chocolaty cake for the sports lovers

basketball & soccerball cake with the NIKE logo & "JUST  DO IT" slogan.... with a chocolate cake in side & a mascarpone filling... gluten-free

I think the thing I like most about making cakes, is the reactions of the people receiving them!

This girl who ordered this, wanted to give the cake as a gift to two of her friends who had their nameday on Monday. One friend was heavily into basketball, the other was a lover of all things NIKE. You can’t see it in this picture, but the side of the cake had a football (soccerball for you Americans) pattern on it!

Eleni, the girl who ordered it loved it so much, she ran up to me & hugged me!

That’s the kind of reaction that always makes me endlessly happy.

Any way, there’s a rich chocolaty cake in the middle of all that decoration, & a mascarpone filling to it….. It’s a little sweeter than my usual cake, but that’s also because I was making it for teenagers… and you can never have enough sugar when you’re a teenager!

gluten-free designed cake

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balsamic-glazed black cherry tart

balsamic glazed black cherry tart, completely gluten-free

I’ve been back in the kitchen recipe testing. Not so much for the blog, but because Eirini & I (the girl I made the strawberry & mint macarons with) are trying to come up with dessert proposals for a few upcoming events.

She came over to the house the other day so that we could make a mess in the kitchen & figure a few things out. Prior to her arrival, I found myself wondering around the green grocers picking up fruit & asking it to speak to me for inspiration. Finally, I settled on peaches, apples & black cherries.

Good thing I got the cherries too! As soon as I showed them to Mel, he picked them up & started going on & on about caramelizing them in balsamic vinegar & honey….

My mouth was watering. Not to mention I was overcome with joy since as you may or may not have noticed, but it’s been a little while since he’s participated in anything other than eating when it comes to the site.

I let him have his way & complete artistic license to do his own thing. I managed to contribute by whipping up a batch of pâte sucrée to turn into tart shells & also a chantilly cream to fill them with.

There they sat, ready & waiting whilst I watched him prepare all his ingredients & put a huge knob of butter into the pan.

I love it when he cooks.

Is it wrong of me to say that I love him especially when he cooks? Cause I do. Not to mention I’m a tad envious as he has this raw talent for it.

I’m afraid that in todays post, the picture just doesn’t do the dish justice. It’s a shame really, but I only had a limited opportunity to photograph it & in that time, I was lacking all inspiration.

I wont deny you the recipe however. If you make it & take a better picture, show me… I’ll amend the image above & link it back to your site with a glorious, glowing review of your beautiful work.

….happy weekend everyone!

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midnight macarons

dark chocolate macarons with a vanilla vodka buttercream filling

I have something extra special for you.

They’re my midnight macarons. Dark chocolate macaron shells, filled with a creamy vanilla vodka buttercream. As an extra special touch, I dusted them with luster-dust so that they’d resemble the stars in a moonless sky.

It wasn’t easy getting here though. Two failed attempts & a lot of frustration took place before I reached these miraculous little gems.

I learnt a bunch along the way too. For example, I learnt that I’d really wished someone had told me that chocolate macaron shells were the hardest macarons to make. Or that cocoa is very absorbent & if you take too long, your shells will crack during baking.

No one told me that luster-dust is an incredibly addictive substance. All that glitter. All that sparkle!

The most important lesson that I learned, is that I have a very long way to go before I can consider myself a master of the macaron.

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matcha macarons

matcha green tea macarons with a dark chocolate ganache

I’m not obsessed I’m not obsessed I’m not obsessed I’m not obsessed.

Ok, I’m obsessed.

Well, maybe that’s only a half truth.

I mentioned yesterday that macarons are on the menu for Hotel Ploes. It’s because of that reason that I created these ones. The hotel is trying to design packaging for the Italian cookies since we’re going to be selling them in boxes. Due to that, I have an extremely good excuse for posting up another macaron recipe.

There will be lots of recipes going up for these as it so happens since I’ll constantly be changing them up to keep things interesting & “fresh”.

Today’s recipe was inspired by the contents in my fridge. The last of my matcha green tea powder was hiding in the back & it was about time it was put to some good use.

I changed it up a bit though. To date, I’ve been flavoring the filling of the macarons. Today, I decided to flavor the macaron shell instead.

See, I can keep things interesting.

I’ll whip up another batch for the hotel in a week once the new packaging is in & show off what these little beauties look like when they’re ready to go.

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white chocolate & ginger macarons

white chocolate & ginger macarons

I’ve been at it again!

Actually, I’m lying. Remember the last set of macarons that I made? Well, when I made them, I was so pleased with myself that I immediately made another batch just to ensure that it wasn’t a fluke.

I’ve been sitting on the recipe/ flavor combo/ photos since then in the hopes of enticing you once more.

I know, it’s cheating. I’m sorry I cheated. I’m sorry I didn’t share them right when I made them… but I soooo much wanted the element of surprise.

DSC_0534.3

That’s all though. There’s no more hidden batches that I haven’t revealed. I’m not saying there wont be more batches in the future, I’m just saying that I’m disclosing all the ones I currently have.

These ones should make mum happy too. She’s a fan of the ginger. Not sure if she’s into white chocolate so much, but she loves macarons so I’m sure she wont mind. She did NOT like the cardamom in the last batch, that’s for sure.

Enough rambling from me though, on to better things!

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