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Chocolate Sprinkle Strawberries

Chocolate Sprinkle Strawberries

Chocolate and Sprinkle Covered Strawberries

I have been enjoying watching the tennis, so I thought I would follow on from the Chocolate Covered Strawberries with this other delicious summery treat of Chocolate Sprinkle Strawberries. The tutorial is very similar to the Chocolate Covered Strawberries so you could make them both on the same day.

 

Ingredients and Essentials

Strawberries with Cake Pop Sticks Inserted

Step One

Pop the stalks from out of the strawberries and then push the Cake Pop Stick in the strawberry, do this until you have the required number of ‘Strawberry Pops’ . Whilst you are doing this pop the kettle on to boil the water for the Choco Writers.

Choco Writers in jug of hot water

Step Two

Lay the strawberries out onto board or a baking tray and then pop the Choco Writers into a jug of hot water until the chocolate is full melted (I didn’t find the tubes were too hot once taken from the water but you might want to check before letting children handle them)

Dipping Strawberries in Sprinkles

Step Three

Now you need to drizzle a little of the chocolate in a pattern or just on the end of the strawberry, then dip into your sprinkles or sparkles before the chocolate dries.

Strawberries Dipped in Blue Magic Sparkles and Gold Sugar Crystals

Step Four

Once you have made your Chocolate Sprinkle Strawberries allow them to harden up (should only take around 10 minutes) then either eat straight from the board or wrap them up using the Cake Pop Bags. Then enjoy your Chocolate Sprinkle Strawberries….

Chocolate covered strawberries in cake pop bags

For more guilt free treats have a look at the rest of our Health Kick recipes or for a cheat meal recipe have a look at this tempting treat of White Chocolate Crunch Bars or why not have a go at making this Chocolate Basket to pop in your covered strawberries?!

 

 

 

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Chocolate Basket with Strawberries

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Use Choco Writers to Make a Wimbledon Treat!

It’s that time of year again that makes me really feel like summer is here. Wimbledon starts today! Of course as a Brit I will be rooting for Andy Murrey though of course as we are an international company I also wish all the international players loads of luck (as long as they don’t beat Andy of course!)

But you can’t have Wimbledon without strawberries! So I have a tutorial here that will help you to make a very impressive display of your Wimbledon strawberries (or in fact many other sweets and desserts). Not only will your friends and family be Oooh-ing and Ahhh- ing at the tennis but you may get a few for the fabulous presentation of the strawberries!

You will need:

Cake Decor Choco-writers
Strawberries
Chocolate for dipping
Small party balloon

How to Make:

We are going to use the balloon as a former for the basket so first you need to blow it up to the size you want your basket to be. You can use a small bowl or cup as a guide. Place it into the bowl and draw around it with a marker pen using the rim as a guide. This will be the top of your finished basket.

Guideline for piping
The finished line around the balloon
Marking the top of the basket
Use a marker to draw around the rim of the bowl to mark the top of the basket

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Melt the choco- writer in a jug of hot water (keeping the top tightly on so no water gets into the chocolate!). Once it is soft all over test the flow. It should pipe easily but not run out too fast. If it is hard to pipe warm for a little longer. If you find it flows out too quickly just leave it to cool for a few moments before you start to pipe.

Start by piping around the balloon following the line you have marked. Then place the balloon back in the bowl for support with the tied end down. Pipe all over the balloon using loops or cornelli piping or the pattern of your choice. It wants to be lacy but it is important that the lines do touch in order to give strength to the finished basket. Make sure that you go right up to your guide line all the way round. If the Choco writer starts to get hard to pipe put the top back on and place it back in the hot water for a few minutes to remelt. Leave the finished basket in the support and place in a cool place to set up.

Piping the Basket top
Pipe around the guideline with the Choco Writer
Piping the Basket
Pipe lacework all over the balloon up to piped rim

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meanwhile melt some chocolate – I find the PME Chocolate Melting pot to be perfect for this! It doesn’t overheat the chocolate (one of my big failings when using a microwave!) and keeps it at a constant temperature while you work. The three different pots also mean you can change from milk, to white to plain chocolate whenever you like.

Wash and dry some strawberries leaving the stalks in place as they make a perfect dipping and eating handle! Dip into the chocolate of your choice until they are about half covered then place on some greaseproof paper to set.

Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

By now the basket should have set up. Gently ease the balloon away from the sides of the basket to free the chocolate. You can insert a scalpel carefully into the top of the balloon to create a small hole by nipping some of the balloon in your fingers to prevent the balloon from popping and allow the balloon to deflate slowly. It is important not to stab at it as this will cause the balloon to pop which may damage the basket. Ease the deflated balloon away from the basket if it still sticks.

Deflating the Balloon
When set deflate the balloon and remove from the basket
Chocolate Base
The Chocolate Circle is fixed to the base of the basket

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pipe a circle of chocolate onto a piece of greaseproof paper and fill with chocolate using the choco writer. Before it sets lightly press the base of your basket onto it and hold in place for a few minutes until it holds. Once set the greaseproof can be peeled away and the basket will have a nice flat base and won’t tip.

When ready to serve place your dipped strawberries into the basket. Dust with a little icing sugar and add a bowl of whipped cream on the side for dipping your strawberries into while you eat… and there you have a beautiful display of summer fruit and chocolate for your favourite Wimbledon moments!

More Information:
If you would like to see the video demonstration of the Chocolate Basket you can download it for free at the PartyAnimalOnlineShop then you can replay it to your hearts content!

We also have sets of the Chocowriters available with a Wimbledon Special offer of an additional 50p off our already discount price for all 3 choco writers by simply using the code wim2015 at checkout.

 

Chocolate Basket and Dipped Strawberries
Pipe a Chocolate Basket with Choco Writers for your Wimbledon Strawberry Treat

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Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Chocolate covered strawberries in jar

This is the second instalment in our new Health Kick side of the Party Animal Online blog. I have been busy in the kitchen creating an devouring these Chocolate Covered Strawberries.

They are so simple to make, you could even get the kids involved! They look really nice on their own or wrapped in the Cake Pop Bags.

Ingredients and Essentials

Step One

Pop the stalks from out of the strawberries and then push the Cake Pop Stick in the strawberry, do this until you have the required number of ‘Strawberry Pops’ . Whilst you are doing this pop the kettle on to boil the water for the Choco Writers.

Strawberries with Cake Pop Sticks Inserted

Step Two

Lay them out onto board or a baking tray and then pop the Choco Writers into a jug of hot water until the chocolate is full melted (I didn’t find the tubes were too hot once taken from the water but you might want to check before letting children handle them)

Choco Writers in jug of hot water

Step Three

Undo the lids of the Choco Writers and snip off a little of the nozzle, then begin to drizzle the chocolate over the strawberries. Those that are watching their Calories/Macros you could pop the tray on some digital kitchen scales to monitor how much chocolate you are putting on. I did this and used less than 2g of the chocolate over 6 strawberries!

Choco Writers used on strawberries

Step Four

Once covered pop them onto a clean plate/board to allow the chocolate to harden. I did a couple with the a single Choco Writer on and then a couple with all three Choco Writers on.

Strawberries hardening with Choco Writers

Step Five

Once the chocolate has hardened you can pop the Chocolate Covered Strawberries into the Cake Pop Bags or eat straight off the plate!

Chocolate covered strawberries in cake pop bags

 

I also made some Chocolate Covered Strawberries with Sprinkles on as well and I will cover this in a future post. For now, enjoy your Chocolate Covered Strawberries guilt free!

 

 

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Turtle Cakes and Cupcakes

Here’s our most recent Fan Shares for all inspired Turtle Cakes and Cupcakes.

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I found this little guy chewing on some lettuce over at Cakes Beyond Belief and thought he’d be perfect to start our Turtle Share Day!

 

With loads of entries submitted yesterday for our animal share day it was really difficult to choose this weeks Turtle Cakes and Cupcakes to go in this week fan share blog.

I love the diversity of the cakes and of course this share would not be complete without the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Cake or two!

So let’s have the line up…. here’s the Top 10 Turtle Cakes from our Facebook fans….. get ready to be inspired.

In no particular order other than the Top Favourite voted by likes on our Facebook page by our fans and the PartyAnimalOnline cake shop staff! Let us know your favourites at the bottom of this post.

 

1. I love the idea of waves on this cake, a very clever use of cake tiers by Give and Cake.

Turtle Cake
Turtle Cake – Give and Cake

 

2. This scores top for the most realistic turtle cake I have ever seen! This cake is by North Star Cakes – the same people who did that amazing Snake Cake! I love the shiny finish created with confectioners glaze… it just finishes this cake off so well…. I would feel mean cutting in to this little fella for a slice!

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3. It’s Squirt from Finding Nemo… loved this character in the film and Tracey’s Fab Cakes has really captured his character here! Really impressive and amazing airbrush detail and control!

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4. Dave’s Discworld Cake was presented on a massive 14″ x 18″ board… it’s enormity is a feat in itself. All the details were airbrushed on too. Fabulous by Dave’s All Occasions Cakes.

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5. A ‘bodacious’ design by Cath’s Custom Cakes and this Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Cake would not be complete without the pizza! A fabulous finishing touch!

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6. I was really impressed to hear this was Inspirata Cakes first use of their Airbrush… love the shell and colours on this fabulous turtle cake!inspirata_cakes

 

7. Hurry little tortoise… swim for your life! Looks like the sharks still hungry from his human lunch! Love the design of this cake by Julie Cains Cakes … her cakes are amazing!

julie_caines_cakes

 

8. I love the marbled effect of icing used on the turtles shell by the lovely Yvonne Walsh! Yvonne had loads of fun making this one and I can really see why, a brilliant effect used to tile his skin and shell and give this little guy a great finish!yvonne_welsh

 

9. TMNT Cake by Mrs B Bakes Cakes – So these guys have certainly been popular in today’s turtle shares making it incredibly hard to choose but I really liked the design and vibrancy of this one…down to the font detail of the name! Four extremely lovable, butt kicking turtles – totally awesome duuuude!

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10. You’ve seen cakes but I’m here to bring you cupcakes too! These Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Cupcakes were made by Elaine’s Cheerful Colourful Cupcakes – they are exactly that… A very effective design and perfect cupcakes to finish off our turtle cake & cupcakes share!elaines_colourful_cupcakes

 

That concludes our Turtle Cakes & Cupcakes on Fan Shares today!

Which is your favourite?…. We’ll leave it to you guys to decide!

 

Other awesome animal cakes

 

Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

This recipe is perfect for Red Velvet Cake but would also be fabulous on all other cupcakes especially ones with a carrot cake twist!

This recipe creates a firm mix that is great to pipe with. If you find the mix is too firm you can let it down with a very small dash of milk. Alternatively if it’s not firm enough simply add a little more icing sugar! Our cream cheese recipe is simple and will only take 10 minutes to whip together.

 

The Recipe

150g Cream Cheese

30g of Non Salted Butter

350g of Sifted Icing Sugar

1tsp of Lemon Juice

 

Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe perfect for Red Velvet Cake

Method

This parts so easy! Mix the cream cheese and butter well together until fully blended, sift your icing sugar on to the buttercream mix and whisk well. Finally add in your lemon juice and mix again, this is quite a heavy mix but it tastes soooo good!

Add a little extra icing sugar if needed and then refrigerate while your cakes are cooling, this will help when piping, especially if you have hot hands like me!

After the cakes have cooled 30mins to an hour, get your Cream Cheese Frosting out the fridge, dish generously in to a piping bag with a nozzle and swirl away on your tasty, now even tastier Cupcakes.

If you need some toppers to finish them off why not see some of our other tutorials.

–          Making Fondant Lips for Valentines Toppers

–          Handmade Easy Fondant Roses

–          Elegant Heart Toppers

We hope you enjoy reading our blogs, feel free to leave comments asking questions about any of our latest posts or tell us what you would like to see more of!

Tried & Tested – Sugarflair Edible Glitter Paints

Sugarflair Edible Glitter Paints are available in ten shades.
Sugarflair Edible Glitter Paints are available in ten shades.

 

This has to be one of the few new years resolutions I have stuck to! My first one was getting fit so far it’s going reasonably well but nothing earth shatteringly good to share. The second was eating healthier foods…. what Krispy Kremes don’t count? Finally the third but most successful has been to trial more products in the PartyAnimalOnline’s huge catalogue of over 1,500 lines of Sugarcraft equipment and edibles.

Easy mixing capabilities to create hundreds more shades.
Easy mixing capabilities to create hundreds more shades.

Today’s blog is on  product testing of the ever increasingly popular Sugarflair glitter paints. These paints are 100% edible and designed specifically for use on Sugarcraft toppers, cake decorations and edible cake art. When we received these paints from Sugarflair I wondered how they would compare to many other of their leading products. I was not completely convinced that they would live up to Sugarflair’s high standards of food colouring. We therefore wanted to put them to the test. This blog will give you my findings when testing them, tips to using them and ways to increase the longevity of the product.

Nutrition Guide: Sugarflair Glitter paints are completely VEGETARIAN however they do contain alcohol.

 

My findings and tips.

At first glance of the edible paint the iso-propyl and colouring can separate, this issue is very quickly rectified with a quick shake of the tub, be sure that the lid is securely on or risk painting the rest of the room and clothes with a Jason Pollock-esque finish!

On opening the mixed paint I was immediately hit by a very strong smell of alcohol, that smell is the result of mixing the glitters with iso-propyl (alcohol). Although this may put some off at first, this alcohol evaporates in seconds after application leaving no odour or taste behind! A big positive! No one wants their cake to taste like methylated spirits!

Although only 10 colours are available in the range these paints mix incredibly well to create more shades. I used the white and blue to create light blue to dark blue bows. A simple palette will help you mix the shades just remember it’s easy to add colour to white but it’s very difficult to take away the colour so I would always suggest starting with the lightest tone and using your paint brush to add a dab at a time until you reach the depth required… patience is a virtue, or so they keep telling me!

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Use a pallet to mix your colours!

A big tip is that knowing how quickly the alcohol evaporates from this paint, once applied make sure all lids are secured tightly back on after use and even go as far as keeping them in an air tight freezer bag for extra longevity. If the lids are not secured the paints can quickly dry up!

This paint, once dried will not smudge and with such long best before dates this product will keep a very long time, as long as it’s stored correctly. All around I was impressed with Sugarflair’s new release. I was also very pleased with the coverage, I purposely used this paint on white modelling paste to see if it would require numerous cotes or result in a streaky look. I found that one coat was plenty and the white modelling paste was no longer visible. For covering a larger area, such as an entire cake I would recommend a second coat to stop streaks appearing.

I will say, I did think they would be more glittery & I felt that for a product called “glitter” paint it’s more of a shimmer, than a so called glitter but then this works well with many more occasions, as long as it’s what you are expecting! Don’t expect something that’s going to dazzle & sparkle, expect more of a silky finish, a shimmer or a spangle. As you can see it worked perfectly for the pieces that I did for the experiment. A “glittery” car may not have gone down so well for a gents birthday cake! This aside I would definitely give this product a high score, Sugarflair are certainly a company that keep to their high standards!

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Using edible paints on Patchwork Cutters

Conclusion:

Positives:

  • Quick drying
  • Professional glossy finish
  • No odour or taste once fully dried.
  • Great for mixing
  • Long best before dates
  • Good coverage
Negatives:
  • When wet this paint has a strong odour (this goes once dried)
  • Evaporates fast so if the paint is not resealed well enough, it will quickly dry up.
  • Not as glittery as expected, more of a metallic/satin finish but just as nice.

 

Top Tip for dried up paints:

If you have treated yourself to this paint and it has dried up, try getting some iso-propyl alcohol also known as rejuvenator liquid. Begin by mixing half and half with the paint, seal the tub and leave over night. In the morning open it up, mix well and shake if needed, this should bring the paint back to life and you with be able to use it as normal again… please remember to seal well to stop this happening again!

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I really enjoyed using Sugarflair metallic paint.

 

To follow:

I will be writing a few more blogs to follow this on the Sugarflair paints and about the tests I have done as requested by our Facebook fans. We will write up the following:

How to use Patchwork Cutters Sports Car .

How to make an edible bow using Karen Davies bow mould.

How well Sugarflair Paints work on different media such as modelling chocolate.

Hand painting with Sugarflair paints.

 

Cooking up a Christmas Cake storm!

There are only seven weeks till Christmas and with ‘Stir-up Sunday” being 24th November, if you haven’t already started making your Christmas Cake I have decided to put together a list of tips to help get you through making the cake without turning to the bottle of Brandy! With the nights getting darker and the evenings getting colder it is the perfect time to begin plumping up your fruit and make the house warmer and smell delicious with your Christmas Cake baking in the oven!

The Christmas Cake is a merger of two dishes the plum porridge (I think this would taste a lot nicer than it sounds!) and Twelfth Night Cake, the plum porridge was traditionally eaten on Christmas Eve. In the 16th Century the oatmeal was replaced by butter and flour. The cake was originally boiled rather than baked and it wasn’t until people became richer and started to have ovens in their homes, that the cake was then baked.

Make sure you soak the fruit to make it nice and plump, this will also help to keep your cake moist. The fruit will absorb all the fruit juice or alcohol, the general guidance for doing this is for around 12 hours or if possible 14-48 hours. Some suggest that before baking the cake you put a bowl of water in the oven to keep the cake moist whilst it is baking. Do no open the door on the oven till the cake has been in the oven for at least three quarters of the cooking time.

Once the cake is cooked and cooled and prepared to store, remember to feed the cake (and not yourself) brandy etc. periodically as this will also ensure for a nice moist cake. After thorough research the most favoured Christmas Cake recipe is the Delia Smith recipe. The recipe is for an 8″ round cake, however if you do not have a tin that size, there is a great guide for scaling up your cake recipesChristmas Done

Once it is time to dress your cake, make sure you dress it to its best after all you may be using it as your Christmas centrepiece. Make sure you take the time to roll your marzipan to the correct thickness and size, you can even be extra precise and use the marzipan spacers to get an even thickness on your marzipan and icing.