After the bustle of last week's party preparations and celebrations, we have had a rather laid back weekend: swimming, a bit of grocery and a walk around the market. Little Miss 4 is enjoying playing with all the lovely and very generous birthday gifts her buddies gave her.
I have had a couple of requests for party food recipes, and as with all recipes I'm more than happy to share them. A successful recipe shared is a priceless gift to the world.
I haven't recorded them tutorial style as time pressures last weekend meant that I didn't photograph any of the baking process. If you're not sure of any of the processes, just ask and I will be more than happy to oblige you with an answer.
Passion fruit Cupcakes
This is one of my own adaptations on a lemon cupcake recipe.
125g butter - softened
2/3 cup caster sugar
zest of 1 lemon
1 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup milk
3 tablespoons sweetened passion fruit pulp - with the seeds sieved out
Preheat the oven to 180 deg. C. Ensure your eggs and milk are at room temperature.
Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the lemon zest and passion fruit pulp, followed by the eggs (Add the eggs to the butter mix in two parts to avoid the mixture curdling.) Beat until smooth.
Sift the flour and baking powder together. Fold into the butter egg mix alternately with the milk.
To save time, I piped the mixture into the cup cake cases, but spooning it in is just as good.
Bake for 10 to 15 minutes depending on the size of the cup cake. A tooth pick inserted into the centre should come out clean.
Passion fruit Frosting
2 egg whites
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
1/2 cup sweetened passion fruit pulp
250g butter - softened
Place the water and sugar into a small saucepan and stir over a medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Once dissolves do not stir, just leave to boil until the sugar reaches 120 deg. C
While the sugar is boiling beat the egg whites until soft peaks form.
Once the sugar reaches 120 deg. C. pour it, in a thin stream, over the beaten whites until a shiny meringue forms. Beat until the mixture cools enough for the boil to be warm but not hot. Now put the softened butter in a few tablespoons at a time. Beat until the whole mixture is soft and white. Now add the passion fruit pulp, with its seeds, and beat briefly until combined.
I used a star nozzle to pipe the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes.
Toffee Coated Cream Puffs
These are inspired by Croquenbouche choux buns, except that I have filled them with cream instead of pastry cream. I got the Pate a Choux recipe from book The Roux Brothers on Patisserie by French cooking and baking legends Michel and Albert Roux.
100g butter - cut into small pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon sugar
4 eggs - 240g weight
Preheat the oven to 220 deg. C.
Cooking the paste: Put the water, milk, diced butter, salt and sugar in a saucepan, set over a high heat and boil for 1 minute, stirring with a spatula. Take the pan from the heat and, stirring all the time, quickly add the sifted flour. Stir until smooth.
Now 'dry out' the mixture by replacing it on the heat and stirring with a spatula for 1 minute. The mixture will begin to poach and some of the water will evaporate. Tip the paste into a bowl - I used the beater bowl - and allow to cool a little.
Adding the eggs: Beat in the eggs one at a time using the electric beater until the mixture is smooth.
Piping the paste: Choose a round nozzle and pipe out small choux buns onto non-stick sprayed baking paper.
Bake in a preheated oven for 10 minutes, then turn the heat down to 180 deg. C and leave the buns to dry out for another 10 minutes. The puffs should be quite crisp and dry.
2 cups sugar
1 cup water
1 tablespoon liquid glucose
250ml of cream and 2 tablespoons of icing sugar for filling
Put all the ingredients into a medium sized pan and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Once dissolved stop stirring and leave to boil until it reaches 160 deg. C. It should be a very clear amber colour.
Dip the top of the choux buns into the toffee one at a time and place onto baking paper. Be very careful not to burn your finger tips on the hot sugar. If the toffee cools and becomes too thick, carefully return to the heat and move the pan around until it becomes liquid again. Be careful not to allow it to colour any further.
Once the toffee is cold, cut the bottom from each puff and fill with whipped cream. Replace the bottoms and pile onto a plate to serve. The cream should start to soften the buns.
The sticky lemon slice in the first photo is a real favourite and already on the blog.
Enjoy your baking!