I am older

It was my birthday on Monday! True story. I feel a bit like I’m letting you guys down though… I haven’t been taking nearly enough photos of baked goods lately. I even had a birthday tea party on Saturday with Oreo cupcakes and lemon meringue and everything, but I was so busy birthday-ing that I forgot to take any photos. Oh dear.

On Monday however I did remember to take at least SOME photos, thank goodness. I got to spend my birthday with one of my favorite friends, which was SUCH a treat, it was the best day. We went to Superette for breakfast…

superette

superette inside

And I had French toast with Nutella, banana, mascarpone, toasted almonds, berries and bacon. YUM. I think it should be compulsory to always have Nutella french toast on one’s birthday.

superette_breakfast

And there was a weird cow and snake ornament in the bathroom, so we had to take a photo of it.

superette weird cow

Then we went to JC le Roux for a champagne tasting! They pair the champagnes with nougat, chocolate, meringues and marshmallows. It was really awesome, if you are ever in Cape Town you should definitely go.

JC le Roux

JC le Roux champage tasting

We ended off the day with drinks at Bungalow to watch the sun set, although by then my photo taking had tapered off, it seems. Oh well. It was a lovely day :) x

Posted in Cape Town, Personal | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Two New Spatula Posts

I did a tarte au citron recipe for Spatula the other day….

tartelette au citron

and also an article on cookie mistakes and how to avoid them.

cookie mistakes

Hope you enjoy them :)

Posted in Awesome Stuff | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Nice Things #5

I love posting snaps from my cell phone camera every now and again. Here is the fifth installment. Enjoy.

square3Some vanilla cupcakes I made, and the road to Silvermine Nature Reserve.

square2A ceramic horsey (too awesome, isn’t he?) from one of my cleverest friends, and a cupcake t-shirt from two other wonderful friends.

square4Queen of Tarts treats at the Neighborgoods Market, and a flat white from Dear Me.

square1

Christmas Lindt bear (yay!) from Vida, and the view of the mountain walking to work one morning. When I see that I feel like everything is going to be OK. :)

Posted in Cape Town, Nice Things | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Pink & White & Green

Here are some pink, white and green cupcakes I made for an order the other day. I hope you like them! x

white_cupcakes

pink_cupcakes

green_cupcakes

green and white cupcakes

Posted in My Cupcake Recipes | Tagged , | 16 Comments

Some Healthy(ish) Baking

January was all about healthy eating over at Spatula magazine. It’s quite tough to put ‘baking’ and ‘healthy’ in the same sentence, as I’m sure you’ll all appreciate, but I did try. Here are the recipes I came up with last month, I hope you enjoy them. The cookies and the carrot cake are both super easy. The tart is slightly more laborious, but totally worth it, I promise :)

granola_cookiesGranola Cookies (like chocolate chip cookies, but healthier).

carrot_cakeCarrot cake and lemon icing.

peach tartPeach and almond tart.

That’s me. Bye for now. x

Posted in Recipes | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

Valentines Day Cookies (Sort Of)

valentines_cookies-5

I never really liked pink when I was a kid, I don’t think, and so it would seem that at some point in my twenties I unconsciously started making up for it. My kitchen is full of red and pink stuff, and I absolutely can’t get enough of it. I’m not sure what’s wrong with me. And when I found big packets of pink smarties on my Monday morning grocery shop, I was extremely pleased with the universe.

valentines_cookies-2

I’m not the biggest fan of Valentines day, but hey, if it comes with pink smarties then I’m all for it. Right? So I decided to make pink smartie cookies. (For those Americans out there, Smarties are kind of like M&M’s). Here is the recipe if you want to try them:

Ingredients:

  • 115g butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt (only if you used unsalted butter)
  • 300g smarties

valentines_cookies-3

Instructions:

  1. Cream the butter and the sugars together until pale and fluffy.
  2. Add the eggs, and mix well.
  3. Then add the flour, baking soda and salt and mix well again.
  4. Lastly mix in the smarties.
  5. Wrap the dough in cling film, and chill in the freezer for 1 hour (or overnight).
  6. Preheat your oven to 180°C.
  7. Roll balls of dough and place them on a baking sheet lined with baking paper (NOT wax paper). Remember to leave enough space in between balls to accomodate for the cookies expanding.
  8. Flatten the balls slightly with your fingers and place the tray in the fridge for 10 minutes before baking.
  9. Bake for 8-10 minutes until the cookies are golden brown but not firm.

And there you go! Pink smartie cookies are yours to eat, or give away. Enjoy! x

Posted in Recipes | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

It’s that time of year again…

Valentines day is coming up. Definitely the best part of this is that I get to bake pink and red things (my favorite colour combination) without people thinking I’m too strange. Win. These are some cupcakes I made last year roundabout this time, you can go have a look at them here.

valentines_cupcakes2

Stay tuned for more pink and red baked goods later in the week.  (And in the mean time this article on Parent Map also has some great baking ideas.) x

Posted in My Cupcake Recipes | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Kit Kat Love ♥

A while ago I wrote a post about things I want to eat around the world, one of them being a green tea Kit Kat in Tokyo. Well, since then two awesome things have happened. First my amazing Japanese aunt (OK she’s not technically Japanese, but she does live there and she speaks the language) sent me a Kit Kat hamper! It was definitely one of my top Christmas presents. And secondly, I’ve booked flights to Asia, and I’ll be in Japan to eat a ton more Kit Kats in March. I can hardly believe it. Anyway, here are some pics of my Kit Kats.

kitkats-4

kitkats-1

Sweet potato chocolates (delicious!) and the famous Japanese green tea Kit Kat.

kitkats-2

Mont Blanc Kit Kat (based on the French Mont-Blanc aux marrons, which is a dessert of pureéd, sweetened chestnuts topped with whipped cream) and on the right Strawberry Kit Kat bites.

kitkats-3

And lastly, my favorite, bitter-sweet Kit Kat. This one is amazing! I guess I love bitter-sweet flavour combinations, like coffee and chocolate. But really, if you ever get a chance, you should try this.

You can see a ton more Japanese Kit Kats here. (But make use of Google Translate, or you’ll be lost). Bye for now, friends. x

Posted in Awesome Stuff, Personal | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

Moustache Cupcakes

Is the moustache trend over yet? I hope not! Because I only made these cupcakes on Monday. And they turned out pretty awesome, if I do say so myself. My husband will find any reason to grow a moustache – Moustache March, Movember, Tache-tober, you name it – so he was pretty stoked with them as well.

[Above image from Oh Dear Molly on Etsy]

So, for all you guys (and ladies) out there who dig moustaches, here are my moustache cupcakes. :)

moustache_cupcakes-2

moustache_cupcakes-5

moustache_cupcakes-3

Bye for now! :)

UPDATE: I purchased my moustache moulds from TAKEALOT here. They took a while to arrive, but I think it was worth it. x

Posted in Man Cupcakes, My Cupcake Recipes | Tagged , , | 19 Comments

Just Peachy

I guess everyone must be getting sick of us Capetonians complaining about the heat, and I know talking about the weather is boring, so I won’t go on forever about how we’ve been melting away. Thankfully Saturday and Sunday were lovely and rainy, and I never thought I’d be this grateful for non beach weather.

There are so many great things about summer – the beach, the beautiful summer evenings, eating ice cream, cloudless skies and amazing views of Table Mountain when you walk out of the office… And the great thing about this time of year in SA is that the grocery stores are full of tons and tons of amazing fresh berries and fruit. Including peaches. Which is what I was getting to with all my rambling. The peach, in my mind, is the ultimate dessert fruit. What can be as easy and delicious as peaches and cream after supper? I’ve collected some yummy looking peach recipes for you to enjoy, here they are. Enjoy! :)

peaches and mascarpone

peach barsPeach Cupcakes

peachpeach galette

peach and almond tart

  1. Peaches and Mascarpone Cream from Pink Basil
  2. Peach Crumb Bars from Brown Eyed Baker
  3. Peach Cupcakes from Week of Menus
  4. Peaches and Cream Cupcakes from the Cupcake Project
  5. Orange Peaches on Pinterest
  6. Peach Galette from Simply Recipes
  7. My Peach and Almond Tart on Spatula
Posted in Baking Trends | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

Happy New Year! (And some confessions)

happy_new_year

Happy new year to you, faithful readers. I’ve had a good relaxing holiday, and am slowly getting back into things. If you’re having a shortage of baked goods on your screen, you can go have a look at my peach and almond tart over at Spatula, before I move on to more serious things.

It’s been just over a YEAR since I published my first blog post. So much has happened since then, I’ve loved running this blog, and I think I’ll continue it for some time still. But  first I thought it was time to talk to you about a few things.

Those of you who are fellow bloggers will know that it’s sometimes a VERY strange thing, putting oneself onto the internet (so to speak). Blogging means you present very carefully selected bits of yourself and your life to, literally, the whole wide world. And apart from sometimes worrying about privacy, what people will think and so on (although I think I am over most of that now) I sometimes feel, well, kind of like a hypocrite. I mean, you guys get to see all the pretty things that come out of my kitchen and get to hear about some of the fun things I do, but you never get to see the real me. She is kind of hard to put in a blog. :) So I think it’s time to tell you some other things about myself. Here goes.

First, I am not always happy and smiley and my kitchen doesn’t always look nice. Maybe you are saying, duh, that’s obvious. But like I said before, the thing I sometimes hate about blogging is it feels like everyone pretends to be happy with amazing lives all the time!

Second, a LOT of the things I attempt baking fail miserably the first time, and then I have to try again. And often there are kitchen meltdowns (like in this scene from Julie & Julia). Obviously I don’t always have time and energy to post the “flops” on here, but they happen, believe me.

My third confession is that sometimes I just avoid the kitchen for days on end, because I am sick of it. (You probably guessed).

There are so many other things I could tell you, but for now I’ll end with one last confession: I believe in a God (please don’t judge me, I do) who is sovereign and will one day set everything right. That’s what gets me out of bed on those mornings when I’m NOT smiley and happy and life is not amazing.

OK, thanks for listening. And all the best for 2012 to you all again! :)


Posted in Personal | 7 Comments

The World’s Most Amazing Blueberry Muffins

I absolutely love these blueberry muffins (I found the recipe over at Joy the Baker). The browned butter and blueberries are just the most amazing combination. They are my husband’s favorite too, and so I just had to make them for our anniversary weekend. Miraculously we still have some left in the freezer for a rainy day… Actually, I might defrost them right now while I’m thinking about it. Even though it’s not raining. Here is the recipe:

blueberry_muffins1

Browned Butter Blueberry Muffins (adapted from Joy the Baker)

Makes 12 muffins.

Ingredients:

  • 100g butter
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups blueberries (fresh is best, but frozen works too)

For the Topping:

  • 3 Tablespoons cold butter
  • 1/2 cup cake flour
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons sugar
blueberry_muffins2

  1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C.
  2. Set aside a muffin pan with 12 muffin/cupcake liners.
  3. Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat, until the butter starts turning brown (you’ll have to keep a close eye on it).  Remove it from the heat immediately.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk the milk, egg and yolk together. Add the brown butter and stir to combine.
  5. Now stir in the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Gently but thoroughly fold in the blueberries.
  6. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups.
  7. To make the topping, combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and rub together with your fingertips (a similar process to making crumble topping).  Sprinkle evenly over the batter.
  8. Bake until golden and a cake tester comes out clean, about 18-20 minutes.

blueberry_muffins

These are most delicious when they are fresh! But you can also store them in an airtight container of freeze them. Enjoy :)

Posted in Recipes | Tagged , | 7 Comments

Nice Things #4

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and are enjoying a relaxing holiday.

Some photos, from the top: 1) train trip to Kalk Bay, 2) cuties in my kitchen, 3) white chocolate cupcakes made by my friend Marina, 4) a find from a second hand book stall in Greyton, 5) scones and tea at Florentines, 6) my favorite TV show right now, 7) breakfast and War & Peace in Greyton, 8) view from our room at the Post House, Greyton.

photos-2photos-4photos-3

photos-1

Posted in Cape Town, Nice Things | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Adventures with Canderel Yellow

A while ago Canderel Yellow sent me the BEST baking hamper I think I’ve ever received – full of cookie cutters, sprinkles, decorations, a rolling pin, a pastry brush. You name it, it was there. For those of you who don’t know, Canderel Yellow is a new low calorie sweetener that’s made with sucralose (just in time for summer and diets).  I finally got round to trying out one of their recipes – a coffee pecan cake with coffee icing.

Here are some pictures of my presents, and the end result.

canderel_yellow-1

canderel_yellow-2

canderel_yellow-5canderel_yellow-4

canderel_yellow-3

The cake tasted great, although I must admit I am a loyal fan of pure cane sugar, and I’d really rather use it and go for a run the next day than not :)

Thank you Canderel for letting me try out your new product, I had fun!

Posted in Awesome Stuff | Tagged , | 5 Comments

Our Christmas Tree

This is our Christmas tree! My husband’s family made it for us, so I can’t take any credit :) But I did love taking photos of it.

christmas_tree-1

christmas_tree-4

christmas_tree-2

Merry Christmas friends, I hope your holidays are wonderful and relaxing. x

Posted in Personal | Tagged , | 2 Comments