Icings and Frostings

Strawberry Pavlova Fondant

 

 

This is exciting! If you dislike commercial fondant taste (and price) you are going to love this recipe!

 

The idea for flavoured fondant originated from Kara Andretta (Kara’s Couture Cakes). She does flavoured fondants using freeze dried fruits and thinks like vanilla bean and bourbon 😍 So whilst watching one of her live videos the other night it occurred to me that if she can use dried fruit I should be able to use the fabulous chocolate powder range from YIAH. I decided to experiment with Pavlova powder and this recipe is what I ended up with. Like Kara, I used Liz Mareks Fondant (LMF fondant from Planetcake) recipe as the base because it’s awesome and a lot less work than making it completely from scratch. This fondant is amazing, has the stretch and elasticity of commercial fondant but miles better flavour and it’s really just so easy.

I covered a fake cake with my finished fondant and it covers beautifully, with beautiful little specks in it…so without further ado, here it is

Strawberry Pavlova Fondant by Serena

  • Servings: 2kg
  • Time: 10 min
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 1kg icing sugar 
  • 100g YIAH white chocolate pavlova powder
  • 500g plain white marshmallows or pink and white marshmallows
  • pink gel colour if using white marshmallows, to suit yourself but I dipped a toothpick in my colour and used that, not much at all. If using liquid colours make sure you deduct water
  • 1 tbsp strawberry essence
  • 1 tbsp warm water
  • 95g (1/2c) shortening (also calle white vegetable fat, trex, solite – available in grocery stores in butter aisle, called Frymaster (yellow packet not red) store at room temperature.
  • 1kg White commercial fondant (I use Bakels pettinice)

Instructions:

  1. Sift icing sugar and pavlova powder together in a large bowl, largest you have, and set aside.
  2. Place your shortening in your stand mixer bowl and set aside
  3. add strawberry flavour and gel colour to tbsp of water and warm for 15 seconds, set aside
  4. Melt marshmallows for 40sec in microwave or stove top, stir with spoon
  5. Melt marshmallows again for 30sec and stir with spoon
  6. Melt marshmallows for final time for 30sec and stir with spoon.
  7. Add warm water mix to bowl of marshmallows to detach them from the side, and pour marshmallows into stand mixer bowl with Shortening. Fit dough hook.
  8. Begin mixing. Add in half of your powdered sugar mix a cupful at a time. Mix for two minutes on slow to medium speed.
  9. Use a bowl scraper or hard spatula to scrape soft mixture into your bowl of left over icing sugar. Warm the commercial fondant in the microwave for 40sec and add to bowl with powdered sugar and marshmallow. Using your hands, knead in the bowl, until it is all mostly incorporated. You may not use all of the powdered sugar, depending on climate and that’s ok. Tip out onto clean counter and pull the fondant between your hands like taffy until it’s stretchy and smooth. If it’s dry add a blob of shortening to your hands and keep pulling, if it’s sticky shake some sifted icing sugar on to your surface and knead it in.

wrap in double layer of cling film, squeezing all air out and then store ina zip loc bag. Heat for 15s and knead well until stretchy when you are ready to use. Stored properly, will keep for months.

See Liz Marteks YouTube clip here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SjCUy3ezRxE

for other fantastic recipes, tip and hints see Artisan Cake Company at http://www.artisancakecompany.com

for other flavoured fondants and fantastic cakes, tips and hints see Kara’s Couture Cakes at http://www.karascouturecakes.com

 

To purchase any of the YIAH products featured in my recipes, visit my site:

http://www.serenalancaster.yourinspirationathome.com.au 

and select the shopping tab, then follow the prompts. Please email me if you have any trouble alandserena@gmail.com

Cakes!!

Over the past few months I have developed a huge interest in cake decorating. Normally what that means is I spend hundred, even thousands of dollars knitting myself out with every accessory known to man in my ‘field of interest’ over a period of weeks, then I lose my shit when I finally go to start said ‘hobby’ only to find I don’t have one thing I need to make the project I want to..and I chuck the whole idea in the too hard basket and flog off all the crap I just paid top dollar for, for half the price.

Yes, it’s a character flaw. But quite frankly, I can’t be sexy, gorgeous, trend setting, talented, efficient, reliable AND have a high level of commitment. That would just be showing off.

Anyway, I’ve done the required pre-spend, I’ve even gone to the library and got books. Actual. Real. Life. Books. And, I’ve made a cake. Yep, actually made THREE cakes. Decorated cakes too. I mean, I usually make cafe style cakes, these ones though, have fondant. Modelling chocolate. Hard as rock buttercream. And I have had moments where I didn’t have everything I needed. It was tense, but I MADE DO. And you know what, I made fondant. From scratch. And modelling chocolate. FROM SCRATCH.

IVE WATCHED 97 hours of YouTube clips and subscribed to dozens of craftsy classes. This commitment stuff is time consuming AND expensive.

But. BUT. I’ve made three novelty cakes. Most people start with the basics, oh no, not me! I still can’t pipe a single thing, write on cakes or make a basic flower out of royal icing but I can make fondant, pastillage, modelling chocolate, marshmallow fondant, cake pops and carve cakes. And I’m still interested in learning more. It’s a miracle. Anyway, thought I’d like to share some pics of my three cakes. I will get the recipes up for the various cake coverings etc and post some of my projects and upcoming cake orders. Yeah, people are silly enough to order cakes off me… 😛😀😀😀

Modelling chocolate :

My first cake, a butter cream 4 layer vanilla drip cake with fondant decs:

** live and learn, bow miles too big and I trimmed the layers of the cake but not the outside edge of the cake

 

This one I’m really proud of, it was a hat cake for my husband. The brim is made of gum paste, the body of the hat is cake and the whole hat is sitting on a mud cake

 

This was just last week, it’s a rose cake – the idea came from a Facebook video that someone shared with me. the petals are all modelling chocolate, the calyx, leaves and board are fondant. The cake underneath the petals is a chocolate cake and there is a pink buttercream over it.

White Chocolate Mr Whippy Frosting (Thermomix) by Serena

Here it is, the Mr Whippy Frosting, converted for Thermomix. This is my version of the famous icing made by the Magnolia Bakery in New York.

I coloured this icing on this occasion but it’s a lovely pale off white and can be used like that. This recipe is not a simple 2 minute buttercream. The danger is that the residual heat of the Thermomix can melt the delicate structure so it is done over ten minutes with lots of stops and starts to keep the temperature down. My kitchen is quite cold. In summer or very warm kitchens you may need to pop in the fridge every couple of minutes for 30seconds to keep the core temp down.

White Chocolate Mr Whippy Frosting (Thermomix) by Serena

  • Servings: a bucket load of icing
  • Time: 15 mins
  • Difficulty: medium, requires patience
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 375g butter
  • 255g melted and cooled white chocolate
  • 1 heaped tbsp coconut oil (solid) or 1.5tbsp coconut oil if liquid
  • 20g milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 320g icing sugar

Method:

Melt the white chocolate and coconut oil using the double boiler method [put an inch of water in a saucepan and bring to the boil, turn down to simmer. Set a bowl over the saucepan so it is snug but the bowl doesn’t come into contact with the water underneath. break your chocolate up in pieces and put in the bowl. Add the oil. Stir often).

It will only take 2 minutes to melt this chocolate. Take the bowl off the saucepan and away from the heat when it’s 95% melted and keep stirring until it’s smooth. Transfer to another bowl or container to cool.

Place butterfly whisk in mixing bowl.

Add roughly chopped cool/ room temperature butter  to the mixing bowl. Mix on speed 3 -4 for 20 seconds. remove cover and scrape down sides, push icing onto butterfly. Repeat the mixing and scraping step 6 more times until you get a silky smooth whipped butter effect as in this below picture.

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When it when it looks like this, add the 20g milk mix on speed 2 for 20second until well incorporated. Use silicone spatula to scrape down sides.

Add vanilla and mix on speed 2 for 20 seconds. Scrape down sides. Repeat mixing and scraping step 4 more times or until it looks like this:

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Add the completely cooled chocolate but be careful not to add any hard or crunchy bits. if it has started to harden, microwave for 2 secs at a time until it is loose again. Mix for 20 sec / Speed 3. Scrape down sides. Repeat mix and scrape 3 more times.

Add 100g icing sugar and mix for 30 seconds on speed 3. Scrape down bowl. Add another 100g of icing sugar and mix for 30 seconds on speed 3. Scrape down bowl. Add the final 120g icing sugar and mix for 30 seconds on speed 3.

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Add colouring (I use and recommend Ameri-colour gels) and give it a final mix for 1 min/ speed 1

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Remove the blade and mix by hand with a spatula the bit of butter and icing sugar on the sides and clinging to the butterfly into the mix

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Now you just have to youtube the famous Magnolia Bakery cupcake swirl and practice practice – it’s harder than it looks!!!

Mr Whippy Chocolate Frosting – Traditional Method by Serena

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I have literally tried a million icings and frostings and the right icing on a cake can turn a great cake into a fantastic cake!

Buttercream is fine – it really is, but I find it über sweet and if you have a rich cake it can be too much, and you can only have a little piece. That is clearly not good. So I found  a way to have a lot of cake by creating my version of the famous Magnolia Bakery (Sex in the City) icing. This is a chocolate version. It is technically still a butter cream but the whipping of it and the real chocolate cuts through the sweetness.

Like anything that is good, it takes a bit longer and there is more steps involved but it’s worth it.

Use this icing on my chocolate Devils Food Cake for a cake that will blow your friends and family away.

Also, if you have ever thought about making the Tim Tam Cake  – this icing as the middle filling would be divine. (I shall be making this soon so keep an eye out)

Or, put this on cupcakes. Have a go at the famous Magnolia Bakery Swirl. (YouTube it!)! I tried it, harder than it looks 😛

My top tips- This icing sets quite firm in the fridge because of the real chocolate and butter so bring your cake  to room temp before serving (ie, take it out of the fridge and gaze longingly at it for an hour before caving and cutting off a giant slab and devouring it)

Purely for testing purposes, I did eat this icing straight out of the fridge. At least ten times. You know when you eat the cream from a frozen cheesecake cause you can’t wait for it to defrost? No..just me? Anyway, the cream is icy cold and firm but super velvety..yes. That’s what this icing is like when it’s cold. And when at room temp, well it’s like Mr Whippy soft serve ice cream. 😍

Thermomix: I have just upgraded to the new TM5 Thermomix. 😍 I am very excited! However, I have sold my old one and have a wait of about 6 weeks for my new one, so I will be relying on friends to test my converted recipes – I will get the thermomix version up as soon as possible!

Without further ado, here is my traditional method recipe for my Mr Whippy Chocolate Frosting.

Mr. Whippy Chocolate Frosting by Serena

  • Servings: enough icing for 24 cupcakes or 2x 20cm cakes
  • Time: 30mins
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 375g butter
  • 255g melted and cooled chocolate (I use Plaistowe)
  • 20g milk
  • 1tsp vanilla
  • 320g icing sugar

Method:

Note* Do not short cut the beating times, this is what gives this buttercream icing it’s airy cream like consistency. You cannot over eat butter and icing sugar! (typo alert, that is meant to say over “beat” but its kinda funny so I’m leaving it! :P)

To melt the chocolate, place in a double boiler over simmering water on low heat for about 5-10 minutes.

Stir occasionally until completely smooth and no pieces of chocolate remain.

Remove from the heat and let cool for 5-15 minutes.

No heat should remain.

In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat the butter until creamy, about 3 minutes.

Add the milk carefully and beat until smooth.

Add the melted chocolate and beat well, about 2 minutes.

Add the vanilla and beat for 3 minutes.

Gradually add the sugar , 1/4 c at a time, and beat on low speed until a desired consistency is reached.

Recipe testing…

Vanilla cake!!

A real basic but get I asked for it often.

People want something super moist but also firm enough to hold when cutting into shapes for birthday novelty cakes.

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I’m pretty happy with how this turned out. It still needs to be tested further though, as its an amalgamation of a few of my recipes. I will also need some recipe testing volunteers – please leave a comment if you are interested in testing recipes for me.

P.S If you like the look of my blog and plan on doing some of my recipe – Get shortening! It features in lots of my recipes. (see where to get it here)

Chocolate Ganache Everything You Need To Know About It (Traditional)

ganache

How To Make Chocolate Ganache

What You Need:

Ingredients
Dark chocolate – I use Plaistowe Dark Block (the 70% cocoa one is quite bitter so normal dark one for me!)
Heavy cream – I use whatever I can get, usually just a thickened cream

Chocolate Ganache Proportions

These proportions are based on weight. For example, a 1:1 ratio means 100g chocolate to 100g cream.

  • Layer cake filling and thick glaze: 1:1, equal parts chocolate and cream.
  • Chocolate truffles: 2:1, two parts chocolate to one part cream.
  • Soft icing and pourable glaze: 1:2, one part chocolate to two parts cream.

Equipment
Kitchen scale
Heavy bottomed sauce pan
Spatula or wooden spoon

Instructions

  1. Weigh the chocolate: Weigh out the amount of chocolate called for in your recipe. If you aren’t following a recipe, start with a small amount and make more as needed.
  2. Measure the cream: Based on the ratio chart above and how you’re intending to use the ganache, weigh the amount of cream needed for the ganache in a separate bowl.
  3. Heat the cream: Pour the cream into a small saucepan and place it over medium-low heat for a few minutes. Keep an eye on the cream — it’s not necessary to boil or simmer it. It just needs to get hot. The cream is ready when you can place a finger in the cream and keep it there for 3 to 4 seconds. Turn off the flame and remove the cream from the stove.
  4. Chop the chocolate: While the cream is heating, chop the chocolate into fine pieces.
  5. Add the chocolate: Scoop the chocolate into the cream. Stir gently to distribute the chocolate through the cream and then let it sit for a few minutes to give the chocolate time to soften and melt.
  6. Stir the mixture: With a spatula or wooden spoon, stir the ganache. At first it might look spotty and broken but keep stirring until it comes together in a creamy mass.
  7. Cool the ganache: Cool the ganache as specified in your recipe, or as described here:
  • If you plan on pouring the ganache over a cake, pie, or pastry, it will need to be loose enough to flow but thickened enough to stay on the pastry.
  • To whip the ganache for frosting or for layer cake filling, cool the ganache until it is thick, but still soft, and then beat in a stand mixer or with a hand held mixer, until the ganache is fluffy and has lightened in color, about 1 or 2 minutes.
  • To use the ganache make truffles, you may need to set the pan in the refrigerator so the ganache cools. Remove the pan every 5 minutes or so and stir so that the ganache cools evenly. As the chocolate begins to stiffen, stir it more frequently — it will go from soft to very hard quite suddenly. (If this happens, soften the ganache over gently simmering water, stirring until you’ve reached the right consistency again.)
  • The easiest way to work with ratios is to measure both the cream and the chocolate by weight.

ganache cupcakes