Sunday, December 26, 2010

My family recipe journey - New Years Black Bun

It has been a while since Grandma Kiwicakes & I tackled another recipe in our Family Recipe Journey. With New Years day fast approaching, we thought it a good idea to tackle Black Bun. I never ate this as a child - I can kinda see why, it wouldn't be to most kids tastes, but I do remember the hype surrounding it, when Grandma Kiwicakes' great aunt Jessie sent it from Scotland each year. The finished product is so darn heavy, the postage must have cost a fortune. When the Black Bun arrived, my Granny would never let anyone even taste a crumb until New Years day. So by the time New Years Day rolled around, everyone was desperate for a piece.
Black Bun uses a large quantity of dried fruit and is similar in some ways to a Christmas cake
At this stage once drenched in Brandy, the fruit itself is delicious.
The pastry calls for margarine, but Grandma Kiwicakes recollection of the margarine used in the 1950s, when she was in Scotland (prior to coming to NZ), was that it was not like NZ margarine. So we decided to use the butter flavour Crisco.
The entire Black Bun is encased in pastry, on the bottom, all 4 sides & the top.

Your fold the side walls of the pastry down, so when the top goes on, it helps form a good seal.
The edges need to be pressed with a fork around the circumference, pricked across the entire top and 5 skewer holes should be poked in, to let the steam escape.
We baked ours, in a 9'' diameter square cake pan, that was 80mm deep.
Black Bun
Pastry Ingredients
3/4 lb flour
pinch of salt
4oz butter
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 egg (beaten)

Filling Ingredients
1 lb flour
1/2 lb castor sugar
2lb muscatel
2lb cleaned currants
6oz almonds
2oz candied peel
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 oz jamaican pepper (this is allspice)
1/2oz ground ginger
1/2 oz cinnamon
1 tsp cream of tartar
3/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 pint milk (300ml)
1 tbsp brandy or sherry
beaten egg as required

To make pastry. Sift flour & salt. Rub in butter or margarine. Stir in baking powder & enough beaten egg to form dough (like shortcrust). Roll out pastry to line your cake tin.

To make filling. Sift flour, stir in sugars. Prepare fruit (chop & stone raisins if reqd). Stir in fruits & peel & spices, add cream of tartar & baking powder. Stir in milk & brnady. Pack in to prepared cake tin. Level the mixture, fold down side walls of pastry over top of filling. Cover with pastry lid. Make 4 or 5 holes with a skewer, right to bottom of tin. Prick all over lid with a fork, and crimp edges around circumference. Brush top with beaten egg. Bake in moderate overn 350f for 3 hours. Keep for at least 10 days before cutting.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Mini gingerbread houses - simply too cute!

Check out these tiny gingerbread houses that are meant to be perched on the edge of a mug of hot chocolate. From the talented Megan of "Not Martha" blog. Full instructions on her blog here

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Stunning cookie cutter wreath

Check out this cookie cutter wreath from the blog From Glitter to Gumdrops

What an awesome idea for the cookie lover in your life.

How to use glitter in your cake decorating projects

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The easiest ice cream I've ever made

Her sheer enthusiasm for it made me think it must be pretty great - that is an understatement, it is FANTASTIC!
Since making this yummy icecream, I've puzzled as to how it can be so simple - making ice cream usually requires a lot more work and time. Spurred on by Mrs Cakes' assurances it wasn't, I grabbed a bottle of cream from the fridge and a tin of caramel condensed milk from the cupboard. YES that's it, that is all that goes in to it. I could not locate where my issue of the Donna Hay magazine was (leant out to friends and not back yet), so I followed Mrs Cakes' instructions.

Easy Caramel Ice-Cream (from Donna Hay Magazine)
395g tin caramel (found next to sweetened condensed milk in the supermarket)
300ml cream
Whip the cream until firm but still smooth. Mix in the caramel until well combined. Transfer into a 1 litre container and freeze overnight or until firm. (I actually froze mine in silicone cupcake cases, to make indivdual portions.
The taste of this ice cream is wonderful it is far nicer than the sum of the two ingredients - Grandma Kiwicakes and hubby commented it tasted like russian fudge (both are fans).

Prior to freezing this wonder concoction, it did occur to me, the creamy goodness would make a nice accompaniment to Christmas pudding or the like.

It even had the perfect texture of ice cream.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

I'm in love with this new shoe cutter set

Just landed today and I'm in love, with this new shoe cutter set.
Includes Sole Former, Heel Former & Shoe Cutter. The kit comes with 16 stage by stage pictures/instructions, along with shoe sole cutter and a former to allow your sole to dry in a glamourous shoe shape!
The heel mould is made of high quality silicone and features locking buttons, to ensure your 2 halfs of the heel match well. The plastic former allows you to get the perfect shape when drying the sole.Templates are included for the different shoe styles which makes the BEST SHOE on the market!


Gorgeous new gold chocolate transfers just arrived

I am thrilled with the new chocolate transfers that just arrived today. A beautiful Paisley and a versatile Marble design. Gold is a perfect match with dark chocolate and already I have a lot of ideas running through my head, for what I can do with them.

Stunning new Christmas bags for packaging fudge chocolates or whatever!

These stunning Candy Cane treat bags just arrived today and are a new release for 2010. The candy cane is a classic ever popular Christmas motif, but if this design isn't to your liking we have heaps of Christmas gift bag ideas, as well as clear cello bags and cellophane basket wraps. Check out the full Christmas packaging range here
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