Fruit bruschetta and Christmas recipes

platesI love Christmas. I can’t even wait until December to start posting recipes, I cannot contain myself!! A few weeks ago I was sent some bunting by Louise at Illume Designs, and I have been wriggling with excitement about Christmas ever since! I’ll use anything as an excuse to put up bunting, but metallic chevron bunting just seems so festive and Christmas appropriate!

So I’ve spent the past few weeks brainstorming Christmas recipes. And Pinterest has not been short of inspiration.

Chocolate caramel yay pie and new things

sliceThis pie is a little break from the ordinary for me – in any chocolate caramel dessert I make, the chocolate tops the caramel. Not in terms of taste, but in terms of positioning. Take my favourite caramel slice, for example, or my mini caramel egg brownies.

In the interest of chocolate-caramel equality, I thought that I’d switch things up a bit.

Anything combining chocolate and caramel is a winner for me – they’re both things that make me celebrate internally. As I combined these two dashing layers of deliciousness with the sweet, vanilla-laden pastry, all I was thinking was “yay, pie!”

Baked Nutella doughnuts and Nutella

I celebrate Nutella too much. I have a ridiculous amount of love for it.

iced (1024x678)

If the people at Nutella could somehow create a version of the delicious spread that had no calories in it, I would eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I wouldn’t even bother spread it on things, I’d just eat it straight from the jar.

Om nom nom nom nom.

Vanilla caramel crisp cupcakes and unlikely combinations

packetHalloween is all about the creepy and unusual. These babies are in no way creepy (they’re mostly delicious) but they are unusual. I’m bucking the Halloween trend of faux blood and ghouls and doing my own bright and airy, Australian Halloween. Check out my non-spooky pumpkin bundt and choc-pumpkin cupcakes.

So, before you judge the combinations of flavours, have a think about the salted caramel craze. It’s huge. Salted caramel milkshakes, salted caramel sauces, salted caramel fudge, it’s everywhere. The beautiful mixture of salty and sweet just works.

Chocolate pumpkin bundt and a cute Halloween 

scene (1024x528)You’ve all seen how much I love bundt. I recently wrote about my love of mini tarts as well. My love of all things miniature doesn’t end there, though. Norman is testament to this! My older brother claims that Norman isn’t a real dog, and sometimes we joke that a few Normans stacked on top of one another would equal a “regular” dog. But I wouldn’t have him any other way.  I just adore down sized versions of things!

Early grey custard tarts and mini tart love

biteThis little tart is simple, but stunning. It’s got two comforting ingredients – custard and earl grey tea – but they look super classy, so you can munch on them in front of the tv on a lazy afternoon, or serve them with high tea… they look at home in any setting.

I have a hard time turning down desserts, but tarts hold a special place in my heart – especially mini tarts! There’s something about their dainty little cases, the way there’s always just enough mouthfuls, and how you can get away with gorgeously rich fillings because they’re so tiny. So much yum! I also loved how one of these tarts looked a bit like a face once I’d taken a bite out of it!

Earl Grey Custard and comfort food

aboveI debated over the title of this blog, because technically tea is not a food, it’s a beverage. And when I was growing up, my siblings and I used to try to treat custard like a beverage! I didn’t think that “comfort beverages” sounded right though.

ANYWAY, this tart combines two of my loves – custard and tea. They’re delicious, comforting and… well, what more could you want? Both of them remind me of my dad. He loves traditional egg custard – just the smell of milk warming on the stove makes me think of him! He also introduced me to earl grey tea when I was a child…I hated it! I used to call it soap tea, no matter how much he espoused its merits!

Chocolate blueberry cake and impressions

tableThis cake doesn’t shy away from attention. The amazingly vibrant (and naturally-coloured) icing draws people to it. I brought it into work today to share with work mates and was overwhelmed with kind words. It’s amazing how cake brings people together.

The love that I received was received with a tiny bit of sadness, because I’ve only worked with these wonderful people for six months and am moving on. I’ve loved working with them and hope that I leave them all with delicious, cake-filled memories!

Chocolate Malteser cupcakes and Mental Health Week

aboveThese cupcakes came about because The Boy has a ridiculous obsession with Maltesers. I was never that big a fan of them, but I’m an official convert. I made them yesterday on my day off and he was delighted with them when he came home from work. It reminded me how the tiniest of gestures can change someone’s day completely.

Which is why I thought I’d talk a little about Mental Health Week. For me, food and love go hand in hand, so when I want to let a person know that they’re special to me, or even just that I’m thinking of them, I bake. If you could bake (or buy baked goods) for a loved one at any point this week, do so!

No-churn berry ice cream and Summer

aboveI have a love-hate relationship with Summer. I love the wild-eyed excitement that sunny weather awakens in people. I hate that it’s too hot in the kitchen to bake all day. I love the amazing curls that sea water brings to my hair. I hate how I manage to get awkward burnt patches, despite religiously applying sunscreen. I love Summer fruits. I hate being stuck indoors when all I want to do is be in the glorious sunshine.