Sunday, 28 October 2012

Autumn Apple Cinnamon Crumb Muffins


Fresh out of the oven
Here is a fast and easy one AND they taste great.

Apple walnut muffins topped with cinnamon crumble.

There are 3 parts to the recipe.

Recipe:

1. Apple Caramel:
60 grams sugar
40 grams butter
200 grams cubed apples

1. Heat the sugar in a pan until it turns golden brown. Don't wait too long to take off the heat since it changes color very fast.
2. Take off the heat and add the butter. Be careful when adding the butter since the sugar  is VERY hot.  Add apples after the butter melts.
3. Put in a bowl and let cool.


Butter melting in the caramel

2. Apple Crumble:
30 grams butter (room temperature)
30 grams brown sugar
60 grams flour (sifted)
2 teaspoons cinnamon

1. Add the brown sugar to the butter & mix. Add the flour and cinnamon. Mix well.

3. Batter
100 grams butter (room temperature)
140 grams brown sugar
2 grams salt
2 eggs
100 grams milk
240 grams flour
8 grams baking powder
50 grams chopped walnuts

1. Mix the softened butter with the brown sugar using a whisk. Add the egg in portions.
2. Sift together the salt, flour & baking powder. Add 1/2 of the flour mixture to #1 above and mix -- add 1/2 of the milk and mix. Repeat the process with flour & milk and mix well.  Add the nuts.

Putting Together:
1. Fill muffin cups about 1/3 full then add pieces of the apple caramel.  Add a little more batter and top off with the apple crumble.  Should make about 11 - 12 muffins.
2. Bake at 190 degrees Celsius for about 10 minutes then reduce the oven to 180 and bake for 20 minutes.

Muffins ready for the oven



Autumn Leaf Pies


These are a great idea for a brunch or even Thanksgiving.

It is a simple dough filled with your favorite ingredients.  I made a mixture of chicken and fall vegetables such as carrots and mushrooms to fill these.

You can make the dough a couple of days before and fill them on the day that company is coming.






Recipe

Dough:
200 grams flour
200 grams butter (cold)
1 egg
20 grams water
3 grams salt

1. Sift the flour. You can use a food processor to mix the flour and butter. Add in the egg, water & salt. Mix together well. Knead together lightly and roll into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator for at least one hour before using.

 Filling:
1 chicken breast
mushrooms (chopped)
1 carrot & 1 turnip (any root vegetable you like)
1 egg
bread crumbs
salt & pepper 

1. Cut the chicken breast & lightly fry and add the mushrooms.
2. Cut the carrot & turnip into small pieces and boil until soft.
3. Put the chicken meat into a food processor with the egg and mix. Put into a bowl with bread crumbs, carrots & turnips.
4. Roll the dough out and use a cookie cutter to cut shapes such as the leaf cutter below. You can also use a pumpkin shape or something similar depending on the season. Put a small amount of the filling into the middle of the shape and brush with egg around the outside. Place another piece of dough on top and brush egg on top. Keep the dough cool while working with it since it can soften quickly. I put the first group of cut dough in the refrigerator before matching them with the bottom piece.
5. Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for about 25 - 30 minutes until well browned.

Use a cookie cutter to make shapes
Brush top with egg before baking
Use a knife to decorate the top
Make sure each piece is well sealed around the edges

Halloween Chocolate Mousse Cake


This recipe takes about 90 minutes to put together but it is well worth it.  I made a decoration on top for Halloween but if you want to keep it simple you can skip this part.
Delicious Chocolate Mousse Cake

Decorative Topping (optional)

Halloween decoration

10 grams soft butter
10 grams powdered sugar
10 grams egg white
10 grams flour

1. Mix the butter then add the powdered 
sugar, add the egg white then add the flour. 
Add coloring.
2. Draw your design on a sheet of paper and 
place under the  your parchment paper.
3. Put each color into a separate bag for 
piping. Your lines should be thin but not too 
thin, otherwise, they will not show up well 
after baking.
4. Put this in the refrigerator for about 20 
minutes so that the mixture becomes firm

I use a shallow square baking pan (27 cm x 
27 cm - height is 2 cm) covered with parchment paper to pipe the decoration on.



Use Cookie Cutter for Quick Decoration

Whip Egg Whites then add egg yolks
Cake 
4 egg yolks
35 grams sugar
15 grams corn starch
15 grams flour
15 grams cocoa powder
35 grams melted butter
75 grams egg white
40 grams sugar

1. Mix the egg yolk & sugar (35 grams).
2. Measure the flour, corn starch and cocoa powder together.
3. Whip the egg whites and add the sugar (75 grams) in 3 - 4 portions. Add in the egg yolk mixture and mix using a spatula. 
4. Sift the flour mixture and add in. Mix with a spatula.
5. Pour the mixture over the parchment paper with the decoration. Bake at 180 degrees celcius for 15 - 20 minutes.

Pour cake over the parchment paper

Chocolate Mousse
125 grams fresh cream (36%)
2 egg yolks
25 grams sugar
3 grams gelatin
220 grams fresh cream (about 36%)
180 grams dark chocolate

1. Melt the chocolate over hot water and keep at about 40 degrees celsius. 
2. Whip the cream (220 grams) until just a little stiff.
3. Mix the sugar & egg yolks. Heat the fresh cream until just boiling then add to the bowl with the egg mixture then add back to the pan and heat on low heat until lightly thickened. Add the gelatin. Strain into another bowl and lightly cool. The chocolate and egg mixture should be the same temperature.
4. Mix the egg mixture into the chocolate in portions - use a small whisk to combine. 
5. Scoop some of the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture and use a spatula to mix together. Add the remaining cream in portions and mix.

Putting together
1. Let the cake cool and turn upside down to remove the parchment paper. Cut out the decoration and a matching bottom and put the bottom inside of a cake ring. 
2. Fill the ring with chocolate mousse the place the decorate piece on top. Put in the refrigerator for at least one hour before removing the ring.






Place one piece of cake at the bottom of the ring then add mousse almost to the top. Put on the last piece of cake & put in refrigerator.  





















Other ideas for decoration!

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Cute Halloween Pumpkins

Pumpkins made from fondant
An easy way to make these cute decorative pumpkins is to use fondant. The one I used is from Wilton.

Fondant can be a little hard so to soften it just put a piece into the microwave oven for a few seconds. Only work with a small amount at a time so that it stays soft.

Also use Wilton colors to make the shade you need. Knead in the coloring - don't be surprised that this takes a few minutes to fully incorporate the color paste.

The pumpkin stems are pieces of clove. I brushed on orange and green powdered coloring which can be found at Sugarcraft baking supplies or other such stores.

This is a great activity for kids -- just think of all of the other fruit & vegetables you can make!!

Enjoy your decorating :)