Monday, December 27, 2010

Merry Christmas Chocolate Fruit Cake


Belated Merry Christmas everyone!

So so sorry for the slack posting.  Christmas is an intensely insane time of year.  But for some reason this year's Christmas craziness really takes the cake.

On top of the usual Christmas madness, I'm at a humungous turning point in my life.  At the cusp of something very exciting but it could mean moving away from all the people and places and things I love to pursue a dream of mine.  It's terrifying, exhilarating and mind boggling.  And all still up in the air with nothing completely confirmed yet.  Very. Eek.

And on top of that I'm flying out to Sri Lanka tomorrow, then have a trip to HK all the while trying to plan my wedding (5 months to go!)...whew!!

So in all the madness, all I have for you lovely people today is a short and sweet post today this super yummy Christmas Chocolate Fruit Cake with Chocolate Brandy Ganache adapted from a Nigella recipe, made for the family Christmas lunch and used a practice round for my wedding cake!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

White chocolate eggnog truffles for Baking for Hospice


Ahhh Christmas time.  I am a total Christmas nut...lurve the whole shebang.  Yip, I am one of those people.

I love the tinsel, the tree, the presents, the goodwill and peace on earth.  And I adore Christmas food...Christmas pudding with lashings of custard, gingerbread men, champagne ham, mulled wine, and eggnog.

For those of you who have never tried eggnog, boy are you missing out! It's the creamy spicy tipple that has gotten many a people in trouble at work Christmas functions. I like to think of it as a Christmassy version of Baileys.  Yum!

So to celebrate the annual Christmas Round for Baking for Hospice I made White Chocolate Eggnog Truffles.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Lemon polenta rose cakes at an italian summer lunch


December.

I must have accidentally stepped into a time machine for it to already be that crazy time of year again.  And crazy it is...the Christmas shopping, the parties, the family dos.  Luckily for us downunder, it also means that we are heading into a glorious summer.
 
So in the hustle and bustle of the silly season, when my gorgeous friend Chloe suggested an italian long lazy ladies lunch in the sun, we all jumped at the opportunity to eat, unwind and chillax for an arvo away from the insanity of Christmas time.

And it was the perfect opportunity to try out a recipe for Lemon Polenta Rose Cakes.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Sweet & Salty Cupcakes: chocolate & salted caramel cupcakes with whipped caramel ganache frosting


Sweet and Salty.

I know, at first glance, that doesn't sound like the nicest of combinations.  Initially for me it conjured up horrific experiences at asian-style bakeries where the seemingly delicious looking pizza bread is actually made with a sweet bun and sugary glaze, or a tempting sweet looking bun turns out to have ham or some other savoury meaty filling....savoury and sweet baking is just not my cup of tea.

But sweet and salty is a whole other ball game: think salted caramels, sea salt toffee and thai mango sticky rice. That little bit of salt with a very sweet item takes the whole experience from merely wow to awesome to the power of rad.

Sweet and salty seems to be the flavour of the month with the Sweet and Salty Cake being raved about all over the food blogging world. The recipe is from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, the culinary geniuses behind the fashion-forward bakery in Brooklyn, New York by the same name.  They are rock stars in the baking world and it seems everyone wants a piece of them.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Pretty happy things

{peony bouquet from my rangi/dancing girls}

I was overwhelmed by the messages in my last eeyore post.  Thank you for holding my hand through my blog.  I really needed it.

I've decided to try and snap out of all the self imposed gloom and doom and concentrate on things that make me happy, like some of the beautiful gifts I got for my birthday last month.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Hope for the best...

{image by kameron elisabeth via flickr} 

....prepare for the worst.

I've had an Eeyore week.  A melancholy week.  A feeling blue week.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

DIY tissue paper flowers/pom poms and girl-crushing on Martha


I've never been a super crafty kind of person.   Oh I've wanted to be crafty but I seem to have two left hands when it comes to making stuff.

However, put me in charge of decorations for a bridal shower and my OCD'ness overrides any common sense and self knowledge of my complete lack of manual coordination.

I saw these pretty tissue flowers and pom poms (or as she calls them Luminarias) on Martha Stewart's wedding website.  She describes them as:
Joyous bursts of color dance above a table, imparting a cheerful radiance to a rehearsal dinner or casual reception. The dahlialike pom-poms appear to float in the air; in reality they are hung from the ceiling with monofilament. Echoing the vibrant hanging puffs, pom-pom napkin rings in citrus shades adorn each place setting. Square glass vessels in various sizes line tables. Covered in sunset-hued tissue (cut to size and secured with double-sided tape), they cast a soft glow.
Sigh.  You just gotta love Martha. 

She had me at "joyous bursts" and I knew, come hell or high water, Pav was going to get joyous bursts of colour for her bridal shower, dammit!

Hours later, sitting in a crow's nest of little bits of tissue paper, I pondered just how wise that decision was.
 

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