Chocolate Hazelnut Brownies

27 Feb 2009

I've been baking my way through my recipe folder, unearthing recipes I'd long forgotten ever making. My recipe for Chocolate Hazelnut Brownies is one of those recipes.

All glazed ready for serving.

They looked pretty ordinary when they came out of the oven, but when topped with a thick layer of chocolate glaze and a sprinkling of roasted hazelnuts they were transformed.

I took them into work but they didn't last very long.

See you all again soon,



Oven Baked Pear and Plums

24 Feb 2009

I love fruit so I have it with every meal including breakfast. Every week I bake fruit to top my bircher muesli. I've already written about my rhubarb and strawberry addiction

Another favourite combination is pear and plum.

I base my recipe on one I found in the SMH by Brigitte Hafner. The most amazing thing happens when you store the baked fruit in the fridge, it takes on a ruby or blush hue. 

It tastes great topped with Greek style yoghurt and I also served it alongside the
chocolate date and almond cake.
Verdict - delicious.



Bourke Street Darlinghurst

Saturday was pretty dreary but undaunted I headed over to Bourke Street to do some shopping. 

I came home empty handed but I did manage to take a few photos. 

My first stop was ici et la, for some French home wares then the Bourke Street Bakery.

I took photos but I forgot to purchase any of their delicious goodies. What was I thinking??

As I was parked next to the primary school I took a few more photos there before returning home to do battle with my ISP

Edit - I returned to Darlinghurst today and revisited the bakery. I bought a little plum and almond tart, which I've yet to try. It does look scrumptious though.



Internet Woes

Apologies for my lack of blogposts. I've been having troubles with my ISP since Wednesday. My internet access has been patchy to non-existant. So far I've made 6 phone calls with no improvement to the service. I have 2 or 3 blogposts waiting in the wings so as soon as the internet is back up and running, I'll have some photos to share.



Chocolate Date Almond Cake

18 Feb 2009

This recipe was given to me about 20 years ago so it's an old favourite though it's years since I last made this cake. I recently saw a photo featured in a cafe pull out from Delicious magazine and thought it was time to make it again.

For what is essentially a meringue loaded with finely chopped dates, chocolate and almonds it's a very tasty confection.

I decided to make individual servings instead of the entire 23 cm cake and teamed it with some berries and an oven roasted plum and pear compote.

The verdict? Pretty delicious,


Film vs Digital

15 Feb 2009

In the States, Jonathan Canlas runs a workshop that he calls "Film is Not Dead". In that spirit I shot some film during my road trip to Canberra.

Below are some of the images that I shot digitally, then to compare I shot the same image on film. All the digital files are straight out of camera (sooc) whilst the film scans are also uncorrected. I overexposed all the colour film, Fuji NPH 400, by 1- 1.5 stops to keep the whites white, whilst I normally underexpose digital images slightly to make sure I keep detail in the highlights.

Look how blue the sky is in the film and how the colour pops in the film images. So what did the image really look like? - about halfway between the film and the digital image. 

Will I keep shooting on film? Sure thing,


Little Miss "B", aged 3

14 Feb 2009

As you know, I still use film where ever possible. It's not that I'm a luddite, it's just that I like the inherent texture that film images possess. I only used a third of a roll of Fuji NPH 400 when I took my road trip to Canberra, so I used the remaining roll of film last Sunday.

I drove over to Harbord last Sunday to see some good friends and was entertained by their rock star daughter (check out the shades!).

I've been taking photos of Miss B since she was a week old and she has just turned three. She is a little character and very busy.

I ran out of film just as she tried on the fairy outfit she'll be wearing to a birthday party tomorrow. I've promised to return so I can take photos of Miss B with wings.

Being three is so much fun,


Happy Valentine's Day - Lime Yoghurt Tarts

13 Feb 2009

A long time ago in a land far way, (Brisbane) I used to work in a florist shop. I was still at high school then and I just loved working there - I still think it was the best job I've ever had. My favourite days were the busy days like weddings, Mother's Day and Valentine's Day. 

The traditional flowers for Valentine's Day are red roses though trying to keep red roses fresh in 30°+C Brisbane summer heat and 90% humidity was an impossible challenge. Although I love roses, red roses must be my least favourite colour. I've always been a pink girl, whilst my Mum loves yellow roses.

What has all this to do with Lime Yoghurt Tarts? Absolutely nothing! I discovered a recipe in a magazine for a lime tart that used yoghurt in the filling rather than cream. I love all things custard but can't tolerate cream so this seemed like the perfect recipe for me. With a barbecue to attend I thought I'd bake the tart for dessert and as there was leftover filling, I made a few individual tarts for home.

With Valentine's Day just around the corner, I just had to make a heart shaped tart which I'll be eating tomorrow night. And how was the tart? The lime flavour is strong, the filling creamy and not too rich and perfectly matched by the crisp almond shortcrust pastry.

Happy Valentine's Day every-one,


Chocolate Cheesecake Brownies

9 Feb 2009

Sunday dawned bright and sunny. As it was going to be hot, I was up bright and early to get the ironing and the baking done before the heat of the day. We have another morning tea at work this week and I decided to make cheesecake brownies.

I've never made them before and tried combining my regular brownie recipe with one of my cheesecake recipes.

I'll await the verdict from the masses before deciding whether to tweak the recipe.

Swirling the mixture wasn't as easy as it sounded so changes will need to be made.

Whilst the brownies were baking, I checked my emails and when I logged out, I saw the headlines about the bush fires in Victoria. At that stage the death toll was 25 and I was shocked because I'd heard nothing about bushfire danger in the region. As the day wore on, the news just grew worse and worse until we saw the first images of the devastation on the t.v. Eventually we had to turn the tv off because there's only so much bad news you can bear. One day later and the shock still hasn't worn off.


Homewares II

6 Feb 2009

I meant to post this ages ago. When I went overseas last year I planned on buying some new homewares to jazz up my food styling. Lack of space coupled with a poor exchange rate meant that I came home with little. I had to spend a few hours at Helsinki Airport on my way back to Sydney and I had no idea how fantastic the shopping was going to be. I've always loved the pared back look of Scandinavian design so I was in heaven browsing through the Iittala glassware. Unfortunately as I was already loaded down with my camera bag, I could only buy what I could carry. My one purchase - an Alvar Aalto oak serving tray. Next time I'm going with an empty bag!

I styled my Mediterranean lunch of feta cheese (a brand called Dodoni and it's the nicest feta cheese I've ever eaten), kalamata olives and turkish bread using my new purchases from Country Road and Helsinki, on a table runner from Cloth. Tomorrow it's meant to be 40° C so if it's too hot to cook dinner, I may be dining on watermelon and feta cheese salad.

Happy Weekend,


Chocolate Caramel Slice

3 Feb 2009

I haven't made chocolate caramel slice in quite a while so when our last mega morning tea was held, I volunteered to bring some along.

Chocolate caramel slice is a bit of a classic. It consists of 3 layers - coconut shortbread, caramel and chocolate. 

Jt's known as Millionaire's shortbread in the UK and apart from the absence of coconut, which appears in the Australian version, they appear to be pretty much the same thing.

The chocolate caramel slice was wolfed down by the masses but I managed to snaffle a piece to take home with me.

The verdict - delicious!

See you all again soon,

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