Friday 29 July 2022


I've made a lot of Persian food over the last few years. There's 2 awesome persian supermarkets close by to where I live so it is really easy to get the necessary ingredients these days. Plus it is such a rich and full flavoured food, especially their more stewish things. I'm not exactly sure how to pronounce this to be honest I didn't really even give it a red hot go as the alternate name is Aleppo Quince and Lamb Stew. Which, I will be truthful, is a lot easier to pronounce for me. Another thing easy to pronounce is delicious, like gloriously delicious. Two of my favourite things, lamb and quince together. 

I really thought I had made this before. However, according to my friend I haven't, the last quince thing I made was a quince and pork stew. Whilst I remember it as being good, this was so much better. I did it a little differently than the recipe I found online but then I mostly do. I would highly recommend it. 

Saffarjaliyya (Aleppo Quince and Lamb Stew)

1 tbsp oil
750 g lamb, diced
1 tsp bharat
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp tomato past
2 small onions, diced 
2 cloves garlic, minced (I used 6 from memory) 
7 cardamom pods
7 peppercornes
1/4 tsp whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick (I didn't have one so added a bit of ground cinnamon)
100 ml pomegranate juice
1-2 cups water

1 kg quinces, peeled, cored and cut into bite-sized pieces
500 ml pomegranate juice
125 ml water
50 g sugar


In a medium saucepan, add sugar, water and pomegranate juice, heat to simmer and sugar dissolved. Add quince and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes. The quince should be soft enough to be easily pierced with a fork, but not so soft that it’s falling apart.


Combine bharat, tomato paste and salt to taste and rub over lamb. Brown in batches.

Add onion to the pan and soften, add garlic and cook until fragrant. Add whole spices.

Return lamb to the pan and add remaining pomegranate juice and 1-2 cups water. Simmer until lamb is cooked through and only a small amount of liquid remains.

Stir quinces into the lamb adding more liquid if necessary and simmer further 10 – 15 minutes until heated through.

I served it with mashed potato and peas... not very Syrian of me, but it was the best I could come up with on a Monday night. It would be really good with a couscous with pomegranate seeds and herbs stirred in. 

I will definitely make it again and highly recommend you do too. 

Friday 22 July 2022

Everyone's turning 70

 Well hello there lovely people. Long time no speak (write???). Who knows if this will continue, missing some creativity in my life. It has been suggested to me a couple of times to get back into my blog. So here I am. 

I have heaps of things that I have made over the many years it has been since I last posted here. However, I thought that I would start with something familiar, cake decorating. 

It's 5 1/2 years since I move to the big city and I've been with the same company the whole time too. It's a pretty good work place. As much as I whine about my job at times (and it is stressful) but the majority of the people here are lovely. Amazingly, we have 3 of the people here turning 70 this year. One in May, one a last week and one in 2 weeks! I just told them that I was going to make the cakes without giving them any options. I still have one to go but thought that I would post the two I have already done. 

The first one was our office manager. She's very much an accessories person so I decided that it needed to be the theme of the cake some how. I did consider doing the whole handbag and shoes cake but I kind of missed the boat in timing, so in the end I made a handbag topper (which was also make of cake) to go on a standard round. I was pretty happy with the whole thing however I found that the white Satin Ice fondant was a little dry and the Fondtastic black icing was a little soft. In fact the black fondant started to slip on the little handbag but most people thought it was supposed to be that way given it was sitting on the "floor". LOL, I went with it. 

Our next 70th was a little bit more tricky, mainly because I really don't know what the big kahuna does outside of the office. There was a bit of investigating and checking with some of the "long termers" here (there's a lot of them) and came up with he likes to go walking/hiking. After doing a bit of googling and my own designs, I came up with a two tier cake with a walking track with boots and hiking poles. I was able to use the "chocolate stones" that I just had to have that would "come in handy one day" (and they did!). It was universally loved. The birthday boy took pictures of it himself to show his walking group. 😊

They were, of course, made with my regular chocolate cake. The hiking cake I alternated ganache and dulce du leche in the layers and coated with peanut butter buttercream. I had done a "snickers cake" for my birthday in June which was particularly successful so decided to go with that again. It was so amazingly delicious!

I have a plan for my 3 cake in a couple of weeks. That boss man isn't a big fan of chocolate cake, so will have to find a different base... maybe carrot. I'm not sure yet. Looking forward to it though.