Friday, February 25, 2011

Bake Essential Companion

Bake by Alison Thompson, new from Penguin Australia, is the wonderful kitchen essential that will provide you with the inspiration for a lifetime of baking. 

In Bake, expert baker and pastry chef Alison Thompson shares with you everything she knows about baking.

Alison includes all her absolute favourite recipes for breads, pastries, cakes, muffins, scones, biscuits and slices, and desserts. There's even a section including gluten-free options. Many of these recipes she's been baking for years, refining and perfecting them until they produce consistently outstanding results.

With detailed information on techniques, equipment and ingredients, and simple step-by-step instructions, this book really is the baker's bible. In clear, accessible language, Alison demystifies many of the more complex baking techniques. If you've never dared to make your own croissants or bake a four-tiered layer cake, fear no longer – whether you're a beginner keen to roll up your sleeves, or a passionate life-long baker, you'll produce stunning results every time with these mouth-watering recipes.

'Baking is so satisfying; we learn new skills each time we try a new recipe. But best of all, baking brings us together, both in the kitchen and at the table – I love watching the smiles as people take their first mouthful and eat with joy.'  - Alison

Alison Thompson has been passionate about cooking since she was a child, writing her first cookbook when she was just 11 years old. She now has 15 years experience as a professional chef and pastry chef. Alison has worked with the world's finest pastry chefs in Melbourne and London, and has spent time at the famed Little Venice Cake Company in the UK. She is the founder and head pastry chef of Alison Louise Designer Cakes, a wedding and special occasion cake business located in the Yarra Valley, just outside Melbourne.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Grandma's Kitchen


New from Anthropologie are these fabulous Grandma's Kitchen dishtowels. Available in black and teal, the gorgeous towels feature a china-pattern applique centre on retro gingham.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Bookshelf Wallpaper


Wallpaper is a great alternative to a painted feature wall, and this unique Bookshelf wallpaper by Young & Battaglia is perfect for adding a timeless and eye-catching feature to your home. 

Available online in two colours from Rockett St George.  

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Anna Sui Flight of Fancy Journal

We love pretty journals and notebooks in the office - they are great for jotting notes down when inspiration hits… For a stunning purse-sized journal, you can't go past Anna Sui's Flight of Fancy journal. The cover of this fabulous journal shimmers and shines like a mirror, while Anna Sui's signature purple, black, and red patterns boldly decorate the writing pages inside…

Visit Anna Sui

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Coco Republic Online Store - Limited Edition Lifestyle Accessories

Coco Republic has married old-world charm and new-world technology with the launch of the company’s new online gift store. The virtual store, a first for Coco Republic, features exclusive, limited-edition lifestyle accessories (only available online) that veer from the elegantly-quirky to the plain elegant.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Chocolate Heart Tarts

Show your Valentine how much you love them with this scrumptious recipe from Taste…


  • 2 x 60g Snickers bars, finely chopped
  • 100g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup pure cream
  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar
  • icing sugar mixture, to serve
  • 1 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 1/4 cup caster sugar
  • 125g butter, chilled, chopped
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  1. Make pastry: Place flour, sugar and butter in a food processor. Process until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add egg. Process until dough just comes together. Turn pastry onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until just smooth. Shape into a disc. Cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. 
  2. Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease four 3cm-deep, 10cm (base) loose-based fluted tart pans. Roll out pastry between 2 sheets of baking paper until 5mm thick. Using a 13cm cutter, cut 4 rounds from pastry. Line pans with pastry. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.
  3. Place pans on a baking tray. Line pastry cases with baking paper. Fill with uncooked rice or ceramic pie weights. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes or until edges are light golden. Remove baking paper and rice or pie weights. Bake for 5 minutes or until base is light golden. Set aside to cool.
  4. Meanwhile, reduce oven to 160°C. Divide Snickers between pastry cases. Combine chocolate and cream in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring, for 3 to 4 minutes or until melted and smooth. Allow to cool for 5 minutes. 
  5. Using an electric mixer, beat egg, egg yolks and sugar until light and fluffy. Add chocolate mixture. Fold in until just combined. Pour mixture into pastry cases. Bake for 25 minutes or until just set. Allow tarts to cool in pans for 10 minutes. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until cold. Dust tarts with icing sugar to form a heart shape (see note). Serve.
  • To make an icing sugar stencil, cut a 12cm circle from a piece of paper. Draw an 8cm heart shape on the circle and cut out, leaving circle intact. Place stencil on tart. Dust heavily with icing sugar to form heart shape.
  • Tip: Dust icing sugar on cooled tarts, otherwise icing sugar will dissolve.
  • Makes 4 tarts
Source | Super Food Ideas - February 2008, Page 88 - Recipe by Cathie Lonnie

Visit Taste

Friday, February 11, 2011

Martha Stewart…

Great news! The Martha Stewart Collection for Royal Doulton is available exclusively at Royal Doulton Outlet Stores throughout Australia… Martha Stewart has been a collector of Wedgwood fine china for some time. Reflecting her love of high quality bone china, the Martha Stewart range is inspired by her favourite colours and pattern. 

Participating Outlets:

Arndell Park - New Shop
100 Holbeche Rd, Arndell Park NSW
p. 02 8665 8280

Armadale Outlet
721 High Street, Armadale VIC
p. 03 9576 2364

Brands on Sale
Shop 206, 32 Queen Street Campbelltown NSW
p. 02 4620 8119

Harbourtown Docklands
Shop 446 Waterfront City, Docklands VIC
p. 03 9600 0844

DFO Brisbane Airport
T46, 1 Airport Centre, Brisbane
p. 07 3115 2645

DFO Cheltenham
Store 79, Cnr Centre Dandenong & Garage Rd, Cheltenham VIC
p. 03 9584 0256

DFO Essendon
Shop T48, 100 Bulla Rd, Essendon VIC
p. 03 9937 7272

DFO Homebush
Shop 61, Cnr Homebush Bay Dr & Underwood Rd, Homebush NSW 
p. 02 9764 4890

Harbourtown Gold Coast
Building 2, Shop B23 Harbourtown, Cnr Gold Coast Hwy & Oxley Dr, Biggera Waters QLD
p. 07 5537 9014

Harbourtown Perth
Shop B06a, 840 Wellington Street, West Perth WA
p. 08 9481 8797

Brandsmart Outlet Mall
Shop 45, Whitehorse Road, Nunawading VIC
p. 03 9878 3522

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Occasional Chairs

Occasional chairs are a great way to add a focal point to your room, and choosing a bold fabric such as the Jasper chair from Coco Republic is a great way to spice up a neutral colour palette in your home. 

Friday, February 4, 2011

Classic Dinnerware


To add a touch of old-English charm to your tableware, the Dunham Collection from Ralph Lauren home is an elegant dinnerware range inspired by classic English serving pieces. 

Visit Ralph Lauren 

Thursday, February 3, 2011

2011 Dizzy Whizzy Desk Calendar

We just love Dizzy Wizzy's 2011 desk calendar… Including 12 monthly calendars on heavy recycled paper to display each month of the year, this desk calendar is a bright and funky way for you to keep track of the year…

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Lists are a fabulous way to keep track of all the things you need (or want) to do. From ensuring you complete your usual day to day tasks to helping you achieve your lifelong travel goals, creating lists can help you prioritise your day so that you can accomplish all that you set out to do. If you are a list-maker, then you will just love My Future Listography by Lisa Nola. 

About My Future Listography
Now fans of our Listography journals (over a quarter of a million copies sold) can list all their hopes and dreams with My Future Listography. Encouraging users to envision future goals and aspirations, this journal includes over 70 all-new thought-provoking list topics that range from the practical (places to visit, habits to break, good deeds to perform) to the more whimsical (animals to adopt, other lives to lead, events to time-travel to). With quirky hand-drawn illustrations and insightful prompts throughout, this journal invites the motivation and fun that come with pondering the road ahead. Perfect for planners, list-lovers, and dreamers of all ages!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Chocolate Honey Almond Torte

A heavenly sensation, this Chocolate Honey Almond Torte recipe is sure to set mouths watering. This fabulous recipe is from New Idea.
  • 500g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 125g unsalted butter, chopped
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tblsp brown sugar
  • 1 tblsp plain flour
  • 1/3 cup flaked almonds
  • Vanilla ice-cream, to serve
  1. Grease a 24cm round springform pan (with 22cm base). Line base and side with baking paper.
  2. Place chocolate, butter and honey in a heatproof bowl. Sit bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir until smooth. Remove from heat. Cool slightly.
  3. Place eggs and sugar in a small mixing bowl. Beat on high speed for about 5 minutes, or until thick and pale. Transfer to a large bowl. Sift flour over the top. Gently fold in. Then fold in warm chocolate mixture. Pour into prepared pan. Sprinkle over almonds.
  4. Cook in a hot oven (200C) for about 30 minutes, or until just set. Remove and stand for 15 minutes. Refrigerate cake, uncovered, overnight.
  5. Remove from fridge about 30 minutes before serving. Serve with ice-cream.
  • If you pre-make the cake, cover with plastic wrap after chilling. You can substitute milk chocolate for dark chocolate. 
Source: New Idea