Monday, June 29, 2009

Baking Mondays - I is for Irish Whiskey cupcakes

Irish Whiskey cupcake topped with coffee swiss meringue buttercream and a Irish Whiskey chocolate

This week Irish Whiskey won the polls (which Mat, my husband, was very excited about) and so off I went to the bottle shop to buy some Jamesons. I was hoping that they would have some small bottles of Irish Whiskey since I only needed a quarter of a cup, but no - I had to buy a whole bottle for $39 - ouch!!

If you want to try these out I used this recipe for the cupcakes, it made 30 cupcakes and they took about 15 minutes to bake. For the coffee swiss meringue buttercream just follow the recipe for almond swiss meringue buttercream but instead of the almond essence add strong coffee to flavour (as much as you need).

The ratings?

Me - 8/10 - the texture of the cake was great, good crumb and moist. The frosting was good as per usual and together it was a great combination.
Mat - 9.5/10 - awesome! Alcohol flavoured cupcakes two for two :D

Friday, June 26, 2009

Flickr Friday - Fire

1. A candle for every sin, 2. Fire!, 3. Bokeh fire (Part3/3) EHBW!!!!, 4. Just This Once, 5. Firefight, 6. Don't 'cha Wish Your Bokeh was a Star Like Me?, 7. Flaming boat, 8. Extra shot from Austin Monthly shoot, 9. Phoenix

And the winner is...

Irish Whiskey!

Check in on Monday to see the cupcakes that I bake :)

Creative Thursday

A bit late, but I am still making progress on my chicken cross stitch - in fact I am very close to finishing it. After I have finished my first chicken I will have one more to do which is basically just the mirror image of this one, although I might change up the colours just a little bit - we'll see.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Tuesday Etsy Picks - Embroidery

1. Hand embroidered wall art APPLE TREE, SPRING by Hare and Drum's House of Color
2. Neskat's Embroidered Wool Felt Hair Clip by Neskat
3. Fivel - Wall Art by strangedayknits
4. Your Roots Are Showing Flowerpot Wrap by SeptemberHouse
5. Fiber art wall piece by Elin Art
6. White heart pin by Stitch and play
7. Everything will be alright by The joys of Jess
8. Hello girl by Melissa Sue Stanley
9. black flower by The Happy Possum

Baking Mondays - Cinnamon Swirl Cupcakes

I decided to take a small break from my A.. B.. Cupcakes project this week and instead made a recipe that I bookmarked a while back. I made Cinnamon Swirl Cupcakes from My Baking Addiction - and may I just say that these are yummy! If you are fan of cinnamon I suggest you give these a try.

The ratings?

Me - 8/10, these were really tasty - love the cinnamon mix swirled through the cupcake. The only down point was my silly oven not baking these properly - but I will definitely try these again when I one day get my new oven :D
Mat - 9/10, almost one of the best - the cake was too moist though (but again that was my oven playing up)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Creative Thursday

While I am still working on my mosaic pots during the day I have also started a night time craft project. I am doing two chicken cross stitches for my kitchen to match my beautiful KitchenAid. I have made quite a lot of progress on the first one as it is quite addictive. Although a warning to you all - do not do this in front of your favourite TV show if you are like me, I had to undo a lot of stitches because I wasn't paying enough attention.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Happy 8 months Zoe!

Taken today before our trip to the swimming pool - love the little bathers!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Baking Mondays - H is for Honey

Honey cupcake filled with honey and peanut butter frosting, topped with peanut butter swiss meringue buttercream and drizzled with honey.

Even though we had a tie this week between honey and hot chocolate, I decided to make the executive decision and bake honey flavoured cupcakes. A few people commented that they love the honey and peanut butter flavour combination - so that was the flavour direction I decided to go in. I found a recipe for lemon and honey cupcakes on Couture Cupcakes, I omitted the lemon juice and zest and added a tiny bit more honey and milk. I made my peanut butter swiss meringue buttercream, I really should of only made half the amount though - I had 12 cupcakes, but enough buttercream for 24! To assemble the cupcakes I cut a well out of each cupcake put a dab of honey and a bit of the peanut butter SMBC in each well, then replaced the lid. I then glazed the top of the cupcakes with some honey that I zapped in the microwave, swirled on the peanut butter SMBC and drizzled over some honey. The result is honey, peanut butter awesomeness!

The ratings?

Me - 6/10, great flavour combination, I wish I didn't beat the batter as much as I did, I think it was my beating that made the cakes a bit too dense.
Mat - 7.5/10, flavour of the cake was awesome, but the cake was a bit too dense. He would definitely like more honey cupcakes in the future.

Friday, June 12, 2009

And the winner is...


Since it was a draw between Hot Chocolate and Honey I decided to make the big decision, and since I have made a lot of chocolate cupcakes lately I have gone with honey. Tune in on Monday to see what I create.

Flickr Friday - Craft

1. crafting 365 - day 240, 2. My crafting table, 3. The Craft Zone, 4. Salvia felt craft book, 5. crafts, 6. Needlebook craft kit, 7. crafting 365, day 1, 8. Crafting 365, day 173 - pink teacups, 9. New craft studio - WIP

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Favourite Photo

I've been tagged by Chantelle from fat mum slim, it goes a little something like this...

It's really simple. I love how every photo tells a story. Some short stories, some long tales. I want to know what is your favourite photo of yourself. Everyone has one. The photo they look at and smile. It reminds them of something, some time, some place. A moment in time.

So share the photo, share the story and then tag three other people. I want to see photos and stories all around the blogosphere.

Here is my photo and my story:

This photo was taken in April 2007 at our honeymoon. We took a week off to go to Melbourne, Apollo Bay and The Great Ocean Road. I love this photo because it reminds me of one of the best weeks of my life - you can't complain when you are a newly wed, on a wonderful holiday, the sun is shining, you are at the 12 apostles and you are young, fit and healthy.

Now I tag...

The Terrible Tews
grace's birdcage

Creative Thursday

Hopefully this will be a new regular on my little blog. I figure that if I keep myself accountable that I will continue to keep the creative juices flowing. So here we go...

I finally finished tiling one of my mosaic pots - it took forever! But I am happy with it. I have another one to do in the same colours, same sized pot, but a different pattern. Once they are finished I will pot them up and they will take place next to our front door. The first one is extremely heavy - so I don't have any fear of someone taking off with my handiwork :P

I'll post more updates of these as I go along - but be warned it is a very slow process for me!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Baking Mondays - G is for Guinness

Chocolate Guinness cupcake filled with dark chocolate ganache, topped with vanilla swiss meringue buttercream and sprinkled with green sugar crystals.

This week Mat was very excited about the prospect of Guinness cupcakes and it looks like quite a few of you were also excited about it - because Guinness won the polls with a landslide 21 out of 44 votes. I scoured the web for a Guinness cupcake recipe and all the recipes I found seemed to be pretty much the same. I figured if that many people were blogging about the same recipe that it had to be good, and I was right! I used the recipe on the Confessions of a Tart blog, with a few small changes.

Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes (taken from Confessions of a Tart)
Makes 20 to 24 cupcakes (24 for me)

1 cup Guinness
1 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 cups plain flour
2 cups caster sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons bicarb soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
2/3 cup sour cream
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius. Line 24 cupcake cups with liners.
  2. Bring Guinness and butter to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.
  3. Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in large bowl to blend.
  4. Using electric mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in another large bowl to blend.
  5. Add stout-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat just to combine.
  6. Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed. Using rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined.
  7. Divide batter among cupcake liners, filling them 2/3 to 3/4 of the way.
  8. Bake for approximately 15 minutes

Dark Chocolate Ganache

226g dark chocolate, in small pieces
2/3 cup thickened cream
  1. Place chocolate into a bowl.
  2. Bring cream to boil in a small saucepan, remove from heat immediately and pour over chocolate.
  3. Stir until chocolate melts.
  4. Place ganache in fridge and stir every 10 minutes until you reach a good piping consistency.

Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Follow the directions for Almond Swiss Meringue Buttercream, but use 2 tablespoons of vanilla extract and omit the almond essence.

Assembling the Cupcake
  1. Let the cupcakes cool.
  2. Cut out a well in each cupcake (eat the cut out piece :D).
  3. Fill the well with dark chocolate ganache (pipe in the ganache).
  4. Pipe a swirl of vanilla swiss meringue buttercream on top.
  5. Sprinkle with green sugar crystals.
  6. Marvel at the beauty of the cupcake.

The ratings?

Me - 9/10 - the cake was soooo good, moist, chocolatey, awesome! The ganache was a great surprise lurking inside the cake and the buttercream was great as always. Loved it. Guinness and chocolate = awesome!
Mat - 10/10 - beer to the rescue again! Best chocolate cake ever.

Nuff said!

Now before you go please take a moment to vote for the next cupcake in the A B Cupcakes project - we are up to letter H and these are your options...

Hot Chocolate

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

10 Honest Things About Myself

I was tagged a while ago by Lorelei from Mermaid Sweets and I thought it was about time that I finally got around to writing my 10 things...

1. I love Zombie movies and horror movies in general, well at least I used to. Since I had Zoe I have become somewhat more wussy and now I tend to scream and hide during horror movies. I am hoping that I can once again watch my gore one day.

2. I have two beautiful, wonderful cats. Harry (named after Harry Potter) is a chocolate Burmese and Logan (named after Wolverine) is a brown spotted Oriental. They are awesome!

3. During my high school years I wore knee socks to school almost every day. I was commonly known as the sock girl.

4. I am a serial studier. I completed an Honours degree in Computer Science, started and quit a PhD in Computer Science, started and quit a Diploma of Interior Decoration, started and quit a Bachelor of Teaching, and finally I have just applied for a Bachelor of Business (Accounting). Can you tell that I am indecisive?

5. I collect vinyl toys, and I want more!

6. I have moved a fair bit in my 27 years in this world. I have lived in Christmas Island (Indian Ocean), Nhulunbuy (Northern Territory) and Adelaide (South Australia), and I have lived in a total of 16 houses. Hopefully I won't be moving anytime soon!

7. I can not shop! I have panic attacks when I go out shopping for just about anything (except for groceries). I'm hoping one day I can get past this issue since all my socks have holes in them and all my underwear is looking very old.

8. My all time favourite dessert is cheesecake - unbaked lemon cheesecake. Can life get any better than that? In fact if I knew the world was coming to end - having some lemon cheesecake would be very high on my list of things to do.

9. I collect comics. I used to collect quite a few - and nearly all of them were X-Men. Now I just collect X-Factor (a X-Men series) and The Walking Dead (an awesome zombie comic).

10. I don't like coffee and I never will.

Now I shall tag...
Chantel from Creative Hands
Virginia from mum/toddler/babe
Sarah from A Little About Sarah
Amanda from is this thing on?
Cassie from How To Eat A Cupcake
Lori from The Morninglori Vine (by the way I can't seem to leave any comments on your blog)
Becky from Strumpet's Crumpets

Monday, June 1, 2009

Baking Mondays - F is for Ferrero Rocher Cupcakes

Chocolate cake filled with Nutella and a roasted hazelnut, topped with Nutella swiss meringue buttercream and chopped hazelnuts, drizzled with dark chocolate and finished off with half a Ferrero Rocher.

This week Ferrero Rocher won the polls and I couldn't be happier. These were really fun to make and they tasted really, really good! If you like Nutella and chocolate cake you can't go wrong with these cupcakes...

Devil's Food Cake (from Australian Women's Weekly Classic Cakes)
Makes 20 cupcakes

180g butter, softened
385g caster sugar
3 eggs
225g self-raising flour
75g plain flour
1/2 tsp bicarb soda
70g cocoa powder
3 tsp instant coffee granules
125ml water
125ml milk
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius. Line 2 12-hole muffin trays with cupcake liners.
  2. Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time.
  3. Fold in sifted flours, soda and cocoa powder with combined coffee, water and milk, in two batches.
  4. Pour mixture into cupcake liners and bake for 15 minutes.

Nutella Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Follow the directions for Almond Swiss Meringue Buttercream but up the amount of Vanilla to 1 tablespoon and also add 5 tablespoons of Nutella.

Decorations and Filling

Handful of chopped hazelnuts
Nutella for filling
200g dark chocolate, melted
10 Ferrero Rochers, halved

Assembling the cupcakes

Once the cupcakes have cooled, cut out a portion of each cupcake and insert Nutella and a roasted hazelnut. Replace the portion of cupcake and then top with a swirl of Nutella swiss meringue buttercream and chopped hazelnuts. Then drizzle some melted dark chocolate over the top, and finally top with half of a Ferrero Rocher.

The Ratings?

Me - 9/10, really, really good - my only slight issue was that the cake was a tiny teensy bit dry.
Mat - 9.5/10, they really tasted like Ferrero Rocher - yummo!