Chocolate Hazelnut Cupcakes with Swiss Meringue Coffee Buttercream

Okay, so I kind of cheated with these. Remember my Hazelnut Mocha Torte from a few posts ago? Well this is it again, but in cupcake form; and with a different frosting. They are still gluten free and still just as delicious – if not more so. The cakes had a slightly crusty surface but the inside remained beautifully moist and tender. On top of each, I spread a good dollop of Nutella and piped a small swirl of coffee flavoured buttercream. I felt like they needed the decadence of extra chocolate so I shaved some dark ghana over the top to finish them off.

The swiss buttercream was new for me and I really enjoyed the process. This type of buttercream is slightly harder than ‘simple buttercream’ involving powdered sugar, butter and a little milk – but it is infinitely better. It is far less sweet for one and also has a much more soft, airy and luscious mouth-feel. There are a few other types of buttercreams with increasing degrees of difficulty, but swiss is a good starting point for beginners like me.

Published in: on February 9, 2012 at 10:29 pm  Comments (10)  
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Thai Green Curry with Chicken and Vegetables

I only had to cook for myself tonight and felt like something easy. I had a few veggies to use up and I spotted some green curry paste in the fridge and a chicken breast in the freezer – a done deal. I whacked on the rice cooker, and cut up the chicken and set it to marinating in a few spoonfuls of curry paste whilst I prepared the other ingredients. I had a baby zucchini and a few hungarian wax peppers which mum had given me from her garden so they went in, along with capsicums, broccoli and red onion.

I sealed the chicken in a hot pan and added the onions to soften a bit. Then I poured in a bit of water and the zucchini. After simmering for a couple of minutes I threw in the softer vegetables and stirred in about 200ml of coconut cream/milk. A couple of minutes later it was ready to serve with a big squeeze of lime juice and steamed jasmine rise.

Published in: on February 8, 2012 at 10:31 pm  Comments (3)  
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Smashed Pav


It was Australia Day (aka ‘Invasion Day’) last Thursday and I felt inclined to make something Aussie to celebrate. I settled on pavlova due to a surplus of eggs from my mum’s chooks. This was actually my first time making pavlova so I was wary; but it turned out better than I expected, albeit a tad smashed looking. The crust was very crispy and melt-in-your-mouth whilst the inside remained soft and marshmallowy. It came out of the oven looking quite spectacular but as it cooled the crust broke into shards. Once it was topped with cream and fruit it didn’t seem to matter though. I also added banana and passionfruit just before serving. I’m glad I have this iconic dessert in my repertoire now because it was really yummy and a good way to use up eggs.

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Published in: on February 3, 2012 at 9:34 pm  Comments (2)  
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