About Me

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What can I say?? I just love to bake!! Ever since I would go to Grandma's house as a little girl and bake highlight cakes or help Ninny make her famous vanilla cookies, I've been obsessed with baking! Not only from recipe books, but freestyle too! With a father as a chef, i suppose it is in my genes! Some of my favourite memories from growing up were those moments after dinner when my dad would get his sweet tooth pang and have me help him whip up a batch of toffee fruit kebabs, or irish caramels! I used to love how he never followed recipes, he always just knew what ingredients worked with one another and how to play with quantities. So, from an early age, i had learnt from the master and i was well on my way to bake on my own! When i was 7 years old, i used to bake chocoloate cakes to sell to the mothers of my friends when they came to watch our Saturday morning minkey hockey games! Before i knew it, i was being commissioned from my school teachers to bake cakes for them at $2 a pop! This blog holds just a few of my favourite tried and tested recipes which I've thoroughly enjoyed both baking and eating! So enjoy!!

Friday, 27 May 2011

Cake Kitchen...

I know i've been a bit slow at posting updates, but i have a very good excuse!  I've recently launched a new cake business, 'Cake Kitchen', based here in Hobart.  Below are a few of my latest orders, with many more pictures on my website:


Don't worry i'll keep posting recipes on my blog -  so stay tuned!

Sunday, 8 May 2011

My latest novelty cake!

I thought you might like to see my latest novelty cake... it was ordered for an 18th birthday last week.  A football cake with the birthday boy in his jersey!

Please check out my website for more cakes or to place orders:

Darl's Rhubarb & Apple Crumble

My grandpa Darl just loves an Apple Crumble, and this recipe is not only delicious, but very, VERY quick and easy to make!   A winner all round.

 - 10 stalks rhubarb
 - 4 Apples
 - 1/4 cup sugar
 - Pinch of cinnamon
 Crumble Topping
 - 1/4 cup melted butter
 - 1/3 cup brown sugar
 - 2/3 cup oats
 - 2/3 plain flour


1)  String the rhubarb and peel the apples, then cut into cubes.

2)  Place fruit in a small saucepan with a splash of water and the sugar and cinnamon.  Simmer for 10 minutes.

3)  In the meantime, mix all of the crumble topping together in a bowl.

4)  Spoon the stewed fruit into a baking dish and then cover with crumble topping, pressing down firmly.

5)  Bake in a moderate oven (180'C) for 25 minutes.

6)  Serve hot out of the oven with custard or ice cream!

Strawberry & Passionfruit Roulade

What better dessert than a Roulade for Mother's Day?!  Impressive to look at, easy to make and delicious to eat.  Even my partner, who 'doesn't do desserts' had seconds, and my mum loved it!

  • - 4 egg whites
  • - 200g golden caster sugar
  • - 200g lemon curd
  • - 3 passion fruit
  • - 150ml double cream
  • - 10 Strawberries, chopped


1)  Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Line a Swiss roll tin, (about 23cm x 30cm) with baking paper. 

2)  Whisk the egg whites in a freestanding electric mixer until firm peaks form, then slowly add the sugar, still whisking, until stiff and glossy.

3)  Spoon the mixture evenly onto the baking tray and bake for 15-20 minutes, (until crisp on the outside). Remove and cool completely.

4)  Lay a piece of fresh greaseproof paper out and flip the meringue over onto it.  Carefully pull away the used paper then spread the lemon curd over it and then the passion fruit. Whip the cream and spread on top of the lemon curd. Sprinkle over the strawberries. 

5)  Roll the meringue up lengthways using the paper to help turn it over. Put on a serving tray and dust with icing sugar to serve.  Delish!

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Chocolate Mud Cake

This cake is the ultimate for chocolate lovers!  It's such rich, dense, moist chocolate cake and a little goes a long way!  I made this recently for an Easter dinner party and everyone was blown away by it's moist 'muddiness' and the fact that it's gluten free, yeast free and wheat free!  It would be lovely decorated with strawberries, however i stuck to the Easter theme with mine by throwing an entire bag of mini eggs all over it!  

 - ½ cup (50g) cocoa powder
 - ½ cup (125ml) hot water
 - 1½ cups (330g) firmly packed brown sugar
 - 220g unsalted butter, chopped coarsely
 - 200g dark eating chocolate, chopped coarsely
 - 1½ cups (150g) hazelnut meal
 - 6 eggs, beaten lightly
 - 250g strawberries, sliced thinly (to serve, optional)

chocolate ganache
 - 3/4 cup (180ml) cream
 - 300g dark eating chocolate, chopped coarsely

1)  Preheat oven to 170°C/150°C fan-forced. Grease 25cm-round springform tin; line base and side with baking paper.

2)  Blend cocoa with the water in medium saucepan until smooth. Add sugar, butter and chocolate; stir over low heat until smooth. Remove from heat.

3)  Stand chocolate mixture about 15 minutes or until barely warm. Stir in meal and egg. Pour mixture into tin.

4)  Bake cake about 1 hour 40 minutes. Cool cake in tin. Refrigerate, covered, 3 hours or overnight.

5)  Meanwhile, make chocolate ganache.

6)  Place cake onto serving plate. Cover with ganache, decorate with strawberries.

Chocolate ganache

Bring cream to the boil in small saucepan. Remove from heat, add chocolate; stir until smooth. Stand 20 minutes before using.

**  This cake will keep for 1 week (undecorated) or frozen for up to 2 months.

Lime & Passionfruit Tart

  • I made this tart recently for a dinner party and I have to say, it was DIVINE (if i do say so myself!)  The pastry is a really simple recipe and the filling is even easier.  Nom nom nom.  An easy, yet impressive dessert!

  • Ingredients:
  •  - 225g (1 1/2 cup) plain flour
  •  - 125g butter, chilled, chopped
  •  - 60g (1/3 cup) icing sugar mixture
  •  - 1 egg yolk
  •  - 1-2 tbs chilled water
  •  - 125ml (1/2 cup) fresh passionfruit pulp
  •  - 2 tsp finely grated lime rind
  •  - 60ml (1/4 cup) fresh lime juice
  •  - 155g (3/4 cup) caster sugar
  •  - 200ml light coconut cream
  •  - 5 eggs, lightly whisked


  1. Process the flour, butter and icing sugar in a food processor until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk and water, processing until dough just comes together. Cover with plastic wrap. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes to rest.
  2. Whisk the passionfruit pulp, lime rind, lime juice, caster sugar, coconut cream and egg in a bowl. Place in the fridge for 1 hour to chill.
  3. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 200ºC. Roll out pastry on a lightly floured surface to a 4mm-thick disc. Line a 3cm-deep, 23cm (base measurement) fluted tart tin, with removable base, with pastry. Trim, allowing 2cm to overhang. Cover with non-stick baking paper and fill with pastry weights or rice. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove paper and pastry weights or rice. Bake for 8 minutes or until golden. Set aside to cool slightly. Use a large serrated knife to trim excess pastry. Place tart on a baking tray.
  4. Reduce oven temperature to 150ºC. Strain the passionfruit mixture through a sieve into a jug. Stir 1 1/2 tablespoons of seeds back into mixture. Pour into the pastry case. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until just set. Set aside to cool. Place in the fridge for 1 hour to chill.

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Homemade Farmers Loaf

Easy-peasy bread, especially made extra easy with an electric mixer with a dough hook....

 - 2 sachets dried yeast (4tsp)
 - 7 cups bread flour
 - 2 1/2 cups luke warm water
 - 1 tbs salt
 - 1 tbs butter
 - 2 tbs cornmeal
 - 1 egg white
 - 1tbs water

1)  Dissolve yeast in warm water in your mixing bowl.

2)  Add salt, melter butter and flour.

3)  Attach bowl and dough hook to mixer and turn to speed 2 and mix for about 1 minute or until well blended.

4)  Knead on speed 2 for 2 minutes longer.

5)  Place the dough in a large greased bowl, turning to coat.  The dough should be sticky.

6)  Cover and let the dough rise in a warm place, free from draft, for about 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.

7)  Punch down and divide the dough in half.  Roll each half into desired shape, or use a baking tin and cover with sprinkle cornmeal.

8)  Cover and let the dough rise again in a warm place for another hour, or until doubled in bulk once more.

9)  Using a sharp knife, make 4 diagonal cuts on top of each loaf.  Bake at 220'C for 25 minutes.  Remove from the oven and brush with beaten egg white/water mixture, then bake for 5 more minutes.

10)  Cool on wire racks.

Baked Brownie Bombe Alaska

WARNING!  Do not attempt this recipe at home in an open plan kitchen/dining room!!  This is what i did, and i can tell you now, the stress of the whole thing almost gave me a coronary!  Although you can do all of your preparation before your guests arrive, it is best to assemble the alaska just before putting in the oven, otherwise the brownie bottom will be too hard to eat after being in the freezer for hours.

Just to throw in a little hurdle to my already giant challenge, I decided to do individual baked alaska's for everybody, but i can tell you now, they looked brilliant and well worth the effort!  I was very pleased with my final product (as a first attempt anyway!)

Here's my recipe:

Brownie Base:
 - 1/2 cup unsalted butter
 - 1 cup cocoa
 - 1 1/2 cup caster sugar
 - 4 eggs
 - 1 tsp vanilla extract
 - 3/4 cups plain flour
Ice Cream Centre:
 - Vanilla Ice cream
 - Chocolate Hazelnut Ice cream
(Or whatever ice cream you would like to use)
 Meringue Top:
 - 4 egg whites
 - 3/4 cup caster sugar

1)  Preheat the oven to 180'C and grease/line an 8inch baking pan.

2)  Place butter and chocolate in a large heatproof bowl set over (but not touching) simmering water; stir frequently until chocolate and butter are melted.  Remove the bowl from the heat and let cool to room temperature.

3)  Stir sugar into cooled chocolate mixture until combined.  Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, whisking until smooth.  Whisk in the vanilla, then gently fold in the flour.

4)  Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula.  Bake until the cake tester inserted into the centre comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached - about 40-45 minutes.  Transfer onto a wire rack to cool completely before cutting into individual sized portions to use as your base.

5) Make your meringue top by beating your egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add in your caster sugar, whilst continuing to beat the mixture until egg whites become thick and glossy and stiff peaks are formed.

6)  Start to assemble your alaska's by layering vanilla ice cream, followed by chocolate hazelnut ice cream on top of your brownies.  Then, completely cover the entire brownie/ice cream with meringue mixture, being sure not to allow any gaps showing.  Using the back of a spoon, create peaks on your alaska.

7)  Be sure to have the oven heated at 220'C, then place your alaska's on a tray and bake on the highest rack in the oven for about 3 minutes, or until your meringue starts to brown.

8)  Serve immediately!

9)  Relax.  It's all over.  :-)

Monday, 21 March 2011

Rhubarb & Pear Crumble Muffins

The pear saga started when a friend from work brought in a huge bag of fresh organic pears from her home grown tree... obviously, this got me thinking.  What can one do with pears?  Pear and vanilla paste was created, followed by strawberry, pear and rhubarb jam (see post below), finished up with a nice batch of Rhubarb & Pear Crumble Muffins, which I have to say, were pretty darn good (especially warm from the oven!)

Preparation Time:
Cooking Time:
Serves: 2 fat piggies (makes 12 muffins)

For the Filling:
 - 200g drained cooked rhubarb
 - 200g drained, cooked pear, diced
 - 3tbs caster sugar
 - 2tbs water
 - 1/4tsp lemon zest

For the Crumble:
 - 2tbs unsalted butter, melted
 - 4tbs plain flour
 - 3tbs brown sugar
 - 4tbs porridge oats
 - 1tsp lemon zest

For the Muffins:
 - 375g self-raising flour
 - 125g brown sugar
 - 1tsp baking powder
 - 115g unsalted butter, melted
 - 350ml milk
 - 1 egg

1)  Preheat the oven to 200'C (400'F) .  Grease a 12 cup muffin tin.

2)  Combine all the ingredients for the filling in a small saucepan and gently bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, or until the pears are soft.  Set aside.

3)  Stir all the ingredients for the crumble together in a small bowl.  Set aside.

4)  For the muffins, combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl.  In a medium bowl, beat the butter, milk and egg.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring until just combined.

5)  Spoon a little batter into each muffin cup, using about half the batter.  Then spoon a layer of the filling into the cups.  Add the remaining muffin batter on top and then finish by sprinkling the crumble mixture over the muffin tops.

6)  Bake for about 20 minutes.  Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the trays for about 5minutes.  Serve the muffins warm.

**They can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.

Strawberry, Pear & Rhubarb Jam

This is my first attempt at making Jam and I have to say, it is surprisingly very easy!  There are endless recipes online with varying methods, but i found this one to be pretty simple and very effective.  I swapped and changed the fruits for the jam to use up what I had in the kitchen already, but pretty much any combination is a winner.... I mean, who doesn't like jam?!

Preparation Time: 20 mins
Cooking Time: 2 hours
Serves: Makes about 3-4 large jars

 - 750g Strawberries, hulled and halved
 - Juice of 1 lemon
 - 1kg caster sugar
 - 750g pears, cored and chopped
 - 250g rhubarb, chopped

1)  Place strawberries, lemon juice and sugar in a bowl.  Mix well and cover.  Refrigerate overnight.

2)  Place in a large heavy based saucepan along with the pears and rhubarb and simmer, stirring occasionally for 2 hours, skimming the surface occasionally.

3)  Pour into sterilised jars.

** To sterilise the jars, either place in a 140'C oven for 25 mins or plunge into boiling water nad dry upside down on a clean tea towel.

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Red Velvet WHOOPIE Cakes!

Whoopie Cakes, Whoopie Pies, Whoopie Cookies.... they're the cakey-cookie thing deemed to be the NEW Macaroon!  Supposedly originally introduced in Maine, USA in the 1950's when a woman working in a commercial bakery baked some leftover cake mixture instead of wasting it, and put it together with some extra filling... from this, a Whoopie was born.  There are an enormous variety of Whoopie flavours out there, I thought i'd start out with the Red Velvet Whoopie.  They are very easy to make and hard to mess up so get your whoopie on and have fun!

Preparation Time: 10mins
Cooking Time: 12-12 mins
Serves: 12

 - 125ml buttermilk
 - 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
 - 1/2tsp red food colouring
 - 1 1/2tsp distilled white vinegar
 - 115g butter, softened
 - 200g castor sugar
 - 1 egg
 - 280g - plain flour
 - 1tbs cocoa
 - 1/2tsp bicarb soda
 - 115g full fat cream cheese
 - 70g butter, softened
 - 1/2tsp vanilla extract
 - 450g icing sugar

1)  Preheat oven to 170'Cfan forced/190'C/375'F.  Line baking trays with baking paper.

2)  Stir the buttermilk, vanilla, red food colouring and vinegar together in mixing jug.

3)  Put the butter and sugar in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.  Beat in the egg.

4)  Sift together the flour, cocoa and bicarb soda.  Add the buttermilk mixture and stir until combined.

5)  Place heaped tablespoons of the mixture on your prepared baking trays, leaving about 3inches between each round to allow room for spreading.  Bake in the oven for 10-12minutes, until firm to touch.  Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool.

6)  In the meantime, make the cream cheese frosting by putting the cream cheese, butter and vanilla extract in a bowl and beat together until light and fluffy.  Sift in the icing sugar and beat together until well combined.

7)  When the Whoopie's are cool, match each whoopie half with its closest partner in size.  Spreading with a palette knife or using a piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle, cover the flat side of one whoopie half with frosting.  Place a whoopie on top and gently press together... A la Whoopie.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

The 'Ladies who Lunch' Cupcake

My Vanilla Cupcakes with Bows - created for the Ladies Charity Afternoon Tea and Frock Swap 2011!

**Recipe for cupcakes in earlier blogs.
I used a white chocolate ganache under my pink fondant icing to create a smooth effect; and black fondant icing for my bows.

My Afternoon Tea Platter for the Cancer Council Charity Frock Swap 2011...

Mini Custard Fruit Flans

When my mum recently told me she was hosting a ladies day charity afternoon tea and frock swap, and asked me to do the sweets side of things, I immediately thought 'Ooooo, afternoon tea petite fours!'  After much speculation, I decided on making; pink vanilla cupcakes, a varity of flavoured macaroons, bite sized chocolate terrines and my personal favourite.... mini custard fruit flans!  These little flans went down an absolute treat and were so much fun to make and put together.  The final product is well worth the effort!

Preparation Time:  30 mins (+1hour refigeration time)
Cooking Time: 12 mins
Serves: 24

 - 1 3/4 cup plain flour
 - 1/4 cup icing sugar
 - 185g cold butter, chopped coarsely
 - 1 egg yolk
 - 2 tsp iced water, approximately
 - 1 medium kiwi fruit
 - 60g strawberries
 - 60g blueberries
Custard Cream
 - 1 cup milk
  - 1 tsp vanilla extract
 - 3 egg yolks
 - 1/2 cup caster sugar
 - 2 tbs pure cornflour
 - 1/3 cup thickened cream, whipped

1) Process flour, sugar and butter until crumbly.  With motor operating, add egg yolk and enough of the water to make all the ingredients come together.  Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead gently until smooth.  Wrap pastry in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

2)  Grease a 24 hole mini muffin pan.  Roll out the pastry between two sheets of baking paper until 1/8 inch thick (it might be easier to do this in two batches).  Cut out 24 rounds using a round cutter big enough to fit your muffin holes (approximately 2 1/4inch rounds should do the trick).  Press rounds into each hole and prick the bases of the cases well with a fork.  Once all holes are filled with cases, refigerate for 30 minutes.

3)  Preheat oven to 200'C/400'F.

4)  Bake cases for about 12 minutes.  Stand cases in their tins for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

5)  Meanwhile, make the custard cream by combining the milk and extract in a small saucepan and bringing to the boil.  Beat the egg yolk, sugar and cornflour together in a seperate bowl with an electric mixer until thick.  With motor operating, gradually beat in the hot milk mixture.  Return the custrard to the pan, stirring over the heat until it boils and thickens.  Cover the surface with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.  Fold cream into the custard in 2 batches.

6)  Cut the kiwi fruit in quarters and strawberries in 8ths.

7)  Divide the custard cream into pastry cases and top with fruit.

**Tip:  Pastry cases and custard cream can be made and stored seperately 2 days ahead.  Fold the cream into custard just before using.  Assemble and serve flans as close to serving time as possible - about an hour is good.

Pink Rose & Vanilla Pistachio Macaroons!

They say they're the 'new cupcake'; others say they are trendier than wearing black and beige in Autumn; some even go as far as to say they should replace the Eiffel Tower as the French Icon.... yes, I am talking about the much raved about, Macaroon!  Not the soft meringey English kind, but the gorgeous and colourful French Macaroon. 

On my first attempt, I made the traditional French Coconut Macaroon (see recipe below) which turned out beautifully.  I was sceptical as to how the food colouring would affect the meringue mixture, but soon found out I needn't be.  As long as you only use a few drops as recommended, then your egg whites will remain in their soft peak form.

On my second attempt, I thought i'd go the full hog and make Pink Rose Macaroons, as well as Vanilla Pistachio Macaroons.  Both turned out wonderfully - especially the pistachio kind!  Don't be afraid to give them a go, they're really not as tricky to make as you think they are... honest!

Preparation Time: 40 mins (+30 mins standing time)
Cooking Time: 20 mins
Serves: 16

 - 3 egg whites
 - 1/4 cup castor sugar
 - pink food colouring
 - rose oil essence
 - 1 1/4 cup icing sugar
 - 1 cup ground almonds
 White Chocolate Ganache
- 155g white chocolate, chopped coarsely
- 1/4 cup single cream

1)  Preheat oven to 130'C.  Line baking trays with baking paper.

2)  Beat egg whites in a small bowl with an electric mixer until soft peaks form.  Add castor sugar and a few drops of pink colouring and rose essence.  Beat until all the sugar dissolves.

3)  Fold the sifted icing sugar and ground almonds into the egg white mixture, in two batches.

4)  Spoon the mixture into a piping bag fitted with 1cm plain tube.  Pipe 4cm rounds about 2.5cm apart on the trays.  Tap the trays on the bench gently so they spread slightly.  Stand for 30 minutes.

5)  Meanwhile, make the ganache by bringing the cream to the boil in a small pot.  Once boiling, turn off the heat and pour over your white chocolate, stirring constantly until completely melted.

6)  Bake macaroons in your prepared oven for about 20 minutes.  Leave to cool on trays.

7)  Sandwich macaroons together with Ganache.

8)  Sprinkle with a little icing sugar to serve.

Monday, 28 February 2011

Coconut French Macaroons

 - 3 egg whites
 - 1/4 cup castor sugar
 - 1/2 tsp coconut essence
 - 1 1/4 cup icing sugar
 - 3/4 cup ground almonds
 - 1/4 cup desiccated coconut
 - 1 tbs icing sugar (extra)
White Chocolate Ganache
 - 1/4 cup single cream
 - 155g white eating chocolate, chopped coarsely
 - 2 tbs coconut flavoured liqueur (optional)

 1)  Preheat oven to 130'C.  Line baking trays with greaseproof paper.

2)  Beat egg whites in a small bowl using an electric mixer until soft peaks form.  Add the castor sugar and essence, then beat untl the sugar is dissoved. 

3)  Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and and fold in the icing sugar, ground almonds and coconut, in two batches.

4)  Spoon the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 1cm plain tube.  Pipe 4cm rounds, about 2.5cm apart on your prepared trays.  Tap the trays on the bench lightly so macaroons spread slightly.  Leave to stand for 30minutes.

5)  Bake macaroons for about 20minutes.  Cool on the trays. 

6)  Meanwhile, make the white chocolate ganache by bringing the cream to the boil in a small saucepan.  Remove cream from heat and pour over your chocolate in a small bowl and stir until smooth.  Stir in the liqueur.  Stand at room temperature until the ganache is spreadable.

7)  Sandwich the macaroons with ganache.  Serve dusted with extra icing sugar.  ENJOY!

Granola Bars

These delicious bars are so easy to make and are perfect lunchbox snacks.  You can be flexible with the ingredients and add your favourite nuts or dried fruits.

 - 320g unsalted butter
 - 240ml golden syrup
 - 250g light brown sugar
 - 250g rolled oats
 - 200g desiccated coconut
 - 125g dried apricots, chopped
 - 60g dried dates, chopped
 - 125g cornflakes
 - 125g sunflower seeds
 - 60g dried cranberries
 - 125g shelled walnuts, chopped
 - 125 g raisins

1)  Line a 33x23x5cm baking tray with greasproof paper.

2)  Put the butter, golden syrup and sugar in a large saucepan over medium heat and heat until melted and smooth, stirring occasionally.

3)  Put the oats, coconut, apricots, dates, cornflakes, sunflower seeds, cranberries, walnuts and raisins in a large bowl and stir to combine.  Pour in the butter mixture and mix thoroughly until everything is well mixed and the dry ingredients are evenly dispersed.

4)  Press the mixture into your lined baking tray, using a tablespoon to flatten and compress it.  Cover with a sheet of greaseproof paper, then a tray covered in jam jars or tins to apply pressure on the cake and compress it even more.  Leave to cool, then refrigerate overnight.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Chocoholics Chocolate Brownies

Sorry everyone for not posting this recipe earlier!!  FINALLY - here is the much anticipated chocolate brownie recipe you've all been waiting for!!  Beware... they're not weight watchers approved :-)  I whip these bad boys out whenever i'm having a party as they make perfect little petit fours (which everyone seems to LOVE!) and they keep well in an airtight container for yonks.

Cooking Time: 40 mins
Preparation Time: 15 mins
Serves: 24

 - 200g butter
 - 200g plain chocolate
 - 500g castor sugar
 - 2tsp vanilla extract
 - 4 eggs
 - 250g plain flour
 - 4tbs cocoa

1)  Preheat oven to 180'C

2)  Prepare a small rectangular roasting tin or oven proof dish (8x12'' or 20x30cm)  Line with baking paper.

3)  Melt the chopped chocolate and butter over a pan of simmering water and allow to cool slightly.

4)  Stir in the sugar and vanilla.

5)  Add in the eggs, one at a time, stirring well after each addition.

6)  Sift in the flour and cocoa and mix in for about one minute, or until smooth.

7)  Pour the mixture into your prepared tin and bake for about 45-50mins.  The mixture needs to be just cooked, so start testing with a skewer at about 40 minutes - It should have moist crumbs, but not wet batter, sticking to it.

8)  Cool in the tin completely before turning out onto a board to cut into pieces.

Nom nom nom.  Enjoy.

**Image below under 'Housewarming Party Platter'

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

My Housewarming Party Platter

Chocolate Nutella Filled Cupcakes... recipe in the 2010 blog entries

Lady Bird White Chocolate Cupcakes... recipe in post below

Chocolate Brownies...

The Complete Party Platter....

White Chocolate Mud Cake Ladybird Cupcakes

We had our housewarming party last Sunday, and not that I need an excuse to bake, I couldn't wait to find the perfect occasion to showcase these lovely ladybirds!  They went down a treat and I had so much fun making them, you should really give them a go for yourselves!  

Cooking Time: 20 mins
Preparation Time: 30 mins
Serves: 12

 - 125g butter, chopped coarsely
 - 80g white chocolate, chopped coarsely
 - 1 cup castor sugar
 - 1/2 cup milk
 - 1/2 cup plain flour
 - 1/2 cup SR flour
 - 1 egg

1)  Preheat oven to 170C, 150C fan-forced.  Line a twelve-hole muffin tin with paper cases.

2)  Stir butter, chocolate, sugar and milk in a saucepan over a low heat until smooth.  Transfer mixture to a medium bowl and cool for 15 minutes.

3)  Whisk sifted flours into the chocolate mixture and then mix in the egg.

4)  Drop 1/4 cup of mixture into the paper cases.  Bake for around 20 minutes.  Place on a wire rack to cool.

Simon's Stegosaurus Cake!

The next birthday in the 2011 cake calendar was of course my partner, Simon, who at turning 34, chose this cake himself!  HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO SIMON for January 14th! xx

The Train Cake!!

Remember when you were little and (one of) the most exciting things about your birthday was choosing your very own cake out of the Women's Weekly Kids Cake Book?!  My goodness, i remember spending hours upon hours, even days trying to choose the perfect cake!  Some of them really are pretty incredible and i've decided to spend 2011 re-creating as many of the treasured favourites I can.

So, the first birthday in my diary for 2011 is my grandfather (fondly known as Darl), and I didn't even need to think twice about which cake he'd like.... after all, it had to be the most grand of the lot considering he was turning 90 years old on January 13th!!  The Train Cake had his name written all over it!  And he absolutely loved it too!!

The cake itself was made from an old Godfrey family recipe - Highlight Cake (also known as Madeira Cake or Grandma's cake).  It is the perfect base for any of these novelty cakes as it not only tastes YUMMY it's quite dense and easy to play with.

Highlight Cake Recipe to follow shortly...

So, without further ado, may I introduce to you.... The Train Cake!!