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.

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!

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 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.”

Recipe testing and a tea giveaway

Yay! Competition time! I used to love entering competitions. Actually, I still do, I just don’t often find the time to do so. If I weren’t at a distinct advantage with this giveaway, I would totally enter it myself.

I’m currently recipe testing for cakes that will feature on my (currently non-existent) Etsy shop, so I don’t have a recipe for you all. I do have progress pictures though, and I’m super excited about the process! I’m going for vintage-style, flower-garnished tiered cakes. After the success of my three tiered vanilla cake recently, I was inspired to perfect this vanilla and rose cake.

Decorating a cake with fresh flowers

sceneCakes covered in real flowers are awesome. Naked cakes are super popular at the moment, and with those rustic, cutesy cakes have come flowers – big, small, pastel, bold, spiky, flowing…you get the point. Combining delicious cake with gorgeous flowers is a glorious idea, but the concept can seem foreign to some people, so I’ve put together some tips to help you take your cake to the next level.

Most of these steps are aimed at making sure that your flowers are safe to be placed on a cake – you don’t want nasties getting on your beautiful cake.

Champagne pop rocks cake and New Year’s Eve

aboveThis cake is an occasion cake. It’s two-tiered, it’s got champagne in it, and POP ROCKS! All those components make it just a little bit more special than the average cake. This cake really embodies New Year’s Eve traditions to me – it’s fun and unexpected, it’s got a little bit of champagne in it, and the pop rocks are like little fireworks for your taste buds.

Mini mango cupcakes and Summer flavours

Mango is Summer to me. It is impossible to imagine one without the other. When I was at school I always knew that the holidays were close when mango prices had fallen enough for us to buy a box of them. To this day, the thrill of buying a box full of mangoes brings me a ridiculous amount of joy.

image2Which is why long road trips up (or down) the NSW coast also bring me great joy – there are countless roadside fruit vendors! If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll have seen my mango haul.

We bought them about four hours into our trip, and the sweet, syrupy smell filled our warm car, becoming increasingly enticing over the remaining two hours.

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.