Sunday, May 15, 2016

Aunty Vera's Kitchen - Chocolate Mousse

Hello friends! It's the weekend again (how did THAT happen so fast??!) and that means it's time for......

Today's recipe is dedicated to the Real Jenni who has been asking me to make chocolate mousse for a few weeks now. So chocolate mousse it is!!

I used a recipe from the Taste website... you can find it HERE.

And here it is in pictures and hints......

Melt 200g of dark chocolate (or you can use milk chocolate if you prefer)
Recipes will tell you to do this over a pan of simmering water...blah blah blah... sorry, but I have a gas stove top and if you have gas all you need to do is put your pan over a teeny heat until the chocolate starts to melt, then turn off the heat and let it melt, giving it the occasional stir. If it's taking too long, give it another burst of teeny heat to get it going again.  Do I hear you yell "Oh no! Never!!"? Well, it always works for me, so why create more washing up than necessary?

When melted, let it cool for just a minute then mix in your 4 egg yolks and kahlua (if using.... I made mine without in case my learner driver had some before going for a drive!) Then let it cool for a few minutes.
While it's cooling, this is a good time to beat your 4 egg whites and transfer them to a separate bowl, and then beat up your 300ml of cream.

You may find that adding the egg yolks to your melted chocolate can make the mixture seize up. In that case, just get a bear to stare at it really really hard... this usually fixes the problem....

HAHA jokes! It doesn't really. I just needed an excuse to get Bill in there! But don't stress if your chocolate seizes up as your next step is to fold in the cream. You'll find that the high fat content of the cream fixes your chocolate right up!.....

Here's a little hint...... if you want to make a chocolate mousse that is a little different.... mix in the cold cream while the chocolate is still a little bit warm. And mix it it slowly! Some of the chocolate will start to set and you'll end up with Chocolate Chip Chocolate Mousse!

Then fold in the beaten egg whites. Start with just a couple of tablespoons to lighten your mixture, then gradually add more until it is all combined.......

And that's it! How easy was that?!
All you need to do now is pour it into fancy glasses and decorate with more whipped cream and chocolate shavings.
A little hint - if you have long narrow glasses like me, use a piping bag (aka freezer bag with the corner cut off.... I hate washing up to pipe your chocolate mousse into the glasses. Then you won't get messy streaks down the side of the glass.

I use a vegetable peeler to make my chocolate shavings. Just 'peel' them directly from the block of chocolate!

Chocolate Mousse anyone?

Wishing you all a lovely weekend with lots of craft, chocolate  and maybe an opportunity to make these yummy treats!

Aunty Vera :)

Friday, May 13, 2016

Join our NSD Challenge 2016 and win great prizes!!

Hello Crafty Readers and Happy Friday!

We're a little late posting our National Scrapbook Day Challenge to the blog..... but then, it's National Scrapbook Month, so that's ok. This year's challenge is a lot of fun and there are some super prizes involved!

The challenge...... a layout challenge that is all about YOU! That means SELFIE!!!! lol (though a traditional photo of yourself is cool too)
Simply draw some inspiration from the sketch below and scrap a page about you and your favourite things........

Then simply post your layout on our facebook page, or join our facebook group - Crafty Vera and Friends where we have a dedicated challenge album that you can upload your photo into, or simply email it to us at (please use NSD CHALLENGE as your subject heading)
You have till the end of May to get your entry in, and 3 winners will be drawn randomly from all entries.

The prizes!!!!

1st prize is a We R Memory Keepers Photo Sleeve Fuse Tool.....

Second prize is a set of watercolour pencils from Prima Marketing (Scenic Route colours).......

And 3rd prize a newly released Gorjuss stamp set - Little Song.......

Do I hear a WOOHOO?
You've got to be in it to win it, so get those entries in. And tell your scrappy friends!

Now for THE FINE PRINT........ by entering this challenge, you give us the ok to post your layout pic here on our blog and on our other social media channels.

So... ready... set... SCRAP!
And have a fabulous weekend!

Aunty Vera :)

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Aunty Vera's Kitchen: A honey cake for my Mom for Mother's Day

Hi everyone,

Happy Mother's Day to all you Moms and Fur-Moms out there.
I am coming to you with a little story as well as a honey cake recipe.

Last weekend, our family attended the Honey Festival here in the Swan Valley in WA and I came across this interesting concept of a stall.

They had had 10 entrants who all baked the same cake using the one recipe and as the public, we could pay $2 for 3 taste tasting plus voting for the best cake.

They also had a VERY CHARISMATIC US chef talking us through each cake and what he thought each entrant did wrong in their cake based on colour, shape, taste etc. 
He would give us each a taste and we would give the cake we liked most a red sticker.

Very INTERESTING concept of a stall indeed!!

I remember one baker used salted butter-yuck, you could taste that straight away.
One baker, over-mixed their batter and as a result it was like eating a rock cake.
One baker cooked their cake at too high a temperature and for not enough time and as a result it tasted like raw batter in the middle.

I loved this stall!! This man was a mad scientist (aka kindred spirit) and I picked his brain a lot.

So today, I pretended I was baking for this stall and vowed to use his tips for making an excellent cake and winning all the votes.

Here is the recipe I took a picture of on the day


One thing he stressed was using good quality ingredients and when I mentioned Coles brand he lifted his eye-brow at me and I laughed out loud. Ok no- more Coles brand!

Second, he stressed ROOM TEMPERATURE ingredients. Eggs and butter must be at room temperature before we start. At room temperature they disperse better in the batter and make for a more even rising in the oven. They also trap air so they give the cake a lighter texture. 
Who would have know!! I never used to do that!


You must cream the butter for at least 5 minutes!
Until it changes from yellow to almost white.
Then add the sugar (or honey).
Then add each egg at a time.

Flour MUST be sifted (yup really really) and added in batches along with a tablespoon of milk as needed.
Yes- patience and time is required when baking.

Sitting Time 

After you have made your cake batter and poured it into the prepared tin, let it sit there for a good half hour. Use this time to turn on the oven and get it to temperature. Something about relaxing the batter after all that beating!

Oven Temperature

Bake for lower for longer he kept saying.
160 or 150 for 45-50 minutes and even then it depends on your oven.

If you insert your wood pick and it seems just together then its DONE. 
Take it out of the oven and let it sit for another 10-15 minutes while it finishes cooking on the inside.
Then turn it out onto a rack and let it cool completely.

This is what mine looked like as soon as I pulled it out of the oven. The fissures mean that it was just a BIT hot but it didn't dome (doming means TOO hot and that the heat is trapped and is about to erupt like lava from a volcano- I loved that analogy and will never forget it).
I might try bringing the oven temperature down to 150C next time and see if I don't get any cracks!
[Usually, i just chop off the domed or cracked part of the cake and pretend it didn't happen).


Once again, you MUST beat your butter until it is almost white- usually about 5 minutes.
For the honey, I used one I bought from The House of Honey. It is a flavoured one called "Rose Honey" and has the most subtle hint of fragrant rose. Really very delicate -picture Downton Abbey's Maggie Smith :) 

And here is my cake:

Please pardon the change of mind of piping design!
I am still an amateur 

Final Tip from the Chef
Never refrigerate a cake!!
The honey and the butter "seize up" (Im guessing that means solidifies) and you'll never get that light texture back.
Now Im off to give it to my Mom for Mother's Day.

So wherever you may be this Mother's Day, wishing you a blessed day and give your Mom a hug and kiss for being a mother.

xx AmiraInOz 

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