Wednesday, 27 February 2013

New Year's Celebrations 2012-2013: Red Velvet Cake

For New Year's Eve I had the perfect excuse to do some baking and make use of the new recipe books I got for Christmas. I decided on a red velvet cake, but had a few recipes to choose from. I finally settled on the recipe from the Cake Boss recipe book. I also decided to try pipe a message on the top with royal icing. I've tried this a few times before with awful results and this time things turned out much better! It seems the real trick is all about the consistency of the icing: too runny and you end up with a puddle, to thick and it's a nightmare to pipe. The best consistency comes through trial and error.

I use the royal icing recipe from Cake Journal, you can find it here.

The recipe for the red velvet cake and the cream cheese icing came from Buddy Valastro's Baking with the Cake Boss. I was hesitant to use the recipe as it didn't mix the vinegar and bicarbonate of soda before adding to the recipe, as most red velvet recipes do. It was delicious though and an easy cake to make. I adapted slightly because of conversions to grams and certain ingredients not being readily available in South Africa.

Monday, 18 February 2013

New Years Celebrations 2012-2013: New York Cheesecake

This post (and the upcoming one) is a bit overdue, but I loved my New Year's Eve bakes, so I am including them anyway.

For Christmas of 2012, I got given the Cake Boss recipe book and New Year's Eve presented the perfect opportunity for me to try it out! We live in Johannesburg, which is pretty quiet around Christmas and New Years: all Jo'burgers migrate to the coast for fun, sun and sea. So New Year's celebrations being in short supply, we invited some friends over for a braai (or barbeque) to bring in the new year.

This not only gave me an opportunity to make something for dessert, but also to bake a cake! So this entry will be about the dessert I made and I'll write another about my celebration cake.

In the weeks leading up to New Year's Eve I had had a crazy craving for some cheesecake. Conveniently, I also had a few recipes lines up! I decided on a New York baked cheesecake by Michel Roux: the father of beautiful desserts. It's very rich, but delicious.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Pink Macarons

One of my closest friends at work welcomed her beautiful baby girl into the world last year. We had a baby shower for her at the office for which we all brought eats and given my slight penchant for sugar, I volunteered myself for sweet treats.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

A Victoria Sponge

I've been wanting to make a Victoria sponge cake for a while now. They just look so light and elegant and delicious. The Victoria sponge is traditionally served with a filling of fresh cream and raspberry jam, but I opted for fresh berries instead. We're very fortunate in South Africa to have the most amazing fruit, so I love using it whenever possible.
The Final Product

Decadent Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies

Although these may not have been the prettiest treats I've ever produced, they were absolutely delicious! So chewy and the peanut butter and chocolate just work together perfectly.