Sunday, July 1, 2012

Chocolate Mud Cake

Chocolate Mud Cake topped with a marzipan rose
A classic chocolate mud cake recipe which is not too dense and sweet.  This recipe is easy to adapt to a gluten free mixture using a gluten free pre-mixed flour blend.  This has become my go to chocolate cake recipe and it can be used to make cute cupcakes or if the recipe is doubled it could become a large tray cake. Yum!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Happy Birthday to me

A shabby chic Happy Birthday to me

I made a disastrous attempt to make some chocolate mud cupcakes for my birthday.  Disastrous as in: they exploded in the oven kind of disaster.  Given that I’m nearly a fully graduated pastry chef I was shattered that I couldn’t seem to whip up a simple batch of cupcakes.  Having realised that I used the wrong recipe I breathed a sigh of relief, laughed at myself and decided to turn the novelty cake we were making in class into my birthday cake.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Chef Secrets - Interview with Rumble Chat

Rumble Chat is a great blog created by 2 foodies to help other foodies make the most of Social Media.  They understand Social Media, and they understand food.  I was delighted when they contacted me and asked to interview me for their blog. I have copied the interview below but they have heaps of recipes from some great chefs from around the world on their blog.

Interview with Rumble Chat 
Today we hear from Australia again (the first time was interview number 40, Bev Vahland). Julie is a trainee pastry chef who also blogs at Sweetgum Bakery (as you'll find out below, she's rather partial to chocolate!). Thanks for your time Julie, stay in touch, we'd like to know what you get up to once you graduate!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Aussie scrolls for ANZAC day (wheat free)

It's a cold and wintry day in the hills today.  Given the fact that its ANZAC day tomorrow I spent the afternoon making savoury Aussie scrolls.  Cheese and tomato scrolls are an Aussie staple so here is my version.

Tomato and cheese scroll

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Vanilla anniversary biscuits

Paper is the gift given for a first wedding anniversary.  In keeping with tradition I bought my husband a writing set but I couldn't resist baking these cookies...they are supposed to be for a wedding but why not relive the happy memories on your anniversary day

vanilla biscuits pre-bake

Friday, March 16, 2012

Surprise Surprise

My in-laws are about to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary.  The kind of celebration that calls for a party, a surprise party in fact.  After several months of planning and cake deliberation my husband and I found ourselves greeting guests before the big reveal.  It was so difficult keeping the secret for over three months, I'm amazed that nobody gave it away, especially as we were expecting over 80 guests.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The spirit of Tasmania

My Husband and I had spent the latter part of 2011 planning our belated honeymoon to Tasmania. After our magnificent wedding in March we simply did not have the time to go away immediately and we waited until the end of the year for our holiday.

Tassie Devil
Little did I realise that one day I would be standing within walking distance of a Tasmanian Devil. The encounter above took place at at NatureWorld in Bicheno, Tasmania.

The old Oak tree at Bridestowe Estate

Bridestowe Estate is a hidden gem.  The fields of Lavender are hidden amongst the hills and the smell drifting across the the fields is incredible.  The cafe and the gift shop sell every possible combination of lavender scented products and goodies.  I sampled the lavender chocolate cake and helped myself to several of the lavender recipe cards to attempt upon my return to Melbourne.

Bridestowe Estate

Port Huon offered waterfront serenity, local fruit stalls and the most flavoursome dark purple cherries on offer in Tasmania with a flavour so deep they almost taste like they have been infused with vanilla.  I ate a LOT of cherries in Tasmania.

Port Huon waterfront vista
Nobody tells you about the mountainous trek to get the best view of Wine Glass bay.  Believe me, the effort is more than worth it.  My husband and I had a picnic on the beach and dipped our toes in the not so warm water.

Wine Glass Bay

Bicheno is a short drive from Freycinet national park and it offers a glimpse of the scenery to come along the east coast.  Unfortunately we didn't make it to the Bay of Fires, instead we headed west and stayed in Stanley.


Stanley proved to be the perfect spot to relax and wind down on the last few days of the trip.  We stayed in a magical cabin with its own mini lake outside, complete with its own pedal boat. We traversed The Nut on foot and braved the icy winds atop this old volcano plug.

Cray Pots in Hobart

Tasmania is renowned for its fresh produce and abundance of seafood and premium meat.  Two weeks allowed plenty of time to sample the delights in each area.  Rather than go into a detailed description of everything we ate, here is a list of my favourites:

  • The Drunken Admiral restaurant in Hobart, for the Indian spiced blue eye fillet with lime juiced yogurt and the seared scallops served on a hot rock.
  • Rosie's Gluten Free Cafe in Kettering.  Everything on the menu was an option for me which was delightful.  The seafood pie and my husbands burger were both delicious.  The dessert cabinet was packed with gf goodies.
  • Kermandie Hotel in Huonville.  A pub with remarkable views across the river and valleys.  Tasty lamb salad and excellent salmon.
  • Lark Distillery. Whilst we didn't eat here, it was a cosy spot to sample Tasmanian whisky and pepperberry vodka.
Tasmania, the apple isle, filled with adventure and devilishly good cherries...I will be returning!

The Tasmanian countryside is spectacular, it reminded me of Scotland and Ireland, rugged, green and mystical. We caught the ferry across from Melbourne to Launceston just in time to celebrate the New Year in Launceston.