Ginger spice cake and excitement

above sliceThe closer it gets to Christmas, the more excited I get. The more excited I get, the more I crave clichéd Christmas foods – give me pudding and rich spiced cakes, mince pies and roasts. It’s funny that Australians indulge in Christmas foods inspired by their northern hemisphere counterparts. Even though Christmas day can be stinking hot, we still want to have delicious cooking smells filling the house.

Christmas day is supposed to be humid and rainy this year, but that’s not going to stop me.

Choc hazelnut biscotti and Christmas food

aboveThe first time I ever tried biscotti was when it was brought home as a gift. One of the great things about having teachers for parents is that holidays always mean gifts. My dad would come home laden with Ferrer Rochers and Favourites gift packs, while my mum was gifted tea cups – my brothers and I took great delight in teasing them, trying to gauge who was the better teacher based on the volume of presents that they received.

Choc-mint dipped Christmas biscuits and small acts of kindness

aboveThis year I was invited to sign up for the Foodie Secret Santa. It’s run by Claire of Claire K Creations (she has a round-up here) and the timing could not have been better. If you’re not familiar with the concept, bloggers sign up to partake and are assigned three bloggers to mail goodies to. You receive a different gift from three bloggers in return. I made these little choc-mint dipped Christmas biscuits and sent them off to Melissa from House of Powell, Caroline of Shrinking Single and Clare from Life of Clare.

I received salted caramel fudge sauce from Melissa (we both got assigned one another!), porcini and garlic salt from an unnamed blogger and delicious, crumbly biscotti from another unnamed blogger. (I’ll update you with names when I know who the bloggers are.) I instagrammed the biscotti and caramel sauce here.

Choc coconut tray bake and winning friends

slicesYou may or may not know that recently I started a new job. Everybody in the office knows that I bake, because Baking with Gab is on my CV…I think that the prospect of cake is part of what got me the job (and I’m totally okay with that!)

But this meant that there were expectations. Expectations that I would bring cake into the office. Delicious cake.

So much pressure!

Roast peaches and Summer flavours

closePeaches and ice cream scream summer treat to me. This simple little recipe is just a slight twist on that summer classic.

I realise that in summer the last thing you want to do is have the oven on. But believe me, this little treat is so worth it. The pain of having the oven on is short-lived, and the results are delightful.

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!”

Halloween recipes and squeamishness

Blood spattered meringues

I don’t rate horror movies. I’m a massive wimp. I startle easily and I make involuntary “eeps” when frightened. I don’t like doors slamming themslevs, and I’m awful at being home alone.

Choc chip pumpkin bundt
So Halloween is not really my thing. I don’t delight in gore. In fact, I’m almost the complete opposite of everything Halloween-y.

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!