Monday, January 30, 2012

A birthday cake for Zenna

As I have mentioned a few times in this blog, I have a little boy, Reuben. He's two and a half and I love him to bits (although he can throw a mean tantrum that really tests my unconditional love at times). Reuben's best friend is a lovely little girl named Zenna. They are so adorable playing together and it's so much fun watching them interact (not so much fun watching them fight, but you take the good with the bad). While they are young, I love that Reuben has a girl for his best friend. I get to play little girl games and on occasions get to shop for gorgeous little girl things. I might change my tune in 15 years when they start wanting to play by themselves with the door shut, but that's a blog post for another day.

Last weekend was Zenna's third birthday party. When baking for family, I don't get to do anything too pretty and generally avoid pink. So when I was told Zenna was having a party, I muscled my way in and offered to do some baking. Luckily, we're friends with Zenna's parents and they were more than happy for the help. So, I baked :-). Zenna's Mum, Natika, has a fantastic eye for style and has a great business called Indi Lola Designs. ILDs did all the styling in the below pictures, and you can buy similar items for yourself.


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Happy Birthday Mum

They say you should bake for the ones you love - well, I'm sure some people say that. Tonight was Mum's birthday so I wanted to make something special for her. A few birthday's ago I made the Hummingbird Bakery's Brooklyn Blackout Cake. It was unbelievable, so I thought I'd work with that for Mum's cake. I also like a bit of surprise, so was very pleased that the frosting came out a delicious white and perfectly covered the rich, dark cake and custard.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Nut-thing's the matter with cookies

I have seen a few Nutella recipes on blogs of late, so I thought I'd attempt a few of my own. I need to wait for my banana's to ripen before my next recipe, however, here are some delicious Nutella Cookies I made to use as lunchbox treats for the week.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Bringing summer into the office

It's Summer in Brisbane, however the weather this week has been cold, windy and wet. So, to lift spirits, I have baked Summer Passionfruit Cupcakes for the office. I love baking for the people in my office, mainly because they act as if they have never tasted sugar before when they sample my fairs, but also because they let me know what they like about my treats - so they are a good test audience. I think sometimes they are just being nice though, as I get a lot of "your best ever" each time :-).

I now have a trademark blue cake tin, which I always use to transport my cakes to work. I don't have to tell people when I've baked, they see the tin and know there's morning tea (or breakfast).

Today happens to be the first sunny day all week, so good thing we're bringing the sunshine inside with these golden passionfruit curd and sweet vanilla cupcakes. ENJOY.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Starting the week off right

Before I properly planned my Christmas baking, I bought a few punnets of blueberries from the markets, thinking without a doubt I would use them. I didn't. So I froze them until I felt like baking with blueberries.

I'd also like to reveal my not-so-secret secret of loving something sweet during the week. Actual, any night will do. Often I'll finish dinner and that tingling will start on my tongue and a little voice will tell me to find something sweet (then a mean voice will try and stop me, but now it sounds like I'm a little crazy. I am). Last night I was rummaging through the fridge and found the frozen blueberries. I had seen a recipe in the recent Coles supermarket in-store magazine for a layered mango panna cotta and thought I could experiment using my frozen blueberries.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

A visit to the library for some cake

Did you know that you can get cooking books out from the library? It seems like an obvious thing to assume, or know, but it hadn't occurred to me that this was an option. For years my parents have been taking my grandmother to the library every Saturday morning to get a selection of audio books for the week. After the library visit, we join with them for breakfast. This week, I decided to meet them at the library with my 2 year old. As my Mum was showing my son the children's section, I had a browse and to my excitement, the library had a really good collection of cooking books, two of which I have wanted to buy for ages. The first is Maggie Beer's Harvest and the second Adam Liaw's TwoAsian Kitchens. As soon as we got home from breakfast, I started to have a read and got so excited about Liaw's book, I tweeted:

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Let's bake some mud cake

There are a few dates throughout the year that I would hate to have my birthday:
  • Christmas Day - people would buy you Christmassy gifts or give you one present for the two occasions, or completely forget it's your birthday.
  • New Year's Eve/Day - again, people are generally celebrating the start of a new year instead of your birth, or they are out of town.
  • The anniversary of a tragic occasion - makes you think of the negatives, like the fact you're getting older!
I have friend's or family who have birthdays on each of the these occasions. Generally, they celebrate on a different day. My friend who was born on Christmas Day throws a Halloween party and our friend who turned 30 on New Year's Day will be having a 30 and a half party. As I am such a big fan of cake, a 30th birthday could not go past without some form of celebration, therefore it was baking time.

A room full of sugar

Lately my son has wanted to join me in the kitchen to bake. He sits on the counter and helps me pour things into bowls, beats ingredients with the mixer and "cleans". I love this time we get to spend together in the kitchen, however it gets a bit frustrating when he swings spoons around and almost takes out our whole wine glass collection, or eats the butter when I have just enough for the recipe, or when I am using a gazillion bowls and my tiny kitchen bench can't squeeze in a little boy.