Wednesday, September 28, 2011

We Love Coffee Cartman

I have to share with you my favourite place to grab my morning coffee - Central coffee cart, or ‘Cartman’ as we like to call him, is located just outside Central Station and right by my studio. Cartman does the  best coffee and homemade cakes in Surry Hills, so it’s not at all surprising that he has a loyal following from all of the Fleur Wood girls in my office.  Next time you’re in the area be sure to stop by and grab a coffee and a piece of delicious apple and date cake…yum!

Friday, September 23, 2011

A Slice of Heaven

I have to confess a weakness for a good chocolate cake. There is nothing as satisfying or sinfully delicious as a slice of rich, dark baked chocolate goodness. This particular recipe is from the River CafĂ© in London, and it’s one of my favourite desserts to bake—and is also my friends’ favourite. It’s rather aptly named the Chocolate Nemesis Cake, which pretty much says it all—it’s certainly the nemesis of any waistline. I made it last weekend for a dinner party and everyone loved it, so I thought I’d share it with you, too. It doesn’t really need any embellishment, but a dollop of cream and some fresh berries never hurt. Oh, and when you’re making it, always leave that little bit extra for licking the bowl…

Chocolate Nemesis Cake Recipe
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Serves 8

• 340g Dark Chocolate - broken into small pieces.
• 5 whole Eggs.
• 290g Caster Sugar.
• 225g Unsalted Butter - softened

1. Preheat oven to 160 C
2. Line a 20cm cake tin with baking paper. (Don't use a springform tin)
3. Beat the eggs with a third of the sugar until the volume quadruples - this will take at least 10 mins with a hand held mixer or about 4 mns with a freestanding.
4. Heat the remaining sugar in a small pan with 125ml water until the sugar has completely dissolved to a syrup.
5. Place the chocolate and butter in the hot syrup and stir to combine.
6. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
7. Add the warm syrup to the eggs and continue to beat more gently until completely combined - about 20 seconds and no more!
8. Pour into the cake tin and put that into a bigger cake tin or roasting pan.
9. Fill the second tin with water so it acts like a bain-marie.
10. Bake in the oven for 30 mins or til set.
11. Leave to cool in the tin before turning out.

Recipe by Rose Gray & Ruth Rogers

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

London Girl

As I’m always on the lookout for inspiring images and ideas, one of my favourite magazines in which to find them is London’s Lula. I love its photography and gentle, whimsical sensibilities—coupled with a little dose of indie attitude. The girls always have a naivety that’s underpinned by sense of smarts, and sometimes something a little bit grittier. These photographs should give you some idea of what I mean, and show you why I adore this magazine. But she’s a rare bird, Lula, with only two issues a year. This one is hot off the press, so hurry out and get a copy while you can.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wanderlust & Glam Ephemera

I wanted to share with you a sneak peek of my summer collection—Wanderlust & Glam Ephemera—which is now dropping in store. I was really inspired by the photography of David Hamilton—particularly his images of beautiful young girls shot in a soft-focus femininity—as well as the notion of the modern-day nomad, globe-trotting creatures soaking up different cultures, food art and music. Overall, I think this is a very romantic collection, with just a touch of hippie chic. There is some soft tailoring in cotton-linen blends, pretty chiffon party dresses and great printed maxi dresses. The colours are subtle—creamy whites, latte and burnt peach—and the prints are faded. I hope these pieces bring a little free-spirited romance into your summer, too.

Friday, September 9, 2011

A Taste of Fashion

Last night’s Vogue Fashion’s Night Out was a huge success, the city positively heaving with happy shoppers. I had a pretty hectic night, too, popping into my two Sydney stores in the new Westfield and the Strand Arcade. Robyn from the team at HQ made coconut ice from my book Food, Fashion, Friends, which was a clear winner with visitors to the stores.

I was also put to the test in the culinary department, taking part in MasterChef Live in the Pitt Street Mall. I was lucky enough to be partnered with former MasterChef contestant Hayden Quinn, working alongside Alessandro Pavoni from Spiedo Restaurant & Bar. We whipped up one of Spiedo’s signature dishes, Casoncelli alla Bresciana—or pasta sheets cut up and filled with pork and served with burnt sage butter. Delicious!