Cookies & Cream Cake Recipe

I love chocolate! And honestly, who doesn’t love to eat Oreo cookies? So whoever thought of putting them on cake deserves an award. In my last Blog I posted my favorite Chocolate Cake recipe so I decided to follow that with this delicious cake recipe.

I remember many years ago when I moved to Florida, I went to my local supermarket and they had a cookies & cream cake. At that time I was not into cake making but definitely into cake eating, so I had to try that cake. I must say that I thought it was delicious. The buttercream they used in that cake was like Bettercreme, (check my tutorial on this). They crushed the cookies into the Bettercreme and filled all the layers with this mixture, and then they covered the outside of the cake in the same icing/filling.

With time my cake taste has developed. As much as I liked that cake back then, I knew it could get even better. The recipe I used for the filling in this cake is super tasty. Instead of Bettercream, I used cream cheese and butter and it just takes the flavor to another level. I love the recipe how it is but if you want something lighter, you can always add a cup ofKRAFT COOL WHIP TOPPING 8 OZ PACK OF 3 to the recipe. Another option is to add a tub of Cool Whip or make your own stabilized whipped cream and add it to the recipe. Keep in mind that once you add the dairy into the mix you will need to keep the cake in the fridge. As many of you already know, I don’t like cold cake. I feel it loses flavor.

You can finish this cake with your favorite buttercream recipe. If you want something light, you can use Bettercream or Stabilized whipped cream. If you want delicious with a smooth finish, I suggest using my Cream Cheese Buttercream. This is a bakery style cake and is not about a perfect finish but it’s all about a delicious cake.

To finish this cake, I added Oreo cookies all around the bottom of the cake. This is a personal choice. But surely, who complains about eating more cookies..lol I do prefer using the thin Oreos when I am making the cake but you can use the regular ones just as well.

I topped the cake with some old fashion Ganache. I love Ganache and I know that it has dairy but it will keep well out of the fridge for a few days. Plus it makes it really creamy and delicious. If you can’t have dairy, you try making it with water instead. My other suggestion is using coconut milk.

For decorating the cake you can use anything. I decided to go all out and use Pocky Sticks flavored in cookies and cream, a bar of Hershey’s Cookies ‘n’ Cream and (are you ready for it?), more Oreos.

 

Click here to watch tutorial.

Here are the the links for the products and tutorials I used.

Chocolate Cake Recipe
Cookies & Cream Filling Recipe
Ganache for Drip Cakes
Bettercream Icing Tutorial
Stabilized Whipped Cream Tutorial
Pocky Stycks
Bettercream (product)
Hershey’s Cookies ‘n’ Cream Bar

 

Until next Blog, ta ta!
Edna 🙂

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Moist Chocolate Cake- Easy Recipe

Last Blog I was talking about the difference between “Natural” and “Dutch Processed” cocoa. If you missed that post, I would suggest you read it because it can make a difference in the outcome of your chocolate cakes. In this Blog I will be talking about one of my favorite chocolate cake recipes.

When I first opened my website I had a Stout Chocolate recipe posted in there. I love that cake recipe. It’s a strong cake and almost tastes like a brownie. But not everyone wants to add beer to their cake and I can understand that. The alcohol in the recipe is baked away so there’s really no alcohol left in the cake but some people just don’t care to deal with it. Knowing this I have been meaning to post other chocolate recipes I love but between moving the website a couple of times and all the work I had, I just didn’t have enough time to sit and do a tutorial as I wanted. I can say that I finally took the time to do the tutorial and post it in the website. YAY!

This is a very old recipe but it has a few changes from the original recipe that in my opinion makes it taste even better. It makes a very moist cake and it’s super easy. The batter is a bit liquid and I am sure most people are not used to batters like that, but it works great. I use unflavored coconut oil for the recipe to make it healthier but you can use canola oil or vegetable oil instead if you prefer.

The recipe has never failed me but you can always decrease the baking soda by half a teaspoon if your cake sinks slightly in the center. Also keep in mind that depending on the cocoa you use the finished product could be different . I talked about this in my previous Blog.

I tried the recipe using Hershey’s Natural and Hershey’s Super Dark and I will say that I didn’t love the one with the Hershey’s Natural, but the one I made with Hershey’s Special Dark was really good. So if you are not in the mood to order high end cocoa for your cake, feel free to test it with the Hershey’s Special Dark. If you use your regular cocoa and it doesn’t turn out moist or with a a good crumb, make sure to try again but change your choice of cocoa this time. I assure you the cake is worth the try. I have used this recipe for many years with success.

Chocolate Buttercream Recipw

You can pair this chocolate cake recipe with my Chocolate Buttercream if you want a “death by chocolate” type of cake. I don’t use Hershey’s Special Dark for the buttercream because then it makes the chocolate flavor super strong so I tend to use a lighter flavor. I love Valhrona but you can use Ghirardelli or even Hershey’s Natural if you want to go with a super basic cocoa that you can find in any supermarket. I also love Droste but it’s harder to find. If you want higher end cocoa powders for your cakes, you might have to go to specialty stores or check in the internet for them. I will add that once you taste higher end cocoa powder it’s a bit difficult to go back to the supermarket because some of them are so good! lol

I will be working next on a tutorial for cookies and cream cake. So if you are an Oreo lover then you will love the next cake recipe post. But for now, click here for the link to the Chocolate Cake Recipe and Click here for the Chocolate Buttercream Recipe.

I hope you enjoy this Blog, until next one.. Ta ta!

Edna

 

 

 

Chocolate- Dutch VS Natural Cocoa for Baking

We all love chocolate and we each have our favorites when it comes to flavor.
I am a total chocaholic. Personally I would eat chocolate everyday if I could. lol

We all see recipes everywhere for cakes. And not everybody in the world is a chef and knows the difference between chocolates. Most of the time a regular person will see a recipe and go to the supermarket to buy the first cocoa they can find. Some people don’t even notice or think much about a recipe that is asking for dutch process or natural cocoa. All they see is unsweetened cocoa and that’s the one they will invariably go for.

I myself didn’t know much about the differences in chocolate until I started baking. There’s a world of information out there all about just chocolate. I’m no expert on just chocolate but I do know my basics on it and I will share one important fact.

When we see a recipe for a chocolate cake, the most important part it is the type of cocoa you should use in it. You will find mostly 2 types of cocoa powder. One is called “Natural” and the other one will be “Dutch Processed”. Even though these are the most common ones, there are other types or combos out there that you guys can explore. In the meantime I will explain the difference between these common two.

 

Chocolate Buttercream Recipw

Natural cocoa is solid, unsweetened chocolate that’s had most of its fat removed before being ground into powder. This cocoa powder is typically sold unsweetened, and although it may taste a bit bitter or harsh on its own, it can work well in baked goods that are meant specifically for this type of chocolate. This type of cocoa is consider to give a more drier outcome.

Dutch-process cocoa is natural cocoa that’s been treated with an alkalizing agent to lower its acidity. This allows more of its pure chocolate flavor to shine through. The alkali helps neutralize the natural acidity of the powder. The process gives the cocoa powder a more mellow, smooth and less bitter flavor. This type of cocoa tends to give a more fudgier, moist taste.

There’s a lot of science behind which one you can use when it comes to baking a cake. Natural Cocoa and Dutch cocoa are not interchangeable in all recipes. I will simplify by saying this: If a cake recipe only calls for baking soda, it likely uses acidic natural cocoa. If it only uses baking powder, it’ll probably ask for Dutch process cocoa instead. If a recipe calls for both, baking powder and baking soda, you’ll need to follow the recipe to get the proper balance of acid and alkaline. Recipes that use baking powder will likely rise anyways but not as well. So basically it’s best to stick to the cocoa that a recipe calls for. I personally tend to use dutch cocoa if the recipe doesn’t say which kind of chocolate to use.

Using the wrong cocoa in your recipe not only can make your cake go flat, but it can also make the flavor of your cake change drastically and you can end up with a cake with a strange or soapy taste. Keep in mind that some recipes have other acidic additions that come into play like buttermilk, fruits, sour cream, vinegars and other acids.

I would suggest that when you try a recipe for chocolate cake, make sure to see if there are any specifications for what type of chocolate you should use. If the cake is moist and you like the texture but you don’t like the flavor of it, then try another brand of cocoa. There are many brands out there and everyone has a different idea of what good chocolate should taste like. It’s a very personal opinion. Some people like a stronger flavor while others will prefer a subtle one. Some people like milk chocolate and others like dark and bittersweet. It’s all out there for grabs!

There are many options when it comes to chocolate. Check for Black Cocoa, Double Cocoa, Triple Cocoa and others. Some are made with a combination of natural and dutch process chocolates, others are known as heavily-dutch and have a stronger chocolate flavor. Believe me, I could go on until my last name changes to Hershey, but then this blog would be very long. At least you get an idea of what is out there and do more research on the subject. Keep in mind also that cocoa powders have different flavors and some of them contain more fats or starches and this will give you either a more moist cake or drier cake. All of these things are important if you are still trying to find your perfect cacao for your cakes.

The whole point behind this blog is to let you guys know that if you have tested a recipe for a chocolate cake and maybe the crumb of the cake was great or it was perfectly moist, but the flavor was a little off, then maybe you need to change your cocoa and test it again. If you are not happy with the crumb of the cake but the recipe has great reviews, maybe you need to try another cocoa. The wrong cocoa can change the crumb and moisture of a cake.

Valrhona Pure Cocoa Powder, 8.8 oz.Some of the most well known companies are Vahlrona, Callebaut, Guittard and there are others. Hershey’s and Ghirardelli are the most easily found in supermarkets. In a pinch I have used Hershey’s Special Dark (this one combines natural and dutch chocolate in it). Keep in mind that the other Hershey’s sold is natural cacao so if you have used it in a cake recipe that calls for dutch cacao, then the outcome might not has been the expected one. On the least expensive ones, the Hershey’s Special Dark has a dark (duh) color and pretty decent flavor and I like it a lot better than the original one at least on the cake recipes I have used it in. I will add that I have used the Hershey’s Natural Original and liked the taste better than the Hershey’s Special for the chocolate buttercream recipe I have in my website. Like I said, testing will be your best friend until you find your favorite one.

If you happen to be a chocolate snob, then go for the higher quality one. Keep in mind that most of the times you might have to order those online and they have a higher price. For those who are chocolate lovers, sometimes the flavor is worth the extras. My job is not to sell you a specific product but to let you know that there are options. Experiment! I was sent by a super awesome lady overseas, a cocoa call Droste and it was super delicious. Worth checking it out!Droste (4 pack) Cocoa from Holland

I will add that if you get one cocoa that didn’t work for a recipe, this doesn’t mean it’s a bad one. It might just not be the right recipe for that specific cocoa. Test it with other recipes to see how flavor changes and what works best for your tastebuds. Some companies might even have recipes that work well with their own products and that might be worth a try.

We all grew up with what we think good chocolate should taste like. From country to country, or even state to state, you will find there’s a huge difference on what people prefer. At the end of the day it’s your own personal search. Hope you find your favorite cocoa. To paraphrase Agent Mulder from the X Files, “the cocoa truth is out there!”

I hope you enjoy this Blog, until next one.. ta ta!

Edna

 

Stabilized Whipped Cream Tutorial

Whipped cream is a great addition to any dessert and even though I am allergic to dairy, once in a blue moon I choose to suffer the consequences just to be able to eat some. I figure the swollen eyes and headache are just temporary and since I don’t eat it all the time I can handle the temporary pain. Lol

One of the problems you will find with whipped cream is that it’s not stable. You can use it at the time you make it but it won’t stay fluffy for long. It starts melting. With Stabilized Whipped Cream you can cover a cake and use for piping on the cake or desserts.

There are a few ways to stabilize it. Some people use cornstarch for a quick fix. I am not a big fan of the taste but the others options used also run along the cornstarch idea. These other options include Powder Milk and Powder Pudding Mix. All of these contain cornstarch. Even if you use just confectioners sugar, you will find that there is cornstarch in it. For me the most stable one is the gelatin recipe, but as you know, I am all about giving you guys all the info.

Making whipped cream is not really difficult, but I do hear people that encounter problems like lumps, whipped cream that’s too runny and other issues. I’ll try to offer some tips that might help, but if you have a fail, just keep in mind that Rome wasn’t built in a day. My advice is to try again. Maybe you used the wrong ingredient, took a wrong step, or missed something. Try again! This is not a new recipe and it works for many, so don’t give up, and try to figure out what went wrong for you.

First for the gelatin, you will need unflavored gelatin. Knox Brand is the most easily found in supermarkets. Great Lakes has another one that is Kosher. A bit more difficult to find but you can always try Amazon. As an added bonus, gelatin is a good source of collagen. Great for skin, nails and hair. If you can’t eat gelatin, you can try Agar-Agar as a thickening agent. For Agar-Agar you really don’t need water. Just dissolve it in milk and make sure that it’s mixed well and then strained to avoid lumps.

Usually you want to sprinkle the gelatin evenly over water.  I don’t know about you guys, but somedays I am just not in the mood to take it slow and I just drop it too fast on the water. Unfortunately, if done improperly, it won’t soak evenly and you will get some lumps. These days I just take a fork and lightly move it to make sure it’s fully mixed. Once the gelatin blooms, it looks like hard jelly. If you want to be safe and properly melt the gelatin without burning it, you can cook it in a double boiler. Some people do it straight in a pan, but if you do this, you will need to cook it on low. You really don’t want to burn it. My favorite and fastest option is the microwave. I cook mine for 30 seconds. Just make sure that the gelatin is clear and fully melted. If you need to cook yours for a longer period, make sure to do it in 10 seconds increments. Once again you don’t want to burn the gelatin. Did I mention that enough? Lol

One of the biggest problems people encounter is adding the warm gelatin to the cold heavy cream. This is where you have to watch yourself. For making whipped cream, you need for your heavy cream to be as cold as you can. Usually it’s even preferred to chill the bowl as well as the whisk attachment. I usually don’t bother too much with that, but maybe in a hot environment it might be a good idea. When working with sugar it’s best to work in areas with air conditioner to avoid issues. If you add the warm gelatin to the cold heavy cream, guess what will happen??? It’ll start getting hard, because that’s what gelatin does when it gets cold; it hardens up. So you can’t let the gelatin cool down all the way because it will start solidifying and you can’t add it when is too hot to the heavy cream because it can get lumpy.

How do I solve this and make sure I don’t have a whipped cream full of lumps? I take some of the heavy cream and leave it at room temperature. Usually around a 1/4 cup will do.

Once I get the gelatin out of the microwave, I leave the gelatin alone and start whipping my cream. This will give the gelatin a few minutes to cool down some. Then once I get the whipped cream to the right consistency, I add the 1/4 cup of heavy cream I left at room temperature to the gelatin and combine that well. This is sure to bring the gelatin down enough so that when you add it to the cold cream, it won’t create lumps.

Another thing I do is to pass the gelatin/ heavy cream mixture through a sifter to ensure I don’t have any lumps in that mix. If you are using a stand mixer, you can slowly pour the gelatin on top of the whipped cream without stopping the mixer. If you have a hand held mixer, just make sure to sift the gelatin before you pour it because it’ll be more difficult to do, since we only have two arms. No matter what, if you watch the tutorial, you will see that I poured the gelatin/heavy cream mixture all at once. I was expecting this might create some lumps since I always use a stand mixer. I can honestly say that it didn’t have one tiny lump. All of it was super smooth. Still, I will advise to slowly pour the gelatin as you mix.

I want to clear up for those who are new to whipped cream, is that you should use a cream that has at least 35% fat in order to get the best results, especially if you want to use it for cakes. It’s confusing when you go to the stores and see all these bottles of cream and not be sure which one to use.

Here are some of the most basic ones but there are others I am not mentioning:

*Half-and-half= 15% fat. In the USA this means that it usually contains 1/2 whole milk and 1/2 cream. It’s not meant for it to be whipped, so save it for your coffee.

*Single Cream= 20% fat. This one has a low fat content. You can use in sweet and savory dishes but it won’t thicken when beaten.

*Light Cream= 18% to 30% fat. It can be used just as half and half and in the higher number of fat content it can be whipped lightly but is not stable. Some people also call this one Single Cream. The fat content will determine its uses, but it won’t ever work for cake.

*Whipping Cream= 30% to 35% Fat. This is where you have to watch for the fat. If it contains less than 30% fat, it will whip up lighter, fluffier and more airy. Great to use over pies and desserts, but the higher content of fat will mean stiffer peaks that are best for piping and covering a cake. So if you get whipping cream, make sure it’s at least 35% fat. Most whipping creams these days are pasteurized in order to extend their shelf life.

*Heavy Whipping Cream= 35% Fat I am adding this one on the list because it’s the one I use. I figure it’s a middle ground between whipping cream and heavy cream. The one I use has exactly 35% fat and works great! With that said, heavy cream is even better when it comes to stiff peaks.

*Heavy Cream= 36-38% Fat. You can also use this higher fat heavy cream for stabilized whipped cream. Higher content of fat will make the mix double in size and tends to hold stiff peaks strongly. This one is great to use for ice creams but it works great for soups and sauces as well without the risk of curdling.

Unpasteurized cream whips much easier than pasteurized. But these days you will find more of the ultra-pasteurized cream because it has a longer shelf life of 60 days before it’s opened.

Pasteurization is a process where they bring the cream to a fast heat of 167 degrees for 15 seconds then cool it down really fast. The ultra-pasteurization process brings the milk to a 280 degree heat and even though it kills bad bacteria, it can take away some of the creaminess in the flavor of the cream. Because of the ultra-pasteurized being heated to 280 degrees, there’s a cooked taste to it and less flavor in comparison to the pasteurized. Also the pasteurized holds better peaks than the ultra but that’s where flavorings and stabilizers help if you find only ultra-pasteurized.When you start working, make sure that the cream is cold as you start and as you mix. If it’s not cold enough, it doesn’t “whip,” it “churns” and we’re not making butter. I suggest to put the bowl and the whisk in the fridge so they’re cold as you mix. If you are in a hot environment, you can place a bowl of ice below your mixing bowl to keep everything chilled. And again remember that if you over mix your whipped cream, you will end up with butter, so keep an eye on it.

 

This is all basic information that is always helpful, especially for those of you who aren’t used to working with these ingredients. Another important piece of information concerns the sugar. You need to use confectioners’ sugar for this recipe. If you use granulated sugar it will give you a grainy whipped cream. I tested the recipe using Swerve Confectioners for a sugar free whipped cream and it worked really well. So for those of you who are on a keto diet or need to be on sugar-free diet, you can have your whipped cream guilt free! For those of you who don’t know what Swerve is, it’s a sugar replacement that doesn’t raise insulin levels. Usually you would use the same amount as you use for regular sugar. And if you want it sweeter, you can always add more sugar to the mix, no matter if you are using regular sugar or Swerve.

Finally you have to decide on the flavoring. You can use any extract you want for this. I prefer the Clear Vanilla Extract to avoid getting the brown color on the whipped cream, but you can use your regular Vanilla if you prefer. You can also make it chocolatey by adding cocoa or melted chocolate. The sky is the limit with this recipe but the downside to it is that it needs to be kept in the fridge. So if you don’t like cold cake you will need to wait till my next tutorial so I can talk about other options for dairy free whipped cream substitutes.

But for now I think this is plenty of information for you guys. So click here for the full recipe and video tutorial on how to make Stabilized Whipped Cream.

Click here to go watch Tutorial and see full recipe.

I hope you guys enjoy the information. I know is a lot of it but is worth the knowledge.

Until next Blog, Ta ta!
Edna

 

Goop-Cake Release Recipe

What is Goop? Goop is a cake release mix used for pans so that the cake doesn’t stick to it. I am not sure who created this Goop Recipe but I know is old. I remember years ago working at a custom cake place. The baker had this concoction in a cake pan. She would apply it to the pan and never added flour on top like I used to do when I started baking. That was the way I was taught. You first apply a layer of butter or vegetable shortening and then add a thin layer of flour.

I never liked adding the flour because when the cake was done, I had always some of the powder on the cake and I didn’t like how it tasted. Probably I was adding more than I needed back then but we all learn as we go. I decided eventually to ask what they applied to the pan. That’s the first time I heard about Goop.

Goop has only 3 ingredients and it’s super easy to make. I get lazy sometimes and use spray on my pans but when I am making a lot of cakes, Goop is the only way to go. I always have the ingredients accessible and I can make as much or as little as I need too.

Goop will stay good in a sealed container for around 2 months. I live in a hot and humid area but I always have air conditioner on so if your house is hot, make sure to keep it in a colder area. Oil does get  rancid so keep an eye on that. If you smell something funky just throw it and make a fresh batch. If you prefer, you can save it in the fridge. You can use a pastry brush if you have one but if you don’t, use a piece of kitchen paper to spread it around the pan and it should work just fine.

Click here to watch the tutorial for Goop and to get the recipe.

I hope you enjoy this recipe.

Until next Blog.. Ta ta!

Edna

Moist White Cake Recipe

Moist White Cake Recipe

This is my favorite White Cake Recipe. This cake is moist and has a great crumb. It pairs great with anything but I love it mostly with fruit fillings. My favorite one would be Raspberry Jam which I do from scratch and I will share the recipe soon.

Here is the link to the recipe and the tutorial. Click here for, Moist White Cake Recipe.

Moist white cake recipeI made a step by step tutorial on this cake with very detailed information on how I make it. This cake will work great for stacking but I don’t suggest using it or sculpting cakes. Most white cakes tend to be delicate and crumb more than any other cakes and that is something you don’t want to deal with when you are sculpting a cake.

I will also add that this cake does shrink some and I don’t suggest to use it with cupcakes. If you live in high altitude, keep in mind that my recipes are not made in that condition so make sure to do the necessary adjustments so it works for your area.

I give a lot of extra tips in this tutorial that I use when I am baking cakes that you guys might find useful. So I do suggest to watch the video and follow the steps for making this cake. Click here to watch video and get recipe.

Remember, baking is a science and following instructions are important. I have made this cake many times and have tested different techniques and I posted the one I love the most. If you have your own way of baking and you get a successful cake, feel free to share with us in the comments! If it didn’t work, then make sure to try it my way.

Hope you enjoy the recipe! Until next time, ta ta!

Edna 😀

 

 

Mason Jar Cake Tutorial

I love Mason Jars. They are reusable, great for canning, jams and storing food. I found this website that sells caps for mason jars that I totally fell in love wMason Jars Recapith. They are called Mason Jar ReCap.

My 2 favorite ones are the one with the flip top and the one to pour liquids from, but they have so many other ones to choose from.

I made a tutorial on how to use Mason Jars for cakes. It’s a fun way to make cakes to take along or share with friends and family. And I will say that there is not one person that doesn’t smile when you share  a mason jar filled with delicious cake. Even if you have a cake shop, it’s a great way to sell cakes. They stay moist longer because they are sealed. Win win!

For this tutorial I used my Banana Cake Recipe. People are always trying to find ways to pair cakes with fillings and I am sharing one of my favorite ones.

I used sugar covered roasted pecans and caramel as part of the filling for this cake. I will be sharing the recipe for the roasted pecans soon. Basically I layered the banana cake, then added a layer of caramel then added the roasted pecans on top and finishing it with another layer of cake and buttercream.

You can use any buttercream you like for mason jars. Even soft icing will do great since the jar holds everything together. For banana cake you can use cream cheese frosting. I have a Crusting Cream Cheese Recipe but I have another recipe that is softer and has more cream cheese in it. I use it mostly as a filling but it’s great to use in jars as buttercream, (click here for the recipe) . I have made this cake using Suspiro recipe too and it’s delicious. You can also use Wilton whipped buttercream that is sold in a box if you want a fast fix on a lazy day. There are so many options, you can choose what you enjoy the most!

I have a great recipe for Salted Caramel. But if you feel lazy, you can use caramel from the store. Just keep in mind that the caramel that is sold in supermarkets tends to be too soft for cake fillings. It works great for jars because the jar holds the cake in place but in a regular cake, it might be too soft and make the layers slippery.

I sent an email to the company and got a 25% discount for you guys if you are interested on getting some of the Mason Jar Recap lids. The coupon is good until May 20, 2017. You can visit their website at: www.masonjars.com

 

Here is the tutorial posted below. It will be also posted in my website under this link: http://www.designmeacake.com/mason-jar-tutorial

 

Hope you enjoy this Blog and tutorial. Until next time..ta ta!

Edna 🙂

White Chocolate Fondant

White Chocolate FondantI finally did the tutorial for my White Chocolate Fondant. I love this recipe. The chocolate added to it makes the fondant pliable without being too soft. Since white chocolate has a light flavor, you can still add your own flavoring to this recipe plus you can make the fondant at the consistency you  like.

In the tutorial I give all the information you need to make the fondant. Without the chocolate, the recipe still gives you a basic fondant. But adding the chocolate makes it so much better. One thing I do want to make clear. Not all chocolates are the same, so having a good quality chocolate makes a big difference. I use White Chocolate Melts from Guittard. These are a compound coating but is one of the best out there. It’s really delicious and melts like a dream.  It’s important to use a good quality chocolate that is made for melting or if you use a compound coating, it should be of good quality too.

chocolate chipsI don’t recommend using chocolate chips since they are made for high temperatures and won’t start melting until they have reach 350 degrees. Plus the wax they are coated with doesn’t really make for the best melted chocolate. But I am sure some people will try them. Other good quality chocolates brands are Valrhona and Callebaut. I am sure there are other great quality chocolate companies out there that I haven’t used but I have used Guittard and love the product so I will stick to using it.

Since I  know there are followers from almost everywhere in the world, I won’t be able to test all the chocolates or melts out there to know the outcome of each of them. I did go to the supermarket and bought a few brands available there. They might not be the best out there but they are the most accessible to everyone.

Bakers

Baker’s Premium White Chocolate is a very common baking brand chocolate found easily in most supermarkets. Taste wise it’s less tasty than the Guittard melts. But I was able to use it in the recipe. I found out that for this one I had to reduce the Glycerine to 1 tablespoon, use 1 Tablespoon of Tylose instead of a teaspoon and I had to use more sugar. to get the consistency I like. Overall, it works well if you adjust the ingredients.

 

ghirardelli

 

The Ghirardelli Premium Bar for baking worked well. I did the same exchange of ingredients as Baker’s and I got a pretty good outcome. This one also used a bit more sugar too than what I normally use with Guittard. But just like Baker’s, the recipe turned out well.

My next test was Ghirardelli Candy Making for Dipping.
Ghirardelli melts

 

 

These wafers do taste really good in comparison to  the bars from Baker’s and Ghirardelli. I did stick to using less glycerine and more tylose with them and the fondant works pretty good too. From the supermarket brands, this one was my top favorite.

 

Next, I decided to test Wilton Candy Melt, these are a compound coating too ].
I did want to test them because they are easily found in crafts centers in the Wilton section. I tested these before the other chocolate brands from the supermarkets.
Wilton Candy melts 2My first try was a complete fail. The fondant felt grainy and was not elastic. I was not happy about the outcome. That’s when I decided to lower the Glycerine and add more tylose to the recipe. The second batch worked well with the changes and that’s when I decided to do the same with all the supermarket brands.

My suggestions are:
*Try to use a good quality chocolate or a good quality compound coating melt, it does make a difference. Use a scale to measure it.

*Make sure to melt the chocolate at a low heat or if you use the microwave, do it slowly. Melting the chocolate too fast can damage the chocolate, making it grainy and lumpy. If you use the stove, use a double boiler and make sure the water doesn’t get to the chocolate or it can seize. I will do another blog and talk more about this subject. Let’s go back to fondant talk!

The recipe I am giving you works great. I will add though, that athmospheric conditions might make a difference on the outcome. If you feel a grainy fondant, make the next batch with just one tablespoon of glycerine. If your fondant is too soft you can use up to 1 tablespoon of Tylose.

I know I will get a million questions about Tylose. Most of them will say, “I can’t find it Tylosewhere I live”. I haven’t tested the recipe with other products. I don’t like Gum Tex (personal opinion), and I haven’t tested it with other gum ingredients like gum tragacanth or CMC. I love my Tylose and I will honestly say, order some from the internet. It’s totally worth it! If you decide to try other gums, let me know the outcome. But remember, the recipe is made for tylose so if there’s a fail, you might have to adapt the amount you add.

Other things to watch out will be
* Don’t overheat the Corn Syrup. You want it warm, not hot.
* Make sure the gelatin blooms properly. Sprinkle the gelatin evenly
over the water.
* Don’t overheat the gelatin. You want the gelatin to dissolve and look clear.
* Make sure that when you start, you are gonna finish what you started. Fondant
won’t wait. It will dry out and be a complete mess if you leave in the middle of
making it.
* Work fast, the less air the less the fondant will dry
* Vegetable Shortening will help you with the kneading. If your fondant feels dry,
apply the shortening like it’s hand cream and continue kneading.
* If you have a fail, try again. Maybe you need to get a better ingredient or make
sure you are following the recipe. If humidity is not helping, make sure to lower the glycerine. It’s best to work in a room with air conditioner and if you have
huge humidity issues, then get yourself a dehumidifier. Sugar and heat don’t
mix so try to make your environment proper to work with sugar. You will have
a harder time with your work if it’s too hot.
* You will fail if you stop trying. So if you fail one time, try again and again.
I promise that it’s easy but you got to learn the process and what works
best in your environment.
* A scraper is great to use when you start kneading.

Bench scrapper

I did the fondant in the video manually so everyone could see how it can be done, but you can easily make this using a kitchen Aid. If you don’t like the microwave, use a double boiler. Everything is adaptable.

Once you make your fondant, make sure you seal it well in cling plastic and then place it in a ziploc bag. It will last just like any pre-bought fondant as long as it’s sealed well. If it gets hard after a few days, place it in the microwave for 10 seconds. I do that with all my fondants to soften them. It’s easier on the hands!

For the full recipe tutorial and tips for White Chocolate Fondant, click here.

 

 

I hope you enjoy the full Recipe (click here), and feel free to send anybody to my website so they can try it.
Until next blog….ta ta!

Edna 🙂

 

 

 

My Favorite Chocolate Buttercream

Chocolate Buttercream Recipe

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Chocolate is my addiction! I just love it! I have a great recipe in my website for a Crusting Chocolate buttercream. That recipe is great for cakes that are going to be stacked and for those who need a strong buttercream due to hot weather or humidity. The high ratio in this recipe helps stabilize the buttercream.

The recipe I am posting here (click here for recipe) is a recipe that I use all the time for my personal cakes. It’s made with butter and no high ratio. It’s delicious and very easy to make. Usually I like  recipes that crust so I can smooth it almost to look like fondant. This recipe doesn’t crust the same as the recipe listed above, but it crusts enough to be lightly smooth out with Viva Paper.
If you haven’t used this technique you can click here to watchDark Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttercream
 tutorial about it.

I made a step by step Tutorial on this
recipe that is in a video on my website.
One benefit from this recipe is that you
can pipe beautiful borders with this recipe.
The cake itself can stay outside the
fridge for a few hours as long as you
leave it in a room with air conditioner.
If you live in a state that is colder than
Florida, you can probably use it on your stacked cakes. But make sure you do
a test before you use it on a cake for
a client. Just make sure to use
butter and not margarine when doing
the recipe.
chocolate

I love to use this buttercream with my dark chocolate cake recipe. If you love chocolate, this is death by chocolate. I will work on the tutorial for the cake and post it soon. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the recipe just as much as I do. Look below for the link to the recipe and tutorial.

Click here or on the photo to go to the tutorial and the recipe.

Chocolate Buttercream Recipw

 

Until next blog, ta ta!

Edna 🙂

 

 

Best Macadamia Nut and White Chocolate Cookies

Best Macadamia Nut & White Chocolate Cookie Recipe

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I love macadamia nuts. My father got me into eating them and one of my
favorite cookies are the macadamia nut and white chocolate. I had some
of the ingredients and decided to make some of these amazing cookies.

Not sure who is the original creator of this recipe since it was passed to
me by a friend. But there was nothing to fix in this recipe. It’s perfect and
delicious. I am adding a few tips so you guys get a great cookie.
Click here for the recipe.

Baking Macadamia Nut & White Chocolate Cookie Recipe

There is a science to baking cookies. I read over the years people talking how
they want their cookies softer, while others like them crunchy. But the most
dreaded issue people face is, why did my cookie spread and now looks
like a flat blob?

There are so many reasons why cookies can go wrong. One of these reasons
will come from ingredients. Too much sugar can make a cookie spread.
But one factor that people don’t figure most of the time is the butter. Margarine,
for example, will spread more than butter since it is more oily and softer.

Another reason why cookies can spread is from putting the cookies in a hot
cookie sheet that just came out of the oven. The heat from the sheet will cause
the butter to melt before it has a chance to set. So avoid placing your cookies
in a hot cookie sheet or make sure to move fast if you decide to do this. Just
have the cookies pre-shaped so it’s a matter of placing them real fast and move
to the oven in a snap.

Sometimes people use too much butter or oil on the pan that can make a cookie spread too much while it’s cooking. I use the non-stick aluminum foil and it’s a fast clean up, plus I don’t have to add anything. The cookies don’t stick to it. You can also use a Silpat, (non slip baking mat), which is really good for this.

Make sure that you don’t over beat your mixture. This only creates air and that air can cause pockets that eventually just deflate. I usually tend to place my mixture in the fridge. Since the butter in the recipe is used at room temperature,
I want the butter to harden up so that my cookies stay fatter.

Best Macadamia Nut & White Chocolate Cookie Recipe

If you follow all these steps and you still get flat blobs for cookies, you can
either use half butter and half shortening. You can use all shortening too instead,
but if you are like me, you might not want to give up the buttery taste. If that is
the case, you have one more option. Lower the temperature of the oven. All
ovens are different. You would think that temperatures should be the same in
all ovens, but somehow things change between one oven to the next. So if
you have tried it all, and your cookies are just not cooperating with you, lower
the oven to 300 degrees. They will take a bit longer to bake, around 24 minutes
for chewy and 30 minutes if you like them crispier. And this time amounts are just approximations. Since each oven works different, just make sure to watch
your cookies.

There are many factors that can make a cookie recipe go wrong. This recipe
I am posting has been tested and it works great. So if you find yourself with
cookies you were not happy with, try the recipe again and follow the tips above.
I am sure you guys have your own tips so feel free to share them. In the
meantime, I hope you guys enjoy this recipe. (Click here for recipe)

Until next blog, ta ta!
Edna