Flourless chocolate earl grey cake and a Tea Festival!

sceneThis week I’m going to share tea-related recipes with you. You know that I love tea…I’m not very good at hiding that. And this weekend I’m attending the Sydney Tea Festival.

I’m. So. Excited.

A whole market filled with people who love tea? Who are mad and passionate enough to start a business revolving solely around tea. I feel as though I would get along with them! I am already an avid instagram stalker of Ttotaler Tea, The Tea Cosy, Monstrositea and Mr Earl.

Dark chocolate cupcakes and Camp Quality

ranuncsDo you ever have days where you’re in awe of how wonderful people can be? I had one of those days today. I was recently invited to get involved with Camp Quality’s Dine at Mine fundraising event. Basically, you invite a bunch of your friends over, cook delicious things for them and have a wonderful time.

You can pick any date in August, and choose whatever food you like. I chose afternoon tea, because I love nothing more than drinking from pretty tea cups while eating too many baked goods.

Puff candy and the Commonwealth Games

crumbsAt work I’m exposed to lots of UK television programming. It’s great because I get to see a whole lot of world news and I’m constantly swooning over awesome accents. And at the moment you can’t escape talk of the Commonwealth Games.

They’re everywhere! So as a little contribution to the excitement that surrounds the Glasgow games, I’m sharing a recipe for a sweet that I sampled for the first time in Castle Douglas in Scotland. I didn’t have Instagram then, so I can’t provide you with photo evidence, but I can assure you that it was amazing – both the puff candy and the town.

Alfajores and discoveries

sceneOne of the surprise outcomes of the World Cup was that it made me experiment with my baking. It made me research Brazilian recipes and find out more about the kinds of food that they bake. I found lots of caramel, coconut and chocolate desserts. One of the recipes which caught my eye was alfajores. Gorgeous  dulce de leche, book-ended by shortbread biccies.

So much deliciousness!

ddlSo I was Googling dulce de leche stockists in Sydney and stumbled across Vivi’s Facebook page.  She’s an Argentinian girl living in Sydney who makes delicious, authentic dulce de leche and other amazing Argentinian foods. I can honestly say this has been my number one food find this year.

Brigadeiros and fanfare

groupThe World Cup is in full swing and I haven’t even mentioned it. I love any excuse for a themed post , but I realised recently that I haven’t taken the opportunity yet.

So I did some Googling. Having never been to Brazil, I’m not an expert on Brazilian cuisine (not that lack of experience stopped me having a go at foreign sweets before!) I am, however, a keen reader; Google, Pinterest and Instagram have taught me lots about Brazil in a relatively short amount of time.

I’ve learned that Brazilians seem to have a love of caramel and sweetened condensed milk.

I, therefore, love Brazil!

Almond berry cupcakes and favourites

unwrappedThese cupcakes are officially my new favourite thing. I love experimenting with lots of different kinds of sweets, but there are a handful that I could cook at the last minute and know that they’d be a hit. There’s mum’s sticky date, cinnamon scrolls and Nutella fudge, just to name a few. These are recipes that I can always rely on to be brilliant. And I know them like the back of my hand, which helps!

Blueberry  crunch biscuits and goodness

aboveThese biscuits are dangerously close to being healthy…sort of. Everybody always assumes that oats and coconuts make for a healthier alternative. I put in enough chocolate chips to solve that problem though! I solemnly believe that biscuits were made to be indulgent – if you’re trying to be “healthy,” you’d pick something without loads of sugar and butter in it.

Everything in moderation, right?

Honey choc tops and wanderlust

animalsI’ve been having a bit of a Sweden-athon recently. My Pinterest is filling up with with beautiful, dramatic landscapes and gorgeous Scandinavian design… and I’m stuck indoors working as the Sydney gets gloomier by the day.

All of this pinning is dangerous, it’s making me yearn for a country that I’ve never even been to. It’s on my bucket list, because I’ve only heard amazing things about Sweden. For the moment, however, I have to make do with my own little Swedish baked goods and eat my wanderlust into submission.

Coconut macaroons and ease

pipeThese little morsels are the easiest of easies. They’re also super delicious. Which is why I chose to make them while I’m still getting used to my oven. As you can see, they browned pretty darn quickly, but I tend to like my macaroons on the toastier side anyway. It gives them a wonderfully crunchy shell, which contrasts beautifully with the sweet, squidgy inside.

Bakewell cupcakes and English food

aboveRecently I spoke about discovering the deliciousness that is an Eton Mess. There were many things in my year of living in England that stuck out, and I’m just realising that waaaay too many of them are food-related. Yorkshire puddings? Possibly the simplest of all of my food discoveries, but so satisfying. Yorkies – the label says they’re not for girls, but I ate so many of those chocolate bars! I visited tea shops and bakeries and bought ridiculously cheap 12 packs of doughnuts from Asda more frequently than I’d care to admit.

I relished in the healthy things too – proper Sunday roasts, complete with boiled cabbage (which I LOVE) and brussels sprouts with Christmas dinner.