Homemade Chocolate Slabs


Chocolate slab giftsIf you’re looking for a winner of a gift, you can’t go far wrong with a handmade chocolate slab!

What you need to make a large slab, or two smaller ones:

  • Baking tray
  • Baking paper
  • 100g Milk chocolate
  • 100g Dark chocolate
  • 50g White chocolate
  • 3 Heatproof bowls
  • 3 Small saucepans
  • Cocktail stick
The beauty of making your own is that you can use whatever chocolate you like and tailor the topping to the ‘giftees’ taste. One tip – make sure you use tasty chocolate, if you wouldn’t eat it on it’s own, don’t bother using it!
  1. Chocolate slabs  set-upSet up a baking tray with some baking paper, and if you want to multiple slabs, use something to keep the chocolate contained (I used some straight edged cutters held down by weights).
  2. Take 3 bowls and 3 pans, pour a small amount of water into each pan (the bottom of the bowl must sit clear of the water to avoid burning) and heat. Chop up each bar of chocolate as small as you can – the smaller you chop it, the quicker it’ll melt! I used 3 different types of chocolate: Green & Blacks milk, Tesco Finest white and Tesco Finest 70% dark.
  3. When the water in the pans is hot, turn down the heat and place each bowl over each pan and add each type of chocolate to its own bowl.
  4. With a close eye on your melting chocolate (give it a stir every now and again), chop up any nuts, etc. to sprinkle on top and keep these close by. As soon as your chocolate is melted down to just a few lumps, remove the bowls from the heat and stir until completely smooth. The milk and white chocolate will probably be ready before the dark chocolate.
  5. Melted chocolate slabPour your milk chocolate onto your prepared tray, keeping it to the left. Don’t be stingy! Pour it quite thick to ensure it doesn’t snap when you pick up your finished slab. Straight away drizzle the white chocolate down the middle and as soon as the dark chocolate is ready, pour that on the right. Quickly take a cocktail stick, or thin knife and lightly draw out from the white chocolate in the middle to create a swirl. Don’t be too precious and don’t worry if you mix up the chocolate, it all adds to the beauty.
  6. Grab your sprinkles, whether these are chopped nuts, dried fruit, fudge, marshmallows, or anything else and gently drop these down the middle of your slab. Leave your chocolate slab to set in a cool room out of direct sunlight.
Homemade chocolate slabsOnce set and looking delicious wrap in cellophane for a lovely gift.

Movember cupcakes charity auction – bidding extended!

It’s 1st December – the month of Christmas, and I’m feeling extra generous resulting in the bidding period for the Movember cupcake charity auction being extended until 6pm (UK time) today.

Please pop in your bid on my Facebook page www.facebook.com/getcakedin all proceeds are going to Prostate Cancer UK!

Thanks for reading 🙂

Rose water meringues

A special treat for work colleagues last Monday, I tried my hand at piped meringues sandwiched with buttercream.

This recipe came from a book called Commonsense Baking.

For a batch of 20 meringue sandwiches:

4 medium free range eggs (slightly older eggs are best for meringue)
230g caster sugar
1tsp Rose water
A tiny bit of red food colouring (I used Sugarflair Christmas Red)

You’ll need:
Large bowl
Electric whisk
Piping bag
Plain, round nozzle
Baking paper
A few flat baking trays/sheets

Pre-heat your oven to 120 degrees and cut your baking paper to fit your baking trays.

Whisk your eggs in a large bowl with a hand-held electric whisk until it starts to hold shape. Sprinkle in the caster sugar (a little at a time, whisking between additions).

Add the rose water and food colouring – the colour almost disappears once baked so it depends how subtle you want the colour to be.

Using a knife, pop 4 small blobs of meringue mixture onto each baking tray and put the baking paper on top (to stick to the blobs of meringue), this stops the paper moving around the tray. Fill your piping bag (with nozzle attached) and pipe approx. 40 3cm rounds onto your baking paper, making each one approx 2cm high. Quickly release the nozzle as you pull away to get a pretty peak at the top.

Bake in the oven for 1 hour. After the hour is up, turn off the oven and leave the door ajar to cool the meringues. Meanwhile whip up the buttercream:

75g butter
150g icing sugar
1tbsp milk

Beat for around 5 minutes until it become a pale shade, and resembles whipped cream.

Again, prepare a piping bag with your chosen nozzle (I used the Wilton 1M, but any star nozzle will do). Pipe your buttercream from outside to inside of your meringue (do one at a time) sandwiching another meringue to to the other end.

Sprinkle with edible glitter for a bit of sparkle!

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Sweet summer strawberry cupcakes

Despite a bit of a turn in the British weather recently, I was determined to banish the rainy blues and bake summery strawberry cupcakes! This is also my first go at doing domed cupcakes (fondant topped cupcakes with buttercream underneath).

I whizzed a punnet of short-dated strawberries and pushed the liquid through a sieve to remove the pips. I made up my usual cupcake batter and added approximately 1tbsp of strawberry ‘juice’. Shared between 12 silver foil PME cases, and into the over for about 20 mins.

I made up my buttercream, again, adding enough strawberry ‘juice’ to achieve a super-strawberry flavour (it naturally adds a subtle pink to the buttercream too). I cut 6 rounds of white fondant and used a stencil lightly rolled over to create an embossed effect.

Once the cakes were completely cool, I piped 6 with buttercream swirls as normal and decorated with sprinkles. I then piped 6 with just a small amount of butter cream in the centre, laying a fondant disc over the top and patting the sides down until sealed. While the cakes were cooking I also handmade a few fondant strawberries which I placed on top of the cakes – cute and ideal for any party come rain or shine.

To intensify the strawberry flavour in the sponge, you could add a strawberry jam centre 😉

Vintage inspired decorated cupcakes

Last night I thought I’d have a play with my texture mats and other various tools by decorating cupcakes with cute vintage themed fondant pretties.

Trex is a cupcake girl’s best friend! Spead a small amount of Trex on your surface to roll out your fondant – this won’t make your fondant dry out like icing sugar does. I used normal biscuit cutters to cut the rounds and made the bows by rolling a long thin piece of fondant, cutting it into a strip then folding each end into the middle and placing another small strip over the middle (where the two ends meet) to make the knot.

A silicone mould was used to create the cameo (free with Cake Decorating magazine issue 8). Once the fondant was pushed inside, I popped it in the freezer for 15 minutes to harden the fondant.

Simple techniques and a great way to spend an evening decorating cupcakes…