Easy Brazilian cheese bread (Pao de Queijo)

Easy Brazilian cheese bread (Pao de Queijo)

JD’s version of another wonderful easy recipe from a rock star of a food photographer, my idol Katie Quinn Davies of What Katie Ate.  The main and most important ingredient is tapioca starch which you can easily find in Asian stores. If you want to make gluten-free cheese bread, you’d love Katie’s Pao de queijo recipe!

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Simple joy #19 Black bean brownies with peppermint

Black bean brownies with peppermint
Black bean brownies with peppermint

Once I tasted this black bean brownie in Lara Ferroni’s Portland studio, I promised myself that I would make it once I returned to Wellington. I’ve tried other recipes for black bean brownies and this is the first time I’ve followed a brownie recipe to the letter, except I used Whittaker’s 72% Cocoa Ghana Peppermint chocolate instead of any other regular chocolate chips (I can’t help it. It’s my favourite chocolate.)

AWESOME is all I can say of this healthy, vegan-friendly, gluten-free brownies!

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Easy orange ginger cider bread

Easy orange ginger cider bread
Easy orange ginger cider bread

I’m seeing a trend here. My Master Baker is making bread from alcoholic drinks. Not that I’m complaining. And it was my idea anyway! I give him the recipe and he bakes. Booze bread, perhaps we should call it that, and why not?

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Easy berry cider bread

Easy berry cider bread
Easy berry cider bread with black olives, sun-dried tomatoes and piquanté peppers

JD’s special gift to me this Christmas is this: For the month of January, he will put on his master baker hat and he will bake anything I wish for. I just have to give him the recipe and he will do the rest. Fair enough. I got me a pastry chef for 31 days!

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Simple joy #13 Whittaker’s classic chocolate cake

Whittaker’s Classic Chocolate Cake
Whittaker’s Classic Chocolate Cake

I was supposed to bake some brownies. I didn’t know what came into me that I baked a cake instead. I told myself I would never bake a cake, it’s too complicated. But I ate my words (pun intended) and was happy that I did.

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Simple joy #11 JD baked this! Easy savoury beer bread

Easy savoury beer bread
Easy savoury beer bread

I have a funny story to tell. I found an old parchment of America’s Declaration of Independence from a Goodwill store in Portland, Oregon. I thought it would be a good table prop so I asked my loving partner-in-crime JD to bring it to Wellington since I couldn’t fit it in my luggage at that time. This weekend I found a reason to finally use it. JD, who is an American, baked bread for the first time in his entire life! Alas, he is free to make his own bread from this day forward!

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Simple joy #1 I get to eat food prepared by top-notch chefs.

Elderflower Jelly Cheesecake by Copthorne Hotel Chef Chetan Pangan
Elderflower Jelly Cheesecake by Copthorne Hotel Chef Chetan Pangan

Here are some of the amazing desserts that I was privileged to devour after each photo shoot for FishHead magazine. But not all chefs offer the food to the photographer. I don’t know why some do and some don’t. But I did notice that between the mains and the dessert (I always shoot two dishes for the recipe section of the mag), the chefs might offer the dessert but never the main dish. Oh well, most of what they cook are meat from four-legged animals so I can’t eat them anyway.

To all the chefs who’ve been feeding me, thank you for being so sweet! And to all the readers who’ve been reading this blog, thank you for stopping by!

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The surest way to go to hell …

… is to try these sinfully gooey fudgy-licious brownies!

Dark orange chocolate hazelnut brownies
Dark orange chocolate hazelnut brownies

If there is something I enjoy baking over and over again, it’s brownies. It is so easy to do. No need to knead. Over-mixing is a no, no. Just fold wet and dry ingredients together, put them in the oven for 20 minutes and you’re done. After eating one brownie you can go to hell! I mean, they are so delicious because of all the sinful ingredients. Take sugar, for example. Two cups of sugar make 16 pieces of brownies. That’s 2 tablespoons of sugar per brownie! Add to that a cup of butter and 4 eggs. I also added half a cup of hazelnut chocolate spread. And a block of dark chocolate. Did I mention 2 cups of sugar?

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