Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Raspberry and Lime Cake

Over the last few days I have been stuck in bed with the flu. So you will understand that I haven't much felt like cooking or writing.......or walking for that matter. Its been really quite awful. Mainly I've been watching lots of trashy t.v. shows and napping. I've discovered a lovely show called Miss Fishers Murders, thats all about a lady detective from Melbourne in the early 1920's (I've got a little girl crush on her.) She runs around solving crimes, all in lipstick and heals.

Secretly I would love to do the same with my career (the lipstick and heels part not the solving crime part.) One of my friends always says I will be the 'chef who wears Chanel.' One can only hope.

Until then though, I will leave you will this delicious lime cake recipe which I made last week. Its so very moist.....and just a wee bit stylish (like a chef in Chanel.) I wish I had a picture of this lovely to cake to show you....but well we ate it all before I got the chance.

Raspberry and lime cake.


  • 225g soft butter
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 4 medium eggs
  • grated zest of 2 limes
  • 5 tbs of lime juice
  • 250g self raising flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 25g almond meal
  • 200g of raspberries

  • For the syrup
  • Juice of five limes
  • 150g of caster sugar
What to do:
  1. Cream together butter and sugar in electric mixer.
  2. Slowly add one egg at a time, beating well in between each addition.
  3. Add lime juice.
  4. Fold through dry ingredients
  5. Fold through 2/3 of the berries.
  6. Pour cake into a lined cake tin and sprinkle over the remaining berries.
  7. Cook at 180 for one hours.
  8. While cake is cooking mix together lime juice and sugar in a small pot. Cook on a low heat until sugar dissolves (be careful not to boil mixture.)
  9. When the cake comes out of the oven prick it all over with a squire, and pour over the syrup. 
  10. Let cool in the tin for one hour before serving. 

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Spinach and Ricotta Gnocchi

I wish I could report that I spent my whole day studying for exams that are next week....but unfortunately this is not the case. Instead after school I took a (much needed) nap and did some cooking. Neither of these things will help me pass my law subject, but I can always convince myself that cooking is a justified procrastination......as I am studying at a culinary school after all, which is basically just cooking..... sort of......

My intentions have been so good all week. I was going to run more, and organise more 'things' that need organising, and be wonderful and productive. I have been pushing so hard lately to get everything done, and now the end is in sight I have fallen into a bit of a heap. At the start of the term I made a list of things I really wanted to achieve. I wanted to get ready for the wedding I am catering, I wanted to do more yoga, I wanted to fit into my tiny silk dress, and I wanted to meet a nice boy(lets just leave that last one alone, as I have decided that the boy on the tram who offered me a shot of tequila probably wasn't relationship maternal). I am happy to report that I am extremely prepared for the wedding. The good work stops there though. I have not attending one yoga class, and despite going for 30 minute runs 3 to 4 times a week it is starting to become glaringly obvious that that dress does not want to fit (goodness....who wants to be a size 8 anyway?) The longer I continue my profession as a pasty chef, a cake maker, and food blogger, the more I realise I may never be the size of all the wildly inappropriate girls my ex boyfriend back home dates.

The thing is though.......I love my life here in Melbourne selling cakes and practicing recipes, and I wouldn't give it up....even to be size 8. I have this beautiful tiny little apartment and some amazing friends.......and right now, thats kinda perfect.

Today one of my best friends and I went to a little community market and sold all our old clothes. We sat in the sunshine all day eating organic cakes and drinking lots of coffee. It was super lovely. To prepare for this though and discus our market plans we had a 'pre market stall dinner' the night before......followed by martini's at one of my favourite little spots in Melbourne.

Its about time I post up a savoury recipe after all the cakes I've been cooking lately. Here's the dinner I made.

Cheats Spinach and Ricotta gnocchi with chunky tomato and prosciutto sauce.

What you will need:


  • 2 eggs
  • 300g blanched silver beat
  • One cup of ricotta
  • 2/3 cup plane flour
  • 2/3 cup of grated parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
What to do:
  1. Break up ricotta cheese
  2. Mix all ingredients together, until it forms a sticky dough.
  3. Roll teaspoon sized balls, using floured hands.
  4. Place balls on a floured tray and set aside.

  • One onion
  • Five clothes of garlic
  • One tine of diced tomatoes
  • 3 slices of prosciutto
  • Half a cup of red wine
  • One cup of stock (chicken or vegetable)
  • Half a bunch of basil
  • 1 tbs of tomato paste

What to do:
  1. Dice onion and garlic and saute in a fry pan on low heat until clear.
  2. Finely dice prosciutto and add to onion and garlic. Cook until slightly crispy.
  3. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring continually for one minute.
  4. Add wine and let cook down for 4 minutes (this gets out the bitter flavour, but leaves the yummy wine taste.)
  5. Add the tomatoes, stock and half the basil (with stalks and all.) 
  6. Bring to the boil, turn down and simmer for half an hour.
  7. Add the gnocchi (oh oh but first remove the basil stems) place the lid on the sauce.....cook for five minutes, or until the gnocchi is firm. If it is not fully submerged in the sauce you may want to turn the gnocchi half way through the cooking. 
  8. Shred the remaining basil and add to the sauce. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Gluten Free Raspberry Cup Cakes

I remember when I first moved to Melbourne, everything seemed like an adventure. I was so excited to meet everyone, and do anything new. It was new, it was fresh, it was exciting. Some days now just getting out of bed feels like an effort. The walk to the supermarket is a grand ordeal at times, and meeting friends with coffee can feel like such a stretch.

The magic of this city has work off a little. At times the magic of life wears off too. Buying my morning coffee is no longer a treat, its just another step I have to go through to get to the next stage in my day. Somewhere along the way I stopped going to the pastry shop before collage to by croissants because I realised how much butter goes into them. I stopped eating chocolate for breakfast, and I stopped flirting with waiters (nothing good comes of it....ever!)

I think what I have realised lately.....is that I'm growing up, and I'm not so sure how much I like it. I feel like I'm facing the real world while all the 'peta pan's' I've ever dated are still back in never never land, doing as they please. At times this doesn't seem very fair. Finding the magic in life seems to come so easily for some, while the rest of us are forced to grapple with the reality of life.....such as bills, broken hearts, bathrooms that need cleaning, washing, stress, sensitive emotions, calories, and assignments about law.

What I'd like to know is.....can we get on with life, and have some magic? Can we have our cake, eat it too, and still fit into a little black dress? I hope so. I'm going to make more of an effort to look out for magic over the next few months. I'll start with these gluten free raspberry cakes.

Gluten free Raspberry Cup cakes

1 and 1/2 cups of icing sugar
1 cup of almond meal
1/2 cup of rice flour
6 egg whites
250 g melted butter

What to do:

  • Sift together icing sugar, almond meal and rice flour. Stir.
  • Melt butter and let cool
  • Fold butter into dry ingredients
  • With a hand whisk, whisk egg whites until bubbly and foamy.
  • Fold egg whites though cake batter
  • Spoon into patty pans
  • Poke in raspberries
  • Let sit for 20 minutes
  • Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until set in a moderate oven. 
I used the buttercream icing that I used on the blueberry and rosewater cake in an earlier post to frost the cakes. 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

A small cat

Today I found out that my pet cat back home died. I know that this isn't a very happy blog topic.....but today wasn't a very happy day. I had no idea how to deal with this news. Deaths are always such strange things to deal with. How do you morn the loss of an animal? I started by calling my ex boyfriend at seven thirty in the morning.......crying. "Isabell died," I sobbed down the phone. "Who's Isabell? " he enquired, half asleep, and confused. I spent the rest of the day in a haze. I did some baking, talk to friends, went out to dinner and then came home. I settled in to drink my housemates beers (which doesn't interrupt my healthy eating week as beer is liquid....not food.....there is no logic in this I know....just go with it, and let me pretend, I'm in morning for goodness sake!)

I think I'll really miss my cat when I go home. She was one of my favourite pets. This may sound silly.....but I liked her because she was so fiercely independent. I'm not a huge animal person, but I really liked Isabell for the fact that she just came and go as she wanted, and never really needed anyone. She was pretty aloof, and secretly I think I admired her. I'm always running around jumping from relationship to relationship, worrying about work, working about a career, trying to get everything in order, discover the perfect recipe, buy the perfect dress, fit into that perfect dress, be a good friend, be a good person, remember to just be alive...... and no I'm not crazy and I totally understand that my cat probably never had the pressure of working and going to pastry school all while trying to meet a nice boy, but still, I thought she was pretty cool in her own catish sort of way.

Loss is such a hard emotion to deal with, as it is pretty consuming. I was so grateful to have some recipes to work on so I could take my mind off it. Salted caramel tarts can be so soothing to make with all the boiling of sugar and rolling of pastry. I think my cat would have approved, because they are full of cream.......and she really liked cream.