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" you can simply smear some plain chocolate on the baking paper and use that as shards."

The decorating tool kit?
Yes. This could be tools such as tweezers, wooden skewers and icing used to affix decorations to the cake. Plus, the decorations themselves. Below are some thought starters on ideas for decoration ideas.

Nut toffee:

½ c caster sugar
2T water
1/3 c pistachios, roughly chopped (or any other nuts)


Put the caster sugar and water in a small saucepan and put over a high heat. Swirl the saucepan around to help the sugar dissolve. Boil until it reaches a golden caramel colour. Remove from the heat and add the nuts and swirl around the caramel to mix in the nuts. Pour into an oiled tray and leave to set. When cold use a sharp knife to chop into small pieces. Store in an airtight container until needed.

Candied citrus fruit:

1 lime, 1 lemon, 1 mandarin
1 cup sugar
¾ cup water


Bring sugar and water to the boil. Slice the citrus fruit as thinly as possible. Place fruit into the sugar syrup and simmer gently for about 20mins. Turn off the heat and leave to cool in the syrup. Lay out on a cake rack to drain.

Chocolate Leaves:

75g each melted milk and dark chocolate
10-15 camelia leaves
fresh blackberries

To make the chocolate leaves: spread melted chocolate over clean camelia leaves and leave to set in the fridge. Gently peel off the leaves from the chocolate and leave in the fridge until needed.

Maple walnut nuggets:

½ cup walnut halves
2 Tablespoons maple syrup
1 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoon brown sugar
pinch salt

 

To make walnut nuggets: put all ingredients into a saucepan and stir over a low heat until the mixture caramelises and the walnuts are well coated. Tip onto greased baking paper and leave to set.

Choc Bark:

700g chocolate (dark, milk or white)
2 cups chopped nuts of your choice – such as pistachio, hazelnut, peanuts.
½ cup dried cranberries or other dried fruit
½ cup freeze-dried raspberries or alternative freeze-dried fruit

 

Chop your selection of mixed nuts into small pieces and set aside in a bowl.
Chop the chocolate into small pieces. Separate 1/3 and add the remaining 2/3 into a heatproof bowl. Choose a bowl that will sit over around the edges of a pot without falling into it.
Fill a pot with 1/3 water and heat over a medium-high heat until it only just begins to simmer, then reduce the heat right down to low straight away.
Place the bowl with 2/3 of the chocolate over the pot. Allow the chocolate to melt before stirring, until half of the chocolate has melted. Stir gently until all chocolate has melted (about 2 minutes). The chocolate should be hot to the touch but not boiling.
Add the remaining 1/3 of the chocolate to the bowl and stir until melted. Take bowl off the heat and place on bench/chopping board and stir occasionally over an 8-minute period. The chocolate will cool and start to thicken. It should be cool to the touch and look shiny.
Line a baking tray/pan with baking paper. Slowly pour chocolate into the pan, not all the way to the edges.
Remember to keep this as thin as you need it – to decorate.
Sprinkle the chopped nuts, cranberries and raspberries over the chocolate.
Allow to set at room temperature to cool and harden,
Break into rough pieces and serve.

Note – you can simply smear some plain chocolate on the baking paper and use that as shards.

Caramel Popcorn:

1 packet of microwave popcorn
250g butter
1 1/2 cups white Sugar
1/2 cup Golden Syrup

 

Line a 20 x 30cm sponge roll tin with foil and lightly oil.
Microwave the packet of popcorn following the packet instructions.
Spread the popcorn in the prepared tray.
Combine butter, sugar and Golden Syrup in a medium saucepan. Stir over a gentle heat until butter melts and sugar dissolves.
Bring to the boil and boil uncovered for about six minutes until the hard crackle stage (about 150°C if measured with a sugar thermometer). The colour should be a dark golden brown.
Pour the caramel over the popcorn and let it cool and set before cutting or breaking into chunky pieces. Store in an airtight container to keep it crisp.

 

ENJOY!

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