Monday, December 1, 2008

Im so flattered!!


Been sooo busy with school it is so unfair. BUT now Summer holidays are here... and this means more baking!

Meanwhile, remember the cakepops I made earlier this year?... well Check it. Bakerella a super talented baker, inventor and photographer put me in her latest cakepop video.
THANKS soo much!!!

I'm craving cakepops right about.... now.

Monday, September 8, 2008


Ok, so been in hiatus for a while...
UNIVERISTY LIFE! That's right everyone, I have been so busy, busy, busy with school work.
(sorry for the very low quality picture!)

So much so that on Friday I was able to whip up a batch of cupcakes and a mini cake for friends who were having their birthday.

How I forgot that baking makes me stress less!..

So here are the creations. I made a simple vanilla cupcake using the very reliable recipe from Joy Of Baking. Instead of using usual milk, I decided to use coconut milk. It add a nice (and not too overpowering) element and kept the cupcake very dense.

For the icing I mixed Solite Cream which is lactose and egg free. Very handy for those with allergies!
So, the trick not to get that "fake" taste from the cream is to use a lot of icing sugar (I didn't say it was low sugar now!). For the pink cupcakes I used a Queens red food colouring and some lemon.
The chocolate icing was just melted milk chocolate whipped with butter to help it smooth and shiny.

Decorate, and voila! A present that is tasty.

Just a tip, fill the cases just little than 3/4 full in the patty papers to get a flatter top cake... or do what I did and trim the tops...You get to taste the cake.. and "help" its aesthetic!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Is that a huge Hobnob?

"Hobnobs and Digestive biscuits- searching for the recipe"

We grew up eating digestive biscuits. I love them. They are so satisfying and you can get that added "feel-good" because they have oats. =)
I have been trying to reproduce its sister the Hobnob and the Digestive biscuit itself. I have looked on countless blogs but nothing compares to the processed version. I think they are the holy grail of biscuits. Here was my first attempt at the Hobnob. I am going to cut down the sugar and maybe try corn syrup instead of golden syrup. They basically taste like Anzac biscuits without the coconut.... But still gorgeous. I used rolled oats which I personally like, but perhaps instant oats will serve better for the recipe. 

If anyone has any ideas to add please let me know!

I am still searching for the recipe...

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Little Chocolate Somethings.

"Little cuppycakes for a new Baby in the family."

I am an aunt again! My second brother Matt and his wife said HELLO to they latest child (Name unknown).
So I, in haste made mini cupcakes for the family. Baking on so many levels is definitely a "Good thing" to take a note from the Martha Book. People who know me know I like things mini. It's just cuter to eat/decorate/look at the novelty of something delicate and cute. Give me bite-sized any day from Texas Muffin-size. These are just classic vanilla cuppycakes with a chocolate icing. I actually made pink lemon icing for the ones I gifted, but since I was in an insane rush I didn't get time to take any pictures. 

On another point, I am turning 20 very soon! (I don't necessarily think that needed an exclamation, but it seems fit to be excited about it right?) Birthdays... they puzzle me. In theory the thought of it supersedes the event itself. Maybe if I weren't such a control freak then I would be able to let someone else plan my birthday. I mean I want to bake my birthday cake, cater and plan. WEIRD?! Yes! I agree. I have more fun planning the event I think. Make-up. It gives me headaches. Getting ready is fun, but stripping it all off at the end of the night in all tiredness (avert your thoughts perverts if you want sex you got the wrong girl...) This is the point where my sister sighs and tells me I am in the wrong industry. *Cue laughter reel*

So happy birthday to me. Send the presents my way. 

Friday, June 27, 2008

Get Smart - Fudge Four Ways.

"Laugh out loud and, no this is not a movie blog."

Went with lovely Caitlin to see "Get Smart" at Crown Casino today and we laughed, squirmed and I nearly cried. (Why? Because Anne Hathaway got to roll around in the dirt wearing a Chanel suit - A white one.) 

Anyway, we had trouble finding the Apero flavour I wanted (damn CBD supermarkets!) so we made do with Honey & Dijon Mustard and a mixed bag of fudge. This made me think oddly about a situation when someone told me I would be an expensive girlfriend. I don't know how many people would react... but I was taken a back at the time. So why did I think of that moment when I was buying Sakata Apero and Gold & Black fudge from the supermarket? Because it goes to show how much I would not be a total budget breaker girlfriend. Instead of paying $6 for a "movie sized" (smaller, sneakily smaller) packet of Natural Confectionary or Allen's Lollies, I opted for the supermarket. Seeing how it is much more cost effective... does that make me a frugal person or someone who is wise? Well maybe not wise, but it would be common sense right? That aside, I'm not the type that would enter a Gucci store and whine to their boyfriends about how they want THAT bag (yes I have seen it before).
SO, HA HA at your little (sometimes not so) girlfriends who whine and pose in front of Gucci et. al like they are models in a photo shoot just so they can put it as their profile picture on Facebook. 

Fudge Four Ways.

My brother gave me this advice: 
"If a guy asks you on a date and doesn't pick you up, drop you home AND pay for the meal don't bother. Actually if he doesn't have a car..."
"Really?" I answered.
"Yes. In fact if he doesn't pay for every meal then don't waste you time."

Wow. Here I thinking is this even possible? That's Old school chivalry for you. I guess I will heed my brother's advice and filter the men from boys? Is this mean? I guess you never see James Bond splitting the bill.

I often feel bad when someone pays for me. To which my girlfriends are respond, "Nicole you have got to stop giving gifts to people who give you gifts." So to the someone who said I would be an expensive girlfriend please stand up and park that comment in the whiny girlfriends of the world.

P.S Remember how I told you there were many ways to use left over ganache in the precious blog? Well her are some truffles "I made earlier". 
Truffles of the non-mushroom variety.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

High Tea with Holly.

Holly is one of my soul sisters. We went to the same ballet school and we have been best buddies since we were 13. So the story today is: Hol and I
LOVE tea. So much so that we possibly drink it more than water. We like all sorts of tea - but with tea everyone needs a some sort of food type to compliment.
So we get together when we can and have tea. High tea. I made a cake, and after serious thought - involving furrowing and nearly driving onto oncoming traffic, I decided to fuse Turkish Delight, pistachio and chocolate. Anyone heard of Fry's Turkish Delight? Ok, so it is not the "real stuff" but it has that fake taste that we all sometimes need. Not many people like the taste for Fry's but we do!

For this recipe I used a Basic butter cake,  dark chocolate ganache (I imagine white chocolate would be divine) and "real" Turkish Delight.

Cake Ingredients:
150g Butter, softened
3/4 cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs, lightly beaten,
2 cups self-raising flour, sifted
1/2 cup buttermilk or milk
5 medium pieces (or as much/little as you want) Yellow and Pink Turkish delight
1/3 cup pistachios, shelled and roasted
Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius (370 F). Grease and line the base of a 20cm round cake pan.

  1. Using an electric beater, cream butter, sugar and vanilla on medium-high speed until pale and creamy.
  2. Add eggs gradually in two additions, scraping down the sides of the bowl and beating well in between.
  3. Switching to low speed, add the flour and milk in three additions, starting and ending with flour. (Note: Try not to over beat as this will result in a heavy dense cake.)
  4. Pour into cake pan and bake for 45 minutes or until skewer comes out with light, moist crumbs. Let to cool in pan for 15 minutes before turning out on a board. (Note: If your cake rises unevenly because you have a dodgy oven like mine, just trim off the top with a serrated knife. At least you can munch on the crust as you let your cake cool!)

Pale, creamy and the paddle attachment.

Ganache ingredients:
230g dark chocolate
3/4 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons butter
  1. Chop chocolate into small pieces. (Note: If you use a serrated knife it is not only easier to chop, but you get flakey pieces that melt easily. Alternatively you can use a grater)
  2. Warm the cream on a double boiler until it is just about to boil.
  3. Remove from heat and quickly whisk in chocolate and butter until well combined. Let to cool.
To assemble, I cut the Turkish Delight into small cubes using a seriously sharp knife. Firstly pour some of the ganache on the surface of the cake.

Pile on the Turkish Delights and pistachios in any old fashion - I chose a mountain. Drizzle with more ganache to set the pieces in place. 
Finally add more ganache on the edges of the cake allowing gravity to do its job. (Like how I added some science? hehe I laugh because I was never any good at it!)

*Footnote: I didn't use all the ganache, but never fear, all you great bakers out there know you can A: freeze it and whip it out anytime you want B: make truffles or C: eat it on toast for breakfast! *Wink. Wink.*


Sunday, June 22, 2008

Who's Charlie?

I know fat chips aren't Tapas... but they came with mayonnaise, and that was yum.

I promised to start regularly blogging, but since I have just finished a couple of weeks of intense exams I have just wanted to breathe. If only for a moment.

My sister and her hubby had their birthdays (born on the same day of the same year only hours apart *cue gasp and "omg? Really? Wow!"). It was a lovely night with nice Tapas. Not fantastic eye popping Spanish tapas, but it was eatable. Service was a bit on the "um whatever" side, but nothing could get us down - even on a cold, wet winter's night in Melbourne. I guess it just added to the charm... alleyway, jazz and birthday fun.

Well here are some pictures of the so-so Tapas. At least they looked pretty!

P.s Groups of look-at-me-I-am-so-frrreakin'-hot teens. I can't stand
 them! I mean I couldn't stand them when I was at school... let alone now. What is with the skanktastic outfits when it is 8 degrees outside? Honey, it aiint cute to not wear clothes in public. What do you think? Am I being unreasonable?