I'm moving!


Yes. I know. I’ve been slack. I haven’t updated in ages and I’m very sorry (if I could send you all some home made fudge as my apology, I would). But, I’m still going to be around. You can find me on my new site Toasty Biscuit. It will be a food blog, just like Butter Sugar Flour, with recipes and the like, but there will also be a photoblog where I can share non-food photography, from still life to portraiture to my travels or whatever I feel like sharing with you all.

So, why the move? Why not just stay here? Well, this year seems to be the year of change and new beginnings, so I thought “why not have a completely fresh new website too?”

Butter Sugar Flour will remain online so you can still access anything you like, but won’t be updated any longer.

Hope to see you all at my new site.

Cheers! :)

Your eyes are not fooling you… you are finally looking at a new post on Butter Sugar Flour. It has been 3 months since I last uploaded anything and I know that is a really poor effort. I’m sorry! Thanks to all those lovely readers who sent me emails of concern asking how I was and where I have been (lots of: “are you okay?” “is everything okay?” “ARE YOU STILL ALIVE?!”). I’ve had a rather rough start to 2010 and things are much better, but there is still a lot that needs to improve! I am staying as positive as I can though, which is the only way to be! :)

Since this is my first post for 2010, I might as well share a few of my goals for this year. I wouldn’t say they are new year’s resolutions, but just things to strive for. They aren’t listed in order of importance:

To get out of Australia…

I don’t mean permanently as I do love my hometown of Melbourne very much, but I do want to begin travelling internationally this year (although I haven’t ruled out moving abroad in the coming years). I haven’t been overseas since I was 10 years old and thirteen years is a very long time to stay in the confines of my island country! I need to explore this wonderful earth of ours, see the sights of the world, experience different cultures and just have some fun! I am actually considering a two month holiday in the coming months, to USA and Europe. Hopefully it works out!

Potential disasters in the kitchen…

I aim to be more experimental in terms of food and baking this year. I don’t mean really crazy and wacky flavour combinations, but more so trying out more and more recipes (especially from my big cookbook collection) and to not be afraid in trying something, even though it looks very difficult and daunting… At the moment I have a list as long as my arm of recipes I want to try. Just to name a few: rhubarb and blueberry jam, chai creme brulee tarts and lemon curd crepe cake – yum!

Looking through the viewfinder…

I really want to improve on my photography this year and really grow into a specific style. I want to be a better photographer, I want to know the complete ins and outs of my beast of a camera and I am just really keen to keep on learning about anything and everything related to digital photography: lighting, composition, workflow, post processing, flash work – all of it. I carry my camera everywhere with me now, and although it gives me a sore shoulder, I never miss out on a photo opportunity! I have also recently joined the Beyond Snapshots team as a photography intern/assistant and am really excited to see what I will be able to learn from this role. A portfolio is in the works this year too…

Blog, what blog?

This blog needs some attention! I want to update more often (and I will) and it is in dire need of a makeover which needs to be done ASAP! The theme you are looking at now was meant to be a temporary fix for only a few weeks whilst I worked with several web designers, but due to timing and “creative differences”, nothing ever happened. I considered hiring another web designer to help me change the blog, but I’ve decided to tackle it on my own. It’s time to get my geek on! Wish me luck!

I have a few other personal and career goals on my “let’s do it in 2010” list, but I think they’d be pretty boring to share. What I will share with you is a recipe for raspberry marshmallows. It is the exact same recipe as the passionfruit marshmallows featured on this blog and are just as delicious. This recipe is so versatile, you could make any fruit-flavoured marshmallow you want, may strawberry, blueberry or peach. It is a foolproof recipe that I have made many, many times before.

Raspberry Marshmallows

300g raspberries

500g caster sugar

20g powdered gelatine

2 eggwhites

snow sugar, for dusting (Snow sugar is icing sugar with vegetable fat, cornflour and dextrose added to prevent the sugar from absorbing moisture and dissolving. Icing sugar/confectioner’s sugar is a suitable substitute if you can’t obtain snow sugar)

  1. Lightly grease and line a 17cm x 25cm shallow cake pan an dust base liberally with snow sugar.
  2. Place the raspberries in a small pan and cook over medium heat, smooshing them with a spatula. Cook until they fall apart, let cool and pass through a sieve. You should get around 200ml of puree. Combine the puree with gelatine in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Combine caster sugar and 1 cup water in a saucepan and coojk over low heat, stirring, until sugar dissolves, then increaseheat to medium and cook for 5-10 minutes or until syrup reaches 125C on a sugar thermometer. Remove from heat, add passionfruit mixture to syrup and stir until gelatine dissolves. Meanwhile, using an electric mixer, whisk eggwhites and a pinch of salt until frothy. Gradually add passionfruit mixture, whisking continuously on medium speed until mixture has doubled in size, then slowly decrease speed and mix until mixture is warm (about 40C). Pour into prepared cake pan, and using a lightly oiled spatula, spread evenly, then dust top liberally with snow sugar. Stand at room temperature for 3 hours or until firm. Using a sharp, serrated knife dusted with snow sugar, cut marshmallow into squares and roll in snow sugar to coat.

Store in an airtight container between sheets of baking paper at room temperature for up to two weeks.

Pear and ginger cake

“YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE HAWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!” That’s me screaming with excitement as I left university this afternoon (an internal scream of course). It was my final exam of the year and I have never looked more forward to the end of semester than I have this year. When I decided to go back to uni part time coupled with full time work, I didn’t think it was going to be a breeze, but I didn’t think it was going to be as tough as I have experienced. I have learnt a lot in my studies over the last two semesters and have thoroughly enjoyed the weekly discussion with my peers, but I spent way too many weekends reading and studying at the library and fighting peak hour traffic on Tuesday nights to get to lectures on time. There were also too many nights where I had to come home after a full day of constant meetings, emails and headaches to complete an assignment late into the night. Suffice to say, Linda was not a happy girl!

Now that school is over, I finally have some more time up my sleeve! I’m looking forward to summer, going to the beach, catching up on reading and exploring photography more (my camera has been idle and gathering dust on my bookshelf). More time up my sleeve means more time with Z, friends and family, lazy days and just having more time to do whatever the hell I wish to. I’m going to start another blog with a my sweet friend Amanda too which is rather exciting! I will also get to spend more time baking and blogging, sharing more yummy recipes like this upside down pear and ginger cake. It’s sticky, it’s moist and has just the right amount of sugar and spice.

So three cheers for finishing school and celebrating with yummy cake! Hip hip hooray!

Upside Down Pear Ginger Cake

Adapted from a recipe found on Taste.

1 and 2/3 cups brown sugar

250g butter, melted

4 medium pears, cored, peeled and cut into 2cm slices

1 cup golden syrup

2 eggs

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

big pinch of salt

2 and 1/2 cups plain flour

1 tablespoon ground ginger

1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

200ml buttermilk or sour cream

  1. Preheat the oven to 160C (140C if fan forced). Grease and line a 23cm square cake pan.
  2. Sprinkle 1 cup of sugar over the base of pan. Pour 1/3 cup butter over the sugar and arrange the pear slices in a single layer over the butter and sugar.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the remaining butter, eggs, sugar and golden syrup. Sift in the flour, spices, salt and bicarbonate of soda. Fold through the buttermilk or sour cream. Pour this batter over the pears.
  4. Bake for an hour and half or until cooked through and tested with a skewer. Stand for 10 minutes before turning out. Serve warm or cold.