In My Kitchen, September 2013

September and Spring already!  It’s such a lovely feeling to see the back of winter.

In my kitchen I have a very special balsamic vinegar given to me by Tania.  In Tania’s blog posts she often mentions different types of balsamic vinegars and I have often felt like a Philistine by comparison in that my humble balsamic is often a brew from the very ordinary supermarket.  I would comment on Tania’s posts that I desired a more up-market vinegar and when we recently caught up for lunch, she blessed me with this very special drop.  I can’t wait to use it.

Very special balsamic vinegar

Very special balsamic vinegar from Tania

In my kitchen I have been blessed with some of Celia’s tempered chocolates.  She made me a golden ticket that has almonds in it.  I have had to guard this bar with my life as it has been a sense of intrigue and ever-hopeful glances that it might be bestowed upon the one who gazed upon it.  No such luck – I put this aside for our Father’s Day dinner.

A golden ticket from Celia

A golden ticket from Celia

Celia also made me some Drambuie soaked figs covered in dark chocolate.  These will put hairs on your chest!  We enjoyed these after today’s 12km hike.  (More on that later).

Celia's Drambuie soaked figs in dark tempered chocolate

Celia’s Drambuie soaked figs in dark tempered chocolate

In my kitchen I have some Momofuku cookies.  These are compost cookies and were made for me by Lorraine late one night before we met for lunch.  These cookies have a wonderful crunch and I would have sworn the crunch came from something like cornflakes but can you believe, it was from corn chips.  I would never have guessed.  And don’t you just love Lorraine’s presentation with the gorgeous ribbon!

Lorraine's mamufuku compost cookies - a taste of surprises

Lorraine’s Momofuku compost cookies – a taste of surprises

In my kitchen is Alfie.  Book week was last Thursday and as you know, we had an unfortunate dress rehearsal.  After that false alarm we managed to turn up on the right day and Alfie went as Bear Grylls from his book, Mud, Sweat and Tears.  Note the ‘mud’ on the face that came from Arabella’s make-up box.

My Bear Grylls

My Bear Grylls

In my kitchen I have (had) a cake.  I made three 20cm coconut cakes that I leveled into a height of 20cms to give me a cube.  I secured the cake with skewers then covered the cake in a white chocolate butter cream.  I rolled out black icing (making sure not to use too much icing sugar as it ruins the black colour) and used the cake tin to measure out a 20cm square.  I placed this on top of the cake then piped icing around the edges.

A Pac-man cube cake

A Pac-man cube cake

The cake was for a 50th birthday party with an 80’s theme.  The client wanted a Pac-man so I made little Pac-man figures to put on top of the black icing that I secured with edible glue.  I made little eyes for the Pac-man figures then made an extra quantity of white chocolate butter cream to serve with the cake.  I’m sorry the photo of the cake is so appalling.  I wanted to take photos using my proper camera but the client came to collect it earlier than expected and there was no time for a photo shoot.

And that’s what’s been happening at Hotly Spiced headquarters.  If you’d like to do an ‘In My Kitchen’ post, be sure to link up with Celia.

If you liked this post, you’re welcome to share it.

Related Post


  1. Your kitchen sounds as manic as mine and I love that cake!!

    I made those compost cookies too. I used potato chips and pretzels – they are ta die fer.

  2. I remember playing pacman long ago, very cool cake!

  3. Your pac-man cake is just brilliant. I bet it was the talk of the party!

  4. That was fun. Loved the photo of Alfie and that cake is over-the-top wonderful.

  5. I had totally forgotten about pac-man! That used to be so high tech! Gorgeous cake. Best thing in your kitchen, of course, is Alfie, but everything looks so much fun. Thanks.

  6. I’m jealous of the wonders in your kitchen as mine is very pedestrian and boring, though I did rescue a fruit bowl which had repeating elements of spoon, knife and fork forming the bowl from my mom’s kitchen which I hope to start filling with gorgeous fruit.

    I wonder where Celia found the mold for that golden ticket. And, of course, there’s a unique item in your kitchen which can never be replicated … the incomparable Alfie.

  7. What I would give to have s glass of wine with you in your kitchen; it’s always such a hub of activity. The cake looks gorgeous, I do remember Pac Man so very well. And Alfie is absolutely adorable.
    When I read about your spring it saddens me because I know our winter I’d fast approaching.

  8. Charlie, what an amazing cake, I think you make the best cakes ever! The golden ticket bar actually had Tania’s hazelnut chocolate in it (the crunch was from feuilletine), and I’m glad you actually got to eat some of the chocolates this time! It was fabulous to catch up the other day! xx

  9. Celia’s figs sounds amazing!

  10. I have to make those cookies. Great post, Alfie looks fab, how did the book day go? GG x

  11. Love that pacman cube cake. It’s so cool!

  12. Lordy, what a feast of goodies… now I must pop over to Celia and ask for the recipe for the drambuie figs with chokky!

  13. Wow, looks like there are a lot of activities going on in your kitchen, Charlie.
    For sure not a boring place 🙂
    Love the Packman cake, so cute!

  14. I’d be hiding all those treats away in a secret place and not sharing with anyone.
    Well maybe be Alfie because he’s just too cute.

  15. S nice to have such lovely and generous friends Charlie! And with such great taste too from the look of those goodies 🙂
    Gorgeous cake, the 80’s really seem to be back in don’t they? I must say I was glad when they were over, especially the fashion! xox

  16. I love the cake Charlie. Oh how I wish I could make something that looks so neat and straight. I’m a little bit jealous of that chocolate bar. Mmm chocolate and almonds!

  17. I’m in love with your Pac Man cake! Your gifts from Tania, Celia and Lorraine make me want to move to Sydney just to bask in the food blogger glow. 🙂

  18. So many delicious and loving things in your kitchen right now. 🙂 My favorite thing in mine is a whole bunch of rhubarb that I will use to make Danish Rhubarb Juice. 🙂

  19. I love your “in my kitchen” posts. You’ve always got something interesting going on that I find interesting. That Pac Man cake is rally special. You have such talent with cakes, Charlie. Each one is always my new favorite. That little guy Alfie makes a wonderful Bear Grylls. I do hope he had fun!

  20. the pac man cube cake it so cute! brings back lovely childhood memories!

  21. I really like “what’s in your kitchen” mine never seems to be as interesting. Great pac man cake.

  22. OMG your Pac Man cake is so clever!!! I love it and I also love the bat decorations that you gave me! 😀

  23. Nice makeup and costume, Alfie! And I can’t believe that cake. I remember lining my quarters up at the arcade to play Pacman. Those were the days…

  24. Black icing – never worked with that before. Awesome cake Charlie and how lovely to have so many wonderful gifts in your kitchen this month.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  25. Arnt blogging friends just the best 😉 !! Adore your pac man cake, you certainly are very talented Charlie!! You should see my upcoming IMK post up tomorrow, I made a shocker of a cake!!

  26. Charlie, buying a bottle of balsamic vinegar is like investing in expensive perfume — worth every ounce. (I don’t happen to wear perfume, so I splurge on balsamic!) Alfie is definitely a kitchen essential. Fun IMK post!

  27. Love the cake! So Creative–happy spring as we go into fall soon!

  28. Fabulous cake Charlie – you clever thing!

  29. That Pac Man cake is just fabulous – so well done! Alfie looks very cute as Bear Grylls mark II, and I’m very impressed that Arabella was happy to loan out the contents of her makeup bag!

  30. Love your cake Charlie it is Fantastic.!. great gifts you got….LOL. How cute is Alfie?

  31. Great cake! You could start a trend with retro game themed cakes but pong cake would look rather boring. Good job on keeping it black rather than grey!

  32. A great IMK post, Charlie. I hope that Golden Ticket made it to Father’s Day. You must have kept in under lock and key. Alfie finally got to be Bear Grylls and I bet he was happy. That Pac-man cake looks fantastic. Black frosting? How cool is that? 🙂

  33. I love the cake – it’s so clever.

  34. I love the sound of those figs. We have fresh figs just coming ripe in our garden, and soaking them in alcohol sounds like a great solution to the question of what to make with them! (I’m no expert on figs and their uses…)

    And I’m going to have to google to see what a compost cookie is, it sounds intriguing (but looks tasty!)

  35. Oh, my goodness! Love the golden ticket chocolate bar, and your cake!! Your Pac Man cake is fabulous!

  36. Your kitchen is sounding very delicious (except for the mud face part) – what great chocolate, and what a great cake!

  37. G’day Charlie! I’m coming to your kitchen, true!
    LOVE balsamic vinegar and can’t WAIT to try one of Celia’s chockies too!
    Pac man was one of the first games I played, so your cake brought a smile to my face today! Cheers! Viewed as part of IMK Joanne

  38. What tasty treats, and an impressive cake. Black icing, now that’s an achievement.

  39. Ah, Alfie is so cute, even with “mud” on his face.

    And that Pac Man cake. Perfect.

  40. So what’s so special about this balsamic vinegar, that’s what I’m wondering?! It looks like an essential oil, lol! 😀

  41. Even though it’s not an unknown fact to me, it still always weirds me out to think of you beginning spring and me beginning fall! May your day be a lovely one!

  42. Definitely would have the hide the chocolate AND the figs from me! You wouldn’t be able to get me out of your kitchen with such delicious treats! Love the PacMan cake. 🙂

  43. Hahahaha, love Alfie’s costume! So adorable 🙂

  44. Nice work on the cake. It looks delicious.

  45. That is an absolutely bloody brilliant cake! Great tip about the icing sugar and black colouring too. Alfie Grylls is sweet too. Thanks for showing us what’s happening!

  46. looks like interesting times in your kitchen – the gifts look superb esp the chocolate and the cake is as cute as alfie 🙂

Speak Your Mind