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.
Chocolate Cupcakes with purple buttercream frosting.
Beat for at least 5 minutes:
- 300g sugar (1.5 cups)
- 4 eggs
- half tsp vanilla
- 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 🙂