My Week in Pictures

Sometimes batshitcrazy weeks happen, you just have to pick yourself up. And deal with life. This week was amazing right up until Sunday morning.

Making strawberry milkshake flavoured cake, there was enough batter left for cupcakes. If that’s not winning Charlie I don’t know what is!
Also is involves packet cake mix!!! Don’t be a hater.I finally saw Death Cab for Cutie; that gig was 8 years in the making for me. I hate taking photos at gigs, I’ll leave it to the professionals. Check out this review here. It was Shrove Tuesday! I made my Easy Pancakes with Sour Berry Sauce.One of my favourite things from Adelaide, the apple crumble is probably my favourite dessert. check them out at their original home at the Adelaide Central Markets.

I made a bunny trail at work, using flour and hair spray. So cute and it leads to this guyWe had an early birthday for my best friend Emily, she had a cake mishap with some bad flavour combos so we had Spinach and Feta Triangles with sparklers. Sparklers make everything better.So this is my knee, it’s all bruised because some guy hit me with his car. Bummer. I’m all good now. I assumed because of theories learnt in Spiderman that I would become a transformer overnight. This has not happened. Leading me to believe the car was a fake car (obviously the other alternative; i.e. Spiderman being a lie, is too hard to believe).

Recipe for Strawberry Milkshake cake coming soon!


This Week!

I have officially become one of those people who cannot function without a smart phone. My very cute phone met its untimely demise last week. Couple of words of warning, Digimob have apparently got this insane sense of humour. $620 to fix and $628 phone, they have to be joking yes?

So this is my new phone. It’s a Nokia, it’s sell point was a torch… yeah a torch! My friends all think this is hilarious. I’m beginning to see the funny side.

It’s Fringe time in Adelaide, which if you have never been is pretty damn awesome. For roughly a month Adelaide becomes one of the best places on earth to live. Hopefully I’ll get to see Ross Noble and lots of unknown comedians! In my mind March Fringe is to comedy what September issue is to Fashion. Comedy and fashion in one blog. I aim to please folks.

A bunch of other good stuff happened this week too. I figured out how to watch free movies, but for the sake of what is one of the coolest things Adelaide has I’ll just direct you to here where you can pay not very much to watch movies on beanbags and such.

Valentines day happened. Oh and I got an internship at Hills Weddings; that last bit is huge. I cannot describe how lucky I feel to have gotten an internship at somewhere so perfect; the beautiful people behind Hills marketing (totally linked with hills magazine) are totally delightful and the office is surrounded by such a pretty little country garden.

I have plans for purchasing of chinos for this grown up occasion.

Chocolate and Vanilla Cake

Before we start yes I will be mentioning Valentines day, no it won’t be in a lame way. Although really I don’t get all of the hate for it; I also don’t get the hype, I’m pretty darn neutral. I will however be wearing my new pink lipstick tonight, because you know what, I have a date. Yeah!

This post is mainly about furthering my skills in frosting, which was really my only measurable new years resolution. I like to think I’ve come along way since smearing frosting on with a rubber spatula; seriously what was I thinking?

The above cake was for my mum, her birthday is on valentines day. I would totally hate that, but she gets two lots of presents so I’m sure she doesn’t mind. I would though, because how many year of high school do you go through without getting anything, now imagine that kind of rejection on your birthday! Crazy; can i get away with saying cray cray, I so want to. I’m not American enough. Or you know… at all.

So here are the sites and tools I used:

-I always use a 6″ high sided pan with removable base, I just like smaller cakes and love layers. the high side means you can always get a minimum of three easy layers cut.

-Offset Spatula for frosting, super important.

-Crumb coat – this is just so ridiculous important, otherwise all that time you spent making flawless frosting is lost and your cake looks crumby; literally.

I found Meg Ryan from Miettes tutorial the best.

The best place for frosting recipes is Sweetapolita, this women is a goddess of frosting, her instructions are foolproof and you will not go wrong!

For piping in layers (keeps things clean and even!) I just use a Masterchef macaron piping set, it had the perfect large star nozzle!

Also in my travels I found out that you never put frosting that has touched the bare cake back with the fresh frosting, you’ll get crumbs in it. Scrape it on the edge of the bowl and try to use it in the crumb coat.

And as always, room temperature room temperature, room temperature!

The Past

When I watch films I tend to get overly involved with the story, I start imagining what my life would be like if I was there. I start trying to relate to the film in ridiculous ways. It probably explains my love for simple films; like Amelie and Sabrina, because that’s exactly how I would like my life.

More recently, aka today I watched Midnight in Paris; it was amazing, and my first Woody Allen film gasp! It got me thinking about how much of my time is spent thinking of the past. Also how much I love Paris.

I don’t generally talk much about myself, or maybe I do, but hey this is my little bit of the internet and you mostly don’t know me. And you definitely should, so this is stalking Rachel 101 lesson 1.

I like old things quite a lot, I like old books and old music because generally they have stood the test of time, they are well made, sturdy and dependable. Much like this guy, sorry that’s a bit sickly, with valentine’s day around the corner it must all be going to my head!

This isn’t to say I don’t live in the now; the two should meet. In fact where they meet is a vintage store, and those places are amazing! I’m trying to channel the whole ‘quality over quantity’ as of late, because it seems like a lot of people have forgotten. Also I have to save money.

My point is classics: time-tested, filled with love, amazing quality, classics! My favorite classic recipes, the songs I live my life to and the styles that I love will all be lovingly made, listed and photographed for you to decide how much you love me/ hate me/think i’m a hipster. It will be splendid.

But also what are your classics? that’s important too! Let me know yeah, cool, awesome.

Also that cheesecake I mentioned in the last post, mega flop, the Miette cookbook is something that inspires me visually but recipe wise has let me down in reliability. I did however make a strawberry milkshake flavoured cake, I’ll try to find some photos from the night and there will definitely be a recipe.

The Best Pizza Dough

If I could be any ‘Friends’ character I usually try to kid myself that I would be Rachel or Joey (all that food? Come on!), but let’s be honest here I’m definitely too dorky for that, I’d definitely be more of a Ross. Plus dinosaurs are pretty cool yeah.  Well they are, ‘Land Before Time’ definitely proved that.

And you know all those divorces I’ve had.

Just thinking about Friends make me so excited for the end of this year when me and my boyfriend will be jetting off to America and spending Christmas in New York!! If you guys have any must see places in America they would be so taken on board and photographed! (We are mostly heading west coast then east coast)

Anyway this was during one of my Joey moments, I went and made some good pizza dough! Like real good, like super thin and crunchy. Deeeelicious!

But honestly I searched high and wide for this and I have had numerous pizza dough fails, so check out 101 cookbooks and see the crazy stuff that happens there! Also I only made half the amount and it worked just as well.

Coming up soon is a New York/UK style birthday cheesecake.

Altered slightly from 101 cookbooks, they took the recipe from The Bread Baker’s Apprentice by Peter Reinhart (Ten Speed Press)

472 grams of unbleached high-gluten, bread, or all-purpose flour, chilled
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon instant yeast
60 ml of olive oil
414 ml of water, ice-cold
Semolina flour OR cornmeal for dusting

1. Stir together the flour, salt, and instant yeast in a 4-quart bowl (or in the bowl of an electric mixer).With a large metal spoon, stir in the oil and the cold water until the flour is all absorbed (or mix on low-speed with the paddle attachment), If you are mixing by hand, repeatedly dip one of your hands or the metal spoon into cold water and use it, much like a dough hook, to work the dough vigorously into a smooth mass while rotating the bowl in a circular motion with the other hand. Reverse the circular motion a few times to develop the gluten further. Do this for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and the ingredients are evenly distributed. If you are using an electric mixer, switch to the dough hook and mix on medium speed for 5 to 7 minutes, or as long as it takes to create a smooth, sticky dough. The dough should clear the sides of the bowl but stick to the bottom of the bowl. If the dough is too wet and doesn’t come off the sides of the bowl, sprinkle in some more flour just until it clears the sides. If it clears the bottom of the bowl, dribble in a teaspoon or two of cold water. The finished dough will be springy, elastic, and sticky, not just tacky, and register about 10 degrees c.

2. Sprinkle flour on the counter and transfer the dough to the counter. Prepare a sheet pan by lining it with baking parchment and misting the parchment with spray oil (or lightly oil the parchment). Using a metal dough scraper, cut the dough into 6 equal pieces (or larger if you are comfortable shaping large pizzas), You can dip the scraper into the water between cuts to keep the dough from sticking to it, Sprinkle flour over the dough. Make sure your hands are dry and then flour them. Lift each piece and gently round it into a ball. If the dough sticks to your hands, dip your hands into the flour again. Transfer the dough balls to the sheet pan, Mist the dough generously with spray oil and slip the pan into a food-grade plastic bag.

3. Put the pan into the refrigerator overnight to rest the dough, or keep for up to 3 days. (Note: If you want to save some of the dough for future baking, you can store the dough balls in a zippered freezer bag. Dip each dough ball into a bowl that has a few tablespoons of oil in it, rolling the dough in the oil, and then put each ball into a separate bag. You can place the bags into the freezer for up to 3 months. Transfer them to the refrigerator the day before you plan to make pizza.)

4. On the day you plan to make the pizza, remove the desired number of dough balls from the refrigerator 2 hours before making the pizza. Before letting the dough rest at room temperature for 2 hours, dust the counter with flour, and then mist the counter with spray oil. Place the dough balls on top of the floured counter and sprinkle them with flour; dust your hands with flour. Gently press the dough into flat disks about 1/2 inch thick and 5 inches in diameter. Sprinkle the dough with flour, mist it again with spray oil, and cover the dough loosely with plastic wrap or a food-grade plastic bag. Now let rest for 2 hours.

5. At least 45 minutes before making the pizza, place a baking stone either on the floor of the oven (for gas ovens), or on a rack in the lower third of the oven. Heat the oven to about 270 degrees. If you do not have a baking stone, you can use the back of a sheet pan, but do not preheat the pan.

6. Generously dust a peel or the back of a sheet pan with semolina flour or cornmeal. Make the pizzas one at a time. Dip your hands, including the backs of your hands and knuckles, in flour and lift the piece of dough by getting under it with a pastry scraper. Very gently lay the dough across your fists and carefully stretch it by bouncing the dough in a circular motion on your hands, carefully giving it a little stretch with each bounce. If it begins to stick to your hands, lay it down on the floured counter and reflour your hands, then continue shaping it. Stretch out the dough to form a circle‘-ish’, I hung the pizza from my hands and let gravity stretch it.

7. When the dough is stretched out to your satisfaction (about 9 to 12 inches in diameter for a 6-ounce piece of dough), lay it on the peel or pan, making sure there is enough semolina flour or cornmeal to allow it to slide. Turn the oven down to about 230 degrees c.

Lightly top it with sauce and then with your other toppings, remembering that the best pizzas are topped with a less-is-more philosophy. The American “kitchen sink” approach is counterproductive, as it makes the crust more difficult to bake.

8. Slide the topped pizza onto the stone (or bake directly on the sheet pan) and close the door. Wait 2 minutes, then take a peek. If it needs to be rotated 180 degrees for even baking, do so. The pizza should take about 5 to 8 minutes to bake. If the top gets done before the bottom, you will need to move the stone to a lower self before the next round. if the bottom crisps before the cheese melts, then you will need to raise the stone for later bakes.

9. Remove the pizza from the oven and transfer to a cutting board. Wait 3 to 5 minutes before slicing and serving, to allow the cheese to set slightly.

Makes six 6-ounce pizza crusts.