I like to cook “interpretations” – where I read a recipe or two, and then do what I feel like based on what’s in my kitchen and what I think will taste good.

This tasted damn good.


  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons crushed/grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp red curry paste
  • Rind of half a lemon
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • ¾ cup coconut cream (small tin)
  • 2 cups skim milk
  • 4 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1tbsp brown sugar
  • Chilli flakes (dried) or fresh chopped chilli to taste
  • 4 cored, diced tomatoes
  • ½ cup desiccated coconut
  • 5 fresh snapper fillets, cut into 2cm strips
  • 2 cobs boiled corn
  • 1 small capsicum, diced
  • ½ carrot, julienned
  • 2 spring onions, chopped
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh coriander


  1. Heat the oil and add the garlic, ginger and rind on a med-high heat in a large saucepan that will hold all your ingredients. Fry briefly and add the curry paste and stir until the curry releases it’s fragrance.
  2. Add the stock, stir. Add the coconut cream, milk, fish sauce, brown sugar, chilli, tomatoes and coconut, stirring continuously. Heat thoroughly, but pay attention because if it starts to boil it’s likely to escape your pot.
  3. Lastly, reduce the heat to low and add your fish. It won’t take long before the fish is cooked.
  4. Ladle into serving bowls. We topped ours with corn boiled and cut from the cob, fresh capsicum, fresh carrot, spring onion and coriander.

I’d like to say this recipe would serve five, but we definitely had to (because it was delicious) go back for seconds.

Laksa is meant to be served over udon noodles (yum!) but we didn’t have any, and the starchy corn was enough. I’d say this would feed more people with noodles.

Special trick the first!

Special trick the second!

Today I learned not one, but two really cool things to do with cupcakes.

Thing the first: How to pipe frosting so you get pretty multi-tonal icing. It looks way cool, though my cellphone pictures don’t really do ‘em justice (#lazy).

Thing the second: That an upturned plastic shot glass is the perfect spacer for keeping cupcakes from crashing into each other when placed in a container. Win! 

Chocolate Cupcakes with Duo Tone Peppermint Buttercream Frosting

For the cakes:

  • 150g softened butter
  • 150g castor sugar
  • 175g flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder (or just use self raising flour)
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tbsp cocoa
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence

Making these cupcakes is a breeze, and only takes one bowl.


  1. Set your oven to 180 degrees Celsius, and prep 12 cupcake cases in a muffin pan. I like to spray ’em with canola oil spray so the cases don’t stick to the cake.
  2. Soften the butter in a medium sized bowl.
  3. One at a time, break each egg into a cup and give it a quick whisk with a fork before dropping it in with the butter.
  4. Add the vanilla essence and the sugar to the wet ingredients. 
  5. Sift the flour, baking powder and cocoa into the bowl with the wet ingredients.
  6. Beat the mixture together with an electric mixer for a few minutes until it’s smooth and creamy.
  7. Spoon the mixture into the cases, leaving room for the cakes to rise, and place ’em in the center of your oven for ten minutes.
  8. Rotate your baking tray/muffin tray and put the cupcakes back in the oven for another 6-8 minutes, until they spring back when pushed or a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  9. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes, before placing the cupcakes on a wire rack to cool completely before icing.

Icing ingredients:

  • 100g butter (unsalted would be best)
  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • Peppermint essence
  • Food colouring

You will also need three piping bags (or two resealable bags and a piping bag) and a wide star-shaped piping nozzle.

Making the icing:

  1. Soften the butter, and then beat it until it’s smooth.
  2. Sift the icing sugar, and add about a third of it to the butter and beat it together.
  3. Add half the remaining icing sugar, then continue to beat.
  4. Add the milk, peppermint essence (I used about 1.5 teaspoons), and remaining icing sugar and beat thoroughly.
  5. Spoon half of the icing into one of your piping or resealable bags and set it aside.
  6. Add your food colouring to the remaining icing, and beat it again to mix the colour through thoroughly. You may need to add a little more icing sugar, as the food colouring will thin the icing down a bit.
  7. Spoon the coloured icing into your second piping bag or resealable bag.

Piping the icing:

  1. Load your last piping bag with your star nozzle, then position the two icing-filled bags inside the empty bag, so they are side by side. I used two resealable bags inside a piping bag and found it useful to squeeze the resealable bags around a bit so they fit evenly side by side. Then, take them out and snip the corners of your resealable bags to even sizes, and place them back inside the piping bag with the nozzle.
  2. The idea is, when you squeeze the outer bag, the icing comes out of both the inner bags together and meets in the nozzle, forming a well balanced duo tone stream of frosting.
  3. Twist the end of the outer bag and squeeze firmly to push the icing out the nozzle. Pipe slowly in a circle around your cooled cupcake from the outer edge, inward, finishing with a twist of the nozzle in the center of the cupcake.

Sprinkle the tops of your cupcakes with edible glitter, and apply liberally to friends and work colleagues <3

The end result

Dry things

Lemons from my tree

Filling the muffin pans

Full enough

Rising up in the oven

Done! They’re supposed to be pasty…

Destroyed for lemon juice

The best step, nomming

Even better step, shared nomming

Quite often on Sundays I find myself amidst a yMedia “working session” at my house, where people take over my dining room table and we make the magic happen.

Today I snuck in some muffin making, much to the delight of my visitors. Here’s what I made, with the photographic evidence because they haven’t lasted long.

Crunchy Lemon Muffins

A variation of an Alison Holst recipe.


  • 2 cups self-raising flour
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 75g butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg, preferably size 7
  • grated rind of 2 lemons
  • ¼ cup Lemon Juice
  • ¼ cup Sugar

If you want to be a bit healthier about it, you could substitute the butter for 5 tbsp canola oil, and use 5-6 tbsp of honey instead of the first measure of sugar.


    Preheat your oven to 200°C, and mix together the flour and first measure of sugar.

    Melt the butter, add the milk, egg and lemon rind and beat with a fork.

    Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients, and fold together until the ingredients are just mixed – muffins get tough and rubbery if you stir them too much, so stop when all the flour is wet and the mixture is still lumpy.

    Spoon the mixture into a greased muffin tray or use paper muffin cases in your tray, and bake for 10-12 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the muffins comes out clean.

    When the muffins are done, add the second measure of sugar to the lemon juice without dissolving the sugar, and brush onto the tops of the muffins. Let them stand and cool slightly – the topping will harden to form the crunchy part.

    Twitter’s Hottest Home Baker is a project conjured up over sashimi one lunch break.

    We were dissatisfied with the cupcake making on a television baking competition, and thought it would be great to compete with all of Twitter.

    Priya took this little concept, and ran with it. Very far.

    There’s a random mystery theme, a countdown till bakeoff, and soon the oppurtunity to add your own theme. Entries are submitted via twitpic with the hashtag #hothomebaker, and can then be rated by anyone.

    These are my sweet little Strawberry cupcakes, rate them!