Jan 27, 2011

Orange and vanilla upside down cake

Today's project was an orange and vanilla upside down cake - a recipe from the Donna Hay Seasons book. This one is quite a sweet cake and you only really need one slice. But two is tempting.

Orange and vanilla upside-down cake

Orange topping
• 1 cup (220g) caster sugar
• 1/2 cup (125ml) water
• 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
• 2 oranges, very thinly sliced

Cake base
• 4 eggs
• 1 cup (220g) caster sugar
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 1 cup (150g) self-raising flour
• 150g butter, melted
• 1 cup (120g) almond meal

Orange topping - Preheat oven to 160˚C. To make topping place sugar, water and vanilla in a 2.5 litre-capacity 20cm non-stick ovenproof frying pan over medium heat. Stir until sugar dissolves then add the orange slices. Simmer for 10-15 minutes or until orange is soft. Remove from heat and set aside.

Cake base - Place eggs, sugar and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk for 8-10 minutes or until the mixture is thick, pale and tripled in volume. Sift the flour over the egg mixture and fold through. Fold through the butter and almond meal. Pour mixture over orange and bake for 40-45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Turn out onto a platter to serve.

Jan 26, 2011

A touch of vintage

Another set of interior/still life photos I put together this week.

Happy Australia Day!

Being Australia day I had the intention of making something a little more exciting than this but it failed miserably! So here we have a very simple favourite party food of many Aussie children - fairy bread. Sometimes the simpler things can make us the happiest. Happy Australia day!

Fairy bread

• Hundreds and thousands
• Sliced white bread
• Butter

Spread butter over however many slices you like and coat with hundreds and thousands. Cut into triangles. Easy and guaranteed to put a smile on those little faces.

Jan 18, 2011

Pea and prosciutto vignole

With all the power outages and eating take away over the past week I've been craving something healthy and green. So today for lunch I made a pea and prosciutto vignole with mint and artichoke. The flavours were really subtle and a welcome change from oily pizza and pies. Really easy to make as well. You can add broad beans but I didn't have them on hand so only used peas.

Pea and prosciutto vignole

• Olive oil
• 2 spring onions, trimmed and finely chopped
• 200ml vegetable stock
• 500g frozen peas (or 250g peas and 250g broad beans)
• 145g artichokes, drained and halved
• Handful of mint
• 4 slices prosciutto

Heat oil in a large pan and cook spring onions for 2 minutes. Add stock and frozen peas. Stir in the artichokes, a few sprigs of mint and season with salt and pepper. Lay slices of prosciutto over the top to form a lid, bring to a simmer and allow to bubble away for 10 minutes. Remove the prosciutto from the top, tear up and stir through. Season to taste and serve with mint sprigs scattered over top and a drizzle of olive oil. Serves 4.

Jan 14, 2011

Long road to recovery

Thank you for all the caring messages left with my last post. It really has been quite a traumatic and surreal experience these past few days. So many have been left homeless in Brisbane and our city now faces a very long road to recovery. We were left without power (some suburbs still without) for a couple days and pretty much trapped in our suburb as every street we turned down was filled with water. Grocery store shelves were emptied with panic buying, it was hard to communicate with our phones draining one by one and nothing could be done until the water began to recede. Our new place luckily was left untouched but friends of ours were not so lucky. They are now staying with us until their home is livable again. Tomorrow we also face a big day of cleaning up a family business that went completely under. Times like this really brings out the good in people with individuals you have never met lending a hand to get your life back together again. Nice to see.

Jan 11, 2011

Longing for clear skies

Our little state of Queensland is slowly disappearing underwater. We have had a very small handful of sunny days in the past month and this week the weather has been extreme. Flash flooding has left many homes underwater and owners have had to evacuate to higher ground. The Brisbane river is due to swell today which is a concern for many with homes and businesses close to its edge. Hopefully this is the worst of it and soon we have clear skies again.

Jan 8, 2011

Plum brioche pudding

I haven't made anything with brioche before and as the market stalls were stocked high with plums this morning I wanted to give this recipe by Jamie Oliver a go. It's not quite as pretty looking as Jamie's but it tasted good.

Plum brioche pudding

• 300g brioche, torn into chunks
• 250ml double cream
• 4 eggs
• 2 tbsp rum
• 4 tbsp caster sugar
• 580g plums, stoned and halved
• 4 tbsp plum jam
• Custard, to serve

Place brioche in a bowl and mix with cream. Leave to soak. Whisk together eggs, sugar and rum and combine with the brioche mixture. Push the plums into the mixture and shape into a ball. Tie tightly in 2-3 layers of muslin securing the top together. Steam in a steamer for an hour. Melt jam with 2 tbsp of water. Remove pudding from steamer and turn onto a plate. Pour jam over pudding and top with custard to serve.

Jan 7, 2011

Blog love

Pretty images by photographer Paul Schmidt found on a very pretty blog called Willow & Frank. I could spend hours scrolling through the pages looking at all the dreamy pictures.


I saved the top right image to my desktop a while ago because I loved her hair and tonight I came across the photographer. Taiwanese photographer Ricor has some really nice work and uses film which is nice to see.

New year new look

As you may have noticed I've given Little things a bit of a freshen up. I'm not sure if it's a personal thing or a common thing with creative people but I find I get so bored after a while of what I work on and desperately need a change. So new year new look.

Friday inspiration - love the colours of Maritza Teodoro's latest moodboard.

Jan 5, 2011

Time to get going

Boy am I struggling to get going so far this year! In an effort to stop procrastinating and get on with things today I put together a bit of an interior/still life set of photos. I'm in the process of putting together my portfolio so some new and fresh projects are on the 'to do' list.