Thursday, August 27, 2015

Lemon Ricotta Doughnuts with Honey Chamomile Syrup

lemon chamomile doughnuts

A big hello from Manila! I've been here for a week and practically everything I've eaten has been amazing. I love visiting the local markets anywhere I go travelling - from New York to Penang-  and of course the Bondi farmers market is part of my weekend ritual. I love seeing exotic tropical fruits and locally grown vegetables, homemade pickles and preserves and street food cooked fresh in front of your eyes. The last time I visited before I left Sydney, I was excited to find fresh chamomile flowers, and I just knew I wanted to do something tasty and pretty with them.

lemon chamomile doughnuts

Most people have tried chamomile tea, but the flowers can also be used fresh or dried and have some pretty incredible health benefits. Chamomile is anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and high in anti-oxidants, which make it soothing for burns and cuts, colds and flu, stomach aches and even PMS! It's also great for your skin and hair, and because it is caffeine free, can help you get a good night's sleep.

lemon chamomile doughnuts

My newest favourite last minute dessert is Ricotta Doughnuts - did you know you can have fresh homemade doughnuts in less than 20 minutes? They are really very easy. No need to wait for a yeasted dough to rise and they turn out super light and fluffy. I stuck to a classic flavour combination that I knew would be lovely - honey, lemon and chamomile. If you can't find chamomile flowers, this recipe can also work with chamomile tea. And of course, they are best enjoyed with a nice cup of tea!

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lemon chamomile doughnuts

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Sticky Date Bourbon and Cola Pudding

sticky date bourbon & cola pudding | spicyicecream

In an almost annual Spicyicecream tradition, I present to you Sticky Date Pudding… again. It's one of my very favourite winter desserts so I've shared quite a few recipes over the years, each one better than the last. Even if I think I've hit pudding perfection, I can't seem to help myself - I've never made the same sticky date recipe twice.

sticky date bourbon & cola pudding | spicyicecream

Predictably, I couldn't let August slip away without trying a new take on the classic - a version containing bourbon and cola from the Pitt Cue Co cookbook. What makes this version so special? The pudding uses both dates and prunes, which are simmered in Coca Cola, which breaks them down perfectly. The pudding bakes up perfectly with a layer of caramel underneath, not too dense or cake-like.

sticky date bourbon & cola pudding | spicyicecream

The sauce is epic too, it has milk chocolate and bourbon, as well as the usual suspects of butter, cream, brown sugar and sea salt - a winning combination. I made a half batch of the pudding (amended quantities below) but I'd recommend making a full batch of the sauce, because you'll want to drizzle it on everything. Seriously. It's a pretty big call, but I think this might be my favourite Sticky Date Pudding recipe yet. Until next year, that is…

sticky date bourbon & cola pudding | spicyicecream

Friday, August 7, 2015

Cacao & Coconut Smoothie Bowl

cacao & coconut smoothie bowl | spicyicecream

Most days I start my morning with a green smoothie. I actually look forward to it when I wake up, and I think for me the nutrient hit from the fruits and vegetables is the perfect way to start the day. I've shared my favourite recipe before, but I'm always tweaking it depending on the time of year, what's in season - and of course, what's in the fridge and the fruit bowl. Most of the time I drink my green smoothies from a cute glass with my stripy Kate Spade straw (everything tastes better with a stripy straw don't you think?) but one day I got inspired by Instagram to try a 'smoothie bowl' and have kind of loved them ever since.

cacao & coconut oil granola | spicyicecream

A smoothie bowl is next level in the best possible way. I love being able to add different fresh fruits and some crunch from homemade granola, chopped nuts or coconut chips. The granola itself is delicious and made with lots of nuts, coconut, raw cacao and coconut oil. It tastes naughty, but it's actually good for you! And it smells absolutely delicious as it's baking, with my whole apartment smelling like chocolate and cinnamon. Definitely a good thing in my books. It will keep in an airtight container indefinitely for breakfast or just as a nice crunchy snack.

cacao & coconut smoothie bowl | spicyicecream

This Cacao and Coconut Smoothie Bowl is loaded with nutrients and good fats, with a base of spinach that you can't even see or taste. I love the creamy consistency that the avocado and bananas bring. The passionfruit and coconut are just downright delicious with the raw cacao, which is also full of antioxidants. Even though it's very healthy and would make an excellent breakfast that will keep you satisfied until lunchtime, it tastes decadent enough that you could even have it for dessert!

cacao & coconut smoothie bowl | spicyicecream

As for the toppings, you can use any fruit that you like. I went for a mixture of passionfruit, strawberries, blueberries and chopped banana along with the homemade cacao and coconut granola. In summer some sliced peaches, pomegranate seeds and raspberries could be lovely as well. You could also add some chia seeds, cacao nibs, or other super foods. I love that these kinds of recipes are completely adaptable, so you can definitely adjust the flavours and toppings to suit your taste or dietary requirements.

cacao & coconut smoothie bowl | spicyicecream

Friday, July 31, 2015

July Bites

july bites… the grounds

I seriously can't believe that it's the end of July and I'm hopping on a plane in a little over 2 weeks! We've been having some great weather lately that hardly feels like winter at all - which I love. These photos feel like spring and that makes me happy. I've been working on so many different projects that I can't wait to share on my portfolio site soon. The health kick has had some ups and downs - it can be hard to stick to healthy eating and have a social life at the same time - but I walked over 50km in July, which is a good achievement I think. For more updates and travel pics, follow along on Instagram.

july bites… the grounds

The Food Styling Workshop that I wrote about last week was hosted at The Grounds of Alexandria, which is so Instagrammable! Here's one more shot of the beautiful florals by Silvia. And now I'm done, I promise.

july bites… fairy bread

If you're wondering is Steph from Raspberri Cupcakes is still alive, the answer is yes and she's just had a baby boy!! Earlier in the month, Karen and Kat hosted a really fun baby shower - complete with El Jannah chicken and two Gelato Messina cakes. I was on fairy bread duty - always a hit, no matter how old you are.

july bites… rosé

I feel like I've hardly seen my housemate at all this month as we have both been so busy, but it's lovely to catch up over a glass of wine at home and watch the sun set. And if your wine matches your flowers, that's okay too.

july bites… messina

Fairy bread gelato from Messina - you just know I couldn't resist!

july bites… teh tarik

The cravings for Malaysian food have been intense lately, so we decided to check out Sedap in the CBD. Their teh tarik game is strong, and I really like their Char Kway Teow and Chicken Rice as well.

july bites… l'americano

We are working very closely with Vittoria Coffee on a project that I'll share soon, and went to check out their flagship venue L'Americano in Coco Republic Alexandria. Loved the Italian vibe and this fabulous salad of proscuitto, buffalo mozzarella, pear, basil and balsamic. A classic combination done so well.

july bites… sunset

Every time I look out the window, the sky is different, the light is amazing and the sunsets are epic. I'll never get sick of this very special view.

july bites… korean

Before my birthday I had never been to Eastwood, home to some of Sydney's best Korean, but in the last month I have been three times!

july bites… mrs sippy

This is one of my favourite shots from a photo shoot I did at Mrs Sippy in Double Bay earlier in the month. All their food and cocktails look seriously delicious. Can't wait to get back for dinner sometime soon.

july bites… jenny lewis

I was soooooo thrilled to see one of my favourite artists Jenny Lewis in Sydney for the third time. But I was even more excited when she played some of the early Rilo Kiley songs I never thought I'd get to hear live, like Portions For Foxes and A Better Son/Daughter. I've been a fan for over 10 years and these songs are very close to my heart.

july bites… rose tea

The Grumpy Baker is a local Vaucluse favourite, known for their amazing bread, pies and sausage rolls. But I decided to try something different - a Turkish Apple and Rose tea - and it was amazing!

july bites… lulu & bee

I have also been working on the side project I am launching with my sister - Lulu & Bee, which is all about boutique wedding invitation design. I can't say too much yet, but I'll share some more in the coming weeks. For now here is a photo of my desk on a good day, with a healthy dose of polkadots. I hope your July was great! I'll be back with a great new recipe very soon :)

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Thursday Tipples 10 / Boozy Hot Chocolate 3 Ways

boozy hot chocolate | spicyicecream

Along with polka dot scarves and a steady rotation of slow-cooked dinners, hot chocolate is an absolute necessity at this time of year. Everyone knows how to make a basic hot chocolate, but I've taken it a couple of steps further. For this month's Thursday Tipples I bring you not one, but three tasty and boozed up ways to serve it. The winter blues are totally a real thing - and these drinks will help to brighten your cold nights and warm you up from the inside out.

boozy hot chocolate | spicyicecream

There is something so comforting about wrapping your cold hands around a warm mug. Out of the three versions, I honestly couldn't pick a favourite - I really loved all of them for different reasons. Of course the chocolate that you use is really important here because it's the dominant flavour, so pick one that you love. I also have to thank my sister Beth who helped me make, style and photograph all three recipes in one afternoon - and drink them afterwards ;) Hope you enjoy them as much as we did!

boozy hot chocolate | spicyicecream

1. Nutella and Frangelico Hot Chocolate

This is great for a hot chocolate emergency - if you have no chocolate in the house but can scrape around 2 tablespoons of Nutella from the jar, you're in luck. The almond milk and Frangelico help to make it a little special.

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 cup cream (optional)
  • 2 large tablespoons Nutella
  • 30ml Frangelico
  • Whipped cream, to serve

Place the almond milk and cream into a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the Nutella until smooth and combined. Remove from the heat and add the Frangelico. Serve with whipped cream.

boozy hot chocolate | spicyicecream

2. Birthday Cake Hot Chocolate

This one is just plain fun. How can you not love anything with sprinkles on top! It's pretty sweet, as you would expect, but it's delicious. Kids would love this too - just leave out the booze!

  • 1/4 cup milk chocolate, melted
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup cream (optional)
  • 1/3 cup white chocolate, chopped
  • 3 teaspoons dry vanilla cake mix
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 30ml Cake flavoured vodka
  • Whipped cream and sprinkles, to serve

Place the milk and cream into a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the white chocolate, cake and vanilla extract until chocolate has melted. Remove from the heat and add the Cake vodka. Spoon a layer of melted milk chocolate into the serving glass. Pour the hot chocolate over the back of a spoon into the glass. Serve topped with whipped cream and sprinkles.

boozy hot chocolate | spicyicecream

3. Red Velvet Hot Chocolate

This is a pretty and tasty version of hot chocolate spiked with a white chocolate liqueur. I love the red colour and the addition of cream cheese icing and crumbled cake on top really bring it all together. 

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 1/3 cup milk or dark chocolate
  • A few drops red food colouring
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 30ml white creme de cacao
  • Cream cheese icing and red velvet cake, to serve

Place the milk and cream into a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the chocolate until melted. Add the red colouring (one drop at a time until you have the colour you're happy with) and vanilla extract. Remove from the heat and add the white creme de cacao. Pour into a mug and serve topped with cream cheese icing and crumbled red velvet cake.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Instagram Food Styling Workshop at The Grounds

The Grounds Food Styling Workshop | spicyicecream

If I had to describe the The Grounds of Alexandria in one word, it would be photogenic. It comes as no surprise that its one of the most Instagrammed venues in Sydney, so I knew we were in for good things when I was invited to an Instagram Food Styling workshop hosted by Iron Chef Shellie - one of my biggest blogger girl-crushes. She is a wonderfully talented stylist and photographer and it was a total pleasure to finally meet her in person after following her blog for years and years.

The Grounds Food Styling Workshop | spicyicecream

Today was the battle of #sweetorsavoury where we got to play with some brand new Be Natural products and style two Instagram photos - one sweet and one savoury inspired - using a huge variety of ingredients, props and surfaces. Always aiming to up my Instagram game, I took this opportunity to make a mess and have fun! After going through some food styling basics, we got to work.

A video posted by Shellie Froidevaux (@ironchefshellie) on

I think with the rise of blogs, Instagram and social media, good photography has become more important than ever to stand out. Iron Chef Shellie's Top 5 tips for food styling are...

1. Use natural light. 
2. Choose a theme.
3. Choose a colour palette. 
4. Use props.
5. Texture. 

The Grounds Food Styling Workshop | spicyicecream

I went with quite a rustic and messy look for my photos, really showcasing the colourful ingredients. When we were done, we uploaded them to Instagram and checked out each other's efforts using the hashtag. Here are a couple that didn't quite make the cut. After this fun, we sat down to a lovely brunch. I loved that no one wanted to touch the beautiful table setting!

The Grounds Food Styling Workshop | spicyicecream

I was totally shocked to find out that I had won - and with a savoury photo no less! Here's my winning Instagram snap below. I do love the vibrant colours of the spices in this shot. Thanks again to Liquid Ideas and Iron Chef Shellie for a wonderful morning and for my awesome prize :)

The Grounds Food Styling Workshop | spicyicecream

The Grounds of Alexandria, 7A, 2 Huntley St, Alexandria NSW 2015

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Spiced Chocolate Popcorn Cake

Spiced Chocolate Popcorn Cake | spicyicecream

Today is a pretty special day. It's Spicyicecream's 8th birthday! I started this blog to combine my love of baking, photography and writing - and I'm happy to say that that is still true. Back in 2007, I was a graphic design student who was obsessed with cupcakes. Never in a million years did I think I'd still be at it after all this time, but I still love coming here - however sporadically - to share new recipes with you. Blogging has broadened my food horizons immensely (but I still don't eat eggs…) and I've been lucky to meet so many fantastic people, some have become my closest friends.

Spiced Chocolate Popcorn | spicyicecream

Of course, it can't be a celebration without cake, and I have a rather special one to share today. I've made chocolate-chilli ice cream sandwiches and doughnuts in the past, and I thought these flavours would be perfect in a cake. To decorate it, I made some very indulgent spiced chocolate popcorn that might just be my new favourite thing. Seriously, it's the perfect dessert / late night Man Men watching snack. I used cinnamon and cayenne pepper to provide the spice in both the popcorn and the cake - but you could also use Chilli Chocolate if you prefer. I think this cake is delicious! I like that the heat doesn't hit your palate straight away, but you get a little warmth from the spice few seconds later.

Spiced Chocolate Popcorn | spicyicecream

Julia Child had it right when she said "people who love to eat are the best people" and I find that is certainly true. This post would definitely not be complete without a huge thank you to all of my readers. It makes me so happy to hear that I've inspired someone to try a new ingredient, or that one of my recipes has been used to celebrate Christmas or a special birthday. These things touch my heart. Thank you for your visits, your comments and your ongoing support.

I have a few big plans for this blog in the near future - a redesign is on the cards, which will make it much easier to browse the recipe archives. I want to share more of the things that inspire me, tips and tricks for entertaining, blogging and more. I look forward to sharing that with you soon! xx

Spiced Chocolate Popcorn Cake | spicyicecream

Friday, July 3, 2015

Chia Pudding with Honey Stewed Rhubarb

Chia Pudding with Honey Stewed Rhubarb | spicyicecream

As I mentioned in my last post, in June I started trying to eat healthier and be more active. On a normal day I probably eat too much sugar and carbs - these are what I turn to for comfort food, a quick fix when I'm busy or a late night snack. This month - as well as going for a walk most days and drinking plenty of water and green tea - I tried to plan out meals a little better, keep the fridge stocked with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, make better snacking choices and ensure to eat a good breakfast. Don't you agree it's easier to enjoy healthy food it looks pretty? I've been enjoying my green smoothies in pretty glasses with striped straws.

Chia Pudding with Honey Stewed Rhubarb | spicyicecream

If you've been on Pinterest at all in the last year you would have no doubt seen recipes for Chia Pudding. I'm sure you know that it's a superfood. The seeds look quite plain but they are absolutely loaded with antioxidants and nutrients - high in protein and fibre. You can eat them plain, sprinkled on top of salads, put into smoothies or make a pudding! They absorb more than 10 times their weight in liquid, resulting in a gel-like texture and take on the flavour of whatever you soak them in, similar to tapioca.

Chia Pudding with Honey Stewed Rhubarb | spicyicecream

This recipe is super easy and requires barely any cooking at all. I used almond & coconut milk with a little vanilla and honey - just give it a shake and leave it for a few hours. I layered the pudding in cute jars with honey stewed rhubarb and topped it off with lots of red fruits - sweet strawberries from that are beautiful right now, pomegranate seeds and roasted rhubarb. I think this Chia Pudding is pretty healthy, and makes it feel like you're eating a fancy dessert at breakfast time - what could be better!

Chia Pudding with Honey Stewed Rhubarb | spicyicecream

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

June Bites

june bites… roses

June was a big month! I started out on a health kick - lots of walks and trying to eat better - but was derailed a little due to a week of terrible weather and my birthday! But I'm back on the bandwagon now and went on a nice 5km walk today. Please don't freak out if there's not quite as much butter and sugar on the blog in the next little while :) Do you have any favourite healthy cooking blogs? I'd love to know! For more updates don't forget to follow along on Instagram.

june bites… smoothie

I've tweaked my favourite green smoothie recipe to include some seasonal winter fruit and veggies. The usual suspects are spinach, cucumber, kiwi fruit, coconut & almond milk. I'm now using pears instead of mango, celery and ginger for it's immune boosting qualities.

june bites… props

Some gorgeous new props have been added to the collection. Some are from that amazing vintage shop in Melbourne that I wanted to move into. Can't wait to use them in my blog photos!

june bites… croquembouche

I made this fun Donut Croquembouche for a small birthday celebration with my family. My sister Beth helped me assemble it. It was actually one of four cakes that I had this year - yes I realise that I'm very spoilt. And calories don't count on your birthday, right?!

june bites… flowers

My friend Naomi from Sydney Design Social got me these gorgeous birthday flowers from Little Flowers. I love the idea of a gorgeous one-off bunch of flowers created from the best at the markets each day.

june bites… cookies

We got a brand new oven this month, so to farewell the old one I made a jumbo batch of these Cookies & Cream Cheesecake stuffed cookies that I gifted to a friend. One last delicious recipe for it to go out on a high.

june bites… adventure

When your afternoon meeting gets cancelled, take an adventure! Coffee and conversation by the water, just like old times.

june bites… apples

Back at the Bondi Markets again, I couldn't go past these gorgeous tiny apples. They are cute and delicious! I've eaten a couple but there are still a few kicking around the fruit bowl so I'll make something special with them soon.

june bites… ice block

I did the Hermitage Foreshore Walk on a lovely sunny day, ending with an ice block in the sun at Neilsen Park. It's one of my favourite walks and the views are just stunning. Sydney is winning at winter again!

june bites… cat

Here's your obligatory monthly cat photo #crazycatladies

june bites… milk bar

I think I'm finally over my irrational fear of dinosaurs. We watched Jurassic World and then had an awesome lunch at our favourite old school milk bar in Sydney's west. Burgers, potato scallops, hand cut chips and mixed lolly bags for dessert. Sad to think that these independently owned milk bars doing great (and cheap!) takeaway food are now quite rare.

june bites… dumplings & drinks

And to end the month on a high note, there was dumplings and girl talk and pretty coloured drinks at Din Tai Fung. Perfection. Until next time, stay warm!


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