• Liebster Award banner

    Liebster Award #5

    Good morning bookworms! I am so sorry that I have been away most of this last week. Between travel for work, getting a terrible chest infection (which I still have) and basically falling asleep every time I pick up a book, as well as continuing to make a DnD character for our new game that starts in a week AND playing the Bookish Games, I’ve had a lot on… and I think I need more naps. I definitely need to get over this chest infection. My face, throat and chest…

  • Liebster Award banner

    Liebster Award #3

    Good morning bookworms! The gorgeous Siobhan @ Siobhan’s Novelties has tagged me in the Liebster Award. Thank you Siobhan!!! I’ve done this one a couple of times now, but as the questions always change it never feels old. (And I love that!!) If you aren’t following Siobhan’s blog, then please go and amend that error now – it’s filled with some really great content (her Top 10 Tuesday posts are usually really funny and right on the mark)! Rules Acknowledge the blog that gave it to you and display the…

  • Mixed berry cheesecake

    Summer in Australia can be brutal – and as we move towards the end of the seemingly constant stream of 30°C plus days, I felt the need to indulge in a light, cool dessert.  Lo and behold, the mixed berry cheesecake.  Yum! Ingredients 250g plain biscuits (I use Arnott’s Butternut Snap, so an ‘oaty’ biscuit is great) 100g butter 250g cream cheese 1/2 cup sugar 1/2 cup thickened cream 1 tsp lemon zest 1 tsp lemon juice 3 tsp powdered gelatine dissolved in 1/4 cup boiling water 2 cups mixed…

  • Hummingbird cake

    This cake is a favourite – it’s sweet and moist, but not over the top.  It has that fulfilling ‘tea cake’ feel to it, which I think comes through with the cinnamon and fruit taste to it.  And if you like Banana Bread, then you should absolutely love this too! Ingredients 1 cup plain flour 1/2 cup self raising flour 1 tsp ground cinnamon 1/2 tsp bi-carb soda 3/4 cup caster sugar 2 eggs 1/2 cup vegetable oil 2 bananas, mashed 200g crushed pineapple in juice, not drained Method Preheat…

  • Carrot cake

    There is absolutely nothing better in autumn than home made carrot cake, made with the carrots you’ve pulled out of your garden.  Autumn is the season I associate with apples, carrots, pumpkin and falling leaves – this is mostly because I always forget to plant my carrots until mid-end of spring! The cake itself is dairy-free and nut-free, but if you would like to add Cream Cheese Frosting or walnuts, then you absolutely have that option (I like both!). Ingredients 1.5 cups self-raising flour 1.25 cups brown sugar 1 tsp…

  • Orange and Poppyseed Cake

    There is nothing I like better than a tart citrus-based cake…  Well, except a really good chocolate cake!  But orange and poppyseed is definitely one of my favourites. Ingredients 50g butter 2 tbsp grated orange rind 1 cup caster sugar 1 eggs 1/4 cup orange juice 1 cup self-raising flour 2 tbsp poppyseeds 1/3 cup milk Method Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan forced), and grease a 6cm/2″ deep, 22cm/9″ round cake tin. Add butter, rind, sugar, egg, orange juice, flour and milk into a large bowl and mix well. Add…

  • Apple and cinnamon tea cake

    My parents have a small hobby farm where we grew up.  On the farm we had some cattle, horses, chicken and the occasional sheep that escaped from the neighbours.  We also had an small orchard, as my mum is great with plants.  There were peaches, plums, nectarines, apricots and apples. Every year when the summer was finishing up and the leaves were starting to turn we would collect the apples into milk crates and bring them into the house, where we would peel, core and chop them.  Then we would…

  • Chocolate Brownies

    Brownies are one of those magical things that have migrated from the US, along with Coca-Cola, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Hallowe’en.  And the best brownies are slightly gooey in the middle… just like these ones! Ingredients 125g unsalted butter, melted 3 eggs 1.5 cups white sugar 3/4 cup plain flour 1/4 cup cocoa powder (Dutch cocoa powder is the best) 1 teaspoon vanilla extract pinch of salt 125g dark chocolate, chopped Method Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan forced). Grease a 20cm or 9″ slice tin and line with baking paper.…

  • Goals for 2017

    I am relatively new to blogging.  I’ve wanted to do it for a long time, but just never quite got around to finding the time.  You know, we’re all so busy with life that we just keep adding things to our “I should do that” list, and if you’re like me, that list just keeps getting longer and longer. In 2017 I want to make that list shorter.  Here’s some of the things I want to achieve this year: Blog: write my book reviews and recipes, but blog about real…

  • Cookies and Cream Cheesecake

    One of my ‘go-to’ recipes is my cookies and cream cheesecake.  It’s relatively simple and very delicious – a definite crowd pleaser.  It is based on my white chocolate cheesecake recipe, but I make it as a larger slab type recipe for bigger groups.  It has the potential to last up to a week in the refrigerator – but alas, it has never lasted that long with my friends and family. Crust: Ingredients 500g Oreo cookies 120g butter Method Put the Oreos into a food processor and blend until fine…

  • Vegan buttercream frosting

    Now, it is a little known fact (which I like to tell people about) that Oreo cookies are vegan-friendly.  I’m not sure if this is by design, or by accident, but it certainly make decorating (non-butter) buttercream frosting easier!  You can chop Oreos in half and add them to the top of the cupcakes for that little bit of extra ‘oomph’! These recipes go perfectly with my vegan chocolate cupcakes, and you can amend it to have several variations. Vanilla Ingredients 125g Nuttlex Buttery Spread 1.75 cups icing sugar 2…

  • Vegan chocolate cupcakes

    I love to experiment with baking.  I have this great chocolate cake recipe (that I will likely NEVER publish the recipe for because it’s my signature cake), but I also acknowledge that people have dietary requirements – I am a primary example of that. So, I like to play around with recipes to make alternatives for others.  This is my vegan chocolate cupcake recipe. Ingredients 1 cup vanilla almond milk* 1 tsp apple cider vinegar 3/4 cup caster sugar 1/3 cup canola oil 1.5 tsp vanilla extract 1 cup plain…

  • Banana bread with cream cheese swirl

    So, I know I warned you that I make a lot of cheesecake – and this (technically) isn’t cheesecake, but it might as well be.  It’s the most delicious combination of cheesecake with banana bread (or cake – whatever you want to call it). Ingredients Banana bread/cake: 125g butter (melted) 1 cup plain flour 1 tsp baking soda 1/4 tsp salt 3/4 cup caster sugar 1/4 cup buttermilk* 1 tsp vanilla extract 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk 3 ripe bananas (mashed) Cream cheese swirl: 375g cream cheese (softened) 2 tbsp plain flour 2…

  • White chocolate cheesecake

    So this is what I use as my base (not baked) chocolate cheesecake recipe.  It has a simple flavour and it is easily adjustable to make several variants, which I am sure you will see a few of in later blog posts. Ingredients Base: 250g plain chocolate cookies (I use Arnott’s chocolate ripple) 100g melted butter Cheesecake filling: 375g cream cheese (softened) 1/2 cup caster sugar 1 tsp vanilla essence 1 cup cream 3 tsp powdered gelatine 1/4 cup boiling water 200g white chocolate* (melted) Method Base: Grease 22cm or…

  • Baked Chai Cheesecake

    So I have this policy at work where I tell my team mates that they can pick any type of cake they want for their birthday and I will make it.  It’s never actually backfired yet, but there have been a few times where I think they just like to test me.  Case in point – E asked me if I could make her a chai cheesecake for her birthday.  There are NO recipes I could find online at that stage… so I made up my own. It was pretty…