Sunday, 23 February 2014

Custard Creams

Custard Creams are arguably one of my favourite biscuits and tend to be eaten a pack at a time. So I thought I'd try making them myself, whilst nothing can compare to the real McCoy (in my opinion anyway), they were very close! I used a recipe I found on 'The Boy Who Bakes' blog.

The recipe is very simple to follow; combine the plain flour (225g), custard power (50g) and icing sugar (30g) together before adding in the cubed butter (175g) - I must point out that the recipe requires a electric mixer, I tried to combine it by hand but it proved impossible as it was too dry, therefore I added milk to make it into a dough. Then once you have mixed it into a dough it is ready to go into the fridge for half an hour. 

Then once the dough has rested in the fridge, you can begin rolling it out. They don't need long in the oven (about 15 minutes) so keep an eye on them to make sure they don't burn.

Whilst these are cooling (it's important they have cooled before piping the icing into the middle as the butter will melt) you can make the custard butter icing by combining butter (50g), icing sugar (200g) and custard power (2tbsp). A little bit of milk may also be needed to bring the dry ingredients together again - however be careful not to add too much as you still want it to be a thick icing (similar to the original biscuit).

Then place it into a piping bag and pipe a big blob into the middle of one of the two biscuits before sandwiching them together.

Then all that's left is to put the kettle on.

P.s Thank you PrintSmitten for my lovely new Bake Off tags!

Friday, 14 February 2014

Terry's Chocolate Orange Hearts

This is essentially the best cheat which allows you to claim you've made your own chocolates!

It's as simple as choosing your favourite chocolate (as you can see I choose Terry's Chocolate Orange) and melting it in a bain marie (placing a bowl over a pan of hot water - make sure the water isn't touching the bottom of the bowl) before transferring the chocolate into moulds. As you can see I choose to use a set of mini heart moulds in time for Valentines.

I received the mould in a magazine which also included individual gold foil wrappers and a box. Therefore as you can see I wrapped the chocolates up by placing the chocolate in the foil (shaped like a diamond) before turning over the top corner, the bottom and then the sides.

And there you have it, you've 'made' your own chocolates!

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Sugar Mice

This was my first attempt at making real sweets (other than fudge a few years which went spectacularly wrong) and they were really fun to do.

Unfortunately I have a new obsession with a weekly baking magazine (Something Sweet) that is full of recipes and exciting things, including; sugar mice moulds with string tails, a truffle box and mini cupcake cases. This is where the idea to make the mice came from. 

I was surprised at how little is needed to make sugar mice, apart from the mould and tails (which if you purchase the magazine, will come free with it), it only requires fondant icing (200g), pink food colouring (but only if you want to make pink mice), black icing and water. 

To get started chop up the fondant icing by cutting the block into slices, then into strips and finally into cubes. Try to make sure these are all a similar size so that they melt at the same time. Then place them in a pan with 1 and 1/2 tbsp of water. 

Once all the fondant has melted (at this point I separated it into two separate pans to add pink food colouring to one), bring it to a rolling boil and then turn it back down to allow it to simmer for a two minutes before taking it off the heat and pouring it straight into the moulds (you need to be quick to do this to make sure it doesn't start to set first). 

Immediately after pouring it into the moulds, twist each piece of string into the mouse. Allow them to set for about two hours, before lightly pushing the bottom of the mould to pop them out. These then need to rest over night (24 hours) to make sure they have dried out completely.

Once they have, you can draw on their eyes (and nose if you wish). I used a black icing pen for this but you could also use icing sugar and add a tiny bit of black food colouring to it. Then apply it with a very thin point, the only thing I could find (in a house of four girls) was a hair grip. 

A final top tip would be to fill the moulds right up to the you can see on the far right one mouse lost his nose because of it.

And then they're ready to eat!