raspberry coconut cupcakes

take a bite

I feel like everyone is pregnant these days.

I’m not saying that this is a bad thing. I’m just saying that there seem to be a lot of little babies and baby bumps around the place. Facebook, Instagram, twitter – social media is going nuts with the baby photos and pregnancy updates.

a very good place to start

creamed

Maybe it’s just that I had one friend who was pregnant, and then I started noticing every other pregnant person in my stratosphere. Maybe it’s that I’m at an age where all my friends are pregnant. (Not really. Sometimes I have to stop and remind myself that I’m only twenty-one, and that while this age is fine for some people to be getting married and having babies, it is far from the norm and also, I’m fine the way I am.) Or, maybe it’s that with the social media saturation the culture we live in, everything is everywhere and I am just noticing pregnant people and babies.  Continue reading

breakfast

I went home this past weekend to visit my family and ooh and aah over my sister’s wedding photos. I don’t always get home as often as I’d like to, despite the fact that my family only live a 2 1/2 hour drive away. Our lives get busy, work doesn’t always co operate and sometimes, there just isn’t the time.

However, I did get to drive home after work on Saturday, listening to the Joy the Baker podcast and finally wearing a light, summery dress – the weather is warming up, people! Despite my penchant for winter and all the fun it brings, there’s something undeniably uplifting about a warm, sunny day, light sandals and country air.

Continue reading

lemon slice

It occurs to me at this moment that to get places in this world – I mean places that the world, society, Western culture thinks means something, that we put meaning and value on – you have to be, well, a total bitch. 

Excuse my language, I know that the internet is a wide reaching entity. 

I’m watching the social network and I know it’s not a completely non-fictional movie (or it’s definitely a movie, fiction expected) but it’s a really interesting and kinda scary look at society, our expectations, desires and inner workings. What we want and what we will do to get there. 

Continue reading

pear, lemon and raspberry spelt flour muffins

Soooo, it’s been a couple days since I hinted as to an amazing recipe I was about to make. And they were amazing. I’ve already shared a flourless chocolate cupcake recipe with you because I have a friend who’s allergic to gluten. Now, ta-da! Introducing spelt flour! It’s really nice flour – spelt is an ancient form of wheat that doesn’t have as much gluten as modern-day wheat, so it’s ok for people who are allergic. So I made muffins to share with both my house (eek! four people, three of whom I barely know! Let’s make muffins so they like me!) and my internship group (we’re spending every Thursday together. By midafternoon, we need a sugar hit.)

And so. I knew I wanted to make muffins because I’d made spelt scones before and they worked really well, so I knew muffins would benefit from the sturdiness of the flour and it wouldn’t matter too much if they didn’t rise as well. And I’m trying to add as much fruit and vegetables into my diet as I possibly can, because being a vegetarian, variety is even more important.

Pear, lemon and raspberry spelt flour muffins

So I got the base recipe from Smitten Kitchen but I tweaked it around so much it’s barely recognisable. I also used mini muffin pans because I couldn’t find large ones in the supermarket. I do not recommend this. They turned out fine but I just ate about five of them in one sitting and this could have been rectified had I made larger ones – they are much more satisfying.

Yield: I got 56 mini muffins. I suspect you could get around 24 large muffins. Deb got 18. Use your judgement, and don’t skimp when you’re putting the mixture in the cases. I also feel that 1 1/2 tablespoons of cinnamon was too much, although this could be because the lid fell off the container I was using to measure it out so I may have gotten a whole lot more than 1 1/2 tablespoons. Use your judgement, again.

2 1/2 cups spelt flour*
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
large pinch salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
150gm unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup raw sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed, plus extra to sprinkle over the top
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups greek style yoghurt
2 corella pears, peeled, cored and chopped
finely grated rind of 1 lemon
about 1/2 cup frozen raspberries.

Preheat oven to 220ºC. Set out paper cases in two 12 muffin muffin pans.

Mix together first 5 ingredients (dry) and set aside. Cream butter, then add sugars and beat, scraping down sides. Add egg and do the same. Gently mix in yoghurt and fold into dry ingredients. Mix in pears, raspberries and lemon rind and stir until just incorporated. Fill muffin cases – like I said, don’t skimp. Spelt flour doesn’t rise too much, so feel free to fill to the top. Liberally sprinkle extra brown sugar over the top of the muffins.

If you’re making mini muffins like me, bake at 220ºC for 5 mins, then lower heat to 200ºC and bake another 5 mins. If you’re making large muffins like I should have, bake at 220ºC for 10 mins and at 200ºC for about 10-15 mins. Take out of the oven and let sit for about 5 mins, then take out of pans and let cool on a rack before packing them away, if you can bear not to gobble them up all at once.

*If you don’t have spelt flour, don’t worry. You can use all plain flour or one cup plain flour and one cup whole-wheat flour instead.

mango tree

Sometimes, when life’s just crapping all over you, you just have to bake.

Sometimes, it’s so bad, you can’t do much. Honestly, all you want to do is sit back and eat the thing, not slave over a hot oven in humid Melbourne summer weather for something that may not work anyway.

So. Today was that day.

If you remember how to make lemon curd, make it. If you still have some left over from last time, like me, aren’t you lucky? Yep, you are.

Now take 125gm cold butter (I use salted, that’s just my preference) and chop it roughly into cubes. Put 1 2/3 cups of flour into a food processor and while it’s going, add in the butter. When it’s just about in a ball, turn it out and knead it into a ball. Refrigerate it for about 20 minutes and then roll it out on the same floured surface. Cut little circles out and put them into a patty cake tin, prick the bottoms with a fork and bake at 180°C for about 20 minutes. Let them cool and then fill them with that lemon curd.

If you have leftovers, I suggest you make a lemon meringue pie like I’m going to. Just put the rest of the rolled out shortcrust pastry in a little springform tin, blind bake for oh, 20 minutes maybe? Fill with lemon curd then make meringues (also like last time) except not as much. Pile it on and bake in a 200°C oven for maybe ten minutes. Not entirely sure. I’ll let you know how mine turns out.

Hope your day was better than mine. If not, listen to this and you’ll feel better.