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.”

Banana sundae mini cakes and sweetness

wholeI wrote in my last blog post that everything seemed to be going swimmingly. I had a wonderful weekend. It just so turns out that the luck is continuing! My work week is plodding along steadily, I received a gloriously vanilla-scented parcel from Vanilla Queen, and I just realised that the Cake Bake and Sweets Show is rolling around again this year.

Life is sweet.

I think I know what started all this sweetness.

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!

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!

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.

Choc chip slice and change

aboveI usually dislike change. I like adventures, but I am all for stability. Which is why moving has kind of thrown me off a little bit. Not having access to internet, for example, has resulted in very few posts recently. Not having access to a camera (I used to use my dad’s) means that even I do bake, I can’t show you. Not having an entirely set up kitchen yet means that my baking has slowed.

To top all of this off, the beautiful rustic table that I bought for our dining room didn’t fit through our door (insert crying face here), so we’re borrowing one from my brother’s generous girlfriend (who has been coming up lots recently!)

All of these things are different to what I am used to!!

What I do like about change though, is that it is a catalyst for experimentation. Lacking a cake tin, I opted to go back to my parent’s house and use their kitchen and camera. I was also equipped with their fabulous house warming present to the Boy and I, the Country Women’s Association Cook Book. Aren’t parents fantastic?

Moving and lacking

flowersHello dear readers.

This is a bit of an unusual post (namely because there is no recipe involved) so I’ll keep it short. Lacking is the theme of my life at the moment, but it’s going well. It’s an adventure!

I haven’t been posting any recipes lately because The Boy and I have moved out. I talked about it in my last post, so check that out if you haven’t already.

chair cupOur kitchen is a bit of a shambles – I barely have enough room in our little apartment for all of my props and baking tins!! The Boy has imposed strict conditions on how much of our place will be dominated by blog stuff (95% of the space is reasonable, right?), so I’m currently trying to jam all of my teapots into our linen cupboard.

I don’t know how long it will be before I manage to get the next recipe up, but I promise that I’m trying to get the place in order as quickly as possible so that I can get recipes on the blog. We also have no internet, which would kind of getting in the way of blogging if I was doing it.

chevronsIn the meantime, keep an eye on my Instagram feed. That is just about the only thing in my life that is thriving right now. You can take bets on how many days it takes for us to get our dining table up three flights of stairs (we’re on day five of no table at the moment) and see various photos where I perch my tea cups on things that are not tables.

There is a distinct lack of Norman, I must admit. That won’t be for long though, I’m going home to visit the handsome man next week.

firstFor now, this photo of chocolate and vanilla cupcakes will have to keep you satiated. They were the first things I baked in my new kitchen (!) and they were for a charity event at work. It’s going to take a bit to get used to the oven, but they turned out okay! I couldn’t help but sing “chocolate and vanilla, swirl, swirl” as I was making them.

I hope some of you are Orange is the New Black fans!

Looking forward to regular internet and regular baking adventures!

Egg hunts and ten essential Easter recipes

Easter is a fantastic time of the year. No matter how much a person may dislike religious celebrations or the hype that supermarkets create months beforehand, nobody can argue with days off and an excuse to eat life-endangering amounts of chocolate.

trowelI don’t think I could possibly rate my favourite holiday (I don’t discriminate, I love them all), but Easter is pretty great. Every year, regardless of location or participants, my family holds an Easter egg hunt. It started when my brothers and I were little – we would go to our cousins’ farm in Orange and the Easter bunny would visit in the night. Easter morning, all the kids would wake up bright and early, line up and wait for permission to begin the race, much to the delight of the adults.

jackMy cousins’ farm was the best place for the Easter bunny to secret away little chocolate Easter eggs; there were gnarled tree branches, lavender bushes, paving stones, fence posts and garden beds. We spent every Easter at the farm pretty much from when I was born until I was about 18.

chicksClearly the tradition continued way past our youth, because nobody wanted to give it up.

In recent years, we’ve not been able to go to the farm, so we’ve started an Easter egg hunt in Sydney. Now, thankfully, there is a new generation of kids who can partake in the Easter egg hunt, and while I’m slightly jealous of them for being able to join in the hunt, I love their enthusiasm and wild-eyed bemusement at seeing that Easter eggs have been delivered, and scattered throughout the garden by the Easter bunny.

Last year’s Easter was adorable (I spammed my Instagram followers with all of the cuteness), I can only assume that this year’s Easter, which is going to be at the farm again, will be equally as cute.

If you’re not excited about Easter yet, maybe I can entice you with some delicious Easter-appropriate recipes.

Simple Sunday cinnamon scrolls

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Easter pavlova

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Vanilla fig tarts

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Honey jumbles

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Caramel egg browniesbite

Citrus hot cross buns

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Traditional hot cross bunstear


Nutella raspberry puffs

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 Crème eggs

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Chocolate blueberry friands

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Happy baking, and happy Easter!!

Mini chocolate mint cupcakes and December

bellsHello my lovelies. Christmas is creeping closer and I’m buzzing with excitement. So many things are happening – December always seem to run at such a frantic pace. My younger brother’s birthday was yesterday, friends and I are going for a wee sojourn to Mudgee this weekend, my birthday is edging closer,  the Boy’s parents are coming to visit from England, and I’ve got a teapot competition to wrap up oversee (check out this post to find out how to win!)

This is all before Christmas.

And this isn’t counting the numerous feasts that friends are planning in the days before Christmas. I need to invest in some stretchier fat pants, the Christmas season is far too kind to my belly!

Chocolate chai cupcakes and a subtle Christmas

sceneI’m ready for Christmas right now. Mother cooked a Christmas pudding last week and filled the house with delicious Christmassy smells. As Christmas draws close, I find it impossible to walk past a bowl full of alcohol soaked sultanas without sneaking a few into my mouth. Sultanas are usually such sad, puckered little things that I’m not too fussed about. Come Christmas, though, I can’t resist their alcohol-bloated siren song.

Sultanas have nothing to do with this post, I just really enjoyed sneaking them out of the mixture! I’m not ready to make full-blown Christmas related recipes thought, it’s still too early, so I’ve made these delightful little cupcakes, which are perfectly festive, but a little understated as well.