Showing posts from November, 2011

Ricotta Cheesecake

When I was a kid my parents attended many a party hosted by members of the Apex Club. This was an exclusive club for men under the age of forty, and where we lived, there were loads of young dads in the club. The rules for these parties were simple: blokes bring the booze, ladies bring a "plate" and kids run amok until you pass out with exhaustion.

There would be tressle tables, sometimes in marquees, or maybe set up in the garage, covered with all sorts of culinary delights like cabanossi and cubes of cheese, pickled cocktail onions on tooth picks, slices of devon wrapped around mashed potato, and of course plenty of potato chips and a new concept in catering for a crowd - dip.

I remember the Apex party we went to on new year's eve, 1976, very clearly because I was sitting on my mum's lap at midnight. "There goes 1976!" she said, pointing to the night sky. I started crying because I didn't want the year to go. I don't think Mum expected th…

BIG cake update II

Well this year I didn't shout it to the world, I suspect because I felt there were many flaws in my work that I couldn't come to terms with. But I keep going back and looking at the cake we created this year for my son's second birthday. And the more I look at it, the more I like it.

We rented the "2" shaped tin from a local cake decorating shop. We made the butter cake a week in advance and put it in the freezer. It needed to sit on a board until it was frozen because the neck of the two was so fragile. It was heaps of fun cutting the cake through the middle to fill it with white chocolate ganache, but worth it as it looked a picture when it was sliced.

My husband appointed himself maker of the racing cars - which was just as well as he did a brilliant job of it. I used my texture mat for fondant for the first time, and had to have two goes to get the imprint right. Note to anybody using a texture mat, use firm pressure when you roll, and only roll once…

Poached Eggs

When my husband arrived in my life, I was surprised to find how much he loved poached eggs. We would go out for breakfast and he’d order Eggs Benedict with beautiful poached eggs enveloped in delicious hollandaise sauce.

At the time I was travelling a lot with work. One morning I found myself dining in a hotel that had the chef standing in the dining room at a table ready to cook eggs for me on the spot, exactly how I liked them. I noticed he had a pot of water gently simmering over a hot plate – clearly for poaching eggs. I asked him if he could show me how it’s done.

The chef told me the first and most important tip was to have very fresh eggs. He said eggs more than three days old just weren’t good enough for the job. Second, he said you needed to add a goodly amount of vinegar to the water. And finally, he said you needed to simmer the water just so. No rolling boil!

I went home a tried to cook poached eggs for my husband. The farm fresh eggs were not available at my supe…

Pony cakes still looking good!

It's been over a year now since I wrote, designed and photographed the cupcakes for the My Little Pony Cute Cupcake Recipe Book. To my delight, the initial distribution for that book has gone much wider than originally anticipated, with copies available in many mass market retailers across Australia and New Zealand.

Last month I donated a My Little Pony Party Pack to my office's annual Pink Ribbon Day Raffle. The pack included a copy of the book, MLP plates, MLP serviettes, and a certificate for 24 MLP cupcakes. This week I had the pleasure of baking and delivering the cupcakes to the winner of the prize. She was invited to choose three of the cupcakes in the book. Her selection was Love (red velvet), Friendship (banana) and Sweetie Belle (vanilla).

I was delighted to find that the recipes hold up to everything that was published. In the book I stated each batch of cupcake batter would make 12 cupcakes. In fact, I got 15 out of each. I had no trouble finding all the de…