Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The mighty Red Velvet

This week is a massive hub of activity at my work as the exclusive season of The Bolshoi Ballet opens. Almost everyone at work is somehow involved, and having The Bolshoi come exclusively to QPAC (ie NOWHERE else in Australia) is a big achievement. I'm mainly working on other projects, so not heavily involved, but wanted to congratulate my teammates with a cake that symbolised the Bolshoi. I could have played with something vodka infused, or done the Pavlova to link to the first Bolshoi Australian visit, but I wanted to do something that linked to "Big" and "Red" - a Red Velvet Cake. I know red velvet feels more American than Russian, however it is red, it is big, and it will impress!

The main reason I've avoided red velvet in the past is because that on my first red velvet experience, I could taste the food colouring. I hate the taste of food colour and that turned me off. So, wanting to make something special for the Bolshoi but avoiding that bad food colouring aftertaste, I started a search online for a great red velvet recipe with minimal red food colouring. Most recipes called for 2 or 3 ozs (up to 6 tbs) of red food colouring, which was way too much for my liking. Then, via tastespotting, I found a recipe that required just 1 tbs. It even called it a "sexy" red velvet, so I went with that. 

As always, I made the cake with my son. He got so excited when we added the red food colouring and cocoa, as it change the cake from ordinary to "OH MY GOD, LOOK AT THAT COLOUR!" We definitely had fun making this cake, so much so, I might try red velvet again. ENJOY!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Surprise, it's a birthday cake!

Another birthday, another layer cake. I really wanted to bake a caramel cake for my brother's birthday on the weekend. I searched the internet for a caramel cake recipe that looked delicious and wouldn't take four hours to bake. I then thought about how I could add texture and found a simple honeycomb recipe that would be delicious between the layers of my caramel cake. Once I had finally decided on what to make, I got baking. The first thing I did was make the honeycomb... first issue, no honey. However, I had treacle, so thought "why not give that a go?" It looked ok, a bit darker than honeycomb, but didn't foam up the same way and wasn't crunchy, so left that. Then I went to start on the caramel cakes. I pulled out all my ingredients to find I had no more brown sugar. So, with treacle-comb unsuccessful and no brown sugar for a caramel cake, I decided to go onto plan B... a white and dark chocolate layer cake. 

I don't know how my caramel cake would have turned out, I'll probably tell you next brithday, but I can tell you the white and dark chocolate cake was delicious, and even more special with the white chocolate buttercream! ENJOY!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day inspirations

Things I love about being a Mum:
  • The feeling of pride as my son surprises me with a new thought or learning.
  • The warmth of his cuddles as he squeezes me.
  • The joy I feel when planning special games or activities to share with him that I know we'll both enjoy.
  • Having him sit o the counter while we bake together.
  • Hearing the stories from his day.
  • Knowing I've done something right when I might be feeling upset or stressed and he spontaneously cuddles me and lightly pats me on the back. 
  • The look of absolute love he gives me
I don't think I can write down all the joys of being a Mother. I know I can complain about the hardness at times, but I would go through it again in an instant knowing there are so many amazing moments of joy that come with parenthood. I have changed more than I expected since becoming a Mummy. I may have lost personal time and irresponsibility, but I have gained strength, wisdom, courage and a love which cannot be explained or described.

Happy Mother's Day to all the Mums out there. Enjoy the beautiful day you deserve!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Early morning rise

This morning I woke up at 4.30am when my son called out from his room. I was daft and checked the time before I went in, which meant as soon as I got back to bed, I knew it was almost time to get up and my head didn't let me go back to sleep. I started thinking about all the meetings I have on today, then about some of the projects I have at work, then about what we're doing for Mother's Day, then I checked Facebook and Instagram (surprisingly not many updates from last night). Then I started asking myself if I should just get up and if I did get up, what I could do... This all feels less crazy when I'm lying there in these moments than it does writing it out now. Anyway, I remembered a recipe I found the other week for a sticky bun. It takes about 20 minutes prep time, an hour to rise and then about 30 minutes to bake. I didn't have the time last week, however being awake so early this morning and knowing I'm leaving for work a bit later today, I thought "why not get up now and make that bun!". So, I did. And here it is in it's gooey, warm, goodness! YUM. Hope your breakfast was as delicious ;-).

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Pinch and a punch... etc

Pinch and a punch for the first day of the month. White rabbit. Slap and a kick for being so quick. This is generally how every first-day-of-the-month started while at school. I'm yet to teach my son these games, mainly because he is still figuring out what the days of the week are, introducing dates and months would through him a little too much... So to celebrate the first day of May (HOW DID IT GET TO MAY ALREADY???!), here's a little morning tea treat which many would have experienced in their lunch boxes growing up, with a bit of a delicious, buttery addition. Enjoy.