Pear frangipane tarts and appearances

flowersThe photoshoot for these tarts was a mess. I mean, it started off gorgeously, but the wild wind meant that it soon deteriorated into a big mess. Those petals that look so daintily placed on the plate? That wasn’t in my original plan. I love the look of them, I just dislike that the wind resulted in my flowers being completely blown over!

It got me thinking about appearances – the petals look lovely, but they were never meant to be. These tarts are similarly deceptive; they’re delicious little show-stoppers, but they’re SO easy to make! They’re the perfect balance of everything; pastry and filling, sweetness and sophistication. And they’re a cinch to make.

I kid you not.

Fairy bread biscuits and brightness

This week has been a bit of a crazy one! Sydney (just in case you missed it) has been absolutely hammered with rain. Train lines flooded, businesses closed, broken umbrellas were strewn about the city; nothing remained dry.

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It was actually kind of ridiculous. On the second day of ridiculous rain, I decided to bake away the grey. These fairy bread biscuits were the perfect counterbalance to the bleakness. This is such a simple recipe, but it gives such consistent, delicious results.

Vegan chocolate cupcakes and challenges

swirlI really enjoyed making my white vegan vanilla cake that I’m continuing to try some vegan recipes. I love that they offer me a bit of a challenge, but it turns out that trying to make something taste delicious without the traditional delicious things that belong in cakes (eggs, milk, butter) isn’t as hard as you think!

Cranberry walnut muffins and breakfast

spoonI never say no to a cooked breakfast. Actually, if you take a look at my instagram, if you take away the pictures of dogs and cake, it’s pretty much just poached eggs and muesli. I seriously cannot get enough of avocado on toast. Pancakes? Hngg. Porridge on a chilly morning is possibly one of the best things in the world. Fresh baked bread, cut thick, with peanut butter on top. OM NOM NOM NOM.

This post is quickly degenerating into me just listing foods.

Chocolate date skillet cookie and pans

panThis skillet cookie is everything. It’s giant, chocolatey and gooey – all of these are positives (I think) when it comes to baked goods!

I’m in love with it. I was inspired to make a skillet cookie for two reasons – one, I’d read about them before and somehow never made one; two, I was sent a cast iron pan to trial by Mark from Solidteknics.

The pan is proudly Australian made and it is built to last for generations. I love cooking in my mum’s and nan’s old pots and pans because they have character and history; they wear the marks of thousands of meals, yet continue to reliably do their job. I hope that this castiron pan will hold the same value to my kids (whenever that day comes!)

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.

Choc hazelnut bundt and Easter left overs

aboveI don’t know what your household is like, but we’ve still got leftover chocolate eggs at our house. My whole family goes a bit overboard – each sibling is in charge of contributing some Easter eggs to go on the table, to be enjoyed by all… And each year, we have far too many eggs!

I’m not complaining (although my comfy pants probably are, they’re getting way too much use lately!), I just need to come up with some crafty solutions to the “problem.”

Cardamom and chocolate hot cross buns and Easter this year.

singleHappy Easter everyone! I hope you’re having a wonderful day, wherever you are, whatever you’re doing. I wanted to post these traditional Easter treats today for two reasons – one, they’re delicious. Two, they’re a little twist on tradition when Easter this year is out of the ordinary for us. Usually we have a big family gathering and an Easter egg hunt for the adorable little cousins, but this year we’re keeping it low key.

We started the morning decorating our Easter tree (which we put up every year) and had a long, lazy breakfast of poached eggs on toast.

Easter cupcakes and less than

groupI love these little cupcakes. So much. The icing is one of my favourite icings ever. It’s cream cheese and chocolate – it’s so delicious that it should almost be illegal. Part of what I love about the cupcakes is that they’re not quite perfect. The batter is simple and not too sweet, the icing is delicious, but lends itself to a more rustic look. They’re a little bit less-than-perfect…and that’s completely fine. As someone who is constantly striving to achieve perfection, sometimes I need to take a step back and remind myself that being “less than” is not always a bad thing. Perfect isn’t always fun.