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Sunday, 26 December 2010


I said I'd show you more recipes right? 
Well I am just glad to say I won't disappoint.
Today I'll be posting the delicious treats I made for my GiftBaskets which included: 
Vanilla Sugar, A very sweet Pear and Cardamom Mermelade, Vanilla infused Marshmallows with Chocolate fudge, and finally delicious Vanilla bean cupcakes with... wait for it... FONDANT! yeah! I made fondant! Made it, knead it, cut it, coloured it, and used it to decorate my ultra delicious cupcakes. 
Some GiftBasket, right? 

Keep tuned for my exquisite Christmas Dinner at Grandma's house. 
(who by now ya'll know is the best cook alive!)
Check out the preview! 
Oh yeah, Fancy Chocolate Cake, Shrimps AlMojodeAjo, Prawns and of course Turkey a la Jaime! 

But today ah today I am presenting you the gift bags: 

The Mermelade: 

The Marshmallows covered in fudge: 

The Vanilla Sugar: 

And the Fondant cupcakes! 

I know I know, they aren't exactly the most beautiful fondant decorated cupcakes you've seen. 
But give me a break guys! It was the first time I ever worked with fondant and I guess that it went pretty good considering... I am actually quite proud of they ended up. 
Plus the pleasure I get when everyone says yum when they eat them. And frankly that's what's important to me. 

So let us start: 
First the Marshmallows: 

Recipe calls for 4 packages of gelatin. I used 2... but I truly recommend you use 4 since my marshmallows came out a little too softly. Like peeves that have been under the sun for a while. 
1/2 cups of Water. 
2 cups of Sugar.
1 1/2 cups of corn syrup. 
1 tablespoon of Vanilla Essence. 
1 pinch of Salt. 

All right. First sprinkle the gelatin over 1/2 cup of water. Pour the sugar in the remaining water on a saucepan until its warm at touch. 
When warm add the gelatin to the syrup you've just made and stir until gelatine is fully melted. 
Pour the gelatin-syrup mixture into a bowl and with your mixer start mixing and add the corn syrup and vanilla and begin beating at high speed. 
Continue beating until the mixture cools and increases in volume and forms soft peaks. 
Work quickly and transfer the mixture to your mold dusted with icing sugar and place wax paper too so it is easier to unmold it. 
When the mixture has set, unmold it and proceed to cut. 
(you may need more icing sugar since it will be quite sticky. Just rub it on the sides. 

Deliciously Sweet!
amazing blogger! 

Now for the Fudge. 

It's quite easy actually and soo delicious. 

1 cup of heavy cream.
6 tablespoons of butter.
1/2 cup of corn syrup.
12 ounces of chocolate. Recipe calls for semi-sweet chocolate but I used milk chocolate because I like it better. Or you could use a bag of chocolate chips. 

Melt cream, butter and corn syrup in a saucepan until barely boiling. When melted, remove from heat and add the chocolate and stir until melted. Cool to lukewarm. 

To make the Marshmallows covered in Chocolate Fudge: Just pour some chocolate over the marshmallows and wait for it to cool. 

Next the Mermelade. 

Pear and Cardamom Mermelade.

Cut some 4 ripe pears in big chunks and place them in a saucepan  with 1 cup of water. Add 4 lightly crushed cardamom pods and let the pears cook until they are translucent. The time depends on how ripe your pears are. 
Next crush the pears with a potato masher ( I used the bean masher mom uses for the beans) and mash the pears you want small bits of pear to remain. Add 1 tablespoon of honey.
Let the mixture simmer for almost 1 hour or until thickened. 

This is gloriously delicious with natural yoghurt and a drizzle of honey. Best breakfast. I must warn you it's quite addictive! 

Now for the Vanilla Sugar!

Scented Sugar is so easy to make. 
Just add some sugar to an bowl or something that has a lid (so you can close it) add a Vanilla sprig (without the beans, use the beans for cupcakes or the marshmallows) and keep the sugar closed for a few weeks. 
And you are done. 

Yeah and now the cupcakes. 

Okay so truth be told I wanted to make a pretty Christmas tree as the decoration for the cupcakes but my green food colourant magically disappeared... I blame it on the Christmas Goblin.
A few words on Fondant. Oh My God! It is hard as it is (searching for a word...) Addictive-ly fun! 
I had never worked with fondant, I had read about it but I had never ventured to do it until now. 
I thought it would be loads harder and I made a hell of a mess in the kitchen. And to be the first time I work with fondant The result wasn't that bad. 
I did have a small tantrum because of my missing green colourant and the fondant kept sticking on the table... but I made it through and cleaned afterwards which is unheard of. 
Of course I had some help. My awesome baby sister helped me make the ribbons. n.n 

The recipe for the cupcakes was (as always) adapted from the Hummingbird cookbook. 
You need: 
120g of flour. 
170g of sugar.
1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder.
A pinch of Salt. 
40g of butter. 
120ml of milk 
1 large egg. 
Beans from a Vanilla sprig 

First put all the dry ingredients plus the butter and beat until the mixture comes together. Add half of the milk and beat until you get a sort of cookie dough. Mix the egg and the milk together and add it a little bit at a time. 
Mix until batter is smooth. Add the vanilla beans and beat until well combined. 
Bake for about 20-25 minutes. 

For the fondant? 

How about I tell you that later?

Hope you enjoy the pics n.n