March 21, 2015

beer brownie.

yuhuh, you heard me. the way to EVERY mans heart. fact. i made it for valentine's day because a. he loves brownie, b. I love brownie and c. it has beer AND chocolate chips in it! SOLD! i really don't have to say too much, the treacley taste of heaven with a chunky choc chip bottom layer (they fall helplessly to the bottom of the tin) is pretty convincing on its own. go, bake, be merry.

Beer Brownie

makes 12 large or 24 small brownies

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 1/2 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup Guinness or other dark beer, or cold coffee
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 175 degrees celsius. Line a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with baking paper. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, and salt.
  3. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pot of boiling water. In a small pan over medium heat, melt the butter until it just turns golden brown, about 5 minutes. Pour the brown butter into the chocolate and stir until combined. Remove the bowl from the heat and stir in the stour (or coffee).
  4. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together eggs and sugars until thick, about 2 minutes. Add the chocolate mixture and whisk to combine. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until all of the ingredients are well combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  5. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the edges are firm and the center is set. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely in the pan before slicing.
  6. Slice into 12 large or 24 small brownies.
  7. To store, cover the pan in plastic wrap and keep on the counter for up to one week.

recipe is courtesy of the awesome Joy the Baker.

March 1, 2015

paris pastels.

last friday after work i took the train to paris to visit my gorgeous sister for the weekend. unbelieveably it's been a year since i was last there so it was time to make my way back for my fix of crepes, almond croissants and choux pastry (this pretty much sums up my visit). of course there's more than food to love in paris but it always leaves my tummy full (note the head sized lemon meringue pie that we queued an hour for) and my heart inspired. my first visit to paris was on my own in 2005 and i stayed in a dodgy hotel near the arc de triomphe (i wanted to be in the thick of it), lived on quiche and chocolate filled donuts for 3 days (bought from the same bakery as she understood my crappy french), avoided the metro and i came home feeling a little less than inspired. the second time around was with two of my best friends and we stayed in an eclectic (read vintage floral bedspreads and cold showers) apartment in montmarte, drank lots of wine, picniced at the eiffel tower, shopped for vintage dresses and indulged in numerous nutella crepes (see here). i had a ball and i was in love. third time around was just before i landed myself a full time job here in rotterdam so i shopped myself silly at the markets, wandered the passages and drank copious amounts of tea with my sister. i still have designs ready to be developed into screenprints from the treasure filled laneways of les puces. each time i've been i've discovered something new and found inspiration in the (parisian) ordinary. last weekend we saw koons at the pompidou, ate the best crepe of my life, dined at a restaurant that serves its dishes in a yorkshire pudding, fell in love with the pastel street of rue cremieux, wandered the tuilleries and rue cler and ate the biggest and best almond croissant. it was a dreamy weekend, and not the sort you hear about from loved up couples honeymooning there in summer. paris is raw, delicious and edgy. she's also arty, charming and soaked in history. next time around it won't be taking me a year to jump on a train. paris, je t'aime. 

February 28, 2015

dirty scrolls.

don't let the name fool you. or rather, distract you from what is THE most delicious cinnamon scroll recipe. i've shared grandma's scrolls before and they were like a big warm hug. these bad boys have a hit of caffiene and enough chocolate chips to knock grandma's cookies out of the park. i've been a fan of joy the baker's blog for some time but now i think it's safe to say that her recipes have solidly cemented themselves in my weekend baking schedule. with equal amounts of sass and seduction, this is one of the many recipes you're going to want to go and thank her for. enjoy friends!


for the dough
  1. 1/2 cup whole milk
  2. 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  3. 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  4. 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  5. 1 1/2 to 2 cups all-purpose flour
  6. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  7. 1 large egg yolk

for the filling
  1. 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  2. 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  3. 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  4. 3/4 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  5. 3/4 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  6. pinch of salt
  7. 1/3 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

for the glaze
  1. 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  2. 1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  3. 3 tablespoons heavy cream or enough to make a pourable glaze

  1. In a small saucepan combine milk, butter, and sugar. Stir until the sugar has dissolved and the butter has melted completely. Remove from heat and allow mixture to cool from hot to just warm.
  2. Place sweet milk and butter mixture in a large mixing bowl and sprinkle yeast over the liquid. Stir to incorporate. Allow mixture to sit for 5 minutes to allow to yeast to activate, foam, and froth.
  3. Add 1 1/2 cups flour, salt, and the egg yolk to the milk and yeast mixture. Use a wooden spoon or hand beaters with the dough hook attachment and stir or beat until incorporated. Add more flour, a few tablespoons at a time if the dough feels to wet. Bring the dough together into a ball and knead a few turns with your hands.
  4. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
  5. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured work surface. Roll into a roughly 9 x 12-inch rectangle.
  6. Spread with about 4 tablespoons of butter. In a small bowl stir together sugar, cinnamon, espresso powder, cocoa powder, and salt. Generously sprinkle over the melted butter. Sprinkle with chocolate chips. Roll starting at the longer edge into a tight coil.
  7. Slice into 6 pieces.
  8. Use remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to lightly grease the bottom and sides of an 8x8-inch baking pan. Place rolls in the pan leaving about 1/2 inch of room between them. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 30 minutes.
  9. While the rolls rise, place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  10. Remove plastic wrap and bake the rolls for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown, puffed, and bubbling.
  11. Remove from the oven, allow to cool just slightly.
  12. In a small bowl whisk together powdered sugar, espresso powder, and heavy cream. Drizzle over warm rolls and enjoy! Makes 6 delicious scrolls. 

recipe courtesy of joy the baker. 

February 25, 2015

a starr is born.

wow. it's been a while, hasn't it? i've been meaning to fill you guys in on our melbourne and sydney adventures, the wedding of 2014, boxing day snow and my latest baking antics but 4 months has just flown by and it doesn't look like it'll be slowing down anytime soon. too much has happened to break into seperate posts so firstly, let me say happy 2015! if you're still getting these blog updates or even reading this post, then thank you and hallo! i hope this finds you well, enjoying the first part of 2015 and hungry for some sweet treats and pretty pictures. the end of 2014 brought to a close an  incredible 89 years of my beloved grandmother Kit's life and in early january my family gathered in london to celebrate her amazing story. she was finally reunited with her true love Charlie after nearly 25 years apart and has left us with full hearts and a love story that will be shared for many years to come. her love for baking and her family is carried with me daily. speaking of baking wisdom, boy have i unearthed some sweet treasure that i cannot wait to share. recipes are on the way shortly! in other news, the boy and i after many weeks of discussion, bit the bullet and visited an adoption centre for puppies saved from street life in spain a few weeks ago and OF COURSE, welcomed home our new family member Ringo, 3 days later. what a learning curve the last 3 weeks have been but how full my heart has grown alongside my newly found patience! i just spent an inspiring weekend visiting my sister in Paris, am off to Morocco with two of my favourite girlies next week and have about 7000 screenprint designs ready for print. 2015 is already off to an eventful and fast paced start and i hope to see you around these parts more often as i return to sharing my european adventures with you. a big heartfelt thank you for your ongoing love for Kit & Nancy. 

November 9, 2014

australian adventure - brisbane

to start our australian adventure in brisbane, my old stomping ground, was just perfect. we stayed in a beautiful old queenslander that i used to call home and where i had spent a couple of very inspiring years. leaving brisbane in 2013 wasn't easy, so the thought of taking the boy back to rediscover a slice of my past was super exciting. we ate breakfast  in the sundrenched kitchen, i baked for my best friend's wedding in my old oven and spent valuable time with some of my favourite people. we dinnered, drank, thrifted and shopped our way around one of my favourite cities. 

breakfast business, queensland style. 

my city.

my ovaries burst. 

jacaranda lined streets. 

an afternoon at GoMA. 


had lunch dates with celebrities. (the grates'cafe)

spot of thrifting in some favourite oppies.

i think he loved it. 

August 20, 2014

patronen & bloemen.

they make my heart beat faster, my wallet lighter and my home prettier. i'm talking about patterns and flowers. mix them together and you have the perfect recipe for what keeps me endlessly inspired. whether it's a 70's dress, retro wall art or a bunch of beautiful blooms...if it crosses my path, there's a 98% chance it'll be coming home with me. finding what feeds your soul and nurturing it sure does make for a beautiful life.