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!!

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.  :-)