I love cake – in fact I have never met a piece of cake I haven’t loved (or happily eaten) except for Fruitcake! Yes, I know, I am in a minority but seriously it is gross! Looks like a compacted compost heap… smells like a rubbish bin….. tastes like …………. well I don’t know because I have never managed to get past the look and the smell! Continue reading
A few months ago I was at Jen’s place for dinner and ate the most delicious, fresh, crusty and soft slice of bread (followed by another…. and another). I was incredibly impressed to learn that it was home-made!
I borrowed the most amazing book from the library the other day: Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones (see pic on right).
It is full of homemade ice cream recipes and great inspiration for desserts and sweet treats. I was particularly inspired by the instructions for creating layered ice-cream cakes and given it was my Dads birthday last weekend it seemed the perfect time to experiment.
So after reading and re-reading this book several times my mind was made up – Dad would be celebrating his birthday with a midnight chocolate cake as the base, then a huge layer of malted vanilla ice-cream, with chocolate chunks and homemade peanut brittle mixed through, topped with whipped cream and finished off with grated milk chocolate
It was incredibly rich and indulgent so we only needed very small slices but it was delicious. I personally wasn’t a big fan of the midnight chocolate cake so in future will use my favourite mud cake recipe instead. However the peanut brittle was easy to make and tasted better than any I have ever bought (or made) before. Peanut brittle and chocolate chunks, mixed through homemade malted vanilla ice-cream, is seriously the best flavoured ice-cream I have ever tasted. I would never have come up with the combination (or the recipe) on my own – thank goodness for this book!
I have had to return the book to the library but thankfully managed to track down a copy on http://www.bookdepository.co.uk which should be arriving soon! Stay tuned for more ice-cream posts in the future!
I’d love to hear other ideas for homemade ice-cream – any tips and tricks? Fantastic flavour combos?
I celebrated my sons 3rd birthday. The cake was not what I hoped, but it was just too hot for fondant. The whole thing flopped and I ended up pulling it off and icing with buttercream instead. Zac loved it all the same. Anyone else had trouble with fondant when the weather is extreme?
I hung some beautiful artwork from http://www.etsy.com/shop/gorjuss#
We went on a road trip and I visited an amazing bottle house/yurt on one of the hottest days ever (http://www.dubbonsw.com/Aladdins_Cave_Bottlehouse.html)
And I got to hang out with some cool animals at Western Plains zoo (elephants are just so cool – One of the kids had a tantrum which seemed to attract her attention and she walked alongside us as I took him away from the keepers talk)
How was your January???
A few months ago I was at a garage sale and saw a great little wooden buffet and hutch. I managed to pick it up for $20 and thought it would be perfect for storing my cake decorating/craft/sewing supplies. My only problem was that it was a bit old and tired looking. I had never attempted anything like this before but I thought I might as well have a go at turning it into something I’d love – the worst that could happen was I’d ruin a $20 piece of furniture!
So I gave it a really light sand (I hate sanding and avoid it as much as I can), then I painted it with a primer/sealer/undercoat (Dulux) followed by two coats of the most fabulous colour I could find (Mighty Max by Taubmans!). I carefully attacked it with some sandpaper in the areas that are likely to wear naturally (e.g. door handles, corner edges etc) then using a watered down dark brown paint and a sponge, I wiped the whole thing down. Finally I covered it with two coats of clear polyurethane spray paint.
This is the end result – not bad for a first timer!
High Tea is an all time favourite of mine and many couples are now incorporating this into their wedding day with a casual buffet style high tea served immediately after the ceremony. I love this idea, it is fun, classy and most of all involves yummy food 🙂
Scones with jam and cream are (in my humble opinion) absolutely essential to the success of any tea party. I recently tried a new recipe for lemonade scones and was so incredibly happy with the results! The scones rise beautifully, are perfectly sweet and moist and are incredibly simple to bake. Continue reading
Shoe storage has long been a messy pain in the butt at my place. The garage floor is covered in shoes and trying to locate a matching pair amidst the old paint tins, suitcases and baby paraphenalia in there has been the cause of quite a few melt downs. Another pet peev of mine is the boring and bland area at my front door. In my pre-children life I always had beautiful potted plants inside my front door but with 3 dirt eating boys this is no longer an option. Anyway, I am pleased to say all these problems have been solved with a trip to IKEA, an electric breadknife and an old mattress (amongst other things). Continue reading
My eldest son turned four a couple of weeks ago and was desperately keen to have a birthday party. He was so incredibly excited and requested to have an ‘Angry Birds’ party. At first I was in shock, an angry birds party?? You’re turning 4 not 14….. and how the hell am I going to organise an angry birds party?? It only took about 5 minutes of the two of us googling for the excitement to rub off on me, here is what we came up with!
He had the most wonderful time, for days afterwards he kept telling me how great his party was and thanking me for making everything. He is so incredibly sweet….. Continue reading
My darling baby boy turned one a couple of months ago. I planned a Alice in Wonderland style ‘Mad Hatter’s Tea Party’ to celebrate. The kids and I worked hard all week; painting signs to decorate our hallway (“This way, that way” etc), creating beautiful “take me” lolly bags and “eat me” cupcake toppers. I wrote “We are all mad here” in chalk on the feature wall in our kitchen/dining area and set up a long kids tea party table. I also made a glorious four layeredmad hatter cake to serve at least 50. Continue reading
I was overjoyed when my brother and his girlfriend announced their engagement, not only because I think they are absolutely perfect for each other but also because it was the perfect motivator for me to finally do a cake decorating course! As luck would have it the course got cancelled but this was easily overcome – I learnt everything I know about cake decorating from a handful of library books and a whole heap of googling. I have had so much fun making this cake and it turned out pretty fantastic if I do say so myself!
The plan: A three-tier wedding cake – 12, 10 and 8 inch cakes, enough to serve up to 100 coffee sized portions. The bottom two tiers were chocolate mudcake, filled with milk chocolate ganache. The top-tier was a lemon cake filled with lemon buttercream. All tiers were to be covered in ivory fondant, the middle tier to be quilted, and all decorated with navy blue ribbon. The cake was to be topped with wire hearts and fresh flowers. Continue reading