How to Make the Perfect Edible Gift

There are easy ways to show your love with a thoughtful, delicious and inexpensive knock-their-socks-off gift! Blogger Melissa Lu shares two gorgeous ideas.

Red roses and chocolate may be hot commodities when it comes to spoiling your loved one, however if you often feel yourself waving sadly to your hard earned money as you see the florist or gift shop swipe your card....be sad no more! These two DIY gifts will make you the talk of the town.

1. Bouquet of cupcakes in a teacup

This gift is easy on the time front, and all ingredients can be found at your local supermarket (except the teacup and cake box). Buy your teacup at any home wares store. For the cake box head to any bargain store and buy a gift box and some tissue paper for around $4 - $6.

Vanilla Cupcake with Salted Caramel

What you need (Adapted from Magnolia Bakeries Recipe)

Cake:

125 grams of softened unsalted butter
1 cup of caster sugar
3/4 cup of self-raising flour
2/3 cup of plain flour
2 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk (or make yourself with full-fat milk with a teaspoon of lemon juice)
1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
1 pinch of salt

Salted caramel:

1/2 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of cream
1 tablespoon of butter
Pink salt flakes

What to do

Salted caramel:

1. Melt the sugar until there are no crystals and it is slightly golden (do not stir, just swirl your pan gently).
2. Pour in your cream and butter and mix until combined.
3. Once it has cooled slightly mix in a pinch or two of pink salt.

Cake:

Preheat the oven to 170 Degrees Celsius
1. Mix the butter and the sugar together until pale and smooth.
2. Then mix the eggs in with the butter mixture.
3. Mix in the dry ingredients to the egg and butter mixture.
4. Add the vanilla and milk to the batter until well combined.
5. Scoop the mixture into case lined muffin tins (around 12).
6. Swirl in some salted caramel with a toothpick.
7. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Now for the fun part...the fondant brush embroidery toppers.

What you need

Fondant (available at your local supermarket in the baking section)
Royal icing (also available from your local supermarket)
Disposable piping bag
Small round tip (01, 02 tip available online for a few dollars or at any baking goods store)
Small tip paintbrush
Bowl with a damp sheet of paper towel in it

What to do

1. Roll the fondant out using skewer thickness guides and cut out circles using a round cookie cutter.
2. Allow to dry for an hour or two (optional).
3. Mix the royal icing to a stiff consistency (you should be able to make a peak and have it stay in shape. Make sure it is completely smooth).
4. Now to pipe... I think this is best shown visually... 

Once you have mastered the brush embroidery technique, allow the fondant toppers to dry, spread some chocolate icing (Nutella is always a yummy easy option. I just used whipped chocolate ganache I made for the jar cakes) onto the cupcakes with sprinkles on the edge and top the cupcake with your brush embroidery fondant topper!

2. Jars of gooey goodness

This is a simple yet impressive gift. It has layers of moist chocolate cake, whipped dark chocolate ganache, crunchy macadamia and almond butterscotch and sprinkles all packed into an easy-to-eat out-of rustic jar. Oh and if it wasn't gluttonous enough... add a jar of salted caramel which they can warm and pour over the top. Yum!

What you need

Chocolate cake (adapted from Donna Hay's Buttermilk Chocolate Cake)

60 grams of unsalted butter
4 tablespoons of cocoa powder
1 tablespoon of instant coffee powder
1/2 cup of water
1 cup of caster sugar
1 cup of plain flour
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon of bi carb soda
1/4 cup of buttermilk (or make yourself with milk and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice)

Macadamia and almond butterscotch brittle:

1 tablespoon of toasted macadamia (chopped)
1 tablespoon of toasted almond flakes
1/3 cup of white sugar
1-2 teaspoons of cream
1 tablespoon of butter

Whipped dark chocolate ganache icing:

1/2 cup of heavy cream
150 grams of dark chocolate
50 grams of butter

Salted caramel (recipe above)

What to do

Cake:

Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius
1. Heat the butter, water, coffee and cocoa in the microwave for 30-50 seconds until melted.
2. Mix in the egg.
3. Mix in the dry ingredients.
4. Add buttermilk to the mixture.
5. Pour into a square 9 inch x 9 inch (approx.) lined baking pan.
6. Bake for 30-35 mins (depending on your oven) size for your jar.
7. Once cooled cut circles out with a cookie cutter that is the right

Brittle:

1. Melt the sugar in a pan until there are no crystals (do not stir, only swirl the pan around).
2. When the sugar is a light golden brown, add in the cream and butter and mix.
3. Pour onto a piece of baking paper and sprinkle the nuts over.
4. Once cooled break into piece (big and small).

Ganache:

1. Melt the cream and chocolate in the microwave for 1- 11/2 mins.
2. Mix until there are no lumps.
3. Add the butter and mix until there are no lumps.
4. Set aside in the fridge to cool and harden slightly.
5. Once it is cooled and set, use an electric mixer and whisk until it is light and airy (it will change to a pale brown colour and the volume will increase) - this gives you the most melt-in-your-mouth smooth light chocolate frosting.

To assemble, just alternate layers of chocolate cake, butterscotch brittle, whipped ganache icing and sprinkles. Make sure the top layer is chocolate icing to make it look extra delicious and fudgy!

There you go! Something extra thoughtful and special for someone you love.

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