Golden Milk Panna Cotta with Roasted Apricots

Golden Milk Panna Cotta with Roasted Apricots
If you’ve spent any time at all on Instagram in the last few months, chances are you’ve heard of golden milk – a warm healing drink with lots of turmeric. I became a convert when I had a horrible cold last winter and nothing was helping. I started making golden milk to drink before going to bed and within a day or two I felt so much better.

Turmeric is a super spice has a whole host of incredible benefits, including anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and immune boosting properties. One thing to note about turmeric is that it’s benefits are massively increased when consumed with healthy fat and black pepper, of which this recipe has both. While this recipe may look like a dessert, it’s actually super healthy!

Golden Milk Panna Cotta with Roasted Apricots
I came up with the idea for this Golden Milk Panna Cotta several months ago, but I knew I wanted to pair it with some roasted apricots. I surprised myself that I was so adamant about waiting until apricots were in season, as I don’t really cook with them very often. With a few pomegranate arils strewn on top for contrast in colour and texture, I can’t think of a more delicious combination. I better start coming up with a few more apricot recipes, because they are absolutely perfect right now!

Golden Milk Panna Cotta with Roasted Apricots
The golden milk panna cotta is a blend of coconut cream and regular cream, although if you want something dairy free you can use all coconut or a mix of your favourite alternative milk. It uses rice malt syrup for sweetness instead of sugar. Gelatine is great for your gut health. And then you have the amazing spices – turmeric, pepper, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom and a dash of vanilla extract.

Golden Milk Panna Cotta with Roasted Apricots
I think this recipe is perhaps an acquired taste because the taste of the spices does come through strongly. But if you are a fan of golden milk, you’ll definitely love it. And if not, then do make the delicious roasted apricots to have with a scoop of ice cream! I think it’s a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth after dinner, without any guilt.

Related Post: Anti-Hayfever Smoothie

Golden Milk Panna Cotta with Roasted Apricots

Golden Milk Panna Cotta with Roasted Apricots

Makes 4

Golden Turmeric Paste

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 heaped tablespoons turmeric
  • A few cracks of black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

Panna Cotta

  • 400ml can coconut cream
  • 200ml thickened cream
  • Rice malt syrup or honey, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons powdered gelatine
  • 2 tablespoons boiling water

Roasted Apricots

  • 4 apricots, halved and stone removed
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
  • 25g butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1 teaspoon raw sugar, to sprinkle

To make the golden turmeric paste, place ingredients into a small saucepan and whisk to combine. Bring to a gentle boil and continue to whisk until slightly thickened.

To make the panna cotta, place the coconut cream, thickened cream, rice malt syrup and vanilla into a saucepan over low heat and bring to the boil. Whisk in the golden turmeric paste, 1 tablespoon at a time until you are happy with the taste. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes. Pour the boiling water into a heatproof jug. Sprinkle the gelatine over the top and whisk to dissolve. Set aside to cool slightly, and then add to the panna cotta mixture and stir until well combined. Pour into glasses or ramekins and refrigerate for 6 hours or until set.

To make the roasted apricots, place halved fruit into an ovenproof dish. Sprinkle with raw sugar, vanilla seeds and bean and place a cube of butter in the hollow of each fruit. Roast in the oven at 160°C (320°F) for about 1 hour or until fruit is cooked through.

To serve, remove panna cotta from the fridge and serve with roasted apricots, pomegranate and edible flowers, if you like.

Thursday Tipples 15 / Watermelon & Pomegranate Moscow Mule

Watermelon Pomegranate Moscow Mule
We constantly think about the seasons of the year, the effects they have over what we wear, and especially over what we eat. I think I’m guilty of looking forward to summer more than actually enjoying it in the moment. This time of late spring has always been the most inspiring to me. I could talk all day  about the produce I’m going to cook with and the picnics and assorted summertime adventures I’m going to take.

But I usually have a pang of guilt when March rolls around and I haven’t done all the things I wanted to do. Time just flies these days. In November it feels like summer will last forever. I’ve learned that it’s super important to make a conscious effort to enjoy the moment, rather than just thinking about what’s coming next. With summer just around the corner now – yay! – it is the season of delicious (and cheap) watermelon. It makes a delicious snack at any time of day, but if you don’t feel like eating it plain, it also makes a damn good cocktail.

Watermelon Pomegranate Moscow Mule
A Moscow Mule is a cocktail made with vodka, ginger beer and lime that has been popular since the 1940s. While the ingredients may be simple, the combination is a classic for a reason and has proven to be the basis for dozens of variations over the last few decades. There are endless options for fruity flavourings – anything from berries to stone fruit to citrus, or watermelon like I’ve done in this recipe.

If you’re feeling especially adventurous you could even try adding herbs to compliment your fruit like rosemary, thyme or kaffir lime. You can also change up the spirit used, to create variations like the Mexican Mule that uses tequila instead of vodka, or the London Mule with gin, which sounds great to me! Ginger and lime go with almost anything, clearly.

Trust me, these flavours are especially good with watermelon and pomegranate! If you are hoarding watermelon like me lately, this drink is easy to fix for yourself on a warm afternoon. I really like the sweetness and freshness of the watermelon with the kick from the ginger. The pomegranate flavour didn’t come through so much for me, so feel free to use a little more or just enjoy the pretty garnish. You could of course also scale up the recipe below since you’ll have extra watermelon juice anyway, and serve it in a pitcher for a party.

Watermelon Pomegranate Moscow Mule
If you’ve been reading for a while, you’ll know that I have a thing for ginger beer. I’ve even used it in cakes and scones! I never drink soft drinks these days but I will make the very occasional exception for ginger beer. I do want to try making it from scratch one day soon, except I’m still a little scared of exploding bottles. In the past I have made my own ginger syrup to use in cocktails, and I’ll link that just below. You’re definitely welcome to try that – perhaps minus the chilli for this Watermelon Moscow Mule – if you can’t find ginger beer where you live, or if you prefer something homemade.

I think my favourite thing about the Moscow Mule is the chance to drink out of a fancy copper mug. They are served this way because copper will keep the drink colder for much longer than a regular glass. Even more so if you freeze your copper mugs before happy hour. Enjoy!

Related Post: Spiced Ginger Syrup for Cocktails

Watermelon Pomegranate Moscow Mule

Watermelon & Pomegranate Moscow Mule

Makes 1

  • 1/4 watermelon, skin removed and cut into cubes
  • 1/2 pomegranate, arils removed, plus extra for garnish
  • 45ml vodka (your favourite brand)
  • Juice of half a lime
  • Ginger beer (or ginger syrup and soda)
  • Ice cubes
  • Garnish: Extra watermelon slices, pomegranate and a sprig of mint

If you like, you can chill your copper mug or glass for 15-30 minutes before serving. Then place the watermelon and pomegranate into a blender and pulse until liquid. Strain into a small jug and set aside.

To make the Moscow Mule, pour vodka, lime juice and 60ml of watermelon pomegranate juice into a copper mug or chilled glass. Add ice and top up with ginger beer. Garnish with extra pomegranate arils, a slice of watermelon and a sprig of mint.

Funfetti Cheesecake Brownies

Funfetti Cheesecake Brownies
Last Monday, I made a batch of Funfetti Cheesecake Brownies. I had worked more days in a row than I could remember and was gearing up for another pretty crazy week. Even though my long to do list beckoned, Monday afternoon provided a small respite between deadlines. I calmed my anxiety by mixing sugar and eggs, cocoa and flour.

For years now, baking has been one of my very favourite way to relax. Am I the only person in the world who finds bubble baths extremely boring? I’d much rather be kneading dough, rolling out pastry, or stirring cake batter. I don’t find cooking dinner stressful, I think it’s my favourite part of the day!

Funfetti Cheesecake Brownies
I was all out of dark chocolate, but undeterred in my quest for brownies/inner peace. My search for a cocoa only brownie led me to Alton Brown’s recipe via Bakers Royale. I actually loved the taste and texture – they were very fudgy but not too sweet. Make sure you use a good cocoa powder in this recipe as it is the predominate taste and I think you’ll regret using one that you don’t love. I used a mixture of cocoa and raw cacao powder. This recipe couldn’t be easier, and will definitely be something I make again.

Funfetti Cheesecake Brownies
For something a little different, I gave the brownies a swirl of cheesecake and a good dose of colourful funfetti sprinkles. Everything is better with sprinkles. They don’t really make any difference to the taste, but I just love the colours and look really pretty.

And then I gave them all away, except one, which I enjoyed tremendously with a cup of black coffee. One went to my next door neighbour, who popped over to ask a question and left with a still-warm brownie and a big smile. A few more went to some clients at a photo shoot when they mentioned they had heard of this blog. A few to my sister, as a thank you for looking after the kitten. A couple more still to the boy and his family.

Funfetti Cheesecake Brownies
And upon tasting them, every single person was enamoured by the combination of rich brownie and creamy cheesecake. Personally, I love the addition of sprinkles, because my funfetti obsession goes way back. I think this recipe is the perfect example of a crowd pleaser – make any time of year, for kids or adults alike.

Related Post: Passionfruit Cheesecake Brownies 

Funfetti Cheesecake Brownies

Funfetti Cheesecake Brownies

Makes 9 large brownies
Recipe adapted from Bakers Royale

Brownie Recipe

  • 1 cup sugar, sifted
  • 1 cup brown sugar, sifted
  • 1 cup cocoa, sifted (I used a 1/2 cup cocoa and 1/2 cup raw cacao powder)
  • 1/2 cup plain flour, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 220g melted butter
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract

Funfetti Cheesecake

  • 250g cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons plain flour
  • 3 tablespoons vanilla cake mix
  • 1/4 cup mixed sprinkles

Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F) and line a square brownie pan with non-stick baking paper.

To make the brownies, whisk together the two kinds of sugars until no lumps form, set aside. In another bowl, whisk together the cocoa, flour and salt and set aside.

In a stand mixer or in a bowl with a hand mixer, beat the eggs at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.  Add in vanilla and sugars, and mix to combine.  Add in butter and mix to combine. Add remaining ingredients and mix to combine. Set aside to make the cheesecake portion.

To make the funfetti cheesecake layer, place all ingredients except sprinkles in a bowl and beat until mixture becomes light and is fully combined, about 3-4 minutes. Gently fold in the sprinkles. Feel free to add a few extra ones to the top if they have sunk into the mixture.

Pour the brownie mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Place large dollops of cheesecake mixture on top and then using a chopstick or skewer, gently marble the two mixtures together. Bake for 45 minutes – 1 hour or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool. Wait until the brownie has cooled before cutting into portions.

Banana Rye Waffles with Caramelised Banana and Blueberries

Banana Rye Waffles with Caramelised Banana and Blueberries
I get into strange breakfast routines sometimes. For a week, all I want to eat is omelettes. Then I get a bit sick of omelettes and only want green smoothies. Then the week after that, I’m all about homemade granola.

Or in this case, my new favourite thing – a week strong and not letting up – is ancient grains porridge, topped with sliced banana, blueberries and a teaspoon of peanut butter. I reckon I’ve got a few more days before I don’t want to eat another banana for 3 months. But for now, it’s my thing, and I like it.

Banana Rye Waffles with Caramelised Banana and Blueberries
The ancient grains porridge is particularly delicious – and they’re not paying me to say that! It’s a blend of oats, rye, puffed millet and quinoa, which are all totally-good-for-you whole grains. I find that a warm breakfast really sets me up for the day, gives me energy and keeps me very happy until lunchtime.

Banana Rye Waffles with Caramelised Banana and Blueberries
These Banana Rye Waffles are a slightly more fancy Sunday morning version of my current favourite breakfast. It has the same flavours – the oats, rye, banana and blueberry are all there, but in waffle form this time.

Every time I dust off my seldom used waffle maker, I tell myself I’ll make them more often. I forget how easy it can be to make the waffle batter – just throw everything into your blender or food processor and you’re good to go. But even if you don’t have a waffle maker, you could also try this mixture cooked as pancakes.

Banana Rye Waffles with Caramelised Banana and Blueberries
I recently purchased some rye flour and decided to use it for the first time in this recipe. Rye has a whole lot of great health benefits and I loved the taste and texture that it brought to these waffles. I am looking forward to trying it out to make healthier cakes, cookies and bread.

Banana Rye Waffles with Caramelised Banana and Blueberries
The waffles themselves have no added sugar, just natural sweetness from ripe bananas. If you prefer to keep this even lower in sugar, you can skip the caramelised bananas and slice up some fresh ones to serve on top. Feel free to serve these waffles with strawberries, mangoes, peaches or your favourite fruits on top. With the leftovers stored in the freezer, it’s looking like my next breakfast craze may be waffles!

Related Post: Baklava Waffles

Banana Rye Waffles with Caramelised Banana and Blueberries

Banana Rye Waffles with Caramelised Banana and Blueberries

Makes 6-8 waffles

Waffle Batter

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup Ancient Grains Porridge or rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup rye flour
  • 1/4 cup plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup almond milk (or whatever milk you prefer)
  • Coconut oil for frying

To serve

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3-4 bananas, sliced in half lengthways
  • Blueberries
  • Maple syrup

To make the waffle batter, place ingredients into a blender or food processor and pulse until combined. Heat your waffle iron and brush with coconut oil. Pour some batter onto the iron and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Repeat with the remaining batter.

To make caramelised bananas, place brown sugar and butter into a frypan and stir with a spatula until combined and bubbling. Add sliced bananas and cook for 3-4 minutes, before turning and cooking until well coated in the caramel.

To serve, place waffles onto plates and top with caramelised bananas, blueberries and maple syrup.

Blueberry Chia Jam and Coconut Chia Pudding

Blueberry Chia Jam with Coconut Chia Pudding
I recently went back through the archives and read a blog post where I talked about my cooking ‘fears.’ I wrote that the thought of sterilising jars and making my own jam from scratch totally freaked me out. But a few weeks later, I faced the fear and made my first ever batch of gorgeous strawberry and ginger jam. It tasted better than any store-bought jam I’d ever had and it was easy easier than I’d ever imagined the process to be. That was in 2010.

I’ve been making homemade jam for six years now with all different fruits, from berries to rhubarb to figs from Nanna’s tree and hand-picked cherries from Orange. All delicious. But I think today’s jam recipe is a bit of a game changer. It contains no sugar and is thickened with chia seeds. And best of all, it takes less than 15 minutes.

Blueberry Chia Jam with Coconut Chia Pudding
I chose to try out Blueberry Chia Jam for my first attempt because they are just coming into season now, cheap and super delicious. However I can tell you that there will be more attempts as the warmer months go on. I think any kind of berry would be marvellous but a quick Pinterest search showed that people have been experimenting with almost every fruit you can imagine.

Blueberry Chia Jam with Coconut Chia Pudding
There are only five ingredients and all of them are healthy! Blueberries are called superfoods because they’re super nutritious with high levels of vitamins and antioxidants. Chia seeds are high in protein, fibre and omega-3’s. But the main reason they are perfect in this recipe is because they absorb three times their weight in liquid and help to naturally thicken the jam.

For sweetness I used rice malt syrup, which a fructose free sugar alternative. It has a sweet taste and similar consistency to honey. I have been using it to make amazing sugar-free granola for the last few months. If you can’t find it, you can definitely use maple syrup in this recipe. I added half a vanilla bean for that beautiful flavour – don’t you just love blueberries and vanilla together? The juice and zest of half a lemon helps to brighten it up and make that blueberry flavour sing.

Blueberry Chia Jam with Coconut Chia Pudding
And that’s it. Healthy jam almost instantly. I have served the jam on rye bread toast, swirled it into porridge and yoghurt for breakfast, and it also makes a delicious and healthy breakfast layered with Coconut Chia Pudding and a little of that homemade granola I just mentioned.

I absolutely love that you have the flexibility to make just one single jar of jam, good for indecisive sorts like me who are obsessed with blueberries one week, rhubarb the next and strawberries the one after that. Or if you’ve hit the jackpot with seasonal produce at the farmers market, you can scale the recipe up to make as much as you like.

Related Post: Ginger Beer Scones with Strawberry Ginger Jam

Blueberry Chia Jam with Coconut Chia Pudding

Blueberry Chia Jam

Makes 1 jar

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries (about 2 punnets)
  • Grated zest & juice of half a lemon
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
  • 2 tablespoons rice malt or maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds

To make the Jam, bring blueberries, lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla and rice malt or maple syrup to a simmer in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes or until blueberries start to burst and release their juices.

Remove jam from heat and taste for sweetness, adjusting to your liking. Return to the heat and stir in the chia seeds. Cook for about 1 minute to soften seeds. Let jam cool slightly, then transfer to sterilised jars or containers. Cover and let cool completely. Chill until ready to use.

Coconut Chia Pudding

  • 1 cup Coconut Milk
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds (I used white)
  • 1-2 teaspoons rice malt syrup or male syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
  • To serve: Extra blueberries, homemade granola, edible flowers (optional)

To make the Chia Pudding, combine the Coconut Milk together with the chia seeds, honey and vanilla in a glass jar with a lid. Cover and shake well, set aside for 15 minutes. Give it another good shake then refrigerate 5-6 hours or overnight.

To serve, layer the blueberry jam with the coconut chia pudding in jars for easy transport or a bowl. Top with extra blueberries, homemade granola or edible flowers.

Simple Dinners 18 / Pumpkin Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

Pumpkin Cauliflower Mac and Cheese
Mac and cheese. Just typing those words make my stomach growl. Maybe because I’m editing food photos right before lunch. We’re talking about the epitome of comfort food right here. It is without a doubt one of my favourite dishes in the world, and if I see it on a menu I will definitely, definitely order it and not share. Sorry, not sorry.

I’d probably include it in my last meal, with some kind of pie for dessert. My first introduction to this glorious dish was from a packet, as I assume most people’s was. Of course these days I prefer to make it from scratch and I like to think I’ve gotten rather good at it over the last few years… I’ve had lots of practice!

Pumpkin Cauliflower Mac and Cheese
When I crave the comfort factor of mac and cheese but a little bit lighter and healthier, I swap out some of the macaroni for cauliflower florets. They’re cooked together in the same saucepan to save time, and gives you a sneaky extra serving of vegetables. I really like the different textures too.

This meal is easy enough to make on a weeknight, but if your friends are anything like mine, they will love it at your next dinner party too! Maybe it’s nostalgia, or maybe it’s just the winning combination of carbs and cheese. I don’t know what it is, but this dish is a total crowd pleaser.

Pumpkin Cauliflower Mac and Cheese
I’ve also added pumpkin to my bechamel sauce, which was a total revelation to me. I simmered the pumpkin pieces in some milk until they were soft, and then pureed it to a liquid. This also helped to thicken the sauce and gave it a delicious taste. Make sure to taste as you go along because if the bechamel is not seasoned well with salt and pepper, it will taste a little bland.

And I’ll even let you in on my secret ingredient – mustard. I like to use Hot English mustard to give the sauce a really nice taste and a little bit of a kick, but I’ve also had very good results using Dijon or even Wholegrain mustards.

Pumpkin Cauliflower Mac and Cheese
One of my favourite variables to play with in this recipe is the kind of cheese you use. There are no rules here! You can use any good melty cheese that you like – or a combination of a few. Here I’ve used cheddar and gruyere because it’s what I had in the fridge, and it tastes great. Sometimes I can’t be bothered making the breadcrumb topping – even though it only takes a couple of minutes in the food processor – but I’m glad I did this time because it really adds a lovely crunch and the rosemary flavour goes so nicely with the pumpkin.

You can serve this lightened up Pumpkin Cauliflower Mac and Cheese as a main meal or a side to any protein you like. Your kids will love it, and you will feel good knowing that there are some hidden vegetables inside this delicious dish.

Pumpkin Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

Pumpkin Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

Serve as a main meal or a side dish

  • 1 small slice rye or sourdough bread, a few days old if possible
  • 1 sprig rosemary, leaves removed
  • 1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
  • Olive oil
  • 200g dry elbow or macaroni pasta
  • 1/2 cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • Salt & pepper

Pumpkin Bechamel

  • 1/4 pumpkin, chopped into 2cm cubes
  • 2 cups milk, divided
  • 20g butter
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot english mustard
  • 1 1/2 cup grated cheese (I used a mixture of Cheddar and Gruyere)

First, make the crumb topping. Break up the bread into chunks and place into a food processor with the rosemary, garlic clove and a few swigs of olive oil. Process until it looks like chunky breadcrumbs. Set aside in a small bowl until later.

Place a large saucepan of water on to boil, with 1 handful of cooking salt to season. When water is boiling add the pasta and cook for about 3-4 minutes and then add the cauliflower to the same pot. When pasta is al dente, drain the water, and return the pasta and cauliflower to the saucepan.

Preheat the oven to 200°C (390°F). In a separate small saucepan, place 1 cup of milk with the pumpkin and cook until boiling and the pumpkin is soft. Place mixture into your food processor and pulse until combined. In the same saucepan, melt the butter until starting to bubble. Add the flour and whisk to combine. Add the pumpkin milk, the other 1 cup of milk and the mustard and whisk well until the mixture thickens slightly. Season well with salt and pepper and add 1 cup of the cheese.

Stir the bechamel sauce into the pasta and cauliflower. Place into a large oven-proof dish and sprinkle with the breadcrumbs (you don’t have to use them all) plus the extra cheese and a little salt and pepper. Bake for about 30-40 minutes until the top is golden and bubbling. Serve immediately.

The Best Places to Buy Food Photography Props

Where to buy Food Photography Props
Something a little different today – there’s no recipe! If you’re a fellow food blogger, you’re probably always on the look out for food photography props like plates and flatware to make your photos pop. I think the props are just as important as the food in your photos!

Your own kitchen is a great place to start, but pretty soon you will want your photos to look unique and give them your own special touch. Props are a fantastic way to add some of your own style. My collection has grown and changed over the years. In the early days of blogging, I loved patterned plates and lots of colour, but these days I love vintage props and interesting textures, and experimenting with mixing old and new things for an interesting look. Most importantly, the props you use should reflect the theme of the dish you are shooting and help you tell your story.

Part of the fun is browsing different stores for pieces you like, but if you’re looking to grow your collection I’ve put together a list below of some of my favourite places to find food photography props. I have received many bemused looks from shop assistants when I buy just one single plate or two forks, but that’s all part of the fun #stylinglife.

Where to buy Food Photography Props

Antique & Vintage Shops

When I was a kid, my parents used to drag my sister and I to every antique shop they encountered in Sydney and beyond, and I absolutely hated it. These days I love antique shops and they are one of my very favourite places to browse for genuine vintage kitchenware and props. There is something about the charm of a real vintage piece that I love in my food photos.

If you’re in Sydney try Mitchell Road Antique Centre in Alexandria (go visit after brunch at The Grounds!) and That Vintage Shop in Marrickville. Elements I Love in Leichhardt have a good selection to buy or hire and an incredible warehouse that I wanted to move into. In Melbourne I loved Chapel Street Bazaar in South Yarra so much that I had to pay for extra baggage on the way home!

Also make sure to check your local garage sales, Vinnie’s or op shops because they may have something special. This is a great way to start off your photography prop collection very affordably.

Where to buy Food Photography Props


I spent a few dreamy hours wandering around a real life Anthropologie shop in New York City. Some of my very favourite photography props come from there. Unfortunately we aren’t lucky enough to have stores here in Australia – please open here soon – but I’d recommend signing up to their email list because they let you know about free international shipping offers, which I have used to grow my little collection.

Wheel & Barrow

I find myself in here “just looking” all the time – and usually walking out with a new piece or two for the collection. Wheel & Barrow is a really great source for both decorative prop items and quality kitchen gear like cake tins and glassware.

Robert Gordon

A great Australian company, Robert Gordon has a fantastic range of pieces from delicate gold polkadot teacups to beautiful glazed pottery mugs. This brand is well-stocked in many stores so it’s easy to add some gorgeous new items to your collection.

Where to buy Food Photography Props

Ebay & Etsy

If you’re after something specific, it’s only an eBay or Etsy search away! I’ve found some great food photography props this way. These are especially great to look for kitchenalia (which just means miscellaneous kitchen stuff) vintage enamelware, pie tins and pewter items. Just watch out for international shipping, which can be a bit pricey.

Local Markets

I found an excellent soda siphon and some vintage cake stands at my local Sunday markets Bondi, and I hear great things about Rozelle markets. Craft markets are a fantastic place to meet local makers, and you might find some handmade pottery or one of a kind napkins or vases that will make your photos stand out from everyone else.

Williams Sonoma & West Elm

It was a very happy day when these stores opened in Australia. I’ve found some truly excellent and great quality props from Williams Sonoma and West Elm, from stylish copper barware to some lovely plates like the unique blue one above. They also stock beautiful cloth napkins and linens. Who am I kidding? Practically every item they stock is beautiful!

Where to buy Food Photography Props


I don’t know what’s going on but Kmart is rocking my socks with their homewares lately. I just picked up this set of gold cutlery that look fabulous in photos. Places like Kmart or other department stores are great to pick up basic items like white plates, glassware, tea towels and napkins for super affordable prices.

Raid your Nan’s Collection

Back when I first started blogging, my prop collection limited to some tea cups, plates and doilies that I had inherited from my Nan, which I still love to this day. These are very special to me. I always think it’s nice if you can use a piece that has sentimental meaning to you in your photos.

Grocers & Farmers Markets

I love using some of the fresh ingredients from the recipe itself as props in my food photos because it gives some context to the shots. Before I start cooking, I set aside the best looking berries, tomatoes and herbs for the photos. You can also find fresh flowers at the local grocer or farmers market, which always add a pop of colour and touch of femininity to your photos.

Have I missed anything? Where do you love to look for food photography props?

Carrot Cake Ricotta Pancake – Café Style Breakfast

Carrot Cake Ricotta Pancake
Sydney does a lot of things exceptionally well – sunsets, waterfront cocktails and of course brunch. One of our most internationally well-known chefs Bill Granger is most famous for his decadent scrambled eggs! Weekend brunch is serious stuff here, and you better not forget to Instagram it!

There seems to be a trend in cafés across Australia towards serving one large pancake instead of a towering stack, and I must say that I actually really love it. They are almost too pretty to eat, scattered with berries, edible flowers and microherbs. Because I don’t like eggs, my brunch options are more limited, so I will often go for the pancakes. Trust me when I say I’ve had some huge disappointments, but even when they’re good, I can’t usually finish a serving.

Carrot Cake Ricotta Pancake
I wanted to re-create this fancy café-style pancake at home, but with a twist. I’ve had the idea in my head for months to make a carrot cake ricotta pancake. I wasn’t totally sure that it would work but I can happily say that they are delicious! I used my usual trusty recipe that I knew would produce a light and fluffy pancake, but added some warm spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger and a coarsely grated carrot.

Carrot Cake Ricotta Pancake
When I tried a nibble of it – you know you must always sacrifice the first pancake – at first I thought that perhaps it wasn’t quite sweet enough, but once loaded with lots of berries, passionfruit, coconut chips and whipped ricotta, it tasted absolutely perfect. I liked the extra textural element that the grated carrot brought to the pancake, while still being light and fluffy. And hey, it never hurts to get in a sneaky extra serving of vegetables!

I usually hate bringing out the hand mixer to whisk egg whites for pancakes because it seems a little complicated pre-coffee, but I’m always glad when I do because this one little step really does create the lightest pancake. I also served my pancakes with a dollop of maple-sweetened whipped ricotta, which literally takes 1 minute and can be done with the same bowl and mixer as the egg whites.

Carrot Cake Ricotta Pancake
I think these pancakes turned out so pretty and I’m super happy with them. It’s easier than you think to make a café-style breakfast at home. So maybe next weekend change up your brunch routine and invite your friends over instead! You can use any fruit you like – bananas, raspberries and mango would all be fabulous here. You might even like to make it interactive and set out all the pancake topping ingredients in small bowls and let your friends customise their own pancake!

Related: Cider Pancakes with Apples & Cider Salted Caramel

Carrot Cake Ricotta Pancake

Carrot Cake Ricotta Pancake

Makes 3-4 large pancakes

  • 110g self raising flour
  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar or raw sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 100g ricotta
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • Butter, for frying

Whipped Ricotta

  • 100g ricotta
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup or rice malt syrup

To serve

  • Stawberries, sliced
  • Blueberries
  • 2 passionfruits, halved
  • Edible flowers, optional
  • Coconut chips or flaked coconut

Combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, egg yolks, buttermilk and vanilla in a bowl and whisk to combine. Add the ricotta and carrot and fold mixture together to combine. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites with a hand mixer until stiff peaks form. Add to the pancake mix and fold gently until the mixture is combined.

Heat a small non-stick frypan over medium-low heat (I used 23cm pan.) Melt a little butter in the bottom and place 1/3-1/4 of the pancake mixture into the pan and spread to cover the entire base. You’ll know it’s time to flip them over when bubbles appear in the surface. I inverted it onto a plate to flip it over, as it’s larger than your normal pancake. Cook for a few more minutes until golden on both sides. Place onto a serving plate and repeat with the remaining batter to produce 3-4 large pancakes.

To make the whipped ricotta, place ricotta and maple syrup into the same bowl as the egg whites and whip with the hand mixer for about 1 minute until smooth.

To serve, scatter the surface of the pancake with half a passionfruit, sliced strawberries, blueberries, edible flowers and coconut chips or flaked coconut. Place the ricotta in the middle and let you friends dollop as much as they’d like!


Carrot Cake Ricotta Pancake

Healthy Recipe – Berry, Coconut & Quinoa Crumble

Healthy Berry, Coconut and Quinoa Crumble
Consider this post a love letter to one of my favourite desserts. To me, crumbles are a perfect example of a dessert that you can enjoy all year round, customise to suit the season, and cater to any dietary needs very easily without compromising on taste. I think the best thing about a crumble is that it’s so versatile. It’s definitely a good recipe to have up your sleeve when you need a fuss-free dessert that will please a crowd.

You can use almost any fruit – whether fresh or frozen – or a combination of whatever is in season. In winter, you can’t beat the comfort that comes from a warm bowl of apple and pear crumble, but a berry crumble with a big scoop of ice cream is a dream come true in summer. Stone fruits like peaches and plums also work a treat, and my love for any kind of rhubarb dessert is well documented in my archives!

Healthy Berry, Coconut and Quinoa Crumble
While I love eating most fruit fresh, there’s just something magical that happens when it’s baked underneath a crispy golden topping until it bubbles up from below. Even if your fruit is not yet ripe – or even a little overripe – baking them into a crumble will bring out their best side. Berry season has just begun in the southern hemisphere, which makes it feel like spring is really here – hooray! If your fruit is in season and already perfectly sweet, you may not need to add any sugar at all.

Healthy Berry, Coconut and Quinoa Crumble
Traditionally, the crumble topping is made by rubbing flour, butter and sugar together. The buttery clumps then form a blanket of golden deliciousness in the oven. Although you are likely to have these baking staples on hand whenever the crumble craving strikes, you can get creative by adding nuts and rolled oats for extra crunch.

Or you can go for a healthy alternative like I’ve done in the recipe below with quinoa flakes, coconut and almonds, and using coconut oil rather than butter. I loved the way the coconut and quinoa crumble baked up beautifully with a lovely crunchy texture and a lot of extra protein. I’m looking forward to experimenting with more healthy topping ingredients in the future like buckwheat, rye flour and different nuts. You really can’t go wrong. This recipe is a great jumping off point for trying out different combinations of fruit and toppings and seeing what you like the best.

Healthy Berry, Coconut and Quinoa Crumble
I also experimented with using fructose-free rice malt syrup for the crumb topping rather than honey or sugar in the recipe below and was super happy with the results! These small tweaks make it gluten free, sugar free and vegan – well, until you add the ice cream that is! So I think you could definitely call this a guilt free dessert. In fact it’s so healthy, I’d happily advocate eating this for breakfast too with a big dollop of Greek yoghurt.

Related Post: Plum and Pedro Ximénez Crumble

Healthy Berry, Coconut and Quinoa Crumble

Healthy Berry, Coconut & Quinoa Crumble

Serves 2-3

  • 125g blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • 250g strawberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger, freshly grated or ground
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract, or seeds of 1/2 vanilla bean
  • 1-2 tablespoons raw sugar, optional
  • 1-2 tablespoons Chambord, optional
  • 2/3 cup quinoa flakes
  • 1/3 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/3 cup flaked almonds
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tablespoons rice malt syrup or honey
  • To serve: Icing sugar, cream, ice cream or yoghurt

Preheat the oven to 180°C (355°F).

Combine the blueberries, strawberries, ginger and vanilla with the raw sugar and Chambord if using. Stir to combine and divide between 2 oven proof dishes.

In a separate bowl, combine the quinoa flakes, coconut, almonds, coconut oil and rice malt syrup and stir to combine. Spread this mixture over the top of the fruit. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until topping is golden and fruit is bubbling underneath. Dust with icing sugar and serve hot or cold with cream, ice cream or Greek yoghurt.

Healthy Berry, Coconut & Quinoa Crumble

FREE No Churn Ice Cream Ebook!

No Churn Ice Cream Free Ebook!

Ice cream is one of my favourite sweet treats. Perhaps you noticed that I named my blog after it?

I have been making ice cream from scratch for years because I truly believe it tastes better this way. When I used to use my ice cream maker, I would have to remember to freeze the bowl the day before, make a custard, cool it, churn it, freeze it, and then also work out what to do with all the leftover egg whites. It was kind of a pain…especially the egg whites. One summer I had over 50 in my freezer!

Chai Ice Cream Choc Top Recipe available only in my FREE No Churn Ice Cream Ebook!
It wasn’t so quick and easy to have beautiful homemade ice cream when the craving struck. Discovering I could make delicious no churn ice cream was a complete revelation. My ice cream maker is now in storage and I’ve never looked back. I promise, it couldn’t be simpler. There’s no cooking, no churning and no eggs! The whole process is basically folding whipped cream into condensed milk with whatever flavours you like mixed or swirled in, then frozen until scoopable. So easy!

14 Delicious No Churn Ice Cream Recipes in my FREE Ebook!
I think my favourite thing about this No Churn Ice Cream is that it’s the perfect base to get creative with the flavourings. I’ve made dozens of variations on this no churn recipe over the years and they have worked every single time. The process is pretty forgiving and there’s not too much that can go wrong here, so even the kids could make it!

Today is pretty exciting, because I have put all of my favourite No Churn Ice Cream recipes from the blog, plus some delicious brand new ones together in one place and you can download this beautiful book for free! Perhaps you’ll try the Chocolate and Chilli ‘Spicy Ice Cream’ that my blog is named after, or the Chai Choc Tops – a fun recipe for movie night.

Spicy Ice Cream Recipe available only in my FREE No Churn Ice Cream Ebook!
There are 14 delicious tried and tested recipes and also step by step instructions that you can use to customise your own ice cream flavours. With summer coming up here in Australia, I’m sure you’ll love making these easy no churn recipes and enjoy homemade ice cream made from scratch! Download it instantly for free below! I hope you love it.

Peanut Butter Crunch Ice Cream Recipe available only in my FREE No Churn Ice Cream Ebook!

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