Friday, December 23, 2011

Fresh cherry & almond cake

Have been holding on to this recipe for a while and since it is cherry season now, I thought I'd give it a go. It has turned out yummy! I have baked it twice already .

Ingredients: -
1 cup almond meal
1 cup plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
125g unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup caster sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cup fresh cherries, pitted and chopped

Method: -
Preheat oven to 180C. Combine almond meal and flour sifted with baking powder and salt.

Beat butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each one. Fold in almond meal mixture. Add vanilla and cherries, mixing well.

These can be made into individual cupcakes or a whole cake which is what I have done. Bake about 20 minutes (cupcakes) or 35 minutes (whole cake) or until cooked when tested.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Autumn Caramel Corn flavours

This is rather late for the season but it's because I try not to eat them immediately!
Here are Marron (chestnut) Aji and Honey Maple Caramel Corn.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

iPhone owner

We got ourselves iPhones over the weekend. Finally ending our time being extremely backward, while everyone around us migrated to smartphones over the years :)

The first photos we took were profile pictures for each other on the phones and then of course some of Pixie bunny! She does not look too pleased at more new weird devices planted in front of her face. She is trying to glare dangerous rays at me here.

Double chocolate loaf cake

Someone said recently that I bake lots of cookies but not cakes. So I decided to show him and since he is always after chocolate cake, I found this recipe. I also added a heap of craisins that I found in my pantry :)

Ingredients: -
175g softened butter , plus extra for greasing
175g golden caster sugar
3 eggs
140g self-raising flour
85g ground almonds
½ tsp baking powder
100ml milk
4 tbsp cocoa powder
50g plain chocolate chips or chunks

Method: -
Heat oven to 160C. Grease and line a 2lb/900g loaf tin with a long strip of baking parchment. I used my square tin because I wasn't sure if my loaf tin was large enough.

Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, flour, almonds, baking powder, milk and cocoa until smooth. Stir in the chocolate chips, then scrape into the tin. Bake for 45-50 mins until golden, risen and a skewer poked in the centre comes out clean.

Cool in the tin, then lift out onto a wire rack over some kitchen paper.

Pineapple Upside Down cake

Had friends coming over last Saturday and thought of a pineapple upside down cake for dessert while flipping through a magazine. I always look around for a simple recipe because if it is not simple, I probably wouldn't try it. Found this one from Nigella Lawson. It turned out great although I used a square tin instead of the round one.

Ingredients: -
Butter for greasing
2 x 15ml tablespoons sugar
6 slices pineapple from a 425g can, plus 3 x 15ml tablespoons of the juice
Glace cherries for decorating
100g flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
100g soft butter
100g caster sugar
2 eggs

Method: -
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Butter a tarte Tatin tin (24cm wide at the top and 20cm diameter at the bottom) or use a 23cm cake tin (neither loose-bottomed nor springform).

Sprinkle the 2 tablespoons of sugar on top of the buttered base, and then arrange the pineapple slices.

Fill each pineapple ring with a glace cherry, and then dot one in each of the spaces in between.

Put the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, butter, caster sugar and eggs into a food processor and run the motor until the batter is smooth. (I mixed by hand so it is the usual order of butter and sugar until light and fluffy, eggs, and then flour, baking powder & bicarbonate of soda sifted in.) Then pour in the 3 tablespoons of pineapple juice to thin it a little.

Pour this mixture carefully over the cherry-studded pineapple rings; it will only just cover it, so spread it out gently.

Bake for 30 minutes, then ease a spatula around the edge of the tin, place a plate on top and, with one deft move, turn it upside-down.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Attempting macarons

Thought I'd give this a try and I think it has turned out better than I expected, given my fear of not being able to get egg whites to the required consistency without a cake mixer. Also had no food colouring so this is not coloured but it is rosewater flavoured :)

There are only a couple that actually look like how it should but at least there are some...

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Vanilla Ice Aji Caramel Corn

Even though I just came back from Japan, I saw this in the Asian grocery here and still had to get it. Don't know where you actually get Caramel Corn in Japan itself (apart from the giant one that I found in a funky bookstore!). Don't really see it in supermarkets, drugstores, or even snack shops!

Giant caramel corn!

I found the most amazing Caramel Corn in the last trip to Japan - Giant ones. These are huge! Each piece is approximately 5 times larger than the normal ones. Very cute but you really cannot eat that many at one go.

The flavour is a matcha dessert of some sort but I cannot tell what it is.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A little skirt

Finally get to try sewing a tiny little skirt - I have no idea how small newborn babies can be!
I still think this is too large.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Blankie for the new niece

Here's a pretty little blankie I've done for the next new arrival in our family! :)
I hope she likes it.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Fancy sweets!

Went by the Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio today. So many yummy sounding sweets in one place! We bought a Chocolate, Caramel, Hazelnut & Mango spread, a Spicy Pineapple Jam, Persian Delight Dark Chocolate, a Coconut|Passionfruit|Ginger|Mint cup and an entire Chocolate|Mandarin|Salted Caramel cake! A bit extravagant but still, a treat for ourselves once in a while :)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Little apple pies

Thought I'd try out this recipe after watching someone bake an apple pie on TV recently. I can't really be bothered to make an entire large pie, so these mini ones using puff pastry are probably easy enough.

Ingredients: -
2 sheets frozen puff pastry
12 ounces cut up red baking apples (approx. 2 medium sized apples)
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons flour
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 beaten egg

Method: -
Thaw puff pastry according to directions on package. Heat oven to 175C.

Peel, core and chop apples up coarsely. Combine apples with sugar, flour, lemon juice, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Flour surface lightly and cut pastry sheet into nine 3x3 squares.

Place approximately 1/4 cup apple mixture on each square and brush edge with beaten egg. Place second pastry square on the top of the already filled pastry to form a pocket. Press down border with fingers to seal and then press with fork to decorate the edges. Make a 1-inch L shape incision into each pie and fold back the pastry flap.

Place on ungreased cookie sheet and give each one an egg wash. Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until golden.

Result: Not bad at all! The filling tastes quite good although I wish I knew how to fit more in them before baking.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Blueberry intense chocolate cookies

Tried out last week's cookie recipe with a bar of Lindt Blueberry Intense. Wow, I didn't realise that the berry flavours in that bar are so powerful! The cookies now have a lovely fruity taste :) Quite different but still great for my cookie fix this week. I might try using all the different flavoured bars over time!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Itsy Bitsy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cannot remember how I came across this recipe but I am glad I did. They are yummy!

Ingredients: -
5 ounces (approx 140g) good-quality semi-sweet chocolate bar
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (but you can substitute unbleached all-purpose flour)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup walnuts, very, very finely chopped (by hand)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
scant 1 cup natural cane sugar (or brown sugar)
scant 1 tablespoon organic unsulphured molasses (blackstrap)
1 large egg
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup large-grain sugar (for ex: turbinado)

Method: -
Preheat your oven to 350F (175C) degrees. Line a couple baking sheets with parchment paper.

Finely chop the chocolate bar into 1/8-inch pieces, more like shavings really. Try to avoid big lumps and chunks, which make flattening out the cookie dough later more difficult.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, oats, walnuts, and shaved chocolate. Set aside.

Using a mixer (or by hand) beat the butter until fluffy. Beat in the sugar and mix until it is also light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl once or twice. Beat in the molasses, then the egg, mixing until both are well incorporated, scrape down the sides of the bowl once or twice. Beat in the vanilla. Add the flour mix and stir by hand until the ingredients barely come together into a uniform dough.

Scoop out the dough in exact, level teaspoons, then tear those pieces of dough in two before rolling each 1/2 teaspoon of dough into a ball shape. Place two inches apart on the baking sheets. Gently flatten each dough ball into a thin, round patty with two fingers and then sprinkle the top of each cookie with a pinch of large-grain sugar. Bake for 7 minutes or until cookies are golden and fragrant. Remove from oven, and cool on a wire rack.

Makes about 12 dozen tiny, bite-sized cookies.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Strawberry and white chocolate muffins with pepitas

Seem to have a baking bug going these days. Spotted this recipe online and since I have strawberries in the fridge, I decided to try it for breakfast.

Ingredients: -
2 cups self-raising flour
½ cup castor sugar
1 cup milk
⅓ cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
½ cup chopped strawberries
50g white chocolate buttons
3 tbsp pepitas

Method: -
Pre-heat oven to 200C. Combine flour and sugar in a large bowl. Combine milk, oil and eggs in a separate bowl, whisk lightly then stir in strawberries and chocolate buttons. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture, pour in the milk mixture and mix lightly. Spoon batter into six greased muffin tins (½-cup capacity) until three-quarters full. Sprinkle pepitas over muffins and bake for 25-35 minutes or until golden and cooked. Turn onto a wire rack to cool.

I had leftover easter chocolate so I used that instead. The muffins are really moist and not greasy which is really good. The toasted seeds on the top also become crunchy. My muffin tins were smaller and I got 16 muffins.

Friday, July 01, 2011

Earl grey tea cake

Spotted this recipe with my favourite tea in it so of course I had to try it out.

Ingredients: -
Melted butter, for greasing
2 Earl Grey tea bags
60ml (1/4 cup) boiling water
80ml (1/3 cup) milk
100g butter, at room temperature
2 eggs
160g (2/3 cup) caster sugar
190g (1 1/4 cups) self-raising flour

Marmalade icing
230g (1 1/2 cups) pure icing sugar
1 1/2 tbs breakfast marmalade
1 1/2 tbs fresh orange juice, approximately

Method: -
Preheat oven to 180°C. Brush 12 medium (80ml/1/3 cup) muffin pans with the melted butter to lightly grease.

Empty the tea leaves from the tea bags into a cup and add the boiling water. Set aside for 3 minutes. Stir in the milk and then transfer to a large bowl.

Mix butter and sugar until pale and creamy, then add eggs, the tea mixture and flour. Beat until the mixture is pale and creamy (the mixture may look slightly curdled).

Spoon the mixture evenly into the greased pans. Bake in preheated oven for 20-22 minutes or until golden and a skewer inserted in the cakes comes out clean. Remove from the oven and set aside for 2-3 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool.

Meanwhile, to make the marmalade icing, combine the icing sugar and marmalade in a small bowl. Add enough juice to make a very thick paste.

Use a teaspoon dipped in hot water to spread the icing over the tops of the cooled cakes. Set aside for 15-20 minutes to allow the icing to set.

Keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Variation: Use a round 20cm cake pan, the base and side lined with non-stick baking paper. Bake in an oven preheated to 180C for 40-45 mins or until golden brown and a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. Set aside for 5 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool. Ice as above.

I made mine in a loaf pan and I don't usually bother with icing and it tastes great! ;)

Friday, June 17, 2011


Thought I would try making popcorn today. I didn't have any nuts at home to add into the mixture so it is just plain caramel. Looks great :)

Plain popcorn just popped

Caramel popcorn

Monday, June 13, 2011

Yay! I finally tried out my ninjabread men cookie cutters today! :)

Tried adding some fresh grated ginger this time but it is still not really spicy. Very yummy though! :)

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Purple carrots

Made soup with the purple carrots I got from the farmers' market on Saturday. The purple is really intense! Just like beetroot but still tastes like carrot :)

More pressies

Got some more birthday pressies from SG today. From Godma, Mammo and Mathilda. Thank you all!

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Birthday 2011

Another birthday! Doesn't time fly?
This year, I thought we'd take a little trip out to Daylesford since we haven't gone anywhere out of Melbourne in ages.
With my birthday being on a Saturday, it turned out to be a great day to go as there was a farmers' market and makers' market going on as well.

We got there in 1 hour 15 mins which was much shorter than expected. First stop was the farmers' market where we bought cookies, spicy fruit bread, mushrooms, the most beautiful veggies and a bunch of multicoloured carrots! Really nice stuff there!

Then we headed to the makers' market to admire handmade crafty stuff. I got rocky road in various flavours and a yummy bag of brownie offcuts.

We wandered around the nice little shops around town centre. There are quite a number of antique, curios and collectible shops here! I found a nice bunch of vintage fabric and I couldn't help myself.

Lunch was a nice meal at a vegetarian cafe/bakery where I also got a nice loaf of walnut bread and a cherry pastry. Yum!

All in all, it was a nice day out! Thanks to everyone who sent me birthday wishes and pressies!

Pressies from Mammo and Mathilda - first lot

Update - 6 June

Cake baked by Laura over the weekend for me! :) So nice!

Birthday lilies have exploded open today too!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Oatmeal Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Cookies

Tried a colleague's peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies not long ago. They were so good that I have been thinking about peanut butter cookies for a while. I found this recipe in my collection.

Ingredients: -
3/4 cup butter (170g)
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1/3 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees C.
2. In a medium bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar and white sugar. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the peanut butter, water and vanilla. Combine the flour and baking soda, stir into the creamed mixture. Finally, stir in the rolled oats and chocolate chips. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto an unprepared cookie sheet.
3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, until the cookies are lightly toasted on the edges. Remove from the baking sheet to cool on wire racks.

They turned out not quite like the ones I had before but they are still good!

Tuesday, May 03, 2011


The Sis got me these from her last trip to Japan and they are nice! I went through the whole bag at one go :P
Pity there aren't anymore.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Hinamatsuri caramel corn

This one has a nice packet for the Doll Festival but the contents are regular flavoured.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Cute candy

Laura came back from her exciting Japan holiday and got us girls in the office a cute packet of candy each. Mine were babushkas! They are so cute there is no way to open them.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Pretty cookies

After the last successful attempt with the ginger & chilli cookies, I thought I would try a little "stained glass effect" with glace cherries. They do look nice don't they? And they taste good still! No chilli in this one though :)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Hello there!

It's been a while since a bunny appeared on these pages, so Pixie says hello!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

My first zipper closure skirt

I have been thinking for a while that A-line skirts cannot be that hard to sew so I decided to try and do one. This is how it turned out. A little bit wonky but still wearable :)

The zipper bit was tricky but I still managed to get it to work. And while an initial version didn't fit (!), the final one does now!

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Ginger & Chilli cookies

I have been thinking of doing these ever since I saw these Ginger & Chilli biscuits at David Jones.

I adapted the recipe using a Martha Stewart basic cookie recipe and added in ginger and chilli powder!

Ingredients: -
1.5 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick (approx 113g) unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp mixed spice
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 chilli powder
Crystallized ginger

Method: -
1. Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and spices in a large bowl.
2. Beat butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla.
3. Add flour mixture and beat until combined.
4. Add in chopped crystallized ginger.
5. Divide dough into 2 pieces. Shape each into a log and wrap in parchment/cling wrap. Refrigerate until very firm, about 2 hours.
6. Bake at 175°C until firm, 12 to 14 minutes. Cool on wire racks.

These are almost the texture I have been trying to get from these refrigerated cookie recipes for a long time. They taste good but not very spicy at all. Maybe I should try adding more chilli and ginger next time.

Saturday, February 26, 2011


UPDATE 26 Feb: -

UPDATE 23 Feb: -

The first sunflower is getting larger and along with it are 2 smaller ones :)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

And now there are two!

The first sunflower is growing larger and it now has a companion! :)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Update 17 Feb 2011: HERE WE ARE!

My very first sunflower is on the way! After quite a long time tending to it, making sure it has enough to drink and does not get blown over by strong winds, I think I might have a flower coming up. This is the largest plant I have planted so far! :)