Violet and Jimmy’s Gingerbread house

So this year for Billy Idol Day/Christmas I don’t know that we’re going to be doing. It’s been a hell of a year and between all of the traveling we’ve done in the last few months I think I have caring-fatigue. I’m thinking maybe we just sleep in, crawl to the couch, see who can deliver us food and play video games. That is the spirit of Billy Idol day after all. Even better if I can get a cool glove to wear while we do it…

I thought it might be more interesting to see the effort I have previously gone to… rather than photos of me shovelling chips into my mouth and yelling at drunks in the alley behind the apartment to STFU so I can watch reruns of Terrace House. BESTBILLYIDOLDAYEVER!

Last year (maybe 2 years ago??) James and I made a gingerbread house!

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We used a recipe smooshed together from Pinterest and the place we bought the Gingerbread spices from.

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_1290958James insisted that the trick was to double cut them. So we laid out all of the pieces of dough and cut out the templates before cooking.
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Then after cooking them it was a race to try to get them cut again while they were still warm so the edges were nice and crisp.

_1290985 The walls were held up with cups and paper while the load bearing icing dried.
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Then I added all of the decorative icing!_1300038 _1300057

Simple but effective! I actually hate gingerbread but this was so crispy and more like a biscuit than a cookie so it was really good!
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Then you just need to wait until it gets dark and add some electric candles to really give it that Christmassy look! Of course for Billy Idol Day you should probably use real candles because I hear burning down your house is very seasonally appropriate!
_1300158 Now I need to look at these and get some motivation to actually put our tree up this year… or just keep eating chips. Either way >_>

Silent Saturdays… Cinnamon Scrolls

So James has been promising to write a post on how to make his cinnamon scrolls for over a year now and he never remembers >_>  So for today’s Silent Saturday we’ll make them without words. Direct all complaints and begging for recipes to James please ;D

James’ Candy Cane Mocktail Recipe

Last year James decided to make a mocktail for our Billy Idol Day feast!

You need:
  • Lemonade
  • Candy canes
  • Ice
  • Raspberry/Cranberry grenadine
  • Bitters (optional)

To make the grenadine, boil a large bottle of raspberry/cranberry on the stove with 1 cup of sugar until it was reduced by half.

Of course you need fancy glasses to have this in! Start by adding in a few ice cubes.
Fill the glass 80% with lemonade.
Gently pour in the grenadine, it’s important to pour very slowly and to sort of drip it down the side of the glass otherwise you won’t get the cool gradient effect.
Gradient! At this point you can also add a few drops of bitters or actual alcohol if you are thusly inclined.
Lastly, add in a candy cane as a stirrer.
After a few minutes, the candy cane will melt into the drink and make it even more delicious!
Yum yum yum!
Let me know if you guys try this out this year!

Super Cute Filled Gift Chocolates Recipe

I have a lot of friends with birthdays around this time of year so I always struggle with little things to add to their gifts. This year I’ve been making a lot of filled chocolates using my tray from Daiso.

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You can get these little trays at any cake shop but I like this one from Daiso because it is silicon and therefore easy to wash and get the chocolates out of.

This tray can only do two chocolates at once, one macaron shape and one heart shape but it’s really cute so I don’t mind having to do them in batches.

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You need:

  • White chocolate
  • Gel food colour
  • Icing sugar
  • Flavours, I’m using strawberry


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Step one is to melt the white chocolate. I just do it in the microwave in a ceramic container rather than a double boiler. If you’re using the microwave then heat it to about half melted, 10 seconds at a time and then just stir until it’s fully melted. The ceramic retains heat so it will easily melt the rest of the chocolate.

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Add a drop of food dye and mix it really well. As white chocolate contains more fat it will separate with liquid more easily so make sure to use gel not liquid colour and mix very vigourously.

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Now pour chocolate to the line in the tray. My tray’s lines are quite inaccurate so I usually ignore it.

 

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While the chocolate is still hot add the top part of the tray and press it down until the chocolate hits the top.

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Refrigerate until it’s totally solid again.

In the mean time let’s make a simple filling. Pour out some icing sugar (maybe 2 table spoons) and add a drop of flavouring.

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Mix well and add a few drops of water. Mix between each drop of water so you can be control of what consistency the filling has. Chocolate ganache makes a delicious filling too for something a little less sweet. You want it to be a fairly thick consistency but not lumpy and hard.

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Pull out your chocolate halves and fill each with icing.

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Add a tiny amount of white chocolate with a toothpick to the halves so they stick and then press them together.

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Back in the fridge to set a little more and they are ready to eat!

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Yum yum, I prefer to eat the left over melted chocolate still in the bowl, there’s nothing better than melted white chocolate 😀

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These make perfect little gifts and it’s always nicer to get something handmade with some thought in it!

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Let me know if you make some!

Pressed Sugar Cookies – Cute Food

Random cute food today: cookies! These cookies have so many different names but I’m going to go with Spritz cookies at the moment because that’s what my recipe said.

 

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I’m not going to bother posting the full recipe because I didn’t change anything when doing it. You can find the recipe on the Wilton website here.

It’s pretty much just a matter of adding the correct ingredients to your mixer until it turns into dough anyway.
Then the fun part happens: Cookie press! I have had this for years but have never found a way to get the recipe perfect. This one finally is the right consistency!
They didn’t come out completely the same which I think is more user error than anything really >_>
But not bad either for a first try!
Then into the oven to bake for a little while then cool down completely.
I tried to double press the bottom one so he’s a little chunky >_>
Yummmmm…
I then mixed up a batch of royal icing and coloured it.
This was pretty much about practicing my non-existent piping skills and I think I improved a lot just in this time frame!
The one thing I don’t have is stamina, my hands get so sore after about 10 minutes of using something as thick as royal icing that I needed to take a break!
Plus side, they were seriously delicious!
Yum yum yum yum! This was a really fun way to spend an afternoon and I want to make cookies again soon so I can practice even more icing. Next time I think I will try flat sugar cookies and ice proper designs onto them. What kinds of cookies do you like? Do you have a favourite recipe I should try?

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Strawberry Deco Roll Cake – Cute Food

Less of a tutorial today and more of an adventure in baking! A while ago, Kim came over with the idea that we could try our hand at baking together. Craziness ensued but we managed to product a perfectly good Japanese style deco cake roll out of it. We went with a strawberry theme inside and out!

The recipe we used is from the Create Eat Happy blog, have a look at it here if you want to make your own. 

The basic process is fairly easy, the recipe is for a basic swiss roll batter which is divided into various colours and then piped. First you draw all of the little details onto baking paper in various colours. Kim was clever enough to print a template to use under the baking paper.

So we piped on the spots and stalks of the strawberries and baked it for a few minutes so it was dry.

Then we piped the rest of the strawberries and baked that too. Lastly we added the rest of the plain batter to make the full roll. In the end when you turn it all out you can see the pattern really clearly.
Once it’s all cooled down you added whipped cream and strawberries to the inside and then wrap it up.
Once it’s set in the first it should look something like this!
Omg so yummy! These are the perfect amount of sweet without being too much.
They go perfectly with a nice cup of tea!
Of course some extra strawberries don’t hurt either!
Now that I understand the process I really want to experiment with more designs and recipes! Seriously SO yummy!
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