I have started up two new regular columns here at whipup – to replace my previous newsletter. My new newsletter will be available via email only and will contain lots of news and crafty links and special offers – so you should sign up (yes it is still free for those who asked) (sign up at the bottom of this post).

To replace my previous newsletter which was available here and via email I am adding a ‘Crafty news and links’ column and a ‘From Kathreen’ column. The Crafty news and links will include lots of tutorials, crafty news, special offers, competitions and all the other bits and pieces that come through my inbox and that I found on my travels through the web. The ‘From Kathreen’ column will be more personal stuff from me – what I am up, my craft, cooking, and kids adventures.

So here is my first in this series – What’s cooking.

Over on my other blog – that I share with my brother – I post the occasional recipe – this weeks it’s Chocolate bean brownies. I know totally weird – but strangely delicious and addictive. I have been researching no-wheat and no-sugar cooking as we are trying to be healthier and eat cleaner. This is part of cutting out all processed foods and getting back to basics with our cooking and eating.

I found the original recipe at 101 cookbooks – a really great cooking blog. I tweaked the recipe quite a bit and my final version is posted here. This is a great recipe for those trying to cut out wheat or who are gluten intolerant. It is a moist dark chocolate brownie made with fiber-and-protein-rich black beans – and it’s wheat-free. Also great if you are trying to cut out sugar! They make an excellent healthy treat for kids too.

But of course being the blog hound that I am – I had to find out a bit more about using black beans in cakes and sweets. Not sure really where this recipe originates – maybe adapted from the Asian use of red bean paste in sweets. And I came upon quite a few other recipes and ideas …

  • This recipe also includes a banana and used agave nectar as the sweetener.
  • This brownie recipe adds choc chips and peppermint essence.
  • This recipe adds apple sauce and muscovada sugar as the sweetener.
  • Here is another flourless and sugarless version – using dried fruits as a sweetener. With a good explanation of the whole no-sugar thing.
  • And here is another one – with the addition of cinnamon.
  • This recipe uses a little kahlua and coconut oil
  • This one has added peanut butter. mmmm.
  • This one is a bit different – with Carob, banana and agave syrup – looks pretty good.

For even more crafty news, tutorials, reviews, special offers and updates subscribe to our newsletter via email.


Oh I do love a tea party and Wild Olive is hosting a week of tea party fun – full of guest posts, patterns and recipes – Plus if you head on over Whipup is hosting a giveaway of Action Pack! Along with a recipe for a trio of butter cookies.

{ 1 comment }

I have only recently discovered the culinary art of cooking with tea and want to explore more. Today I did some experimenting and researching making tea ice cream. I have often had Matcha tea ice cream – and love it – but wanted to try out a few other tea flavoured ice creams. After a some experimenting I came up with a delicious simple icecream recipe that allowed the subtle tea flavour to be the main attraction and made a trio of tea ice cream: Chai, Oolong and Earl Grey.

You will need:

  • 1 teaspoon of your tea (per 100mls of liquid)
  • 1/4 cup of boiling water
  • 1/4 cup of milk
  • 1/2 cup of cream
  • 1 teaspoon of sweetener (sugar, honey or palm sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon of powdered gelatin

What to do:

  1. Steep your tea in a bowl with the boiling water for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the cream, milk, gelatin and sweetener and bring to the boil for a minute in a saucepan on the stovetop.
  3. Let the tea leaves sit in the mixture while it cools in the fridge – 1 hour
  4. Strain out the tea leaves and let the mixture stand in the fridge for -2-4 hours (or overnight) – it should go a bit gelatinous because of the gelatin you added. This will help the final texture of the ice cream.
  5. Place in your mixture in your ice cream maker and mix for 10-20 minutes until it is like a thick milkshake – then chill in the freezer until ready to use.


  • If you don’t have an ice cream maker then follow David Lebovitz’s directions to make it without. And here are some tips from David for making your homemade ice cream softer.
  • Serve with some shortbread cookies for a refreshing different sort of afternoon tea.

Why don’t you try Jasmine tea, Matcha or Sencha green tea or Tai tea… wait there’s more – I have compiled a list of delicious and different tea ice cream recipes for you to try out.

If you are a tea fan like me – try out our e-magazine: Action Pack for kids – only $5 and jam packed with recipes, crafts and activities for kids and adults.



Afternoon Tea

by kath_red on 12/05/2011

in Food

After dropping the kids off to school, putting on a load of washing, and doing a quick whip around the house to tidy up, I get down to work. Working from home means quite a few distractions during the day – housework, dinner plans, etc, but it also has the benefit of being able to stop when you like and sit and do a few rows of crochet or make some cookies or take advantage of a sunny day for 30 minutes of gardening.

But the best time of day for me is afternoon tea. I do have multiple cups of tea during the day, but at about 2pm I stop what I am doing and bake something – sometimes its some quick muffins or cookies, occasionally I might make a cake or brownies, or if I am running out of time I prepare for French toast. Then I pick the kids up from school and when we all get home we sit and have some warm sweet baked somethings and a pot of tea. We are all tea mad and love to try out different sorts of tea. Chai is a regular favourite, we also love an Earl Grey blend, sometimes we have Genmaicha (Japanese rice green tea) but most of the time we stick to a Traditional Afternoon blend. We love this time as we sit and chat about our day, the kids talk excitedly non-stop for the duration, while I sip my tea and occasionally ask questions. Then we clear up and get on with our afternoon tasks. It is a special time of day.

The recent Action Pack is dedicated to tea and has lots of different tea tastings as well as sewing projects all related to tea. So in honour of ‘Sew & Tea’ Action Pack and our love of tea, I will be posting lots of tea and tea craft related posts over the next couple of weeks. Including a pattern to sew a teapot to go with the teacup pattern you will find in this months Action Pack, tea-towel crafts, tea cozies, recipes for Afternoon Tea and lots more – so stay tuned!

Today I am making a Cinnamon Tea Cake – it’s a classic country cake and perfect to have with Afternoon Tea. This recipe must have been the first cake I ever made – back when I was 8 or 9 years old, with my grandmothers help. So simple to make, yet so delicious to eat.

What you need:

Cake batter:

  • 60g (2oz or 1/2 stick of) butter
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup Self raising flour (or plain flour with 2 teaspoons of baking powder)
  • 1/3 cup milk


  • 15g (1/2oz) extra butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon (castor or finely ground) sugar, extra mixed with 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

How to make:

  1. Line your round sandwich cake tin with baking paper (I used the butter wrapping paper)
  2. Beat the butter and vanilla and sugar together until creamy.
  3. Add the egg continue to beat for another minute.
  4. Add half the flour and half the milk, mix in for half a minute, then add the rest of the milk and flour and beat until just combined – don’t over beat.
  5. Spoon the mixture into the cake tin and bake in a moderate oven for 25 minutes or until just golden. The cake should shrink away from the sides of the cake tin.
  6. Turn the cake out onto an airing tray. Brush the top with the extra melted butter and sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar.
  7. Serving with a nice cup of Earl Grey tea and eat warm for your afternoon tea.

Here are 4 more things you can make for afternoon tea today (if you have some time):

Scones, Plum cake, Chocolate Mousse Cake, Green Goddess Tea Sandwhiches

Be sure to check out the rest of the Action Pack if you are a tea fan like us!


homemade nutella

by kath_red on 31/12/2010

in Food

This homemade nutella recipe is inspiring me. What is inspiring you?