Halloween chocolate cheesecake and two dollar shop finds

As you may have surmised, I’m not the girl who goes for gore. I don’t do horror films, gross things, or even dark colours, really. I’m pastel-hued, floral, I seek out beauty and positivity.

Halloween chocolate cheesecake slice side

Each year I struggle with Halloween. I don’t want a severed finger on my cupcake, brain-shaped petit fours or spaghetti that looks like intestines. I very much admire the talent of the people who create them (and the stomachs of the people who eat them!) but I just can’t do it.

Terry’s Chocolate Orange cake and English chocolate

I have only had Terry’s Chocolate Oranges in my life for a few years. I didn’t know they existed until I was 19.

NINETEEN!

All of those years, wasted!

It was The Boy who introduced me to them. I had moved to England, met him, and was working in a fairly average job. He opened my eyes to the delights of English chocolate!


Terry’s chocolate oranges happen to be one of his favourite chocolates, so for his birthday over the weekend I knew that chocolate oranges would fit into the equation somewhere.

Smooth Festival of Chocolate and eleven chocolate recipes

I’m going to the Smooth Festival of Chocolate over the weekend and I could not be more excited. I may have to leave my wallet in the hands of someone I can trust, because there are too many stalls that I could send myself bankrupt at! Maybe I’ll see you there too?

I think I actually have a problem with my chocolate consumption – WAY too many of my childhood memories revolve around chocolate.

Every Easter at my house there is tonnes of chocolate (don’t believe me? Check out my Easter post!) and I have vivid memories of one of my cousins showing me, with great excitement, that leftover Easter eggs could be melted and spooned over icecream or eaten molten. That was a game changer.

Chocolate brownie pie and cause for celebration

slice aboveThe last couple of weeks have been crazy and tumultuous and completely out of the norm for me. How out of the norm, you ask?

Pretty abnormal.

I tried out for reality television (and almost made it!), I got made redundant, and I struggled to motivate myself to bake.

BUT there is no time for wallowing, because fabulous things are in the pipeline. As much as I hate to revert to cliches, I truly feel that doors are opening. There is cause for celebration!

Lemon lime layer cake and morning tea

wholeA friend and her mum held a morning tea yesterday. Not just any morning tea, it was Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea. For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, it’s a cute idea initiated by the Cancer Council to help raise money to beat Cancer.

You make some cakes/pastries/other delicious things, you invite your friends to do the same thing and you get together and eat, laugh and chat, then leave a little money behind to go towards a great cause. It’s a great excuse to go all out on decorations and use your best tea cups. The fabulous event I attended raised almost $2,000 for the cause, and it was ridiculously cute; everybody wins! The theme was yellow, hence the citrusy approach, and I’m so glad I made it; I forget how much I love super tart curd!

Milo mudcake and chance

cakeI bake ALL the time.

I know that I bake more than a regular person, but every now and then, some little dessert just floors me. I went to Lorraine’s Patisserie a few weeks ago and tried a gorgeous little tart. It was stunningly chocolatey, and just the perfect amount of sweetness. I set out to recreate the indulgent experience, not knowing where it would end. And then someone Googled “Milo mudcake” and wound up at my blog.

Choc pear brownie cake and accomplishments

tea and brownieI’ve been testing this recipe for a little while. I kept making it and liking it, but not loving it. I like to love all the recipes that I produce. In between making the various mediocre chocolate and pear brownies I managed to do some other cool stuff. For example, I made a milo mudcake, which I’ll post soon. I broke several peoples’ diets with a gorgeous white chocolate peanut butter cheesecake (for real, get the recipe here) and I went to Groovin the Moo and danced away a day that I would usually have spent baking.

White chocolate peanut butter cheesecake and deliveries

sceneI got sent some peanut butter recently. It was probably one of the most wonderful things I’ve ever received in the post. If I could set it up so that I got surprise deliveries of peanut butter in the mail every now and then, I would be ecstatic. This was a one-off kind of thing, but no less exciting.

Pic’s Really Good Peanut Butter were the geniuses behind my letter box peanut butter, and I’m so grateful for it! The contents of the jar are super crunchy and the ingredients are all natural, which I love!

Chocolate elderflower mousse and Mother’s Day

flowerEverybody knows that you love your mum. It’s nothing to be ashamed of; it’s unavoidable. My mum is the one that instilled me with a love of feeding people. She’s a strong, clever, funny little lady and she’s never allowed to age because I won’t be able to cope without her.

She’s the woman who told me I was an idiot when I came home with a lip-piercing, the woman who continues to show me how to run a household and still dress immaculately, the woman who puts all of herself into her work. She’s well-spoken, fabulously insightful, and just an all-round nice person.

White vegan vanilla cake and going vegan

vegan cakeI’ve got heaps of friends who are vegetarian. I love them for their dedication to the cause and often join them in devouring delicious vego meals. I’ve got a couple of vegan friends (and have even made a sumptuous raw vegan dessert before) and I really admire them for their efforts. It’s not easy being vegan – in my research for this cake I found out that some sugars (apparently mostly in America) are processed with animal bones. I read that some baking paper isn’t vegan-friendly. I also learned that some apple juice is clarified using fish bladders.

Bleh.