We are releasing our Valentine’s Day party next week. I can’t wait for you to see it. But I thought I’d give you another sneak peek of the cookies. We worked with Sweet Jenny Belle to produce the Heart, Hands, Eyes, and Lips and I love how they turned out!
See the other DIYs we did for our Hearts, Hands, Eyes, and Lips party here:
It’s Australia day on Tuesday! That’s right, it’s the day of the Land Down Under, and although I personally feel that the date should be changed, to show respect to the indigenous peoples of Australia (as the current date does not). Until that date changes, I will still eat the foods of the land I love, and celebrate all that is positive about modern day Australia.
One thing that’s important to know about truly ‘Australian’ food is that it doesn’t really exist. Of course we have native fruits and vegetables, but for the most part, our cuisine is a lot of flavours borrowed from all over the world. We love Laksa, and Pad Thai, and Butter Chicken as much as we love Spaghetti Bolognese, Meat Pies and Barbecue. Australian Barbecues are kind of a thing unto themselves, although we never ‘throw a shrimp on’ – we actually call them prawns here, and we only bbq them occasionally.
Anyway, I’ve gotten sidetracked! The thing is, a Lamington is one food that is categorically Australian. It was invented here, and it’s pretty damn delicious. Lamingtons are small spongecakes, dipped in a light chocolate glaze, and then rolled in coconut. They sometimes have a jam filling, and sometimes a cream filling, or both. They are served at morning and afternoon tea, or just for a snack. And this, my Lamington Float, is the 2016 take on them!
It’s got all the flavours – coconut, chocolate, raspberry, vanilla – of a classic Lamington, but in an ice-cold, foaming, frothy float! I love making these whenever I have friends over for dinner. There’s nothing more fun than eating such a quintessential kid’s dessert at a table full of adults. The key is to make each element as sophisticated as it can be. This iteration has quality vanilla ice cream, a coconut-chocolate fudge sauce, fresh raspberries and a splash of coconut water, all topped off with plain soda water. Delicious!
Here in Australia it’s the middle of Summer. It’s hot, the mangoes are cheap and plentiful, and it’s a little hard to get right into the Christmas spirit. We all read the classic Christmas books, and watch Hollywood holiday movies just like everyone else. And it’s hard to ignore the snow falling in every scene, the cozy looking log fires, and everyone wearing ugly, snuggly sweaters.
I’ll be honest with you…I’m a little jealous. Summer is great! I’m not denying that for a second. But when the Christmas tree is up, even after 25 years, it still feels a little wrong to be heading to the beach to go swimming. And that’s why I find myself gravitating to desserts like this one that look as if they’re carpeted in snow.
This Chocolate Tiramisu Layer Cake is almost a lazy person’s Buche de Noel; if you squint, it could easily be a snow-covered log fresh from the forest floor. But I love the way that with its thick swathes of mascarpone frosting, and draped redcurrants, it looks like it’s come from the holiday banquet of some Frost Queen’s castle. Like the food of Narnia, if Narnia wasn’t so obsessed with Turkish Delight. The recipe itself couldn’t be simpler, and it dispenses with the raw eggs of traditional tiramisu. The layers are an easy chocolate sponge that takes only minutes to bake in a sheet pan, and the layers are then brushed with coffee and slathered in a mascarpone mix, sweetened and flavoured with vanilla and a dash of rum (extra holiday spirit!). This is the perfect thing for a holiday dinner, whether it actually is freezing, or you just wish it was. Happy Holidays! Read on →
Nothing rings in the holidays more than delicious hot chocolate and giving, so this holiday season I’m thrilled to partner with GODIVA to help warm our hearts and hands with hot chocolate along with meaningful ways to give. A great combo! We wanted to do our own special take on the traditional hot chocolate to celebrate GODIVA’s partnership with Toys for Tots this season, where from December 1st until the 15th of December, they are donating $1 to children in need with every cup of hot chocolate beverage you purchase at their store. Doing good by drinking chocolate? Yes, please!
We came up with three unique hot chocolate sundae recipes (ice cream and hot chocolate? Oh my!) made from GODIVA’s Hot Chocolate and each with their own “toy” topper in honor of the partnership: gingerbread hot chocolate sundae with a singing in the rain gingerbread man toy topper, peppermint hot chocolate sundae with a peppermint toy topper, dark chocolate caramel swirl with caramel marshmallows toy toppers. Guys, prepare to be dazzled.
Isn’t it wonderful what cake can do? This cake can turn any day into an absolute WinterWonderland. Whether you’re absolutely miserable, stuck in doors due to snow or sleet, with barely any sunlit hours in the day, or like me, you’re only barely coping with ridiculously hot and muggy weather here sunny Australia.
Either way, this beautiful Gingerbread Cake with Lemon Buttercream will whisk you away to some Narnia-like realm where the snow falls in beautiful crystalline flakes, and the air is cool and crisp and the sky is bright. It’s cool, but somehow not too cold, and the woods are frosted white and beautiful. A slice of this cake and a steaming cup of hot coffee or chocolate truly will lift your spirits, no matter what kind of extreme weather you’re dealing with.