and starch which is gluten free, made from tapioca and maize. Available in 375g pack.

What is Gluten’s Role in Baking?

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, barley and oats. Gluten helps give cakes their light fluffy texture, gives biscuits their desired crumb texture, and is important in ensuring the ideal consistency for dough.
The gluten protein has an important influence over the texture and structure of desserts and sweet treats, as well as the texture and profile of bread, for this reason substituting flours containing gluten for gluten free alternatives is not as simple as exchanging one ingredient for another. For hints, tips and gluten free substitute ingredients see the ‘Coeliac’ page of this site. Our recipe collection also features a range of gluten free treats for everyday delights to decadent desserts.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Piglets arrive

This is what Spring is all about.
7 new family members.
Well done Peggy.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

home made Ravioli

Finally I use my pasta machine.  

Easy pasta  
200g plain 00 flour. 
2 eggs.  
Pinch of salt.

Mix by hand and let it rest for 20 min. 

Saturday, April 5, 2014


Figolli, Figolla

Maltese Figolla (Almond Biscuit)

5th April, 2014
The filling. 
I have two types of ways of making the Almond filling. The first is a recipe that is a softer method, using soft icing sugar.
The second method has a more thicker texture.
Both methods are applied in between each layer of biscuit and cooked at the same time.

Now this is a biscuit that my Mum would make every Easter (and I found it in a recipe book called The Almond Biscuit). Its a sweet biscuit baked for Easter celebrations. But who wants to wait till Easter.
Typically a pastry figure filled with ground almond (or almond meal) mixture, covered with royal and glace icing.
I found large biscuit shape cutters in a tiny shop in Bowral, NSW. Traditionally the biscuits are three times the size of the biscuits I baked in this picture. I find the smaller size is more easier to handle for one person to eat and you don't need to share. I finished my biscuits with a tiny chocolate egg in the centre.

 Figolli 2010

  • 800g Self Raising Flour
  • 225g Castor Sugar
  • 340g Unsalted Butter
  • 3 Egg Yolks
  • 1 Grated Lemon Peel
  • 1tsp Vanilla Essence 
  • Pinch of salt
  • Water to bind
FILLING  (Softer texture type)
  • 170g Pure or Substitute Ground Almonds (almond meal)
  • 170g Castor Sugar
  • 100g Pure Icing Sugar
  • 1/2 Grated Lemon Peel
  • 1tsp Vanilla Essence
  • 1 Egg White or three subject to texture of mix

FILLING ( Harder texture)

  • 400g Castor sugar
  • 400g Almond Meal
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 Tsp of either Almond Essence or Vanilla Essence. 

GLACE ICING (to decorate to the top of the biscuit)
  • 2 Egg whites
  • 400g Soft Icing Mixture (Confectioners sugar)
  • Half Lemon (Freshly Squeezed)
ROYAL ICING (to decorate the edges of the biscuit)
  • 2 large (60 grams) egg whites
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 cups (330 grams) pure icing sugar

Making the Pastry

(Use your hands) Sieve the flour in a bowl and mix the flour, vanilla, sugar, butter, salt and lemon peel together. Then, add the eggs (one at a time) and mix until a smooth dough is obtained. If need be, add some water.

Making the Filling Mix:

In a separate bowl Mix all ingredients together until a smooth paste is obtained.

To do the Biscuit:

Roll the dough on a floured surface with a rolling pin. (about 1cm thick)
Cut 2 identical shapes with your biscuit cutter. Spread the filling on one shape (about 1 cm thick), and place the second shape on top just like a sandwhich.
(Optional - Spread the filling around the shape but keep it 1/2cm away from the egdes, so that you can press down the top layer of pastry (with a fork) onto the bottom layer to close the gap, brush the edges with milk to soften.

Cook in a preheated oven 170ยบ C for about 20 minutes. Leave to cool before decorating.
You should get 8 to 10 large cookies out of this pastry mix. (as shown in my pic)

For Decoration:

Beat the egg whites in a bowl and add lemon juice. Then add the sieved icing sugar to the egg mixture until a smooth icing is obtained. Pour a drop or two of your preferred food colouring and mix until the desired colour is obtained. Spread this icing on the top of the biscuit to decorate.
Use Royal icing to decorate the edges (in white). I use my piping bag.

Icing Sugar Notes:
Pure Icing Sugar sets harder, therefore used for Royal Icing.
Soft Icing Mixture - or powdered or confectionerssugar. Is used for Glace Icing. Much softer. Soft Icing Mixture contains added starch
Figolli 2013

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Carrot Cake - Single Serve

Rathar than bake this in a 20" cake tin. I decided to bake them in individual muffin size (square).

Served with Cream Cheese frosting, and coconut shavings.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Cartocci fritti

I finally purchased the correct tubes to make these Italian custard pastry.

Makes about 6 cones

500 g flour 00

50 g of sugar

50 g lard (or margarine or butter

250 ml of milk at room temp. environment 
(Or slightly warmed)

1 egg

a good pinch of salt (8 g)

one packet of dry yeast (mastrofornaio) 7g 

Melt the lard and let it cool, I generally do loosen up in half and take it off the heat (or microwave), so that it continues to merge and grow warm quickly 

Put the flour in a bowl with the sugar. Take the fountain in the center and crumbled fresh yeast or one packet of dry. Add a little 'milk and stir. Add the egg and beat with a fork while continuing to incorporate the flour very slowly in the center. Continue adding 
the melted lard, and the rest of the milk a little at a time. Add the salt and continue to knead with your hands on a lightly floured work (just a little flour).

Knead for about 15 minutes until you get a bell'impasto hard and smooth. Cover with a cloth and put it to rise in a warm place, it is the ideal oven with the little light on. Let rise for about 2 hours until doubled, tripled but if it's not bad   

Take back the dough and pull the pieces of about 120/130 g each, consisting of rolls of about 40 cm long and roll them in aluminum torches. NOT pull the dough as I rolled up (one of my first mistake), do only three max 4 turns, letting out the two ends of the tube, because during the leavening will be achieved even those 

Reinstall it to rise for an hour and a half, and fry in deep oil but not hot, so you have to slowly browning cook pretty well.

Let cool and remove the torch aluminum. Add the chocolate chips to the sweetened ricotta and put the cream in a pastry bag. Fill the cones and gently rotolateli in granulated sugar.