Saturday, 26 April 2014

Happiness is...

fresh coffee beans...

Thanks to a visitor from Aus, that dropped these in! 
Should keep us going for a while...


Thursday, 24 April 2014

Love the hair!

Some of the young girls are very clever with the hair braiding...

Sunday, 20 April 2014

The Ultimate Chocolate Cupcake!

I was looking on the internet for a "portable dessert" to take to some friends.  The name and the picture made me choose these!  They totally lived up to the name and looked pretty impressive too...


For the Ganache Filling:
 56 grams bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
¼ cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon powdered sugar

For the Cupcakes:
 85 grams bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
⅓ cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
¾ cup hot coffee
¾ cup flour
¾ cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 eggs
2 teaspoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Frosting:
1 1/3 cup icing sugar
3 tablespoons cocoa
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. Make the Ganache Filling: Place the chopped chocolate, heavy cream and powdered sugar in a small bowl. Heat in the microwave on high power until the mixture is warm to the touch, 20 to 30 seconds. Whisk until smooth, then refrigerate until just barely chilled, no longer than 30 minutes.

2. Make the Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a standard-size muffin pan with liners. Place the chopped chocolate and cocoa powder in a medium bowl. Pour the hot coffee over the mixture and whisk until smooth. Refrigerate mixture for 20 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt and baking soda in a medium bowl; set aside.

4. Whisk the oil, eggs, vinegar and vanilla extract into the cooled chocolate mixture until smooth. Add the flour mixture and whisk until smooth.

5. Divide the batter evenly between the muffin pan cups. Place one slightly rounded teaspoon of ganache filling on top of each cupcake. Bake until the cupcakes are set and just firm to the touch, 17 to 19 minutes. Cool the cupcakes in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove the cupcakes from the pan and place on the wire rack to cool completely, about 1 hour.

6. Make the Frosting:
Soften the butter then gradually beat in the icing sugar and cocoa with the milk. Add vanilla, then beat until light and fluffy.

(I've adapted this from the recipe at Browneyedbaker's website)

The exciting part is when you cut into it the ganache has formed a gooey centre.  A chocolate lovers dream!

Monday, 14 April 2014

Looking for our mother...

"Ok, enough playing. Let's go and find mum!"

"Is that her there?"

"Soft and warm, but something isn't right?"

"That's more like it!"

Saturday, 12 April 2014

A stroll around the garden...

There are always some interesting plants, flowers or leaves to look at, depending on the season.
Here's some recent pictures of the elegant to the bizarre...


Sunday, 6 April 2014

Some good news amongst the bad...

The sun is shining and they are trying to fix the bridge...

Healthy baby born this morning...
Little Noah?
 Maybe this ship is only beached?

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Before and after...

The community of Koa Hill which is close to China Town was devastated by the flash flood. 



These bare areas were full of small houses that have been washed away...

The shoreline after the flood...


Update on the flooding...

The rain stopped a bit this morning.  We wanted to see how some friends were so we went for a bit of a drive.  It's crazy out there...

The one bridge left to get into town - only letting one way traffic in and out.
They are trying to figure out if it's safe.

Some friends live on the other side of this drain.
It was etched out by the water and they lost their wooden bridge that gets them to the road.

The Port with logs and debris washed up from the river.
People collecting firewood.
A barge washed up on the shore.

Some of the riverside houses washed out.

Friday, 4 April 2014

Honiara is flooding!

It's been raining for two days solid and even though it's not a cyclone, the constant rain has made the two big rivers at each end of the town flood...

We received news today that one of the bridges into town was washed away. 
We're safe where we are, so we're staying put and waiting to see what happens next ...