Sticky Carrot, Ginger and Macadamia Cake Part II

31 May 2010

As promised here are some more photos of the sticky carrot, ginger and macadamia nut cake from last week. I brought my slice home from work, still frozen, and allowed it to defrost overnight in the fridge.

I certainly wouldn't recommend freezing the cake with it's sour cream topping but I think the cake itself would freeze really well. I'm not quite sure how I feel about the sour cream cake topping because cream doesn't agree with me so I had to discard it. I love cream cheese icing so maybe next time I make it, I'll top it with that.

Before I leave you, here is a sneak peak from this week's baking.

It will be my last baking for quite some time so I'll try to keep your interest in some other way.  I was wondering, if you have any questions you'd like answered about baking or photography then send an email to me and I'll try posting the answers every couple of weeks in a FAQ post.

I'll be back later in the week, so until then,


Travel Tips - Glasgow

28 May 2010

I have been to Glasgow before, in fact many, many times. One of my best friends Kay lives there with her family so a visit to Glasgow involves meeting up with her Mum Nel, taking Barney the dog for a walk and having a curry for dinner one night.

I'm planning a visit to the Gallery of Modern Art which was closed due to an industrial dispute last time I was in town. I'm looking for help finding some funky shops and cafes which I know must be around 'cos Glasgow is a funky town.

Please email your Glasgow suggestions to To those who've already emailed me, many thanks for your help.

Enjoy the weekend,


Al Baba Sweets

26 May 2010

Now my day job is as far removed from Photography as is humanly possible. I work in Health and my clients show their appreciation by giving me gifts, often gifts of food. Sometimes I think they're trying to fatten me up for some reason because they usually give me chocolates. What they don't know is that I don't eat the chocolates they give me and I bring them out for the staff to eat when the need for chocolate strikes.

Some times I receive fruit like mangoes and strawberries (which I always appreciate) and today Greek sweets. The best gift I've recently received is some baklava from Al Baba Sweets.

I have a sweet tooth and like to have a little something sweet with a cup of tea after dinner. This box of baklava literally just arrived off the plane from Lebanon so was as fresh as can be. How gorgeous are they?

I have just one piece left, which I'm saving for tonight. If I wasn't going away so soon I might just have to order some on line cos once you taste these, the local version just doesn't cut it.

I'll be back on Friday asking for some in the know tips for Glasgow and London, so until then,


Sticky Carrot Ginger and Macadamia Cake

24 May 2010

It rained all weekend so I spent most of Sunday in the kitchen. I saw these sweet Dutch carrots at the Eveleigh Farmers Markets a few weeks back and I've been dying to buy some. I bought some at my local fruit market and decided to try this carrot cake recipe. This is my version of Belinda Jeffrey's Sticky Pineapple, Carrot, Ginger and Macadamia Cake.  I don't own any of Belinda's Cookbooks but I've given 'Mix and Bake' to 2 of my girlfriends.The recipe can be found here on Lemonpi's blog.

Warning - this cake took forever to put together. I started the cake the night before I baked it, weighing out and preparing as much as I could. I started again at 7.30 in the morning and it took almost 8 hours to prepare, bake, cool, decorate, download and prepare the images ready for posting. For those of you who ask why I don't post recipes - because there aren't enough hours in the day!

Now I'm not a huge fan of carrot cakes as I usually find them too oily but Belinda Jeffrey has substituted some of the oil with buttermilk. I haven't tasted the finished product yet but the batter was very delicious as was the sticky topping and the sour cream filling.

I took the cake into work today and it was all gone by lunchtime - a very good sign. I'll let you know what I think about the cake when I finally get to taste my slice.

The finished product.

Bye for now,


Travel Tips - Stockholm and Gothenburg

21 May 2010

Today was my day off so I went clothes shopping. I had a fairly succesful day for a change and now have some clothes to see me through my holiday and a Sydney winter. We've had a gloriously warm autumn here which ended suddenly about 10 days ago. In met a friend for lunch last Sunday and when I looked through the wardrobe, all I could find that could be classified as winter clothes consisted of one pair of jeans, a skirt and a pair of boots but plenty of sweaters. I do not like the cold so I figure if I don't have any winter clothes then winter simply doesn't exist. If only.

I dropped by my travel agent Kurt to collect my travel documents. The trip is very close now but I'm still not excited as I have 2 more weeks at work to get through. Today I'm asking for some help to find the insiders' tips to Stockholm amd Gothenburg. I've not been to Sweden before and I'm excited about finally getting there. My photo once again comes from the Bentours website.

I've downloaded a guide to Stockholm from emma's designblogg but if there are any places not on the list you recommend, I'd love to hear them. I know little about Gothenburg except it's a University town and a vibrant place. I fly from there to Glasgow so my stay is a short one, unless volcanic ash intervenes. I'd love to hear from you so if you have any suggestions please email me

Have a great weekend and I'll be back next week.


Paperboat Press

19 May 2010

One of the nicest things about my Finders Keepers visit was meeting Kylie Johnson from Paperboat Press.

I'd not had a very good week and meeting Kylie brightened my day. I introduced myself to Kylie and asked if I could take photos of her work for my blog. Not only did she let me take the photos, she gave me the big hug I needed, then sent me home with a small parcel, which I opened on Mother's Day.

Look what I found inside the parcel - one of Kylie's sweet cloud brooches which can be purchased here, a ceramic quote tag and some quote pencils.

Thanks so much Kylie, my new bff!


Bon Vivant Part II

17 May 2010

Do you remember this post on Bon Vivant?

I made the Bon Vivant during the Easter break just before I flew home to be with my family in Brisbane. Into the deep freeze the chocolate hazelnut squares were placed until my return and I only took them into work last Monday.

They were a hit! If you can't read the writing below it says 'yummy' and 'sensational'.

No-one else at work bakes, so I wonder how my work colleagues will cope during my 2 month break from work???

See you all again on Wednesday,


Travel Tips - Helsinki, Turku and Tallinn

14 May 2010

Hi Every-one,

it's Friday at last and I have to say I am glad. It's been a big week and I can't wait to be tucked up in my bed. I collected my new car (finally) on Wednesday night and I'm still coming to terms with owning something so shiny and new. I'm almost too scared to drive it.

I'd like to thank Alischa from Bespoke Press for this lovely blog post about my work. Photography is a singular pursuit so what I try to do is satisfy myself. I'm a very hard taskmaster and rarely achieve my goal so I'm always thrilled when other people like what I do, so many thanks.

So as not to confuse you, this week I managed to track down a photo of Helsinki from the Bentours website because I'm looking for travel tips for Helsinki, Tallinn and Turku. I have a guidebook so I know the major touristy things to do but I'm looking for local knowledge. I'm going to be in Helsinki for 4 days so are there any shops/restaurants or cafes that I simply must not miss? Is there a place in Helsinki that would make a good shopshoot?

I'm looking forard to hearing from you, so either leave me a comment or send an email to

Have a great weekend and I'll be back next week,


Finders Keepers

12 May 2010

On Saturday I visited the Finders Keepers Market. The markets were held in the Carriageworks building at the old Eveleigh Railway yards. It was an absolutely gorgeous day and I was not alone.The Eveleigh Farmers Markets were being held in the adjacent building and open auditions for Hairspray were also underway.The place was heaving.

I've not been to Finders Keepers before and I was interested to see what was on display.

I really don't like crowds and wasn't feeling all that well so I picked out some local colour, the crowds and a few favourite stalls to photograph before leaving.

The first stall I visited belonged to Kylie of Paperboat Press. Kylie is a poet and a ceramicist and I already own a few pieces of Kylie's work. Kylie very kindly allowed me to photograph her stall and gave me a little care parcel to take home with me but more of that next week.

Next stop was Bespoke Press, to check out their letterpress goodies. I do love letterpress and one day would love to have some letterpress notecards made just for me. Alischa also very kindly allowed me to photograph her booth.

My last stop was knitknit. Unfortunately I don't have any contact details for the stall as the web address I have doesn't work, so apologies. The knitted tea cosy was so cute and I'd love one for my teapot at home. I was intrigued by the learn to knit sign. I learned to knit when I was about 5 so I thought every-one knew how to knit!

edit - here is the link to knit knit

I hope you enjoyed my little trip to Finders Keepers. I'll be back on Friday asking for some more travel tips from my blog readers, so until then,



Pear and Ginger Upside Down Cake

10 May 2010

It's been an eventful week but for all the wrong reasons. I took a rare sick day off last Monday and spent most of Saturday tucked up in my bed. The gym hasn't seen me in a week so I made a return today to reintroduce myself.

One of my workmates has been on holidays for the past month and returned  last week. I made a cake to welcome her back and to soften the blow that always accompanies returning to work.

Although you wouldn't know it from the weather it's officially autumn here so pears and apples abound. I decided to pull out one of my old recipes for an upside down pear and ginger cake. This isn't exactly the recipe I used but it's very close. I used hazelnut meal instead of almond meal and used cardamon instead of nutmeg. There is no cinnamon in my recipe and to ginger it up, I added 3 - 4 teaspoons of groung ginger and about 60 grams of chopped glace ginger to the mixture. I made the cake about this time last year but ignored one crucial step in the recipe.

I forgot to let the cake cool completely before turning it out. The cake fell apart as I turned it out onto the cooling rack. I still took the cake into work and it was polished off even though it looked a bit sad.

This time I let the cake cool for hours before turning it out to photograph. I still held my breath as I turned it out.....

Thankfully the cake came out cleanly. This cake is one best eaten the day it's made.

I didn't get to eat my slice for a few days and the cake had become more pudding like in texture. I decided to warm up the cake and served it with stewed pears and cream for dessert. Next time I'll try folding through some diced pear and make it into a dessert.

I'll be back midweek with some photos from the Sydney Finders Keepers Market so see you all then,


travelART 2010 - Norway Trip

5 May 2010

When I was trying to work out what to post this evening, I thought about my holiday. Whenever I travel, I make an album of my images, which I've titled travelART. This year's travelART volume will be travelART 2010, hopefully the best one yet! 

Very soon I'll be flying to Oslo, a place I've not visited before. Now obviously this photo was not taken in Oslo but as I've not been there I don't have any images to share! I'll be there for close to a week attending a conference before catching the train to Bergen.

I was wondering if any of my readers could direct me to shops I should visit, restaurants in which I should eat and things I simply must not miss whilst in Oslo and Bergen? I'll be doing this for the next few Wednesday's so if Norway is not your thing, next week I'll be asking for travel tips for Finland.

I won't be posting again until next week but I'm looking forward to reading your travel tips. If commenting is not your thing please send an email to

Bye for now,


Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

3 May 2010

You may have noticed I've been posting a bit less frequently lately. I've just been so busy at work whilst trying to arrange my trip, do battle with the bank and buy a new car that time to blog has been limited. I don't expect the situation to improve for the next few weeks so I do hope you all understand.

I'm still finding time to bake (just) so here is last week's efforts. Do you remember a few weeks ago I made a pumpkin spice cake? Whilst it tasted very nice, it didn't particularly taste like pumpkin. I wanted to make it again with a few changes. Instead of oil I used butter, which I creamed with the sugars. I cut out the crushed pineapple completely and instead of using raw grated pumpkin, I oven baked the pumpkin until it was soft.

I come from Queensland and I grew up eating pumpkin as a vegetable. Apart from pumpkin scones, I don't ever remember eating pumpkin as a dessert until I was a teenager. For some reason I decided to make pumpkin pie from one of my parents American recipe books. It tasted fine but still to me pumpkin was and is a savoury vegetable and tastes best when roasted. Roast pumpkin with lamb, pumpkin soup, roast pumpkin and ricotta canelloni, roast pumpkin risotto and even roast pumpkin, feta and olive pizza. I'm not alone in my love of the humble pumpkin, we even have our own pumpkin, the Queensland Blue. Last year the pumpkin even hit the wedding design blogging world, when it appeared on Style Me Pretty.

I decided to bake cupcakes rather than a large cake, just in case the experiment didn't quite work out. I put the cupcakes into a tin and took them into work to try them out on my test audience.

By lunchtime not a cupcake was in sight, always a good sign.

I ate my cupcake last night and I'm happy to report my experiment was a success. It didn't look or taste very much like the original as the cake had a much finer texture.The cake was very moist and most definitely tasted of pumpkin so I'm thinking the recipe is a keeper.

I hope you had lovely weekends,


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