White chocolate cupcakes and the best white icing

For those of you who missed it, I went to Hawaii recently. Having never been to the States before, I was in awe of most things food-related! I had heard about giant portions and ridiculous amounts of sugar, but the food over there still stunned me. I’m not complaining, but  I think I’m still processing the excessive amounts of sugar that I consumed.

White chocolate cupcakes (11 of 13)

Chocolate beetroot cupcakes and adventure

Beetroot cupcakes (10 of 13)

Before you think “ew, beetroot in cupcakes”, please read this! I’m going to try and convince you that these adorable little suckers deserve a place in your heart AND your baked goods.

Beetroot cupcakes (1 of 13)

I love a good adventure. Every now and then, something in my brain just clicks and I feel the need for a change. The last time it happened, I ended up in Europe on a whim (which was a completely magical result that I still need to post blogs about). My little brain snaps usually happen on a smaller scale, though. They’re not usually as costly as last-minute flights!

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.

Angel food cupcakes and lightness

singleI had one of those weekends where everything seems to float on by. It was most enjoyable. I baked most of Saturday, had a long-awaited catch up with a good friend, and entertained on Sunday. By entertained I mostly mean that I force-fed my friends so that I didn’t eat all of Saturday’s baking efforts.

It was all fabulous, easy, lovely. After my jam-packed weekend in Melbourne, the lightness of it all was refreshing. There is no better segue into these cupcakes than this – they’re easy, fabulous and breezy. They’re also quite a show-stopper, with their brilliant white inner. They’re the kind of cupcake that looks like you’ve put in loads of effort, when actually you haven’t – I love those recipes!

Vanilla, fig & honey cupcakes and fig deliveries


sneak peek
It’s not very often that one gets an offer of free figs. So when a very generous friend of mine messaged our group of friends offering free figs, everyone jumped at the chance. She even delivered them to our doorsteps!

image1Clearly she is a saint. If you’d like to see what this saint’s instagram looks like, click here. It’s full of beautiful photography and enviably delicious cooking dates with her Nonna.

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.

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 spider webs and lacking fondant skills

freshOne thing I notice about lots of Halloween-themed baked goods is that they often require fondant skills – something that I definitely don’t have. While I wish that I had the dexterity to craft mini pumpkins or witches hats out of fondant, I just don’t. So I stick to basic decorations… chocolate I can work with! The great thing about these spider webs is that you don’t even need a piping bag, you can just use a snaplock bag.

Choc chip pumpkin cupcakes and Halloween desserts

fourI mentioned in my previous post that my parents didn’t consider Halloween a very Australian holiday. And I’ve inherited this view to some extent.

It’s odd trying to translate the dark, spooky images that permeate the idea American Halloween to Australia’s October, when the weather is mostly sunny and warm. It doesn’t stop me wanting to make Halloween-themed goodies, though!

So for this year’s Halloween, I’m focussing on another thing that I equate with the American Halloween; pumpkin. I remember making a pumpkin pie for my family, years ago, and they all cringed at the idea of it. It was delicious (how modest of me…) but pumpkin and dessert don’t often meet in Australia.

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.