Friday, 25 November 2016

DIY Cookie Cutter - Recycle

I have several boxes of cutters and yet, I keep wanting needing more... There are so many fabulous designs out there, but I have two issues when buying cutters:

1- the size - a lot of companies make very big cutters. I'm making biscuits to eat, for me it's not a media to display my artistic talent (I wish... :p ). Many will be devoured by my little ones and somehow they always find the biggest biscuits in the tin! Also if I want a specific design, it needs to match the size of the cutters I've already got.

2- the price - once I've added the shipping costs to the uk, ordering one or two cutters doesn't seem worth it.

There are tutorials out there on diy cutters involving buying strips of aluminium etc but I'm concerned about the join... double sided tape or glue just don't seem "right"!
So what's a girl to do?

I have a box of metal cutters that I know I'm never going to use: too big, unknown shape (you know the ones you keep turning round and round and you still don't know what they are supposed to be...), duplicates (how many circles/eggs/hearts/stars do you need?).

I usually start with a template and measure the perimeter to find the closest match in my box. After that, all I need is a pair of pliers! The trick is to be really careful where the join is, leaving that area in a similar shape if possible.

And this is what the leaf cutters looked like before I attacked them with the pliers:

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Autumn Biscuits

After Jess and Eddie's biscuits, I had enough icing leftover so I decided to go all out and make some autumn biscuits. I wanted to try a different recipe: an american inspired pumpkin spice biscuit. I tried two with pumpkin purée (from GloriousTreats and Sweetopia) and one without (from SemiSweetDesigns). The biscuits were distributed to willing guinea pigs and they prefered the recipes with pumpkin. Surprisingly the three batches held their shape beautifully.

Après les biscuits pour le mariage de Jess et Eddie, il me restait du glaçage, parfait pour une fournée de biscuits d'automne. Je voulais essayer une recette différente inspirée des recettes américaines de citrouille et épices. J'en ai trouvé deux avec purée de citrouille (GloriousTreats et Sweetopia) et une sans (de SemiSweetDesigns). Mon équipe de testeurs a préféré les biscuits avec la citrouille. J'étais surprise de voir que les trois gardaient leur forme à la cuisson.

One thing I learnt though: old icing, NO NO... it doesn't dry well, yuk yuk!
Une chose importante: les restes de glaçage, Non et Non... ça ne sèche pas correctement, beurk beurk!

I had a good look on Google and Pinterest for some of the designs (especially the squirrel and the hedgehog). I decided to improvise on the textures to try to improve the finished look of my icing and I think the furry/spiky effect is not bad at all.
J'ai commencé par faire des recherches sur Google et Pinterest pour certains biscuits ( surtout l'écureuil et le hérisson). Comme le glaçage n'était pas top, j'ai improvisé avec les textures et je pense que l'effet poils/épines est pas mal du tout. 

 I think I need a mini apple cookie cutter now... the acorn is so cute!
Je pense qu'il me faut un mini emporte-pièce pomme... le gland était un peu dernière minute mais je l'adore!

And to finish off... the Tour de force... I managed to pipe some writing on a biscuit! ok, that's not totally true... I worked out how to transfer an image or writing on a biscuit so I can then pipe on top of that! Magic! There will be a separate post for that.
Et pour finir... mon tour de force... J'ai réussi à écrire sur un biscuit! ok, c'est pas vraiment vrai... Disons que j'ai trouvé une combine pour transférer une image/mot sur un biscuit. Après ça, j'ai juste à repasser avec le glaçage! Magique! Je vais préparer un autre billet juste pour ça.

Zebra Cake

I've been looking for a good (ok, good is not good enough...) excellent marble cake recipe and when I came accross this zebra cake, I knew I had to try it. And I made it several times in a row it was sooo good! Here is the original recipe in French but watch the video, it's really easy to make. 

Here are the ingredients:
  • 300 g self raising flour
  • 150 ml milk
  • 150 ml sunflower oil
  • 200 g caster sugar
  • vanilla extract
  • 4eggs
  • 1 tps baking powder (note: he puts 2 in the video but uses plain flour)
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp cocoa
Ca fait des années que je cherche une bonne recette de marbré et je quand je suis tombée sur la recette de Zebra Cake de Hervé, il a fallu l'essayer vite vite. Et on l'a refaite plusieurs fois tellement c'était bon! la recette avec vidéo est

Wedding Biscuits - Jess and Eddie

 I am so pleased with how these turned out! Orange and cinnamon biscuits and 4 colours of royal icing.
Je suis vraiment contente des ces biscuits! Biscuits orange cannelle et 4 couleurs de glaçage.

They took three days from start to finish but nothing difficult. I am slowly figuring out how to get organised with the icing, from colouring and putting in piping bags to then thickening and changing tips for final touches.

Il m'a fallu trois jours mais rien de difficile. Je commence à trouver mon rhythme avec le glaçage, quand colorer, mettre dans les poches à douille, ou épaissir un peu et changer les douilles pour les touches finales.

I am also enjoying the planning stage more and more. Some big, small, simple, intricate, partly covered, same cutter several designs, same design several colours... It really pays off in the end!
J'apprécie aussi le planning initial de plus en plus. Des gros, petits, simples, detaillés, même forme mais décorations différentes, même décoration mais couleurs différents... Ca vaut vraiment le coup!

Babka-style Knots pecan and salted caramel

Recipe from Bake Off: Crème de la Crème. Very impressive but actually very easy to shape.
 Recette du livre Bake Off: Crème de la Crème. Facile à façonner mais résultat bluffant!

I've never tasted a Babka or Krantz cake so I don't know if it's IT. All I know is that it's delicious... 
Je n'ai jamais goûté de Babka ou de Krantz cake donc je ne suis pas sûre que ce soit vraiment ça, mais en tout cas c'est délicieux!

I have done it twice with slightly different results in the final texture of the dough and I'm not too sure why so I'll have to make them again to double check the recipe/method. Which means eating a few more of those... terrible! ;o)

J'ai fait cette recette deux fois et la texture de la pâte était différente la 2e fois. Je ne sais pas trop pourquoi donc il va falloir les refaire pour vérifier la recette/métode. Ce qui veut dire en manger encore quelques uns... c'est dûr la vie! ;o)