Special Occasions

Date: June 2015
My partner's birthday... prefect opportunity to make my favourite cake... carrot cake! I have used this recipe for years, from 'All Recipes'. 

I topped this cake with cream cheese icing; I doubled the butter on this recipe; and mixed the cream cheese and butter till it has whiten, usually around 3 - 5 minutes. 

A little twist for this cake, I sometimes add is 1 tablespoon of orange or tangelo zest to the mixture, along with 1 tablespoon of juice. On top of the icing, I added pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, more zest, chopped walnuts. 
Carrot cake with cream cheese icing

Date: May 2015
With so many over ripe avocado's I finally had an excuse to make Dr Libby's Avocado and Lime Pie! And what a delicious pie it was! I was a bit skeptical about avocado and lime together, but it really is gorgeous! The coconut flavour from the coconut oil and shredded coconut just adds another magical component to the dish. It's not too sweet like most pies/cheese cakes, so you don't feel sickly afterwards. Even my partner friends who would consider themselves 'blokes' enjoyed it. So here is the recipe for you to enjoy too:

Avocado & Lime Pie

Dr.Libby Weaver & Chef Cynthia Louise. Dr. Libby's Real Food Kitchen. Little Green Frog Publishing Ltd. 2013. Pg 261.

1 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
Medjool dates, pitted and roughly chopped
1 tablespoon Tahini
1 tablespoon water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste

2 large ripe avocados
1/4 cup lime juice
1 tablespoon psyllium husk
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons maple syrup
pinch of salt
1/2 cup coconut oil, in liquid form

Place all the base ingredients in a blender or food processor and pulse until well combined but sticky.
Line a 21cm rough springform cake tin with greaseproof paper. Spread the base mixture into the tin and place in the fridge until set and the filling is ready.
Place all the filling ingredients except the coconut oil in a blender or food processor and process on high speed for 2-3 minutes until smooth and silky. Slowly drizzle in the coconut oil and process at a low speed.
4 Pour the avocado mixture over the chilled base and place in the freezer ideally overnight, but for at least 2-3 hours until set and ready to serve.

Avocado & Lime Pie
Enjoy!! x

Date: April 2015
My youngest is now 1!! I now really love the saying 'the days are long but the years are short!' Sometimes, this is sooo true!! My three year old and I baked some Donna Hay's "Gingerbread cupcakes" with honey and butter icing for his 1st birthday celebration. These cupcakes are amazing, they have a delicious sweetness to them, but they aren't too sweet, because of the hint of ginger. I love anything with ginger in it, so that might be why these are my new cupcakes of choice!

Gingerbread Cupcakes
Gingerbread cupcakes
1 1/2 cups (225g) self raising (self-rising) flour, sifted
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
3/4 cup (165g) brown sugar
125g unsalted butter, softened
2 eggs
1/3 cup (80ml) milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
22x 5cm store-brought gingerbread men biscuits

Honey butter icing
250g unsalted butter, softened
1 3/4 cups (280g) icing (confectioner's) sugar, sifted
1/4 cup (90g) honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 Preheat oven to 160C (325F). Place the flour, ginger mixed spice, sugar, butter, eggs, milk and vanilla in the bowl of a electric mixer and beat on medium speed for 6 minutes or until pale and smooth. Spoon the mixture into 12 x 1/2 cup capacity (125ml) tins lined with cupcakes cases. Cake for 22-25 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Place on a wire rack to cool completely. 
2 To make the honey butter icing, place the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat for 6-8 minutes or until pale and creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the icing sugar, honey and vanilla and beat for a further 10-15 minutes or until pale and fluffy. 
3 To decorate, crush 10 of the biscuits to a fine powder and set aside. Spoon the icing onto the cupcakes and smooth with a palette knife. Roll in the crushed gingerbread to coat and top each cupcake with a gingerbread man biscuit to serve. Makes 12. 

Note: As you can see in the photo above, I used tiny teddies instead of the recommended gingerbread men biscuits, only because I couldn't find the gingerbread men at the supermarket, so substituted tiny teddies :) 

Date: February 2015

Just had my boys 3rd birthday party (how time flys!), I thought I would share with you the dessert/cakes I made as I got lots of comments about the ice cream 'cake' which was done so cheaply and quickly!

I wanted to serve up ice cream with his cake as my son loves ice cream (and rarely gets it!), and I thought this would be a fun way to do so. All I did was, tipped a container of ice cream upside down on a plate, poured choc-ice (runny chocolate sauce that goes hard when it sets) over top of it, quickly tipped a bag of m&m's on top of that and then put the ice cream 'cake' into the freezer. Quickest 'cake' I have ever made!

Chocolate Brownies!! 
Champion flour (Recipe can be found on the back of their standard flour bag)

200gm butter, room temperature

1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 cup cocoa
eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup standard flour
150g chocolate, roughly chopped
Icing sugar to dust

I usually add more chocolate to the recipe, around a full block of chocolate, minus one line ;) so that's roughly 200gms. You can also use nuts instead of chocolate in this recipe, add 3/4 cup of nuts, walnuts are recommended.

1 Preheat oven to 150C (about 302 degrees F) and grease a 20cm (about 8 inches) baking tin/pan. 

With an electric mixer on high speed beat butter, sugar and cocoa for 4-5 minutes, until creamy. (The batter will be crumbly to start off with, but it will come together. 
Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. 
Stir in flour and chocolate, and transfer mixture to greased baking tin. 
Bake for 45-60 minutes, or until the surface of the brownie appears cracked. The centre should appear almost uncooked. 
Cool in the tin and cut into squares. Dust with icing sugar before serving. 

Chocolate brownies

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