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'I have always adored food; the social aspect, the contentment, the surprise after that first bite and the discovery, but mostly because it brings people together. It encourages community!'

As a child I was tremendously healthy, unintentionally staying away from ice cream and sweets - I was more a ‘salad sandwich and a punnet of raspberries please Mum’ kinda gal (although I’d never EVER say no to Nutella. Ever). Nowadays, things have changed a little bit.

As much as I still love a fresh salad sandwich on crusty bread, I now find myself sprinkling a touch of icing sugar over those raspberries! 

I have discovered another realm by acquiring somewhat of a sweet tooth, or perhaps even a romance with all things dessert (everything in moderation though)! 

I live to eat quality, fresh, honest produce that isn’t mass produced, full of artificial ‘this that and the other’ and i'm not even fussed if it doesn't look pretty on a plate (well, sometimes anyway). It’s gotta be real and I want to know where it came from! I pride myself on creating simple, homely, genuine meals and desserts. After all, who wants to complicate perfection?!

My Kitchen Rules was the perfect spring board to encourage me to follow my passion for edible adventures and in doing so lead me to other opportunities like Dancing with the Stars, becoming a host with the Seven Network and filming a series of cooking and etiquette webisodes with Yahoo7 BeJoin me on my ever changing expedition!

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CONTACT

 

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FOOD

FAKE IT NAKED

FAKE IT NAKED

 

My girlfriend Camilla (you might know her, she was my better half on MKR) introduced me to the genius recipe, which I then sensationalised. You see, sometimes I just don’t have time to whip up an epic masterpiece so I welcome shortcuts where I can. There is no shame in that!

Check it out.

 
 
 
 

FAKE IT NAKED CAKE

3 store bought vanilla sponge cakes

1 bag of store bought caramel popcorn

Cream Cheese Frosting

600g icing sugar, sifted

100g unsalted butter, softened

250g cream cheese, cold

Italian Meringue

200g caster sugar

200ml water

4 egg whites

½ tsp cream of tartar

 

Method

1.    Remove any packaging storing the sponge.

2.    Cut the icing off the top of each cake (if the one you bought has it on top) or slice the top off the sponge, making sure each cake is flat on the top and bottom. Set aside.

3.    To make the frosting beat the icing sugar and butter on medium until it comes together.

4.    Add the cream cheese, all in one go, and beat until completely incorporated.

5.    Turn the mixer up to high and continue to beat until the frosting is light and fluffy (5 mins). Be careful not to over beat as it will become runny.

6.    Place one of the sponge cakes on a cake stand.

7.    Plop a generous blob of frosting on top of the sponge and spread it out with a palate knife. (Dip the knife in boiling water to make it a little easier to spread, if you’re having trouble)

8.    Repeat with the next two cakes and finish with a nice big layer of frosting on top. (If the icing is bulging from the sides of the sponge, good!)

9.    Coat the outside of the cake with a thin layer of frosting as well, turning the cake stand as you go (that'll help create an even spread).

10. Refrigerate for 15 minutes until the icing sets.

11. Then repeat, covering the outside with another thin layer of icing (it doesn’t need to be overly neat). Refrigerate.

Italian Meringue

12. To make the Italian meringue add the sugar and water into a small saucepan and cook on medium until it reaches hard ball stage (120C on sugar thermometer).

13. Meanwhile, add the eggwhites and cream of tartar to a stand-up mixer and beat until soft peaks form.

14. Turn the mixer up to high and slowly pour the sugar syrup into the eggwhites.

15. Continue to beat until meringue has cooled to room temperature and looks lovely and glossy.

Decorating

16.  Remove the cake from the fridge and begin to decorate. I like to create imperfect mounds of meringue all over the place, building them high. Then torch it until it browns a little. Sprinkle some caramel popcorn loving over your crispy meringue mounds. There are no rules here, add what you like, but stay classy!

 

NOTE: If you’re super strapped for time just go and buy some Betty Crocker frosting from the super market (I wont judge you… but don’t make it a habit!).