July 14, 2014

April 10, 2014

Vanilla Cake with White Chocolate Drizzle


I don't have an outdoor area. A beautiful day beckons to go outside so I grab the trestle table, throw over a lovely tablecloth and deck out some fine china. Freshly brewed tea in vintage cups with pretty, flowery plates inviting me with still-warm vanilla cake is about as homely as it gets.

This cake was an experiment. Be generous with the vanilla extract. It was surprisingly dense and yet light at the same time. Nicka declared it to be the best vanilla cake she's ever eaten.  Guess I best record the recipe.

Vanilla Cake
190mls water
180gm sugar
125gm butter - melt the water, sugar & butter over low heat; bring to boil - add 1/2 tsp bicarb; remove - cool

Add 2tsp vanilla extract
180gm self raising flour
2 eggs - separated

 Beat egg white till soft peaks. Work quickly - pour cooled liquid slowly into egg yolks whisking thoroughly so no streaks of egg yolk is evident.

Add flour to this. Fold in eggwhite.

Bake at 170degrees celcius for 35-40 mins. Mine became stuck to the base of bundt tin; better to grease and line with baking paper in a round.

White Choc Ganache
Place 100gm broken up white chocolate Lindt & 2 tbsp pouring cream in a glass bowl. Sit over a metal pot of gently simmering water. Must be gently simmering. When chocolate is almost melted, take off heat and stir constantly till dissolved. Pour over cooled cake. Sprinkle with 100's & 1000's if desired.






January 9, 2014

Daring to Dream...


Intense and exciting discussion with my daughter yesterday. Wide-eyed, bushy-tailed and feeling renewed from her recent travels, she's in the job market.

I've noticed how much she says she enjoyed frequenting little teahouses in England and how often she said she thought of me over there when sipping tea from quaint enticing little cottages. Not to mention some beautiful china pieces she brought home. Hmmmm.

I came right out and asked her yesterday. Would you like to start a 'teahouse' with me in the valley? Her eyes lit up. She does. We spent hours chatting away with all the possibilities. She jumped right on the net and started looking for quaint Queenslander-style houses. They're around! They exist. We just need to find THE one.

We'd be open for the weekend only - I'd cook during the week. She'd be waitress, decorator, helper. Her boyfriend (also in the job market) can be barista and general maintenance guy. He used to make coffee at Max Brenner. We'd use one of the rooms as a gallery with Nicka's work. She can go ballistic with making greeting cards, postcards, calendars, framed pics......and so on. As for my menu - I won't even begin. Haha.

Inception stage at the moment.....we do need Hubby's approval.  When we're feeling slightly more armed with info - we'll pounce on him. Cross your fingers for us please...........x


January 2, 2014

Precious Pressie


How lucky do I feel?

My precious daughter brought home this precious tea set from Whitby in England. Sounds like it activated the stress scale quite a bit with having to make it home in one piece.

Make it home in one piece it did. It was the grand finale pressie for me on xmas day. As I lifted the lid off the beautifully packaged gold box, a piece of immaculate history stared back at me.

It's in extraordinary condition; I couldn't find a blemish. I'm told it was made sometime during the Edwardian Era making it over 100 years old.

I hold it, steadily, very steadily, and I imagine it was made before WW1 started, before the sinking of the Titanic and I wonder if this cups kind were served on the Titanic. Who knows?

And so a new chapter begins here with me in Australia. Will it ever be used - hmmm - I'm weary at this stage, but hopefully I'll muster the courage to use sip from it one day. I must!

Feeling fortunate.
Thank you darling daughter.
Love Mother x





December 13, 2013

A Christmas Filled with Meaning and Mousse.


Here's the link to my recipe - December issue in the paper - it's delicious.
White Chocolate Mousse & Rum 'n Raisin Chocolate Mousse

I probably won't blog again before Christmas. Like everyone, not enough done, lots to do, time is short.

So if you flit by, I'd like to wish you a - not a 'merry' christmas really - but a thoughtful one, with loads of appreciation and gratitude for the people you love and who love you.

A Christmas with laughs and memories, of people both present and passed. And pets too. We always bring up our long ago gone to doggy heaven "Rosie".

We all have 'heirloom' decorations that each of us has to put on the tree ourselves. I put up a cross for my Dad and a 'wreath' decoration for all the pets we've had. I'm so glad I started that tradition - it makes everyone feel connected.

I made a Christmas Day Menu for my lot and emailing it to them has left a smile on my face. I hadn't done that before - I hope it gets their juices flowing and makes them look forward to Christmas even more. And makes them gasp at all their mother does!! Truth is, I do more than is even listed and pictured too - but I love it and I don't get into a tizz with the pressure of it all. Wish I could say that's always been the case, but, sadly - it has got to me a few times. Happy to report, those days are over!!

And yes, mousse is on the menu!

I hope you have a meaningful Christmas.
Mariana x