Thursday, January 31, 2013

Hey you!

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There's been a lot of the "leave it and move on" thinking in my world this past little while. Do you ever get that pinch from a been-and-gone-thing you realise you've accidentally held within you? Damn things take up too much space, huh! I've been circling these (very few) been-and-gones and finally decided they're getting the flick to make room for a whole lotta wonderful waiting at my doorstep!
There's nothing worse than realising you could be holding yourself back from so much more. Following my 2013 rule#2, I'm doing something about it - eliminating and simplifying. Genius, really.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Recipe: 4 tier chocolate layer cake

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My wonderful mum celebrated her birthday yesterday and I wanted to whip up a little treat to show her just sweet I think she is. If I was going to do this right, Donna Hay's 4 tier chocolate layer cake was the only way to go! Believe me when I say this can be done - quite simply at that! The kind-to-first-timers-recipe makes things a whole heap easier to tackle. Being a tad pedantic for bakers-perfection can possibly, just maybe have something else to do with the whole thing standing upright! A little effort for a whole lotta gain, though.

  • ½ cup (125ml ) water
  • 60g butter, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa, sifted
  • 1 cup (150g) plain (all-purpose) flour, sifted
  • ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of (baking) soda, sifted
  • 1 cup (220g) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup (60ml) buttermilk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
chocolate cream cheese frosting:
  • 50g butter, softened
  • 250g cream cheese
  • 1 cup (160g) icing (confectioner’s) sugar mixture, sifted
  • ¼ cup cocoa, sifted
The fun part:

Preheat oven to 150°C (300°F).
Place water, butter and cocoa in a saucepan over medium heat and stir until the butter has melted. Place the flour, bicarbonate of soda and sugar in a bowl, add the cocoa mixture and whisk to combine. Add the egg, buttermilk and vanilla and whisk to combine.
Divide mixture between 2 lightly greased 12cm round cake tins lined with non-stick baking paper. Bake for 40–45 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Allow to cool in the tins for 5 minutes. Turn out onto wire racks to cool completely.

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While the cake is baking, make the cream cheese frosting.
Place the butter and cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat for 6–8 minutes or until pale and creamy. Add the icing sugar and cocoa and beat for a further 6–8 minutes or until light and fluffy.

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To assemble, slice the cakes in half horizontally. Place one cake layer on a plate and spread with one quarter of the frosting. Repeat with remaining layers and frosting. Decorate as desired. A few raspberries and a dust of icing sugar did the trick for me! Recipe link.

p.s. I made 4-times the amount as the recipe only fills a 12cm round tin.

If anyone gives this one a go, I'd be interested to hear how your layers stacked up! x

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

We'll have cake!

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Happy Birthday to the most caring, kind-hearted, selfless, best-listener, top gym buddy, inspirational, motivating, patient (understatement), talented lady I know. My mum! x

Friday, January 18, 2013

Friday's finds

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 I've been a busy pinterest-bee this past week. Since deactivating my facebook account and dealing with a temperamental instagram app, I've coped almost entirely social-media-free...with the exception of the odd sticky beak at Pinterest's links. Here are some of my finds - just the thing to soak up a few minutes and get us over the 5pm-finish-line a little easier.

1. I don't blame this foodie for having the most delicious looking Niu Rou Mian (beef noodle soup) every day for one whole week.

2. I've never believed in wall stickers...these Sewing kit vinyl wall stickers haven't convinced my otherwise.

3. You're now one click away from a tonne of inspiration and mind-blowing-beautiful snaps at Sterling Style. I mean it!

Before I make a run for the weekend, I'd like to send a huge bunch of thanks to you for your following and blogger support!
Have a wonderful weekend, whatever you're up to. x

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

On your mark, get set....2013!

 Welcome back! We're well and truly over the New Year hurdle and I've decided I'm kicking off 2013 with the boldest fist-pump a girl can mange! As I'm no pen-to-paper-resolution-maker, I'm dedicating this post to a peep into the year that was and looking up at my dreams of a glittery, bright 2013 to be. Here goes..

Memory #1: If you followed through most of 2012, you'd recall me whirling through rental agreement break-ups and eventually peeling myself away from my Melbourne deco-style-one-bedder, bratty tears and all. With 2 years worth of life taped in removalist boxes, I booked the one-way-er back to the family home; by far my best move of the year!

I put my money on my tappers...
Memory #2: I spent my days in employment contracts (and there were a few!), buying too many shoes (all investments, of course!), going on road-trips with my love, splashing paint on canvas and rolling in gut-aching laughs with my most treasured girls. My tappers were finally shuffled back (thanks to a massive kick of courage) into the best thing I'll live to know too, ballet!

Road trip, Tasmania, Winter 2012
For those who witnessed the time this took, you'd understand
my satisfaction in making that final stroke!
If you're still reading, I'm extending some massive blogger thanks your way. Hang on!There's a tiny bit more to come. I have 3 things to say to the 365 days ahead of me...
Hey, 2013 #1: Challenges and all, I'm giving a nod to the brilliant start 2012 paved for one heck of a 2013, sending me giddy with a shot at some shiny new possibilities. Anything is possible with the sugar-sweet-love from my incredible man; the one to boost me with his positivity, courage and balance through my days. I'm pinching myself for the greatest earth-shaking-love I'll know!

Hey, 2013 #2: It's all about simplicity, huh; stripping it all back to basics and grounding myself with the love and care only family can provide (and good friends). Without them, I'd go troppo. I'll be making sure to march on with these words in mind, "always remember, you're like the 5 people you spend the most time with..."

Hey, 2013 #3: I'm set and ready to lose myself amongst the biggest, brightest dreams I've had!

I hope your 2013 has kicked off to one bright n' shiny start! Looking forward to having you follow through the journey to come.


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