Thoughts and ideas on Cookie Art.

The Second Act with Marta Torres

5th January 2020 in News

The Second Act with Marta Torres

Cake Careers – My American Cake Decorating Interview – Nov/Dec 2019

It’s not rare to find in this Sweet World people that for several reasons changed their careers and moreover, their lives.

I’m no exception and it happened to me.

Never imagined that my life would turn 360º and cookies came to offer me a new life.  This and some other aspects of my sweet and so far, short career on this industry, were shared on my interview for the American Cake Decorating Magazine.  You can read it here!

Thanks LeeAnne for the honour of being featured on this amazing Magazine.

Choosing the Royal Icing at my Sweet World!

4th January 2020 in News

Choosing the Royal Icing at my Sweet World!

Are all Royal Icing recipes the same?

You may have experienced that Royal Icing changes according to the amount of protein used either its pure protein/albumin, or mixed with some starches, sugars, or other products like those existents on Merengue powder.

How do we know what to choose? will we get the same result using pure albumin (dehydrated eggs, fresh or pasteurised eggs) or Merengue powder? Visually it might happen, but when using the royal icing their performance and final results are different.

To give you an idea, Merengue Powder has about 40% to 50% of protein or even less, depending on the brands,  while albumin is pure protein, therefore 100% protein. If we use the same quantity of any of these products and make royal icing using the same amount of sugar for every recipe, of course due to the content of protein these products have, the result can’t be the same.

I do use several recipes of Royal icing  according to the purpose of it.

Recently, I’ve tried as well a few new products, for instance: Eggless Merengue Powder by  Madame Loulou, An eggless product that behaves like a normal Merengue Powder. Don’t be intimidated by it’s yellowish colour,  after adding food colour it’s perfect, even for making white RI.

“A Royal Mix”  by  More Than Cake  is another option that I tried recently.  In Europe we’ve been experienced a certain shortage on Regular Merengue Powder,  this product “A Royal Mix” it’s not a ready to use IcIng mix but a kind of “Merengue Powder” which used according to the instruction on the pack, gives you a beautiful Royal icing.

And finally, I did use a Royal Icing Mix by Saracino  that surprised me a lot since I never use mixes or blends for decorating my cookies. With this, I got as well a Royal Icing similar to those that I make from scratch.

You have several options but let me share with you my Royal icing Recipe, made from scratch with Merengue Powder.

 

 

Let’s Bake Delicious and Beautiful Cookies at My Sweet World

16th December 2019 in Recipes

Let’s Bake Delicious and Beautiful Cookies at My Sweet World

Delicious, full of flavour a little bit on the crunchy side that’s the way I like my cookies. What about you, soft or crunchy? Which Flavours do you prefer?  Traditional vainilla, spices, peppermint…. so many to choose from.

Time to get ready…. Let’s grab our flour with a protein/gluten content of 7.5% up to 9.5%, powder sugar – I use the same for baking and decorating, therefore, the starch content doesn’t go higher the 3% –   Medium size eggs, vainilla extract, or orange rind even juice, unsalted butter… all the ingredients that the recipes call for.

This is one of my COOKIE DOUGH recipes that I’m willing to share with you.

Mix in the mixer just until crumbled, move to the counter and finish by hand. Cookie dough should be pliable, not sticky.

Wrap it then in cling film and refrigerate for about 30 minutes. We need the butter to cool down and the gluten to rest.

After resting and using a rolling pin with guides  – my ideal  1/4″ – 0.6 cm thick – ( better to obtain the same thickness overall), roll your cookie dough. The ideal is to refrigerate again for another 30 minutes, but you also can cut your cookie shapes and refrigerate in the same mat. Don’t move the cookies to another tray or mat, that might damage their shape.

Now that you have your beautiful cookies cut and ready to bake, keep them refrigerated while you set your oven to the right temperature... note: during this time and while waiting to bake, I do like to put the uncovered tray full of cut cookies inside the freezer

Oven ready….. let’s bake from freezer to oven. The butter it’s cold and this will prevent your cookies from spreading, you will get as well sharp edges.

Tips on Baking:  What to do with the rest of the cookie dough that we get after cutting the cookies. Just grab those pieces together and bit them down with the rolling pin.  They will became like new dough. Roll again and cut more beautiful cookies.

Try to bake equal cookie sizes and shapes for an even baking;   The temperature mentioned is approximated since every oven varies a bit;

I like to roll my cookies on a “Silpat” mat and bake them on a “Silpain” perforated mat.  The results are fabulous using these matts. Using a Silpat for rolling prevents the use of additional flour for rolling, avoiding to dry significantly the cookie dough and dried appearance when baked.

When Baking I use two trays, one for the cookies and an empty one which we can place either on the upper part of our oven or lower one, as long as it don’t interfere with the heat flow. Once the cookies are baked, remove the tray from the oven and if by chance you have bumps or uneven cookies, just place the hot and empty tray on the top of your cookies, press slightly down to make them uniform and remove those bumps….. with this tray method you can flat them down at once, you no longer need to press them with a Spatula.

Beautiful cookies are about to show up and surprise you!

My Sweet World!

12th December 2019 in News

My Sweet World!

Hello Everyone!

I’m Marta Torres – Royal Icing Cookie Artist and  Welcome to MY Sweet World!

My Passion

It has been in my mind for quite a long time sharing with all of you tips, tricks and experiences on my cookie journey, and the moment has arrived. Will you join me? Really hopping you like the experience and I invite you to leave comments and questions on every post.

Let’s Start!!! Techniques can be taught and learnt no matter which part of the world we are in,  but when we talk about products and/or  ingredients, then the things might change a bit.  What happens if we don’t have the right products, shall we give up?  NO, I’m a true believer that we can somehow overcome those issues by adapting. If we keep in mind a few concepts that are essential in order to obtain the best results, maybe we can use what we have, adapting and “manipulating” somehow in order to suit our needs.

Let’s start from the beginning. What will we need prior decorating a cookie? a beautifully baked cookie, our canvas, a cookie that has two amazing sides and both can be used for decorating, exposing at the same time a beautiful bottom side. Will this be necessary, I mean, having both perfect sides….. What do you think?  As a Client, how would you react at two equal and beautiful decorated cookies, having one the bottom  perfectly baked, flat, no bumps, a very attractive one, and the other cookie, uneven, bumps… I guess I know the answer, the beautiful one right? So, will you join me on this task of baking a beautiful cookie?

Let’s check on the essential elements!

Flour –  Types of flour:  Flours are basically divided between, Cake Flour, Multipurpose Flour and Bread Flour, and the difference is  on the percentage % of Protein/Gluten existent on each type, might vary slightly form brands and aged flours but not significantly. I’m talking about wheat flour.

Butter–  Types of butter: Salted and unsalted, also important to check the amount of fat existent on the brands we are using. I do like to use an 80% to 82% fat content

Eggs – white, brown, small, medium, large, X-large

Sugar – Powder, granulated, white, brown

Flavours – extracts, essences, natural, artificial

Others – chocolate powder, chocolate chips, honey, sprinkles….

Leavenings:  I don’t use on my cookies

 

What if we explore a bit each one of these ingredients?  I’ll be back tomorrow with a new post, where  pictures and explanations will help you to go through this process. Good baking and decorating!