Peach and Pistachio Cake

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‘Peach and pistachio; genius.’ I sat shaking my head, half in awe and admiration, half in disbelief that I didn’t come up with the idea myself. Over a lunch of falafel and bean salad and hommus and chocolate cake, I sat brainstoming baking ideas with a clever friend when she dropped this bombshell of a flavour combination. This particular marriage of fruit and nuts is something special; the sweet, ripe flesh of the peach is perfectly partnered by the distinctively charming flavour of pistachios, and the vibrant orange and green is so darn alluring and exotic. Served warm, this delightfully soft cake quite literally falls apart as undertones of almond, walnut and lemon zest blossom with each mouthful, all swathed in a delicate drizzle of lemon icing. Yes.

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Crunchy Peanut Butter Brownies

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I never get tired of trialling new ways to jazz up the faithful brownie, and this devilish little recipe is no exception. Using my favourite soft and fudgey brownie recipe, I’ve swirled slatherings of salty and crunchy peanut butter through the batter; the result is a bloody irresistible black and gold masterpiece.

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Brown Sugar Meringue Torte with Almonds, Dates, Figs and Honey Cream

Brown Sugar Meringue Torte with Almonds, Dates, Figs and Honey Cream One Perfect Mess recipe gluten free easy baking pavlova no bake autumn fall almond fig date 2

Layers of crisp brown sugar and almond meringue nestle between clouds of whipped honey cream, fresh dates and soft dried figs, as warm honey cascades down the sides of this beastly yet elegant mountain of texture, colour and soulful flavour. And it’s easy. I’m all for easy recipes lately. Life is flying by way too fast, but I’m still determined to bake wherever I can. So that means I’m turning to recipes that can be planned ahead, prepared in sections and offer a low flop-risk. So voila!

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Lemon and Raspberry Naked Layer Cake

Lemon and Raspberry Naked Layer Cake recipe One Perfect Mess easy baking lemon cake raspberry cream cheese frosting raspberries from scratch fresh flowers rustic dessert 1

A flower-adorned Lemon and Raspberry Naked Layer Cake! I made this delightfully pretty tower for a recent pot-luck dinner, after dreaming about its creation for a few months. Layers of light and zesty lemon cake are enveloped in slatherings of raspberry cream cheese frosting; the combination of sweet and zingy flavours is so simple but absolutely foolproof. And yum. Very yum. I also love naked cakes. They’re so unassuming and modest, sitting delicately in their light coat of frosting, giving admiring passers-by a peek at the beauty of their concealed layers. They also lend themselves wonderfully to decoration, and I had such fun arranging these seasonal blooms from my local florist atop the cake’s surface!

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Brown Sugar Meringues with Roasted Rhubarb, Honey Mascarpone Cream and Pistachios

Brown Sugar Meringues with Orange Roasted Rhubarb, Pistachios and Honey Mascarpone Whipped Cream One Perfect Mess easy dessert recipe baking autumn fall meringue pistachio nuts 3

Spoiler alert: this here is a little cheat’s dessert. Prep is done in under an hour, no fancy qualifications required, looks pretty as a peach, and is so much fun to just absolutely demolish. Also it tastes pretty darn good. The slight tartness of the roasted rhubarb is offset by the honey mascarpone cream. Then there’s the slightly salty pistachios that flirt with the vibrant syrup drizzling down the sides. And did I mention that the crisp brown sugar meringue cradling the whole thing has a slightly caramelised flavour, and is so devilishly light and delicious?  Who’s complaining?

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Rainbow Sprinkles Cake!

Rainbow Sprinkles Layer Cake One Perfect Mess easy recipe chocolate buttermilk cake Donna Hay four layers vanilla swiss meringue buttercream frosting celebration hundreds and thousands colourful 17

This cake definitely deserves an exclamation mark in the title. And a few more here!!!!!! Because it’s just so darn happy! And pretty! And bright! This big guy is a mountain of rainbows and sugar, but his true beauty is in his simplicity. Four layers of my favourite soft chocolate cake sandwiched together with vanilla bean swiss meringue buttercream, millions of sprinkles and some ever-so-fancy chocolate freckles from Australia’s own Haigh’s Chocolates. It’s the kind of cake you bake when you’re buzzing and bursting with glee, but can’t be stuffed with extravagant flavours and technical flourishes. It’s just simple, honest, delicious goodness.

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Brown Rice Rainbow Salad with Grilled Salmon

Marinated Grilled Salmon and Brown Rice Rainbow Salad easy savoury recipe One Perfect Mess Thai Asian healthy lunch dinner cashew capsicum soy sauce sweet chilli 7

Another swanky savoury recipe for your Sunday! I’m enjoying sharing these with you occasionally, because I do have some nifty dinner dishes stashed up my sleeve thanks to my foodie family. This is another one of Ma’s recipes, and always holds a special place on the table at family lunches, BBQs and picnics. I packed up a big container of this Brown Rice Rainbow Salad, topped with grilled salmon, and shared it with two of my most excellent friends as we lay sprawled out on a picnic blanket in a forrest garden a few weeks ago.

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