Sunday, 9 February 2014

Valentine Bling Chocolate Brownies

I recently showed you these sophisticated black lace chocolate brownies that I made, today we have some more glamorous brownies, with a little more bling. Maybe quite a lot more bling? I am loving the look of these! I think they would look great as a cupcake too. 

These brownies are baked in a lovely little heart shaped pan using my favourite traditional brownie recipe from the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook. You can also find the recipe here. The decoration uses a quilted effect on the palest peachy pink fondant which is then bling-ed up with gold pearls and gold painted hearts.

Baking the Brownies

These brownies start off with this lovely little tin from Wilton, when using it, I find it best to fill it a little over half full, so that the brownies rise above the tin and then you can trim them neatly down to size.

One tray of lovely fudge baked chocolate-y-ness, you can see how they have risen up and over topped their tins.

Its best to let these cool, till properly cold in their tins, as if you try and pop them out before, they are likely to break into little pieces. When completely cool and popped out, you can trim off the excess to these dinky little hearts. The lovely thing about this tin, is the domed shape it gives to the top of the brownie.

The Decoration

I used this lovely heart mould from sunflower sugar art to make the moulds and picked my three favourites to use on these brownies. They look lovely as they are, but even lovelier when painted to bring out the details.

I made the gold paint for these my mixing gold lustre dust with a little clear alcohol. What a difference a little lustre makes?

I achieve the quilted effect using this simple but effective quilting embosser from patchwork cutters.

This gives such a beautiful quilted effect, so sumptuous.

Then simply lift the fondant over one of those dinky little brownies, trim off the excess and add some gold pearls and one of the little decorated hearts.

 That's all for today
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Saturday, 1 February 2014

Jewelled Flower Cupcakes

I see lots of beautiful sets of cupcakes, usually made by English ladies, made of complimentary flowers and colours, each slightly different to the other, usually referred to as "vintage", I love these and want to make a set one day. BUT ... Firstly, I struggle to find time to make 20 or 30 of each of the different flowers and pearls and leaves and other beautiful things that are required and secondly, there is always one design that I like more than the others and that is the only one that I want to make, which I suppose is why mostly, my sets of cupcakes or cookies are all the same.

So, here I am, with only a couple of evenings to spare, needing to make some cupcakes to be sold for charity at a craft fair and wanting to make something more than a buttercream swirl with some sprinkles. Everybody loves sprinkles and I love sprinkles, I just wanted to make something a little more me. One of my aims is to learn to make more sugar flowers and I haven't done as many as I would have liked, so seized this opportunity to make some for the cupcakes.

I suppose this flower is a fantasy flower. It is reminiscent, to me, of a peony, although it is made with a hollyhock cutter. The one I used is from a Sunflower Sugarart set. I love the crinkly outline of the petals.

The Cupcakes were made with this recipe from the Hummingbird Bakery Recipe book and my own chocolate butter cream recipe. The chocolate butter cream swirls are piped with a Wilton 1M nozzle.

Making the flowers

You will need
1. Flower cutter and silicone veiner. I used one from Sunflower Sugarart
2. Sugar florist paste in whatever colour you want to use for the petals.
3. Sugar florist paste in whatever colour you want to use for the centres.
4. A ball tool
5. A Dresden tool
6. Round flower formers. I used ones from Wilton, or you can scrunch tin foil into shape
7. A mould for the centre of the flower. The one I used is the Karen Davies Vintage Brooch Mould
8. Lustre dusts and edible glitter. See below for the details of the ones I used.
9. A little vegetable fat (trex/crisco), cornflour / cornstarch and a little edible glue.

Start by rolling out the sugar florist paste as thin as you can and cut out a flower shape. Use the ball tool to stretch the petals and thin the edges a little.

Press the cut out and thinned flower between the two parts of the silicone mould and press together to add the veining. You will notice that the two parts of the mould have  little notch so that you can line them up properly.

I wanted my veining to be a little more prominent, so I used a Dresden tool to make some of the markings deeper. This flower doesn't really look that special yet, it is amazing how it is transformed with a little lustre, a centre and a shape.

I popped the veined flowers into some curved flower formers to take shape whilst I made some centres for the flowers. I  knew that I wanted a stylised centre for my flower, first of all I tried this moulded button, below. It is cute, but, not quite what I was looking for.

Next, I tried the little jewelled centre, below. This was just the look I wanted, so I set about transforming it with a little petal dust, lustre dust and edible glitter.

The mould that I used for the centres, is this Vintage Brooch Mould by Karen Davies.

Moulds are so easy to use, take a small ball of sugar florist paste and work it till soft, roll it into a little ball and press it into the mould that you want to use. Smooth around the edges and remove any excess, then pop out the moulded paste

To paint the centres, I used:-

1. Sugarflair pearl ivory lustre dust all over
2. Edible Art edible glitter in baby blue in the centre
3. Sugarflair  autumn leaf petal dust to add colour around the outside
4. Squires Kitchen gold sparkles on top of the autumn leaf colour

After sticking the jewelled centre in the centre of the flower with a little water, I brushed a little more of the gold sparkles lustre dust on the centre of the petals

Then, back in the flower former to finish drying

That's all for today
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