A selection of my latest bakes

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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Recipe Muncher

Does any body out there know whats happened to the RECIPE MUNCHER? I have tried contacting them, but the page seems unavailable for many days now. Miss the little guy popping in and taking a bite of what ever he fancies.

Monday, March 30, 2009

My light box is made.

With very special THANKS to Ron of The Merlin Menu (here's the link) http://themerlinmenu.blogspot.com/2009/03/macro-photography-light-box.html
I have now completed my light box and taken a few test photographs to see how it works. And I can say, that I am dead chuffed.
I used a very simple Kodak (Easy share) C763 digital camera (7.1 mega pixels), no flash and used the close up option. Then re sized and cropped thru Picasa.
I am really quite excited now about taking photographs for my blogs, they should be far more professional. With winter coming on and the light not being as good, as in the summer, there will be no stopping me now. Thank you Ron for sharing this information on your blog.

Please note, I have just edited this post to show the actual light box that I made. See, it's just a cardboard box with the front cut off and then panels cut in the top and sides. Then the vellum taped on. For the backing of each photo, I shall change the cardboard colour to suit myself. The lights I used are standard desk lamps with 60w bulbs in them. At the moment it is set up on top of my stove and using the light from the extractor fan. But there's no need to have extra light, as the two at the sides is enough.
Sorry for this edit, but I realised there was not enough information on the light box for you all.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Dressing up the cake stands.

Recently, I showed you my collection of cake stands and plates. I have been storing them in cupboards and on shelving, and I thought it was time to show them off properly. But I think a cake stand looks so sad with no cakes on them. Can't always keep a supply of my cake baking just for this, as they would go stale.
Last weekend, I visited my parents and my Mum wanted to take me to a shop she had found called Country Interiors. What an Aladdin's cave this shop is. Full of beautiful French furniture, Shabby Chic, bedding, cushions, ornaments, paintings, china and glass ware.
Amongst all these treasures, I found quite a few *Imitation cakes* so beautifully made. Each cake is made of foam and then *iced* in a soft plastic. Sounds dreadful doesn't it? But look how cute they look on the cake stands.
I just hope that no one eats one, as that Pavlova slice in the picture above, looks mighty real to me. So now my lovely collection of cake stands can be show off in the dining room.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Spiced Apple Cupcakes

I used a basic Butter cake recipe here, as I wanted the rich flavour. And these are really delightful with a touch of mixed spice and the apple centre.


185g Butter (softened)
1 cup Caster Sugar.
1 teaspoon Vanilla Essence.
3 large Eggs.
2 cups S.R. Flour (sifted)
1 teaspoon Mixed Spice.
1/4 cup Milk.
2 Apples (peeled, cored, sliced and cooked)


Preheat the oven to 180c and prepare 12 paper cases in a cupcake tray.
In a large bowl, beat the butter, sugar and vanilla together with an electric mixer until light and creamy.
Add the eggs one at a time and mix well between each one.
Add the spice to the sifted flour and add to the mix a little at a time, in between the flour add the milk. Stir in lightly.
Spoon a little into each paper case and then place your apple in the middle. Now top with the remaining mix and finish off with a dusting of Cinnamon sugar. Place in the oven for 25 minutes or until the skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool and then enjoy.
The plate and teapot used in this photograph, was given to me by a neighbour a few years ago. They were married for 60 years and this was their tea and dinner set. Called *Cream Petal* made by Grindley in England. Some of the gold edging has been rubbed off now, but I love it.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Chocolate Cupcakes with Mint Butter Icing.

These were made yesterday specially for St. Patrick's Day. I think on this day, we all have a touch of the Irish in us. A large Guinness was drunk by my hubby and Colcannon was served with sausages for dinner.
These chocolate cupcakes were had after that.


2 cups S.R. Flour. (Minus 2 tablespoons)
3/4 cup Castor Sugar.
2 Eggs.
3/4 cup of Milk.
1/2 cup softened Butter.
2 tablespoons Cocoa Powder.

1/2 cup good quality Chocolate. (Grated)

Cream the sugar and butter together, add eggs and mix again.Now put in the milk and mix a little and then slowly,a little at a time, add the flour and cocoa which you have sifted together. Lastly, add the grated chocolate and stir in. I used my hand held mixer for the creaming and adding the milk. Then switched to a wooden spoon for the folding in of the flour.
Place mix into cupcake cases and cook in the oven for 20-25 minutes at 170c

When the cupcakes are cooled, top with your favourite butter icing. To mine I added 1 cap full of Peppermint essence and 1 cap full of green food colouring. Then dressed them with grated chocolate, After Dinner Mints and Mint Aero. I made 18 cupcakes with this recipe.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Lemon Shortbread


8 ozs Butter. (room temperature)
4 ozs Caster Sugar.
8 ozs Plain Flour.
4 ozs Cornflour. (sift both flours together)
Zest of two Lemons.
1 pinch of Salt.


Cream the butter and sugar together, put in the lemon zest, add the flours and salt together, a couple of tablespoons at a time. You should end up with a largish ball of dough. Grease with butter, two 8 inch cake tins or a square flan tin (I used this) Press the dough into tin and mark into oblong shaped biscuits or slices if using cake tin. Prick all over with a fork. Sprinkle some more caster sugar over this if you wish. Bake in oven 160c for 40 -45 minutes. When cooled, break in to biscuits and enjoy.

Shortbread Moulds

HELP! Does any body out there know how to use these shortbread moulds? I have been hankering after one for ages and finally got one a few weeks ago. It said on the packaging to wash and dry well first, then flour the mould before each use. HUH! It didn't work that well, spent ages trying to get the dough out and then with a sharp knife, I redid a lot of the design.
Also tried greasing it with melted butter, but that did not work at all. Ended up putting the shortbread dough in to a flan tin and cooking it that way. I so want to master this, for this coming Christmas as I would like to make them as gifts.
See next post for Lemon Shortbread.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Marmalade Cake

Yesterday, I had a complete disaster in the kitchen. I followed a new recipe from a little book I had got from the supermarket. On the cover, it said that all recipes had been tested three times. It looked easy enough and sounded delicious. But the cake did not rise at all, thinking that it would be alright, I carried on with making this super icing using the very best of chocolates. Then that did not set! So the lot went into the rubbish bin.
A bit fed up at this stage, as you can imagine. Today I went back to the supermarket and bought a packet cake mix. Vanilla Butter cake, No Name brand. Shock, horror! Have you ever used them? I got quite a surprise, add two eggs, milk and butter, and mix for three minutes.
I greased a tin and put a thick layer of Roses marmalade in the bottom. On went the cake mix and into the oven. This is the end result. We had it after dinner tonight with some lovely creamy custard. Amazingly good.
What am I saying here? These are good for people like me who have a disaster in the kitchen or simply lose their cooking mojo. Next time I am in the supermarket, I shall stock up on these I think. (There's one in chocolate, Yippee)

Magic spell

My wishes have been granted, by a wonderfully talented lady called Emily. My make over for this blog is now complete, thanks to her. Please go and see her, if you want a new look for your blog. She really listens, asks lots of questions and is really quick, explaining things as you go along, which is really helpful for a person like me. (A bit thick when it comes to computers)
Her link is down the bottom of this page.

About me

Welcome to my blog. My name is Sally and I live on the Central Coast of N.S.W. Australia.
Most people put an up to date photograph of themselves in this spot. But not me. This was taken back in the olden days, when I was a little girl. Look at that cute nose! Ain't so cute now as it has had some 50 odd years to get a lot bigger.
A little bit about my likes. I adore pink. But you could tell that couldn't you. I have a pink bathroom, mainly pink clothes and pink features a lot in my garden as well. I like gardening, blogging, cooking, cake making, photography, and my dear grand daughter.
I collect cake stands and plates, unusual plants and cook books by Nigella and Rachel Allen.
I have been married for 37 years this month, and we have two boys. Charles (33 years old) and James (24 years old). So have been surrounded by boys most of my married life, but thanks to Charles, we have a girl to fuss around and buy pink things for. (YAY)
We have two dogs, Samson and Snickers who thankfully love my cooking, as I cook for them most days. Also have parrots in a large aviary in the garden, which include King parrots, Princess parrots and Grass parrots. If I had my way, there would be many more, as they give me such pleasure.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Make over time.

Must be something in the air! Please bare with me for a while, as Pink Bytes is having a make over. Normal services will resume in a couple of days.
Coming back, better and brighter.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Bacon, Capsicum and Cheese Muffins.

There is nothing nicer than some freshly made savoury muffins, straight from the oven and served with tomatoes from the garden and snow pea sprouts, for lunch. A sprinkling of rock salt on the tomatoes and you are in heaven.
You will need...
2 cups S.R. Flour.
2 large Eggs.
3/4 cup Milk.
1/2 cup Rice Bran Oil. (Or your favorite oil, as long as it is not Olive oil)
1 cup Cheddar Cheese (Grated)
1/2 Red Capsicum (seeds remover and a small dice)
1/2 Yellow Capsicum (seeds removed and a small dice)
1 cup Bacon (diced)


Preheat oven to 180c and grease muffin tray (or use muffin cases)

Mix with a hand electric mixer the wet ingredients until light and fluffy. Sift the flour, and fold in to the wet ingredients, then add your cheese, bacon and capsicum. I added dried Chives here too, sorry, I forgot to say. Now this is a fairly dry mix and you might have to add a little more milk and oil just to combine better.

Place mix in to muffin tray holes and bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool slightly before serving.

Delish with a shandy or a Cinzano Bianco and lemonade.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Brandy Cupcakes

Delightful little cakes.
You will need..

2 Eggs.
110g Castor Sugar.
60g Butter, melted and cooled.
1 tablespoon Brandy.
100g Plain Flour.
1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder.
40g Currants or Sultanas. (I used currants)

For the Syrup..

110g Castor Sugar.
125mls Water.
1 tablespoon Brandy.


Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan, stir over low heat until sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil and boil for two minutes, cool and then add brandy. Now set aside for later.
Preheat oven to 180c.
Beat the eggs until really fluffy, gradually add the sugar, beating until light and thick.
Fold in the melted butter, brandy, sifted flour and baking powder and last, the currants.
Divide mix between 12 cupcake cases in tin.
Bake for about 12-15 minutes or until golden brown in colour.
Take out of the oven and brush tops of cupcakes with the brandy syrup, while still hot.
Allow to cool on a wire rack. Can be eaten straight or served with cream or ice-cream.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Chocoffee Cake.

A delightfully chocolatey, gooey, yummy cake from Kazmarri. I changed the original recipe a little, by adding my own favorite chocolate and adding instant coffee granules to the hot water. See the recipe below. I think a warning should go with this cake. It is addictive.
You will need...
200 gms Butter.
300 gms good quality dark Chocolate (I used Whittaker's Dark Mocha)
1/4 cup hot Water.
1 tablespoon Instant Coffee granules.
1/4 cup Cocoa Powder.
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract.
1 cup Castor sugar.
3 Eggs (lightly beaten)
3/4 cup S.R. Flour.


Preheat oven to 160c. Grease and line a 20cm round cake tin. Put butter, 200gms of the chopped chocolate (Yes, leave 100gms for later) coffee granules and the hot water into a large microwave proof bowl. Microwave on high, uncovered for 2-3 minutes, stirring every minute with a metal spoon until smooth. Add cocoa to warm choc mix. Stir until smooth. Stir in the vanilla and castor sugar, and when it is cooler add the beaten eggs. Sift the flour over the chocolate mix, stirring gently to combine.

Pour half of the mix into cake tin, then sprinkle half of the remaining chocolate you have chopped over the mix. Add remaining mix to the tin and top off with the remaining chopped chocolate.

Bake in the oven for 50-60 minutes or until a skewer comes out with moist crumbs clinging to it. Let cool in the tin. Then you can dust with icing sugar as I did or make your favorite icing to go on top. Serve with cream, ice cream or as I did, a chocolate sauce.

Do hope you enjoy this recipe, and again, Thank you Kazmarri.

Adorable Blog Award

Such a lovely award from three bloggers, Thank you girls. Adore the colours of it too, these are my colours for the coming winter.
Rosie from ....... http://bakingcakesgalore.blogspot.com/
Maria from ......... http://thegoddesskitchen.blogspot.com/
George from ........ http://culinarytravelsofakitchengoddess.wordpress.com/

The rules of this award are. Pass them on to as many as you wish and leave a comment on their blog to let them know.
So, without further ado, I would like to pass this on to.......
Brenda of ......... http://teandwheatenbread.blogspot.com/
Kerry of ............ http://kerry-meandmythree.blogspot.com/
Violet of ............ http://violets-homecooking.blogspot.com/
Rita of the other Pink Bites ............ http://www.pinkbites.com/ a must see blog, do visit her.
Joanne of ............ http://cottageinthemaking.blogspot.com/ one crafty lady.
Arista of ........... http://aristolafood.blogspot.com/

Come and get it ladies!