Halloween Recipe

Last year the boys were invited to a Halloween party, so I made some spooky looking meringues to take along.

Here is the recipe!

Spooky Meringues

4 large egg whites

Pinch of salt

220g caster sugar

Orange edible food colour

Black edible food colour

You will also need :

Two large baking trays lined with non-stick baking paper

A large round piping tube

Piping bag

 

  1. After preheating your oven to 120 degrees Celsius, line two baking trays with non-stick baking paper.

2      Separate the egg whites from four (4) eggs into a small bowl.  Transfer each egg white into a mixing bowl separately. Do not think of adding an egg white that has been stained by a yolk, as it will not whisk properly…trust me on this!

3      Add the salt and whisk the egg whites with an electric mixer until soft peaks form.

4      Start adding the sugar, one tablespoon at a time.  Give a short whisk after each new tablespoon full until all of the sugar is incorporated.  Whisk for a further 2-3 minutes or until the mixture looks beautiful and glossy.  Test if the sugar has dissolved by rubbing some mixture between your fingers.  If it is silky smooth, stop whisking.  If the mixture feels grainy, keep whisking and test again in another minute.

5      Add some orange food colour to your mix and mix well.  Keep adding colour until you achieve a nice shade of orange.

6      Insert a piping tube into a disposable piping bag and half fill with your orange meringue mixture.  Pipe small amounts of mixture onto baking paper (2inches round), leaving approximately 1 inch in between each meringue. Continue piping and refilling your bag, until all of the orange meringue mixture has been piped onto the trays.

7      Dip a skewer into the black edible food colour.  Using the dipped end of the skewer, make circular movements through each piped meringue to reveal a black swirl. Continue dipping and swirling for each meringue.

8      Place the meringues into the oven and reduce the temperature to 90 degrees Celsius. Bake the meringues for sixty (60) minutes before checking.  The meringues are ready if they lift away from the baking paper.  If they are not ready, return to the oven and check in another 15 minutes.

When the meringues are ready turn the oven off and allow the meringues to cool in the oven  for at least an hour. Store in cool dry spot.

Please note, if you pipe your meringues larger than the size mentioned above, you will need to adjust the baking time, as they will take longer to cook.

Enjoy!

Inigo’s Gluten Free Birthday Cake

Triple layered gluten free chocolate cake

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Gluten free buttercream infused with vanilla

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Colourful mini meringues (also gluten free)

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Green Ninja modelled from fondant (edible, but not gluten free)

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Inigo’s 6th birthday cake!

Does anyone in your house follow a gluten free diet?

Related Images:

Fergus’s Olympic Gym Event!

Remember Fergus’s Cake Plan?

Here are some images of THE cake, as per the plan!

I was thrilled with the overall appearance of the bold colours, but the real pleasure came upon receiving the ‘nod of approval’ from the birthday boy himself…

in fact, his words were along the lines of “best cake ever!” (happy dance!)

A Gold Medal to display the Olympic Rings, as requested in the brief!

Close up of the multi coloured piping.

I kept the party food rather simple due to the fact that I was a bit pushed for time. Most of the week had been spent on a two tiered version of my Peach Ombre Cake for a wedding.

New rule in our house – no cake orders during family birthday weeks….way too busy!

Meringue Swirls with blue edible glitter

Olympic Ring Marshmallow Pops

Jelly Cups

White Chocolate Spoons (very popular!)

Buttered Popcorn Cups

And now for some Olympic gym moves by the birthday boy!

And onto some important birthday singing and cake tasting!

And the all important cake cut…..

Phew! My nervous thoughts about those dark colours running into each other over night, were all for nothing!

We sent our little ‘olympians’ home with a Gold Cookie Medal as a party favour.

Huge thanks to Moss Vale Gymnastics Club for coordinating Fergus’s ‘Olympic Gym Event’.

You made entertaining 22 boys and girls for 2 hours look easy!

A fabulous party option within the Southern Highlands!

Do you have a favourite party venue to share?

Recipe – Zesty Lemon Meringues

Well here I am back in the Southern Highlands after a couple of days break at the Sunshine Coast in Queensland….

it was a lovely time, and SO warm!

Let us start the new week with a refreshing and easy recipe!

I made these lemon meringues a couple of weeks ago for our special guests – Gina, Martin, Sasha and Joey!

Nothing fancy, just a couple of extra ingredients added into my usual meringue mix!

The first addition was some finely grated lemon rind.

The lemons were so fragrant, and fresh – straight from my dad’s lemon tree!

I then added a small amount of an ingredient called ‘Cream of Tartar’.

So what is Cream of Tartar?

‘Cream of Tartar’ is used in cooking to help stabilise and give more volume to beaten egg whites.

It is the acidic ingredient in some brands of baking powder.

It is also used to produce a creamier texture in sugary desserts, such as pavlova!

Here is my recipe for

Zesty Lemon Meringues
4 large egg whites
Pinch of salt
220g (1 cup) caster sugar

1/4 teaspoon Cream of Tartar

Finely grated zest of 1 lemon

1.    Preheat your oven to 120 degrees Celsius.
2      Separate the egg whites from four (4) eggs into a small bowl.  Transfer each egg white into a mixing bowl separately. Do not think of adding an egg white that has been stained by a yolk, as it will not whisk properly…trust me on this!
3      Add the salt, and cream of tartar and whisk the egg whites with an electric mixer or beaters until soft peaks form.
4      Start adding the sugar, one tablespoon at a time.  Give a short whisk after each new tablespoon full until all of the sugar is incorporated.  Whisk for a further 2-3 minutes or until the mixture looks beautiful and glossy.  Test if the sugar has dissolved by rubbing some mixture between your fingers.  If it is silky smooth, stop whisking.  If the mixture feels grainy, keep whisking and test again in another minute.  Add the lemon zest.
5    Dollop dessert spoon mounds of meringue mixture onto trays lined with baking paper, leaving 2-3 cm in between each one.

6  Place the meringues into the oven and reduce the temperature to 90 degrees Celsius. Bake the meringues for fifty (50) minutes.  The meringues are ready if they lift off the baking paper with a knife. If not ready, keep checking every 10 minutes, otherwise leave to cool in the oven.

Happy baking, and consider experimenting with orange or mandarin zest!

And don’t forget to enter my giveaway to win those stunning blue chalcedony earrings by Jen Nicholl Jewellery

Related Images:

Tutorial – How to make my Spotty Meringues (otherwise known as Dino Eggs!)

Remember the ‘Dino Eggs’ on Harry’s ‘Dino’ Dessert Table?

They are my  latest invention…spotty meringues!

And now for a few of meringue  facts….

Yes, they are gluten free!

Yes, the spots are made of meringue mix!

Yes, they are easy to make!

Yes, I am going to show you how!

And just in case you wondering….they taste great too!

Alison’s  Spotty Meringues

Prepare  your meringue mixture.

You can use your own meringue recipe, or follow the steps to make my meringue mixture as explained at the end of my ‘Make your own Meringue Pop’ tutorial.

Line 2-3 large baking trays with baking paper.

Remove 5 tablespoons of meringue mixture and set aside in a separate small mixing bowl.

Dollop dessertspoon sized amounts of meringue mixture onto your baking trays, leaving 2-3 cm in between each one.

Arrange each ‘dollop’ into the desired shape with a teaspoon.  If you are making ‘dino’ eggs, move the mixture around to resemble and egg shape. If you are just making spotty meringues, leave them in as they are!

Colour your reserved meringue mixture in the desired colour.  I used blue, but please yourself!

Transfer the coloured meringue mixture into a piping bag with a piping tip of your choice.  The smaller the tip…the smaller the dots!

Pipe random dots onto each meringue.

Bake your meringues according to the recipe you are using!

I always test if mine are ready by seeing if they lift cleanly off the baking paper with a knife.

Allow them to cool and ‘dry’ in the oven for a few hours.

And there you have it…spotty meringues….yum!

Which colour combo will you try first?

Related Images:

Harry’s Dino Party, as featured by Amy Atlas!

It’s always lovely to have your birthday party on your actual birthday!

This is how it was for our Harry this year…turning 4!

We started the day in the usual way, with a few pressies…in your P.J’s…of course!

The highlight of the present opening was a giant inflatable dinosaur from Uncle Steve and Auntie Noni, who happened to be staying with us!

An unexpected ‘dino’ prop for the party!

After racing around like a mad thing (no lie) to get the dessert table set up, I attempted to take a few photos of the birthday boy with his brothers.

It was kind of crazy, as there was so much ‘dino’ excitement in the air!

“Ok boys, looking at mummy for the photo!”

“Oops, Tommy doesn’t have any socks on yet!”

“Ok boys, really try and look at the camera!”

“Tommy, come back!”

“I think we might try one of the birthday boy on his own now!”

I was feeling exhausted, and the party guests hadn’t even arrived yet!

Here is the Dessert Table ready and waiting!

The ‘dino’ dessert labels were designed by the gorgeous Leonie of Ashlee Rae.

The inspiration behind the printables came from Harry’s favourite colour ‘red’, as well as some gorgeous stripey ribbon I purchased from Ribbons Galore.

I was determined to transfer the ‘dino’ party theme into a mass of colour, as opposed to the expected earthly tones!

The menu consisted of  three ‘dino’ food categories:

Herbivore Diet

Veggie-saurus Mix

Dino Dip

Fruit-o-saurus Salad

Volcanic Punch Juice

Carnivore Diet

Brachiosaurus Sausages

Dessertivore Diet

Dino-Dig Jellies

Fossil Cookies

Dino Bones (cookies)

Dino Eggs (Meringues)

Volcanic Pops

Volcanic Punch Juice


Yes, I did go a bit  crazy on the cake!

Stripes, ruffles and spots!

The first and third tiers are both triple layered chocolate mud cake with dark chocolate ganache.

The extended middle tier was a faux tier, in order to combat massive amounts of left over cake in the house!

“Happy birthday, dear Harry…!”

“Happy birthday, to you!”

A huge thank you to Amy Atlas for featuring Harry’s party last Friday.

You can see the full article here.

A little question for you -if you were a dinosaur, which diet, would you follow?

“Mummy, my class hasn’t sung Happy Birthday to me!”

Sunday – Harry turns ’4′….dino party! (photos to come)

Monday afternoon – On the way home from pre-school….”Mummy, my class hasn’t sung Happy Birthday to me!”

Monday night- Red swirl meringues baked and packed….ready to go in the morning!

Tuesday night – “Mummy, how many sleeps until it is my birthday again?”

‘No-bake’ Gluten Free Party Recipe – Coconut Ice

Did you ever make coconut ice as a kid?

We sure did in our house!

My late grandpa had a real sweet tooth, and coconut ice was one of his  favourite treats.

He was  a real character, and would often buy the ingredients so we would make it for him.

If we weren’t home when he dropped by, he would just leave the supermarket bag of ingredients on our doorstep.

We would of course arrive home, and know straight away, that Grandpa had been by.

We would make one batch for ourselves, and another for Grandpa in the traditional pink and white colour combo…….lovely memories!

 

 

I actually hadn’t made coconut ice for some time, until Tommy’s recent second birthday party.

I am always looking for new treats for our parties, and I  like to provide at least one gluten free option.

I have looked up each of the ingredients, and it appears that they are all gluten free!

Here is my yellow and white version on Tommy’s  ‘Up, up into the Clouds’ Dessert Table?

 

 

Another handy thing about Coconut Ice is that it can also be coloured to match your party theme – I love that!

Here is my recipe  – go ahead and give it a try for your next party!

Coconut Ice

Ingredients

cooking oil spray
2 cups sifted pure icing sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
395g can condensed milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 1/2 cups desiccated coconut
Food colouring to match your party theme

Method

Spray a 20cm square cake tin with cooking oil spray and line with non-stick baking paper.

Place icing sugar and cream of tartar in a large bowl.

Add condensed milk and vanilla essence and stir until well combined.

Add desiccated coconut and, using your hands, mix until well combined.  (the mixture will be very sticky!)

Divide the mixture in half and add your chosen food colouring to one portion.  I used yellow this time.

Work the food colouring through until it is evenly distributed.

Press the coloured mix into the tin and smooth the surface with your hand. You can also use a small glass to roll it down nice and firmly.

Add the remaining white mix on top, and press down firmly.

Refrigerate the coconut ice for 1-2 hours or until firm. Use a sharp knife to cut into small kid sized pieces.

What’s your favourite gluten free party food?

I would love to hear your ideas!