October 27, 2008

Edible Parmesan Cups

Caesar salad is one of my most favourite things to eat. Not only does it have oodles of garlic, it has cheese & bacon and to top it off my dad has a killer recipe for homemade dressing ! So I love to serve it at dinner parties.
Friday night we had friends over for dinner and I didn’t want to overload them with multiple courses so I made mini parmesan cups to serve mini caesar salads.
First you grate fresh parmesan cheese on baking trays. The cheese is oily enough not to stick but if you’re worried use a non-stick mat. Spread the grated cheese in rounds on your tray. They wont spread much so don’t worry about having them close together.
Next bake it in the oven at 425F/220C until melted and golden - about 5 minutes.
Let cool for 30 sec - only long enough for the cheese to harden slightly. Using your fingers or a spatula lift each round and place it over a narrow glass or upside down muffin tin. Let cool completely.
Un-mold when cooled and hardened and use as a serving vessel for any salad, pasta, etc.

x Adele

October 4, 2008

Cake Advice

After making a wedding cake for a very good friend’s wedding last weekend I got to thinking about the little tricks I use to make sure a cake looks as great as possible while still being as easy as possible to make. 



The most important trick I wanted to share is to try to roughly even off the top of the cake and then flip the cake over so the bottom (now nicely flat) becomes your top. This is key to make a cake that looks visually appealing. You then fill your cake with whatever suits your fancy - jam, lemon curd, hazelnut, chocolate fudge, etc. Place your second layer on top UPSIDE DOWN again so you have a nice flat top to ice. Dollop your icing all over the top before spreading it - this ensures you don’t get crumbs on your icing. Put extra icing on the top so that when you smooth it out it falls down the sides so that you also do not to get crumbs in the icing on the side of your cake.


In the picture shown I’ve also added a final layer of fondant on top of the buttercream icing. Fondant is the smooth hard icing that you roll out like pastry and lay it on top of your cake. Normally its reserved for decorating wedding cakes but I also use it for birthday cakes as well. To finish the cake simply wrap a ribbon around the bottom in either a similar colour as the icing or a striking contrast colour and secure it with some royal icing. 

Voila ! You have yourself a perfectly styled cake ! 

x Adele