Monday, July 15, 2013

Freckle Shapes - The Sweet Swap

Originally, I didn't plan on getting involved in The Sweet Swap. Mainly because my cooking skills aren't too great and I don't have much time for cooking these days. After hearing everyone raving about this event and checking up a few recipes, I eventually gave in just for the curiosity. And I definitely do not regret this at all! Seeing the talents of everybody getting their hands dirty into making beautiful desserts was a sight to see. 


What is The Sweet Swap? It is an Australian food blogger initiative organised by the talented Amanda from Chewtown and Sara from Bellyrumbles where you register and receive your 3 matches. With that, you make and mail three equal batches of handmade sweets to those three bloggers while you wait to receive three more batches for three other food bloggers. You do not find out who you receive the sweets from until it gets delivered to you. And it's all done for charity with proceeds going towards Childfund Australia.

I wasn't sure what to make at all before signing up. Cannot think of my own recipe so read through as many recipe websites and cookbooks as possible before deciding on the sweet to make. I initially planned to make apricot balls but the final taste was a downer (I kept coughing every time I tried a piece) so it was back to the drawing board. Mum really praised it though. Maybe I'm just too harsh on myself...

Original plan: Apricot balls

Thanks to one of my fave mags, Frankie Magazine, I found a recipe for Freckle Hearts in their Sweet Treats recipe book. I will definitely recommend this book as it has lots of decent sweet options based on your cooking skill. The one that stood out for me was the Freckles because of the limited number of ingredients and its seemingly easy (yet incredibly messy!) process. While the original Frankie recipe was called 'Freckle Hearts', I decided to give it more variety by making the chocolate freckles into various shapes - mainly to save time and also for the sake of curiosity. The following recipe was also inspired by a similar recipe that I found on Best Recipes except with double the portion of the ingredients. It was tiring when balancing the sweets together especially when some of the shapes didn't turn out right. Despite that, it was all made with love...and on a Saturday night! Thanks Rage TV for keeping me sane...

Chocolate porn ;)

What did I end up getting?

Sweet Swap 1: Chocolate honeycomb snaps by Muppys

I freaking love these treats! Soo addictive! I'm also a massive fan of honeycomb so I gladly ate as much as I could before mum came back from North America finds this lot in the fridge...and ate the rest! Looking forward to reading the recipe for this ;).
 



Sweet Swap 2: Copycat Green Tea Kit Kats by Julie from I Dream in Chocolate

A cute, quirky and slightly healthier choice compared to lots of sweets. Great to share with mates (my mate loves anything with green tea!). The melty kiss is so adorable and I really enjoyed eating the green tea kit kats - both the rich and scrumptious handmade "copycat" ones and the real one.




Sweet Swap 3: ???

Sadly at the time of writing this post, I still have not received my third Sweet Swap package :(. I have a feeling that maybe there was a post slip to collect the parcel but it got lost somewhere. Hopefully it shows up eventually. If not, hopefully you see this post and let me know one way or another. I am very curious to see what it was especially since I really enjoyed what I've got so far.

My lucky (or unlucky) recipients of my handmade sweets were Chanel from Cats Love Cooking, Eileen from Soft and Stiff Peaks and Julie from I Dream in Chocolate (LOL we got matched up both times! :P). Hope you all enjoy these treats as much as I had fun making them.

After a few minor alterations to original recipes, I present to you The Random Foodie's first recipe post everrrrr! From what I've heard, these are amazing treats for kids, parties, picnics and even for brekkie! (thanks Julie! :P)


Freckle shapes 

Great for vegetarians! Not so great for those on a diet :-p.

Total prep time: 30 minutes (including 10 mins cooking time)

Makes: 25-30 freckles (NB: this depends on the size of your cookie cutter, I used small cookie cutters)


Ingredients:

250g good quality chocolate - I used 70% cocoa dark chocolate
20g Copha, chopped
1/2 cup of 100s and 1000s


Instructions:

1. Line trays with baking paper
2. Lightly grease your cutters with butter or oil and place it on the baking paper
3. Melt the chocolate and copha into a small pan/saucepan
4. Remove the small pan once you start to see tiny bubbles otherwise the chocolate will burn
5. Place about a tablespoon of chocolate mix into each cutter (this may need more or less depending on the cutter size. I learnt it the hard way when making the first batch)
6. Cover with hundreds and thousands and refrigerate for about 30 minutes or until set.
7. Remove the chocolate freckles from the cookie cutters and store them in an airtight container in the fridge.


Storage: This can be kept refrigerated in an airtight container for up to six weeks.

Variations: You can also use milk chocolate or white chocolate as the chocolate mixture.


Melting the chocolate






Pouring the chocolate into the cutters


The finished product

What I love about The Sweet Swap was finding out what sweets I've gotten as well as seeing what everyone has received. If there is anything that I would change for the next Sweet Swap it would definitely be my packaging. Mine was quite rushed with plain takeaway boxes and cards so it didn't look as pretty compared to everyone else's. Seeing the package delivered to my house and opening them up was the best moment ever. It feels like opening your Xmas pressie! Will put more thought into how it should look next time. Will also spend more time making a variety of sweets. It's actually loads of fun.
A final thanks to Amanda and Sara for doing an amazing job in organising The Sweet Swap and bearing with my impatience as I continue to wait for my final package. 


For more info and checking out what everyone else made on The Sweet Swap:
http://www.thesweetswap.com/

27 comments:

  1. i love them! so pretty :)
    i'm so pleased you liked my sweets.
    how disappointing number 3 has not shown up.

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    1. it still hasn't shown up today :(. i've given up waiting for that last batch now sighhhs. still it's better than only receiving one batch or none at all lol.

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  2. Shame about the apricot balls but these freckles are so much fun!

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    1. definitely was so much fun making them that i decided to make another batch recently lol. mum really liked the apricot balls though

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  3. these are so pretty! i was planning on getting involved but i kept forgetting to register (forgot to put it in my diary) so i missed out! so bummed!

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    1. And I'm such a bad reminder :P

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    2. there's always next year Amy :)

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  4. Thank you for your freckle shapes, they were delicious and so cute! :)

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    1. no problem! i'm so glad to hear that it arrived to you :)

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  5. Hi Annie!

    Your treats remind me of candy crush! SUGAR CRUSH! :P

    - Ando

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    1. LMAO OMG! didn't even think of candy crush when i made them until u mentioned it hahha! so obvious XP

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  6. These are so cute! And they look like heaps of fun to make :D

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    1. thanks! i still wish i got to try your peanut butter chocolate fudge but it looked quite easy to make when i read the recipe

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  7. These are so cool! I wish I had registered and you were my match, I love chocolates with freckles! It was the Valentine gift I got for my fiancé last time... A gigantic heart with plenty of freckles... Never thought about making one from scratch though! :)

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    1. awwww that's so sweet of him! maybe next time if i decide to get involved in this event again :). need to find something else to make lol

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  8. These were so delicious! Such a clever idea using cookie cutters - I love reading how everyone's creations were made :)

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    1. same here! they all look so delicious. i wish i can eat them all!

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  9. So adorable! Love the cute shapes! I have got to register next year for the sweet swap, so much fun involved :)

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    1. it was a very messy but fun experience! especially melting the chocolate. just wanted to lick up the chocolate hehe

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  10. Such a cute idea! Would be perfect for the lunchbox too :)

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    1. thanks :). made an extra batch of these treats recently with the leftover chocolate. gonna bring some for workmates and some more for my friends' parties over the next fortnight

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  11. ANNIE :D thanks so much for the shapes! <3 super love thanks for sharing recipe

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    1. same to you for the green tea kit kats! they were lovely :D

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  12. They look amaaazzzing!!!!! Yum, yum, yum! I've never had any lucky with melting chocolate though :( Such a mess to clean cause I'm terrible at it... Maybe I'm doing something wrong. I love your blog content by the way! Followed :D

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    1. you'll get the hang of it after a few times. thanks for the follow! :)

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  13. I love that this is the first ever recipe on your blog! Thats so cool. And they looked awesome. Thanks so much for taking part in the event this year.

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    1. thank you so much for organising it! looking forward to trying out more recipes soon

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