Ombré cake

img_1983I had a lot of fun coming up with creative ways to announce my pregnancy so I wanted to do the same to announce if I was having a boy or a girl.

After googling ideas I decided to make a ombré cake with different shades of blue or pink for the cake batter and vanilla frosting on the outside.

We invited our families over for dinner and waited until we cut the cake to let them if we were having a boy or girl.

Whilst the cake looks impressive it is actually really easy to make. For the batter I converted my trusty favourite basic butter cake from the Australian Women’s Weekly Birthday Cookbook. You can find my converted Thermomix recipe on the Recipe Community here.

I divided the batter into four equal parts and added different amounts of food colouring. I started off with the tiniest amount to make a very pale layer and carefully added more to each bowl to make deeper shades of pink or blue.

Once I was happy with the shades of each batter I poured the each batter into a  16″ cake tin (2 at a time as I only had 2 tins the same size) and baked them for 15 minutes.

I then baked the second batch of pink coloured batters and allowed each cake to cool completely.

Then I made the buttercream frosting from the Basic Cookbook and was ready to assemble my ombré cake. The hardest decision was choosing if I wanted the top layer to be the lightest or the darkest. In the end I decided to go from light to dark, top to bottom.

Once all the layers were assembled I iced the sides of the cake (it helps to use a lazy Suzy for this step) and then I iced the top of the cake. I could have tried all sorts of fancy piping to decorate the cake but the inside of the cake was what it was all about so I wanted to keep it simple.

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Lamingtons

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The Aussie classic. Rectangle pieces of sponge cake dipped in chocolate and then coated in desiccated coconut. These little morsels of delicious-ness are perfect for Australia Day celebrations, or any celebration for that matter.

You will find the traditional recipe (pictured above) in your Basic Cookbook but there are so many other variations you can make. If you’re stuck for ideas you only need to hop onto the Recipe Community and type ‘lamington’ in the search field like I did here. Continue reading

Pavlova Christmas Stack

The Festive season is upon us and nothing says festive like the Aussie favourite, pavlova. So of course it makes the cover of the new Festive Flavours cookbook and recipe chip!

 
The cookbook has three different variations of the pavlova stack; Mixed Berry, Gingerbread and Black Forest. The pavlova stack is definitely impressive and even inspired South Australian Group Leader, Annette to make this amazing Christmas video. Click here to view it. Continue reading

Sugar skull cookies

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As I mentioned in my Macadamia and Parmesan biscuits post I am slightly obsessed with sugar skulls. Years ago I bought this sugar skull cookie cutter set from a gift shop in Leederville. You get buy them online here.

I came across the cookie cutter set again when I was looking for my sugar skull cookie stamp so of course I had to make sugar skull cookies as well! How else can you celebrate Dia de los Muertos (the Mexican Day of the Dead)!

I hopped onto the Recipe Community and searched for a sugar cookie recipe. I chose the Thermomix in Australia because it looked the easiest. Click here to view the recipe.

I rolled out the cookie dough onto my ThermoMat and started cutting my skull shapes out of the dough.

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  Once I had them all on my prepared baking tray I started stamping them with the other side of the cookie cutter. I made sure I pressed firmly and evenly to ensure the whole design was stamped into the cookie.

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I was so happy with how they looked even before baking them for about 10 minutes. I still had royal icing left over from making my ginger-dead biscuits so I divided it up into 5 bowls, reserving a bit more in the one bowl that I wanted to keep white. With the 4 remaining bowls I added a drop of food colouring and half a teaspoon of warm water to make it a bit runnier.

I then handpainted my designs with a set of thin paintbrushes. I could have piped it but I didn’t want to have to wash my piping bag inbetween colours and also had a steadier hand using the painbrush. I even found it quite relaxing :) Move over colouring books for adults, this can be the next trend!

Macadamia and Parmesan biscuits

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I am slightly obsessed with sugar skulls and last year I bought this sugar skull cookie stamp from Typo. And then I forgot all about it!

When I was planning my Halloween baking I finally remembered to use it! I was looking for something savoury to take a break from all the sweet treats I was baking. So I just needed to find a savoury biscuit recipe that wasn’t too crumbly.

Then I remembered my group leader had made the Macadamia and Parmesan biscuits from the Everyday Cooking for Thermomix Families TM5 cookbook when it was first released.

These biscuits are simply delicious! And I knew they would be the right texture for my cookie stamp. Made with parmesan, rosemary, macadamia nuts, butter and plain flour. In less than a minute the dough is made and ready to roll. I rolled it out and used my largest round cookie cutter to cut the dough and then placed each biscuit onto my prepared tray. Then I pressed my sugar skull stamp into each biscuit (I used a bit of flour on the stamp when it started getting too sticky) and baked them for about 10 minutes.

When they came out of the oven I was so happy with how they turned out. The sugar skulls were perfectly imprinted into my biscuits and really stood out after baking :)

Don’t have any cookie stamps? No worries, get creative with any cookie cutters you have and make biscuits with cutouts or different shaped biscuits. Or just make them plain and simple, they are only just going to get eaten anyway ;)

Don’t have the Everyday Cooking for Thermomix Families TM5 cookbook? Contact your consultant or purchase your own copy here.

Meringues 

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I had never made meringues before I knew it would be a breeze with my Thermomix. I was excited about putting this Halloween twist and making merin-ghouls :)

I followed the recipe using the Everyday Cooking for Thermomix Families TM5 recipe chip and whipped the perfect egg whites. After mixing in the sugar I transferred the mixture into a piping bag and piped small meringues onto my prepared tray.

I baked them for 3 hours and tested they were ready by tapping the bottom and checking for a hollow sound. I turned off the oven and left them to cool in the oven for about 2 hours.

Once they were ready I used some left over cream cheese frosting to stack a smaller meringue on top of a larger one. You could use any cream of your choice. Then I used my chocolate writing pen (from Coles) and drew 2 lines as eyes on each ‘head’. My merin-ghouls were now ready :)

Don’t have the Everyday Cooking for Thermomix Families TM5 recipe chip? Contact your consultant or purchase your copy here.

Chocolate cupcakes with dark chocolate frosting 

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I made a batch of fondant pumpkin toppers when I made Spiced Pumpkins Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting. I had plenty left over so I figured why not make some chocolate cupcakes!

This was the perfect chance to try the chocolate cupcake and dark chocolate frosting recipes from the Everyday Cooking for Thermomix Families TM5 recipe chip.

I’m so glad I did because this is now going to be my new signature chocolate cupcake recipe. The recipe for the batter only needs butter, dark chocolate, raw sugar, eggs, plain flour and baking powder. I love baking with such basic ingredients!

And what I love even more is melting chocolate with my Thermomix! Gone are the days where I would melt chocolate in a saucepan over another pan with water constantly stirring over a low heat. Or even worse, the days when I would try to melt chocolate in the microwave and heat it for just one second too long and end up with burnt chocolate. Melting chocolate is such a breeze now :)

Once I had made the batter I filled each cupcake liner with a 1/4 cup of the batter. This was the perfect amount as they rose to be just in line with the cupcake liner. Perfection!

The dark chocolate frosting is even easier to make and only consists of dark chocolate, raw sugar and butter. And I got to melt chocolate with ease again :)

This frosting is another winner. I love to pipe swirls of frosting on my cupcakes and in the past have made mixtures that just wouldn’t hold the shape. This frosting was so easy to work with and holds the shape from piping really well! All I had left to do was press my fondant pumpkins on top of the swirls of frosting and my cupcakes were done :)

You can find the recipe for the cupcakes on page 212 and the dark chocolate frosting on page 168 in the Everyday Cooking for Thermomix Families TM5 cookbook. Don’t have the cookbook? Contact your consultant or purchase your own copy here.