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Fun with Strawberries

Uncategorized December 17, 2010

It’s fun getting a bit more into the cake decorating side of things.

As usual I love finding simple but effective techniques to use.

As you may have seen before, one of my fave techniques is using strawberries to jazz up a cake. It adds a lot of lovely colour to plain coloured cakes and frostings without much actual effort at all.

Here is a cake I made for my boyfriend’s brother’s birthday (pfew, that’s a lot of B’s.)

The cake stats: Carrot cake with a vanilla bean cream cheese frosting and decorated with strawberries. I can’t remember exactly which recipe I used for the cake, sorry, but I can’t really comment on the taste much anyway since I didn’t actually eat any of it 😛 I will try and post on another carrot cake sometime in the future though.. i loooove me some carrot cake.

The frosting was pretty easy – just butter, cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla beans. Yuuuum. Cannot go wrong with that combination.

Directions for decorating:

1. Bake cake, then allow to cool completely. (Unfortunately due to time restraints I wasn’t able to let it cool totally which is why the icing was the tiniest tiniest bit runny as you may be able to see above in the pics. This shouldn’t happen if you have a decent frosting and a completely cool cake.

2. Ice a crumb-coat layer of icing onto the cake (a thin amount of icing that will absorb all the crumbs) and refrigerate until set.

3. Apply a thicker layer of icing around the sides and top of the cake.

4. Slice strawberries into thirds and use the outer side of the strawberries for the sides of the cake. They should stick easily to the frosting. Keep the slice with the leaves intact for the top of the cake. Reserve one strawberry for the top of the cake.

5. Pipe stars around the top around the edge of the cake.

6. Decorate with the remaining strawberries in a circle pattern and place one whole strawberry with the top cut off in the centre.

7. Place in the fridge until ready to serve.

This is best served as soon as possible after decorating with the strawberries, otherwise they tend to release a runny juice and fall off the cake/ruin the frosting).

Enjoy! 🙂

Another time I employed a similar technique –>

🙂 Have a great weekend!!

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rice pudding

Rice Puddin’

Uncategorized September 5, 2010

I have always loved rice pudding. When I was at Mac Uni, it was one of the staple snacks I would grab from the SAM Shop (SAM Meaning Students At Macquarie.. They changed the name while I was still there, but I never bothered to try and remember the new name.. It will always be the SAM Shop to me!)

It would come cold in a plastic container sprinkled with cinnamon on top. Mmm. That probably doesn’t sound appealing but it was always good. I like that rice pudding is awesome hot or cold. It’s handy if I wanna take some of it to work, or whatevs.

I’d never made it before, but the other day, my boyfriend and I got some pretty crappy food poisoning and really didn’t feel like eating at all. I figured that we should try and at least eat something, but neither of us felt particularly bothered to cook or eat out (especially since we had gotten the nasty bug from a nearby thai place), plus we were running low on groceries. Feeling sick also left me feeling particularly non-creative to whip something up, but then I realised…. rice pudding.

It occurred to me that rice pudding consists of basically three ingredients, those being rice, sugar and milk, which we luckily had. Apparently arborio rice (which I usually use for risotto) was a great rice for rice pudding which was excellent news because I always buy a huge packet to make risotto with and almost always have a half packet rotting away in the cupboard (figuratively, not literally, rotten rice – prolly not too useful.. plus dry rice would probably be difficult to rot). I love finding new uses for groceries that lost their usefulness a long time ago.

I basically followed the recipe for Vanilla Rice Pudding (With Poached Rhubarb) – although I skipped the rhubarb for sliced fresh strawberries.

Ingredients (serves 6)

  • 4 cups gluten-free soy milk I used regular whole milk, about two cups? Although I noticed that I had to add maybe another cup during the cooking, that arborio rice certainly soaks up liquid well…
  • 1 cup arborio rice I halved the recipe for two, it was a pretty large serving, bigger than a regular dessert serve probably, but it was the only thing we had eaten all day
  • 1/4 cup caster sugar I just added 1/4 cup of caster sugar. I also had a ripe banana lying around and decided to be experimental, mashed it and added it to the mix. it was quite sweet, I think next time i’ll definitely lessen the sugar content, even minus the banana
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract I didn’t have any extract on me, but I keep used vanilla bean pods in my caster sugar which helps to add a vanilla flavour anyway.
  • I added: Sliced fresh strawberries to serve


Combine milk, rice, sugar and vanilla in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low. Simmer, stirring every 5 minutes, for 25 minutes or until rice is tender and creamy.

This actually took a lot longer to cook than I thought.. I used my cast iron saucepan and left it over a higher heat than i intended and the bottom started to burn.. So i took it out and put it into a pyrex bowl and microwaved it until it was done – didn’t affect the texture or taste. Next time I’ll keep a better eye on it.. but this time… sick. (That’s what I’m blaming it on, anyway.)

So my consensus? The pudding was lovely and very creamy. I like that it has a lot less sugar than most desserts and next time I’ll definitely reduce the sugar content. You could probably also use lite milk to reduce the fat content and it was great with the strawberries. Definitely try it with the mashed banana, it gives it a great flavour and adds sweetness. If I was making baby food, I would make this with whole milk, no sugar and just mashed bananas. Pretty healthy and tastes great!