Strawberry & Cream Muffins

Delicate delights to tempt your tastebuds with over a cup of tea.

It’s nice to be just a wee bit naughty sometimes. Mini-Me joyously licked the beaters dripping with frosting & Hubby’s eyes lit up like it was Christmas when he plodded in from a hard day’s work to find these awaiting him. It’s these little moments that mean the absolute world to me. No matter what else life may be throwing my way, I am always grateful for my wee Fam-Bam & cherish these simple memories the most.

Time is my most valued luxury.

Pre-heat your oven to 200c so it can get nice & warm whilst you make the batter. Also ensure you’re prepared & ready to go by lining  a 12 cup muffin tray with pretty paper cases.

To start these gorgeous wee muffins, grab a mixing bowl & in goes 225g of plain flour along with 1 teaspoon of baking powder then stir in 140g of caster sugar with a wooden spoon.

In a mixing jug, pour in 100ml of milk before cracking in 2 eggs. Then gently melt 140g of butter over a low heat & ever so slowly trickle the melted butter into the milk & eggs. The trick to doing this without cooking those eggs is to grab a balloon whisk & get a good solid stirring action happening before you start the butter trickling in. It is imperative that you keep that whisk moving the entire time & for a wee bit after all the butter is incorporated in. In the spirit of a certain blue fishy, “Just Keep Whisking, Just Keep Whisking”.

Make a well in the centre of your dry ingredients then start pouring in your wet ingredients a little at a time, stirring it in as you go. Just be mindful not to over-mix it.

Spoon a blob of batter into the bottom of each patty case then plop just a teaspoon of strawberry jam into the centre of each one before dolloping the rest of the batter on top of each to seal the surprise inside.

Pop those in the oven to bake for 25 minutes. When they’re firm to the touch, lift them out to set aside on a cooling wire.

To make the gorgeous simply must have frosting, grab another mixing bowl & in goes 50g of softened butter, 85g of icing sugar, 2 tablespoons of milk & a squirt of Vanilla Paste (that would be about 1/2 a teaspoon for the more accurate among us). Using your hand held electric beaters, beat that lot until it’s nice & smooth, finger dip-able lusciousness!

Spoon over a wee bit of frosting onto the top of each muffin & decorate with a half strawberry.


Lemon Cream Pie

Lusciously Airy with a Refreshing Citrus Pop,

this is such an easy pie to whip up.


You are not going to believe just how simple this recipe is & it sure does pack the WOW factor in your mouth! Hubby & Mini-Me both go absolutely nuts over this one, declaring it to be better than Chocolate Cake, now that’s a BIG CALL from those two!

Begin by crushing up a packet of biscuits into crumb. I use a Gluten Free Arrowroot one but previously (before GF), I used the Arnott’s Nice Biscuits. Melt 1/2 cup of butter & add that into the biscuit crumb before mixing it all thoroughly. Press the bikkie base firmly into a pie dish. Pop in a 160c oven for just 5 minutes, then allow to cool.

Meanwhile, let’s make the filling.

In one bowl, decant a tin of condensed milk & add in 1/3 cup of lemon juice gradually so you can incorporate each addition properly. Then pop that aside to stand for a few minutes whilst you do the next bit.

In a second bowl, beat 2/3 cup of thickened cream to a beautifully thick consistency. This is where all the lightness comes from so make sure you beat enough air into it.

Simply fold the cream through the mixture in bowl 1, very carefully to maintain that air.

Pour the filling onto the bikkie base & pop it in the fridge overnight to set.

Sprinkle it lightly with cinnamon just before serving.

Chocolate Dacquoise

Decadently Rich Chocolate is encapsulated between Crunchy Meringue Layers,

This is not your average Christmas Pav!


When I asked my friends what they think of on the table for Christmas, the overwhelming response was the good old Pavlova! Most Aussies really look forward to the sweet punctuation mark at the end of a fabuliciouz celebration meal. But I couldn’t just do the standard pav for you, as sensational as it is & yes I will be making one for Christmas Day myself! This is my Grand Finale to my Festive Feast on a Budget series. All please applaud the magnificent Chocolate Dacquoise.

Now this recipe may seem intimidating at first, but trust me, it’s just a lot of little simple steps that all come together at the end for a Show Stopping WOW dessert that will be talked about all year long!

Start off by marking out 3 x 9 inch circles on baking paper & cutting those out, leaving a small bit around each one to be able to handle. Spray some baking trays with a wee bit of spray oil & stick them on.

Next, you’ll need to separate 6 large eggs with the whites going into one bowl & the yolks into another. Cover the yolks & set those aside for later, depending on where you are in the world you may like to pop them in the fridge.

Pop the egg whites into the bowl of your mixer with a pinch of salt & beat at medium speed until they’re nice & frothy.

Turn your mixer up to high speed & gradually add in 1.5 cups of caster sugar. Keep beating it until stiff peaks form.

Turn your mixer off & gently fold through 1.5 cups of almond meal along with 1 tablespoon of cornflour.

Spoon the meringue mixture into a piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle & pipe 3 spirals onto your prepared baking paper circles.

Those go into a 150c oven for 1.5 hours to crisp them up. After you pull them out of the oven, let them sit for 10 minutes before carefully peeling off the paper & popping on a cooling rack to completely go cold.

Now, onto the Chocolate Filling!

Break 250g of dark chocolate into a heatproof bowl & melt that over a pan of gently simmering water. Set it aside to cool.

In another bowl, beat 375g of softened butter until it’s gloriously pale & creamy. Set it aside too.

Retrieve the reserved egg yolks from earlier & place them into the bowl of your mixer. At high speed, beat the yolks until they’re pale & thick.

Now grab a small saucepan. Into it place, 1 cup of caster sugar along with 1/2 cup of water. Bring it to a boil, without stirring or touching it, until it reaches 115c (soft-ball stage).

Now comes the assembly part.

Remove the sugar syrup from the heat as soon as it reaches temperature & in ever such a tiny trickle, pour it into the egg yolks whilst they are beating slowly. Keep beating it until the mixture is cooled off so you don’t scramble those eggs!

Next, gradually beat in the butter, then comes the chocolate & finally add in 2 teaspoons of vanilla paste.

When your Chocolate Filling is all combined then you’re ready to assemble the cake.

Simply put one of the meringue circles onto a serving plate, cover it with a third of the filling, then place another of the meringue circles on top of it, smother in another third of the filling & finally top it off with the remaining meringue circle & the rest of the filling.

Crown your gloriously decadent creation with fresh berries & let it snow down some icing sugar!

Home-made Turkish Delight

Delicate rose scented jellies of lusciousness are easier to make at home than you might think!


Turkish Delight is one of those exotic classics that is a real people pleaser. Check out how easy it is to make at home!

Start by ensuring you have greased & lined a slice tray with baking paper to get prepared.

Grab your medium saucepan & into that pop 3 cups of water before sprinkling 4 tablespoons of gelatine powder on top & then adding 1.5 cups of caster sugar. Place that over a medium heat & whisk with a wire whisk until it comes to the boil & everything is dissolved nicely.

Let that simmer away for 2 minutes before taking it off the heat.

Next, mix 3/4 cup of Arrowroot (Tapioca Flour) into 1/2 cup of cold water then pour it in a steady stream into the hot mixture whilst whisking constantly. This will thicken it up.

Add in 1 tablespoon of Rose Water Essence – this is what gives Turkish Delight it’s unique flavour & heavenly scent.

Now, that is the recipe done, but what colour do we all associate Turkish Delight with???? PINK! So pop a drop or two of pink food colouring into the mixture & stir it all up nicely. You could use other colours if you want to get tricky.

Pour the mixture into the prepared tray & pop that lot in the fridge overnight to set.

The next day, turn out the slab of jelly goodness onto your chopping board & slice into delicate morsels of lusciousness before dusting in icing sugar.

Triple Chocolate Fudge

I want to tell you how fabuliciouzly creamy & decadent my fudge is,

but instead,

this has turned into a post about how to survive a culinary disaster in your kitchen this Christmas to keep you calm & still triumph!


NEVER has my fudge not set before! I am sure you can imagine my absolute horror this morning as I turned out my fudge to slice for photography to share with you all as my second offering in our Christmas Gifts From the Kitchen series, only to realise that it had not set overnight. Naturally, I felt the panic creep up inside of me as the first time this fails is NOW?!?!?! I had to take a deep breath & retrace my steps in my mind to know what had gone so dreadfully wrong. My mistake was made right at the very start yesterday when I was preparing this. If you learn nothing else from my embarrassment here today, know this ~


We are having our hottest November in 155 years in Melbourne. I waited until after lunch to begin, which placed me into the hottest part of the day. I am in a new kitchen where I do not know my burners yet so discovered that my usual saucepan is going to be too small with the heat from this cooktop which resulted in my fudge overflowing only 2 degrees before reaching where it should of. I took it off the heat, immediately, as you would, thinking that it shouldn’t really matter that much – it did! I also couldn’t get the fudge to cool to the correct temperature either, the afternoon was just far too stifling!

All of this is going into my memory data file-o-fax for my next fudge making expedition. However, if this happens to you this Christmas, remember to take a deep breath & remain calm! You’ve invested a lot of your valuable time & love in creating something fabulous for people you care about. Don’t throw it all in the bin through heated tears of disappointment. Turn that disaster into a triumph! The easiest way is to always make sure you have a selection of pretty glasses on hand & make use of the popular Chef description of DECONSTRUCTED! HAHAHA you will appear ever so fancy & maintain that tiara firmly on top of your head, without any slippage.

So, here is my Triple Chocolate Fudge recipe, that when followed to the correct temperatures, will result in the most gloriously decadent confectionary worthy of your Festive Hamper!

Ensure you get the correct sized saucepan! Then into it goes 1.5 cups of caster sugar, 1/2 cup of firmly packed brown sugar, 100g of dark chocolate buttons, 2 tablespoons of glucose syrup, 1/2 cup of thickened cream & 1/4 cup of milk.

Gently heat that lot over a low temperature until the sugars dissolve without letting it boil. Once the sugars have fully dissolved, then crank up your heat to bring it up to the boil. Do not stir from this point. Pop your thermometer in & watch it come up to 116c ~ as mentioned earlier this temperature is critical! Once that magic 116c is reached, immediately take the pan off the heat & drop in 40g of butter. Still, do not stir it!

Leave the fudge alone until the temperature drops to 40c. That’s when you can remove the thermometer & finally stir in the now melted butter. Use a wooden spoon. Continue to stir it for about 10 minutes, you’re looking for when a small amount dropped from the spoon can hold it’s shape. That is how you know it will set, unlike my double temperature mistake on this one.

During your wait time, you can prepare a bar cake pan by greasing & lining it with bakers paper so it’s ready for you to pour the fudge into then simply spread & smooth the surface before covering it with tin foil & leaving to stand at room temperature for 2 hours. Once again, my third temperature mistake with this one as it was like a sauna in my kitchen yesterday afternoon.

When the 2 hours is up, remove the tin foil to pour over 200g of melted white chocolate then drizzle over that 50g of melted milk chocolate & using a cake tester or a skewer, drag the two chocolates around to create pretty swirls for a marbled effect.

Replace the foil over the tin & pop into the fridge overnight to set.

The baking paper will allow you to easily lift the set fudge out of the tin & if you heat your very sharp knife, slicing the fudge will be a breeze. Cut the slab in half lengthways before slicing ever so thinly for decadent pieces of melt in your mouth luxury.

Cashew Butter Slice

Decadently creamy layers of nutty goodness with a luscious chocolate crown.


How can anyone go past a gorgeous home-made chocolate topped slice?! It’s one of the simple pleasures in life & the first recipe in my 2017 Christmas Gifts From The Kitchen series.

This slice is made in 3 stages to get those 3 layers so prepare to spend some time with it.

To create the base layer, simply combine 2 tablespoons of coconut syrup with 1/3 cup of cashew butter in a mixing bowl. Next, stir in 1 tablespoon of a good quality cocoa powder. Finally, add in 1 cup of  desiccated coconut & prepare to get your hands messy! Mix all of that together really well before pressing into a cake tin or baking pan that you’ve lined with baking paper. Pop that lot in the fridge for half an hour.

Next comes the middle layer. This one is super easy! In a small, heatproof bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of coconut syrup with 6 tablespoons of cashew butter over a pan of gently simmering water until it gets nice & soft which makes it more pliable to work with. Press that gently over the base layer & get it back in the fridge to set for another hour.

Finally, the luscious crowning chocolate glory! Over a pan of gently simmering water, melt 200g of milk chocolate in a heatproof bowl then simply pour over the slice & spread. You guessed it…..back in to set in the fridge it goes.

Now, because you’ve been smart & lined the tray with baking paper at the very start, you can simply lift the set slice out onto a chopping board! A great trick when cutting this up is to have a jug of boiling water on the bench next to you & constantly dip your knife in so it heats up, making it glide through the slice easily.

Classic Buttercream

Sometimes it’s the simple basic’s that are the often the best.


Every baker should have a go-to Buttercream recipe that is simple, quick & easy to whip up that tastes as good as it looks!

So this is my TWO ingredient Classic Buttercream.

First beat 250g of room temperature butter (I use Lurpak) until it’s very pale. Then add 2 & 1/4 cups of pure icing sugar (not the mixture stuff!) but add it only 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Continue to beat until it’s nice & fluffy!

Then you can tint it with all sorts of food colours to create anything your wee heart desires.

Neapolitan Marble Cake

It’s a classic which is now rarely seen,

but the swirls of pink, chocolate & vanilla are well worth the effort.


It has been a chaotic week! Last Wednesday was Mini-Me’s birthday so off we popped to Melbourne Zoo which lays claim to being the oldest zoo in Australia! We treated her to an exclusive behind the scenes member’s tour before exploring the zoo at our leisure until just after lunch when she got to have a close encounter with her all time favourite animal by feeding the Giraffe in it’s enclosure. She was just so deliriously happy & her delightful giggle is simply magic to my ears as well as my heart.

The rest of the week was spent in absolute panic as I madly threw together her party which we hosted at our mountain top home on Sunday. Twenty hyped up children having the time of their lives & the snow machine went down a real treat! Their limbo moves were super impressive & let me tell you, those tiny ballerinas have a mighty mean swing on a piñata! Food was plentiful but, of course, the star of the culinary show is always the birthday cake!

Mini-Me loves Neapolitan Ice-Cream so I took my inspiration from that to wow her when we cut open the cake.

Bung into your mixer bowl 125g of room temperature softened butter along with 3/4 cup of caster sugar & a teaspoon of vanilla. Cream that until it’s nice & fluffy.

Add in 2 eggs, but one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Fold through 2 cups of self raising flour & a pinch of salt alternating with 1/2 cup of milk.

Divide the mix into 3 bowls. Leave one plain, add 1 tablespoon of cocoa to another & a few drops of pink food colouring to the third. Give them a jolly good mix.

Layer the 3 batters into a well greased cake tin & use a sharp knife or a bamboo skewer to create swirls.

Whack in a 175c oven for an hour.

You can serve this cake plain, dusted in icing sugar, with buttercream or even covered in ganache! Let your imagination run wild!

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Finally, at long last, a Gluten Free cake that is rich, moist, fabuliciouzly tasty & above all else, not crumbly!


You know, I used to be pretty darn good at making cakes before we knew about my illness with Gluten. I used to take so very much pleasure in my cake baking but since needing to be Gluten Free, I just haven’t had that same passion. I lost my cake mojo. Try as hard as I might, using Gluten Free flour just doesn’t cut it. I tried this recipe, with much trepidation, expecting yet another bitter disappointment, only to be pleasantly surprised with the results this time! This tastes like real cake! HOORAH!

Start by lining a loaf tin with baking paper, remember to use spray oil first to hold it in place.

Measure out 3/4 cup of caster sugar.

Grab a mixing bowl & bung in 280g of dark chocolate along with 160g of softened butter. Pop that over a pan of simmering water to melt gently, then stir in 6 egg yolks & half of that caster sugar. Take it off the heat & set aside to cool.

In a second mixing bowl, beat the 6 egg whites to a soft peak consistency. Now you can opt to get an arm workout if that’s what floats your boat, but I choose to use my electric beaters. Then, ever so gradually, add in the rest of that caster sugar whilst continuing to beat until it’s thick & glossy, just like meringue.

Back to the chocolate mix bowl & gently fold through 1 & 1/2 cups of Almond Meal followed by the meringue mix. Be really careful not to totally knock out all that luscious air you’ve worked so hard to beat in there!

Pour the batter into the loaf tin & bake for an hour in a 160c oven. If you choose to make cupcakes with this batter, as pictured, simply halve the cooking time.

Pineapple Cheesecake

Fabuliciouzly creamy with a tropical twist;

this Pineapple Cheesecake is definitely a hit with my fam-bam!


I start by crushing 2 cups of Cornflakes (I use Gluten Free ones) with my mortar & pestle to get them nice & fine. Then I melt 150g of butter in a saucepan over a low heat before pouring that on top of the crushed Cornflakes & giving it a jolly good mix to ensure all the crumbs are nice & moist. Next, simply press that lot into a loaf tin & pop in the fridge to set.

Grab yourself a mixing bowl & bung in 250g of cream cheese. Beat that with a hand held mixer to get it lovely & soft. Gradually add in 1/3 cup of lemon juice, then a whole tin (397g) of sweetened condensed milk & keep beating until gloriously smooth.

Open a tin (440g) of crushed pineapple & drain it well of the juice. Gently fold the pineapple into the filling before pouring over the top of the now chilled cornflake base then whack back into the fridge overnight to set.

When ready to serve, invert the loaf tin onto a board, then back onto your serving platter, decorate with whipped cream & strawberries then It’s Chompin Time!