Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Chocolate Butterflies on Lemon Wafers: a class treat instead of birthday cupcakes (gluten and egg free)

These treats use Ann Reardon-inspired Chocolate Butterflies (see her fantastic blog here and scroll down to the butterflies). Ann's work is amazing. You cannot help being amazed when you watch her youtube channel. I am in awe of this woman's way with chocolate. I will warn you now, she makes it look so simple and elegant and lovely, but really it can be a bit tricky. These are my first attempts and they are...well....just remember they are my first attempts.

So, our youngest's birthday was in the holidays and she didn't get to take a cake to school. In our part of the world, the birthday child's mother usually sends in a birthday cake to school for the class to share on the child's birthday. These days, muffins or cupcakes are preferred because it means the teacher doesn't have to have a knife in the drawer (!!!), and serviettes, and plates, etc, etc. It is just a lot less messier. And the right amount of mini muffins are easier to dispense than trying to cut one round cake into 27 even slices.

Due to the gluten and egg free thing, we have sent in lots of different things over the years: honey joys (always a winner), decorated biscuits, fairy cakes, etc all made gluten and egg free. But then we watched the video on the chocolate butterflies one morning while eating breakfast and we just KNEW we had to give it a try! Originally, I had thought of setting them on a gluten and egg free arrowroot biscuit that I can get from Woolworths, but I only had one packet and was not going to drive a 1 hour round trip for some more. So, up to Coles I go and get two packets of Eskal Lemon Wafers. If you haven't had these before, you must. They are really lemony, like real lemon, and they are so morish.

Now to make the butterflies. Be warned, it is very messy. Or maybe it is just me. I used Nestle White Chocolate Melts and coloured them with gel food colouring (that in itself was a revelation to me!), and you will need some Nestle Dark Chocolate Melts as well.
I melted and coloured all of the white chocolate at once, which was crazy because I had to keep melting it again due to it going hard on my cold bench. Note: Do one colour at a time.

Put the melted coloured chocolate in zip lock bags. Snip the end off to make piping bags

Fold some baking paper in half, pipe half of the wing design with melted chocolate, fold the paper over and press, and you have a butterfly! Actually, you have to pipe on the head, body and antennas and then you are done. Prop them up to set.
It got very messy, with melted chocolate dripping out of the bags everywhere. And the butterflies came out much larger than I had planned. But it was heaps of fun!!

 When they are set, put them aside ready to go on the wafers.

Lay out the wafers on cooling racks. They usually have fine crumbs all over them, so you want those to fall off.

Also, they do have a tendency to fall apart. You can ice the layers back together, if you like. Or do what I did, which was eat them!

Make up some green icing and fit a grass tip (or multi-opening tip as they are sometimes called) to your piping bag and add about 3/4 of the icing.

Pipe some grass along the top of each wafer.

In a second bag (or just change tips) use a fairly large writing tip to pipe at mound of icing near the end and slightly offset from the centre of each wafer. Pipe a smaller mound next to it.

Gently place a butterfly on the mounds of icing so the head is raised and supported. These ones are kind of diagonal on the wafers.

Here are more ready to go.

And there you have it, a gluten and egg free birthday treat to share with your classmates. And the teacher, of course. And another teacher who is gluten free and heard about them...
Ideally, they would be best eaten on the day they are made. I had to make them the day before otherwise I would have been up at 4am this morning. My friend Kathy tried one this afternoon and the wafers were noticeably chewy by that stage.

Thanks for stopping by! I have been having heaps of trouble loading photos, but that is sorted now, so there should be more regular posts from now on. See you then!

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