Wednesday, March 30, 2011


A very awkward thing happened to me today. It was the sort of awkward that usually only happens in cheesy teen movies. A boy that I was previously seeing occasionally (and is now ignoring me for no given reason) sent me a little message asking me out for a drink. Against my better judgment (and that of my best friend) I replied casually saying I was busy tonight but sometime during the week a catch up would be nice. So there I was feeling all smug (they always come groveling back!!) and he sends me another message saying that the text wasn't for me but another friend, and he is incredibly busy at the moment. I couldn't believe it! It was so incredibly embarrassing that all I could do was laugh. My Nanny once told me not to take life to seriously (I took this advice very seriously) and this was the perfect moment to apply this. I took a long shower, composed myself, thought of all the rude things I could send to him and then replied with a friendly "Have a lovely week then". I wanted to hold onto the scraps of dignity I had left. It was actually quite awful, but I thought I'd share it with you so someone could enjoy the comedic value.

Apart from that life is just plodding along quite beautifully. I feel excited about life everyday. Its not that anything that amazing is happening on a day to day level, but things are starting to fall into place. I finally feel like I'm doing the things that I'm meant to be doing. Its all starting to make sense. I feel the things I want out of life (like a career in cooking and writing) are achievable and its such a good feeling. I feel much more grounded. There is such a freedom that comes with this. No longer do I feel obliged to do 'what everyone else is doing' just to fit in. I know what I want, and I set about getting it.

Last night I went to a nice bar called Bimbo's. Its on Brunswick street if you ever want to check it out. The whole set up is pretty funky. Its a huge room filled with couches and there is an amazing rooftop bar. Its quite beautiful really. Anyway the reason why I tell you all this (and there is a reason) is that they do really yummy pizza for four dollars. The selection is huge, and they are really simplistic and rustic. They even have a few desert pizza's with chocolate on them.

Tomorrow at cooking school we are making Sacher Torte and a Raspberry Mousse Cake. The Mouse cake should be beautiful. They are both incredibly rich and much too sweet for my liking, but still its so lovely to bake cakes. It just feels so good. All the whipping of eggs, sifting of flour, and mixing together. Its like a little meditation or a spiritual chant. I'm looking forward to the holidays when I have more time for cake baking. I love to bake alone (it gets really hectic in class at times with 20 people in there all burning there chocolate and cutting their fingers off and what not) and just think. You really go somewhere else.

We are also making a really simple shortbread at school tomorrow. Its very yummy and looks quite nice when its dipped in chocolate.


You will need:
125g soft butter
60g caster sugar
125g plain flour
60g rice flour
100g dark chocolate

What to do:
Cream the butter and sugar (that just means whisk it lots with an electric beater until the colour lightens. You will notice the difference)

Sift in the flours.

Give it a good mix and roll it into a ball

Wrap it up and put it in the fridge for 15 minutes (this makes it easier to work with)

Take it out of the fridge and place it between two sheets of baking paper (this means you can roll it out without having to add any flour. That way the consistency doesn't change at all.)

Roll out dough. Cut into 2cm by 5cm strips, or use cookie cutters to make shapes

Prick with a fork.

Bake in a moderate oven for ten to fifteen minutes

Melt your chocolate in a metal bowl over a pot of simmering water

When your shortbread is cooked and cooled dip half of each one in the chocolate and sit aside to set

Serve with a big pot of english breakfast eat.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Asparagus and Shakespeare

"Push at love for pushing you," Shakespeare recommended.

So I did. I pushed it. I shoved it. I kicked it on the ground and in a moment of rage stomped on it just to be sure. When did this hopeless romantic become so fickle? I don't believe in love anymore, but I'm waiting for someone to prove me wrong (that in itself is a contradiction proving that I still do.) I'm sick of the topic. I fear I sometimes view relationships like I view vegetables. I become obsessed with a seasonal product such as asparagus or eggplant. All I cook is variations of that one vegetable. Everything is asparagus pasta, asparagus with poached eggs, asparagus on toast, asparagus wrapped in bacon and topped with hollandaise. And then suddenly I have overdosed. I don't even want to see asparagus in the food markets, not even its cousin purple asparagus.... and then it's on to the next seasonal product.
I am not proud of this. Not one bit. But I have no idea what to do about it? I don't know. But I'll tell you's the last time I give good old Shakespeare's advice a go.

I checked out what to do about raw olives. It seems that it is quite a lengthy procedure which involves lots of soaking and changing of water. It quite simple though. Hopefully i can get some this week and begin the process. I'll keep you informed.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Still a bit of Magic Left

I spent this weekend with my best friend. Mainly we just ate a lot, and drank a bit (mostly coffee and cider, but a bit of bad wine and vodka worked its way in there too.) We talked a lot too. We talked like only people who really KNOW each other can talk. It felt good to do some spring cleaning in my heart as I told him what scared me, what hurt me and what inspired me. Its really nice to have a guy friend where there are no games involved. The dating world is so full of calculations and I get sick of it. There are usually so many rules. If i want to call this friend 7 times in a day just to tell him what I ate (One croissant, a coffee, some sushi, a cup cake and a Greek lamb strew followed by strawberry cider), I will feel no remorse at all. That's the kind of terms we are on, and I love it.

So now he has left life feels a little bit sad and empty. Its nice to have someone around to buy you flowers just because they know no other boy is doing it at the moment. Its nice to have someone to share your secrets with. Its nice to have someone to kiss your cheek in a bar and enquire "do you need another drink beautiful?" Its nice to have someone who will pretend to be your date at a restaurant that just happens to be next to the workplace of a stupid Italian boy who didn't call you back after the sixth date (I don't care how old or mature you are but a little bit of friendly revenge is always kind of fun). Its nice to have someone to explore the city with.

He played the perfect wing man for me. One time sitting in a cafe I commented that one of the staff was very charming. He wrote my number down on a piece of paper, walked in to pay and said "see that blond girl sitting at the table? She is gorgeous isn't she? She thinks your pretty cute, and if you ever wanted to call her, this would be her number." And with that he turns around and walks away. Very smooth.

However having him here also reminded me of how much i value my spare time and own space. As much as a love having continual company this little chef/writer is nowhere near being ready for a committed relationship where I have to share every single aspect of my life with someone. I like that no one knows how much I spent this week on clothes, or how many cupcakes I ate at work. I love not having to clean up after a stinky man who cant remember to hang up his clothes, and put his dirty plates in the sink. It was a good reality check for my sometimes lonely heart.

While he was here ate at some amazing restaurants. Soul Mama is one of my favourites in Melbourne. It is right on the water at saint kilder and serves all organic and vegetarian food. Its very reminiscent of the food I was brought up on. Everything is served with brown rice, and the curries, salads, and chutneys are amazingly good. We also went to another one of my favourites called Vege Bar in Brunswick street. It serves all vegetarian food and caters for gluten free and vegan people. The serves are huge and its really cheap. They also do some really interesting cocktails with honey and ginger. All the staff are pretty funky and the vibe is great.

I worked today selling cakes as usual. On the train home I felt a little low. Like some of the magic had left and I had to go back to soldiering on by myself. As I waited for my connecting bus I started a conversation with a musician sitting next to me. He was a sweet guy who was studying art therapy and had just moved here from Byron. We talked about cooking and people and music. I gave him a box of cakes I had left over from work. He was a charmer. By the time I got off the bus where I rode the whole time sitting next to him and chatting I had a big smile on my face. There is always beauty in life. Its never time to give up and feel alone.

Another lovely thing is that olives are in season at the moment. There are big boxes of them for sale at the Victoria markets. I'm thinking of buying some to cure and marinate. I have to research it and see how it goes. If it works out I'll give you a recipe. I'm still not happy with the yogurt yet so I'll wait till I have it perfect before I give you that recipe too. Its much too runny and a little too lumpy (ok i hated it and threw it down the sink) but i think I will get it after a few goes.

I promised myself that this week I would pull everything together (do all my homework, wash my clothes, concentrate on work, go to the gym, not drink too much wine at night while writing my blog, stop thinking about boys and dates, be healthy) Hopefully I'll do it all. If not I'll probably eat croissants all week, drink too much coffee, meet some charming lad to flutter my eyelashes at, and forget my socks to go with my chefs shoes on cooking day at school. Either way life is beautiful and I'm sure it will be a good week.

Have a lovely night.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Garlic Asparagus

What drives us as humans? Its something I have been thinking about this week. My head and heart have been on a search wondering what is it I really want. At one stage in my life i believed it was love that drove us. We are continually on a search to be loved. But I'm not so sure now. I think its a little bit more than that. Maybe it can't be simplified into something so easy to understand, but it seems to me everyone dose what they do in attempt to be known and appreciated. One person knowing and loving us isn't enough though. We as humans continually strive for more. More acceptance, more exposure, more appreciation, and more justification of who we are and what we are about. Why is it we do that?

Some days when life feels a bit too complex I wonder what it would be like to move away from all this. To go live in the middle of nowhere. Not worry about a career, not have to put on my makeup everyday, not wear uncomfortable shoes, and not care about the rest of the world. To just simply exist for the sake of being alive. It sounds so perfect at times. I know however it would take me about one week to get board and head right back to the city, put on my stiletto boots and start planing my life as a food journalist. Always striving, always always striving. I don't think I'd have it any other way though.

This weekend my best friend has come to visit. Its really lovely to have someone who knows me so well here. We have doing a little Melbourne tour of bars, cafes, markets and patisseries. I get so blissful whenever I go to the Victoria markets. It also overwhelms much food I haven't cooked yet. So many things I haven't tried. I make an effort to buy ingredients that I don't know what to do with to push myself a bit.

After a big day in the city I made us a little tapas platter and we had a rest. It was so yummy. I pan fried some asparagus to go with our stuffed figs and garlic sour dough. Its really easy and goes so well on a little tasting plate. Give it a go.

Garlic Asparagus

All you need is:
One bunch of asparagus
A know of butter
3 cloves of garlic
salt and pepper

What to do:
Heat a fry pan and melt your butter.
Cut up your garlic in large chunks and add to the pan.
Through in the asparagus
Fry for 5 minutes until it is cooked but still crisp.
Serve walm

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Making pastries and buying clothes

So my best friend is coming to Melbourne tomorrow. It was a bit of a last minute plan, and to be honest I'm a bit scared. It will be strange to spend a whole weekend with someone who at one stage of my life I used to go ring shopping with (Yes, I'm referring to the diamond variety that you wear on the left hand.) I'm also very excited though to have someone from my old life visiting my new. It will be good to bring a bit of home here. It can be really hard at times starting all over from scratch in a new town. I love it, but at times I miss just being able to pick up the phone and inviting all 'the girls' over for a dinner party or out for coffee.

In preparation for his arrival I planed to go on a one week detox. You know the sort where you work out all the time and mainly eat fruit. However the weather turned cold this week so it has been all pasta dishes and muffins for me. (I'd just like to take a moment to thank the chef at my local coffee place for the amazing muffins they have been baking daily. What kind of person puts chunks of waffles along with blueberries in their muffins.........a genius, that's what.) I did however go out and buy a new jacket to wear for the weekend. When the lady behind the counter asked me what it was for, I smiled smugly and said "a boy". Its very silly to try and impress someone who has seen me at my very very worst (once in a fight i picked up my plate of poached eggs and threw them on the floor) but all the same it felt like the right thing to do (and does anyone really need an excuse to buy a double breasted champagne coloured coat?)

Before he arrives however I have a lot to do. Tomorrow at pastry school we are making croissants and danish pastries. Its so very lovely. Its so exciting to be making things I have only ever dreamed of making.

This week I gave yogurt making a shot. I don't think I have it perfect yet (it was a bit lumpy) but it was still very satisfying. I think I will try to perfect it, sometime in between going to local food markets, and doing homework for pastry school.

Actually I haven been a bit lazy this week. I really should be organising my uniform for tomorrow or working out at the gym, but instead I'm curled in my blankets watching movies. It feels like the right thing to do. I haven't been sleeping much lately. So need to catch up on the rest. I'm not sure why. I think a lot at night time, and to be honest, I get really excited about the next day starting and can't believe I have to wait in bed eight hours before I can cook breakfast, put on a cute outfit, and head into the city for my morning coffee.

Thats all from me tonight. Have a really lovely night, and I'll be letting you know how the pastries turn out..

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Making Yoghurt

Today I am making yoghurt. Im very excited about the prospect. If it works out I'll put the recipe up on my next post. I cross my fingers and hope it comes together. If it does I'll mix some home made strawberry jam through it, and it will be heaven.

Today was a day of getting organised. I did my laundry, bought a winter coat, washed my sheets, and cleaned my room. I love it when things feel homely. I have a guest coming to stay this week so I really wanted to clean up and make things lovely for them. I really love having people come to stay. It gives me such a good excuse to pull out some new recipes and a few old ones to cook up. Not many things in this world make me more joyful than having a boy to cooks for, and my best friend is always very appreciative of any food that comes his way.

So I'm planning a weekend of cooking, food markets, cafes, and bars. I really really cant wait. It will feel so nice to have someone from home here. Every so often it gets really hard to be so far away from everyone I know. Starting a new life can to so tricky.

Poached Duck Eggs

I have had some incredibly bad luck so far this week. Yesterday my house got broken into, and then today I had a reaction to some lipstick I was wearing. Both events left me feeling sick, an with an acidic taste in my mouth.

Its strange when things in life happen that we have no control over and have done nothing to cause. Things sometimes just happen. Its how we deal with them that matters. My first reaction has always been to find the biggest man around and run into his arms and cry. I have learnt however this isn't always the most empowering way to deal with situations and I'm slowly working on learning how to fix things myself. It is very easy to get used to giving your emotions to someone else to deal with. One of my previous partners used to remind me on a daily basics just to breath. Since we went our different ways I have realised, I can breath all by myself, in, out, in, out, in, out, everyday with no help.

Some lovely things have still been happening over the past few days despite my bad luck in other areas. For a start I poached some beautiful duck eggs for breakfast and put them on bagels with spinach and tomato. Just grand!!!

If you want to treat yourself to breakfast in bed (this is what I have been doing all week as I had late starts at work) here is what you can make:

Poached duck eggs with bagels, spinach and tomato.

what you will need:
  • 2 duck eggs
  • I bagel
  • A knob of butter
  • one tomato
  • one handful of spinach
  • one teaspoon of vinigar
What to do:
  1. Bring a pot of water with the vinigar in it to the boil and reduce to a simmer.
  2. Toast bagel
  3. Gently add eggs to the water (they take about 2 mins to cook)
  4. Heat up a fry pan, add butter
  5. Add spinach and season, stir till wilted
  6. Slice tomato
  7. Chuck it all together
  8. Get back into bed and eat it.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Creme Patissiere

Today with two glasses of wine and a simmering pot of jam i realised what was really going on in my life. I haven't been dealing with any of my emotions in the last three months in an attempt to be strong. I have done everything I can to distract myself from what was really going on. I have felt hard and dry and emotionless. I haven't felt a thing.

But strawberry jam always brings out my feelings. I don't know how many pots of simmering jam I have cried over. There is something about standing and stirring and watching things boil down. The fruit thickens into something potent and you cant help but really get to the substance of what is going on in your life.

I have been so trivial lately. So careless, but this is not how I feel. I feel like for the first time in a very long time I stumbled upon some happiness. Something quite beautiful. But as happiness always is, it was fleeting. One week or two. You realise how lovely life can be, you get to experience this wonderful feeling, and then when it is torn from you it hurts.

So now I am left with jam. So much beautiful strawberry jam, and a raw heart. I can go either of two ways. I can feel it. I can feel it so hard, but I fear this would be my undoing. Or I can just partake in life. I can be the serialised jar that holds the jam. Not the fruit, not the substance. Just the jar, that has been heated to such a temperature that it is clean of everything. No feelings....good or bad. I have no idea what I will pick.

Here is a recipe for you today (0n a slightly less serious note). Its a creme patissiere (which is a bit like custard, but so so so much yummier. ) You can serve it with deserts or use it as a tart filling. I myself usually hate custard, but love love love this!!

Creme Patissiere

What you will need:
  • 250ml of milk
  • 1ml vanilla essence
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 60g sugar
  • 20g cornflour
  • 12g butter
What to do:
  1. Heat milk and vanilla
  2. Whisk together yolks and sugar
  3. Gradually add cornflour to milk
  4. Return to the pot
  5. Bring to the boil slowly
  6. Add butter
  7. Cook for a few minutes
  8. Strain
  9. Cover and put in fridge to cool

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Strawberry Jam

Today the sun came out for a change. It was such a relief. Not being used to all this cold weather I have been finding it a bit hard to deal with. For some reason the cold makes me feel so sad. You will be all fine and getting ready for your day, but when you step out the door it hits you so hard. All you can think about it how cold you are. I have invented a new strategy for getting out of the showers in order to help with this. I have started to take a blanket into the bathroom with me, and then when i emerge shivering and wet, I wrap myself up. It feels so delicious. Like a hug.

Some friends took me to a lovely organic market today. It was so wonderful and alternative. Everyone was walking around in there hippy clothes with there screaming kids in tow (why do hippies children always scream so much?) My favourite part of it was a cake competition where they were giving out prizes for the 'most unusual', and the 'best tasting' cakes. It made me long for a simple life like this. A life where cake competitions mattered and you are encircled by people who just want to love and support you. A life where you grow your own food, cook for your friends, live simply, live happily.

After this we went to the preston markets. These were crazy in comparison. Full of yelling stall owners. Everything is super cheap and you can buy boxes of stone fruit for two dollars. I bought a heap of strawberries for making jam and lots of peaches to poach. I went to buy a bunch of flowers but instead bought a chilli bush for my window sill. It looks lovely.

I'll leave you with my jam recipe as thats what i'll be making tonight. Its so lovely to make and its the sort of thing you can put all your emotions into.

Strawberry Jam

You will need:
  • Equal parts fruit to sugar (1kg of strawberries to 1kg of sugar)
  • one lemon
  • one vanilla bean
What to do:
  1. Cut up all your fruit
  2. Slice down the middle of the vanilla bean
  3. Juice your lemon
  4. Mix everything together and leave it overnight
  5. Drain all the liquid off the fruit the next day and cook on love heat for 30 minutes
  6. Add the fruit
  7. Stir
  8. simmer for a couple of hours, stir to make sure it doesn't stick
  9. Towards the end when most of the liquid has absorbed and its getting thick keep more of an eye on it so it doesn't burn
  10. It is ready when it coats the back of the spoon.
  11. Eat it with someone you love.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Is it possible to be this hungry? Although I have been in a kitchen all day, making and eating bread, all I have wanted to do is eat. I'm so very very hungry. But what is it I crave? Bread? Chocolate? More coffee? No I don't thinks so.

Is it possible for your whole being to be hungry? There is a word for this in Portuguese and it is translated as "a longing, or wanting, for someone or something." Its so very beautiful. Why don't we have a word like this in English?

My head has been so busy this week. If only I could quiet it, learn to enjoy being alone, eat less carbs, run more, try harder, be simpler, achieve more, stress less, enjoy more, care less, and do more, then life would be better.

I spent all day in class convinced that my bread wouldn't rise. I was so very sure everyone's food would be better than mine. I took it all very personally. My bred was fine and all my deserts turned out lovely. Some of the other classmates however had huge cooking disasters. One girls cake just didn't rise at all and looked like a flat bread. Why must i be so hard on myself.

I think maybe if I was a bit kinder to myself things would fall into place a lot more. Its my mission for this week. I'll let you know how it goes. I'll start it right now by eating a big plate of lentils and eggplant.....lovely.

I'll give you a nice simple bread recipe to make this weekend. You can make it into a sandwich or serve it with a soup. Enjoy.


What you will need:
  • 250 ml of water
  • 5g fresh yeast
  • 375g bakers flour
  • 10g salt (it sounds like a lot, but you need it)
  • 20ml of olive oil
What to do:
  1. Warm your water on the stove so its blood temperature. You don't want to boil it or some of the water will evaporate and then your mixture will be all wrong.
  2. Add your yeast to your water and stir until you cant see it anymore
  3. Sift your salt and flour together
  4. Make a well in the flour and add the yeast mix, and 10 ml of the oil.
  5. Stir it together with your fingers
  6. Give it a good knead for 5 mins. If its too dry add some more water, if its too wet add some more flour. Remember though it will look too dry before you knead it, but after a few minutes of working the dough it will look wetter.
  7. Put it in a bowl and cover with glad wrap. Leave for 2 hours or until its doubles in size
  8. Punch the dough to get some of the gas out of it (get out a bit of pent up anger when you hit it....... I usually think of a relationship that ended badly.......only because its good for the bread)
  9. Shape the dough into whatever shaped bread you want.
  10. Brush it with the rest of the oil and sit on a tray
  11. Leaver for another 30 to 50 mins until it has doubled in size again. Don't worry about needed it to get it into the oven quickly. Give it time to prove properly or your bread wont be happy
  12. Place in a preheated oven at 180.
  13. If you have made small loves they will take about 15 mins. Large will take around 20 to 25. You will know when they are cooked, if when you tap them on the bottom and they make a hollow noise.
Enjoy your bread and be happy

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Walking down the street today I saw a boy I liked. We were both polite and had a little chat then went our different ways. I turned to my friend next to me and asked "was that awkward?" just in case i had imagined the strain I had felt holding together a conversation. She told me she could barely stop herself from laughing the whole time.

I have no idea what is wrong with this guy. On the way to school today two men wolf whistled at me, and four cars beeped. I don't want to be arrogant, because its not that I think I'm all that.....but today I looked good. My stockings matched my scarf, my jacket matched my shoes and my dress matched my eyes. For goodness sake i was wearing knee high stiletto boots. Even my undies matched my bra (not that he would have known this, or anyone else for that matter)

None of these stupid dates I have been going on seem to be working. I have no idea why? I'm a nice girl! I care about things. I'm smart. I'm interesting. I'm only 21 and I feel like I have lived a lot. In two years time I will be both a qualified chef and pastry chef. For goodness sake men, I can bake bred from scratch! From scratch! That's got to count for something doesn't it? One man that I was interested in recently confessed that he was intimidated by me....because I wasn't stupid, and then it ended. This confused me no end.

The dating world is like yeast. It needs water and food....but most importantly the right temperature. The perfect temperature for making bread is the same as your blood (between 25 and 35 degrees.) If you leave it to prove in a cold place it simply wont grow. Too hot however and it wont survive. Even if you get the temperature right but leave it too long your yeast will grow, eat all the food (flour and water) and then die. Its such a game of balance. When you get it right though, and your dough is the perfect texture, it is so amazingly satisfying.

We are focusing on yeast goods this week at school. Maybe I could learn something from it. Tomorrow I will be baking focaccia, brioche (which is heaven), savarin paste, danish paste, and chelsea buns. So very very beautiful. I sat in class watching the teacher kneading and stirring, and I could hardly hold in my excitement. It was a miracle I didn't jump up and start cheering half way through the lesson.

If you would like to give my idea of heaven a shot, here is a brioche recipe for you. Don't worry its easier to make then dating Melbourne boys. Hope you enjoy it

What you will need:
  • 250g flour
  • 100ml of milk
  • 15g of fresh yeast (if you want to use dried yeast thats fine, just use 7.5 g instead)
  • 25g butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 3g salt
What to do:
  1. Sift your flour
  2. Warm your milk to room temperature and then add your yeast. Stir until it dissolves.
  3. Add your salt and sugar to your flour.
  4. Add your milk yeast mix and your eggs.
  5. Cut your butter into small chunks and add it bit by bit to your mix. Stirring it in and pushing it against the side of the bowl so that it becomes Incorporated. The consistency should be that of a thick pancake mix. If its still too runny add a bit more flour.
  6. Cover with glad wrap and let it prove for about half an hour till an hour.
  7. Butter and dust some moulds with flour (you can use a muffin tin
  8. Knock back your dough with a spoon (basically just give it a whack with a spoon)
  9. Fill your moulds with dough about 3/4 full.
  10. Let prove for another half an hour.
  11. Bake at 200 for 20 to 25 minutes.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Almond Friands

Today was a day of possibilities. Sometimes we should do just the opposite of what we are meant to. When I woke up this morning I had every intention to go to pastry school, like a good little student. Instead I caught the train into the city, bought two coffee's some pastries and let myself into a friends apartment.

We sat in the dark at 7.30 in the morning sipping our coffees and talking about life. Somehow we got onto the subject of stress. I mentioned that I had been a bit stressed lately. My friend laughed at me, entwined his fingers in mine, and said "Cherry, what do you have to be stressed about? You sell cupcakes for a living, and go to school to learn how to make cakes." He always made everything sound so simple. I tried explain what was going on in my life, but found I couldn't put it into words.

I kissed him goodbye an hour later as he walked off to school, and i left for my day. I decided that today was not a day for school. It was a day for cafes, book shops, and exploring. I discovered a macaroon shop which I fell in love with, and some other really amazing places.

After walking around for a few hours I settled down in a cafe to do some serious thinking. The conversation about stress was haunting me. What was really wrong?

I wasn't worried about money (even though I really should be), and I wasn't worried about school (obviously, I was breezing through puff pastry making, and loving it.) The state of my heart however was worrying me. Life has been looking a lot like a game called uno stacko that my sister and I used to play as kids. Its basically a game where you have a tower of blocks which you have to rebuild by taking blocks from the bottom and stacking them on top, without it falling down. Ive been feeling like all my emotions are stacked up, and Im terrified that if I take one out and examine it, the rest will all fall upon me too. So instead I wrap the tower with sticky tape, to make it strong and hard, convinced this will stop it from falling over.

To be honest, for now, i quite like it this way. Doesn't everyone get sick of 'feeling' so much all the time? I think I'd prefer living my life with a roll of tape in my hands instead of always picking up blocks. I'll let you know how it goes.

In the meantime here is a lovely friand recipe for you. If everything in life fails, at least there is cake! And that theory really saved me today.

Almond Friands

What you will need:
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of icing sugar
  • 1 cup of icing sugar
  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 6 egg whites
  • 250g melted butter
What to do:
  1. Sift together the icing sugar, flour, and almond meal
  2. Whisk egg whites until the mix is light and bubbly (you can do this by hand, no need for electric mixer)
  3. Mix the melted butter (which should be at room temperature with the dry mix.
  4. Gently fold in your egg whites
  5. Also feel free to add a tsp of vanilla if you like it.
  6. Pour your mix into sprayed muffin tins
  7. Leave to stand for 20 minutes
  8. Bake at 160 for 20 to 30 minutes

Another day in cup cake land

Today was another day at work, selling cupcakes. Its funny how even something as lovely as cake can become a wee bit mundane. I couldn't believe how many pretentious customers we had today. And people don't seem to know the answer to "hi how are you today" isn't "I'll have six cakes." Some people are so silly. Someone called up the store today and asked for the shops phone number. REALLY??? HONESTLY!!!

But there were still many beautiful factors to the day. For a start I wore a wee bit of Chanel, got given free lunch and had a chat to the cute waiter next door (a very short chat because I told him he looked awful today, realised it was rude, was too shy to say much more, and ran away.....smooth cherry, very smooth.)

I have been spending a lot of time in degraves st in melbourne. Its such a lovely place for food, coffee and wine. Im very tempted to skip school tomorrow and spend the whole morning reading books and drinking coffee, then the whole afternoon drinking red wine. I'll probably end up at school though...we will see.

This week at pastry school we are making some danishes. Im very very excited for this. It sounds so so lovely. I'll let you know how it goes.

I was a bit lazy tonight and just cooked up a pasta dish with eggplant and tomato. It was one of those meals you can never make twice because it just comes together.

Have a lovely night.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Sticky date pudding

Hello everyone, this is the home of my new blog, the last one wasn't working as i wanted it to because apparently it wasn't a blog sight. How was I to know? These things really are a bit beyond me at times. I can add computers to my list of things I don't understand along with politics, science, and how to apply fake tan without looking like a zebra. Luckily this blog is about none of those things.

It is about the one thing I seem to know a bit Its also about love, and life, and Melbourne, and cafes. But mainly food. I created it for a challenge, but also to teach myself how to love cooking for myself. Its something I haven't done for a while. A long string of relationships has left me a little confused on how to cook for one person, and more importantly how to just be alone. So if your single (or not) I hope you will be inspired to make beautiful food for yourself and those you strings attached.

Just for a bit of a background (since this is a new blog space and all) I am a young aspiring chef/writer. Im currently studding both pastry and cooking at a small hospitality school in melbourne. I'd love to create a life that is somehow a combination of cooking/love/art/beauty, like if donna hay, nigel lawson, marilyn monroe, and jamie oliver got together and had a baby. Im not really sure how that would work......but its what Im working on. The lifestyle, not getting them all together to ummm get what I mean.

Please feel free to send me in pictures of things you cook, and yummy ideas that inspire you. Have a very very lovely night.

My first recipe for this blog will be something very potent for me. Sticky date pudding. Two people I loved very dearly both loved this desert. I made it in pastry school last week, for the first time just for me. I hope you like it and enjoy making it.

Sticky Date Pudding

You will need:
  • 175g dates
  • 1tsp bicarb soda
  • 75g butter
  • 150g brown sugar
  • 1tsp vanilla essence
  • 170g self raising flour
  • 2 eggs
What to do:
  1. Cook your dates with 3/4 cup of water in a small pot until they are a bit soft.
  2. Add the bicarb and cook for another 5 mins until all the water is gone (the bicarb helps to soften the dates.)
  3. Beat your eggs
  4. And then just mix everything together. Pour the mix into muffin trays and bake at 180 for about 25 minutes
  5. Leave them to set in the tin for about 10 mins before you serve them.