Polenta Pancakes with Raspberry Syrup

Could we for one second forget that when I saved all the photos in a folder (my computer filing system makes me want to cry) that I saved the folder as Polenta Pankcakes? Can we forget that no, I haven’t changed that yet, and yes there are at least 30 photos without a home. Yes my laptop tells me that I’m running out of space. Yes I solve that by deleting Kardashian episodes.

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Spring Salad and Chorizo Carbonara

One of my favourite events is just around the corner so I’ve been trying to cram in as many nutrients as possible so that I do not get sick in anyway shape or form; Halloween is just the most fun, it’s light hearted and involves lots of lollies and dress up – what more could you possibly want?

I haven’t yet locked in my Halloween costume but I’ve got a lot of ideas floating around, I’d love to know what everyone else is going to be doing.

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Green Eggs & Ham (super quick faux pesto)

What do you do when you break up with a friend? It’s not really like breaking up with a boyfriend, it maybe something more deep than that, because a boyfriend break up is expected. You grow up watching films and reading books that tell you your knight in shining armor is on his way and that everyone else is just a frog. Continue reading

Kumquat and Chocolate Cookie

When I was in primary school we had to bring in a strange fruit and do a class presentation on it, I chose a kumquat. Kumquats are about the size of an olive and completely edible; with the inside being quite sour in flavour and the peel being sweet. They are in season beginning of spring, which is now! These were gifted from a neighbour and aren’t as oval as a normal kumquat.I cannot for the life of me figure out how I researched for my presentation, did Wikipedia exist in 1999? Maybe I looked in the dictionary? How on earth did people function without the internet? How did people complete degrees without the internet?
This is hurting my head, I want to cry. I love you internet.

Sorry, that got a bit heavy. This cookie is pretty heavy, it’s pretty major. It’s delicious. Usually you would pair orange with dark chocolate, to balance out the sweetness. However kumquats already bring the bitterness so this time we are going to pair it with milk chocolate.

Kumquat and Chocolate Cookies –

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, slightly softened
1 cup  brown sugar
5 Kumquats, zest and juice (keep half of the juice)
2 tablespoons Nutella
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
100g Milk Chocolate chopped into pieces

Method
In a small bowl, mix flour, soda and salt using a whisk and set aside.

In another bowl, cream butter and dark brown sugar until light and fluffy.
Add the zest and nutella, then slowly add the remaining juice. Add eggs and vanilla and mix until combined. Add flour mixture to creamed mixture and mix until combined.

Roll dough onto baking paper into a log shape and freeze. Leave to freeze for at least 2 hours. Once dough is frozen slice and bake the dough at 180C for 10 minutes.
Bake until still soft, and slightly browned. Remove and scatter chocolate pieces onto the
still warm cookies.

Blood Orange and Almond Upside Down Cake

My favourite thing to do in the warmer months is eat breakfast outside, and I know right now you are thinking “Why are you telling me this?” or “How did I get here?”, but it makes a difference!
It makes eating an event, and less of a rush to getting out of the door. Hanging with the birds and rays of sun on the back of my neck is what blue skies are all about. Plus you get all of the scents of summer; hazy breezes, floral scents and my fruit is always somewhat amplified by the warmth.Eating with your nose is important, it aids with the getting-full-feeling, makes you more aware of what you are eating and it makes you happy. Some of my best memories are those of eating fruits in summer (If I could marry fruit I really would, for real). Holidays in Cyprus eating the best fresh cherries, seeing how far we could spit the pits, fresh strawberries from my grandparents back-garden (my love of strawberries is well documented on my recipes page) and my gorgeous friend Abby’s blood orange tree at her parents house (with the cutest dog ever; love you Snowy!). That last memory holds so true in my head whenever I eat Blood oranges (pretty much constantly for the three or four weeks they in season). This cake is warmth, remnants of winter and spring all in one.

Blood Orange and Almond Upside-Down Cake
Adapted from Joy the Baker

Makes one 9 inch cake
For the Topping:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 blood oranges thinly sliced
For the Cake:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
130gr Plain Flour
30gr Almond Meal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground ginger
2/3 cup plain yoghurt

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.

Place butter in the cake pan and place in the oven.  When butter is melted, remove pan from the oven.  Tilt the pan around and around, coating the sides of the pan with butter.  Once sides are coated, sprinkle the sugar over the melted butter and lay the oranges flat in the still warm pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and brown sugar on medium speed.  Cream until slightly pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Stop mixer, scrape down the bowl with a spatula, and add egg, vanilla extract and ginger.  Beat for 1 minute.

Turn the mixer off, scrape the bowl, and add the dry ingredients.  Beat on low speed while adding the yoghurt.  Beat until the batter just comes together.  Batter will be pretty thick.  Remove the bowl from the mixer and finish incorporating ingredients with a spatula.

Spoon batter over the oranges and spread evenly with a spatula.  Bake for about 35 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Let cake rest for 10 minutes before running a knife around the edge of the cake and inverting the cake onto a cake plate.

Lavender and Lemon Cookie Pop

Spring holds so much hope and anticipation; growing up in the UK it always felt like the start of the year, and that feeling has transferred here, despite the fact that it is September. It holds anticipation for ice-cream eating, long walks with my puppy and road trips to Middleton, my favourite beach spot in SA.

South Australia has really brought it for the first few days a spring, if it was a football team people would be saying “This is our year”. Except Spring can’t really fail at being Spring so, yeah.

This cookie is anticipation in a cookie, the Lemon and Lavender are the perfect spring flavour combination. Refreshing like lemonade, and the lavender is in no way overwhelming, but the key is to only use a small amount otherwise things get soapy. And from experience I can tell you that soap is both a taste that is overwhelming, and exceedingly hard to remove from your mouth.The lemon cheese drizzle makes the cookie taste like delicious cheesecake. Its optional but do it, it’s amazing.

Lemon and Lavender Cookie

Ingredients
230gr plain flour
1/2 teaspoon of bicarb soda
85g caster sugar
45gr dark brown sugar
125gr melted butter
1/4 teaspoon of vanilla paste
1 egg
Rind of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon lavender

Method
Sift flour, soda and sugars into a large bowl; dark brown sugar generally has big pieces in it, sift well then add the larger pieces in too. Stir in the butter, vanilla and egg, the lemon and lavender.On a sheet of baking paper, roll the dough into a log shape. Tie the ends and if necessary wrap in glad wrap. Freeze the dough for at least 2 hours. At this point the mixture will last months.

Slice the frozen mixture and insert lollipop sticks. Bake at 200C for ten minutes.

Lemon Cheese Drizzle – adapted from Rah Cha Chow

Ingredients
70gr cream cheese
3 tablespoons lemon juice
184 gr powdered sugar

Method
Combine ingredients in bowl. Spoon a small tablespoon of mixture on to the cooled cookies and spread evenly over the top. Allow to dry.

Blood Orange Love

Guys I don’t mean to alarm you, but it’s blood orange time. And I’ve already made two blood orange dishes; as well as eating it with my daily yoghurt and porridge.
Blood oranges are easily my favourite fruit, the fact they signal the end of winter is purely a bonus. and oh gosh that smell. Like raspberries and oranges got together and made babies. Wait is that weird?

Is anyone else stressed out that I finish university in 3 months? I think my head is stressed; it’s doing that whole, pretend it’s not there and it might go away. Except applying it to the whole university situation. Stationery shopping must be the answer. A new notebook will fix everything.

This is the first of my blood orange uses, blood orange buttercream.
Air light and a perfect contrast for rich chocolate cake.

Blood Orange Curd – from Sel et Sucré 

Ingredients:

  • About 175 ml of blood orange juice (from 4 blood oranges)
  • 1 Tbsp blood orange zest (from 2 blood oranges)
  • 113 gr granulated sugar
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 114 gr butter, sliced into 8 pieces

Method:

In a medium saucepan, whisk together everything except the butter.

Gently heat the mixture over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, until it thickens considerably (enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon), about 10 minutes.

Remove from heat, and whisk in the butter.

Strain through a metal sieve, and let cool to room temperature. The curd will thicken slightly as it cools. I strained twice, you will get a smoother texture; which is super important since you are adding it to frosting.

Serve cold or at room temperature. Store in the refrigerator; this curd should stay good for about two weeks.

Sweetapolita Vanilla Frosting

Ingredients

575 grams unsalted butter, softened and cut into cubes
600 grams confectioners’ sugar, sifted
4-1/2 tablespoons milk
1-1/2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
pinch or two of salt
few drops pink gel colour

Method

In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip butter for 8 minutes on medium speed. Butter will become very pale & creamy.

Add remaining ingredients and mix on low-speed for 1 minute, then on medium speed for 6 minutes. I added 3 tablespoons of the orange curd at this stage brought up to around room temperature. Do this one tablespoon at a time and fully incorporate before you add the next.

Frosting will be very light, creamy, and fluffy. If you want all of your frosting (for filling and frosting cake) pink, then add a drop of pink gel colour and mix again, adding one drop at a time until desired pink shade is achieved. If you want just the outside of the cake pink, you will fill the cake layers first, and then colour the remaining frosting pink.

Best used right away (for ideal spreading consistency), but keeps well once frosted.I used the chocolate cake recipe from Miettes cookbook which I posted about here.The chocolate is compliments of the Foodie Pen Pal scheme; amazing dark chocolate from the Margaret River in WA, post soon!

Giant Lamington

It is totally amazing the effect the weather can have on your mood, blue skies equals birds singing in the sun and beers on the beach with tanned beautiful people (the first of these days is okay; and then bikini … Continue reading

Surprising Birthday Cake

I dearly love my friends, each of them are people who in some way have unequivocally altered my life for the better. So for them I make cake.

This cake is for one of my dearest friends, so she gets a super special cake. I would blather on about her but in terms of privacy and selfishness I want to keep her and the rest of my friends all to myself. I feel the same way about ice cream. The whole internet privacy thing is a biggy; being Gen Y it is hard for me to remember a time when I wasn’t connected to the internet. And I totally understand the faults of that and the bonuses.
Fault: Time keeping has gone out of the window and eye contact is becoming a thing of the past.
Bonus: Internet Shopping! Also I tend to give out more thanks because it’s just easier now.

Mia Freedman wrote an excellent article on this actually –  I love it because I read so many blogs that are pretty much parents parading their children around. As a gal in my twenties I find the situation a bit annoying, you’ve got all these rad people doing awesome stuff and then boom a baby. Cue pictures of baby clothes and ice cream smeared faces. I’m not the maternal type – the whole thing just puts me right off.

I could go on forever about the annoyance of mum blogs, but I feel it is instead more appropriate for me to continue just not being a mum and blogging about that. Ergo one blog that is not a mum blog. Hurrah!

This cake on the other hand is fabulous, inappropriate for children and wildly fun. When I say cake I of course mean a tart.

Adapted from Heston Blumenthals Recipe
Ingredients

For the base

150g all butter shortbread biscuits
30g unsalted butter, melted
2 tbsp white caster sugar
25g neutral popping candy

For the chocolate ganache

175g whipping cream
Pinch of salt
A big handful of frozen Raspberries + extra for topping
50g fresh custard
110g dark chocolate (minimum of 60% cocoa solids), broken into pieces
50g milk chocolate, broken into pieces

For the flocking

500g dark chocolate
200g vegetable oil Or Cocoa Powder

 Method

Preheat the oven to 180ºC/gas mark 4. Place the shortbread biscuits on a baking tray and bake in the oven for 10 minutes until golden brown.

Place the biscuits in a food processor and add the melted butter and sugar. Blitz until the mixture resembles fine sand in texture.

Gently stir in the popping candy. Place the mixture inside a 15cm cake ring placed on a tray lined with baking paper. Flatten using the back of a spoon then put to one side to set.

Add the cream, salt and raspberries to a small saucepan and place over a medium heat until it almost comes to the boil. Remove from the heat and allow to stand for 5 minutes, then stir in the fresh custard.

Put the dark and milk chocolate in a bowl. Place over a bain marie (a pan of gently simmering water) and allow to melt completely. Remove from the heat.

Strain the infused cream and add to the bowl of melted chocolate a third at a time, making sure to incorporate the cream thoroughly after each addition. Allow the ganache to cool to room temperature.

Once the tart base has set, use a pastry brush to spread some of the ganache on top of the base and around the edges then place in the freezer for 5 minutes. This will ensure that the ganache will not seep through.

After 5 minutes, pour the remaining ganache into the ring and place the tart in the fridge to set for 2 hours. Place the tart in the freezer at least 4 hours before flocking.

After the gateau is fully frozen, sit the gateau on a wide upturning glass or pot. Remove the metal ring by lightly warming with a blow torch. Remove by carefully sliding the ring downwards. Place back in the freezer.

For the flocking, break the chocolate into chunks and place in a small bowl. Melt the chocolate by placing the bowl over a bain marie. Leave to cool slightly before stirring in the vegetable oil.

Fill the base of a paint gun with the melted chocolate mixture and attach the nozzle. To avoid redecorating the kitchen in chocolate brown, set a large cardboard box on its side to provide a protective roof and walls to work in.

Remove the gateau from the freezer and carefully lift it onto a plate. Place the gateau in the cardboard box then spray it with the chocolate, turning carefully as you go. Return it to the freezer until 20 minutes before serving.

Gooey Dark Brownies with Pistachio Praline

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Kitchen disasters always happen at the worst of times, this particular one happened after a week-long baking marathon; my teeth had grown sick of sugar and my hands were well and truly done with being buttered. I shan’t dwell on that though because A.) I love baking and B.) I got to make these AH-may-zing brownies and C.) I ate far too many for my own good.

Now brownies have a special place in my heart. Why I hear you ask?

Well I am the queen of under-baking (note baking – the only time I under cook things are veggie pasta bakes that I am just too hungry to wait until they crisp up; and that is all good!), it most definitely steams from far too many dry birthday cakes as a child – other kids obviously my mum made rocking birthday cakes. Because of this when I bake I just hang out in the kitchen watching the cake and painting my nails. Cakes never hurry up for me, they always take a bazillion times longer than the recommended time. This is where brownies become the saviour of the day, they relish the watch, sometimes it all happens so fast; if you’ve seen Masterchef you will know that you are only minutes away from over cooking.

These were for my pretty awesome boyfriend and they went down a treat! I made these at his house and forget he didn’t have a food processor so the praline was more crunchy bits of caramel than the smooth crunch of praline!

Dark Chocolate Brownies adapted from Joy the Baker
makes 24 brownies
200g unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
12 Tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Butter a 9×13-inch baking pan.  Line and butter the lining.  This will make brownie removal much easier.

Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.

Place butter and chopped chocolate in a medium-sized heat proof bowl.  Place the bowl over a pot of barely simmering water, being sure that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the boiling water.  Stir until chocolate and butter are completely melted.  Use pot holders to remove the bowl from over the boiling water. Lets mixture sit for a few minutes.Image

Meanwhile, in a medium-sized bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs and vanilla extract.  Whisk until pale and thick.  Pour the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture.  Whisk until completely incorporated.  Add the flour mixture all at once and whisk to incorporate.  Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.ImagePotentially review size of container for overflow, however if you do have overflow you can totally eat it, that’s cool.

Pistachio Praline

165g caster sugar
1/4 cup water
50g shelled pistachios

Combine sugar and water in a saucepan and stir over low heat to dissolve sugar. Increase heat and boil, without stirring, until mixture is a caramel colour. Pour into six 175mL ramekins.
Lightly toast nuts in a hot oven.
Remove caramel from heat once nuts are toasted.
When bubbles subside, carefully stir in nuts. Pour onto a greased baking tray, cool, break into pieces and grind finely in a food processor.
Add some vanilla gelato from Gelatissimo and you have an amazing dessert.
❤ Enjoy!

Glow in the Dark Driveway and other such cuteness.

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This has to be my first totally unplanned post, however I totally don’t have time to finish up my post on the dark chocolate brownies I made last week, which by the way went down a treat. I really feel like I needed to pay more attention to this, as it seems like the rest of my life is getting a teeenie tiny bit uncontrollable.

So I thought I’d share with you some pretty rad stuff from life and the internet.

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I just saw this on A Cup of Jo, which is a super sweet blog with just the most inspiring posts and amazing how to’s. 

Who wouldn’t want to come home to this!

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I spent my weekend browsing the Adelaide Central Markets and picking up some amazing brie and grapes all so I could spend Saturday night in making invites and painting my nails all glittery; I think somewhere in there was an intention to study. But let’s be serious, who studies on a Saturday night. Sacrilegious? I hear you.

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Because not all blogs are written by mothers, and not all lunches are done with children. You can check out more of these cards at the new Irving baby store behind the Austral.

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This picture just makes me laugh so much, this is a G&B (gin and banana), I have a sneaking suspicion that it will most definitely take off at bars nationwide. So watch out.

Disclaimer – I wouldn’t actually advise on the consumption of G&B’s especially consumption in the plural. May taste nicer with more tonic.