Sunday, 25 November 2012

Blue Bow and Bird Glamorous Brownie



One of the things that I quickly discovered during my time is Sugarland, is that somethings that look easy are really, really hard (piping royal icing and the dreaded Gilding would come to mind here) and some things that look hard are actually easy to do.

I am happy to say that the ruffle technique used for these brownies is much, much easier than it looks and you hardly need any equipment to do it. Given the season, these would make wonderful little gift Christmas cakes if you cut them out of a sheet of fruit cake rather than chocolate brownies.



To make these, you need to start by baking a batch of brownies in a square or rectangular pan. This is the recipe that I use from the Hummingbird Bakery cookbook. I love this recipe, as all you have to do is melt the butter and the chocolate together and then stir in all the other ingredients.

To Decorate and Assemble

Equipment

You need a whole stack of equipment to make these little brownies (not) all you need is:

A round cutter a bit like this (Use this to cut out your brownies too)

A bird mould ( I used Wilton's nature mould)
A meter or two of blue ribbon
Cocktails sticks

You will also need

White modelling chocolate, cocoform or fondant
A little edible glue (optional)
Ivory lustre (Sugarflair)



The Ruffles

I found out how to make the ruffles from this tutorial from the lovely Jessica Harris. She can explain it to you much better than I can so pop over and take a look. Looking back at her tutorial now, I realise that I should have rolled my modelling chocolate a little thinner (will do that next time). I also managed to get away without  the resting firming up stage.

The Birds

The bird is made the same way as the one I made for these Pink Peppermint Cupcakes. Once moulded gently twist and wriggle a cocktail stick into the bottom of the mould before leaving to dry. 


The bows

You know how I was saying that some things are easier than they look and others much harder, well, tying a teeny tiny bow is much harder than it looks. It is a good idea to carefully remove your moulded bird from the cocktail stick if you can, then, you need to start with a fairly long length of ribbon to tie your bow. Start by tying a single or double knot on your cocktail stick and then tie your bow, neaten it up and trim the ends off.

If you turn your cocktail stick around, you will probably find the back of the bow looks neater than the front. Place your bird back on to the cocktail stick, dipping the end of the cocktail stick in a little edible glue first if you want. If you don't use edible glue, you will find that gravity will mostly keep the little bird in place anyway.


Assembly

I decided to stack two brownies on top of each other for this design for a bit of extra height. I sandwiched them together with a cut out fluted circle between the layers, for a bit of stability and interest. Once stacked fold attach and arrange your ruffles and then carefully push the toothpick into the centre.

Always remember to let anyone you give these to know that there is a toothpick underneath the bird that they should remove before eating the brownie, because you know, you can never be too careful about these things.




That's all for today
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