Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas in the heat and all things sweet...

What would Christmas be without the smell of baking circling around the kitchen and the giving of gifts to those you love?  Australia always seems to be a little at odds with itself at Christmas time. There are festive decorations in the cities, songs about snow, ice and mulled wine, but all the while the sun continues to blaze outside and scorch the streets and everyone is planning their summer holidays.  It has taken me almost 6 years to adjust to Christmas in the heat, I’m not entirely sure that I ever will, but that doesn’t mean that I have to miss out on the smells and joy of Christmas baking.  A lot of Australians spend Christmas day having roast dinners at home with family and friends; even if the temperature reaches over 30C.  What can I say; those European first settlers’s traditions persist!  My Mother in Law is German and she is an expert at making ‘Gutzi’s, so much so, that she has included a selection of wheat free biscuits especially for me at Christmas time. I’m a lucky lady. 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Easter Tea Ring...five months early

A very early easter tea ring

Christmas is almost upon us but today in a break with festive tradition I made an Easter Tea Ring.  The seasons in Melbourne are somewhat out of sorts and the torrential downpour outside of the kitchen today only heightened my desire to be inside baking.  I cant believe I only have one more week left in the term before the long Christmas break over December and January.  I'm so excited to be going on holiday (our belated honeymoon to Tasmania) with David straight after Christmas but I will miss my weekly baking sessions at college.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

ich mag Kuchen

A traditional German Gugelhopf

A Gugelhopf is a traditional German sweet yeast cake filled with sultanas.  I have to be honest and admit to only ever having tried the chocolate Gugelhopf from several of the bakeries in Acland Street, St Kilda.  The chocolate Gugelhopf is certainly the perfect treat but I never realised the effort required to make a yeast based cake until we made the Gugelhopf in class.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Chelsea Buns

Currant and fruit peel yumminess
My Saturday class today turned into a comedy of errors, firstly our teacher was away and our replacement teacher was unfamiliar with the products we were making so our lesson went over time by three hours.  Three extra hours in the kitchen would usually be music to my ears but everything seemed to be going wrong, for everyone, not just me.  After a few hours or attempting to make danishes, rolling the dough and resting it, then rolling it again whilst also trying to make a Kugelhof and a set of Chelsea buns we had all but given up.  The Danishes burnt and the Gugelhopf took an age to proof.  Then, the Chelsea buns came out of the oven...success. 

Monday, October 31, 2011

Kamut Flour Cheese & Chive Scones (wheat free)

Happy Melbourne Cup Day everyone!
Melbourne has a public holiday every year for the Melbourne Cup horse race which is held at Flemington race course.  I attended the Caulfield races a few years ago and relished the opportunity to wear a lovely dress and have some bubbles by the racing track.  This year we decided to spend the day at home and relax, which gave me the inclination to make these Kamut Flour Cheese & Chive scones.

A fitting breakfast for Melbourne Cup

Honey Cake (wheat free)

I found myself at a loss this weekend with a completely free day on Saturday, my patisserie course was cancelled for the day...what to do....well I decided to pamper myself and have a facial and then bake some wheat free honey cake. 

This recipe is also dairy free but requires lots of vegetable oil instead of butter.  Honey cake originates from Israel and is traditionally served on the Sabbath and at festivals, especially at the beginning of the new year when it is served in the hope of make the year ahead even sweeter.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Today I am very flattered and delighted to have been nominated for a Liebster Blog Award by Prince Productions from her Around the World in Eighty Bakes blog! Blogging has only become a very recent hobby of mine and I love the fact that I can write about baking so much and share and read lots of recipes and ideas with other bloggers.  I am always thrilled when I get comments on my blog, so I was very surprised when I opened a comment from one of my favourite bloggers to reveal that they nominated me for an award! Thank you so much to Prince Productions who nominated me for the award!  The Around the World in Eighty Bakes blog is such a brilliant idea and I love reading all of Lauren's different recipes and being able to see how each attempt turns out!

Dough delightful!

Look at the goodies I brought home on Saturday from college….brioche….hot cross buns….Challah bread and wait for it…..cinnamon sugar dusted doughnuts!
A baked goods bounty

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Citrus scented brownies (wheat free)

We had guests staying this weekend, so I thought to myself, what more of a reason do I need to make a batch of brownies? I deviated from my usual brownie recipe and tried a version of the Jaime Oliver recipe from his 30 Minute Meals cookbook.  David bought me the cookbook for christmas last year and I have worked my way through many of the savory dishes but this is my first attempt at anything sweet from the book.

A delicious bite sized piece of brownie

Monday, October 10, 2011

An irish shindig with a few cupcakes for good measure

David and I arrived home from Sydney yesterday afternoon after a delightfully warm and indulgent trip.  The reality of work is with me in my lacklustre office on this chilly Monday morning hurry up summertime but my memories of the glorious engagement party we attended on Saturday are getting me through the day. 
We flew to Sydney on Thursday and grabbed a quick bite in Chinatown before heading over to several spots around Sydney to catch up with family.  David and I headed to Manly on the ferry on Friday; it was a perfectly lazy day which started off at the Guylian Belgian Chocolate café right beside the Sydney Opera House.  Check out my JUG of praline hot chocolate.  My first experience of praline hot chocolate certainly hit the mark. Ten out of ten Guylian – I’ll be back for more.
The JUG of Praline Hot Chocolate

Monday, October 3, 2011

Crusty Bread Rolls

Bread. How amazing is bread? A simple combination of flour, water, yeast and salt and voila…you have a loaf in your hands.  At the patisserie course on Saturday my hands got stuck into making these….

Leave the bread to rise

Freshly baked bread

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Oat cookies and track pants

This week has seen an incredible effort on my part to go to the gym everyday. I’m proud (if somewhat knackered). My gym efforts are to work off the delicious desserts and good I have been savouring at my pastry chef course on a Saturday. I’ve been working out so hard my track pants have a small hole in the leg (don’t know how it happened) so that means tonight I will be gym clothes shopping.

D & I are museli bar fanatics but our cupboards were museli bar bare so I resorted to an old oat cookie recipe which I hadn’t made in ages. I was itching to bake – you know how it is. The cookies have just enough flour (gf flour) to hold them together whilst they bake. I will endeavour to make another batch, simply so I can take some pictures.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Ice Cream Sandwich’s

Today I’m thinking about Ice Cream Sandwich’s

A cracker of an ice cream sandwich I think you will agree

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Still have my fingers!

Week two of the pastry course saw me trying to julienne carrots, finely dice onions, make a tomato concasse, zest an orange then remove neat segments, topped off with wedging a lemon; none of it is as easy as it looks – believe me. 

The French terminology is swimming in my head at the moment; Saturday was a whirlwind of chopping cutting whilst trying to keep a steady pace and most importantly trying to avoid my fingers.  The chef’s knife in my toolkit is scarily sharp, I managed a tiny nick to my index finger on my left hand and spent the day wearing my chefy blue band aid….I can guarantee this is my introduction to a long relationship with blue band aids.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Hello pastry world!

I’m on a sweet sugary high…last week I enrolled in a Certificate III in Patisserie course which means by November 2011 I will be a fully qualified pastry chef.  I am thrilled that they let me enrol with only one day before the course was due to start. My fellow classmates appear to be feeling the same way as me – stuck in a rut with a great desire to change their current paths. I feel like there is light at the end of the tunnel…finally. 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Blushing Betty

I've just found a recipe for a dessert cake called 'Blushing Betty' - how quaint...I'm adding it to the list of recipes im going to trial for the Sweetgum Bakery. Its full of rhubarby goodness, perfectly soothing during these winter months in Melbourne.

In an attempt to eventually remove myself from the 9 to 5 I'm taking myself on my own Sweetgum Bakery adventure. Im beginning to put together my favourite recipes for tea cakes, cupcakes and biscuits with the hope of running a home based bakery business in the not too distant future. I will create cakes that will not only taste devine they will also cater for people with gluten intolerance and fructose malabsorption (myself included).

D and I married a little over three months ago, im looking forward to the future (which hopefully includes a puppy) for what is yet to come, and for the cakes I havent baked yet! ;)