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This is not even baked! How dare she post this!? (Cookie Dough Balls)

16 Apr

Cookie Dough Balls

In case you are as shocked and angry as whoever wrote the title of this post, let me explain: I am such a rebel I even break my own rules! Or I keep forgetting the rules I’d made up. One of those two.

So. I have a friend who’s done me more favours and helped me out more often lately than I can count. Not that I can count very high… But still. She’s helped me out big time. Again and again. And she was there when others let me down.

And saying thank you is nice, but saying thank you with cake is nicer. Or with cookies. Or cookie dough! :)

This friend I’m talking about shares my passion for pinching bits of cake batter or cookie dough. (You HAVE to do this. Constant quality control is the key to success, and you never know when the batter or dough is going to go bad!) She claims she could just eat a whole bowl of cookie dough instead of actually baking cookies. So I made a batch of cookie dough balls for her.

I hear cookie dough balls have been around in the United States and elsewhere for quite a while but I had never had or even seem them outside the blogosphere. They’re not to everybody’s taste. They do really taste like uncooked dough. I liked them! And so did my friend. Mission accomplished!

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Eurovision Disco Cake Balls et al

26 May

Eurovision Disco Cake BallsD – I – S – C – O!
:D

It’s Eurovision day, are you excited?

There’s Eurovision decoration all over the living room; there’s a lot of champagne in the fridge; my costume is ready to be put on; scorecards and drinking game rules have been printed off for all my guests; and of course there’s food. Sounds like the perfect set-up for a perfect night to me!

My main treat for my mad friends (Not the zombie film gang, though; I have more mad friends! And the boys aren’t cool enough for the Eurovision) are disco cake balls. They are strawberry and vanilla cake truffles covered in white chocolate and decorated with girlie glittery sugar sprinkles. Disco! :)

Orange Chocolate Cake Balls

Looking slightly more grown-up – fie! – yet also rather delicious, these are orange and chocolate cake balls. Made from, you guessed it, orange and chocolate cake.

This past week, I’ve had to convince somebody that oranges and chocolate are an awesome combination, which in turn has made me fall in love with it all over again!

mini strudels

And finally I am feeding my friends mini strudels. I was going to make crescents (I used the same dough) but I decided to go for a slightly different shape because I am a rebel like that. :)

There are three fillings: cheese, ham and spring onion; dried tomato and chilli; and dried tomato and poppyseed.

A friend gave me a small jar of dried tomato paste a while ago, and I never knew quite what to use it for. Now I think I have found a very good use for the lovely stuff!

That’s it; I’m ready. Let’s get the party started!

Chocolate and Coconut TV Set Truffles

10 May

TV truffles

Today is a very special day. We’re witnessing a decisive moment in history: our mate Thomas is getting a TV.

In case you’re a bit underwhelmed by this bit of news, let me explain to you how this is both good and bad news for me and my zombie film gang.

What’s good is that we now have one more person in our group at whose house we can meet up for our film nights. I don’t think that his TV is going to be better than our other friend’s big screen, so we’ll probably not go to his house all that often, but hey, it’s nice to have options. :)

On the other hand we have one less thing to tease Thomas about. Sad story. All we can hope for, really, is that his football team does worse next season, so we can annoy him with stupid comments about that.

Eek, did I just mention the f-word on my blog!? Monsterbake’s really going downhill…

Anyway, so I made little TV sets for my mate. They’re chocolate and coconut truffles, basically made from a sort of ganache with desiccated coconut and covered in milk chocolate. The TV screens and buttons (old-fashioned, I know!) are sugar icing, and I’ve used my uber-cool shark sugar sprinkles* to very subtly let him know what he should be watching on his new TV. :)

TV truffles

* They don’t come in zombie. Although they really, really, really should.

Honey and Nuts Birthday Chocolates

30 Apr

honey and nuts birthday chocolates

Yay, it’s another birthday today! I made chocolates! Happy days. :)

These are white chocolates (as I hope you can tell from the picture ;) which I filled with a slightly decadent white-chocolatey and buttery honey and nut filling and sprinkled with dark chocolate because I think it looks nice*. :)

You know, depending on my mood I find it hilarious or infuriating respectively when food bloggers claim their sweets and cakes are “healthy” because they contain nuts or honey. It might make the stuff slightly healthier – as opposed to pure butter dipped in sugar, for example. But come on! Seriously!? Yes, some honey and a few nuts are good for you but if chocolates and cakes are your main source of them, there’s something you might be getting wrong…

Anyway. I am not going to say these chocolates are healthy. They are, however, yum*. Win! :)

* Nice looking and yum? Yes, they were when I made them. But I had to mail them to my friend because he lives too far away; no idea what state they are in when he gets them!

Whisky Chocolate Cake Chocolates

26 Apr

Whisky chocolate cake chocolates

Birthdays are like bad news; they always come in bulk. Also: both are reasons to bake cakes! :)

One of my film group mates is officially getting even older today, so we’re going on an outing! We’re going to the cinema to watch Iron Sky. Looks promising, doesn’t it?

I had so many inappropriate ideas for moon-nazis-themed cakes but in the end decided to go for grown-up cake chocolates instead. It’s a sad day when I forgo politically incorrect cakes in favour of grown-up ones, I know. Sigh.

The day is much less sad, however, when there are whisky chocolate cake chocolates!  Nothing that has the word “chocolate” in its name twice can be bad, can it!?

For these chocolates I baked two miniature cakes, a chocolate one and an even tinier almond one. Then I destroyed them. Whoever uses a food processor to turn a cake into crumbs is missing out on one of the most fun legal activities! :)

Then I added a chocolate cream and a bit of whisky (not very little, in fact, but the taste is subtler than I’d expected) to my cake crumbs, put the mixture into a rectangular baking tin and the baking tin into the freezer.

There are a thousand things you will be tempted to do with a frozen slab of cake – at least if your mind is as twisted as mine! And I like to think that birthday boy would have approved of almost all of them anyway. :)

But once more I decided to pretend I’m a grown-up, so I just cut the frozen stuff in to small rectangles, dipped them in dark chocolate and decorated* them with milk chocolate.

* Decorate. What nice word for when you take spoonfuls of melted chocolate and just fling the stuff all around you. :D

Pumpkin & Sesame White Chocolate Truffles

13 Oct

Pumpkin and Sesame White Chocolate Truffles

This is what my sesame and vanilla cake had to be destroyed for. But I think it’s looking down on me from its cloud in cake heaven, smiling and approving of the lovely use I’ve put its crumbs to.

I made these truffles as part of my ongoing pumpkin fest – I have not used my pumpkins for a lot of baking but I’ve made other yummy pumpkin things to demonstrate to my friends that there are gazillions of great pumpkin recipes. Hang on a minute … have I been tricked into supplying my friends with lots of food? They wouldn’t, surely! Or would they? Hmmmm…

Anyway, I have set aside one box of truffles for my friend who I am going to see for the first time in over three years tomorrow. So if she’s managed to suppress the memory of how weird I really am, at least she’ll have sweets to help her cope with the shock!

The main inspiration for these truffles came from my cake pops experiments earlier this year, and I stole ideas and parts of ideas from Erin.

Below is my recipe; today I used double the quantities though because I think if you’re going to make a mess in your kitchen, you might as well get lots of sweets out of it. And using 180 g of cake rather than just 90 totally justifies baking the cake yesterday.  (As if baking a cake needs any justification… but still.)

Pumpkin & Sesame White Chocolate Truffles

Ingredients
90 g white chocolate
90 g sesame & vanilla cake
1 tbsp sesame seeds
50 g pureed pumpkin
1 tbsp icing sugar
1 pinch cinnamon
1 pinch salt
50 g cream cheese, at room temperature
200 g white coating chocolate/couverture

Method
Find, kill and destroy the sesame & vanilla cake. You want very fine crumbs.
Melt the white chocolate, then combine it with the cake crumbs, sesame seeds, pureed pumpkin, icing sugar, cinnamon, salt and cream cheese. Beat until you get a smooth mixture. Cover and chill for about two hours.
Working swiftly, roll your truffle mixture into little balls (using roughly 1 tsp of the mixture each; makes about 30 pieces).  Freeze them for at least one hour, preferably longer.
Melt the couverture, dip your frozen truffle balls in and roll them around so that they get a nice coating. Transfer to a piece of baking parchment. Leave plain, or sprinkle with sesame seeds or coloured sugar immediately, or leave couverture to set and then drizzle with melted dark chocolate.