Monday, February 27, 2017

Homemade Piping Gel

Piping gel can be purchased in any cake supply or craft store, but it's easy and less expensive to make your own.  Piping gel comes in very handy when decorating a cake that does not have any leftover buttercream for writing, and it can piped on the surface of a cake frosted with a whipped cream icing, such as this strawberries and cream cake.

Uses for piping gel include:
1.  Writing on cakes - thin with water to desired consistency
2.  Stabilizing whipped cream - add 1 tablespoon at the end of whipping for every cup of whipping cream used
3.  Cake decorating when a representation of water is needed (dyed blue to resemble the water in a pool, lake etc)
4.  Edible "glue" for decorations on cakes.  It doesn't dry too quickly which allows for placement adjustment
5.  Adding sheen to fondant decorations

Piping Gel
from Craftsy blog 
Yields 1 cup

  • 1/4-cup cold water
  • 1/4-cup corn starch
  • 1/2-cup light corn syrup
  • 1 tsp clear flavor extract (optional)
  • Gel food coloring (optional)

Combine the cold water and corn starch in a small saucepan. Whisk until smooth. Whisk in the corn syrup.

Heat until thickened.   Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature before adding flavoring or color.

If the piping gel becomes too thick, add a tiny amount of water until you achieve your desired consistency. Store piping gel refrigerated in an airtight container for up to three months.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Creamy Wild Mushroom Soup

Creamy Mushroom Soup
adapted from The Nourished Kitchen
Serves 6

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 pound mixed mushrooms (porcini, shiitake, chanterelle, cremini etc), thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced, optional
2 teaspoons finely ground unrefined sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground white or black pepper
3 cups chicken bone broth
2 tablespoons sherry
1 cup heavy cream, or less, to taste
pinch ground cayenne pepper, to taste

Melt the butter, add the shallots and thyme, and sauté until fragrant, about 3 minutes.  Add the mushrooms and garlic and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Saute until mushrooms are tender and any extra liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes.  Stir in the broth and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and puree the soup with an immersion blender or in a stand blender until smooth.  Stir in the sherry and heavy cream and taste for seasoning, adding cayenne pepper, if desired.  Garnish with chopped fresh thyme, fresh sprouts, or a drizzle of pesto.


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