Last week I went out to dinner with mine and my boyfriend's immediate family to celebrate the completion of my Masters degree. We went to one of my favourite local restaurants, Azurea's and had a lovely time together. While Azurea's have a gorgeous selection of cakes and desserts themselves, I wasn't about to let go of an excuse to bake! Between mine and his family, everyone's preference for cake is many and varied, so choosing one is always a difficult task — someone is always not going to be happy! I eventually settled on this cake I had been wanting to try for quite a while now.
It took me quite a while to decide what to pair the kiwifruit sorbet with. I had one of those moments where you're lying in bed, trying to sleep but the cogs in your brain are ticking overtime. Amongst the jumble of other thoughts about everything from the housework to what data analysis should I be using for my Zoology experiment, jumped out a single word: Pavlova.
Pavlova? Pavlova! Seriously, I will jump at any excuse to make a pav. Given we're in winter now, there's not the same lovely variety of fruit to top them with, so this sorbet fill the gap nicely.
Break one open…
Meringue is one of those Achilles' heel things for a lot of bakers. So many people have trouble with it or flat out avoid it because they are afraid of it. I'm here to tell you that it doesn't have to be scary. It's actually a really simple thing to make.
All of us bakers have something, or sometimes many things (guilty), that trip us up. I guess I was lucky in that I took to meringue pretty quickly. I had it collapse on me once and I knew why and made sure never to make this mistake again. Let me share with you the tips and tricks to getting a perfect meringue every time.
Meringue step-by-step + Swiss Meringue Tutorial…
Julie Goodwin's cookbooks are amongst my favourite. This is her second. They are littered with personal stories, quotes from family members and delicious recipes that come from her family. The last chapter is left blank so you can fill it with those from your own family.
The recipes themselves are always so homely. Nothing new and fancy and designed to push the envelope. Just heart warming, delicious meals whose sole aim is to accentuate good times spent with loved ones. Her methods are written in a conversational style, often explaining aspects that may be new to a reader, or adding notes about serving suggestions or how much of the dish can be prepared in advance to allow more time with guests.
Along with Julie Goodwin, pavlova is another of my favourite things in the world. For the uninitiated, a pavlova is a meringue-based dessert that is a staple amongst Australian and New Zealand national cuisine.
A good pavlova meringue has a crispy exterior but is soft and marshmallowy on the inside. It is then typically topped with cream and fruit, but it is open to additions. Additions that usually involve some form of chocolate. I like adding broken up Flake or Peppermint Crisp to it, preferably by folding it through the cream. It's such a delicious, refreshing dessert and always the first thing I make a bee line for.
So when I saw her take on it, I just couldn't resist…
Last Friday was my boyfriend's 29th birthday. One of his greatest culinary loves in life is custard. So when I was brainstorming ideas for a nice-looking, fondant-free cake that pandered to his tastes, I just knew it had to involve custard.
Celebratory photo spam and recipe after the jump…
I've been really bad keeping up with the baking scene this year, but I definitely had to make time for some Valentine's Day baking.
Hearts. Always with the heart-shaped desserts in Feb.
My boyfriend loves two things: cheesecake and custard. So I decided to draw on his loves and combine them into four heart-shaped delectables for him to nom on Valentine's Day.
Take another little piece of my heart now, baby…
Baking is fun at the best of times, but when it’s for charity it is so much more fulfilling. My boyfriend works for IBM, and currently he is on a project in an ANZ office. One of the ANZ offices he is located at decided to host a Big Cake Bake fundraiser for the Red Cross. I was more than happy to oblige when asked to do a cake, and more than happy for the excuse to make a cake I’d been wanting to do for a while.
Take a walk through the forest…