Entries Tagged as 'Cake'

Fast, gooey, St Valentine’s day bake


I’m not a Valentines Dayist, but since I have these heart-shaped ramekins (thanks to Miss Woolly), a block of extraordinary chocolate and a rather fast pudding recipe, I have whipped up a St Valentine’s bake.

le creuset pots 1 680x566 Fast, gooey, St Valentines day bake

As with all baking, it’s no surprise that the quality of your ingredients makes all the difference.

This chocolate from Belgium is blisteringly fancy. It’s dark, bitter and expensive. Well I think it is, it was a gift, along with a long strip of handmade vanilla bean marshmallow. Amazing they both are.

carre chocolate 680x510 Fast, gooey, St Valentines day bake

Chocolate St Valentine’s day puds:
125 grams dark chocolate of the most amazing quality
125 grams unsalted butter
3 eggs
3/4 cup caster sugar
2 tablespoons of spelt flour
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees, grease your ramekins – heart-shaped or not.

Melt the butter and choc in a bowl over a simmering pan.

Whisk eggs, sugar, flour and vanilla together, then whisk in chocolate mixture.

Pour into your ramekins, which I place on one large baking tray, then into the oven for 10-12 mins.

They’re done once the top is just set. Don’t be tempted to leave them longer or you won’t get the dark, gooey middle.

Serve with saucy love.

three chocolate puddings 680x510 Fast, gooey, St Valentines day bake

Cupcake girl


Cupcake Girl from Pamela Reed + Matthew Rader on Vimeo.

We are all equally afflicted by cupcakes. It seems there’s no escaping these bite-sized noms of deliciousness. This video is made by the lovely Pamela and Matthew over at Meowzas.

The great Australian pavlova


IMG 2044 680x510 The great Australian pavlova

I mentioned in my trifle post that one of the best side effects of custard making is egg whites for pavlova, and here’s mine from Christmas day.

My mum and, actually, come to think of it, most of my family are pretty good at making pavs. It would be an embarrassment as an Australian not to be able to make one, as we invented the lovely thing*.

There’s a few basic requirements for a successful pav:
• a good clean steel bowl
• pure egg whites unpolluted by yolk
• a slow oven and trained householders who won’t open it

Pavs are bascially a process of beating and drying.

Beat 6 egg whites, adding 1 cup castor sugar and 1/4 cup regular granular sugar slowly.
Before they reach stiff peaks, add a tablespoon of cornflour and a tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar.

When the whites make stiff, glossy peaks, slop six spoonfuls onto a baking sheet covered in baking paper.

Smooth the blobs together to make a circle, add any more whites on top of your circle.

I took a palette knife and made stripes up the side, so the pav went into the oven as a dome.

I baked it in a slow oven, around 150 degrees, for 40 minutes, or until lightly golden, then left it in there to dry out over night.

Dairy fans can fill it with whipped cream, I just dropped a punnet of blueberries on the top.

*highly contentious! My best Kiwi friend can’t stop claiming the invention of the pav EVERY time we’re in a cake shop. I say they get Russell Crowe and Mel Gibson, we have the pav. Fair trade, non?

Taking Acland Street for granted


IMG 21321 680x906 Taking Acland Street for granted

As a St Kilda local, I very much took Acland Street and its bevvy of cake shops completely for granted.

I’ve just had the pleasure of directing my in-laws down there for a spot of touristing, and they brought me back this beautiful meringue.

I can’t bring myself to eat it, but it was a giant fluffy reminder that a row of creamy European cakes is a rarity, even for well-travelled Brits.

Christmas trifle Australian-style


IMG 2041 680x510 Christmas trifle Australian style
I’m non-stop gluten and dairy-free, but that didn’t stop my family requesting a trifle for Christmas day.

Nana is no longer able to answer questions about how she used to do trifle, but I remembered her saying “sherry makes you merry”, so I sloshed on plenty.

My recipe is below:

Cake layer:
1 x cheap and nasty jam roll from the supermarket
1 x bottle sherry

Jelly layer:
1 x packet of gelatine
1 x bottle sparkling rose

Custard layer:
1 x pint cream
1 x vanilla pod, split, seeded
6 eggs

1 x punnet strawberries, cut into heart shapes

Cream layer:
1 x pint (600ml) thickened cream
2 x teaspoons sugar
1 x punnet blueberries

Cut up sponge as you like and layer in the base of the bowl. Slosh with sherry so that it all appears wet with the good liquor.

Lay some blueberries on top of the sponge.

Make 600mls of jelly following instructions on the gelatine packet, only use champers instead of water. Don’t forget to add a load of sugar. Gourmet traveller has a nice way with champagne jelly. Chill in fridge until nearly set, then layer onto sponge.

While the jelly is cooling, make your custard. Or just buy some. I like the Mary Berry traditional custard method, which I used here.

Your custard needs to cool before adding on top of the jelly layer, so while this is happening, cut your strawberries into heart shapes.

I slice three good centre sections out of each strawberry, then trim the natural dip in the top for a more rounded strawberry shape.

Place the hearts around the edge of the bowl. Pressing them well into the glass will keep them visible once you pour in the custard. Do this next. Chill again, then add a layer of whipped cream.

Top with whatever you like – nuts, blueberries, honeycomb. Then nom heartily.

Guess what? They side effect of using all those eggs for the custard is that you have leftover eggs for a pavlova, and that’s coming up next.

Cookies at London Fashion Week


lau cookie 680x510 Cookies at London Fashion Week

It’s London Fashion Week once more. So yesterday, in between blasts of sunlight and showering rain, I ducked into the exhibition in Somerset House.

It’s a cliche that everyone in fashion is skinny. There’s plenty of body shapes to go around, and shapeliness at the exhibition was aided by these delicious Millies cookies.

The busy one was at Lu Flux, the dollface cookie was at Elizabeth Lau‘s stand.

I didn’t taste them (gluten, yawn), but I did ditch the fashion and head to St Ali for a brilliant latte and fruity granola. Fashion and nom = a Shoesandcake day in heaven.

cookie 680x510 Cookies at London Fashion Week

Raspberry tart in the Marais: miam


raspberry tart 339x254 Raspberry tart in the Marais: miam

A wee raspberry tart we bought in the Marais in Paris. I have been told that French bakers and pâtissières don’t like it when you take photos of their goods, even if you write who it’s by and where to get it. So that meant buying a lot of cake last time we were in Paris. We’re also growing our own autumn-fruiting raspberries in our front yard, although they’re only in their first season, so fruit is unlikely, I’m told.

Monsieur cupcake from Cakey Perry


cakey perry 2 339x224 Monsieur cupcake from Cakey Perry
Monsieur Cupcake from the Cakey Perry event brougt to us by @MissCakehead. I think this one is made by @Leshielovescake. Correct me if I’m wrong. Either way, he’s a dude.

Notting Hill Carnival cupcakes


The queues for the traditional jerk chicken at Notting Hill Carnival today were immense. I casually said “Let’s eat cake instead” and lo, on yonder front fence, a cupcake stand stood.

cupcake stand notting hill 680x510 Notting Hill Carnival cupcakes

While some of the locals in the more impressive Georgian mansions boarded up their homes and nervously waited the arrival of rioting youffs (I imagine), others made the crowds welcome.

notting hill carnival 2 680x906 Notting Hill Carnival cupcakes

The two loves selling homemade cupcakes for 1.50 out the front of their place were smiling, friendly and doing a roaring trade. It was lucky, although not entirely surprising that the carnival had an atmosphere of joy and silliness rather than rioting and hooliganism. I really didn’t believe that bastardry could kick off to the extent it did during the riots given the vast numbers of people of good will on the ground. Good triumphed over rascalage and cake triumphed over jerk.

My shoes for the day, FYI, were a free pair of River Island suede Isabel Marant-alikes. Thanks press office.

Loafer club: Dolce Vita



leopard loafers shoesandcake 494x315 Loafer club: Dolce Vita

DV loafers, 79 from ASOS.


Loafer club is the name I give to the ladies, and girls, who walk to the bus or the train with me everyday. Those in the club may well have a heel or two stashed in their handbag for inspiring fear in the office, but on the morning walk, they are a practical and comfortable bunch.

Comfortable lounge shoes are your ticket to entry, and that doesn’t mean they have to be boring and black. Animal print is most welcome, nay, encouraged. A slipper is the new evolution of the loafer, it denotes a casual nonchalance and relaxed approach to loaf life*.

Those not in the club include the white trainer wearer. There are comfortable shoes outside your joggers, you know.

To wit, DV by Dolce Vita, a label stocked on ASOS and also on their own store. 79 quid is well within my range, and I like the way these are made – stitched to a solid sole.

I learned a loafer lesson last year. Don’t buy rubber soles, they peel away, you trip over their lose front and they cost as much as leather-soled numbers like these.

Loafer club is not limited to the 40 something, though you might associate these shoes with your mum. They have an ironic touch on the young, in much the same way as drinking a pint of water at a party raises an eyebrow, when all expect it’s vodka.

*slightly overstating significance of said shoe.


dolce vita loafers shoesandcake Loafer club: Dolce Vita

DV Koko slip on flat, 69 from Dolcevita.com