Friday, September 20, 2013

Cadbury's Mallows with Turkish

My dad is a huge fan of Turkish Delight! He's not much of a chocolate-lover but can always make room for some Turkish! I love the Cadbury's bar too, it always reminds me of Willy Wonka for some reason- how does the jelly not melt? ;) We're also fans of teacakes in our house, second to Turkish Delight Jacobs' Chocolate Kimberleys often appeared at Christmas or Father's Day.

When I saw this new product I knew I had to try it out!

Unfortunately it's not actual Turkish Delight in the teacake but a 'flavoured jam'- disappointing I'm sure you'll agree! The chocolate-flavoured biscuit was a little too chocolatey for my taste, but the marshmallow and Cadbury's chocolate coating was delicious! 

Everyone seemed to like these, but I still have a hankering for the plain Jane Milka Melo-Cakes!

Have you tried the Cadbury's Mallows with Turkish yet? Let me know in the comments box below! 

Stay sweet! x

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Scottish Haul

You may have seen my post on Biscoff or Lotus Spread a while back? In my excitement to feature the glorious spread I failed to mention all of the other goodies my family brought back from Scotland. I've been so busy with my Master's thesis I haven't had a chance to test many of these out but I'll update this when I have a proper review for you all.

In an attempt to lessen the damage to our health, they picked up Natural Red Food Colouring. In my book, anything that can make baking a little easier on the body is a good thing! Find this in Morrison's. 

I love these pastel icing pens. I've used my primary coloured Dr. Oetker ones to death, as you probably realised here and here! There's a beautiful pale pink shade that's so unusual and would be great for a princess themed event. Again, find these in Morrison's.

Sainsbury's loaf liners are a god-send! Instead of greasing a tin or fiddling with baking parchment snipping the corners so it will sink into a loaf tin, whip out one of these bad boys! Exactly like a cupcake liner they are perfect for all loaves... In particular banana bread.

"Cake Angels" sprinkles is a fab pack. Not only are there chocolate jimmies and chocolate-flavoured sprinkles the pack also contains milk chocolate and white chocolate chips. The latter of which are impossible to source in Ireland! As you probably figured when I substituted them here. These ones are from Morrison's but check out the Sainsbury's selection!

Paterson's Shortbread wasn't used for any fancy recipe... My apologies! Thesis stress meant it could only be used for one purpose- comfort food. Shortbread is one of my all-time favourite biscuits and I'm too intimidated to attempt to make it myself... Mostly because my thighs will explode if I find a great recipe! ;) This brand was delicious but not as good as my favourite airplane cookie- Campbell's Shortbread.

Have you found any great products abroad that you wish you could find at home? Let me know in the comments box below!

Stay sweet! x

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Something a Little Different....

This week I'm going to try something a little different. Aside from baking, I love finding new products or tasting delicious food locally! Prepare yourself for some hauls, like this one last Christmas... Don't worry I have some great autumnal recipes coming soon! ;)

I love Disney- movies and merchandise, but especially treats! I've never been to Disneyland (it's on my bucket list!) but I love the idea of bringing a piece of fantasy into food.

This new magazine series from EagleMoss is just the thing for sugarcraft Disney aficionados. The magazine itself is well-written, has great content that is suitable for both kids and adults and bonus points, each week you get great kitchen gear! This Mickey Mouse Cookie Cutter and Embosser would be great for presents and a little red lustre dust over these Winnie the Pooh stencils would instantly breathe magic into simple cupcakes.

The equipment seems to be great quality and the products to come with the next few issues look fab (even if some of them would be easily made at home, such as the cupcake and cake surrounds).

Personally, I think I would be inclined to purchase an issue if the freebie was reusable as although the recipes are great that could be due to clever branding such as "Bullseye's Brownies" and "Minnie's Chocolate Crunch". With so many recipes online at the moment, quality becomes paramount when it comes to cookbooks so many would probably prefer a Disney cookbook rather than a magazine series- however kids will probably go crazy for this series!

What about you? Have you purchased the magazine? What are your thoughts on the idea?

Stay sweet! x

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Creator of After Eight Mints Passes Away

It's funny how you never relate chocolate to its creator- unless it's a well marketed artisan product or bought at a farmer's market. The Lindt Choclatiers ad  definitely raised the profile of the truffles, but the floppy gild-embroidery hats definitely conjure up images of luxury.

Today I read that Brian Sollit, the man behind not only After Eight mints, but also the Yorkie bar (another favourite of mine, even though 'IT'S NOT FOR GIRLS!'), the Lion Bar and Matchsticks. His first job in the factory, at age fifteen  was piping Black Magic chocolates (which I also love!) This article is a great account of the man's life and he really seems like a man everyone would wish to know.

Another article speaks of childhood memories of After Eight mints. I know I was always a huge fan! Even to this day I tear both sides of the envelopes carefully so I won't rip the flimsy tissue paper to get a flat rectangle of dark tissue. I love folding up the wrapper to make some poor oragami too... At the risk of sounding like a fetish, I love the peppermint scent on those dark papers.Yum yum yum! I love the textured top of the mint, compared to the precise branded bottom. This treat has everything you could wish for!

For St. Patrick's Day I featured my After Eight Cupcakes, so in honour of Brian Sollit, here they are again.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Sunflower Cake

It was my mom's birthday a few weeks ago and instead of the usual buttercream icing and HAPPY BIRTHDAY scrawled with an unsteady hand I wanted to create something a little more special than my previous cakes...
This sunflower cake was the answer! 

It looks complicated but really, it was tedious moreso than difficult. I've broken it down into the different elements below so you can re-create the look yourself.
  1. Covering the cake
After crumb coating the cake (covering with a thin layer of buttercream) I allowed it to stand. I then rolled out white fondant and covered the cake.

    2. The Petals
I rolled out yellow fondant and used a large tumbler and a champagne flute to cut a large circle and a smaller one within the first. I removed the smaller circle and using an ordinary table knife cut out the petals freehand. (I'm sure there's an easier way of doing this, but it worked for me!) I did this twice so I would have loads of petals at my disposal.

The petals should be shaped like the image below [which I found on Google Images, credit to owner] so if you have a shaky hand you could use this as a template.

    3. The Stamen (Middle)
For this, I used the tumbler to cut a disc from rolled brown (chocolate flavoured!) fondant. I poked holes in it with a flower tool I had, but a toothpick/cocktail stick would work just as well. This added some texture to the stamen.

   4. The Grass
I rolled some green fondant and cut out a long rectangle. I then cut a zig-zag line down the middle of the rectangle, without cutting through the rectangle outline. I separated these and voila, two strips of grass!
Adhering these pieces was easy, I just dabbed some buttercream onto the cake. I placed all of the petals in a circle (overlapping some to add texture) and placed the stamen in the centre.

To make the cake shine I took a pastry brush and rubbed some vodka over the different elements. As always, I finished the cake by piping "HAPPY BIRTHDAY" with gold piping gel from International Home of Cooking in Brussels.

I hope you enjoyed going behind the scenes in my latest foray into the world of fondant! Apologies for the lack of photos, I was under pressure to produce this! ;) But was it tasty? What do you think?...

Fancy hosting a sunflower-themed party? This fab dessert table will definitely inspire you!

I guess this cake is really a last hurrah of summer. Today for the pulsating All-Ireland Hurling Final I made a lovely Autumn cake that I'll share with you soon... Just in time for the replay! REBELS ABU!!! (For the non-Irish check this out!)

Stay sweet! x