We pretty much live on coffee every single day so these dark chocolate mousse cups laced with Patron XO café are an instant hit with us. Also, if you watched out Instagram stories over Christmas then may have spotted the tequila coffee liqueur a few times. For Valentine’s Day why not surprise the coffee fanatic in your life with this caffeine infused dessert? However, feel free to whip them up for yourself too if you like… you deserve it!
Dark chocolate mousse with Patron XO Café
Ingredients needed… (makes approx. 2 large coffee mugs full or 8 espresso cups)
Firstly, melt the dark chocolate slowly in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Make sure not to heat the chocolate too much or too fast. Also, try not to get water into the chocolate as this will seize it up and you’ll need to begin again.
Now stir in the butter, Patron and egg yolks gently. Once incorporated set aside off the heat. At this stage it will look a little grainy and feel stiffer.
Add your egg whites to a stand mixer with a whisk attachment and whip to a slightly stiff consistency. Basically your egg whites should resemble a large fluffy cloud at this stage.
Next fold your whipped egg whites into your molten chocolate mixture along with your double cream (the 150ml amount).
Carefully add to some stylish coffee cups. If you spoon these in and want a nice level flat top then just tap the cup on a counter a couple times to help the mousse inside settle. We divded our’s across two large coffee mugs. If you’re, instead, making these for a larger party then why not add to espresso cups? Leave to set for a couple hours in your fridge.
Finally, when ready add a dollop of whipped cream (from the 100ml amount) on top of each with a sprinkling of chocolate coffee beans!
Tip! If you over whip your cream then don’t worry! This can be fixed pretty easily. Simply add in a tablespoon or two of full fat milk or left over double cream and whip for a few seconds.
Your perfectly creamy and thick decadent chocolate mousse should now be ready for dessert time! The great thing about this recipe is that it is pretty adaptable. Swap the Patron XO Café for cognac or even Bailey’s (make sure to taste test) or trade in the dark chocolate for milk. You can, however, leave out the alcohol hit all together. There’s even the option of playing with layers. Alternate white chocolate mousse with dark and add crushed chocolate chip cookies on top.
Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and we can’t wait too! Full of sweet little treats, lots of pink and more heart shaped sprinkles than anyone could count it’s such a cute holiday! This year we are kicking off the love-filled season with these Cherry and Rose Bellini Eclairs. Pretty choux pastry desserts filled with rose extract infused cherry preserve and whipped prosecco swiss meringue buttercream… then topped with cherry flavoured fondant, fresh cherries, sprinkles and elegant roses!
Ingredients and tools needed… (makes approx. 10 eclairs)
Firstly. pre-heat your oven to 200C/180C fan/400F/Gas mark 6. After that add your butter to a saucepan with the water on medium to high heat on your stove top. When the two ingredients melt together bring them to the boil! Don’t worry… this shouldn’t take too long. For us it takes around 5-7 minutes.
Next remove the pan from the heat and also add in your flour. Quickly start to stir. The mix will thicken at this stage (try not to stir too much as this will over mix the dough).
Once your flour has been incorporated it’s time to add in your beaten eggs a little at a time (make sure to add the egg on top of the dough and not right onto the pan’s surface… the heat will instead start cooking up scrambled eggs). We’d recommend pouring in whatever you estimate to be an egg’s worth then stir vigorously (this part takes some arm muscle). Repeat this until all your eggs have been added.
Tip: This part is, however, a lot easier with someone to kindly help you. Whilst you mix everything together have your helper add in the egg.
When your choux dough is ready it should be thick and look a little glossy! Next you’ll need to scoop it into a disposable piping bag. You can use a large round piping tip or go rogue and just snip the bag when you’re ready to pipe!
Spritz your silpat lined cookie tray with water. You don’t need a lot so make sure you don’t drench it!
Now you can pipe out your eclairs. Snip your disposable piping and pipe thick lines of your dough along your tray. You’ll need the scissors to cut the dough off. It’s got a lot of elasticity in it’s texture so it won’t snap or break off easy. Place in your oven and bake for 30 mins. When the 30 mins are up turn the tray around and bake for a further 10 minutes. When baked leave to cool before filling and decorating.
Take your cherry preserve and then add a few drop of rose water to it. Most importantly, make sure you taste test so can get the exact flavour you like. You may need a few drops more depending how strong you’d like the rose flavour to be. Make sure the mix doesn’t end up runny though. Add your rose water infused cherry jam to a piping bag fitted with a bismarck tip. At two points along the flat base of your eclair pipe a little of the preserve in. Don’t pipe too much!
If you’ve already whipped up our prosecco swiss meringue buttercream (or SMBC) then bag it up in a disposable piping bag with your bismarck tip at the end. Now pipe the SMBC into your eclair at 3 alternating spaces between where you piped in your preserve. You can, however, use whipped cream to fill.
To decorate we added some cherry extract to pink fondant and mixed it in, however, you can leave this plain if you like. We love the added cherry flavour though! When ready roll out your fondant and cut oblong shapes using for fondant eclair cutter.
Add a little light corn syrup onto your filled eclairs and gently lay your pink cherry fondant on top!
Finally, you can add your roses, cherries and sprinkles! Why not use melted chocolate to attach (use a cocktail stick to apply the chocolate) each piece on top of your fondant covered eclair. We opted for light pink roses in the middle surrounded with fresh morello cherries and sweet white heart sprinkles!
Now enjoy! Aren’t these fun and boozy inspired eclairs perfect for a Valentine’s Day dinner? Whip these up for your crush, your best friends or just for yourself (seriously, we won’t judge). They’ll be such a treat paired with some rose gold prosecco (our favourite is by Bottega)!
With party season right around the corner you’re going to want to impress everyone with all the chic treats you can whip up! It’s also easy to feel overwhelmed or stuck on what to make. For us anything with a bit of glitz and a hint of alcohol is the way to go. Obviously with that in mind our prosecco Swiss Meringue Buttercream is a must try! Soft buttery swirls infused with fruity Bottega Rose Gold prosecco on top of freshly made cupcakes? Who could say no? Obviously the answer is… no-one.
Note: You’ll definitely need a stand-up mixer for this prosecco Swiss Meringue Buttercream recipe! It’s going to get frustrating and hard trying to whisk by hand!
Firstly you’ll need to quickly reduce your Bottega Rose Gold Prosecco! Sounds tricky, but it really isn’t. Add 200ml of your prosecco to a sauce pan on a medium to high heat. Stir gently while bringing to a boil. It should take around 8-10 minutes for your prosecco to reduce down to around half the amount you started with. The flavour will still be there, but what you need is to rid yourself of too much liquid that could hinder the consistency of your SMBC (Swiss Meringue Buttercream). When this has reduce set aside to completely cool down.
You’ll need to make sure that your bowls, paddles, whisks and utensils are cleaned with fresh lemon juice to stop your egg whites from going flat. Any fat from a previous mix can stop egg whites from whisking properly!
Seperate your egg whites into a medium sized bowl and set them aside.
Next prepare a sauce pan of boiling water on medium to high heat. Add your bowl of egg white on top of the boiling water (not into it). Then whisk your egg whites in the bowl over the sauce pan.
Gradually add in sugar. Keep whisking until the sugar is fully dissolved.
Tip: You can test whether the sugar has dissolved fully by rubbing the egg mixture between your fingers. It’s ready when you can’t feel any undissolved grains of sugar. and until your mix is pale and fluffy.
With your stand mixer use your whisk attachment not the paddle. Add the egg and sugar mix to your bowl and whisk on the highest speed on your mixer for 5 minutes. Your egg white mixture should be white, sticky and have a bit of a glossy sheen. The bowl should also be cool to touch!
Now you need to remove your whisk attachment and switch to the paddle attachment. Then on a medium speed begin to add the chilled butter a cube at a time! There’ll be a point when your SMBC will look scary and curdled. Don’t worry about it. Keep mixing and it will soon start to look silky!
Finally, you can add in a little of your pink food colouring along with your reduced Bottega Rose Gold Prosecco. We strongly recommend adding a little prosecco at a time and taste test! It all depends on just how boozy you’d like it to taste. We’re perfectly OK with a hit of alcohol so obviously we used the whole amount.
SMBC is amazing to pipe. It’s oh so silky and creamy and utterly perfect for adding flawless swirls on top of cupcakes. You can use this prosecco Swiss Meringue Buttercream recipe to smooth over freshly filled cakes and even use to fill decadent doughnuts with!
When Royal Albert contacted us to say our cakes and treats were a perfect fit for their gorgeous range of tableware designed by Miranda Kerr obviously we were beyond flattered! The range manages to be luxurious yet fun and definitely on-trend (those pink peonies are a fashion favourite). Definitely something we aim to be with every sweet we create! With this in mind and to really make the most of those last few days of summer we’ve put together one super pretty cake you can re-create too! Cherries are available in late summer, but they always remind us both of Autumn too (hello fruity cherry conserves and cinnamon cherry strudels!). Adding in a good Madagascan vanilla along with a creamy white Belgian chocolate helps give this cake a wonderfully comforting feeling! To whip up this cake at home keep reading!
Love the stylish Royal Albert and Miranda Kerr ‘Gratitude’ cake stand and ‘Friendship’ tea plates we used to help show off our Royal Albert inspired cake? Follow the links to shop them! They’re so vibrant and beautiful. We’re huge fans of the large peonies, gold accents and pretty colour palette.
Cherry and white chocolate cake recipe!
Ingredients needed for the cake: (this recipe makes approx. 3 x 8″ circle cakes)
Pre-heat your oven to gas mark 3 / 140C (fan) / 160C (non-fan) / 325F. Butter and line your cake pans.
Cream together the butter and sugar in a good stand-up mixer. Don’t over mix as this adds air into your batter which can lead to a sunken mess.
Add in your flour and roughly mix this into the creamed butter and sugar. Again don’t over mix! Mixing too much once your flour has been added overstimulates the gluten which can make a rather dense and chewy textured cake. Not nice.
Now add in your eggs and Madagascan vanilla. Mix until incorporated. Then pour evenly between three 8″ cake pans! Bake each layer/pan for approximately 30 mins. Test your cake with a clean knife or cake tester. If it comes out clean your cake is ready! If not and batter sticks to the blade or tester bake for another 15 minutes checking again at the halfway mark!
If you want to bake all three layers at once place in your oven and bake for approximately 40-50 minutes. Remember to test your cakes. If they’re not ready bake for another 10-15 minutes and test each 5-7 minutes into your extra baking time!
When ready remove from the oven. Quickly and carefully turn out onto a clean surface to cool. We use chocolatier marble slabs to help our cakes cool down a little quicker.
Ingredients needed for the vanilla and white chocolate buttercream:
500g softened butter
250g sifted icing sugar (powdered or confectioner’s sugar in the US)
Cream the butter in a stand mixer. Scrape the butter back down to the bottom of the bowl using your spatula. Try not to mix the butter too much or this can lead to pesky air bubbles and an odd textured buttercream! It’s so tempting to just leave the mixer going while you prep other things, but don’t!
Add in your sifted icing sugar (also known as powdered sugar or confectioner’s sugar in the US) and mix until incorporated. Remember not to over mix though!
Now add in your Madagascan vanilla bean paste along with your 100g of melted white chocolate and a little pink food colour. Mix together.
Tip! When it comes to adding in colour do this a little at a time. It’s so much easier to add more colour if needed then remove any once mixed in!
Ingredients and materials needed to fill and decorate your cherry and white chocolate cake:
Macarons, candy, homemade marshmallows or meringue kisses to decorate
Cream puffs (if you’re feeling adventurous) – We have a Strawberry Milkshake cream puff recipe here. Just omit the strawberry essence from the whipped cream filling and add a tablespoon of blitzed cherry conserve into the double cream when whipping!
Your go-to ganache drip recipe – we added our signature gold sequin drip to our cherry and white chocolate cake. To simplify this cake you can leave the drip out!
When cool your layers are ready to work with! You never want to sandwich with warm cake as it will begin to melt your fillings. Sloppy, warm buttercream or ganache is not a good look. With a large serrated knife level each layer. You can definitely use a cake leveller for this tip if you like. We make so many cakes that we’ve developed a knack for levelling cakes by eye!
Now it’s time to fill and sandwich your layers! Add a ring of your pink vanilla and white chocolate buttercream leave a circle in the centre for your cherry conserve. When ready spoon in your fruity filling. Carefully add your layer on top and repeat this entire step for the next layer. Once all three cakes have been sandwiched you can add your pretty pink buttercream!
For an on-trend semi-naked look smooth or pipe your pink buttercream around the sides and top randomly. Scrape and remove any excess using a good icing scraper. Place in your fridge to chill.
Yay! Now for the fun part! If you’re braving a ganache drip then now it the time to add it! Drips work best on a nice chilled cake. The coldness of the cake helps the chocolate to set quicker giving you much more control over it. You don’t want every drip to pool at the bottom of your cake board or stand. We added a white chocolate drip to ours studded with edible sequins and painted gold. That’s an entire tutorial altogether though!
For cute pink dipped cherries add approx. 100g pink candy melts to a microwave safe bowl and melt down. We heated ours set at 2 minutes and checked every 30 seconds until done. Add in around half a tablespoon of your vegetable shortening until a smooth molten texture. Now dip in your cherries and leave to set on some parchment paper!
To decorate add in your pretty pink roses first. These are your focal decorative items and your largest so it helps to map out your design with these. Our roses have been washed, cut down, then inserted into posy picks before added to our cake.
Then you can add whatever other sweets and treats you have to your cake! We added pink candy melt dipped cherries, cherry cream puffs, and pretty macarons to ours!
Yep, it’s still unicorn month on our blog which means lots of rainbow and sparkle themed recipes and tutorials. This week we decided to a make something a little fancy for the unicorns who enjoy the finer things in life. Introducing our Strawberry Milkshake Cream Puffs recipe! Don’t worry though… it’s still fun and great for all ages.
Strawberry milkshake cream puffs recipe!
Makes approximately 18 cream puffs
Ingredients needed for the choux pastry:
100g diced butter
150g plain flour
4 medium eggs lightly beaten
Ingredients needed for the strawberry cream filling:
284ml double cream (aka heavy cream or whipping cream)
To start this Strawberry Milkshake Cream Puffs recipe pre-heat your oven to 200C/180C fan/400F/Gas mark 6. In a saucepan add your diced up butter along with the 300ml of water and heat until the butter has melted. Once melted turn the heat up so that the ingredients come to a boil.
As soon as the butter and water mix boils (you really don’t need to leave it too long) add in your plain flour and mix until a ball of somewhat shiny dough forms. Nothing should stick to the sides of your saucepan at this point.
This step takes a bit of energy and a lot of arm work! Slowly add in your beaten egg whilst mixing the dough vigorously. Your dough should get slightly stiffer and glossier as you add the eggs!
Note: You don’t want your eggs to cook separately and end up with lumps of scrambled egg in your pastry. To help stop this when you add and mix in the egg take your saucepan off the heat. Once the egg has incorporated into the mixture add the heat then repeat until all of the lightly beaten egg has been added in. Make sure that you are constantly and vigorously stirring too!
Lightly spritz your silpat / silicone baking mat with a little bit of water (an unused spray bottle really helps). You could just flick water on using your fingers or a clean pastry brush too.
Scoop the choux pastry into a piping bag fitted with a large plain round tip and pipe equal sized balls of dough onto your baking trays.
Now place in your pre-heated oven and bake for 30-40 minutes!
How do you know your cream puffs are ready? Well, you’re going to have to remove one from the oven and slice it open. They tend to weigh or feel a lot heavier than they look. The inside of your eclair should also feature a lovely hollow middle and should feel a little dried out – perfect for fillings!
Create your pink strawberry cream filling by adding your double (heavy or whipping) cream to the bowl of a stand-up mixer. Add in the vanilla bean paste and strawberry essence too! We also included a drop of pink food colouring before whipping as this helps minimise the risk of over whipping the cream.
Note: If you do over whip your cream and end up with a clumpy looking filling it’s easy to fix! Yay! Just add a tablespoon or two of unwhipped double cream (though you can also use full fat milk) and whisk for a few seconds before checking.
To fill your cream puffs add the whipped cream to a piping bag fitted with a bismark / filling piping tip (we used a 230 by Wilton). Insert the tip into the base and slowly pipe your strawberry whipped cream into the choux pastry puff! You should see the level base of the puff begin to fill a little. Remove the tip and bag and you should see a little cream poking out!
To coat melt some Belgian white chocolate and add in your food colouring. Remember that not all food colours can work with chocolate. This is the brand and colour we used, which worked really well with our melted down white chocolate. Some brands can separate, go a murky colour or even seize up. If you’re unsure of how your colour will work you can keep your chocolate coating plain and instead add instant colour with lots of sprinkles!
Take each cream puff and dip into the chocolate. Tap each whilst upside-down to help any excess chocolate from dripping down the sides. Leave to the side to set! If you want to add sprinkles, dried pieces of strawberry etc then you should add these whilst the chocolate coating is still melted. To add splattered effects wait until set!
Now you can enjoy your (grown-up unicorn inspired of course) Strawberry Milkshake Cream Puffs! We pilled ours into our new gold rimmed champagne coupes / saucers from Sainsbury’s! Why not try these cream puffs teamed with strawberry gelato, extract whipped cream and fresh berries.
We finished ours with a liberal splattering of edible gold paint for a touch of luxe, but you can party up yours with sprinkles! Try freeze dried chopped strawberries or white chocolate sprinkles for a little extra flavour. Or for an afternoon tea or a bridal shower get-together you can even add edible petals and flowers to decorate.