I’ve been baking a lot of things that needed egg yolks lately, so to use up all the leftover egg whites I’ve been on a macaron baking spree. I’ve been having a play with sizes and flavours and have baked so many macs I don’t even need to look at a recipe any more. This week I decided to have a little fun with the look of the macarons.
Of all the people I make food for, my number one priority in life is my boyfriend, Cameron. He's what motivates me to learn and try new things and attempt to impress him with some crazy dessert. He gets to eat almost everything I make, the only exception being commissions, really. I'll upload snaps of my cakes to Facebook and people will be quick to tell him how lucky they believe him to be. They think he must get the most amazing, whimsical cakes for his birthday. They think him blessed to be able to request from me to bring anything to life via this edible medium. But the reality is that he wants none of that. At heart, he's a simple man.
So when his 30th birthday rolled around I wanted to make him something impressive to mark the occasion.
He just wanted a cheesecake.
Have you guys met my son? He's fluffy, has 4 legs and is often seen hovering in the back of my dessert photos desperately trying to guilt me into sharing with him. He's a Siberian husky and his name is Tobias.
This is what he looked like when he became mine 22 months ago:
I've always been a bit of an animal person. Animals are my life, more than anything else in this world. My love for them is why I'm now a Zoologist. I love the wild critters, but I have a great fondness of the domesticated ones, too. I've not lived a second of my life without having a pet of one kind or another. I'd feel lost without their company. For most of it, I've lived with a virtual menagerie of them, thanks to all the rescue cases we've inherited. But right now, it's just me and Tobias. And the aquarium.
Today is his second birthday.
A few months ago I joined the Daring Kitchen, but it took until now for me to find the
time onions to participate in a challenge. I'd just been saying to my boyfriend that I wanted to try baking bread, when I logged on to check what this month's challenge was.
May’s Daring Bakers’ Challenge was pretty twisted – Ruth from The Crafts of Mommyhood challenged us to make challah! Using recipes from all over, and tips from “A Taste of Challah,” by Tamar Ansh, she encouraged us to bake beautifully braided breads.
Yesterday was the Zoology Department's Annual Bake-off. It's a fundraiser run by the social club every year and attracts quite a list of bakers. I'm not sure how long it's been going for as I've only been a post-grad since last year, but my impression is that it's usually a free-for-all. Last year I made the Dragon's Lair Cake for it and walked away with both Judge's and People's Choice awards. But this year the theme was limited to cupcakes and cookies.
It took me ages to think of something different to make. Eventually I came up with this idea for the bees, and everything fell into place from there.