Getting cookies and cupcakes all the same size

 

When making cupcakes or cookies it is often difficult to get the entire tray all the same size. I use different sized ice cream scoops to ensure that all cupcakes are even in size. This also cuts down on the mess created by using regular spoons. I have four different sizes which covers most cupcake baking cups and the smaller one is terrific for cookies.  A simple tip but worth trying if you haven’t already.

 

Carrot and Orange Cake with Cream Cheese Buttercream Icing

Carrot and Orange Cake with Cream Cheese Buttercream Icing
A moist and light carrot cake with cream cheese buttercream icing - suitable for large cakes and cupcakes. I've been making this cake for over thirty years and it has always been a family favourite. It's different from most carrot cakes in that it is light in texture. It keeps really well as it uses vegetable oil instead of butter. Recipe makes one really large cake - baking dish size, two medium cakes or about 30 muffin-sized cupcakes.
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups grated carrots(about 3-4 large carrots)
  2. 375g plain flour
  3. 240g caster sugar
  4. 180g coconut
  5. 1 Tin mandarin orange segments
  6. 3 eggs
  7. 330ml vegetable oil
  8. 2 tsp bicarb soda
  9. 2 tsp cinnamon
  10. 2 tsp vanilla
  11. Pinch salt
  12. ICING
  13. 2 x 250g blocks of Philadelphia cream cheese
  14. 150g soft unsalted butter
  15. 2 tsp vanilla - Vanilla Bean Paste is best
  16. 1kg soft icing sugar mixture
Instructions
  1. CAKE
  2. Set oven temperature to 180 C. Combine all in Food Processor(or Mixer) – mix until colour changes. Place in one large baking dish sized tin or two slice tins or one ring tin and one square tin(sprayed with cooking spray). Also makes around 24 – 30 muffin-sized cupcakes. Cook in moderate oven (180 C) until cooked - 45mins for large cakes; 25 mins for cupcakes. Stand on wire rack to cool.
  3. ICING
  4. In mixer bowl combine the cream cheese, butter and vanilla. Beat until very soft. Start adding sifted icing sugar about one cup at a time – add while mixer is on low speed and increase speed until icing sugar is mixed in – scrape down bowl as necessary. Continue until all icing sugar is mixed in. Decorate cake with buttercream – use a palette knife to smooth and add peaks. Or pipe using a large piping bag and an open star icing tip.
Bakers Twelve http://bakerstwelve.com/

Choc Chippies

 

Choc Chippies
Yields 64
A basic cookie recipe which can be adapted for different occasions. Add milk, dark or white choc chips or a combination of each. For Christmas cookies add red and green M&M's. At Easter add little candy covered Easter eggs.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 400g unsalted butter ar room temperature
  2. 200g caster sugar
  3. 360 tin sweetened condensed milk
  4. 600 plain flour
  5. Pinch of salt
  6. 1 Tbs baking powder
  7. 1 pkt white and 1 pkt milk choc chips (or M&M's etc)
Instructions
  1. Set oven to 180 C.
  2. Place all ingredients except the choc chips into a food processor. Blend until smooth. Fold in choc chips. Using a small ice cream scoop or spoon place balls of mixture onto baking sheet lined with baking paper. Leave space between cookies to allow them to spread. Using a fork and a glass of hot water press the cookies down slightly. Bake in a moderate oven for until starting to brown - about 15 - 16 mins.
Notes
  1. You can vary this recipe adding dried fruit combinations.
Bakers Twelve http://bakerstwelve.com/

A play on Venetian Biscuits

If ever I had a biscuit addiction, Venetians would be part of that –  I cannot remember a time when I did not love these classics, something about dipping them in a hot cup of coffee, the chocolate melting off in your mouth and the hint of coconut is completely addictive and why they never last beyond a day.  It stands to reason that I should learn to make my own from scratch. All natural, remarkably similar in taste and a whole lot yummier. Plus this way the supply is potentially endless. 

 

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How to Achieve Ultra Vibrant Coloured Macarons

How to achieve ultra vibrant coloured macarons.

Getting black or dark red macarons can be very difficult, they usually end up paler than desired.

To get dark, vibrant colours, I’ve found it’s best to add a heaped tablespoon of gel paste colour to the sugar syrup before cooking it, that way it doesn’t affect the consistency of the macarons as any additional liquid is cooked out.
The resulting meringue will look will look lighter at first, but it darkens up a lot when it is mixed with the almond meal and icing sugar. After the mix is piped the macarons will continue to darken while they sit forming a skin.

I use three thermometers, it’s overkill, but the sugar can heat differently on different sides of the pot on in the middle. This guarantees I get an accurate temperature. 

Find out my other tips for achieving macaron perfection and for speeding up the process and eliminating waste batches on my full macaron recipe and tutorial post: http://robertscakesandcooking.com/macarons-recipe-and-tips/

 How to make perfect macarons recipe and troubleshooting | When I started out making macarons I had several failures. Now I can get tray after tray of perfect macarons every time. I’m frugal and very time poor, I can’t afford to have a failed batch. Here is a brief list of what can go wrong and how to avoid issues | https://robertscakesandcooking.com/macarons-recipe-and-tips/ How to make perfect macarons recipe and troubleshooting | When I started out making macarons I had several failures. Now I can get tray after tray of perfect macarons every time. I’m frugal and very time poor, I can’t afford to have a failed batch. Here is a brief list of what can go wrong and how to avoid issues | https://robertscakesandcooking.com/macarons-recipe-and-tips/

 How to make perfect macarons recipe and troubleshooting | When I started out making macarons I had several failures. Now I can get tray after tray of perfect macarons every time. I’m frugal and very time poor, I can’t afford to have a failed batch. Here is a brief list of what can go wrong and how to avoid issues | https://robertscakesandcooking.com/macarons-recipe-and-tips/

 

 

 

 

Pan Release

Pan release is a really handy cooking tool to keep in your arsenal of tips and tricks to make baking easier.
I use pan release when cooking most of my cakes to help prevent the cakes from sticking to the tins. It works better than anything else I have ever used, it’s cheap, easy, and fast to make. 

Pan release

Ingredients

100g unsalted butter

100g sunflower oil

110g plain flour

Mix all ingredients together in a stand mixer on high until combined.

Paint an even layer on the inside of cake tins with a pastry brush before filling with batter and cooking. Don’t paint it on too thinly. 
Lasts a few weeks in the fridge, bring to room temp to use.

The ratio is basically even parts of solid fat, flour and oil, there is a lot of room for substitution and variation. 
 I make this on the fly when I start a bake just before mixing my cake batters.

How to Make Piping Bags

Piping bags
Fabric or plastic piping bags are great, but they take time to clean and they can be cumbersome to work with.
Especially when working with multiple coloured royal icing, I find it a lot easier to work with handmade paper piping bags. 

They only take a couple of seconds to make and they are much more convenient and easier to handle. With a little practice, a huge number of piping bags can be made in just a couple of minutes so they are on and hand ready before decorating. 

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Website and E-Magazine in Development

Hi! 
In the coming weeks, we will start releasing an e-magazine.
Each edition of our magazine will have 12 detailed recipes/projects supported by video tutorials and lots of extra recipes and tips on this website. 

Jump on board, say hello, and please feel free to suggest recipes or baking projects you want more information on, or ask for any tips that might help with your baking. 

Red velvet cake with sour cream white chocolate ganache recipe

Red velvet, sourcream white chocolate ganacheRed velvet cake with sour cream white chocolate ganache recipe.
By Robert Harwood of Roberts Cakes and Cooking

This is the recipe for my favourite cake flavour combination. It’s one of the cheaper cakes to make, the cake and filling combo is incredibly delicious and the ganache and cake recipes are versatile recipes I use in a lot of different combinations. It’s a little browner than most red velvet recipes but I’m happy with this trade-off in favour of a better flavour. The sour cream white chocolate ganache surprisingly less sweet than regular white chocolate ganache and slightly cheesecake-like in flavour, which means it can be used under fondant without the cake being too sweet. 

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