Turning Two and Champagne

Birthdays, as grown ups (I can't use the word adult, I'm not good at adulting) should always be celebrated with champagne. And as this blogs second birthday coincided with a 50th at the office, a Champagne Cake seemed the way to go.

Given how unseasonably warm its been as well, a Raspberry, Cream and Champagne cake seemed like an even BETTER idea. I would have loved to have used real cream, but given the transport required to get it into the office, a champagne buttercream was the safest method to go with.

I found the sponge and raspberry curd recipes on an aussie blog, which made measurements easier, however I was a little uncertain about what to use as 'cake flour'. Given the lack of raising agents, I decided to go with self-raising. The sponge was still a little flatter than I would liked, but I can think of a few recipients that would enjoy a rebake.

I will admit this is a very 'girlie' cake, and wouldn't be out of place at a baby or bridal shower.

Raspberry and Champagne Celebration Cake adapted from Erin Made This


For the sponge layers

  • 6 eggs
  • 200g self raising flour
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 100g unsalted butter, melted

For the champagne syrup

  • 3/4 cup champagne
  • 3/4 cup caster sugar

For the raspberry curd

  • 500g frozen raspberries, thawed
  • 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 egg yolks
  • pinch of salt
  • 60g unsalted butter

For the champagne buttercream

  • 200g unsalted butter
  • 330g icing (powdered) sugar
  • 100ml champagne syrup
  • drizzle of curd until it turns the pink colour you want


For the sponge layers

Preheat your oven to 180C and you'll need to prepare two 20-22cm round cake tins, greasing and lining.

With your stand mixer (or a handheld if you're more patient then me) beat together the eggs and sugar until thick, pale and fluffy.

Fold through the flour and butter, then pour equally into the cake tins. Bake for 25-30mins or until cooked through. Rest in the tins for 10mins then turn out onto a cooling rack.

For the curd

Blend or blitz the raspberries in either your blender or food processor until smooth and then strain through a fine sieve.

Place in a saucepan with the sugar and lemon juice to simmer on a low heat.

In a seperate bowl whisk the eggs and the egg yolks in a small bowl, then use some of the warm raspberry mixture to temper the eggs by adding 1/4 cup or so to the eggs and whisking.

Add the egg mixture into the raspberry mix and return to the stove on a medium/low heat AND KEEP WHISKING while you add the butter.

Whisk whisk whisk until thickened, then allow to cool completely.

For the syrup

Place the sugar and champagne in a saucepan (this became tricky as I only had one appropriately sized saucepan).

Heat over a low heat until the mix reduces by a third.

Brush each cake layer with syrup.

For the buttercream

Using a mixer, beat the butter in a bowl for 3-4 minutes until pale and creamy. Add the icing sugar and the champagne syrup and continue to beat until smooth. Be patient, the smoother the consistency the better. Start drizzling in the curd to make it the kind of pink you like. You'll have a crazy amount of curd so don't worry about quantities.


Place layer one of your champagne brushed sponge on your cake stand/plate/whatever.

Spread a layer of buttercream over this and 1/3 (or more!) cup of the curd.


Place the next sponge layer and coat completely with the buttercream (or not if you like a naked cake).

I then decorated the top with crumbled up flake, sliced and hulled strawberries and I cheated and bought wafer flowers.



Feel Good Apple Crumble Tart

I wasn't quite sure whether this was just Apple Crumble, or if its pastry shell meant I could upgrade to a tart. I love making tarts so decided on the name upgrade. I made this one quite quickly after an argument, and there is something about the 'apple-pie cooking' smell that just made everything seem right with the world again.

This recipe is a bit of a shortcut, using canned apples. But that means its the perfect 'spur of the moment' bake, because no one can guess when you'll need a bit of cheering up, or your house will need to smell welcoming…..

I adored how straightforward Davids recipe (link below) was…but I didn't have (and don't particularly like) almond extract, and I couldn't resist swapping cornmeal for custard powder…..

I've already restocked on the ingredients.

Apple Crumble Tart adapted from David Lebovitz Easy Jam Tart


  • 110g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 190g plain flour
  • 70g custard powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 tins pink lady apple slices
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon sliced almonds
  • coarse raw sugar, such as demerara


  1. Beat together butter and sugar until well combined. Mix in the egg, egg yolk and vanilla extract.
  2. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, custard powder, salt and baking powder. Gradually add to the butter and egg mixture, until it just comes together.
  3. Measure out about 400g of the dough, pat it into a disk, wrap it in plastic and chill it. The remaining dough roll into a log about 5cm in diameter, wrap and chill it alongside the disk. I leave it in for around half an hour.
  4. Remove the dough disk from the fridge, and with the heel of your hand, press the dough into the bottom and sides of an unbuttered (yes that is bold) tart pan (about 22 or 24cm) or a springform pan, patting it out to be even as possible.
  5. Drain the two tins of apples and put the slices into your tart shell. In a small bowl combine the nutmeg, cinammon and teaspoon of the raw sugar. Sprinkle over the apple slices.
  6. Remove the log of dough from the fridge and slice in cookie-sized disks, then lay them over the apple slices. Top with a tablespoon or two of raw sugar and the almonds.
  7. Bake until the bastry is golden brown in a preheated oven (about 180C) until golden brown. About 20-25mins. Let cool before serving with scoops of good vanilla ice cream.

This one is great the next day!



Whiskey is ALWAYS a good idea

So we’re fairly well settled into our new home now. I finally unpacked my ridiculous collection of shoes and tidied up under the stairs. When I get round to buying a spare bed and we consider having a housewarming party you’ll know that we’ve properly finished this moving in lark. We have found ourselves pretty busy every weekend since we’ve moved, but I did find time to remember some birthdays and produce a cake.

I’m a sucker for trying to match a flavour to a birthday so I probably spent way too much time searching for something interesting on Pinterest than I should have. It paid dividends though, as I found this Gingerbread Layer Cake with Whiskey Salted Caramel which was perfect for my Whiskey loving friend.

Given this was delivered to work on a Wednesday it meant very rapidly baking a cake during my lunch break (hello MasterChef style timed challenge) and then making caramel and buttercream once I’d finished work and before hubby got his dinner (sorry hubby).

This was definitely one of my more ‘rustic’ looking cakes, especially as I didn’t bother with evening up my layers (or actually turning the two cakes into four layers), but the feedback from happy birthday participants was positive, and I had the satisfaction of watching every last slice disappear.

The gingerbread layers speak a very Christmas-y language, but given June is *technically* winter here, I figure we can get away with it, and it made a lovely difference from the stock standard chocolate cake we normally see (and there is nothing wrong with stock standard chocolate cake). And after watching someone dip slices of apple into the Whiskey Caramel I’m wondering if caramel apples might be a good idea!!


Gingerbread Layer Cake with Salted Whiskey Caramel

From topwithcinnamon.com


For the cake

  • 225g unsalted butter
  • 110g treacle
  • 110g golden syrup
  • 225g soft dark brown sugar, not packed
  • 2 medium eggs (I used large because its what I had)
  • 300ml whole milk
  • 350g plain flour
  • 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • 4 tsp ground ginger
  • 3 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Pinch of salt

For the Salted Whiskey Caramel Sauce

  • 250g caster sugar
  • 300ml double cream
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 3 tsp whiskey
  • 1-2 tsp flaky sea salt

For the Whiskey Caramel Buttercream

  • 200g unsalted butter
  • 330g icing (powdered) sugar
  • 100ml salted whiskey caramel



For the cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 170C. Prepare two 18cm round, deep cake tins by greasing and lining the base with parchment paper.
  2. Heat the butter, treacle and golden syrup in a large saucepan over a low heat until the butter has melted.
  3. Beat in the sugar and set aside to cool slightly.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the eggs and milk together. Slowly beat into the butter and sugar mixture.
  5. Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt into the saucepan and beat until just combined.
  6. Divide the batter evenly between the 2 prepared pans and bake for 30 – 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out with a few crumbs attached.
  7. Let cool for about 10 minutes and then invert onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  8. While the cakes are cooling, prepare the icing and caramel sauce.

For the caramel sauce

  1. Heat the sugar in a large saucepan over medium heat. Once the sugar starts to melt, swirl the sugar into the liquid areas of the pan without stirring.
  2. While the sugar is melting, gently warm the cream and butter in a separate pan until the butter has melted.
  3. After about, 10 minute, or once the sugar has completed melted and is a dark amber colour, remove the saucepan from the heat.
  4. Immediately whisk in the warm cream and butter mixture (be careful, as the hot caramel can splash up). If the sugar solidifies, return the pan to medium heat until the mixture is liquid again.
  5. Stir in the salt and whiskey.
  6. Pour the mixture through a sieve into a heatproof bowl to remove any remaining lumps of sugar and leave to cool.

For the buttercream

  1. Using a stand mixer or electric hand mixer, beat the butter in a bowl for 3 – 4 minutes until pale and creamy. Add the icing sugar and whiskey caramel sauce then continue to beat for another 2 -3 minutes until smooth.



  1. Level the cakes by cutting off the domed tops (I like using a serrated knife for this) and split each layer in half so that you four layers in total.
  2. Spread the first layer with about 1/6 of the buttercream. Make a thicker layer of buttercream like a dam around the edges and spoon in about 2 tbsp of the slightly cooled caramel. Place the second layer and repeat the buttercream/caramel process. Repeat with the third layer and place fourth tier on top. Cover the entire cake with the remains of the buttercream. Chill for 30 minutes then pour over the caramel.



Bread, butter and a new kitchen

This is a very quick post, and only a couple of photos. We've moved into our home, and while a lot of unpacking still waits to be done I'm starting to get settled into my new kitchen (and enjoying how much better the oven works!).

This past week I came home from a trip to the Wednesday market with a loaf of pumpkin bread. Not one full of pumpkin pie-type spiced ones that Pinterest is full of. Just a white bread, with a orange hue, and a delicious flavour. We smashed it, just with lashings of butter and of course, this resulted in some discussion around either a) buying a loaf every week or b) having a go at making our own.

Saturday rolled round bringing with it a severe rain system which stopped me going out, (except to dig a trench) and baking bread once I'd dried off just seemed like the greatest idea. A lack of ingredients meant it wasn't pumpkin bread, but I'm hoping it will be a good launching off point.

As usual, it wasn't straightforward. I assumed my bag of flour was 500g….hahahahaha of course it was a 1kg so there was a moment of confusion when the dough wouldn't come together, then of course I overcompensated with water and had to add MORE flour, and with over a 1kg of flour the kitchenaid struggled to keep up and I had to knead by hand.

I had enough dough to make a loaf, and eight big bread rolls, which I have to admit, came out every bit as good as I hoped.

My biggest tip (care of The Great British Bake Off) was to add a pan of water to the bottom of the oven for steam. This gives you the most wonderful crust.

Easy White Bread, from bbcgoodfood.com.au


1) 500g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting

2) 2 teaspoons salt

3) 7g satchet fast-acting yeast

4) 3 tablespoons olive oil

5) 300g lukewarm water


Put the flour, salt and yeast in the bowl of an electric mixer with the dough hook attached.

Put the water and olive oil in a jug. Get the mixer running nice and slowly and pour the water/oil mix into the edge of the bowl. If the mix seems a little stiff add 1-2 tablespoons of water. You have two choices here, let your machine do the kneading or if you've had a bad day, tip it out and knead by hand.

Once the dough is satin smooth, drop into a lightly oiled bowl and cover lightly with cling film. Allow to prove for 1 hour or until it's doubled in size.

Knock the dough back and gently turn into a ball. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Allow to prove for another hour or until doubled in size.

As some point in that hour (depending on your oven) place a high edged tray in the bottomed of your oven and preheat to 220C/ fan 200C/ gas 7. Get a jug of water ready.

Cut a 6cm cross in the loaf, and place in the oven, and quickly pour the water into the tray in the bottom of the oven for steam. Allow to bake for 25-30mins. Your loaf will be cooked when it sounds hollow when you tap the bottom.

Slice, butter, and enjoy!



Lemons, Poppy Seeds and a Blowtorch

Yeah, I know what you're thinking. I'm a terrible person who doesn't look after their blog. Who can go four months without a peep and expect to just pick it up as if nothing happened. Someone who can miss Christmas, New Year, Australia Day, Valentines Day, I think St Patricks Day was in there, Easter even, and post nothing. Not a thing. The blog equivalent of radio silence.

Well, yeah. I did. But I also spent the past four months in a QLD summer which seems to be never ending even though we're getting to the halfway point of April. I didn't think you wanted to hear me complain about that endlessly for another year. Sure, I could have filled this up with endless ice creams, sorbets, 'no bake' cheesecakes but I didn't make them.

Instead I've spent the past few months watching my Saturdays disappear into house hunting, which in the heat we've had has not been fun. And trying (and failing) to squeeze in visits with my pregnant sister and my niece. Oh and navigating through a massive restructure at work, which given its where I spend 8 hours a day was fairly stressful.

But now we're kinda out the other end. While its still hot, the days are getting shorter so we have to start seeing temps below 30 soon. We bought a house, and while this negotiating/bank approval/packing bit is overwhelming there is finally a light at the end of the tunnel. A light which includes a new kitchen. A new kitchen with a gas cooktop. Be still my beating heart. Work restructure is finalised so I can stop thinking about it (still have a job? Check!). Just waiting on my sister to stop being pregnant and actually have the baby and all the tricky stuff is done. (HAHAHAHAHAHA done. Right.)

And maybe, because I can see the end, there was some baking. For Ali, who I adore. She snuck in a birthday without telling anyone (ha Facebook told us!) and we all selfishly worked from home the day of her birthday. So the very next work day I presented her with this. Three elements, two of which are Lemon which is her favourite, one of which I'd never ever done before. Its a Lemon and Poppy Seed Cake, with Lemon Curd filling and a Toasted Meringue Icing. I've now made it twice, the second time dotted with some Easter Eggs for Easter Sunday lunch with the inlaws.

I stood in my kitchen eating the offcuts of the cake with left over lemon curd wanting to cry I was so very proud of it. Its very sharp, so if you're on the fence with lemon its not for you. But if like Ali and I you think lemon is the greatest thing ever created, this cake will disappear with satisfying speed. The most timeconsuming part of the process was converting everything to metric, but, because when I can be bothered I'm pretty awesome, I've done it for you.

Lemon Meringue Cake, adapted from The Cake Blog

For the Lemon Poppy Seed Cake


  • 393.76 grams caster sugar
  • 272 grams plain flour
  • 45 grams custard powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons poppy seeds
  • 2 eggs
  • 245 grams or 236.5 mls buttermilk
  • 109 grams or 118.3 mls canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 177ml boiling water


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease and flour 2 x 22cm cake pans (unlike the original recipe I didn't have 8″ ones). Set pans aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the sugar, custard powder, plain flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and poppy seeds.
  3. In a separate bowl, (I used my kitchenaid on a very low speed) mix together the eggs, buttermilk, oil, vanilla and lemon zest.
  4. Slowly add the dry ingredients a spoonful at a time (KEEP THE SPEED LOW!) stopping now and then to scrape the sides down.
  5. Once combined turn your mixer off. Add the boiling water and stir by hand to incorporate. Otherwise the mixer will spray it all over you, and your kitchen.
  6. Evenly distribute the batter between the prepared pans. Bake for about 25-28 mins. I checked mine at 25 mins. One was done, the other needed another 8 mins or so. Check check check, using a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake. Its ready when it comes out clean.
  7. Cool on a wire rack ro 10-15 mins and then remove from the pans.

For the Lemon Curd


  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. I didn't worry about converting this one. In my mind the more lemon the better.
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 112.5 grams + 2 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 56.7 grams butter, diced


  1. In a medium saucepan, combine lemon juice, zest, yolks and sugar.
  2. Stir over a medium heat until the mixture begins to thicken (this is around the 6-8 mins mark). You'll know you're ready when the curd coats the back of a spoon.
  3. Once this happens remove from heat and add the butter and stir to combine.
  4. Once its all mixed in and melted, strain the curd into a heat-safe container (I used a jar because I had one). Place a piece of plastic wrap over the curd, making sure its actually touching the top of the curd.
  5. Refrigerate until cool and thick.

For the Meringue Icing


  • 3 large egg whites
  • 150 grams granulated sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Place the egg whites and sugar in the bowl on your electric mixer. Whisk to combine.
  2. Fill a medium saucepan with a few inches of water and place over a medium heat. One the egg whites and sugar are combined, place the mixing bowl over the saucepan to create a double boiler.
  3. Whisk the egg mixture constantly until the sugar disolves and it is warm to the touch. Once warm, transfer the bowl back to the mixer.
  4. With the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on high until medium-stiff glossy peaks form.
  5. Add in the salt and vanilla and mix until combined.
  6. Use immediately.


I trimmed my cakes to make sure I had a level top. Then I topped one layer with lemon curd, and put the second cake on top. Go to town with the meringue, the messier it is, the more awesome it looks after you've taken a blow torch to it. Move quickly and lightly. My husband did the blow torching for me, but I'm looking forward to having a go myself next time.



Birthday Marble Cake

It was my birthday on Monday. Another year older, and this year has been, well, a lot quieter than the last one in some ways. But aside from the fact that I’m at that point where you really don’t want to get any older, I’m kinda glad we’re getting to the end of 2015.

I’m spending the week before and after Christmas away from home, at my parents in Hervey Bay. And very much enjoying having a much bigger kitchen to play in, even if I am missing my Kitchenaid almost as much as I miss my husband who doesn’t arrive until VERY LATE Christmas Eve. He can’t be too late though, because he has my Christmas present!

This is the cake I made for my and my twin sisters birthday. I found the recipe through Pinterest, and like a lot of things you find in Pinterest, the recipe was deceiving. To my eye, things were in the wrong order, and the instructions were a bit vague and abstract. So I’m not sharing the actual recipe because I don’t want you to fall down the same rabbithole.

When I’ve had a chance (and Christmas week is NOT the time for experimentation) I’ll work out the kinks and post it.

In the meantime, its a Chocolate and Peanut Butter marble cake, with a Peanut Butter Ganache Icing and Chocolate Drizzle. Its probably one of my ugliest cakes. But, version 2 will be better, with the kinks firmly ironed out.








Because cookies.

It's been a quiet couple of weeks in my kitchen. There was a quick chocolate tart for a fundraiser, and zucchini slice…..oh that giant carrot cake….and the first cake I've ever been paid for, which was the four tier version of my hubby's birthday cake.

I guess I've really just been slack at taking pictures and writing posts.

This morning, while hubby was at work (not a fan of him working Saturdays) and I sipped a cup of coffee with an unexciting sugar-free biscuit I nearly had to slap myself. Its Saturday. I'm not at work, there's no distractions, and I'm eating a store bought cookie? What on earth is going on here?!

So to rouse myself from my biscuit faux pas I made two different types of cookies. They were all laid out cooling on the worktop when sadly hubby knocked an entire tray of salted peanut butter cookies onto the floor….but the recipe made so many that I'll forgive him….this time!

I've made this Frangipane Jam Drop cookies once before, and while they are very soft, they are quick to disappear.

These salted peanut butter cookies are a new find from SmittenKitchen….and I have to admit I was hesitant about the sprinkly of sea salt….but now that I've tasted one (or two, or um anyway) I'm totally sold on the idea. It will be interesting to see how long these last….given how hard it is to not pick at them constantly.

The Salted Peanut Butter Cookies recipe can be found here, and are quick and easy to put together.

The Frangipane Jam Drops are from the Womens Weekly 'Baking Day' (yes the same as those Lemon Squares). I didn't use a wooden spoon though…I used the round end of a metal teaspoon.


  • 125g unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 110g caster sugar
  • 120g almond meal
  • 1 large egg
  • 100g plain flour (sifted)
  • 2 tablespoons raspberry jam


Preheat the oven to 180C. Line two oven trays with baking paper.

Beat butter, extract, sugar and almond meal in a small bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg, beating until just combined. Stir in sifted flour.

Drop level tablespoons of mixture on trays 5cm apart. They will spread a little. Use the round end of a metal teaspoon to make a small hole in each biscuit. Fill each hole with 1/4 teaspoon of jam.

Bake about 15mins each, and allow to cool on the tray.


35 and counting.

Friday the 16th was hubbys birthday. And while last years Four Element Rum Cake will go down in history as the most appropriate cake ever made for him, it was perhaps not thought of so fondly by the parents of the young children we shared it with.

So this time, I took the rest of my audience into account, and made perhaps my most visually impressive cake of all time.

I found this recipe in the Woolworths free recipe magazine, and instead of making my own chocolate bark, I just bought up a bunch of chocolates and decorated like crazy.

Given the numbers I was catering for I also chose to make two two-tier cakes instead of one four-tier. Although if I did that again I'd make more of the nutella buttercream frosting.

This cake was dense, and the buttercream mellowed out the strong nutella flavour. So even a couple of 'non-nutella' people (who are they?) liked the cake.

The first one we ate with hubbys family (there was 11 of us, but one too little for cake), with a slice saved over for my sister….who shared it with her daughter who demanded 'more cakey mummy' between bites.

The second one we actually took camping with us for the weekend, and shared with a group of nine. Only made possible because one couple has the most amazing 4WD caravan with a proper fridge.

If you have something a bit special to celebrate….this is certainly a very very delicious chocolate way to do so.


Slab Tray Bake of Coffee Delicious

During one of my many days of sick leave, I gave my mum a call. Mum asked me some questions about this recipe in the latest Donna Hay magazine, and whether or not a recipe could be halved. Of course, once this recipe was brought to my attention……I had to make it too.

Trouble is, as I've said before, I'm a bit very greedy, so I made the full tray bake, but I will admit I cut it into 10 slices, and froze a bunch of them for later on.

The recipe is terribly simple, but when you look at the ingredients, like me, you should be a bit shocked. There is between the cake and the brown sugar filling a scary amount of sugar. It also uses a full 250g of butter, which just seems…..well, over the top.

When I made the cake, it was a on a super tight time frame, so it ended up cooling in a hot oven for something like two hours. I really don't recommend that, because it stuck to the bottom of my tray in the middle, and meant that a chunk of the middle (which thankfully you can't see in my photos) was stuck to the tray. After a lot of cussing and foot stomping (by me), hubby and I stood over the tray and ate the sticky bits.

This is really good warm, its also really good in your lunch box. I'm inclined to think it would be delicious with some warm custard as well!


Strawberry Crumb Bars, to make a sick Cookie feel better

I flew home from Melbourne on the Friday evening, and to Sydney on Saturday lunch time. I know. I'm such a jet setter. Saturday night I worked, we do once a quarter, to test updates. Sunday, which was my free day in Sydney I woke up so ill I couldn't get out of bed. Thank god for room service.

Monday, believing I had flu I braved the walk to my office (5 minutes, with a pharmacy downstairs) and after that was packed back to the hotel by my manager, where I slept pretty much the entire day.

Tuesday was just awful. I rang in sick, I could barely get out of the bed….and my manager rang me back to say I'd been booked into the 1.30pm flight home. I knew fear. What I found out later that day (I got off a flight and was bundled into a doctors surgery by my mother in law), was that I had a throat and a sinus infection. The state of my ears had me frightened, and justifiably so. We won't talk about that flight.

I spent Wednesday, Thursday and Friday on my sisters couch. Our roof was being removed and replaced during this period, making me a sick, but non-contagious, couch surfer.

While I slept on Thursday (let's be honest, I did little BUT sleep) she made this Strawberry Crumb Bar with some of the 15 punnets of strawberries we bought between us…although she dropped out quite a lot of sugar. It was magic. I took a slice home for hubby and he loved it too.

So on Saturday afternoon, after a pretty good nap, I made it too. Baking, I think, is a pretty good sign you're on the mend….even if I was really too tired still to stand up for the time it took.

I made two alterations to the recipe as it reads. I halved the sugar. And I swapped 1 cup of flour for custard powder. I also gave it an extra five minutes in the oven because I know my oven. Make this when you can buy lots of strawberries cheap. It's very forgiving for bruised strawberries!