Monthly Archives: May 2010

Sticky Date

I have a date tomorrow. It’s mighty exciting. I’m all packed to go visit a certain boy, we’re having a reunion FINALLY after almost 6 months. Well…it’s 5 and a half but 6 sounds sooo much longer and arduous. Melbourne here I come!

Onto other deliciously food-related things, I need help. You know the delicious chocolate frosting you get with tall, handsome cakes? Well it doesn’t like me. I’m having a very difficult time making it. I tried Nancy McDermott’s version but ended up with a goopy (VERY yummy) mess. Too watery? And what is with the ‘crunchy’ icing sugar bits I can taste?

See this awesomely gorgeous frosting? That’s what I’m after. The recipe from Hershey’s is very similae to Nancy’s but I’m slightly scarred from the multiple failures I’ve encountered with this type of ‘cooked’ frosting. Any ideas? What’s your favourite frosting?

And for those of you who love cake-sticky date no less- here’s one for you. As the Australian Women’s Weekly proudly says, this recipe has been “triple tested!” I wrote it for Expat Living, a Singapore-based magazine, and it’s a very good crowd-pleaser. Then again, so are the words “chocolate fudge” and “sticky caramel”.

I am looking forward to blogging from Melbourne. We have a few foodie adventures lined up including the quest to find the yummiest cannoli and a little shimmy up Sydney Road (huge array of Middle Eastern offerings). Til then! :)


Filed under Cakes, Caramel, Frostings, Inspired, Recipes

Bite This Hot Chocolate

It’s so close I can taste it. Literally. This weekend tastes like kakigori- Japanese shaved ice drenched in matcha syrup and liberally topped with mochi balls and anko (red bean paste). It also tastes like an 80s-themed birthday party and cake. What does yours taste like?

Speaking of taste, I am happy to report that I am craving things again! Items like chocolate, burgers, green curry and of course, frozen yoghurt for lunch- all make it to the top of my list! It’s through this lesson that I learnt how phenomenally important food is to good conversation and good feelings.

Oh and I gave in and snipped my hair. I was going for Leigh Lezark but obviously my fringe isn’t quite long enough so it’s more bob-ish while I wait for it to continue growing.

In the meantime, if you love cake and hot chocolate, here’s one for us ‘innovative’ types, 2-in-1 sorta thing. Actually, it might even be one for the pudding lovers. That’s how I roll anyway.

Hot Chocolate Prune Cake (made gluten free & dairy free, adapted from The Australian Women’s Weekly)

1 1/4 cup (210g) seeded prunes
1 1/4 cup boiling water
1 tsp bicarb soda
60ml canola oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup GF flour blend
2 eggs
120g dark chocolate (55%), chopped into small chunks

1) Preheat oven to 175 degreesC. Grease a 20cm bundt tin thoroughly.

2) Combine prunes and water in the bowl of a food processor. Add baking soda and cover with lid of food processor. Stand 5 minutes.

3) In the bowl of a standing mixer, whisk the egg and sugar until double in volume and frothy. Add in the oil and whisk to combine.

4) Going back to the prunes, whizz it 3 times, 5 seconds each, until prunes look roughly chopped but not mushy.

5) Add the flour into the egg mix and whisk to combine. Add in prunes and chocolate. Mix well before pouring into the bundt tin. Bake for 50mins to 1 hour. Let cake stand for 10-15 minutes before turning out. Serve hot with chocolate sauce.

Chocolate Sauce

100ml almond milk
180g dark chocolate (55%), chopped coarsely

1) Heat chocolate in the microwave for 30 seconds on medium heat.

2) Heat milk in a small saucepan until just boiling. Slowly pour over warm chocolate in 2 additions, mixing gently after each.


Filed under Cakes, Chocolate, Fruit, Recipes

A Grand Return

Hi Folks,

I’ve actually been back from Bali for around 5 days now. But it wasn’t the copious amounts of unpacking nor was it me being busy with work that has gotten me neglecting my baking. Actually, I’ve been working very hard. Very hard at getting well. The story’s rather dreadful so let’s just do a quick summary shall we?

Lack of sleep in Bali + dehydration in Bali + DODGY TOFU in Bali = high fever + throwing up + severe food poisoning + lying in bed + no appetite + I-don’t-feel-like-being-near-food.

I think we’re on the same page now. :)

My loss of appetite is the most worrying, I feel like I’m not myself. No cravings, no wanting to make anything, no getting excited over food (just happy I can stomach it down), really, the fun in my day has been sucked out. It’s so un-fun that I don’t have any wardrobe ideas, I get writer’s block and…I just sit flipping channels on the TV. I’m worse than Homer.

Luckily, I have a tiny resemblance of what may be an appetite now. So to celebrate Friday night (because it’s the greatest event ever!!!) and to mark the start of greater appetites to come, I baked a grand chocolate chip cake.

Light crumbed, with a texture between a cupcake and a moist muffin, it really is quite grand. I picked up some local Balinese vanilla pods for around 10 bucks for a pack of around 30 and added those speckles of vanilla into the cake. The perfumed cake is then mixed with mini chocolate chips which I now know, is necessary as my regular chocolate chips sank right to the bottom. No drama though, we’ll just have an upside down chocolate chip cake then!

Grand Chocolate Chip Cakes (adapted from Lisa Yockelson’s Chocolate Chocolate)
makes 5 jumbo cupcakes or 2 fairly thin 4-inch layers

1 1/4 cup GF flour blend
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
tiny pinch of salt
1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips (I used regular sized ones)
1/3 cup flavourless vegetable oil
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
seeds from 1 vanilla pod (or 1 1/4 tsp vanilla extract)
1/4 cup almond milk
1/4 cup non-fat yoghurt

1) Preheat oven to 180 degreesC. Grease and line the bottoms of 2 x 4 inch round baking pans or cupcake tins.

2) In the bowl of a KitchenAid, fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the egg, egg yolk and sugar together until creamy (3 mins). Add in the oil and beat until emulsified.

3) Tip in the vanilla seeds, salt and the yoghurt. Beat well.

4) Whilst beating, mix the flour with the baking powder and add to the mixture in the mixer.

5) Beat until well combined, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add in the chocolate chips and mix. Pour out into the prepared pans.

6) For 4 inch cakes, I baked mine for around 30 mins. This should roughly be the same for the cupcakes since they’re smaller but are taller in height. Note: These cakes don’t rise alot so don’t expect a peaked dome.

7) Eat, feel better, top with chocolate frosting to mend those wounds, whatever your wounds may be!


Filed under Books, Breakfast, Cakes, Chocolate, Recipes