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The baking has reached all new intense levels. In recent days I have made the following:

  • A chocolate/vanilla coconut layer cake thing (which has a name, but it escapes me)
  • Caramel cream filled profiteroles
  • Red Velvet Whoopie Pies. This recipe was appropriated from a friend – basically they’re little red velvet cakey biscuit things with cream cheese icing in the middle. Will have my first taste at morning tea.

On the profiteroles… my friend Selina and I were planning on making a croquembouche, which is a profiterole tower – but the whole process was long and filled with mistakes, so we decided to flag the tower part. Despite not achieving our initial goal, we were pretty happy with how the profiteroles turned out, and the caramel cream. Watch this space, because we’re definitely going to tackle a proper croquembouche within the coming weeks…

Needless to say, am getting fatter by the day.

In other boring domestic news, wewent carpet shopping on the weekend. Really. Carpet shopping. How did I end up in this place? Anyway, we found some carpet we like and a fellow is coming over tomorrow to do a measure and quote, but of course you shouldn’t lay carpet if you’re planning on painting walls anytime soon, so this weekend… we’re stripping the wallpaper in the bedrooms! That could actually be a bit of fun.

Anyone got any wallpaper stripping advice?


  1. dragonzflame says

    Yup, wallpaper steamer. I’ve always done it with one of those weedkiller spray bottles full of water and a scraper but that’s a long tedious way to do it. And be careful not to gouge the gib underneath when you scrape the paper off.

  2. Diff. Mix with hot water as per instructions and roll on the wall with a paint roller.
    Leave for 20-30 mins, then reapply.
    Then scrape after about 20 mins.

  3. I’m jealous…I’m a wantabe renovator…just need a house now 🙂 good luck with the wall paper. Wall paper steamers are the go!

  4. Wow. You attempted a croquembouche. I’m filled with all kinds of respect for you. Successful or not. Still Wow. Photos please. :-))

  5. Leon says

    I so thought this blog would be about something else, from the title “stripping” 😉

  6. kater says

    No idea re wall paper stripping, but if you’re loving the baking, you should check out Mrs Cake’s blog – – she blogs a lot about baking she does, including the instructions and recipes.

    Today’s one is on making hot cross buns – it never even occurred to me that I could make my own (so blond, I know).

    • Thanks for the tip – I doubt I could make hot cross buns even close to being as nice as bought ones…

      • Hot cross buns are one of life’s little pleasures that really need to be made well.

        Sometimes the potential disappointment just isn’t worth the effort.

  7. Michelle says

    I just made some rice bubble cake – yum!
    If you’re interested in cool baking blogs, there is another worth mentioning – Joy the Baker.
    She’s quirky and cool and writes cute little stories. Her photos are pretty amazing, too:

      • What hilarious stories, really like her writing style – I will need to remind myself to read it AFTER lunch next time, because it would appear today I am going to need to go and find cinnamon rolls for lunch now!

  8. April says

    Hello Jane! I am glad to still be able to read your blog! (plus, I think the censoring on this one might be slightly more lax, and random ranters are always amusing)
    I am such a keen baker (biggest tip, unsalted butter! always use unsalted butter!) but I stumbled apon the nicest dessert the other day! Simple chocolate muffin recipe, but use that highland caramel in the middle. when they come out they are all steaming and the caramel is doing that hidden pot of gold thing inside. We had them with maple honey and walnut icecream, and it was worth the extra quake weight I put on because of it! 🙂

    • Sounds amazing, please feel free to share the recipe…

      Also – what difference does salted vs unsalted butter make?

      • april says

        Il try and find the recipe, its pretty fool proof, just a standard muffin recipe with cocoa, and you half full the muffin tins with it, spoon in a heaped teaspoon of the caramel into each then add more muffin batter!
        As to the butter, apparantly the salt in the butter reacts unfavourably with the rising agents such as baking powder… The recipes that want a pinch of salt cancel that theory out, but ive found that my cookies etc are much lighter and fluffier 🙂

    • I agree – recipe please! I currently have a tin of the caramel in the cupboard that I keep looking at wondering how to utilise. Those muffins sound perfect for my coffee group next week….

      • april says

        Oooh Jo if you want major kudos, pop them in the microwave when you get there for 30 seconds, so the caramel gets all hot and gooey. Also, if you use cupcake papers, it saves mess from melted caramel if you dont quite get the density right and the caramel sinks to the bottom… Saves me often!
        and Jane, its nice to hang out here!

    • It’s really nice that you shared this blog with us so we could continue to stalk…uh, I mean, follow your blogging. 🙂

  9. Kazza says

    Hi Jane, why did you decide to paint rather than re-wallpaper? We have wallpaper at the mo but the house really needs redecorating and I can’t decide whether painting or papering is the way to go. I’ve been told that because we have wallpaper it would be easier to re-wallpaper than to paint because for painting you’ve got to make sure your wall is really smooth which is a pain after you’ve removed wallpaper. What say you?

    • Jane says

      Aesthetic reasons really – just prefer the look of paint over wallpaper, plus we just want a block colour. I think there are quite a few layers of paper on our wall, so if we were to go over the top again it would only exaggerate existing bumps and bubbles. We’re planning on getting in “a guy” to sort out smoothing over any of the rough bits before we start slapping on the paint.

      Let me know what you decide.

      • Kazza says

        I think I prefer the block colour too, I’d rather use my furniture/accessories to add colour/patterns to the rooms. I think we only have one layer of paper on our walls so it might be relatively easy to peel it off but it definately needs something cos its peeling off in places and going a bit mouldy (sounds awful but its not THAT bad). Also I think paint might be a bit easier to maintain.

    • We went with wallpaper on most of the walls for the smoothness reasons. You still have to plaster and sand the lumps and hollows for papering, but the wallpaper can hide a lot more than paint will.

      If you’ve got clean, fresh gib going up, then painting is all good.

      A professional plasterer will make a huge difference though.

      • Kazza says

        Noted, thanks. If I factor in the cost of a professional plasterer painting might not be that much cheaper than papering. But when I think about what wallpaper I might like, I think I would prefer very plain papers – may as well just paint and be done with it, I think.

        Thanks for your help 🙂

  10. Sorry, been too busy reading your comments to offer any great advice on the wallpaper thing.

    The steamer is definitely a good way to go, but if you are unlucky enough to get some hideously old paper that peels off in sections no larger than a 50 cent piece then I would also recommend a big bottle of vodka as it rapidly becomes a soul destroying task.

    You usually know really quickly, thick wallpaper comes off well, thin wallpaper = drunken steaming for days on end.

    Have fun

  11. xLeahx says

    To get the wallpaper to strip, you should ply it with alcohol. And also possibly money, but it really depends what kind of wallpaper it is for that to work properly.

      • Phoebe 1 says

        Choke—This site is going to be the best yet, like the short pithy comments

    • Leon says

      There are a few people around here who have been known to take the pith from time to time

      • Phoebe 1 says

        I like to take the pith from time to time too

      • Yep, we can tell Leon is because his lips (fingers on the keyboard?) are moving. :-p

    • Well, Jane did confirm that she wasn’t that type of gal, but didn’t offer any clue as to how suggestible her wallpaper is under the influence.

    • Jane says

      Have not tried to just encourage my wallpaper to strip without my help, but that certainly seems preferable

  12. Phoebe 1 says

    I did well I thought I did, lets see where this goes there should be a reply above your name..

  13. Or just fill out the comment box without clicking the reply links and comment at the base level.

  14. jen says

    we just strpped the wall paper in our laundry, the cheapest way is get a spray bottlefill it with hot water, spray the wallpaper til its soaked and get a scraper and scrape off the paper – easy peasy (especially if its old wall paper!)
    So glad I can still check in on your news – yay!

  15. Jana says

    wow Jane you are baking stuff I saw on Australia’s master chef when I was bored on Sat arvo! It sounds so hard out & like too much work to me! Good on you though for turning into a domestic goddess!
    Have no helpful tips about painting…. I would pay someone else to do it so I didn’t have to get frustrated with the hard work!

  16. Lil Miss Trouble says

    I have a really easy way to get wall paper off…..get someone else to do it. Works for me :oD

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