miércoles, 23 de febrero de 2011

5 Salsas Especiales!


Para las fiestas (y ya vieron que durante el año) me encanta hacer una pavita, un peceto, o cualquier carne simple y servir varios apañamientos y salsitas. Tengo varias recetas que voy cambiando y que hago cada tanto para tener siempre un par de frascos listos para usar. Es buena época para hacer conservas para todo el año porque hay duraznos, damascos, ciruelas y frutos rojos para aprovechar. Yo les recomiendo dedicarse una tarde y hacer varias diferentes para tener todo el año. Les cambian una pechuga de pollo grillada o cualquier carne con muy poco esfuerzo y duran mucho.  Les dejo las cinco recetas, para ver si se animan.


1. Chutney de damascos (Foto)

Necesitan poner en una cacerola: 1 kg de cubos de damascos o duraznos (o mezclado), 1/2 kg de tomates perita bien maduros, 1 cebolla picada, 1 cucharadita de jengibre rallado, 1 cucharadita de canela, 1 cucharadita de nuez moscada, 1/2 cucharadita de pimienta, 1 cucharadita de cardamomo, 300 cc de vinagre de vino o de alcohol, 500 gramos de azúcar rubia, 150 gramos de pasas de uva.  Lo ponen a fuego bajito y lo cocinan por casi dos horas, hasta que tome punto mermelada. Se guarda en frascos esterilizados y se come con carnes rojas frías, pollo, pavita, y quesos, por supuesto.


2.  Salsa de arándanos

Esta me encanta para acompañar pavita, un solomillo de cerdo o carnes frías en ensalada. Muchas veces la uso junto con aceto para condimentar. También les sirve para dulces (un cheesecake, una torta de ricotta, un yogur natural). Para hacerla necesitan poner en el fuego 300 gramos de arándanos, 150 gramos de azúcar, cascaritas de limón, 100 cc de agua u oporto, si les gusta, una pizca de sal, 1 cda de jugo de limón. La cocinan a fuego lento hasta que quede como una mermelada más líquida y listo. No hay mucha ciencia.


3. Mermelada de cebollas coloradas

Aunque les suene raro, sí, mermelada de cebollas. Les juro que es riquísima. Ideal para acompañar cerdo, carnes blancas, pato, cordero, incluso medallones de lomo.  También la pueden usar para una entrada sobre tostaditas con queso azul o brie y queda muy rica. Tienen que saltear 1 kg de cebollas cortadas pluma con una pizca de sal hasta que estén bien claritas. En ese momento agregan 100 cc de vino blanco seco, 100 gramos de azucar, una ramita de tomillo y las siguen cocinando hasta que se caramelicen y parezca una mermelada.


4. Salsa de curry

Mezclan medio pote de queso blanco, 1 cucharada soperas de curry suave, 1 cda sopera de semillas de sésamo tostado (me gusta usar negro, pero el que quieran). Les sirve para cualquier ensalada con arroz, para carnes frías, para sandwiches. En realidad, sólo arroz y esta salsa les juro que es una maravilla. Ideal para agregar en una mesa de ensaladas sin tener que trabajar mucho.


5. Chutney de peras y jengibre

En este caso es mejor dejar pedazos de pera más grandes para comerlos así, porque es una receta mucho más simple. Tienen que poner en una cacerola medio kg de peras peladas en cubos grandes, 1 manzana rallada, 1 cda sopera de jengibre rallado fresco, 1/2 cdita de cardamomo, 1/2 cdita de canela, pimienta a gusto, 5 clavos de olor, 150 cc de vinagre de manzana, 150 gramos de azúcar común y 1/2 cdita al ras de sal. La cocción es igual al otro chutney, pero demora menos. Cuando el azucar haya caramelizado y parezca una mermelada, apagan y envasan. Queda genial con quesos (una tostadita, queso cammembert y chutney de peras), con aves y cerdo.


Via:  PlanetaJoy


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sábado, 12 de febrero de 2011

Valentine’s {Love} Cupcakes


Disco Dust.

I’m definitely a sucker for it.



I’d use it on almost every cookie if I could (but I try to restrain myself), but when I found these sparkly LOVE stickers at Michael’s Craft Store I knew I had to make a sugar version of them.



I ended up making simple royal icing decorations (also known as transfers, runouts or floodwork), instead of cookies, for these Valentine cupcakes.



If you’d like to try making these cupcakes and icing decorations, check out the how-tos below.




For the Valentine {Love} Cupcakes, you’ll need:




For the Royal Icing {Love} Toppers, you’ll need:


How to Make {Love} Sugar Decorations:

I used my KopyKake projector to project the Love stickers so I could trace the image, but if you’ve got drawing talent you won’t need the projector.    If you’d like to see a KopyKake projector tutorial, click here. These shapes are so simple that you really don’t need the KopyKake though; you could just trace them!  I projected them because I was able to change the size and make them bigger that way.

So, let’s begin!

  1. Cut the transparency (or parchment paper) out just larger than the size of the image you’re piping.  Lightly coat transparency, with a small amount of shortening using some paper towel.  This helps make the royal icing shape easier to remove when it’s dry.


2.  Pipe royal icing outline



3.  Flood or fill in your outline



4.  Gently shake the transparency left to right to help the icing smooth over.



5. Shake disco dust onto your wet icing



6.  Pick transparency up and pour excess disco dust back into container.  Some disco dust sticks to the shortening but you can probably do a better job than me if you’re not rushing.



7.  Make extras of your shapes as royal icing transfers can break easily, especially if they’re a delicate design.  These ones weren’t too breakable as they were a bit larger.  (I think I’d make them smaller next time though; they’re a bit too big for the cupcakes now that I see them on top).




8.  Let icing dry for at least 24 hours.



9.  Gently remove icing decoration by peeling the backing away



10.  Place on cupcakes, cakes, cookies etc.




It may look like it took a long time to make the “LOVE letters’ with all the pics, but they’re actually quite quick and easy to make.  Once I made and colored the royal icing, creating (doubles of) these took about 10 minutes.  Then it was just a matter of letting them dry for 24 hours and making the icing and cupcakes.

Here’s a slideshow of the whole icing decoration process if you’d prefer to see it that way:

How to Make a Royal Icing Decoration


(Click here if you can’t see the slideshow).

I made the pink ‘letter O’ reverse the original sticker as it was easier to make that way.  For a visual how-to view the slideshow below.

Royal Icing Valentine Heart How-To


(Click here if you can’t see the slideshow).

To see another post on how to put disco dust on cookies, click here or to see another post on making royal icing transfers, click here.



If you have any questions or comments, please drop me a line below and come join me on facebook here.

Enjoy making your ‘love letters‘! 




Via: Sweetopia


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Valentines: How do you store {Royal Icing} and how long can you keep it?


Posted on January 30th, 2011 in Cupcakes, Tutorials



I had lots of leftover royal icing from my last Valentine’s cupcakes, so I decided to make some more royal icing decorations using these Martha Stewart Valentine stickers as my design.



As I was making these I recieved an email from Bianca, asking me how long I keep the royal icing in the piping bag and how long I keep it in storage.



She’s one of many who’ve asked, so I thought I’d share the info. here.




So how long can one keep royal icing?



Royal Icing:

Before I answer that question, a little about royal icing.

Royal icing is made using either raw egg-whites (traditional), or using dried egg whites or meringue powder.

Although I have not heard of any documented cases of food-borne illness occurring due to eating traditional royal icing (made with egg whites), there is still a possibility that bacteria such as salmonella can be present in anything made with raw eggs.  Although many would not be affected by the bacteria, the very young, elderly, pregnant women and those with weaker immune systems might be.

You could use pasteurized egg whites found in cartons at the grocery store, but I’ve found that the icing doesn’t whip up as nicely using them.



Safest and most effective for cookie decorating in my experience has been royal icing made with meringue powderI’ll be referring to royal icing made with meringue powder from here on in. All of the following information also applies to both tinted and white icing.


What is Meringue Powder?

*Meringue powder is a fine, white powder made with pasteurized dried egg whites, sugar and gum; used to replace fresh egg whites when making icings and meringues. (*The Prentice Hall Essentials Dictionary of Culinary Arts, Pearson Prentice Hall, 2008).  It usually includes vanilla flavouring and is not usually sold in grocery stores but can be found in bulk food stores, baking supply stores or on the internet.



So now that that’s covered:


How long can one keep royal icing?

Freshest is always best of course, but you can keep your icing for a week or even up to two.

The longer it sits though, the more time it has to separate.

The water and icing sugar separate; after about a week you’ll have to really mix it up again to use it, and it may be difficult to make sure it’s perfectly smooth.  -The liquid pools a bit on the surface, leaving the bottom of the container with dry icing.

If you do end up keeping your icing for a few days or more, I’d recommend putting it back in your mixer quickly before you use it, to try and ensure all ‘lumps’ are out.  You may also have to add icing sugar to help thicken it, or a little bit of water to thin it out.  Whether or not you’ll have to add icing sugar or water depends on a few factors:

Adding icing sugar – Especially if you’re in a humid environment the icing may have absorbed humidity in the air.  (Even if it’s in an air-tight container).

Adding water – Mixing the icing really well (especially with a mixer), tends to add volume/air, and thickens it up a bit.  It is necessary to mix it really well to get the lumps out though.




So how long can one keep royal icing in the (piping) bag?

The icing sugar (powdered sugar), and water in the icing begin to separate over time, so if you haven’t used your piping bags for a few hours, you’ll start to see this happen.  How fast it separates depends on how runny your icing is.  The runnier it is, the faster it will separate.  See pic below for example.




You can try and knead the bag a little bit to help the icing combine together again, but it won’t be as effective as taking the icing out of the bag and re-mixing it with a spoon or spatula etc.

If you use the icing that has been sitting in your piping bag for a period of time, you’ll end up with icing that comes out in little pools of water and icing sugar. (See pic below).




Where do you store royal icing?

Icing made with raw egg whites needs to be kept in the fridge, however, icing made with meringue powder can be kept at room temperature.  I store mine in air-tight or re-usable yoghurt containers. (Pic below; the dollop of icing on top makes it easy for me to see what color is inside).



To ensure against any crusting, place saran wrap (plastic wrap), on the surface of the icing as well.  If some of it has crusted over (if you’ve forgotten to put the lid on the container for example), scoop those bits out; they can’t be used.




How long do royal icing decorations last?

Once the royal icing has dried, the decorations last indefinitley!  (forever lol).  They don’t spoil but must be stored in a cool, dry place, in an air-tight container.  Besides humidity, the only thing to watch out for is breakage.  They are fragile and should be stored between parchment paper and bubble wrap inside the air-tight container.

Grease from buttercream, for example, can also affect royal icing over time, but it will take quite a while for the icing to absorb the grease.  After I posted these royal icing {LOVE} decorations (below), there were a few questions about grease affecting the royal icing in the comment section.




Since I’m going to be keeping these cupcakes in a display case at school to show students an example of what they will be learning how to make when the new semester begins in a few weeks, I’ll be able to keep tabs on the progress.

So far I’ve had the royal icing toppers in a cupcake for 2 days and there’s no dissolving, but the grease has seeped into the icing.  See pic below with today’s date on the phone. 




In this case you could only see the discoloration on the back as the front was covered in disco dust.

It’s definitely best not to place your royal icing decorations on your cake, cupcakes etc. too far in advance before you’re serving them.  The grease seeped into these royal icing between 24 – 48 hours of being put on the cupcakes.  Smaller royal icing decorations would probably be affected sooner, especially if the entire surface area is resting on the buttercream.




What does royal icing taste like?

Royal icing decorations are edible of course; it’s really just sugar and meringue powder.  It’s delicious if you like the taste of pure icing sugar (lol), but in my humble opinion, pairs nicely with cookies especially.  It dries fairly hard, but when you bite into it the sensation is kind of like a soft, crunchy texture.


For a brief visual how-to on making these Valentine cupcake toppers, see below.   A more detailed version on making royal icing decorations (also known as transfers, floodwork, runouts etc.), click here.


How to make these Valentine royal icing decorations:

1. Pipe base colors with royal icing.



2.  Add icing details once the first layer has dried.



3.  Sprinkle on disco dust if desired.



4.  Using a paintbrush (used only for decorating purposes), brush excess disco dust off.



For a more detailed ‘how-to’, click on the image below:


Making the cupcakes:

I’m grateful to Melissa of MyCakeSchool.com for some cool cupcake tips I learned and used after watching some of her videos (Re: paper towel tip – who knew!).  She’s got a ton of great advice on decorating.




My Cake School

I wish I had watched one of the videos before I made my royal icing hearts!  It mentioned making the tail of your hearts longer, so that when you stick it in the cupcake, you can still see the whole heart.




The cupcakes themselves were dipped in light pink sanding sugar and for those of you who are interested in cake stands, these milk glass ones were from ebay.




The vanilla buttecream and vanilla cupcake recipes can be found here.


These are just some of the main things I’ve learned about royal icing which have worked for me .  If you have any tips, questions or comments, please drop me a line below and come join me on facebook here.


Happy decorating!



Via: Sweetopia


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