Monday, November 17, 2008

SHF: Glitter

Sun 16 Nov 2008

This month's Sugar High Friday, hosted by the Well Seasoned Cook, is Glitter. Susan offered a few ideas to get participants started but I always knew where I was going.

When I was little, we used to have a tube of silver cachous in the cupboard. They were used, unsurprisingly, for decorating cakes. At one point, I also decided that they represented an important part of my diet and eating one (several times a day, obviously) probably granted me some kind of exciting, superhuman quality.

It was clear that, for SHF, I should revisit the cachou.


Now, thanks to the interent, it seems that 'cachou' is the Australian (and Kiwi) word for 'silver balls'. I prefer 'cachou' - 'silver balls', while descriptive, is just ridiculous.

Because I knew my cake decorating was likely to be a bit lame, I made up my own recipe for little chocolate studded cupcakes.

Take 50g of dark chocolate and either process or cut into small pieces. You could always use 50g of very small chocolate chips.

Cream 175g of unsalted butter with 130g of caster sugar. Add 150g of self raising flour, 1 tsp of baking powder and 2 (medium) eggs. Finish with 1 tbsp of rum. Finish by mixing through your chipped chocolate.

Spoon into your baking receptacle: I used my silicone muffin tray, without papers, and bake at 160°C (fan) for 20 minutes. A skewer should come out clean.

When the cakes were cool I made a basic vanilla icing. I used about 25g unsalted butter, which I melted. I then added icing sugar and hot water until I had about enough and it was the right consistency (this was around 6-8 tbsp of icing sugar), and finished with 1 tsp of vanilla essence.

I finished my iced cakes with writing icing (surprisingly difficult to use) and the cachous. I discovered that very long fingernails are utterly impractical for positioning tiny silver balls in soft icing.

In the end I was a little short on icing, so I had 10 iced cupcakes, and one plain (one had already been eaten for quality control purposes). My favourites are the circus-tent style cakes: this was the easiest decoration to do and it looks the best. Things like love hearts and lettering are clearly beyond me!

The cake itself has been rated highly: because I chipped my chocolate in a food processor it's very fine, so you don't end up biting into a big chunk. In addition, it's remained distributed throughout the cake batter. The rum flavour is there, but it's not overpowering and the cakes are nice and moist.

Cake - yes, we'll definitely visit the cake again. The cachous? I'm thinking it might be time for some superhuman qualities ...

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Blogger Katie said...

Ohh chocolate and rum cupcakes - sound yummy. I like your decorations they remind me of the christmas lights that are dotted around the city centre.

8:57 pm  
Blogger Katie said...

I used to sneak the little jelly orange and lemon segments from the cupboard as a child. I'm not sure about superhuman qualities but I'm confident it went some way towards my 5 a day!

1:39 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I always wondered why the cachous disappeared. I think your little cakes are gorgeous!

4:10 am  
Blogger Alex said...

Thanks Katie (1!) - you're right that the decoration is Christmassy - but I couldn't have managed that on purpose!!!

Katie (2) - do you think our mothers knew?!

Anonymous - mum ... I'm sure you didn't wonder at all! It's just a miracle that their consumption wasn't strictly limited (like the beetroot!).

I should have also pointed out that anyone who doesn't want to use rum in the cakes could easily substitute in some strong coffee or a teaspoon of vanilla essence!

9:21 pm  
Blogger Susan said...

You know, Alex, I have never heard them referred as "cashous," but then, I am American. ; P

Thanks for sharing these scummy little cakes for SHF!

7:42 pm  
Blogger Alex said...

Susan - I don't think it has anything to do with being American - it appears to be a peculiarly Australian/NZ thing! Over here (UK) they're just 'silver balls' - how dull is that?!

8:08 pm  

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