Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Sharing is Caring

I made this luscious Salted Caramel and Vanilla Cheesecake for a staff morning tea today to a wonderful reception.  The entire cake lasted around 15 minutes before it was absolutely demolished by my colleagues - a fantastic compliment.  As a result, I had no time to take a beautiful picture and so today, my photograph is stolen from the Donna Hay website and I promise that it did look exactly like this! This recipe is one of my all time favourites and always goes down a treat - just usually not quite this fast.  I am so very pleased that it brought so much pleasure today.  After all, food is about bringing people together and sharing that love. 

F. x

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Pecan Perfection

I am a very lucky girl.  I am a very lucky girl because I have a very lovely neighbour who sensed my slight (enormous) desperation to bake and not only offered her oven, but also her company.  As a result, we had a fantastic afternoon baking and one of the fruits of our labour, these to-die-for Date and Pecan Pies.  The title "Date and Pecan Pies" in no way do them justice or in any way express just how delightful they are. 

To begin, we made a beautiful, buttery sweet shortcrust pastry which was no mean feat in the heat of Blackwater.  After many a roll and cut and put the pastry back in the fridge, we had twelve mini tart shells and one small flan (made with the leftover pastry - waste not, want not).  These were popped into the fridge before we did quite a few delicious things.  First, dates were chopped and soaked in copious amounts of Tia Maria.  As if that wasn't exciting enough (you simply cannot understand how much I have missed baking), luscious dark chocolate was also melted with butter and I don't need to tell you how much I adore melting chocolate.  Independently fantastic, these two were then combined with dark brown sugar and cream to form the most wonderful smelling concoction
 - heaven! 

The sickly sweet mixture was poured into our tart shells, topped with pecans and baked in the oven.  Or should I say, poured into tart shells, topped with pecans, carried across the landing and baked in Nykea's oven.  Oh, to have an oven!  What a treasure it will be! 

Out of the oven, the pies did not disappoint aesthetically. This was improved further by the ridiculous Tia Maria caramel sauce that was made so as not to waste the mixture drained off the soaked dates.  A dollop of cream and a river of sauce accompanying our dainty, homemade pies provided the perfect finale to our neighbourly evening barbeque.


F. x

Saturday, 4 February 2012

What's Cooking?

Look very closely and what you do you see? Why it's ingredients to make buttery, biscuity pastry.  Stay tuned my lovelies...someone's been baking today!

F. x

Friday, 3 February 2012


Chocolate is nature's way of making up for Mondays -- Anon.

When it all gets too much, there is but one place to go...chocolate.  I am dreaming about being able to bake these chocolate-y comfort cookies some day soon but until then I will stare longingly - as I'm sure you already are!  I have said time and time again, and strongly maintain, that staring into a bowl of melting chocolate is one of the most theraputic and calming things you can do.  Naturally, these amazing 'chunks' of heaven involve this very process.  Melted chocolate rivers gently folded with dry ingredients before yet more chocolate chips are added.  Comfort in the truest of forms, these are truly divine. 

Just what the doctor ordered.

F. x