Peanut butter brownies and procrastinating

flowersI’ve had a crazy few weeks. Work has been busy, I’ve been baking with renewed gusto (and trying to get the recipes posted, rather than just consume the finished product) AND trying to have a social life.

It’s like I can only have two out of three – I can either work and socialise, and leave my beloved blog to gather dust, or I can socialise and blog, and get fired from a job that I love. Neither of these options are ideal!

I need to plan my life.

Chocolate cups with blueberry cream and romance

edible heartsI’m not really one for Valentine’s Day. I’ve never been keen on red roses, I’m not a fan of the clichés. I’m really not much of a romantic at all. When asked the other day about the most romantic thing the Boy had ever done for me, my response was that he got me Daisy for my birthday.

My idea of romance involves sausage dogs. Yup.

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.

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!”

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 blueberry cake and impressions

tableThis cake doesn’t shy away from attention. The amazingly vibrant (and naturally-coloured) icing draws people to it. I brought it into work today to share with work mates and was overwhelmed with kind words. It’s amazing how cake brings people together.

The love that I received was received with a tiny bit of sadness, because I’ve only worked with these wonderful people for six months and am moving on. I’ve loved working with them and hope that I leave them all with delicious, cake-filled memories!

Alfajores and discoveries

sceneOne of the surprise outcomes of the World Cup was that it made me experiment with my baking. It made me research Brazilian recipes and find out more about the kinds of food that they bake. I found lots of caramel, coconut and chocolate desserts. One of the recipes which caught my eye was alfajores. Gorgeous  dulce de leche, book-ended by shortbread biccies.

So much deliciousness!

ddlSo I was Googling dulce de leche stockists in Sydney and stumbled across Vivi’s Facebook page.  She’s an Argentinian girl living in Sydney who makes delicious, authentic dulce de leche and other amazing Argentinian foods. I can honestly say this has been my number one food find this year.

Chocolate raspberry muffins and familiarity

previewChocolate and raspberries are such a familiar combination. One of those things that I always fall back to when I need a fail-proof result. The sweet and tart notes of the raspberries, mixed with the sophistication of the dark chocolate turn out perfect, comforting little bites of homely muffins.

I always have raspberries in my freezer. They’re an easy way to jazz up a dessert, they’re a great addition to a smoothie, and I happily munch on them straight from the freezer sometimes. Actually, the reason I whipped up this recipe was because I needed to finish off my freezer stockpile.

Lime curd tarts and tart sweets

saucerI wrote yesterday about my body’s desire for things that weren’t sweet. I’ve got a zucchini galette in the oven as I type, and I promise that I’m capable of doing things that aren’t tooth-achingly sweet. But I do love my desserts.

This recipe is not a sweet one. It’s got sugar in it, but the limes cancel out that sweetness instantly. These tarts are face-puckering, jaw-clenching, lime-laden delights.

Quinoa breakfast cups and gluten thoughts

aboveI’ve been trying to cut back on gluten in my life. Laughable, right? I bake nearly every day and I LOVE gluten. The more I look into gluten free options, the more I realise how hard it is to cut it out of your diet.

I’m not doing too badly – I don’t miss bread as much as I thought I would; I actually have to have a think about the things I put into my body; I’m enjoying the challenge of looking for alternatives.

But I like soy sauce, I like chocolate and lollies, I like oats! But most of all, I like the versatility of flour – it’s in cakes, pastries, cereals, gravies, my mother’s delicious omelette and most of the foods I like to eat.