Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Little Brownie Bird

I don't usually indulge in mid-week baking.

This is because I spend a good portion of my weekends in the kitchen and, well, you have to draw a line somewhere.

But this past weekend I didn't spend any time in the kitchen; and last night I really felt like a brownie after dinner....

little brownie bird : choc brownies >> STARTS WITH CUPCAKES
Triple Chocolate Brownies

The problem I have with brownies is they're just not very photogenic!
But damn! They are delicious!

I used a simple brownie recipe that I hadn't tried before.
And yes, they satisfied that 9pm chocolate craving but if I had the time, I would probably use a different recipe.

Don't let that stop you from trying them out though.. 
Sometimes you need a quickie.

T R I P L E   C H O C O L A T E   B R O W N I E S

125g butter
1 cup dark chocolate
1 cup caster sugar

Melt together in a saucepan on low heat;
Stir for 10 minutes until smooth.
Cool completely.

Stir in 2 lightly beaten eggs;
1 + 1/4 cup plain flour;
1 cup white choc chips;
1 cup milk choc chips.

Pour into lightly greased brownie tray.

Bake on 180 for 20 minutes.


Friday, 26 October 2012

Touch the Butt

I quoted Finding Nemo during a client meeting recently. 

It was not the most professional moment of my career.. but in my defence, I was speaking to a man who has three daughters under the age of six so truly believed he would both understand and appreciate the reference.

Apparently not.

Cue awkward silence...

This aside, Finding Nemo is my favourite 'kids' movie and this quote is my new source of inspiration.

Happy weekend. 


Image here

Thursday, 25 October 2012

La Dolce Vita

Miss Brown Button herself gave me the hot tip on this place.

And I can't believe it took me sooo long to get there.

I'm also ashamed of how desperately I want to go back...

I dropped into the Gilbert Street store last Friday and picked up these little pieces of heaven to share with my team.

And let me just say - I'm not very good at sharing at the best of times.. 
And after just one taste I did not want to share these with anyone!

I can't even begin to describe them. 

If you live in Adelaide.. Go there. Immediately.


Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Lemon Delicious

I realised I have been doing a lot of baking these past few weeks when I saw this post quietly waiting to be shared with you all.

It's from 2 weekends ago.


L E M O N   M E R I N G U E   C U P C A K E S

There's not much to say to this one.

Except - I inherited the wooden tray from my Nan earlier this year and have been dying to use it.

These rustic looking cupcakes provided the perfect opportunity.

The tray itself doesn't have any significant history (that I know of). But in the days after her death, as we quietly (eerily) packed up her belongings, it caught my eye and I knew she would be delighted that I take it to use in my own kitchen.

Unfortunately, my photography does not do it justice...

Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

The Cupcake >

100g unsalted butter, softened
185g caster sugar
2 eggs
200g self-raising flour
1/2 cup milk
rind of 1 lemon

Preheat the oven to 180C
Beat butter, sugar and lemon rind until pale;
Add eggs, one at a time;
Add flour and milk;
Spoon mixture into prepare muffin pans;
Bake for 15-20 minutes;

The Lemon Curd >

50g cornflour
1/2 cup water
1 cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup caster sugar
4 egg yolks (save the whites for the meringues)

Combine the cornflour, water, lemon juice and half the sugar in a saucepan;
Whisk to stir over medium heat for 4 minutes or until the mixture boils and thickens;
Continue to cook, stirring constantly, for a further 1 minute;
Remove from heat;
Whisk in butter and egg yolks;
Cool completely.

The Meringue >

4 egg whites
1 cup caster sugar

Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form;
Gradually add caster sugar;
Continue beating until sugar has disolved

The Assembly >

Hull the cupcakes with a sharp knife;
Fill with a spoonful of lemon curd;
Pipe meringue onto cupcake;
Place tray of cupcakes under grill for 5 minutes or until golden (watch them like a HAWK!)


Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Finding Zen

At first glance, this would appear to be some kind of list for finding my inner Zen. 

But really, it was the start of a quick 'To Do' list I jotted down on Sunday morning. 

I woke early and felt like I had 100 things to accomplish in a day - so being the ever-organised list writer that I am; I began to put pen to paper and had a giggle at myself when the first 3 items on the list made it look like I was searching for inner-peace in a day.

First things first - a Body Balance class to start the day. This is my new weekend ritual.
My gym has classes on both Saturday and Sunday morning...

Oh yeah... I've joined a gym. eek!

Anyway, in the spirit of full disclosure - I've made a commitment to attend atleast one of the Balance classes each weekend.

Feel free to hold me accountable.

Comments such as "Hey Andie, Happy Saturday. Have fun at Balance this morning?" will be accepted with a graceful - "Yes, it was amazing; I feel so energised now. Thanks for asking".

Of course, Baking made my list at number two, because I had a family dinner to attend; and dessert was expected.

I also whipped up some melting moments and some honey joys.

Honey Joys, by the way, are super underrated.

I love them.

OK... loved them. 

They're all gone.

I didn't even pause to take a photo.

Back to my list - - 


= Freedom Furniture

Sometimes I just like to go there to browse.

On Sunday, I went on a mission to find a bookcase for my cookbooks; But sadly, it was a failed operation.

My 'To Do' list went on to include other (less exciting) tasks such as Washing; Vaccuming; Take Emmy to the Dog Park; Food Shopping etc.. But these inclusions did not make for such a Zen-like list.

I did manage to put a big fat tick next to most of items which is always very satisfying. 

And next weekend, I'll be doing it all again.


Monday, 22 October 2012

The Healing Tart

We had a family dinner last night - a casual affair to celebrate the success of my Aunty's surgery last week; plus two of my cousins were around for the weekend (a rare event since we're now all in our 20's).

Usually, I'm not huge on the 'Sunday Night Family Dinner' as I'd much prefer to have a quiet couch night after a hectic weekend; but as it was a 'special occasion' I whipped up a little dessert.

C H O C O L A T E ,   C A R A M E L   A N D   H A Z E L N U T   T A R T

healing tart : chocolate, caramel, hazelnut tart >> STARTS WITH CUPCAKES
Chocolate, Caramel & Hazelnut Tart

Admittedly it only looked pretty until we served it up; at which point it turned into a gooey mess of chocolatey goodness.

This tart is the beginning of my new self-imposed challenge - 

Bake something I've never baked before.

After this post about baking the same cakes, biscuits, desserts all the time, I decided to step outside my normal repertoire of recipes and try something different.

I started with this Chocolate Tart - because chocolate is always a winner.

150g (1 cup) plain flour
60g (1/3 cup) icing sugar mixture
30g (1/4 cup) almond meal
125g chilled unsalted butter, coarsely chopped
1 egg yolk
1 x 100g pkt ground hazelnuts
160g (1 cup, lightly packed) brown sugar
350ml pouring cream
90g unsalted butter, extra, chopped
2 x 100g pkts good-quality dark chocolate, finely chopped
Cocoa powder, to dust

How ?

Step 1
Preheat oven to 200°C. Place the flour, icing sugar, almond meal and butter in the bowl of a food processor and process until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk and process until the mixture just comes together. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until just smooth. Shape into a disc. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to rest.

Step 2
Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to a 4mm-thick disc. Line a round 3.5cm-deep, 22cm (base measurement) fluted tart tin, with removable base, with pastry and trim any excess. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes to chill.

Step 3
Line the pastry with non-stick baking paper. Fill with pastry weights or rice. Bake in oven for 10 minutes. Remove paper and pastry weights or rice. Bake for 6 minutes or until light golden. Set aside to cool slightly. Sprinkle with the hazelnuts.

Step 4
Place the brown sugar, 150ml of cream and extra butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until the sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 6 minutes or until the caramel thickens. Pour over the pastry base. Place in the fridge for 15 minutes to cool.

Step 5
Heat 200ml cream in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Remove from heat. Add the chocolate and stir until smooth. Pour over the caramel. Use the back of a tablespoon to smooth the surface. Place in the fridge for 1 1/2 hours to chill.

Step 6
Dust the tart with cocoa powder and cut into wedges. Serve at room temperature.

According to my Aunty - this Tart is just what the Doctor ordered...


Friday, 19 October 2012

Wish Upon A Star...

I am usually allll over 'The Birthday Countdown'

Yet somehow there's now less than a month til my Birthday and I have barely given thought to how I shall celebrate the Day Month of Me.

Today I decided to take the time to jot down my Ultimate Wishlist

You know - Just a few bits an pieces that would make me super happy if they happened to make their way into my life!

Breville Kitchen Wizz; Sprinkle Bakes Book; MAC 'Hello Sailor' Lipstick;
Prada Candy Perfume; GHD Hair Straightener;
Pretty Ring via Etsy; Cake Tins; Home Love Book;
Individual Glass Cloche Cupcake Stands; iPad; Apple Pendant

Some of these items are things I may eventually buy for myself as a treat...

And some (such as the Prada Perfume) are because there was an incident in which the absolute life was scared out of me in the middle of the night.

BTW - a PINK hair straightener?! 
Obviously this is a necessity! I don't own a GHD, so I think I may have to invest in this limited edition.

Oh to dream....


Wednesday, 17 October 2012

It's Barbie, B!tch

Let me set a scene for you - -
Friday's in the office.

A day notorious for being a little more casual than the rest of the week (in attire; and sometimes attitude..)

But this did not soften the blow of a snide remark a colleague directed at me last week in regards to my choice of outfit for the day (for the record, it was a stripey sweater and black pants - this was hardly the scandalous tracksuit pant/sneaker scenario her comments implied).

Friday Attire = Casual Chic

Perhaps I wasn't busy enough on the weekend; because I managed to stew on this topic for 2 full days.

Insert renewed focus on my office wardrobe.

This may require some shopping.

I think that's a small (or maybe not so small) price to pay.

Corporate Barbie is preparing her come back.

Corporate Barbie :: 
Renowned for her sheer confidence, style and super cute (mostly pink) accessories.

Love a little peplum..


Image Sources: 1; 2; 3; 4; 5

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Back By Popular Demand

As you know - I make all kinds of cookies, cakes, desserts, pies, tarts, cupcakes and brownies.

And yet, when ever a celebration cake is required everyone looks to me to whip something up; but the same old cakes are requested so I feel like I'm baking the same thing over and over again.

At the weekend the special request was Carrot and Walnut Cake. It was for my Uncle and who am I to judge a man on his Birthday Cake of choice?

I do feel like I've written about this type of cake 100 time on this blog though...

Urgghh.. How repetitive!

Anyway, Carrot and Walnut was requested; So it was Carrot and Walnut I delivered!

The cake was a hit. 

And that's all that matters.

Carrot and Walnut Cake


Monday, 15 October 2012

Just a Little Bite To Eat

The next 5 little words I say to you will change. your. life.






Yes they taste as delicious as they sound.

Chocolate cookie dough, with chocolate chips, dipped in melted chocolate, with SPRINKLES!

In this instance - I will let the pictures do the talking.


2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
4 to 6 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup mini chocolate chips

1 bag of chocolate chips for dipping.


Combine the flour, cocoa powder, and salt in a small bowl; set aside.

In a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, cream the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Stir in the vanilla and about 4 tablespoons of the milk; mix well. Add the flour mixture and mix well until the ingredients are thoroughly combined. If the mixture is too dry, add more milk (it should be the consistency of regular cookie dough). Stir in the chocolate chips until evenly distributed. Cover the bowl and chill for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

Once chilled, remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll into balls about 1-inch in diameter (you can make them larger or smaller, if desired). Place the rolled cookie dough on baking sheets lined with parchment paper and chill for another 20 to 30 minutes.

While the rolled dough is chilling, melt some chocolate chips or candy melts for dipping. Push the chilled ball onto a small tasting spoon and roll it in the melted chocolate to coat it. Tap off any excess chocolate. Place the dipped cookie dough on the prepared baking sheet. If desired, top with mini chocolate chips or sprinkles while the chocolate is still wet. Allow to set up completely before serving.


And, after sharing them around the office, I even have some testimonials!

"That was actually the most amazingly awesome, delicious thing. EVER."

"OMG!!  That tastes better than what it looks and it looks bloody great!!  YUM and thanks!!!"


Thursday, 11 October 2012

My, What Nice Boots You're Wearing...

Just a lizard wearing Barbie boots, nothing to see here.


From here

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

I heart Daylight Savings

Monday = The first day of Daylight Savings.

Finished work at 6pm and squeezed in a quality walk with the fur baby before dinner.

Daylight Savings After Work Walk with Miss Emmy



Monday, 8 October 2012

Shh.. It's a National Secret

Until yesterday, I had never eaten Sticky Date Pudding.

Actually, I'd never tried dates either.

So now that I have, I'm convinced this little dessert is part of a National Secret.

Because of course - after I announced that I'd baked this unassuming pudding, everyone suddenly admits to me that it's their favourite. And they love it. And how could I possibly never have tried it?!

OK people.. I'm on to you all now.

This dessert is my new favourite.

It. Was. Delicious!

S T I C K Y   D A T E   P U D D I N G

Sticky Date Pudding
That right there is the very definition of food porn.

125g pitted dates, chopped
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup boiling water
80g unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
3/4 cup self raising flour
pinch of sea salt

Preheat oven to 180°C.
Place dates and baking soda in a bowl, pour over the boiling water and stand for 20 minutes.
Cream together the butter, vanilla and sugar until pale, light and fluffy.
Add the egg and beat well. 
With a metal spoon or spatula, fold through the date water mixture and the flour until well combined.
Spoon into 7-8 muffin cups and bake for 30-35 minutes until the skewer comes out clean.
Cool in tin for five minutes before turning it out and cooling on a wire rack.

Butterscotch Sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
150ml whipping cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
30g salted butter

To make the butterscotch sauce, combine all the ingredients in a heavy based saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.
When boiled, reduce heat to low and simmer for a few minutes until darkened and thickened.
To serve, prick the warm cake all over with a skewer and pour about a third of the butterscotch sauce all over the cake and allow to soak for ten minutes before serving.

A National Secret EXPOSED!



Tuesday, 2 October 2012

An Ordinary Weekend

I had an ordinary weekend.

It was not exciting. It was not busy. It was just ordinary.

And I loved it.

Andy Warhol

I did my grocery shopping;

Took Emmy for a haircut;

Had brunch with friends;

Gave myself a manicure;

Took Emmy to the dog park; 

Caught up on some long overdue TV watching (Hello True Blood and Hart of Dixie); and

Made Mum some pancakes for afternoon tea.

Three glorious days spent doing whatever I pleased.

I'm all about the little things at the moment. And the little things make me happy.

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