honey teriyaki drummies & roast potatoes

You need to post more often[1].

Days and days do go by so quickly. Time and time does fly by so swiftly.

Minutes turn to hours to days to weeks to months. I last posted 8 months ago. So much passed since then – your recipes filled my inbox, my blog remained in a subtle hibernation, with the scarce WordPress notification downloading onto my app.

How do you wrap up eight whole months into a few short sentences, to perhaps try and justify your absence from something you once couldn’t abstain from for a day? Maybe you don’t. In fact, you probably just say a big bang hello and I’ve re-arrived at the party. And I brought some drummies and desirees along with.

roasted desiree  potatoes

But at the party my body of experiences doesn’t hold back. I tell you everything that happened in the 8 months I was gone.

From graduating university, to taking a semester’s break off work, to moving into an adorable townhouse and facing the reality of independent living with a loving partner, while missing the warmth of family back home.

But I have my own kitchen now.

Not that I hadn’t claimed the old one mine anyway.

I can cook whatever on earth I want to cook.

But on some days I don’t even want to cook.

That’s why I plan for leftovers from time to time.

Lie – I don’t plan it, I’m only feeding two mouths, yet only have experience cooking for 6.


Okay, enough. It’s a funny experience writing a blog post again after so long. I hope my readers are reading, and my blogging friends still around because I do plan on sticking around this time…


Drummies are on me. And the Desirees.

 honey teriyaki drumsticks

Serves: 4


8 chicken drumsticks, skins on

For the marinade: 
1/2 cup teriyaki sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbs honey
2 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp ground ginger
1 onion, minced
1 tsp peanut oil
1 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tbs parsley, chopped


For the potatoes:
6 red and 6 white desiree potatoes
2 cloves garlic, skin on, halved
a pinch of sea salt
a pinch of dried thyme
a drizzle of olive oil



Combine marinade ingredients in a large bowl with chicken drumsticks.
Marinate for 1 hour (up to ‘overnight’).
Arrange drumsticks in a flameproof baking tray and bake, uncovered, in 190 deg C preheated oven for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, drain marinade through fine seive and place in a saucepan on low flame until reduced to 1/2 the quantity (to form a glaze).
Glaze drumsticks by brushing all sides and return to bake for a further 20 minutes or until juices run clear.
Place pan on stovetop to evaporate any excess juices, and glaze drumsticks again (excess juices can be poured out if tray is not flameproof).
Return to grill to char for a minute and dress with sesame seeds.
To roast potatoes, cut larger potatoes in half and place in a separate baking tray.
Drizzle with oil, add garlic, salt, thyme, and toss to coat.
Bake in 200 deg C oven for 30-50 minutes until tender in the middle and crisp on the outside.
Check on potatoes and toss at 30 minute mark.
Serve chicken and potatoes with salad.


peach, raspberry & banana smoothie

The summer’s heat is really getting to us and the poor A/C is barely keeping up. We’re burning up in the heat, but I think we really need to install some insulation to save burning our pockets on the electricity bill, too! 😉

In light of summer, though, I thought I’d share with you a delicious summer smoothie. I’m so obsessed with smoothies, I could have them all year round, not just in summer!


This smoothie is packed with deliciously moist peach, plump raspberries and sweet banana. I add vanilla ice-cream to give it a smooth, creamy texture, but low fat yoghurt would work as a great substitute for the weight-conscious.


Before I move on to the recipe, I want to share with you an eBook. Oh no, it’s not my own one – not yet anyway! I was browsing the cookbooks here when I came across Modernist Cuisine (you can buy it through Inkling). I really loved this one because it’s jam-packed with droolworthy recipes and imagery. eBooks have actually become a big thing on my list of things I love because they’re so nice to flick through and many of them are interactive as well. Perhaps it’s coming from a girl who spent all her uni life behind a monitor, but as much as I love my printed cookbooks, I can’t help but stop at the e- ones. What do you like better? e-s or prints? 🙂


peach, raspberry & banana smoothie


Serves: about 2 tall glasses


1 ripe banana

1/3 to 1/2 cup fresh raspberries

1 ripe yellow peach, skin on (adds a delicious texture and flavour)

1 cup skim milk (full cream, lite, do as you please)

3 – 4 heaped scoops of ice-cream (might add up to about a cup even!)



Place roughly chopped banana and half the milk into a blender and blend until smooth. This is a perfect little trick to make sure you don’t have any lumps of banana in your drink.

Add in remaining ingredients and blend lightly until smooth (don’t over-blend!)

Pour into glasses and serve with ice if desired, most importantly, cool and freshen up in the summer heat!



☆ my 2013 resolution | recipe roundup from my blogroll ☆

Since it’s year’s end and blog posts are trending around the topic, I thought I’d join the party and post:

a warm welcome to all my new subscribers – I hope to dish up delicacies that’ll tickle your taste buds this coming year;

a tribute to my blogging friends… a roundup of some of the dishes I’ve made from some of my beloved blogging friends. I enjoy receiving your recipes and droolworthy photos right to my inbox; and

my 2013 “new year’s resolution” for the blog to be freshly pressed which never happened!

I’m one of those people that “don’t do”. I don’t do this, I don’t take part in that, etc etc. and new year’s resolutions are one of those things that I don’t really do. Because they’re always a failure. Since “losing weight” has broken the records for being the most wanted, consecutive resolution for the past decade, 2013’s shifted towards the blog in hope that since I’m not losing weight when I set a goal to, I may lose weight in lieu of the blog not being freshly pressed. Did it work? I won’t tell you. 😛 Because there’s either a problem with my posts, the freshly pressed editors, my scales, or eating habits.. or perhaps all 4 things. 😉 I s’pose there’s still 20 minutes to go on my side of the globe, so there’s still hope 😉


Most of my 2013 was spent tearing my hair out to graduate from my bachelor, so my cooking frequency dropped, and so did my posts, but I have been on your blogs, and I have fulfilled my promises. When I say “bookmarked for later cooking”, I truly mean it.

Despite losing many photos of dishes I’ve made, I’ll be sharing what I can today.


This past year, and the couple before, I’ve craved, sighed in desire, been inspired by, and eagerly awaited posts from my blogroll, from Samah’s Good Cooks, to Sawsan’s Chef in Disguise, to Ksenia’s Saffron & Honey and more.


To begin, I’m going to share with you Rufus’ Stir-fried chicken with basil, mushrooms and chilli. Rufus was my first commenter, and subscriber and his ongoing presence really boosted my confidence and willingness to continue blogging. I’ve spent far too many late night flicking through Rufus’ daily posts, and have managed to learn a lot of new things from the blog. Thanks, Rufus & co.

Chicken Basil

This chicken basil recipe was delicious, and I thoroughly enjoyed the combination of flavours – minus some of the chilli as the girls around here can’t stand too much spice. Definitely give this recipe a go, all of you, it’s not to miss!

What’s comes after a really good meal? A really good dessert, of course! I cannot begin to explain how comforting, Rufus’ Brie and strawberries “pie” is, or how ridiculously tasty it is, or how simple to make it is. What’s not as simple as I thought though, is the cheese used in this dessert. And particularly, how it’s pronounced. Brie is apparently said Bree and not Bry like “dry”. Sorry, let me insist English is my second language to avoid the embarrassment! 😉

Brie and Strawberries


As I was not going to compete with Katherine’s talent, instead of roses and leaves on a rounded Brie pie, I folded over a what looked like a little bundle, and cut out (freehand) letters to spell … well you can see that for yourself! This was a perfectly timed dessert which I shared with the extended family after the birth of a little baby boy to my aunty. The only problem with this dessert is that it’s not enough. The next time I make this, I’m buying an extra large wheel of Brie so I can satisfy my portion needs of desserts this tasty. 🙂


Next I present to you Five Euro Food’s Roasted Beetroot Dip. Five Euro Food is run by Charles, also one of my early commenters and followers, who had to wait a really long time before I decided to check out who this loyal follower was. Since then I fell in love with the Swedish, French, English and all-things-in-between recipes he’d post.

Roasted Beetroot Dip


Charles had creative ideas when it came to beetroot which was fantastic for me – because I love beetroot, and, well sometimes my grandpa would buy far too many to just be disappointedly boiled or pickled. The roasted beetroot dip was delicious, although I’ll be roasting the garlic with the beetroot when I make this again. Perhaps our Aussie garlic tastes really strong, but any left over dip will have a super garlicky taste the next day – so enjoy it freshly made, it’s really hard not to finish in one sitting anyway!

If dips aren’t your thing, and you like the chips instead, then go no further than the Hand-cooked beetroot chips also at Five Euro Food.

Beetroot Chips

The littlest one here absolutely loves beetroot chips, so I just had to give these a go, and they were delicious, and far better than the store-bought packs. Be sure to pat your slices dry before frying to get a delicious crisp 🙂


Now if you haven’t headed over to My Ninja Naan, you’re really missing out. I’ve just about made all the smoothie recipes on this blog, and can’t get enough of them! I lost all the photos I had of the smoothies I’d made, but when I coincidentally found myself making yet another Date and Banana Smoothie, I put my glass down beside my window and grabbed my camera for a quick shot. If dates aren’t your thing, then you have to sip the strawberry banana smoothie instead. Both are so delicious! 🙂

Date & Banana Smoothie

Check out the texture on that date 😉 Definitely use medjool dates are they’re soft and will blend smoothly. When I made this one I only had small dried dates, but if you love a bit of texture, then by all means throw ’em in!


Next up is Eva from Kitchen Inspirations. I’ve made more recipes from Eva than I’ll list here, but I’ll share with you my attempt at making Eva’s Rösti potato. I wasn’t very confident when I made this back in January(!) so my rösti didn’t have the gorgeous streaks of browned potato throughout. But it was delicious nevertheless, and was eagerly welcomed into the tummies of the family.

Rosti Potato

From Eva’s blog, I’m also going to share with you her Lovely, flaky buttermilk cheese scones. To be honest with you, my scones weren’t as flaky as Eva’s but they tasted so delicious, I took them along to a family dinner they vanished before anything else did.

Cheese scones


I’ll end my little roundup with Dawn from First Look then Cook. I made her Chive and black pepper pop overs without having ever known what a pop over was. I learnt about these beauties from her blog! 🙂

Pop Overs

With so much batter I made large ones in the 12-case muffin tins and and mini ones in the 24-case muffin tins. The chives and black pepper really complemented each other, and I can only say I’m so lucky to have been introduced to such yummy little treats!

I hope you’ve enjoyed my little roundup. I can’t wait to list another, with recipes ranging from MJs Kitchen to Very Culinary‘s! 🙂

Until then, stay safe, keep well, and bon appétit! 🙂

great food blogger cookie swap | gluten free triple choc cookies

Hi everyone! I’m back Down Under and ready for business. Only I’m a couple of days late as this post was meant to go up 11.12.13 and be posted into the “Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap” roundup! Did I mention I signed up for that? Read all about the great cause here.

A pack of cookies

Making cookies is a dreadful thing for me, because of my previous (disastrous) experiences making them. So when I signed up to the swap, I practiced with a batch of cookies which turned out beautiful – recipe for that to come!


Things got “worse” when the three other foodie bloggers I was swapping cookies with came through. One of them needed gluten free cookies – and I’ve never, ever baked gluten free goodies that are not naturally so! So I Googled. On the bus to uni, on the way back, between classes, before bed, while eating breakkie. I needed a good recipe that didn’t have flour in it and that was fool-proof.


After trying a Martha Stewart recipe, I gave up on flourless cookies and bought some gluten free flour. But even those flours, I read, can’t be treated like normal flour. With one day to go until I packed my bags to fly out, I found the courage to just give the whole thing a go. I made gluten free double (triple, actually) choc cookies from a normal double choc cookie recipe, and well, they turned out pretty awesome! 😀

As I’d made more than one batch, I had slightly different results, I got a bit of a flat batch, a burnt batch (my fault), and a chunky batch. While making the cookies I was so paranoid I’d accidentally put something in that wasn’t gluten free. I really did become so paranoid that I had to tell myself eggs were fine, and I didn’t need to Google whether they, too, were GF! 🙂

excuse the late night photos!

excuse the late night photos! ^^

All was well in the end, as I packaged my cookies and shipped them off hours before my flight – I sent my cookies out to Modest Munchies, The Aussie Kitchen, and The Little Blue Bicycle. I hope you guys all enjoy them very much! 🙂


double choc gluten free cookies


Yields: 3 dozen cookies


1 cup (250g) butter at room temperature

1 cup (200 grams) sugar

1 cup (215 grams) light brown sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups (350 grams) plain gluten-free flour

3/4 cups (60 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder

3/4 cup (4.5 ounces/125 grams) GF white chocolate buttons, roughly chopped

2 cups (12 ounces/340 grams) GF milk chocolate chips

1 teaspoon baking soda (I used 1 1/2 tsp baking powder)

1/2 teaspoon salt



Preheat your oven to 190 deg C (350 F) and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Whisk butter and sugars in a large bowl until combined.

Add eggs, one at a time and mix until well incorporated. Add in the vanilla extract.

Combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda/powder, and salt in a separate bowl. Whisk through until well combined.

Using a wooden spoon add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, ensuring the sides are scraped and mixed in regularly.

cookie batter

The cookie batter should be thick and rich!

Stir in the two chocolates and drop cookie dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto baking sheets and bake for 10-13 minutes, until the cookies have puffed a little and the tops are dry.

cookies ready to bake

Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to a coking rack to cool completely.

Secretly enjoy a warm one with some milk!

double choc gluten free cookies

postcard from dubai & big news

Take a huge pile of sand, add millions of dollars, a passage of time, and find yourself in Dubai in the UAE. I’m sending you this overdue postcard from Dubai – a city that holds so many memories, experiences and meanings for me. This particular trip to Dubai will be especially memorable. I’m staying at a relative’s apartment at Dubai Marina and the views are just breathtaking. I can truly get used to this kind of living daily 😉


view from the balcony

view from the balcony


Tomorrow (2 Dec) is the 42nd national day of the UAE so huge celebrations have started already. I’m looking forward to photographing and enjoying the celebrations myself 🙂

But why this trip will be of the more memorable though is because of the news I received as I was entering the city at the airport. Just before arriving to the immigration desk, I managed to hook on to some terrible internet and check my uni email to see my grades. I’ve averaged a distinction, and will be graduating this December! Hoorah! 😀

I was truly worried about my finals, and the news came with such an overwhelming amount of joy, my knees buckled and I found myself crouching on the airport floors, crying many happy tears. It was a sweet, but awkward moment having my passport stamped, but I wasn’t going to hide my tears 🙂 So that’s the big news I have for you all!

Hoping everything on your end of the globe is going well.

Until anon! 🙂

a postcard from malaysia

Hi all…. 🙂

Been a little quiet around the blog since I’ve gone overseas for a little holiday – hooray! I’ve come by Malaysia, the land of sweet people, rich culture, and good food. Coming here has been so enlightening as I revisit all the places I’ve been to and discover new ones along the way. My last stop was at Johor after crossing over the Singaporean border.

I had a very funny encounter today, which I thought I’d share with you 🙂 You see this fine gentleman here making me freshly squeezed watermelon juice…..


Well, he happened to have served me again, a year later, in the same shop, same uniform, just with a little hair cut 😉 Being a little Boost freak back home in Aussie, I loved drinking these freshly squeezed juiced, and spent quite a few of my ringgits last time I was in Johor! So when I popped in today with my good ol’ Canon and SD, I asked the gentleman if he recognised who the man in the photo was. He inspected the photo for a bit, recognised himself and threw a chuckle. What I remember the most from last year is being taught some Malay phrases as he made the juice. And here he is again a year later making me carrot juice w/ sweetened condensed milk and iced kopi o. Gosh the world is a sweet, small place 🙂


Will be popping by all your wonderful blogs to like and comment and drool as soon as better internet comes around and some rest time is scheduled in. Until then, happy cooking, and keep posting! 🙂

food photography | lighting

Although this post is due to be the comparison brownie post (where I share with you a second brownie recipe and compare it with the swiss chocolate pistachio brownie), what’s more overdue is a quick post about my food photography.

I’m in no way a certified professional, I will admit immediately. I have done several photography courses but they were done so long ago, and did not come with qualification, that I will probably class myself as a self-taught photography aficionado (who’s had some photos printed in a couple of mags/cookbooks). I do hope to see that change within the next year or so, though!

I have been receiving a fair few emails asking for photography tips/details. I’ll start a little series with quick tips on what you can do to make your photos more mouth watering (because you deserve to torture us fellow droolers that much more!) Keep in mind these are things that I personally do, and every recipe I make and photograph is one step forward in improving my own skills.

So before I start, I’ll answer the burning question (..although I think I have before..) I get the most… I currently use what’s classed as an entry-level (I’m offended! 😛 ) DSLR camera – namely the Canon 650D. These cameras are entry-level because they provide you with schnazy options that do the work for you instead of leaving you, as the pro, to do the work yourself. I don’t use any of those features. With this camera, I use the 50mm f1.8 lens with a polarising filter, or otherwise a 17-55mm f2.8 lens which has a UV filter on the front since I bought it – which I’ve been too lazy to remove. I’ll talk some more about my photography gear next post 🙂


Probably the most important tip is to ask for criticism – always. I used to frequently ask others (namely professional food photographers!) about my photos and how they can be improved. This is truly the only way you can improve. I think most of you want to see photos/tips, so I’ll start off with a basic lighting technique.


Good food photography doesn’t happen under artificial lighting unless you’ve got all the jazz (diffusers, bulbs, backdrops). Artificial lighting creates hard shadows and highlights around/on your food which reduces just how appealing it is. Let’s take a look at an example.

chocolate wafer tree

Here’s a photo of a ‘chocolate wafer tree’ I made. I took the photo while the tree was in the fridge – the harsh fridge light overexposes the marshmallows and creates hard shadows on the wafers. Not very appealing.

Using natural lighting – that is away from direct sunlight – is much softer and just looks better on camera. You can further diffuse natural lighting by putting up a parchment paper on the window you’re photographing beside, or using a reflector to soften the shadows created.

reflectors made from sketching books

Don’t let fancy equipment get in your way. I use my 2 sketchbooks as reflectors and they work a charm! This is a typical set up with window light from one side and the reflectors to fill in the shadows of the lemons and of where the cut slice was. Keep this photo in mind, you’ll be seeing it again when I do a post about your autofocus (yes 1/2 of it is out of focus!)

Finally, natural lighting can flood your image if it’s used in the wrong way. Food photography is said to “back-light” the dish being photographed. Let’s compare.

front-lit cookie

This cookie was photographed from (nearly) the same direction the light was hitting it from. The image feels flooded with light and the cookie might look good but I think the photo doesn’t give it justice.

back-lit cookieThis is the photo of the same cookie, but taken from the opposite direction from the light hitting it (lighting is not diffused in this pic).  This is back-lighting your food which brings out highlights when something is glistening with butter, oil, or chocolate for that matter. You’re in a win-win situation here because back-lighting the food brings out highlights without creating any shadow since there wasn’t much shadow in the first place. Controlling the amount of highlighting can be achieved with a polarising filter, but I’ll keep this short and sweet and cover that in my next tip 🙂

At the end of the day, all is personal taste. Which do you like better? Front-lit or back-lit cookies? Or ‘who cares, just give me cookies’? 🙂 Hope this helps you get started on your journey through the realms of food photography!

croissant au beurre

croissant au beurre || a spiel & recipe

Somewhere between last Saturday and now, I managed to realise I am the most pathetic human being alive. When I say this, I am referring to empathy, i.e. I am empathetic – but empathy has so much sociocultural connotative baggage involved with it, I like to use the concept pathos from Aristotle and mirror it so that I’m the one being emotionally moved and persuaded by others (and not vice versa).


Since childhood I’ve known myself to be a sensitive creature, who cramps when the guy in the movie gets punched, who cries when she sees someone else in trouble or upset, and who will make it her responsibility to ensure everyone she loves is happy, regardless of her own personal state. And I admit right now, this is a very dangerous wadi to be in because of just how unstable it can leave you at the end of the day. The danger extends beyond that, however. You see, I’m very good at listening. I will listen to your entire life’s story if you wanted me to know it, but I am the worst person at helping. I will not know what to say. I will not respond properly. I will in fact sit and cry with you. Cry when you leave. Cry all night long. And probably the next morning, too. If I try to help, I’d attempt to get your mind off your problems by chatting with you about petty things (perhaps my life story), or attempt to bribe your worries away with food. Usually that doesn’t work. And we end up crying anyway – I more than you. But in light of food, which is what I’m best at doing, I will be happy to cook things out of my comfort zone if it means I have to.

before baking

before baking


Now if you’ve ever promised a Frenchman a French delicacy, you’d know the sort of pressure I put on myself making these croissants. I have, indeed, read all your Darking Bakers challenge blog posts with recipes, I have watched at least 15 YouTube videos on how to make the crescent shaped croissant au beurre. I dreamed about these darlings for nights on end. I shopped for them. I took a deep breath. And got to work. And work started with transcribing Chef Bruno’s (who’s accent can’t be missed) Taste of Paris video by hand into my little notebook, with macarons on it!


home-made or store-bought?

after baking


That’s right. making these had to be done properly the first time round and I was going classical with a proper recipe on paper and memorising all the “tour double”, “tour simple”, and whatever else turns and folds were involved!

I realised after making these that the croissant itself is not difficult to make in the sense that it’s steps are almost basic baking steps you might do in any baking recipe, the waiting involved (and the realisation of how enormous these croissants can go) is what lets croissant making seem such a dragged out process. This being my first go at making croissants, I ran to the local bakery and grabbed  croissant to compare. And I honestly could not tell the difference – except that some of mine were a little more buttery tasting than the bakery one. That’s a plus, surely? 🙂


croissants before and after

before and after baking


The croissants themselves were delicate, flaky and crispy, but they need to be left in an airtight container to keep their crispiness, running around with them in a Japanese basket and brown bag won’t help maintain the delicate crisp. I made three batches, one was absolutely massive, the other two looked exactly like the ones you’d pick up from a local bakery. I only managed to photograph the final proofing (sounds so dramatic) as I was far too busy ensuring perfection during all other stages.

I hope you have a go at croissant making sometime soon. I highly recommend you watch Bruno’s video linked above. I enjoyed a croissant pressed in the sandwich press, stuffed with some fetta, dried mint and black seed (you need to try this with some cold watermelon: divinity between your hands).


homemade croissants

Yields: 10-14 croissants (depending on size)



1 cup lukewarm tap water

4 tsps active dry yeast (2 packets fresh yeast can be used, just add to water & proof instead of flour)

3 1/2 cups unbleached bread/plain flour

3 tsp kosher salt

1/4 cup granulated sugar

100g (6 1/2 tbs) softened unsalted European-style cultured butter


250g (16 1/2 tbs) softened unsalted European-style cultured butter



Combine active dry yeast, salt, sugar and flour in a large bowl.

Add in the water and 100g of butter and continue kneading until just combined.

Transfer the dough to your work surface without additional flour and use your palm to knead the dough for five minutes.

When the dough comes together as a smooth, soft malleable ball, place in the bowl and let rise. This is the ‘first rise’ and should happen at 24 degrees C, that’s 75 degrees F, and should be left for roughly 2 hours to double in size.

Lightly dust your work surface and dough with flour. Deflate the dough and pat it (with your hands!) into a rectangular shape. Fold it over into thirds, then in half, wrap and refrigerate overnight. This is the ‘second rise’ and will allow the flavours to develop, adding depth and complexity. It allows the dough to relax and lose its stretchiness.

In the meantime, make your slab of butter by softening it slightly. Place the butter in a 7 by 8 inch sandwich bag and roll to the edges until you have an even thickness. Chill then trim off any thin edges.

Let the butter soften before beginning the tourage. When soft enough, remove the dough from the fridge and deflate.

On a floured surface, roll the dough into a 15 by 7 inch rectangle and place the butter slab on one half of the dough. Cover over with the other half of the dough. Tap the dough gently with a rolling pin then roll from the centre out until you have a 24 inch by 8 inch rectangle.

Sweep off any excess flour; fold the left third over to the centre, then fold the right over so the two ends meet. Readjust the thickness of the pâton (dough) by rolling over it then fold in half like a book. This is your double turn (called tour double).

Repeat the previous step, rolling out until you have a 24 by 8 inch long rectangle. Fold the dough into thirds, making your simple turn, then wrap and refrigerate for one hour.

When chilled, remove and roll out slightly. Cut in half and return one half to the fridge. The croissant dough should always be cool while being worked with. Roll the half you’re working with to an 18 by 9 inch rectangle with a 1/8″ thickness (~3mm).


the pâton


Cut the dough into six large triangles and roll into the familiar crescent shaped look.

Place croissants on lightly greased baking paper and brush with an egg wash (1 egg beaten with a pinch of salt).

Repeat with other half of dough.

the last proofing

Leave croissants on a counter top to proof for 2.5-3hrs until puffed and spongy.

Brush with an egg wash again and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (205 C) and bake for 10 minutes.

Turn down the heat to 375 degrees (190 C) and bake for another 12 – 15 minutes until golden brown.

Serve the delicious, buttery, flaky croissants as you please. Just enjoy and never go back to a store bought croissant again!

swiss chocolate & pistachio brownies

Have you ever had someone or something enter your life briefly, consume so much of your thought, energy, and passion, only to then let life carry on fulfilling its mission, taking them as far away as close as it had brought them to you?

Yet you continue thinking about them – allowing your mind to be consumed in thoughts for extended periods of the day. You only wish the very best for them because of how well they were to you, and you yearn to embrace them once more…?

This has happened to me on multiple occasions – I’m sure it’s happened to everyone – and I don’t mean for it to be only about other humans. We can take the feeling, the entire ritual, and contextualise it in different ways.  It can be in the form of a natural state, like health (as health can come and go), it can be objects or pets, or even experiences, like travel.


One particular instance I’ll share with you today is my encounter with a young woman from Switzerland. I had come home from uni many nights ago with a terrible headache. I was feeling down in dumps, tired, and just wanted to be left alone. I got a phone call from a friend whose English isn’t great, asking if I could come and help entertain this young woman. I was beyond disappointed that I had to get off my couch and do this – but I did it. And it was such a life changing experience.

This young woman has since returned to Switzerland and if I could fly there every week to meet her, I would. She very kindly sent me some fine Cailler cooking chocolate, and a gorgeous pink shawl. I decided I’d make the recipes inside the chocolate wrapping because I wanted to live the Swiss experience of cooking something a Swiss person would if they’d bought this chocolate.

I ran into trouble here because the recipe was in French and German… So I turned to my trusty interneters and asked for a translation! I got an awkward recipe back, which I attempted, and somehow managed to NOT follow. Meaning I could have just done some brownies myself and called it a day. Sigh. I was meant to cream 180g of butter – but instead I managed to dump it into the mixture and create a brownie that took an hour to set in the oven, as opposed to a mere 20-25 minutes.


These brownies not only sound fancy (c’mon, surely they do), but they tasted deliciously sweet, and I shared it with my uni team members after finishing our project – especially after, as project manager, I’d been giving them “extra brownie points” all semester long for their hard work. So they deserved these. And you do, too, go ahead and make these, and keep an eye out for my next brownie recipe – I’m doing a little comparison test 🙂 Original (and my messy) recipe are below.


Swiss Brownies


Serves: 6 – 8 people


180g butter, plus extra to grease pan

120g (1 cup) flour

160g (1 1/2 cups) granulated sugar

4 eggs

80g  pistachios, roughly chopped

200g Cailler milk chocolate, divided



Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C.

Melt 140g of the Cailler chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set aside. Chop the remaining chocolate to use later.

Place butter in a bowl and beat until pale and uniform. Add the melted chocolate, sugar, eggs, flour, and pistachios, mix to combine.

Butter a 9 x 9 inch square pan and spread to about a 1 inch (2.5 cm) thickness.

Sprinkle over the chopped chocolate from step 2 and place in the oven for 25mins or until set.

Remove from the oven and let cool completely before slicing or removing from the pan.




Seems so simple, right? I ended up doing the following due to my poor recipe following skills…

Melt 140g chocolate and 100g-120g butter* in a heatproof bowl. Add in all the dry ingredients and stir to combine.

Stir in 2 lightly beaten eggs then 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder and the pistachios.

Bake until set in 180 degree C oven, then leave to cool completely before serving.


* I’ve reduced the amount of butter for you in this version (do not use 180g!)


Enjoy with milk, ice cream, or as well-earned brownie points!


interfational love day – a heart shaped vanilla cake to celebrate

When I made this cake recently, I declared it ♥ interfational love day ♥ because of just how adorable it is. If you’re the sort of person to save sweet treats like this to something like Valentines Day, then it’s time to break the mould and do things differently!

So before I share the recipe with you, I’d like to send out a warm welcome to all the new fati’s recipes subscribers – leave a note, won’t you, so we can spread the love (with a virtual slice of this cake) and welcome you aboard 😉

And for some more love: you don’t have to use this recipe below… use the vanilla cake recipe that you love because it’ll make this cake all the more special! I’ve recently been using the whisk attachment instead of the paddle attachment to get a really light fluffy cake – highly recommend you do this too 🙂 Also, if you have any left over batter like I did, just pour it into a few muffin cases and enjoy as treat at work or school 🙂

heart cake

Yields: 1 lovely cake


The cake:

1 1/2 cups plain flour

1 3/4 tsps baking powder

1 cup white sugar

1/2 cup butter

2 eggs (I normally use large ones)

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsps vanilla extract

3/4 cup milk (use buttermilk instead if desired; reduce to 1/2 cup milk if desired)

The decoration:

7 – 8 fresh strawberries (with calyx (cap/hull & leaves) in tact

65ml (1/4 cup + 1 tsp) thickened cream

125g quality white chocolate

blue and red natural food colouring



Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.

Grease and flour a 20cm pan or as I did here, a 26cm (widest part) by 7cm deep love heart pan.

In a medium bowl, cream together the sugar and butter until pale.

Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each egg. Stir in the vanilla.

Combine flour and baking powder separately and add to the creamed mixture and mix well.

Stir in the milk until batter is smooth. Pour or spoon batter into the prepared pan.

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven. And your cake is done when it springs back to the touch.

Remove from oven and set aside to cool completely.

Meanwhile place cream and chocolate in a dry and heatproof bowl over simmering water (don’t let the water touch the bowl).

Stir occasionally with a metal spoon until chocolate is melted and well combined with cream.

Add a blue food colouring (I did this with a toothpick to avoid putting in too much), stir to spread colour.

Add (roughly twice as much) red food colouring and stir to create deep pink/purple colour.

Set aside to cool to room temperature.

heart cake (side view)

Generously cover the cooled cake with the ganache, spreading to the sides and letting ‘drip’ slowly. Top with halved strawberries.

Make a strawberry rose by using this technique (I always do this just with a paring knife).

Serve with some hot tea for a snuggly time ♥