10 years??

It’s been almost 10 years

Actually, more like 15 years. I’m pretty sure I gave birth to number 4 in between delivering orders to our then distributor while picking up and dropping kids off to Preschool AND school. Somewhere in there, we had 4 kids at three different schools, while running two small businesses and then BOOM … number 4 is the only one left in school and I have been in a Shopfront for 10 years! I swear it went that fast and I’m feeling the need to take some time to stop and smell the Roses – not just the cake. They have all grown up and I’m not sure I caught it all! They visit me at the shop if they want to see me for more than a couple of hours a day, so do my Mum and my Husband which I love but also makes me sad. So I’m going to slow down a little, while they still need me and remember who I am.

I won’t be taking any new orders for a while! I will be completing all the orders I have already accepted – there are weddings and birthdays and all sorts of celebrations I’ll be baking and creating for the rest of the year but that will be it for a while. There’s also homework and assessments, teenage drama, and my family’s health and wellbeing I need to look after. So I’m going to slow down and see what life brings. I’m planning on teaching some classes and creating some content for you all but at a pace that is much more reasonable and respectful of my own mind, body and spirit.

Life is Short and I don’t want to miss out on all the good bits because my face is always in the oven.

X Nadia

It’s a Love-Hate thing

It’s a LOVE HATE kind of thing, my feelings toward The Macaron. A fascination or an obsession? I can’t say. Perhaps dedication is a better way to describe the last 5 years of trial, error, success, and failure. I won’t lie, there have been tears shed and many a dodgy Mac eaten while it’s still warm.  These days, even with about a 95% success rate, I’m not sure I’m done yet? I won’t be satisfied until I can recreate those smug little shells exactly the same EVERY single time. When that is done, and not a moment before, I will write the recipe in pen.

In the meantime, I will continue to pipe and tap and rest and bake and record every time, every step of the way. Until those feet and shells look the same, no matter the colour, the flavour the weather.

Gluten-Free Chocolate MUG Cake

Jealously led to a new recipe. And then we made it about 50 times!!

This is specifically a Gluten-Free recipe – it won’t work the same if you substitute for wheat flour.


50g Dark chocolate

3tsp (30ml) thickened cream

3 Tbs (60ml) oil or melted butter

3 Tbs (60ml) milk

pinch of bicarb soda

30g Dark or milk chocolate, chopped

3 Tbs caster sugar

3 Tbs Self Raising GF flour

2 Tbs Plain GF flour

1 Tb cocoa powder

1 egg, lightly beaten


  1. CHOCOLATE GANACHE: Combine chocolate and cream in a small heatproof bowl and microwave in 30 seconds bursts, stirring in between each burst until smooth. Set aside until your Mug cake is ready.
  2. MUG CAKE: Combine oil/butter, milk, bicarb, chocolate, and sugar in your choice of large Mug; stir it with a fork until it is mixed through. Microwave on high for about 30 seconds and stir until it is melted and smooth.
  3. While your chocolate mixture is melting, sift flours and cocoa powder into a small bowl.
  4. Add sifted dry ingredients, spoonful by spoonful, stirring in between each addition to make sure you don’t get any lumps.
  5. Crack your egg into the mug and whisk with your fork until combined; microwave on high for 2 minutes. Your Mug cake will rise up out of the Mug but should not spill over. It acts like a souffle and will fall back down in the mug as it cools. Of course, this depends on the size of your Mug. The larger the mug, the less it will rise up.
  6. Remove from Microwave and after admiring its beauty, top it with ice cream and spoon over your warm chocolate ganache.

Mug Cakes are best eaten straight away. And that is the point. A warm, gooey, chocolatey mess just when you need it!

Gabriella and her Mug Cake

5 Courses, a Mohawk and Blue Hair

I have been a fan of Katherine Sabbath and her colourful creations for quite some time now so when the opportunity came up to be part of an evening celebrating her awesomeness and hosted by Anna Polyviou in her very own kitchen, a few friends and I had to jump on it! Part Charlie and the Chocolate Factory part Alice Down the Rabbit Hole, the evening was nothing like I expected but so much more …..

A 5 course dessert degustation at the Shangri La hotel, Sydney conjures up images of champagne flutes, background music, views of the city lights and of course, amazing desserts.

Insert Katherine Sabbath and Anna Polyviou and you have a sugar bombed pastry kitchen in the bowels of the Hotel complete with DJ, balloons, Piñata, Cupcakes, lollies and splashes of edible colours spread across the stainless steel benches and of course amazing desserts!!

 The evening did start with quiet time as we all gathered in the lounge, excitedly sipping our Mary Fairy Pickford’s and nibbling our creative little canapés!! Being a coeliac, one is often Limited as to what one can eat and drink … I decided to throw caution to the wind that night and (selectively) eat everything I saw!

As we were led down the stairs by one of Anna’s Pastry team, the scent of molten sugar filled our nostrils. I can honestly say we were all surprised to see Katherine standing behind a giant fairy floss machine at the base of the stairs. Her smiling face welcoming the lucky group as she spun pink sugar and chatted away to her guests.

Ushered into the Kitchen, we could see it had been transformed Into a kids party room for adults. We all oohed a aahed as we took our seats amidst the colour and noise of the pumping DJ, streamers and Balloons!

Anna was the perfect crazy host with her trademark Mohawk, Chefs whites and entertaining stories…… She took great pride in inroducing us to her dedicated staff and  Katherine and the idea behind the evening, with enthusiastic flair.

Enter the desserts ….

1.Casey’s Birthday Cake

A specially created dessert for Anna’s Girlfiend this was a combination of Banana, passionfruit and caramel with a biscuit in the base that I ate around! The passionfruit lay hidden within that silky caramel layer, hardly noticeable until BAM there it was! YUM.

2.Fairy Bread Mag-Anna

A take on the Magnum (my favourite ice creams in the world) they were miniature fairy bread looking icecreams – sprinkle encrusted white chocolate coated icecreams on a stick. I skipped the serving of real Fairy bread on the plate and headed straight for the icecream. I had just hit the the raspberry jam centre, when my party guest on my left suggested, the icecream tasted like bread. I got a little nervous that the gluten was hiding from me beneath those chocolate walls. So picked off the chocolate and dug out the jam. Its all good,.I’m used to it!

  1. Pina Colada Pinata

This little cutie was to refresh our palate after the intense sugar hit we were having. Lychee balls, panna cotta and baby coriander with a sweet rice surprise. This was one safe and I ate the lot!

  1. Kat’s Party Faves

A homage to Katherines Birthday cakes as a kid. Never eating a “normal” birthday cake, hers were always made with vietnamese flavours of Pandan, coconut and black sesame. The Dragonfruit in this dessert actually came from her Grandparents own Garden. With a salted caramel injected centre, this was one of my favourites. Not too sweet but silky smooth, with the nicest little coconut and sesame bark on the side.

In between desserts Katherine wandered between the tables chatting to all of her guests, thanking us all for spending our time with her and answering any and every question that came her way. I think she might just be the sweetest person I have ever met. Impossible I know, but she is even nicer in person than she appears in the photos of her Instagram feed.

To give us a break from all that eating, It was time for our Masterclass with Katherine and the secrets behind making her Black Unicorn Rainbow Hamburger Mini Cakes. Black  Cake buns, and red cake patties, green chocolate cheese and Swiss meringue buttercream condiments. They were finished off with rainbow coloured sesame seeds and surrounded with Pink Persian fairy floss!! The best part was we all got to take one home!!  4 kids and 1 cake does not a happy household make! I had to preplan the nightmare and take some Balloons home to share!

If all this wasn’t enough we had one more dessert to go …

  1. Kiddo Crunch

Called the chocolate crackle I assumed I could not eat this one but was super excited when Anna explained the “chocolate crackle” was made from Cocoa Nibs and dark chocolate … So I ate the lot! This was definitely my fave of the night. There so many different elements to it, crunchy, salty, silky smooth. Crisp tempered chocolate and smooth chocolate mousse. YUUUUMMM!


After so much food my stomach was starting to gurgle. Not sure if it was because I had consumed a whole heap of gluten or simply a sugar overload but I wasn’t taking any chances at this stage of the night. Enough is enough i said as I picked lollies up off the bench to eat!

We finished off this amazing night with Photos and conversation, social media connections and stories of how we came to be sitting in this Kitchen sharing a love for all things sweet.

How did I survive a night full of desserts as a coeliac??  If I could see the treacherous gluten staring at me from the plate, I ate around it. If I knew for a fact, that it was hiding beneath some of the layers I would avoid just those layers. But if I did not know, I chose not to ask and ate to my heart and stomachs content. And I will probably pay for it!

Thank you Katherine and Anna for having me. It was a night to be remembered!!


Chaos and Couture?

Specialist appointments, hairdressers and pink hair, driving lessons, tutoring, course applications, school plays, training, missing school, work dinners, cries of “I have NOTHING to wear”, teacher meetings, allergic reactions, forgotten items, arguments, yelling and late notes, AUSGRID and no power, the never ending rain, a car window that won’t go back up, back doors that are so swollen I can’t open them, oven door handle falling off, 2 phone calls from two separate schools with kids in sick bay, sleepovers, sore tummies and eyelash extensions, a car with no rego and door with a broken strap …. and that was ALL LAST WEEK! I’m not joking, it truly was! Just when you think you are done and they have all finished asking for things, the alarm goes off, you get up and it starts all over again and again and again. That is my house and that is the Chaos.


The Couture can be found in my shop, where the cakes are handmade and they themselves, ask for nothing. I can spend all week with them and they don’t utter a single sound, they don’t even know my name. They don’t need their clothes washed, breakfast made or uniform ironed! They don’t want money for excursions or Ubers and they generally don’t ask if I can drive them to their friends house or for money to get their nails done. They don’t have sore tummies and I have never been asked to pick one up at 1am. They are happy to be dressed by me, trusting me to choose them the right outfit, with matching accessories, appropriate for the occasion. Sometimes, when the dress code calls for semi or even naked, there’s a bit more of a discussion, making sure everything is covered in just the right places but still, never an argument and certainly not a disagreement ……… In the event of a wardrobe malfunction, the offending materials are just removed and eaten! No questions asked, it’s as simple as that.


But that was last week. Next week will be different. When the Chaos is the 40 degree heat and sweating cakes that won’t do what is expected of them and the Couture takes the shape of my beautiful family and friends, holding me up to make sure I keep going.





It’s All Fun And Games Until Someone Loses A Leg

I have spider veins all over my legs – its the curse of the woman who rarely sits down. These I can deal with. It’s the Spider bite on my leg that seems to be causing the problem. Of all the issues I could imajine may pop up in the absense of my husband; a large, hard, poison-filled spider BITE would have to be the last thing to cross my mind. Surely the presence of a grotesque looking and very painful sore on my calf should enlicit feelings of fear and panic into my soul….. but no! I am proud to show-off my facebook-famous new lump. Even posting regular updates and photos of its growing severity. Not one to bruise easily, I am always the bridesmaid, never the bride, when it comes to comparing injuries with the girls at training. But this….this is fabulous and a clear winner. Well at least this is what I thought until my whole leg started to hurt and the antibiotics I was prescribed at the Medical Centre, failed to reduce or even slow down the rise of the ever reddening, poison-filled sac. “Its all fun and games till someone loses a leg” kept running through my head as I made a hasty appointment with my family Doctor. “Just wanted to check a white tip wasn’t making a meal of my flesh or a family of mini spiders were not about to crawl out from within the lump on my leg”. He smiled as he jabbed me with a tetanus filled vaccine and said “technically, it is possible”.

Let them Eat Cake

In a house with 4 hungry kids, a husband and a cupcake-wrapper-eating dog, nothing goes to waste. Leftovers are my sometimes saviour AND my favourite. Many a meal have pulled from whats left in the fridge and the cupboard food. After dozens of whiney complaints of “there’s nothing to eat”, the leftovers and cupboard food are tossed and turned and arranged into a meal and they all wonder how dinner happened so quickly! Leftovers are MY friend but its what the kids call ‘Restovers” that they truly love.

Restover [rest-oh-ver]


  1. fresh off cuts, lids and crusty bits from cakes that are cut off, thrown into a bowl, wrapped in clingwrap, shoved in a bag and brought home from my studio, to be eaten later.



This week the “restovers” got a little fancy. There was swiss meringue buttercream, raspberries and maltesers hanging around the studio and they found thier way onto crusty bits of cake-off-cuts.

Well if your going to eat scraps, you may as well do it right ……..



Rather than shoving scraps in a bowl, I treated them with a little more dignity today. Afterall it is the cake they come from that lets me do what I do everyday!


Restovers 2 ways: round cutters, mason mars, great big spoons, swiss meringue, chocolate mud and white chocolate mud cake scraps and raspberries.

IMG_4396layering, piping, stacking and fillling.


It always seems such a terrible shame to cut those beautiful crusty tops off my beloved cakes. It’s been 12 years since I have bitten through the caramalised crunchiness of that sugary crust but I have never forgotten it. Damn you Coeliac disease and your gut ruining nastiness!!! I bake plenty a gluten free version but nothing compares to the original.


Now that is what I call scraps.


If you find yourself close by my studio, never hesiatate to pop in and say Hi. You might have to fight Maree for the beater but theres usually plenty of Restovers laying around.

X Nadia

Ready Steady Cook

One of the advantages of so many children is there is always one of them around, usually asking me for something, but nonetheless, there is always one right by my side.

An added advantage is this generation of kids are computer-savvy, ipod-able and technologically-gifted. Put these two together and you have an 8 year old that can film a video clip of me decorating one of my cakes, add special effects and upload it to Youtube. So here it is…….

This was the cake that I was asked to make for the filming of the 1000th Celebration show for Ready Steady Cook. This is one of the many parts that no 3 filmed and the part that she gave me permission to post on my blog. I hope you like it.

X Nads