Rocky road brownie tart birthday cake

27 Jan

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It was my niece’s birthday and she had flown down from her home near the Queensland border to catch up with her fav cousins (misses 7 and 9) and her nana. Naturally a cake was in order but the biggest decision of the moment was the nature of the cake. As the niece is a self-confessed a sweet tooth (her mum made her a cake that used 2 kilos of icing sugar!) a chocolate cake was in order but that didn’t really help – have you SEEN how many recipes for chocolate cake lurk on the web?

The idea of rocky road crept into my mind… Continue reading

Lamington ice-cream pops for Australia Day

24 Jan

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These are the cutest incarnations of lamingtons I ever did see! For non-Aussies, a lamington is a sponge cake coated in chocolate icing then drizzled in coconut. Super yum. Continue reading

Donna Hay easy lamington slice

20 Jan

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Australia Day is traditionally a day of picnics, BBQs, and general eating-related events. Mostly this eating takes place while drapped in a flag, or at least while wearing a shirt/shorts/thongs/stick-on tattoos of said flag. Supermarkets and departments stores do their bit to support this jingoism by dreaming up ever more tacky products printed with the Australian flag.

I prefer to show my love of this sunburnt country in terms of food. For me, no other dish is as Australian as the lamington, a sponge cake iced in simple chocolate and topped in a flurry of shredded coconut.

This example by Donna Hay removed the messy step of dousing each piece of cake in icing – rather, the whole cake is bathed in the icing while hot from the oven. Trust me when I say that it may be a shortcut but the taste is amazing. This cake can be cut into huge slabs, elegant squares, wedges, or anywhere in between.

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 GATHER:

125g unsalted butter, softened

2/3 cup caster (superfine) sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 eggs

1¼ cups plain flour, sifted

1¼ teaspoons baking powder, sifted

½ cup milk

1 cup shredded coconut

chocolate icing

¾ cup icing sugar

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

⅓ cup boiling water

20g butter, melted

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LET’S GET TO IT:

Preheat oven to 160°C and grease and line a 20cm x 30cm shallow pan.

Place butter, sugar and vanilla in bowl of electric mixer and beat until light.

Add eggs one at a time and beat well, then scrape down sides with a spatula.

With beater on low tip in flour and baking powder and mix until just combined.

Stir in the milk and tip into pan.

Bake cake for 20 minutes.

While cake is baking make icing: whisk together icing sugar, cocoa, water and butter in a bowl and set aside.

Remove cake from oven and while still warm, cut into squares and carefully pour over icing. Top with coconut.

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Blueberry & polenta cupcakes

16 Jan

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I am the sort of person who gets so excited when they see a new or unusual baking recipe that I will rush out to buy any ingredient that I don’t have in the cupboard. Usually by the time said ingredient is stored in the pantry I have a new ‘must bake’ recipe and that item that I simply had to have ends up languishing, unloved, in the back of the pantry.

Sometimes fate intervenes and the same ingredient pops up again and I dust off said item, preheat the oven and get cracking. Continue reading

Tequila cookies

11 Jan IMG_0683

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When I was a teenager, many millennium ago, tequila was the go to drink for party people. Never me, of course – I drank nothing but water on nights out with friends #Ummmm

Anyway, the image of tequila as a cheap and cheerful beverage was only recently extinguished for me when the Hungry Dad brought home a fancy bottle of tequila. Clue number one that it was nothing like the drink of days gone by: the bottle stopper wasn’t a mini sombrero. Clue number two: it wasn’t a ginormous bottle and it cost more than I care to admit. Continue reading

Red velvet cookies with cream cheese filling

4 Jan main-red

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I was looking for red velvet-themed baking recipes to make. I found enough to keep me baking every day for the rest of my life but there was something about this one that caught me eye. Red velvet is my fav flavour on the rare occasion that I indulge in sweet treats so I knew I had to make these. Continue reading

Meringue with drunken strawberries & pepper

22 Dec

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This recipe is perfect for Christmas and I’ll tell you why:

It combines a few different building blocks which means you can adjust the quantity to suit numbers.

It allows you to make the elements in advance and assemble just before serving, meaning less stress and more chat.

If guests don’t like strawberries they can just have the meringue. Or vice versa.

The colours are reminiscent of Christmas.

It is easy – let’s face it, by December, when Chrissy get-togethers are in full swing, you need something that doesn’t require hours in the kitchen using every utensil you own.

Continue reading

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