The most amazing cupcake icing

So, I’d been looking at this recipe for a couple of days. The beautiful picture had caught my eye, and once I read the recipe, I was having mouthgasms. I was so intrigued by the caramel icing. You basically make caramel, and then add icing sugar – genius!!

These are possibly the least healthy things I have ever made (maybe with the exception of Mars Bar slice) and they are heavenly.

The recipe is from the Donna Hay magazine – Issue 62, pg 151 (Caramel maple mud cakes with caramel fudge frosting). Below is the recipe for the icing. Thanks Donna! I love new inspiration!

Caramel Fudge Frosting (Donna Hay Magazine – Issue 62)

1 cup dark brown sugar

100g butter, chopped

¼ teaspoon table salt

¼ cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup icing sugar, sifted

Place the sugar, butter and salt in a small saucepan over low heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved.  Increase heat to high, add the milk and vanilla and bring to the boil for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove from the heat.  Add the icing sugar and whisk until smooth.  Working quickly, spread the cupcakes with the caramel fudge frosting and allow to set.

The cakes are delish too! Donna Hay, you rock my world.

A sock owl

When I have five minutes up my sleeve, I like to do something crafty. And I love to share things from super clever people! My dear friend Celeste gave me this gorgeous sock sewing kit and I thought I’d share the results!

I’ve since been checking out the other awesome patterns from Craft Schmaft, and I have my next project printed out and ready to go! I would highly recommend her easy-to-follow patterns and cute designs.

Why I love riding my bike in Beijing

It’s October in Beijing. It’s by far the nicest time to be in this crazy city. We have totally blue, sunny skies on a regular basis and the polluted, grey sky days only visit on the odd occasion.

And, oh boy, it makes you just want to be outside!! Many people ask how I can stand to live here, coming from Australia, and always having had a love for the environment and untouched wilderness. But you appreciate things so much more when confronted with this comparison. Sometimes a pollution cloud descends over Beijing and it just won’t shove on for a few days, but when it finally does the city feels alive. Everyone rushes to get out of the house and enjoy the sunshine and fresh air.

Now I’m not preggers, I’m riding to work again. Now, before you think, ‘Oh wow! She’s working hard to lose that pregnancy weight. What a good girl!’ I’m not. I’m cheating. I ride an electric bike. Nonetheless, I still get to see early morning Beijing at it’s best.

Nice, huh? I love the panniers which I scored off taobao for 70kuai. Much safer than overloading my front basket.

The highlights seem to always be middle-aged Chinese men. My top five recent sightings were:

1. A clever old guy had adapted his wheelchair so that he could run it off an electric bike battery and drive it with electric bike controls – smart!

2. The many men who dress up in their silky pjs to go for an early morning stroll.

3. A man practising his balancing skills by jogging with basketball on his head.

4. A dog practising his balancing skills with 2 feet on each shoulder of his master, whilst his master rides a scooter.

5. A man who decided his outfit for the day would be a cowboy hat, denim shorts and a sleeveless shirt. Gold.

My only regret is that I don’t have photos… anyone have a helmet with a camera attached?