Raspberry Jam Drops

IMG_0731I have an obsessive personality, and lately I have been micromanaging my apartment into the perfect blend of ‘accidental’ chic and purposeful perfection.

As a break from all of that, I decided to hop into the kitchen to make some jam drops.

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First step is to gather up all the ingredients. Story about the butter – Simon Johnson left Echire butter that was 2 days before the expiry date on their shelves and we bought some unknowingly. As an apology they gave us a block of Lescure for free because there wasn’t any Echire left. Not complaining!

Vanilla from Heilala – supposedly award winning and whatnot. I haven’t tried out enough pastes to make a proper comment but seems good so far.

Also, in line with the chia craze, I got a bottle of raspberry jam with chia from Henry Jones & Co. Yes – I’m always searching for the new and novel. That makes this recipe vaguely healthy, no?

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Raspberry Jam Drops

Ingredients (makes 15)

60g butter
40g icing sugar
80g self-raising flour
1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste
Raspberry jam

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 160 Celcius (fan-forced).
  2. Cream butter and sugar together.
  3. Add egg yolk, flour and vanilla paste and combine.
  4. Roll into small balls and press a circle into the center.
  5. Spoon raspberry jam into the centers.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden.

 

Photography

photo

Lens: 60mm 2.8f
Processing: Lightroom 4
Props: Brown cardboard, wooden basket, baking paper and jam jar on a white stool

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Halloween Gingerbread Tree


A while ago, I made some sugar diamonds for fun. I told my assistant that I didn’t know what to do with them and she suggested using them as leaves. And that was how this gingerbread tree came to being.

I decided to let a spider live in the tree, and his name is Alexander. Because I couldn’t think of any other names that rhymed with spider.

Halloween Gingerbread Tree

Gingerbread Tree

Ingredients and Equipment (for one tree)

Gingerbread Tree Template (click link to acquire)
70g butter
50g brown sugar
2 tablespoons golden syrup
150g plain flour
1 tablespoon ground ginger

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 160°C (fan-forced).
  2. Cut tree template out and set aside.
  3. In a saucepan, melt butter, brown sugar and golden syrup together until it becomes a thick sauce. Add flour and ginger and mix until it forms a dough.
  4. Roll dough out immediately in between two non-stick baking sheets and place template on top of dough.
  5. Using a sharp knife, cut the outline of the tree and remove all the surplus dough. Do not transfer tree cutout. The tree should be baked on the very same sheet it was cut on to reduce any distortion. Repeat with second tree template.
  6. Place baking sheet on a baking tray and bake for 15-20 minutes or until firm and slightly brown. Leave to cool before removing from tray.

Royal Icing

Ingredients

1 egg white (not all will be used)
100g icing sugar
Food colouring of choice

Method

  1. Add food colouring to icing sugar and using a teaspoon, gradually add a little egg white at a time while mixing until the desired consistency is achieved.

Ombre Sugar Diamonds

I will be doing a separate post on this later this week so stay tuned for that!

Chocolate Decorations

Gingerbread Tree Close Up

Equipment and Ingredients

25g dark chocolate, melted
5g white chocolate, melted
Black food colouring
Cocktail stick
Waxed paper

Method

  1. Pipe chocolate on waxed paper into the shape of a spider’s web. I did it free-hand but if you would prefer to have a template one is easily available by doing a Google Image Search.
  2. For the spider, pipe a round circle and then draw out 8 legs out from the body. Leave to set. Then, use white chocolate to pipe the eyes of the spider. Dip the tip of a cocktail stick into some black colouring and dot the eyes on.

Assembly

The video at the top of the page outlines the assembly of the tree. If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment and I’ll get back to you!

Photography

Gingerbread Tree 5

I didn’t do anything special for the photography this time – just cardboard as the background and light coming from the right hand side of the image.

Settings

ISO:100
f: 2.8
Lens: 60mm 2.8f
Camera: Canon 7D
Exposure: 1/50 seconds
Temperature: 6000K

This was my very first Halloween project. In Australia, it isn’t a very big thing so nobody really goes all out but I have to say that I enjoyed it and might try to squeeze another one in before October ends. Maybe. Can’t believe it’s almost the end of the year!

Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Cookies

As many of you know by now, my favourite past time is Pinterest-ing. I stumbled upon this blog and immediately knew I had to make my version of it. There’s something about the chocolate and chopped nuts combination that just spoke to me.ImageI followed the recipe to the T – the only thing I didn’t do was the stencil details because I didn’t have any appropriate ones. Instead, I piped a motif with some melted chocolate. 

I found that the dough was a little crumbly but it could have been my fault – may have accidentally added too much flour. No drama though – I added a little water to the dough and rolled it out and everything was peachy.

It was lots of fun and delicious. 

Personalised Gingerbread Hearts

I decided to do more piping on more gingerbread hearts and here’s the results!Image

Gingerbread recipe from here. I omitted the bicarbonate soda to reduce the spreading for a very clean shape.

The piping was done with a Wilton size 2 round tip.

Gingerbread Hearts

I found this mug a few days ago and decided to make something to pair with it. After much thought, decided to give gingerbread hearts with a notch cut out a whirl.Image

Gingerbread recipe from here. To make the hearts, I cut it with a heart cookie cutter and then used a knife to cut a notch off the side – you may need to experiment a little to get the right size, but I’d say about 0.7cm would be about right. Too wide and it will flop around and too narrrow the biscuit won’t slide down completely (as illustrated in this photo).

 

Thin and Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies

I have tried many recipes for chocolate chip cookies in my day and I always fail to find a nice crispy recipe. After many failed attempts, I found just the right recipe here.Choc ChipI had tons of fun photographing it. Yes, that is a old wooden cheese box that I had lying around, waiting for its turn to be helpful.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

I love chocolate chip cookies and decided to make a batch for fun on a sunny Sunday afternoon. Do you like my wood whale? A friend brought her home for me all the way from San Francisco. I’ve decided to name her Wendy the Whale.

Chocolate chip cookie recipe from here. I didn’t think they were that great although they were very easy to make. Maybe I didn’t make them right.