‘Peach and pistachio; genius.’ I sat shaking my head, half in awe and admiration, half in disbelief that I didn’t come up with the idea myself. Over a lunch of falafel and bean salad and hommus and chocolate cake, I sat brainstoming baking ideas with a clever friend when she dropped this bombshell of a flavour combination. This particular marriage of fruit and nuts is something special; the sweet, ripe flesh of the peach is perfectly partnered by the distinctively charming flavour of pistachios, and the vibrant orange and green is so darn alluring and exotic. Served warm, this delightfully soft cake quite literally falls apart as undertones of almond, walnut and lemon zest blossom with each mouthful, all swathed in a delicate drizzle of lemon icing. Yes.
I have no idea where the past two months have gone. I am always vaguely aware that the older we get, the smaller a proportion of our life a month becomes. When we were five years old, a year felt infinite. But now, I’ve already made plans that lie six months ahead, and that time seems hardly a blip in the scheme of things. The years have become busy and blurred, and I often seem to find myself looking forward to a point several days or weeks or even months ahead. I’m trying vigilantly to stop this pattern, because it becomes too easy to wish life away trying to attain the next goal, experience the next milestone and arrive at the start of the next adventure. Life is now, and now is fantastic.
Layers of crisp brown sugar and almond meringue nestle between clouds of whipped honey cream, fresh dates and soft dried figs, as warm honey cascades down the sides of this beastly yet elegant mountain of texture, colour and soulful flavour. And it’s easy. I’m all for easy recipes lately. Life is flying by way too fast, but I’m still determined to bake wherever I can. So that means I’m turning to recipes that can be planned ahead, prepared in sections and offer a low flop-risk. So voila!
A flower-adorned Lemon and Raspberry Naked Layer Cake! I made this delightfully pretty tower for a recent pot-luck dinner, after dreaming about its creation for a few months. Layers of light and zesty lemon cake are enveloped in slatherings of raspberry cream cheese frosting; the combination of sweet and zingy flavours is so simple but absolutely foolproof. And yum. Very yum. I also love naked cakes. They’re so unassuming and modest, sitting delicately in their light coat of frosting, giving admiring passers-by a peek at the beauty of their concealed layers. They also lend themselves wonderfully to decoration, and I had such fun arranging these seasonal blooms from my local florist atop the cake’s surface!
Spoiler alert: this here is a little cheat’s dessert. Prep is done in under an hour, no fancy qualifications required, looks pretty as a peach, and is so much fun to just absolutely demolish. Also it tastes pretty darn good. The slight tartness of the roasted rhubarb is offset by the honey mascarpone cream. Then there’s the slightly salty pistachios that flirt with the vibrant syrup drizzling down the sides. And did I mention that the crisp brown sugar meringue cradling the whole thing has a slightly caramelised flavour, and is so devilishly light and delicious? Who’s complaining?
This cake definitely deserves an exclamation mark in the title. And a few more here!!!!!! Because it’s just so darn happy! And pretty! And bright! This big guy is a mountain of rainbows and sugar, but his true beauty is in his simplicity. Four layers of my favourite soft chocolate cake sandwiched together with vanilla bean swiss meringue buttercream, millions of sprinkles and some ever-so-fancy chocolate freckles from Australia’s own Haigh’s Chocolates. It’s the kind of cake you bake when you’re buzzing and bursting with glee, but can’t be stuffed with extravagant flavours and technical flourishes. It’s just simple, honest, delicious goodness.
Cake just got cray cray. Welcome to a new recipe full of chocolate cake layers,chocolate sprinkles, chocolate ganache and swiss meringue butter cream packed with smashed oreo cookies. It’s a carnival of culinary happiness that will make your inner child giggle with delight. And it’s just quite frankly delicious. I kept helping myself to ‘another slither’, until I’d essentially eaten a third of the darn thing. And then I slathered the off-cuts in leftover buttercream. So yes, this Crazy Cookies and Cream Cake and I become rather well aquainted!
Welcome to my 50th post! I could almost write a blog entirely dedicated to sharing cheesecake recipes with a world of hungry, curious lovers of crunchy bases, smooth and creamy fillings, and pretty toppings… And I believe the world would become a slightly better place for it. But for now, let us see what magic this new recipe can weave in your life! I present to you something a little out of the usual for a One Perfect Mess dessert, and I urge you to not reflexly screw up your nose and file this post as reeking with words like ‘wellness’ and ‘clean eating’ and all those enticing but slightly cringe-worthy faddish phrases that are thrown in your face every time you guzzle a big fat chocolate bar. Because there is nothing wrong with that chocolate bar. But believe me, there is everything right with this cheesecake. Also I sort of lied, because there’s actually no cheese in this cheesecake. Ok I know you’re probably thinking this looks bad, but just keep reading. It gets better. I promise.
This traditional French pudding is delicate and exotic and full of class, but it is entirely simple to whip up! It would work beautifully with any sort of stone fruit, but I opted for fresh plums and cherries to create an vibrant and festive dessert. Clafoutis is essentially the delightful marriage of sponge cake and baked custard. Soft, juicy fruits lay nestled in almond meal, eggs and cream, which bake to form a soft, velvety and surprisingly light pudding that is wonderfully offset by crispy flaked almonds and plenty of icing sugar.
This pretty little sponge cake is delicately light, delightfully fruity and quite frankly scrumptious. Don’t be afraid of attempting the ever-so daunting sponge and it’s poorly understood pal, the passionfruit curd. Both recipes may seem like technical challenges beyond your reach, but I’ve detailed a few key steps that should allow you to sail straight to baking bliss. And the result is worth it; the slight tartness of the passionfruit curd and fresh blueberries are a wonderful complement to the velvety whipped cream, which I’ve laced with vanilla bean. Served up with a cup of tea on a warm summer’s day, this cake couldn’t get any more… lovely.