Cinnamon Cake with Labneh Frosting

I made this cake for my niece’s second birthday a couple of weeks ago. A pretty chilled out afternoon – balmy weather, an assortment of salads, cold beers, barbecued snags, kids underfoot. It was a family affair, and my niece had a great-grandmother there from both her dad – my brother – and her mum’s side. Coming from an immigrant family that was almost decimated in World War II, it was especially poignant to have four generations sitting around the table together.

My sister-in-law is one of my favourite people to bake for – she has a killer sweet tooth and so my efforts are always appreciated. I wanted to make a cake for this occasion that had a classic feel – something simple yet sophisticated . I opted for an airy double-layer cinnamon cake – appropriately autumnal – finished off with a rich labneh frosting, tangy and celebratory. I topped it with a bounty of fresh berries too, mostly for the pretty.  Continue reading Cinnamon Cake with Labneh Frosting

January Favourites

Summer-Dinner

“In my way of thinking, anything is possible. Life is at the bottom of things and belief at the top, while the creative impulse, dwelling in the center, informs all.”
– Patti Smith, M Train

We ended 2015 by having dinner with old friends then sharing a bottle of champagne – just S and I – before getting into bed well before midnight. It was most lovely. We started 2016 with a long walk, a train ride, and coffee. Also most lovely. And since those cruisy beginnings, January seems to have hit like a bomb. S and I are both really busy with work, the weather is heating up to all kinds of crazy fuck-climate-change-is-a-bitch degrees, and I already feel ready for a holiday. Continue reading January Favourites

Chocolate Cake with Cocoa-Tahini Frosting

chocolate-cake-birdseye

“We are all a great deal luckier that we realize, we usually get what we want – or near enough.”
– Roald Dahl, Charlie & The Chocolate Factory

Given how much chocolate I eat, it seems remiss that this is the first chocolate cake recipe to appear on the site. Likely it’s because my favourite way to eat chocolate is straight up – a square or two of dark chocolate (90% is my fave) after dinner. I’ll admit that until reading this fantastic essay about Mast Brothers chocolate I hadn’t paid a lot of attention to the origins of cocoa beans in the way that I do to coffee, or eggs, or almonds. Now, though, I am doing my best to eat ethical and sustainable chocolate. Which isn’t too difficult, given the increasing popularity of artisanal products, but can be rather pricey if one has an excessive chocolate habit (umm…). Continue reading Chocolate Cake with Cocoa-Tahini Frosting

Brown Butter Cardamom Cake with Chai Buttercream Frosting

brown-butter-cardamom-cake

Content warning: many swears to follow, ‘coz sometimes only a fuck will do.

It struck my quite forcibly recently that I’m not just growing up, I’m growing older as well. We live in a house at the front of a rather large block; up the very back of the block are two more houses that share the same path as us, so that to reach them you have to pass by our house. Living in one of the back houses is a young couple recently moved to Brisbane, and the other is a share house of music students. Last week, one of the musicians stopped us on the path to let us know that they would be having a party on Saturday night, complete with a live band. I hope that’s okay. We assured him it was no problem for us. His reply? Thanks for being so awesome about it. He didn’t invite us to come along. Continue reading Brown Butter Cardamom Cake with Chai Buttercream Frosting

Almond, Orange & Olive Oil Cake

Almond-orange-olive-oil-cake-closeup

“I gut fruit with my mouth
push tongue into black belly of papaya
peel lychee with teeth
bite into ripe pear
suck on stone of mango
all of this, over the kitchen sink
barefoot
middle of winter…”

From ‘at the thought of you’ by Warsan Shire

I love this poem – it is so visceral, almost tactile. There is something about the imagery that is raw and ripe – you can almost taste the mango juice. It is also delightfully sensuous and subtle. Of course, it is also a most fitting poem for a foodie blog! Continue reading Almond, Orange & Olive Oil Cake