What To Make: 3 Sweet Treats To WOW With This Weekend

Mini Rosette Cones

An indulgent combination of cupcake, chocolate and buttercream, this is a great dessert to serve at any celebration.

Makes 24 indulgent cones

Prep time 15 minutes
Make time 14 minutes
Assembly time 15 minutes

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Ingredients
100g dark chocolate (70% cocoa)
24 mini waffle cones (the little waffle cones I use are just over 6cm long and 2.5cm wide at the opening. They are available at specialty stores, online and in some good supermarkets. If you can't find ones this small, use larger cones, but bear in mind you won't get as many in a batch.)
? a batch of mini cupcakes (see recipe below) (this will make 12 mini cupcakes; enough for 24 cones)
a batch of basic buttercream (see recipe below) tinted with 1 small drop of AmeriColor Soft Gel Paste in Dusty Rose (or in varying shades of pink, as I've made here)

Equipment
piping bag with pipe tip 1M

24-hole mini muffin tray
24 mini paper cupcake cases
electric kitchen scales
sieve
stand mixer with whisk attachment
measuring jug and spoons
whisk
silicone spatula
wire rack
silicone spatula

Method
Melt the chocolate in 30-second blasts in a heatproof bowl in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds until smooth and melted. Alternatively, place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and sit it over a bowl of simmering water, making sure the water doesn't touch the base of the bowl. Stir gently until smooth and melted.

Arrange the cones in a tray for decorating (acrylic trays with small drilled holes are the perfect way to decorate, store and serve these)

Drizzle a small teaspoon of melted chocolate into each ice-cream cone.

Cut the cooled cupcakes into halves or quarters (whichever fits easiest into your cones). Gently push a piece of cupcake into each cone, as far down as possible.

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Put the buttercream in the piping bag and pipe buttercream rosettes into the cones (when piping these rosettes, the piping bag should be positioned vertically above the centre of the cone and you should pipe with firm pressure. Rotate in an anticlockwise direction once. Repeat for each cone.). Once piped, place in the fridge until serving so the chocolate can set.

NOTE If you like, you can use ice cream instead of buttercream for the rosettes. Just make sure the ice cream is fairly thick (not runny). Arrange the filled cones in the acrylic tray, pipe quickly and then freeze immediately.

Mini Cupcakes

Makes 24

Prep time 10 minutes
Baking time 14 minutes

Ingredients
100g caster sugar
120g plain flour
? tsp baking powder
40g unsalted butter, softened
120ml milk
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract or essence

Method
Preheat the oven to 160?C/gas mark 3. Line a cupcake tray with paper cupcake cases.

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Sift all the dry ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer, then add the butter.

Gently whisk the milk, egg and vanilla together in a measuring jug. Turn the stand mixer on to a low speed and mix until the ingredients have formed a dry crumb, then gradually add the milk mixture. Once all of the milk mixture has been incorporated, turn up to high speed for 1 minute, or until the mixture is smooth. If required, turn off, scrape down the sides of the bowl, then mix for a few seconds more.

Using a metal teaspoon, evenly distribute the batter between the paper cupcake cases, leaving about 5mm at the top.

Place in the middle of the oven and bake for 14 minutes.

Once baked, leave the cupcakes in the tray for 5-6 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Basic Buttercream

Makes 600g, enough to decorate 24 mini cupcakes

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Prep time 5 minutes

Ingredients
125g softened unsalted butter
500g soft icing mixture, sifted
50ml milk
1 tsp vanilla extract or essence ?
Method
Add all of the ingredients to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until light and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes.

TIP If not using immediately, say for 1 or 2 hours, cover with plastic wrap directly on the buttercream and leave at room temperature. Before using, whisk again and add a drop of milk to loosen, if needed. If making ahead, this can also be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Again, just make sure the plastic wrap is touching the buttercream, allow to come to room temperature and whisk again before using, adding a drop of milk if needed.

Apple Star Teaser

Makes 6

Ingredients
1 litre cold-pressed apple juice with raspberry (see note)
750ml sparking mineral water, to top up the glasses
1 pink lady apple
gold leaf

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Method

Fill three-quarters of each glass with the apple and raspberry juice.

Top the glasses up with the sparkling mineral water.

Slice the apple into thin slices then use a star-shaped cookie cutter to cut out thin pink lady apple stars for decoration.

For something super special, add some gold leaf detail to the rim of the each glass. If you don't have gold leaf, you can gently rim the glass with some white sugar sand before making the cocktail.

NOTE You should be able to find this blend of juice, or similar, in good supermarkets and boutique grocers. If you can't find any interesting blends, use regular apple juice instead.

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Extracted from I'm Just Here for Dessert by Caroline Khoo (Murdoch Books, approx €20.50). Photographs by Caroline Khoo.

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