Yes, a rat!….I have been very blessed and busy since the beginning of the year. I have had quite a few orders, including some wedding and engagement orders coming up. My latest cooking adventure was an order I received for a cake. The requirements were; leopard print, roses and a pet rat! I love a good challenge. I decided on a two layer vanilla bean syrup cake with vanilla butter cream. I hand painted the leopard print and made the pet rat out of fondant.

The funniest part of this whole challenge was the morning after I had made the rat. It was sitting on the bench in the cake stand drying and my son came out and made his breakfast. As soon as he saw the rat staring back at him he had this look of shock on his white stricken face. “DAD!!!!…..daaaad…there’s a RAT staring at me……oh, its not real! Good job mum!” It was a priceless moment.




I also had the chance to reminisce over a previous career I had in Nashville, as a fruit bouquet arranger. A friend ordered a fruit arrangement for a Kitchen tea and I was extremely excited to pull these skills out again. No matter what size you make them, they just have this WOW factor about them.  I adore making the fruit arrangements but even better are the double dipped chocolate banana pieces. There’s nothing quite like it. One day I will sell these banana pieces in my cafe and you can try them for yourself. They are definitely one of my weaknesses.

xoxoxox Mjo




Christmas 2011….

Well Christmas has been and gone and I have rested and am ready for more creating. I was completely overwhelmed with the orders I received. It was incredible and challenging but again, worth every minute. On top of chocolate orders I also catered desserts for a local Sewing Christmas lunch. For this I made trifles, chocolate peanut butter pie, Italian cupcakes and the stars of the show…. lemon mallows and raspberry mallows.  I thought January would be my time to relax but I already have more orders and enquiries coming in. I think 2012 is going to be a great year for Cocoa Jo’s.

Well I have begun the Christmas season with an order for some special friends who have renewed there wedding vows for their 10th anniversary. Each guest received a cute box of three chocolates.

I finally got to try out my long awaited heart mold and decided to make a new chocolate flavour to go with it.

This is a passion fruit and coconut milk caramel in a white chocolate shell. The other two chocolates were raspberry rose, with a rose ganache and fresh raspberry jelly and my chai milk truffle.

Also this week I decided to work on my mallows and try to recreate the mocha mallows. (All my mallow recipes disappeared on the move back to Australia!). I was very pleased with these and will coat a few tomorrow in chocolate. After all you can’t have enough chocolate, right?

Possibly the best dessert I have ever made! This was so delicious and dissolved in your mouth as you ate it. It consisted on a light soft meringue cake layer on the bottom with a fluffy dark chocolate 53% mousse covered in a soft chocolate ganache. I served it with a dollop of double cream and fresh raspberries and blueberries.  I might just have to pull this one out on christmas day along with the fruit cake and trifle.

I also had an order for a traditional sponge with cream, a thin layer of strawberry conserve and strawberries. The next month is a busy one but I am really looking forward to it. I have wedding renewal chocolates, bookclub chocolates, quilting club desserts and many other whisky fruit cakes and christmas chocolate orders to fill. Now I’m off to start the silly season!

Strawberry Sponge CakeStrawberry Sponge Cake Close Up




Mallows and more….

I have been baking like crazy….cupcakes, frosting tests, marshmallows trials….Its been fun and my baby girl can prove it! As I mentioned to a friend, I’m preparing her for Baby Masterchef…do you think she’s could be a contender?

When I lived in Nashville I discovered the true joy of homemade marshmallows. So many people turn their nose up at the thought of marshmallows but their only experience has been the small, round ones covered in cornflour from the supermarket. Well I guareentee these are nothing like the store ones. They are light and fluffy and full of flavor…most importantly they are not as sickly sweet. Unfortunately my mallow recipes were amoung the recipes lost in our journey home to Australia. All that recipe development has to be started again. So if you can put up with hearing about all my new flavours in the future I will let you know when I have a new batch on the counter.

Toasted Coconut Mallows

I have been baking more chocolate cupcakes as well as a new one I’m working on for the cafe…Double Vanilla bean cupcakes.

Chocolate on Chocolate Cupcakes

Double Vanilla Bean Cupcakes









I am quite excited about the next few months….next week I have a new friend to meet that has ordered some cakes and a trifle from me…wait for the update on that! Then later this week my products page will be launched ready to take Christmas orders. Things are taking off…I hope I’m ready for it.