Chocolate Turkey Profiteroles

Turkey Profiterole Square Watermark

About a year ago, I made some peacock profiteroles and there were many readers who suggested that I made a turkey version for Thanksgiving. Well – here they are. Turkey profiteroles!

Turkey Profiterole Tutorial

Ingredients

80ml water
40g butter
30g flour
20g cocoa powder
2 eggs
50g dark chocolate, melted
50g white chocolate, melted
Red and orange gel food colouring (do not substitute with liquid)
Nutella, for filling
Template (create your own or feel free to modify my peacock template one to suit)

Method

1. Preheat oven to 200 Celcius.

2. Place water and butter in a pot and bring to a simmer. Add flour and cocoa powder and cook while stirring until it forms a ball. Add the eggs one at a time and beat vigorously and mix until mixture is glossy and comes together.

3. Place dough in piping bag and pipe out small round circles onto baking paper. Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until dry. Leave to cool.

4. Fill profiteroles with Nutella using a piping bag.

5. Colour the white chocolate red and orange using gel food colouring.

6.Pipe melted chocolate onto wax paper following the prepared template. Sequence is displayed in the diagrams on the left. You can watch my chocolate bat tutorial for more information regarding piping chocolate and releasing the pieces from the paper.

7. Assemble by cutting small slits into the profiterole and gently easing the chocolate pieces into the slots.

That’s pretty much it! It’s actually not that difficult, just a little fiddly though due to the delicate nature of the chocolate pieces. Below is my sketch for the project. In regards to the styling – I didn’t do much. It isn’t autumn in Australia at the moment so autumn props such as acorns and pine cones etc are not available at the moment unfortunately.

photo

Turkey Profiterole Landscape

That’s it for me this time – let me know what you think!

Chocolate Hedgehog Hedgehogs

Hedgehog Portrait 2

In Australia, a hedgehog can mean the animal or the treat. Today, I decided to combine the two of them and make hedgehog hedgehogs!

Hedgehog Landscape

Hedgehog Hedgehogs

Ingredients
250g plain biscuits, coarsely crushed
1/2 cup dessicated coconut
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
100g dark chocolate
100g butter
1 tsbp golden syrup
1 egg

100g chocolate (for dipping)
100g chocolate chips (for decoration)
Black piping gel
Nuts

Method

  1. Combine all the ingredients of the first list together.
  2. Mold into egg shaped pieces and leave in refrigerator to set for an hour or two or until firm.
  3. Dip pieces into dark chocolate and decorate with chocolate chips, black piping gel and nuts.

Hedgehog Portrait
Below is my rough sketch – originally i was going to do a huge one made out of Hershey’s Kisses as well but decided against it due to the sheer amount of chocolate I would have to consume. Might be cool for one of you guys to make it instead though!

photo

Halloween Chocolate Bats

I thought I’d do something simple and fun this Halloween. Say hello to my chocolate bats! Halloween Cake 2 The process is fairly straightforward – pretty much the same method as the chocolate butterflies that I have made in the past with a different template and some flower wire. Also, the eyes of the bats are drawn in with toothpicks dipped in edible gold dust and vodka. If you’re desperate for a template – any template – to get started now, below is a scanned sheet of my roughly sketched bats and tree stump. I will eventually attempt to make a proper template but for now this will just have to do, internet people! Chocolate Bat Template I also tried out a new chocolate cake recipe which was amazing. The cake turned out extremely moist and dense with no grief in regards to technique or complex ingredients. Recipe from here. Halloween Cake 3 In terms of photography, I set up a black board on the dining table as below and took the photograph with a 60mm f2.8 lens. photo I hope you guys enjoyed this little project – I had fun making it. It’s been a while since I did anything fancy.

Flourless Chocolate Cake

IMG_0863Hello everyone! It has been a long time. Forgive me if my projects are less dramatic over the next coming months – I’m trying to make things that are less time consuming from now on.

My current challenge is to clear out my pantry that’s bursting with ingredients that I have acquired over the years and the first item to go was almond meal.

I had a massive stockpile of almond meal because I went through a macaron phase at one point (from now on I’ll just buy them, thank you very much!)

Anyway, we had friends over for dinner a couple of weeks back and I decided to go for a flourless chocolate cake – recipe from here. The only difference is that I substituted the hazelnut meal with almond meal.

IMG_0857This cake keeps really moist and has an amazing texture. Definitely worth trying out the recipe.

Christmas Pretzel Wreaths

I have this bright idea of decorating my Christmas tree with edible objects every year. I decided on pretzel wreaths this year – simple, effective and long-lasting.

Pretzel Wreaths

This isn’t a particularly original idea – I saw this on Pinterest a while ago but wanted to make my own and put my own spin on them. I used up my extra leaves and flowers from a different project and did some of the others with a variety of sprinkles.

Pretzel Wreaths

Ingredients and Materials

Chocolate, melted (read how I melt chocolate the easy way)
Mini pretzels
Waxed paper
Sprinkles or desired decorations
Ribbon

Method

Watch the YouTube video I made below:

And here they are on my Christmas tree! I thoroughly enjoyed the process and I hope you did as well!IMG_0550

Chocolate Butterfly Tutorial

Guess what? I finally bought myself a camera after years of sponging off my housemate!

To celebrate the fact that it can record HD videos, I decided to make a chocolate butterfly tutorial. I have actually made a template for it in a previous post (Butterfly Chocolate Tart) but I figured this time I’d actually do a tutorial on it as well! You can probably tell I am quite the amateur (half the video was out of focus… oops!) but hopefully they get better as I go along.

The chocolate cakes were tasty – soft on the inside with a slightly crunchy texture on the outside. The addition ganache made everything taste even better – it always does!

Recipe as follows:

Mini Butterfly Chocolate Cakes

Chocolate Sponge Cake

Ingredients (makes 6 small cakes)

1 egg
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup self raising flour
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1/4 cup butter, melted
Cooking spray

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 160°C (fan-forced).
  2. Grease baking tin with cooking spray.
  3. Whisk egg and sugar together until light in colour and thickened in texture (3-5 minutes).
  4. Fold in flour and cocoa powder.
  5. Pour in butter and fold until incorporated.
  6. Place mixture into a piping bag and pipe into cupcake pan or mini bundt tins.
  7. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until cakes spring back when pressed.

Chocolate Ganache

Ingredients

30g dark chocolate
50ml cream

Method

  1. Place chocolate and cream in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 20 seconds.
  2. Remove from microwave and stir. Repeat step 1 until mixture is smooth and shiny.

Chocolate Butterfly

For this project, you will need a Butterfly Template (click on link to acquire).

Tips on how to melt chocolate easily also available if required.

Video tutorial link at the top of this page.

Assembly

  1. Pour ganache over chocolate cakes.
  2. Place completed butterfly on cake.Chocolate Butterfly Tutorial

Photography

Chocolate Butterfly Photo Set UpAbove is my photography set up for this project. It was a frantic race against the sunset and I have to say the good news about that is that I’m forced to take a photograph – any photograph – instead of wasting half an hour rearranging various things. The background is a very well worn baking sheet, which you will all be familiar with by now. The light is coming in from the right hand side of the photograph.

Settings

Lens: 60mm 2.8f
ISO: 100
f: 2.8
Photo editing: Lightroom 4

I’m actually getting very sick of my props but I just have not had the time to go and acquire more!

Am hoping to make more video tutorials from now on so if you are interested in that sort of a thing, subscribe to my YouTube channel. I’m pretty excited about it all.

How To: Make Crunchy Tooth-Friendly Biscotti

Thin Biscotti

So you made a batch of biscotti, attempted to bite into them and failed because they were rock hard.

Instead, you succeeded in breaking a tooth in the process and now you need to schedule an appointment with me. Or your local dentist. Yes – I am a dentist in real life. Of all the things in the world!

In case you’re shaking your head at the high sugar content of my blog posts in direct juxtaposition to my real life profession, it’s all good - looking at sugary food never hurt anyone. ;)

Anyway, I thought I’d share my favourite biscotti recipe that is crunchy but not tooth cracking-ly so. It is still nice and crispy but breaks up easily for effortless chewing. Also, it uses whole eggs, which means I am not left with a stray egg yolk wandering around aimlessly in the fridge for a week.

DISCLAIMER: If you do break a tooth eating these I am not liable – you probably needed a new filling anyway if that happened!

Double Chocolate Walnut Biscotti

Thick Biscotti

Biscotti Recipe

Ingredients

1/3 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 egg
1 cup self raising flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1/3 cup chocolate chips

Screen shot 2013-09-16 at 9.56.22 PM

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 160° Celcius (fan-forced).
  2. Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  3. Add egg and beat until well combined.
  4. Stir in all other ingredients thoroughly, forming a stiff dough.
  5. Form dough into a log roughly 12 inches long and 2 inches wide and place on baking tray covered with a sheet of baking paper.
  6. Bake for 35 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and leave to cool for 15 minutes. Wrap log in cling wrap and leave in freezer for a few hours, preferably overnight.
  8. Take frozen log out of freezer and slice with a serrated knife diagonally into preferred thickness.
  9. Arrange biscotti slices flat on baking trays and bake at the same oven settings for about 10-15 minutes, or until biscotti is crisp.

Note: This recipe makes a biscotti dough that does crumble a little more easily than other recipes – which may seem like a bit of a pain. However, it is well worth the effort for the texture and flavour of the end result!

Tips for Perfect Biscotti

Cream Butter And Sugar Really Well

This is essential because it is a major contributor to the non rock-hard texture I was talking about. To be honest with you, it was a good couple of months into baking before I truly understood what creaming entailed. I will be dedicating an entire post to this at some stage in the future but for today’s exercise, make sure the mixture has:

  • lightened in colour – it will no longer be yellowish, but rather a light shade of well… cream.
  • increased in volume

If it hasn’t done the above two things – keep on creaming. It’s still not there yet!

Ensure Space Between Logs Is Adequate

So you doubled up the recipe and decided you want to have two logs on the same baking tray because life is too short to prepare a second one. If you have a large tray that’s all fine and dandy. Otherwise, unless you want a large puddle of dough in the middle of the pan, it will be wise to keep them on separate trays. This may have come from personal experience. This rule applies to all cookies that have the potential to spread.

Freeze Logs Of Dough Prior to Slicing

Does it make your job harder because the dough is frozen? Yes, and no. Yes because it is firmer and therefore requires more force, but no because it doesn’t smoosh on itself and the nuts don’t fall out of the dough! Plus, you’ll get beautiful clean slices at the end of the exercise. And stronger and more muscle tone in your arms. So I tell myself. Interested in clean slices in other baked goods? Read How To: Cut Brownies.

Also, if you’re lazy just make your biscotti nice and thick and call them rustic, rather than thin delicate slivers.

Photography

Biscotti Photo Setup

Set up for both of the photographs were on a neutral sheet of paper (as you can see, I have an entire roll of it!) on my trusty piano stool. Shot in natural daylight. The aperture was set at 4.5 for the thin biscotti and 2.8 for the thick ones and shot with a 60mm macro lens.

 

And that’s it! What is your preference – thick or thin biscotti? Let me know in the comments. I ate the entire batch in 4 days and have concluded I prefer the thick ones better but the thinner ones are prettier and more dainty.