Home-made Pop Tarts

A lot of people have a childhood affinity with pop tarts. I have a childhood affinity with pop tart commercials. It was something I always saw on the television, wanted to try but my parents weren’t interested in buying them. A common story from my childhood. My parents seldom had the money to pay the bills so anything non-essential was a giant no. Every time someone in my generation freaks out about something we had as kids, I freak out too but from an I-remember-those-ads perspective. Pop tarts are on that list.

Then one day they just kind of disappeared. I remember the ads disappearing, Cameron remembers them disappearing from the shelves as well. That childhood treat seemed determined to remain in our childhood only.

Cakecrumbs' Homemade Pop Tarts 00

A few months ago I was grocery shopping with Cam and we came across them. His eyes lit up and he launched into the same nostalgic tales most people do when they hear the words ‘pop tarts’. I decided it was time I grabbed a packet not just to satiate his nostalgia, but also so I could finally see what all the fuss was about.

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Daring Bakers: Life of Pie

The end of June is approaching, meaning it’s time to share another Daring Bakers’ challenge!

Rachael from pizzarossa was our lovely June 2013 Daring Bakers’ host and she had us whipping up delicious pies in our kitchens. Cream pies, fruit pies, chocolate pies, even crack pies! There’s nothing like pie.

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Pies are something that I love but get really easily intimidated out of in the kitchen. It’s more to do with the crust than anything. When I first started baking I attempted a number of pies, and they were largely hit and miss. Mostly miss, for when I tried unmoulding them from the tin they would either stick or snap or crumble or all of the above. So I ran away from pies. This challenge was a good way for me to test the waters again and see how I’d go now that I have many more kitchen hours under my belt.

There were four pies on offer. I went from saying I’d do one to taking on three of them!

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Daring Bakers: Swedish Princesstårta

It's been a while since I've been able to participate in the Daring Bakers' Challenged for one reason or another. In fact, I think this might be my first challenge of the year. And what a challenge to jump back in on! This month, Korena of Korena in the Kitchen was our May Daring Bakers’ host and she delighted us with this beautiful Swedish Prinsesstårta!

One of my favourite things about the Daring Bakers' challenges is getting to try things you've never head of before. The Prinsesstårta was one of those things. Brand new, but my oh my it sounded heavenly. Sponge cake, custard, jam and whipped cream — let me at it!

When I described the challenge to my boyfriend, he said he thought the cake might be an appropriate treat for his dad's birthday cake.

The occasion warranted a couple of minor changes…

Home-made Strawberry Jam

I have to admit to not having had a desire to make jam before. It requires a lot more fresh fruit than my heart, or my budget, can take. I kinda feel like I'd rather just eat the fruit. Perhaps this has got to do with the fact that I'm not a great fan of jam. We never had it in the house growing up. It's only my boyfriend's love of this breakfast condiment that has me trying and slowly acquiring a taste for it. But with all that said, I'd never had home made jam before.

This growing season, Australian farmers had a great yield. But due to all the supermarkets refusing to lower their prices to meet increased supply, they left them as normal and demand remained the same [and many farmers ended up having to throw away perfectly good fruit they couldn't sell]. It's one good reason why I don't get my fruit at the supermarket, instead I prefer to support local fruit shops. My local fruit shop was happy to adjust their prices, and in return we had a summer of budget fruit. They were constantly having sales to move large amounts of stock, but my jaw almost hit the floor when I saw them selling trays of 15 x 250g punnets of strawberries for $8. When I returned two weeks later and found 18 punnets for $5 I almost fainted. A far cry from the $3 a punnet the supermarkets were still selling them for.

Strawberries are one of my absolute favourite fruits, so I had no qualms using up over 8 kilos of them over the month. They featured in desserts and on them. We ate them with a fruit platter or with chocolate sauce for a bit of a treat. We had weeks of fresh strawberry smoothies or an occasional thick shake.

It also gave me chance to finally see what all this fuss over home made jam was about.

I have to admit to being a convert…