Sunday, 18 December 2011

Gingerbread House


The Christmas season is well and truly upon us, so naturally it was time for me to construct my Gingerbread house. This year I decided to try a different template, and believe me difficult doesn't even begin to describe it! 4 and a half quantities of gingerbread, 2 days, a few meltdowns and the breaking of two sides, a roof and front panel later, and construction was complete. I've provided the recipe, template and a list of the lollies I used, as well as a few photos. 

TEMPLATE
I decided to draw the template by hand as I had used up all my printer ink so I wasn't able to print this template. I multiplied each dimension by 3 but in all honesty, doubling each length would be enough. 

INGREDIENTS

For the Gingerbread
125g Butter, softened
1/2 cup Brown sugar, firmly packed
1 egg yoke 
2 1/2 cups Plain Flour
1 tsp Bicarb Soda
3 tsp ground Ginger (But add more to your tasting)
2 1/2 Tbsp Golden Syrup

For the Icing (or glue)
1 egg White
1 1/2 cups Pure Icing Sugar
Few drops of lemon Juice


To Make the Gingerbread...
Cream butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add the egg yolk and golden syrup and mix well. Add dry sifted ingredients (you may need a touch of water if the mixture is too dry). Turn out onto a floured bench and knead slightly. Put in the fridge to cool before rolling out. 

I like to roll the gingerbread in between two sheets of baking paper as its easier and cleaner. Roll until about 3-5mm thick. Cut around each of the template shapes and bake for 10-15mins (may need longer) at 180 degrees celsius. Make sure you allow the pieces to cool completely before you start handling them, as they can break easily. 

To make the icing...
Beat the egg white and icing sugar together until smooth and piping consistency. Add the lemon juice and mix well. 

Lollies Used...
2-3 packets of Sour Straps
Smarties
Coloured chop chips
Jubes 
Freckles 
Liquorice Allsorts


Sour straps cut up and used as roof tiles. 


As you can see, this front panel broke in four places. If this happens, don't stress. Use some of the icing to glue the pieces back together. I recommend leaving it over night to ensure it is good and stuck. 




I cut out the windows AFTER the gingerbread was cooked. I find it gives a better finish 


I stuck cut up pieces of green jubes and red coloured choc chips onto the back of a freckle to create a wreath for the front door. 


Monday, 12 December 2011

Blue Velvet Brownies

Here is a twist on the old classic Red Velvet Cupcakes. Part of the reason I made them blue was, well, I didn't have any red food colouring but also it's a different take on tradition. Making brownies not only goes further but it's much more decadent with it's gooey texture. For those who are feeling sinful, these Blue velvet brownies will have you begging for mercy.


INGREDIENTS 
For the brownies:
3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 oz of 2 Tbsp Blue food coloring
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup (8 tbsp) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2  eggs, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups Plain Flour

For the Frosting
125g Icing Sugar
40g Butter, softened
2 Tbsp Milk
Drop of Vanilla Extract
To make the brownies...
Pre heat oven to 180 degrees celcius. Butter and line a square/rectangle baking pan (any size) making sure the baking paper comes up the sides (this allows for easy removal once the brownies are cooked).  

Combine the cocoa, food colouring and vanilla in a bowl to form a paste. 


In an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together on a medium speed until fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, making sure they are well incorporated. Add flour and mix well. At this point, add the blue paste mixing until the batter is one uniform colour. You may need to use a spatula to make sure there is no batter stuck on the bottom of the bowl.


Pour mixture into prepared pan and bake for 25-35mins depending on how gooey you want your brownies to be. Check with a skewer. If top is becoming brown to early, simply cover with foil and continue baking. Take out of the oven and allow to cool before frosting. 

To make the Frosting
Using an electric mixer, beat all ingredients at a high speed for 5 mins until fluffy. 


Spread evenly on brownies, splash a few drops of colouring over the top or leave plain. Cut and Enjoy! 


Sunday, 11 December 2011

Welcome Note

Welcome Everyone!

After many a time being told that my cooking is actually rather tasty, I thought 'Why not share it with the rest of you?'

AND here it is my first ever cooking blog, Hide and go Cook!

I hope you can all take something away from it. Whether it be a yummy recipe, general advice or tricks of the trade that you would never have thought of doing.

So sit back, surf and happy cooking.

Hi-D