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About malt collective

Writer of lifestyle blog Malt Collective, I'm a girl who loves her family, renovating, home DIY, good food and art :)

Chocolate mint slice

Chocolate mint slice

Ingredients (base):
  • 2 x 200g packs of Mint Slice biscuits
  • 70g butter, melted
Ingredients (filling):
  • 2 cups pure icing sugar, sifted
  • 40g copha
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint essence
Ingredients (topping):
  • 180g milk chocolate, chopped
  • 25ml milk
  • 100g white chocolate, chopped
  • Green food colouring (optional)
Method:
  1. Grease a 20cm x 25cm slice pan, and line with baking paper allowing 1 inch to overhang.
  2. Process biscuits until fine crumbs. Add butter and process until just combined. Spread mixture over the base of the pan, then cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  3. To make the filling, place icing sugar, copha and milk in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on medium (50%) for 2-3 minutes, stirring every minute with a metal spoon, or until sugar has dissolved and mixture is smooth. Stir in essence. Using a spatula, spread mixture over the prepared base. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until set.
  4. To make the topping, place milk chocolate and milk in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on medium (50%) for 1-2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds with a metal spoon, or until smooth. Set aside for 5 minutes to thicken. Place white chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl (if desired, add a drop of green food colouring). Microwave on medium (50%) for 1-2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds with a metal spoon, or until smooth.
  5. Spread the milk chocolate mixture over the filling. Spoon the white chocolate into a snap-lock bag and snip off one corner. Pipe lines vertically over the milk chocolate. Drag a skewer horizontally through the lines, approximately 2 inches apart. Now horizontally drag the skewer between those lines, this time in the opposite direction, to create a marbled effect.
  6. Refrigerate for 4 hours or until set.
  7. Remove from the fridge, cut into squares and enjoy!

Framed tea towel wall art

Looking for a unique art piece to adorn your walls? Think outside the box and look at using textiles instead of expensive art prints. Options include pretty fabric, a cool tee (vintage slogan/band tees would work well) or in this case – a $3 tea towel from Kmart.

Framed tea towel wall art
Framed tea towel wall art

If using a tea towel, you can get a little extra fabric out of it by unpicking the hem. This may be needed if you’re using a large frame.

Unpick
Unpicking the hem

Before framing your fabric, you should iron out all the creases. For best results, iron the reverse side of the fabric. For stubborn creases, spritz them lightly with water before ironing.

Iron out the creases
Iron out the creases

Insert your fabric into your frame, then close with the frame backing.

Framing the tea towel
Framing the tea towel

Voila! Your brand new wall art is ready to hang. I tried it with two tea towels and love them both! Which do you prefer – the palm trees or the cactus?

Palm trees wall art
Palm trees wall art

Cactus wall art

DIY magnetic spice jars

Recently I bought this magnetic spice rack from Aldi:

Magnetic spice rack
Magnetic spice rack – BEFORE

Cute, huh? Unfortunately, when I opened it the package the magnets immediately fell off the board they were attached to, before I’d even placed the jars on there.

I decided to do a little hack and attach the magnets to the spice jars instead. This way, I can stick the jars directly on my fridge without the need for the stand. Problem solved – with the added bonus of saving some counter space! Although I did this using a pack from Aldi, you could easily make something similar using any small container, some strong magnets and glue. Here’s how:

  1. Wash and dry the spice jars thoroughly.
  2. Pry off the remaining magnets from the bamboo stand with a knife.
    Magnetic spice rack
    Magnetic spice rack – broken stand

     

  3. Stick one magnet to the bottom of each jar. While the magnet adhesive wasn’t strong enough to stick to the bamboo stand, it is more than strong enough to stick directly to the jars (though you could always use super glue for extra durability).
    Magnetic spice jars
    Adding the magnets to the jars

     

  4. Fill with spices and voilà – magnetic spice jars you can put straight on your fridge!
    Magnetic spice jars
    End result – cute magnetic spice jars!

     

Hot cross buns

Hot cross buns

Ingredients (buns):

  • 4¼ cups bread flour, sifted
  • 1 tab active dry yeast
  • ½ cup caster sugar
  • 1½ cups lukewarm milk
  • 2 tsps ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsps mixed spice
  • 1½ cups sultanas
  • 50g butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup plain flour
  • ⅓ cup water
  • Butter, to serve
  • Golden syrup, to serve

Ingredients (glaze):

  • 1 tab water
  • 2 tsps gelatine powder
  • ½ cup caster sugar
  • ¼ cup water, extra

Method:

  1. Lightly grease a 22cm square cake tin and line it with non-stick baking paper.
  2. Place the yeast and the milk in a large bowl. Stir in 2 teaspoons of the sugar and set aside for 5 minutes. The mixture will start to foam, indicating that the yeast is active.
  3. Add the remaining sugar, flour, cinnamon, mixed spice, sultanas, butter and egg to the yeast mixture and mix until a sticky dough forms. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough for 8 minutes or until elastic. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a clean, damp cloth and set aside in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  4. Divide the dough into 12 pieces and roll into balls. Arrange the dough balls in the cake tin, then cover with a damp cloth and set aside in a warm place for 30 minutes or until risen. Preheat oven to 200°C.
  5. For the crosses, place the extra flour and the water in a bowl and stir to combine. Put the mix in a piping bag, and pipe crosses on the buns.
  6. Bake for 30–35 minutes or until golden and springy to touch.
  7. While the hot cross buns are baking, make the glaze. Add the water to a small bowl and sprinkle over the gelatine. Stir for 1–2 minutes or until the gelatine is dissolved, then set aside.
  8. Place the sugar and extra water in a small saucepan over low heat and cook, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved. Use a wet pastry brush to remove any sugar crystals on the side of the pan. Add the gelatin mixture and cook for 1–2 minutes or until the gelatin is fully dissolved. While the buns are still hot, brush them with the warm glaze.
  9. Serve buns warm with butter and golden syrup. Makes 12.

5 steps to a colourful home

I have a dilemma. My love for a vast number of design styles makes decorating my home near impossible! Art deco, mid-century modern, bright bohemian, Scandinavian – you name it and I guarantee I’ve pinned it (thank you, Pinterest – the ultimate time waster). Scratch that, there are some styles I have zero interest in (I’m looking at you, shabby chic).

I guess if you were to label my attempt at a cohesive style, it might be called ‘mid-century glam’. I’m still trying to work out how to throw some boho in the mix. Once I’ve discovered a good way to incorporate it, my home will be crammed with papua shell necklaces, macramé wall hangings and tribal cushions.

One thing that I can’t do without, regardless of style, is colour. At times, the world we live in feels pretty dreary (I started to list why, but let’s keep this light). Now is the time to add some colour back into your life! I’m totally uninterested in the pale grey and pastel pink home décor that has flooded major department stores for what seems like an eternity. So for those of you who – like me – are craving vibrancy and colour, here are some tips for making your home the epitome of joy.

Say it with paint

Paint is a great option as it’s quick to DIY, and when you tire of it you can easily change it again. If you don’t want to commit to painting a whole room, you can paint a small feature wall (pick your colour wisely, and be sure to include similar coloured decorative items for balance). Alternatively, paint only the doors, the bottom half of a room, or a small wall area to highlight a shelf. Be creative! Another option is to paint a piece of furniture a bright colour. Neon bedside tables? Yes please! Or add colour to furniture sparingly, with coloured drawer pulls or paint-dipped legs.

Make a statement

So you want some colour, but painting is out? A statement piece of furniture such as a jewel-toned armchair, sofa or bedhead is sure to bring life to any living area. You get bonus points if it’s velvet! Use soft furnishings in complementary colours to really make them pop (tan leather is a surefire winner when paired with blue).

The softly, softly approach

Soft furnishings are an excellent way to add colour to your home, as you can easily swap them over each season to refresh your space. Consider items such as cosy throws, cushions (you can’t have too many of these), bed linen, sheepskins, curtains and rugs. A floor rug can add colour, texture and a level of cosiness that might be just what your room needs. Remember that your rug should be large enough that your furniture will slightly overlap it. Some stylists even layer their rugs to great effect.

Accessories are your friend

Flower-filled vases, ottomans, framed prints of family and friends, vibrant wall art, pretty sculptures and plants en masse are another great way to add colour to a space. You can also have a shelf of colourful books, or a collection of your favourite things on display.

Gold is the answer

If you aren’t a huge fan of colour, but are wanting to add some sparkle to a monochrome palette, you can’t go wrong with a touch of gold. Brass picture frames, a pretty pendant light, or some gold accent pieces will add warmth and major swoon-factor to your home. Step it up a notch and splurge on a gold bar cart for the ultimate wow factor.

To start filling your home with colour, check out these suppliers:

Everything you need for an Australia Day feast

Australia has beautiful wildlife and weather, an amazing music scene, and fantastic food. Aussies tend to celebrate these things on a daily basis, but this is especially true on Australia Day (26 January) when many have family and friends over for a BBQ, good tunes and beer on ice. How about complementing your BBQ feast with some traditional Aussie treats?

Damper
Damper
Anzac Biscuits
Anzac Biscuits
Pavlova
Pavlova
Cheesy Vegemite Scrolls
Cheesy Vegemite Scrolls
Lamingtons
Lamingtons
Steak Pie
Steak Pie

To my overseas followers, I recommend putting these Aussie favourites on your ‘must try’ list! Want something more whimsical? Try one of these amazing Aussie creations:

Australia Day Ice Cream Cake
Australia Day Ice Cream Cake
Fat Mum Slim
Giant Iced Vovo Cake
Giant Iced Vovo Cake
Taste.com.au

Malt Collective is now on Bloglovin’

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I’m working on some new great recipes and DIY projects which I’ll post soon. In the meantime, see my Pinterest boards for inspiration:

Canapés & Entrées
Canapés & Entrées
Om Nom Nom
Om Nom Nom
Sweet Tooth
Sweet Tooth
Home interior design ideas
Interior Design
Landscaping
Landscaping
DIY projects
DIY Projects
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