Hazelnut and Chocolate Cake

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Birthdays are great for so many reasons – you get an entire day to celebrate someone for just being themselves, it’s a good excuse for a party and bubbles, and it’s a great excuse to eat cake! Whether it’s my birthday or that of someone else, birthday cakes are a bit of a big deal for me – I love dreaming them up, making them come to live and (of course) enjoying the finished product.

It was Kevin’s birthday last weekend, and while I spent weeks teasing him that I couldn’t be bothered making him a cake, there was no doubt I’d make him something special. So while he spent the day lifting weights and being fit at a Crossfit competition (as you can tell, I clearly know all the ins and outs of the sport!), I got busy whipping up a special cake to surprise him with when he got home.

Like many people, Kevin’s BIG on chocolate – he loved it way more than I do! So it was a no-brainer that his birthday cake would be absolutely packed with chocolate. But that in itself isn’t particularly special, so I decided to work hazelnuts into the recipe.

The result? A triple-layered chocolate cake infused with hazelnut coffee, stacked and iced with whipped milk chocolate buttercream and finished with a halo of crushed toasted hazelnuts. YUM.

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Mondayitis

Happy Monday!

It really began to feel like summer over the weekend, didn’t it? It was so lovely having a couple of days to head out and enjoy the sunshine – well, around masses of Christmas baking! Luckily it all went well and we’re almost all set for Christmas day – the house is decorated, lights are up and there’s just a little baking left to do. Phew!

I hope you had a lovely weekend – here are five things to help get you through the week…

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Five Favourite: Christmas Baking Recipes

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Guess what? There’s less than a month left till Christmas!

That fact will do one of two things – leave you bursting with excitement that the festive season is almost here or fill you with dread as your mind leaps to the dozens of things you need to tick off the list before then.

Whichever type of person you are, this post is here to help. I’m a firm believer that home baked treats make perfect Christmas gifts – after all, who doesn’t love unbundling a parcel to discover delicious treats? But the trick with Christmas baking is to be organised and get onto it before the madness of December really sets in – yip, that means now!

Luckily there are lots of delicious treats that not only make great gifts, but are quick to prepare and can be stored without any problems – here are five of my favourite Christmas baking ideas to get you started…

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Top 5 guilt-free cheese recipes

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Cheese is one of those ingredients that I absolutely love to cook with – there’s never a shortage of things you can make and it instantly adds a punch of flavour to whatever you’re making. The trouble is, it’s usually not a guilt-free option.

That’s where Mainland Noble comes in. Unlike most cheese, Noble is a cheese you can actually feel good about eating. With 30% less fat than Tasty (even less than Edam) and all that delicious Tasty flavour, you can rest-assured that Mainland Noble is a better-for-you option. Seven years of hard work went into creating this special cheese and now it’s here for Kiwis to enjoy at home. And trust me, you’ll enjoy it – it tastes amazing!

While it’s so good you’ll want to simply eat it by the slice, make sure you save some for your cooking. Here are my five favourite recipes that have been made better-for-you thanks to Mainland Noble to get you inspired…

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Mondayitis

Happy Monday!

What a wonderful weekend – it’s really beginning to feel like summer has arrived, huh? A few more days like Sunday please Auckland! We had a relaxing but busy weekend, getting our hands dirty with a couple of DIY projects, getting through a BIG chunk of Christmas shopping, having a date night to see the new Hunger Games movie and lots (and lots) of reading in the sunshine.

I hope you had a great weekend too – here are five things to get your week off to a great start…

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Mondayitis

Happy Monday!

What a wild and windy Saturday it was, huh?  While it meant we couldn’t get a few things ticked off our list, it was perfect weather for snuggling up in bed with the kittens and watching movies – not something we get to do very often!

I hope you had a wonderful weekend and are looking forward to the week ahead. Here are five things to get you started…

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Lighter no-bake summer cheesecake

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There’s no denying that summer is just around the corner – the sun is shining, the days are longer and temperatures are creeping higher.

As we teeter on the verge of summer, now’s the perfect time to stop and take stock before the madness of the festive season kicks off and make changes that will leave you feeling better all summer long – like updating your weekly menu to include lighter meals that don’t fill your house with unnecessary extra heat.

That’s where this delicious cheesecake comes in. Not only does it make for a creamy, fresh summer dessert, but it’s even includes a certain special ingredient that will leave you feeling great – Symbio yoghurt. Yip, there’s yoghurt in this cheesecake!

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Mondayitis

Happy Monday!

What an absolutely stunning weekend, huh? It’s hard to believe summer is still a month away – it definitely feels like it’s arrived a little early! After being knocked out with illness much of this week we were super busy this weekend catching up on things around the house and catching up with friends we felt as though we hadn’t seen in months – all round it was a busy, productive, beautiful weekend.

I hope you had a great weekend too and are all set to launch head-first into the week ahead. Here are five things to get you started…

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