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Foodporn Friday: Macarons and babyshower cake

This Friday I took a day off work to bake in honour of a good friend who is expecting a baby in a few weeks. It was bliss! Amazing how therapeutic it was to have a day all to myself, in complete peace and quiet and doing what I like best.

We threw a babyshower for Mika on Saturday and I tried to stick to purple because she’s not that into pink (I couldnt resist making pink macarons though!). First I tackled a 6 layer Ombre cake in shades of pink and purple, with clouds of white frosting. Earlier in the week I’d made a little fondant baby with a blanket and bear to go on top of the cake and some stars to go around the bottom. Then I made up two batches of lemon brownies which are still a firm favourite at home.

I added some chocolate cupcakes with purple buttercream frosting and then lo and behold still had time to spare so I thought I’d tackle some macarons again. My previous attempts have been somewhat hit and miss so I was armed with two recipes but the first one I tried worked a charm and I was thrilled because it was the most straightforward, no-nonsense recipe I’ve found for macarons to date. If I could track Brave Tart down I think I would marry her. In the meantime though, here are her 10 Macaron Myths and 10 Macaron Commandments.

Brave Tart’s Macaron Recipe. I coloured these with a little pink gel colouring and then made a white chocolate ganache that I coloured a brighter shade of pink.

Lemon brownie recipe.

Chocolate Cupcakes with purple buttercream frosting.

Beat for at least 5 minutes:

  • 300g sugar (1.5 cups)
  • 4 eggs
  • half tsp vanilla

Mix well:

  • 30g cocoa (3 heaped dessert spoons)
  • 3/4 cup boiling water

Add the following to egg & sugar mixture and beat well:

  • 1 and 1/4 cup flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Then add hot cocoa and beat well. I baked these for around 18 minutes at 180 degrees celsius. Keep an eye on them!

American Buttercream Frosting.

225gr butter (salted, or unsalted)
1/4 teaspoon salt (if using unsalted butter)
4 cups icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (best quality available)
2-3 tablespoons cream or milk.

Beat the butter ’till smooth. Add 2 cups of the icing sugar and continue beating. Add the vanilla and a small amount of cream/milk before adding the remaining icing sugar. Colour & flavour as needed. I used violet gel colouring to get a nice lavender colour.

For the Ombre cake I used Martha Stewart’s Rainbow Cake recipe but coloured each batter a different shade of purple.

I wanted the frosting to be fluffy and white so instead of butter I used Sno-Creme, a soya substitute that ends up white when icing sugar is added. I used 1 cup of Sno-Creme, and added icing sugar and milk until it was the right consistency. Then I added rosewater for flavouring.

Aren’t my chocolate covered children adorable? They werent there to sneak off with bowls of ganache like they usually do so this pic is from a few weeks ago 🙂


Foodporn Friday: Lemon Brownies

I’ve needed a break from chocolate (who’da thought it possible?) and found a recipe for lemon brownies on Pinterest that looked pretty good.

I’ll just link you straight to the recipe on Rita May’s blog because its absolutely perfect just as it is. I’ll be making this one regularly – its fast, easy and oh so good. Enjoy!

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