Chocolate spider webs and lacking fondant skills

freshOne thing I notice about lots of Halloween-themed baked goods is that they often require fondant skills – something that I definitely don’t have. While I wish that I had the dexterity to craft mini pumpkins or witches hats out of fondant, I just don’t. So I stick to basic decorations… chocolate I can work with! The great thing about these spider webs is that you don’t even need a piping bag, you can just use a snaplock bag.

They’re versatile too – I fitted them over some chocolate pumpkin bundts or perched them on some delicious cream cheese icing and they looked good both ways!

Chocolate spider webs:web

Makes 12

  • 45g dark chocolate

templatePrint out spider web template, or use your own.  Set it on a baking tray and then fit a sheet of baking paper over the top. Melt chocolate and spoon into a snap lock bag. Dab some of the melted chocolate on the corners of the baking paper to secure it to the baking tray. Snip the tip of the snap lock bag off and start piping! Pipe out the rings of the spider web, then the straight lines. Repeat as many times as desired.

spider web template

 

Choc chip pumpkin cupcakes and Halloween desserts

fourI mentioned in my previous post that my parents didn’t consider Halloween a very Australian holiday. And I’ve inherited this view to some extent.

It’s odd trying to translate the dark, spooky images that permeate the idea American Halloween to Australia’s October, when the weather is mostly sunny and warm. It doesn’t stop me wanting to make Halloween-themed goodies, though!

So for this year’s Halloween, I’m focussing on another thing that I equate with the American Halloween; pumpkin. I remember making a pumpkin pie for my family, years ago, and they all cringed at the idea of it. It was delicious (how modest of me…) but pumpkin and dessert don’t often meet in Australia. Continue reading

Australian Halloween and pumpkin puree

seededHalloween was never big in Australia. Growing up, my parents didn’t even acknowledge it! Since starting the blog I’ve tried to overcome this ingrained notion of Halloween not being Australian, because, let’s face it, I’ll take any opportunity to bake.

But before I share some recipes that I consider traditional Halloween fare,  I need to have a whinge: SO MANY of the recipes that I find on Pinterest, FoodGawker, etc, need tinned pumpkin or similar.  Continue reading

Early grey custard tarts and mini tart love

biteThis little tart is simple, but stunning. It’s got two comforting ingredients – custard and earl grey tea – but they look super classy, so you can munch on them in front of the tv on a lazy afternoon, or serve them with high tea… they look at home in any setting.

I have a hard time turning down desserts, but tarts hold a special place in my heart – especially mini tarts! There’s something about their dainty little cases, the way there’s always just enough mouthfuls, and how you can get away with gorgeously rich fillings because they’re so tiny. So much yum! I also loved how one of these tarts looked a bit like a face once I’d taken a bite out of it! Continue reading

Earl Grey Custard and comfort food

aboveI debated over the title of this blog, because technically tea is not a food, it’s a beverage. And when I was growing up, my siblings and I used to try to treat custard like a beverage! I didn’t think that “comfort beverages” sounded right though.

ANYWAY, this tart combines two of my loves – custard and tea. They’re delicious, comforting and… well, what more could you want? Both of them remind me of my dad. He loves traditional egg custard – just the smell of milk warming on the stove makes me think of him! He also introduced me to earl grey tea when I was a child…I hated it! I used to call it soap tea, no matter how much he espoused its merits! Continue reading

Chocolate blueberry cake and impressions

tableThis cake doesn’t shy away from attention. The amazingly vibrant (and naturally-coloured) icing draws people to it. I brought it into work today to share with work mates and was overwhelmed with kind words. It’s amazing how cake brings people together.

The love that I received was received with a tiny bit of sadness, because I’ve only worked with these wonderful people for six months and am moving on. I’ve loved working with them and hope that I leave them all with delicious, cake-filled memories! Continue reading

The Boy’s Nutella birthday cake and 4WDs

sceneIt was The Boy’s birthday on Friday and all he asked for was an “epic cake.” I always make him a birthday cake, so that was no big deal, but having it prefixed with the word epic made the task slightly more daunting.

I love baking, but presentation isn’t always my strongest point – I value taste over looks!

The Boy is a big fan of 4WDing (and I’ve played dutiful partner and tagged along before), so I decided to give him a 4WD themed cake. In the end it wasn’t hard, we just ended up with massive amounts of cake. Like, three tiers of cake. I know what I’ll be eating for the next week… Continue reading

Chocolate Malteser cupcakes and Mental Health Week

aboveThese cupcakes came about because The Boy has a ridiculous obsession with Maltesers. I was never that big a fan of them, but I’m an official convert. I made them yesterday on my day off and he was delighted with them when he came home from work. It reminded me how the tiniest of gestures can change someone’s day completely.

Which is why I thought I’d talk a little about Mental Health Week. For me, food and love go hand in hand, so when I want to let a person know that they’re special to me, or even just that I’m thinking of them, I bake. If you could bake (or buy baked goods) for a loved one at any point this week, do so! Continue reading

GF Rosewater rhubarb bundt and bundt obsession

dat bundtIf you’re up to date with Baking with Gab, you will have seen my darling little bundt babies. They were so cute that I almost struggled to eat them.

Almost. They were delectable enough that the guilt subsided eventually.

And those little cutenesses reminded me how much I adore bundt. They’re show-stoppers, centre-pieces, let-me-have-the-first-slice kind of cakes. Continue reading

No-churn berry ice cream and Summer

aboveI have a love-hate relationship with Summer. I love the wild-eyed excitement that sunny weather awakens in people. I hate that it’s too hot in the kitchen to bake all day. I love the amazing curls that sea water brings to my hair. I hate how I manage to get awkward burnt patches, despite religiously applying sunscreen. I love Summer fruits. I hate being stuck indoors when all I want to do is be in the glorious sunshine. Continue reading