Thursday, August 28, 2014

League of their own

I'm back in the Rads for one of my dearest friend's Hen's Days. It's going to be a hoot - Ivy League themed. 

I might have had a little something to do with that flavour, hard to believe, hey? 
But most importantly, it totally suits the bride and I think she'll love it.
Ladies, let me indulge in some preppy deliciousness for a moment. Blazers, ties, lots of stripes, cardis over the shoulders, chambray, spots . . . do I need to go on?

Above and beyond all this fun, I've also stocked up on Lady Chatterley's Affair and Kiel James Patrick for the occasion. My suitcase is a beautiful rainbow of pinks, lemon, salmon, aqua, kelly green and navy. Still not sure what I'm going to wear on the day, but I'll be sure to post some pics soon.

Bottoms up!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

On the hunt

Thank you Leo, yes I do. 

And so do all my single lady friends* who are still holding out for that guy. 

Instead of crashing on the couch in front of Offspring tonight, we're interviewing for new housemates. It's exhausting. I think we're up to about the 20th candidate. Where are all the awesome people!?

Between that and dating, I feel like all I do is talk about myself and ask the same questions! Favourite one is 'What are your social habits?' It's a tricky question to answer - you don't want to sound like a party animal, but you don't want to sound like a stay at home nerd.

Wish us luck!

I'm looking at you Alice, Phoebe, Kimberlee and Em xx

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Zooey good

These are my pics for the best dressed at the Emmys.

I could quite easily slip into any of them, but Zooey takes the cake in that pink number. Understated yet makes a statement, classic yet modern. Perfection!

Monday, August 25, 2014

You can have your cake

So, I promised the chocolate cake to end all chocolate cakes? 

Well, I'm one to stay true to my word . . . even if I don't make deadline.

On a recent trip back to the Rads, we celebrated my dear friend Ad's birthday with a dinner party at her place. It was beyond spectacular. Three courses of amazingness - so good that I stole two recipes from the night and pulled them out at my own fundraising dinner part a few weeks later.

One of these recipes was for Ottolenghi's chocolate fudge cake. It was seriously the best thing I'd ever tasted. The table went silent when Ad served it up. We were lost for words, totally caught in the moment.

So it's only fair that I share the love with you . . .

Ottolenghi’s Chocolate Fudge Cake

240g unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
265g dark chocolate (52% cocoa), chopped into small pieces*
95g dark chocolate (70% cocoa), chopped into small pieces*
290g light muscovado sugar
4 tablespoons water
5 large eggs, separated
pinch of salt
cocoa powder for dusting
Preheat your oven to 170°C (350°F) and butter a 20cm (8″) spring form pan and line the bottom and sides with parchment/baking paper.
In a large heat proof bowl, combine the chopped chocolates and butter.
Combine the muscovado sugar and water in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Pour the boiling syrup over the chocolate and butter and stir until they have melted. *If you ignored the “chopped into small pieces” instructions, insert another step; melt mixture further over a double boiler until smooth…
Add the egg yolks, one at a time, to the chocolate mixture and then set the bowl aside until the mixture comes to room temperature.
In a large bowl, beat the egg whites and salt to a firm but not dry meringue. Using a rubber spatula, fold a third of the meringue into the chocolate mixture. Once combined, add another third, fold and then fold in the remaining third until just combined.
Pour 2/3rds of the batter into your prepared pan (about 800g, reserving the remaining batter for later) and bake for 40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and leave it on a wire rack to cool completely. Flatten the cake with an offset spatula. Don’t worry about breaking the surface crust and pour the rest of the batter on top. Level the surface again. Return the cake to the oven and bake for a further 20-25 minutes. When tested with a skewer the cake should have a few moist crumbs clinging to it.
Allow to cool completely in the spring form pan before attempting to unmould it.
Dust with cocoa powder before serving & serve with double cream.

So as you can see, the cake needs to be made in stages. And I was juggling a couple of dips, the lamb tagine and a few other dishes as well. As well as a date or two. Big week.

I started on the Thursday night with stage one - my housemates all chipped in and helped me make the batter. I let them eat the leftovers. Best housemate ever.

The first layer was sublime. Perfection. I was proud as punch. I had to leave it overnight to cool and then planned to cook the second layer on the Friday. I came home from work and was in a frantic rush, the tagine was on the stove top, I was monitoring the cake and slapping on some makeup for a date that night.

I was all set to go, glammed up and feeling top of the pops when the timer went off and I opened the oven door to take out the cake. It was heavenly, the perfect amount of rise, still gooey in the centre but crunchy around the edges.

I was a little cocky, perhaps. Then . . . the oven mitt got caught and I burnt my hand on the cake tin. It was bloody hot so I squealed a bit and moved my hand from the edge of the tin to the base. Which was loose. Which detached from the sides. Which upended all over my benchtop.

I hate springform tins.

I swore like a sailor and stamped my feet in a tantrum like a three year cracking the shits in the toy department at David Jones. What a waste! All that chocolate, all that melting, all that cooking, all that waiting!

My housemate rushed over to help - but his version of helping was getting a bowl and a spoon and salvaging the cake for himself. He seriously stood there and ate it while muttering nice words of support.

"If it makes it any better, Kate, it tastes really good!" quickly followed by "Oh, are you going to cry?" at which stage he put the bowl down and went to fetch a bucket and mop.

I couldn't do anything but pick up my phone, take a photo, clean up the mess, top up my red lippy and head off on my date. Where I drank far too much champagne far too quickly.

Apparently you can cook it all in one go, saving yourself that second cooking stage, but if it's worth doing, it's worth doing well so I mustered up the courage (and the budget!) to start all over again the next day. 

And boy, it was worth it.

Friday, August 22, 2014


My friend over in London sent me this clip and I just had to share.

I worry that ye olde food blog has taken a turn into bitter single 30-something hood, but this is too good not to post. It totally gets me.

I am 31 at the moment and this rings so true. At 29, the world was my oyster. I was embarking on an exciting new journey and starting a new life and career in Melbourne. Fast forward two years, and well . . . in the words of Garfunkel, there's nobody left!

I'll be back with my decadent chocolate cake recipe over the weekend.

Food is good for the soul. Not so much the waistline or that bridesmaid dress I have to squeeze into by December.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Catching up

Friends! How is winter treating you? I'm convinced I've got a case of the SADs - I had no idea it was actually a condition! This Melbourne weather is exhausting, I just want some sun!

So, I've been a busy little bee and have neglected ye olde blog but I have good intentions of posting about all things merry very soon.

The purpose of this post is to remind myself what I have up my sleeve to share. A bit of a teaser for anyone who happens to stumble across The Polkadot Pantry for a look-see.

Where do we start?
1. The cake to end all cakes. It was out of this world.
2. Becoming a Godmother - and present hunting for the little one.
3. Weekend in Bowral.
4. Long Sunday lunches. Hello my friend Aperol Spritz.
5. New makeup tutorial. And a night in a {recycled} pretty dress

Until then dudes, keep smiling xx

Wednesday, August 6, 2014


Thank you to Alice for her wise words of wisdom on this shitty Melbourne day.