Sunday, 26 September 2010

The lamest cake ever

So I have this friend at work, J.  He is super lovely and someone who takes jokes well.  It was his son's birthday recently and J kept going on about how rather than celebrating his son's second birthday everyone should celebrate that J has been a dad for 2 years. 

To my mind that didn't really call for a proper cake, but I thought something was necessary...

Friday, 24 September 2010

Pistachio and Raspberry Teacakes

It's been a long time between drinks for a Tartelette recipe.  It's not because her recipes haven't been appealing, but rather my energies have been focussed elsewhere.

However, after the delicious dark chocolate and pistachio cookies I still had more than half a bag of pistachios!  When I made those biscuits I was able to convince a friend, X, to shell the pistachios while I did some of the other steps in the recipe.  Unfortunately X was not available this time, and I had to shell them myself - boring!

Here they are baked, but undecorated.

They didn't rise much - not sure why.  I used the required amount of baking powder with plain flour. The recipe can be found here, but you should go and look at the beautiful photographs (way better than my picture of these cakes in tupperware).

Of course, I had to 'gild the lily' - and I only had enough white chocolate to do half!

Actually, I burnt the first batch of white chocolate I tried to melt.  I actually think it was to do with the bowl I used in the microwave, rather than too much time, because the chocolate burnt after 30 seconds in the microwave and the second batch needed almost 2 minutes in total to melt.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

A farewell lunch

I'm moving cities in a couple of weeks time - and G has already gone ahead.  To celebrate/commiserate we decided to go out to Poacher's Pantry for lunch.

We shared the delicious seafood platter

Smoked salmon, smoked trout (chilli and plain), taramasalata, antipasto and dips with a healthy portion of bread and crackers to enjoy with it all.

Poacher's Pantry is famous for the smoked meats - before it was a cafe it was a producer of smoked meats distributed through the Canberra region.  However, they should be equally famous their desserts (in my opinion)!

Blackberry shortcakes - delicious (and G's chocolate fondant was delightful too!)

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Cupcakes galore!

A couple of weekends ago I went to Handmade Market for Markets in Bloom. The Handmade Markets are amazing, and have spawned a successful shop in the City in Canberra, Shop Handmade.  It was actually my first trip to the markets, but I am a regular shop attendee.

The most exciting part was the variety of cupcakes on offer.

Red Velvet and Black Forest from Sweet Petite (facebook link, sorry)

Top row - cake pop and mocha cupcake from pARTycakes
Bottom row - black forest and lemon meringue from A Moment on the Lips

Black Forest v Black Forest
That dark purple icing looks amazing... and was super light and fluffy.  The white was too buttery... (G disagreed, he loved the super butteryness)

And then we ate a couple of macarons for good measure.

Friday, 17 September 2010

Dark chocolate and pistachio cookies

I took these biscuits to work and a colleague said to me 'you sure don't like to leave any of the good stuff out, and by good stuff I mean the not-good-for-you stuff' so be warned, these are not low-cal diet friendly!  But oh, so delicious, or lush as another work colleague described.

The biscuits were a little tricky to make, not due to a complex recipe and not too many ingredients, but I am staying at a friend's house and had to use all her equipment - all I can say is, I love my kitchen aid stand mixer!  The paddle would have been IDEAL for this super thick cookie batter.

Don't the pistachios look so tempting just poking out of the mixture?

All in all, I was quite happy with how close they looked to 'the book'.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Ticings score!

woohoo - I ordered some cake tattoos.  Specifically I bought ticings:

My favourite is probably the sausage dogs above, but the dragons below are adoreable too!I think the mini ticings are the best - still plenty of room to do some decoration whether it's with cachous, more icing or shredded coconut.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Pumpkin, leek and brie tart

Not my finest moment... For some reason the pastry case did not stick together very well!  I used my long tray and 2 sheets of pastry and that I roll together to ensure the base is even all the way along.  For what ever reason the pastry sheets lifted as I poured in the egg mixture and it started to drip out while it was in the oven - thankfully as the tart cooked the egg mixture became too thick to drip through and it was ok... but there were some tense moments!

As you can see, the filling is a little low!

Taste wise, a standard quiche mixture, nice combination of the sweet leeks and roast pumpkin, nothing special.

Monday, 6 September 2010

Currently craving: cake tattoos!

Have you heard about cake tattoos?  There are a few brands out there - just Google 'edible cake tattoo' or 'edible cake transfer'  The idea is simple, edible paper with cute prints to decorate the tops of cupcakes!

I think my favourite is Ticings - have a look at their website here!

Ticings have flowers/plants, little sausage dogs, a variety of 'happy birthday' plaques and even some transfers that look like sushi!  The Ticings transfers are round and go on cupcakes.

If you are after something a bit more 'modern' have a look at Duff - here.  You can use these ones on the tops or sides of cakes, or cut them up and use for cupcakes (or cookies).

I've tried to find Australian versions, but the best I have found is Disney prints!  I'm a little bit past the princess stage though.

You can also send companies photographs and they will print it out onto edible paper and you can put that on top of cake - but that creeps me out a little to tell you the truth.

Friday, 3 September 2010

Linguine with sage and walnut pesto

This was really good.  I must admit, I wasn't sure that it would be, I was worried that the sage would be over powering, but the parsley and the walnuts really balanced it out nicely.

Poured over some linguine, mixed with some roasted cherry tomatoes... delicious.  And looking much like the magazine picture!

This was super easy to do too - just a bunch of sage + half a bunch of parsley + half a cup walnuts + regular pesto ingredients, but not basil - garlic if you want, S and P, olive oil and some toasted pine nuts....  try it!

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Joy Cupcakes

I came across a little cupcake stand at a shopping centre in Melbourne on the weekend - Joy Cupcakes at Doncaster Shoppingtown.

This little box of 2 was called 'double the joy' - cute.  We had red velvet (left) and toffee apple (right).  I didn't like the apple cake - too much cinnamon (which I don't like as a general rule) but the icing was yum scrum!  The red velvet cake was good and the icing was a really nice light cream cheese.

Actually I think the icings were both meringue based which made them SUPER smooth, but felt like there wasn't much there - it disappeared in my mouth too quickly and the flavours were a bit subtle.  I don't think cupcake icing should be subtle!

To try for yourself (or just enjoy the website if you aren't local) have a look at their site.