Lemon muffins


With my lemon tree yielding an incredible amount of fruit this year, so much of it goes to waste if I’m not careful and let them fall into the deep jungle that surrounds it. We’ve used them in plenty of gin and tonics, salads, lemonade, and I’ve even given a few bags to friends and family. With upcoming class parties to host and celebrations to attend, I have come across what seems to be the perfect combination of sweet and sour goodness: deliciously moist lemon muffins + plenty of lemon icing + candied lemon zest. Sounds amazing, no? If you’re keen like me, click here for the recipe.


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Top image by Izy of Top With Cinnamon

Some recent food posts you may have missed:
+ if I had to choose only one cake to eat
my favourite brownies
Fika – a beautiful cookbook
peanut butter
sweet tooth


If I had to choose only one cake to eat


…the Black Forest, hands down, would be the winner.

Growing up with a mum as a pastry chef, I have been exposed to a wide variety of cakes from a young age. From the rich coffee liquor of the opera cake to contrast between bittersweet dark chocolate and tanginess of the apricot jam of the sachertorte, I have tried so many that brought my taste buds such delight. But for me, the black forest is the one that stands out from the crowd. With the tartness of the cherries cutting through the rich dark chocolate sponge, the perfect slice is delicately finished with freshly whipped cream. Goodness, just writing about this is bringing forth my sugar cravings!

For a fine recipe of this classic, click here for the original (with beautiful photographs) and here for the recipe in english.


What cake or dessert would you choose?


All images by Kathrin Koschitzki of photisserie

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Some recent food posts you may have missed:
+ my favourite brownies
+ Fika – a beautiful cookbook
+ peanut butter
+ sweet tooth

Fika – a beautiful cookbook


On a small expedition to Ikea to browse through the latest additions to their collections, I came across the most beautifully styled cookbook I’d seen in a long time. Each ingredient used in the recipe is carefully laid out with exact precision, each clove identical to its neighbour and every piece of chocolate positioned with the greatest care. The work of photographer Carl Kleiner and stylist Evelina Bratell has resulted in this exquisite book where everything is broken down to its simplest form and yet is so aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Perhaps this will encourage me to dust off the cake tins and whip up a bit of magic in the kitchen.



Fika.02 Fika.06


Recent food & drink posts:
+ peanut butter
+ fortysevenkirwanstreet
+ ice cream


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On an early Sunday morning, J woke me up and insisted that we go out for a sweet breakfast date. Reading a few posts the night before, I quickly chimed that we go visit fortysevenkirwanstreet in Wembley. And with no hesitation, we were off to the food and coffee that awaited us.

Upon arrival, the first thing that J said was that he wished we had a cafe down the road from our house. Fortysevenkirwanstreet is nestled in the suburbs, just off the busy main roads and would be the perfect place to get your hot coffee or a quick bite to eat before the day begins.

His: grilled mushies on parmesan brioche, caramelised onions, goats cheese, basil and endive (+ a side of hollandaise)
Hers: corn and ricotta fritters with avocado, roast cherry tomatoes, jalapeno sour cream (+ a side of bacon)

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The service was great, the food fresh and well proportioned, and the coffee wasn’t too bad either. No complaints from me. The only slight thing that J wanted to point out was that his side of hollandaise was a touch thicker than he preferred. Other than that, we would be more than happy to have another meal here.

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Some other posts you may have missed:

Hidden Spaces


Imagine living in a beautiful home with sky high ceilings, French-style paneling and hidden doorways. Now, wouldn’t that be divine?


{ 2 |Vertical Pivot System Door which leads to a simple minimalist kitchen }


{ 3 | hidden doorway leads to a powder room }


{ 4 | French style panels in a majestic home office }


{ 5 | behind the beautifully wall papered panels is a sunny sitting room }


{ 6 | hidden staircase }


{ 7 | romance awaits behind the doors of this magnificent library }

On this beautiful winter afternoon (more like fake-winter) (Perth isn’t very good at cold winters – the days seem to turn out rather sunny with a slight chill in the air), the Duke and I drove along the riverside in search coffee beans. And coffee beans we found, first at Typika followed by another purchase at Elixir. Tomorrow morning, hopefully we will be able to make a small trip to Mary Street Bakery and purchase a small bag of beans by Pound (all these beans are locally roasted in our little city of Perth). Why so much coffee, you may ask? Sure, we may drink a fair amount of coffee but the numerous purchases are in fact all in the name of research. The Duke is rather keen on finding out the difference between the different blends (by means of a thorough taste test of course) and next week, he will be my guest on this humble little blog, posting his results and findings. But until then, here are the usual weekend links:

Interior: beautiful monochrome wares Australian company The Minimalist
Design: a printer that sits on top of the paper, no print tray required
Paper: beautiful calligraphy by Julie Song Ink
Fashion: loving the fall shoot in September Vogue, featuring Jennifer Lawrence
Kitchen: my favourite brownie recipe

See you next week!

-The Fine Duchess

{ image 1 | bathroom is hidden behind elegant grey-blue walls, belonging to fashion designer Francisco Costa of Calvin Klein }

Perfume Masterclass + 5 weekend links


Mariposa Perfumery in Mt Lawley is hosting a fragrance masterclass in the next two weeks. At the class, those in attendance will learn about the history of perfume, distinguished scents of some of the finest perfume houses and how to differentiate between each one.

Date: Thursday 15 August 2013
Time: 5.00pm and 7.30pm (5pm attendees will receive a goody bag too)
Venue: Mariposa  – Shop 5, The Astor Arcade, 665 Beaufort Street, Mt Lawley
Cost: $50, which can be then redeemed on a fragrance that evening
For more details, click here.

I personally don’t finish teaching piano until quite late so am still thinking about it. However, I can not think too long as I have been told that the spots are filling up very fast. Cool kids of Perth, will you be in attendance?

Before I sign off for the weekend, below are some links for you to browse through:

August: with a new month comes a new wallpaper by Jethro Wilson
Food: dead cheese
Design: a beautiful home in Melbourne
Typography: by Zachary Smith here and here
Fashion: love love love this dress by Giambattista Valli Couture (autumn/winter 2014). See more here

Enjoy your weekend!

-The Fine Duchess

PS. And in case you have had a busy week, below are a few links you may have missed:

Image via Coffee Tumbler