april: jasmine’s fluffy berry cheesecake


We had family in town this month and I wanted to bake something for an afternoon tea at home. I went through snippets of recipes that I have collected over the years and came across a recipe for a fluffy berry cheesecake. The recipe is quick and easy and the step that takes the longest to prepare is the baking! It is also pretty and delicious!! Perfect for an afternoon with guests AND to have as an indulgent afternoon pick-me-up with a cup of tea (umm…that is if there is left over cake for the next day ;p).

I was able to prepare the cake and wash-up during Baby A’s 40 min morning nap, bake the cake while I fed baby A her lunch and then let the cake cool while I took baby A for a walk. By the time her arvo nap came around, I dusted icing sugar over the cake and was able to prep tea for my guests :)

As for the cake – it is light…it is like a vanilla cake in texture and the cream cheese in the recipe adds moisture and a bit of rich decadence – without being too heavy or gluggy. I am generally not a fan of baked cheesecake because most that I have tried tends to be too rich for my liking.

Oh…and I didn’t mention that the recipe includes 350g of berries! That has got to be good for the health :)



april: anna’s parmesan shortbread

Parmesan Shortbread

Last year, I made some rosemary shortbread for this blog, inspired by Blue Bottle Coffee. This is another one of their yummy bites.

I was actually planning to make a version of cookies and cream ice-cream with pear ice-cream and parmesan shortbread cookies. I thought this would be an interesting play on ingredients from one of my favorite simple salads, arugula with pear and parmesan. I started a new job a couple of months ago, and it has been a lot busier than expected, so I just didn’t manage to find the time to try it out this month!

These shortbread cookies were pretty easy to whip up, but they take a bit of advanced planning, as you need to chill the dough and then let it come back to room temperature before rolling and baking. The original recipe finishes the cookies with a combination of fennel and sea salt, but I wasn’t feeling that adventurous today, so I just used the sea salt. The smell of these cookies baking was divine, just like grilled cheese sandwiches!

If you are a fan of sweet and salty treats, like me, then this is one for you!

Find the recipe here

april: kerri’s berry mascarpone tart

hmhk ag course four-2

My creation for this month is a super easy but impressive looking tart! I made these as the dessert to two paid dinners in our home, requested by a guest who came to our last homemade hk dinner. A scary but flattering request, I accepted the challenge! {Challenge not only because these would be my first paid dinner jobs, but also because we were moving out of our home less than a week after!}

On that note, apologies for such a late post. I now I write as an ‘international citizen’ as B likes to call it; or rather a nomad – with no fixed address, travelling abroad looking for jobs and hoping to settle in a permanent place soon. But for now, back in Sydney for a few months!

I decided on mascarpone for this month’s theme, only because I haven’t used it at all since moving to HK due to it’s expense. Seeing as I was being paid for these dinners, I decided to splurge a bit! I love the creamy texture of mascarpone, and I know some people don’t like ‘cheesy’ desserts, so the subtle taste is perfect to cook for people you don’t know. Mixed with brown sugar to give it a caramelised flavour and cream to lighten it up, it made the perfect light-but-decadent filling for the tart.

I roasted strawberries for the first time for another dinner party event recently and discovered how roasting really makes strawberries shine. You can prepare them a couple of days earlier and keep them in the fridge for when you need them, or have them on hand for eating with ice cream, on cakes or in a dessert!

roasted strawberries

For the tart shell, you can buy pre-made shells or use your own favourite pastry recipe. I wanted thin tart cases so rolled my usual go-to pastry thinner, which turned out to be a disaster! All the cases crumbled and broke! I ended up using another recipe but in the end, would have been happier with my go-to recipe at the usual thickness – it may not have looked as pretty, but I think the flavour would have been better. {I have included this one on the recipe.}

As I said, it’s super easy. Enjoy!
hmhk ag course four

You can find the recipe here.

april: cheese


‘Cheese?’, you say? But then you realise – it can also be a sweet tooth’s dream ingredient, taking decadence to a whole new level. Lucky for us, it’s also healthy :)

Cheese. April. Watch this space!

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