Showing posts from 2010

Raspberry Passionfruit Cupcakes

When I was a little girl, my family and I lived in a house that had a massive backyard (well it seemed that way at the time). In that backyard my parents took great delight in planting things that would yield food for us to eat. We had banana trees, which the cat enjoyed using as his personal scratching post. We grew strawberries and green beans in the veggie patch, which the dog enjoyed eating straight off the stalks. We had a peach tree, which never produced a peach worth eating. But we did have a lemon tree that fruited magnificently (which Mum frequently made lemon meringue pie from – a story for another day) and a passionfruit vine, which I regarded as my personal fruit supply.

I would watch with anticipation as the passionfruit flowers bloomed and bees buzzed around them, working their magic. Soon after, green fruit would bud in the middle of the flowers and I would conduct daily checks to monitor their progress as they fattened and ripened. The second the passionfruit t…

Big cakes are fun!

More and more we’ve found ourselves turning to big cakes for fun, and with our son’s first birthday approaching, Mark and I decided to put our imagination to the test.

It started back in March when our friend Noah turned one. We begged his Mum to let us make him a jungle cake – a four tier high chocolate cake with fondant shaped like a canopy of leaves on top, sugar tree trunks up the side and animals looking out through the tree branches. It was such an easy and fun cake to make, we knew immediately we could adapt the design to lots of different ideas.

We had a chance to repeat the jungle cake shortly after for a friend’s fifth birthday – albeit it without dairy. We were delighted to find replacing the butter in both the cake and icing had no impact on flavour or shape-ability. We swapped out the fondant tree tops for a piped royal icing instead and voila, our cake began to evolve.

For our boy’s birthday, we knew we wanted an under water theme. I envisaged a blue cake with mottled …

Cupcake classes at last!

I've been talking about it for years and finally it's happened - Kitchen Alchemy's first cupcake classes took place in June this year. With the help of a very organised friend, 11 ladies attended at classes presented by yours truly to learn how to decorate cupcakes.

Because time was of the essence, no baking was included. However, cupcake recipes were provided for vanilla cupcakes, chocolate cupcakes and raspberry almond gluten free cupcakes. Each recipe was extensively explained to ensure when attendees tried their hand at baking at home, they had every chance of success.

Since many in the class were Mums whose kids were approaching a birthday, two of the designs demonstrated were kids cupcakes. A tiger in the grass for boys, and a butterfly design for girls. But I also demonstrated how to decorate my double dutch chocolate cupcake, now that chocolate snaps are available again. And we finished off with a simple white glaze on the gluten free cake, dcorated with silver…

Inca Kola

There would be few people in Western civilisation who haven't heard of the cola juggernaut, Coke. But how many of us have ever heard of Inca Kola?

My husband and I stopped at the markets in Bondi Junction this morning to show off our baby son to some stallholder friends who sell South American food. Displayed amongst the cans of Coke on their counter was a gold can labelled "Inca Kola". I asked what it was and my husband spouted some wise crack that's not worth repeating here. I can't resist trying something curious and new, so I laid out $2.50 for a can of Inca Gold and cracked it open.

I peered in through the hole in the top of the can and what do you know - liquid gold in a can! I took an eager sip and was surprised to find that Inca Gold tastes a lot like creaming soda. It is neither black, nor has that acidic, tooth decaying, gut destroying quality of other colas we all know and drink from time to time.

I looked Inca Gold up on Wikipedia and discovered i…

Raspberry Sauce

It's not often that I will plug someone's product on this blog. But when you find something really good, I don't think I should hold back.

While shopping at Campbell's Cash & Carry this week, I checked the freezer for their bulk buy cakes and found something new - Chef's Pride Raspberry Dessert Sauce. Sold frozen in a 500ml squeezy bottle, you simply snip the top of the squeezy tube and squeeze onto what ever you like.

I immediately saw applications for my husband - he continues to be obsessed with raspberries and yoghurt. Since the cost of the raspberry sauce is comparative to a 500g box of frozedn raspberries, I thought we'd give the raspberry sauce a try.

I fully expected, since it is labelled as a dessert sauce, that the tart raspberry flavour would have been destroyed with sugar. Not the case! This little beauty couldn't have tasted better if I had made raspberry coulis myself. I tried squeezing it around a plate with a chocolate cupcake on it -…