Happy Birthday to The Hungry Australian!
It was three years ago that I tentatively hit publish on my first ever post, my dad’s Chinese Sausage Omelette. For any aspiring bloggers or photographers out there, go check out my early posts and raise your eyebrows at my photos. See? We all start somewhere.
It’s hard to explain all the ways blogging has changed my life.
Three years ago I was introduced to food blogs, quickly got hooked and a whole new world of publishing and social media opened up to me. The immediacy of the blogging medium was instantly appealing; later, I discovered that a blog is also a platform, a calling card and a wonderful way to make new friends.
Three years ago I was thinking about returning to work again after a spell as a stay-at-home mum with a husband that travelled a lot. I couldn’t imagine going back to the senior management work I used to do as it was all-consuming but great, flexible jobs seemed to be practically non-existent.
Now life is a constant juggling act — my idea of the perfect holiday involves a lot of sleeping as well as eating — but I get to do interesting work flexibly from home and my supportive family and ex husband hold the fort each time I head off on a work or media trip.
Three years ago I would never have imagined that The Hungry Australian would be judged both Overall Winner and Best Food Blog at the Best Australian Blog 2014 competition. It was a tremendous surprise but a very nice one. Thank you again to the Australian Writers’ Centre (AWC), and also to Random House and Trafalgar for my fantastic prizes – I’m especially excited about visiting Turkey in October.
Creating posts for The Hungry Australian is a joyful exercise, using so many different skills and challenging me each time I begin a draft post. I am someone who is easily bored but I can’t imagine becoming bored with blogging because I find it so creatively fulfilling: I’m always trying to improve what I do and there are always new things I want to learn.
Constant learning and creative fulfilment aside, the thing I love most about blogging is all the wonderful, food-loving people it has brought into my life. It still amazes me that this little blog connects me with people all over the world and has opened so many doors for me. It just goes to show that a shared passion for food can make friends of strangers.
Thank you for being part of The Hungry Australian and sharing in my pursuit of a delicious life. Without loyal readers and supporters, this blog would be a very different place so thank you for your comments, emails, shares, re-tweets, pins and posts. I look forward to sharing more stories, recipes and write-ups of exceptional food and travel experiences with you over the coming year.
White Chocolate & Feijoa Cupcakes
My daughter is sensitive and articulate and loves spending hours on the couch reading and writing in her diary. Differently, my son is boisterous and exuberant and enjoys racing his toy cars along the walls. They are chalk and cheese in many ways and yet they both share a deep love for food and a helpful willingness to be bribed by it.
But even with food their tastes diverge: my daughter loves anything made with vanilla but doesn’t like chocolate while my son has a deep and constant love for chocolate. So when considering what to cook for this post, I decided to make something that we could all happily eat. So I made a white chocolate and feijoa version of these Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes.
A word on the ganache: after I’d beaten it I decided to Instagram the beater:
When I took the beater back to the kitchen and checked the mixing bowl the ganache had already started to set! I quickly reattached the beater to my KitchenAid, beat it again and the ganache became pliable again but the texture was not quite as satiny smooth as before. The moral of this story? Don’t muck around trying to post pics as you make these: when the ganache is freshly beaten and ready to use, start icing immediately.
I haven’t gone down the fancy icing path because these cupcakes should not be saved for that once a year special celebration – these cupcakes should be eaten as often as a balanced diet will allow and I don’t faff around with icing bags for our everyday eats.
How do these cupcakes taste? Well, my ex ate three cupcakes while mumbling something about them being the best cupcakes he’d ever eaten. I’m not sure about that but these are definitely my new favourite cupcakes. I hope you enjoy them, too.
- 125 grams unsalted butter
- 100 grams white chocolate, broken into pieces
- 240 grams feijoa and rosella jam (I used this).
- 60 grams apricot jam
- 2 large eggs at room temperature, beaten
- 40 grams sugar
- Pinch salt
- 150 grams self-raising flour
- 150 grams white chocolate, broken into little pieces
- 150 mls double or thickened cream
- Silver, gold and/or white pearls to decorate
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line a 12-serve muffin tray with muffin cups.
- Melt butter in a small saucepan and then add chocolate. Take off the heat and stir with a wooden spoon until chocolate has completely melted.
- Add jam, sugar, salt and eggs and mix until combined.
- Add flour and then mix until fully combined.
- Spoon mixture evenly into 12 muffin containers and bake for 25 minutes.
- Leave in tin for ten minutes and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
- To make ganache, add cream and chocolate to a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from heat then let cool for 10 minutes.
- Transfer ganache to your mixing bowl then beat with an electric mixer for a few minutes until thick.
- Ice the cupcakes with an offset spatula or dessert spoon, smoothing the tops.
- Decorate cupcakes with balls or sprinkles.
- Once made store in an air-tight container if not serving straight away. You can refrigerate these but make sure you take them out 30 minutes before eating so they return to room temperature. Best eaten within 2-3 days.
- If you can’t find feijoa and rosella jam try using apricot or fig jam instead.
More cake recipes
- Strawberry and Rhubarb Upside Down Cake
- Berry Birthday Cake
- Fig & Vanilla Bean Cheesecake with Balsamic Glaze
- Sponge Cake with Berries and Cherries
- Rosewater, Cardamon and Pistachio Bundt Cake
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