Celebrations | Vanilla Cake with Brownie Fudge Centre & Vanilla Ombre Cake Frosting

It is baby season amongst my friends, and I love it.

I am surrounded by the most gorgeous, happiest babies and I am absolutely enjoying being the dedicated “Auntie” to not one, not two, not even three babies. Last count, there are about 7 little munchkins in our circle of friends, with one coming very very soon.

With kids means celebrations. Baby showers, births, christening, birthdays. Being around these munchkins literally makes me feel young inside and out – and I am loving it. In the current hostile climate that we live in, being around children shifts my mindset to that of simple happiness and innocence.

This Vanilla Cake with a Brownie Fudge Centre & Vanilla Ombre Cake Frosting was a request from my friends whose son was christened last month. Of course I had to go OTT with the brownie centre because I can, and my love affair with bunting topping hasn’t died down. Plus, I discovered this fantastic baker and cake topper maker from Etsy – Sugar Creations by Sera – who made the cute elephant topper in record time. Thank you Sera for your promptness & for helping me patch up poor little Dumbo who needed some minor surgery after losing a few pieces in transit.

I used this White Cake Recipe from my previous post – http://sugarlace.com/2014/06/white-cake-with-ombre-buttercream-double-row-bunting/.

The baby elephant topper from Sugar Creations by Sera.

And the remaining batter, I made into 12 cupcakes with vanilla buttercream frosting with animal toppings for the little ones.

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Barilla Cooking Class for Seadas at Sydney Good Food & Wine Show 2014

Oh what an amazing day: a couple of cooking classes with Mr J, infinite glasses of wine, cheese, cheese and more cheese and endless hours of walking around the Good Food and Wine Show all makes for a really productive day!

I was indeed ecstatic when I was invited by Barilla to attend their cooking classes at the show, in particular the special pre-show class to make Seadas and taught by MKR’s Sammy & Bella. Now I wasn’t an avid watcher of MKR or any of the reality shows, but I have to admit that they were friendly and gave a pretty good class.

Seadas are traditional Sardinian pastries filled with cheese, deep fried and drizzled with honey. Our version today was a citrus mix of ricotta cheese, grated pecorino with orange and lemon zest. I must say I’m not familiar with this dish, but was pleasantly surprised at how light, tasty and perfect these little bundles of cheesy pastries are for breakfast. It was the perfect way to start our absolutely busy and hectic day, especially when paired with a cup of coffee thanks to De’Longhi further down the hall at the show.

The work station
Deep frying isn’t so bad…

You can still go to the Sydney Good Food and Wine Show tomorrow – tickets are still being sold for Sunday 29/6/14 at  http://goodfoodshow.com.au/sydney/

Patricia & Mr J attended the cooking class and the Good Food and Wine Show as guests of Barilla. Thank you for the generous invitation and hospitality. 

Sammy and Bella’s Seadas, for the Barilla Bloggers Breakfast

Recipe from Sammy & Bella’s Website

Serves 6 (makes 12)

For the dough:

  • 3 cups “00” flour
  • 1/3 cup semolina
  • 2 free range eggs, plus 1 yolk (set 3rd egg white aside for below)
  • 80 to 100 ml water
  • 80g salted butter, softened (or lard)

To fill, cook and finish:

  • extra flour, for dusting
  • 1 egg white, from above
  • 350g ricotta
  • 50g pecorino sardo, grated
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • zest from 1 orange
  • olive oil, to fry
  • ¾ cup (250g) honey
  1. In a stand mixer bowl fitted with a dough hook, place plain flour, semolina, whole eggs plus egg yolk, 80ml water and softened butter. Mix until well combined, and add a touch more water if it’s too dry. Allow the machine to knead for 5 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Wrap in cling film and let rest for at least 30 minutes.
  2. On a floured work surface, roll out the dough to 2 or 3 mm thick. Using a 4 inch fluted pastry cutter (or a glass), cut out 24 disks. Using a pastry brush or your finger, brush 12 of the disks with egg white.
  3. Grate the pecorino and mix withricotta, lemon and orange zests. Distribute this mix evenly across 12 disks, cover with another disk and press down firmly on edges to seal.
  4. Heat 1 inch of olive oil in a frying pan until hot (or in a deep fryer to 180C). Fry the pastries, in batches, until lightly golden. Drain excess oil on paper towel.
  5. Serve immediately, hot and drizzled with honey.

NOTE: The dough was already pre-made before the cooking class, so all we had to do was roll, slice, fill, deep fry & eat.

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Scones, Morning Tea, & Sisters

One of the most indulgent pastimes my sisters and I enjoy is tea time. The three of us fancy the art of anything related to tea: we all have a wide collection of tea sets, we passionately drink tea, and absolutely love the concept of high tea. Throw in some delicious baked creations, classical Baroque or Beethoven music, and random conversations ranging from our favourite Henry VIII wife to researching Princess Marie-Chantal’s latest interview.

Thanks to Bakers Delight and Sarah from Keep Left, I was given the opportunity to try out some Bakers Delight scones. They were also generous in including in the package 3 things that made my heart sing: Nature’s Cuppa Organic English Breakfast tea, Gourmet magazine and an absolutely gorgeous Christina Re tea cup and saucer set.

All I had to do was whipped some cream, get some nice St Dalfour jam, pick the weekend when my sisters are here from Canberra, and set out my tea pot, cake stand and extra tea cups and saucers. Oh, and warm up the lovely berries and white chocolate and original scones.

High tea is served, my dears.


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