Christmas Meringue Cake

The first of my Christmas inspiration as featured over at Best Friends For Frosting

‘Christmas Meringue Cake’ by Alison Lawson Cakes.

A very festive surprise awaits on the inside!

Fancy a slice?

Click here to see the full recipe and tutorial on how to make my Christmas Meringue Cake!

Anyone up for giving it a try?

Puzzle Me, Eat Me!

A cookie puzzle to make at home for Christmas!

Go on!

As seen in One Lovely Day online magazine by My Little Jedi.

 

 Use your own favourite cookie recipe, or try my Spiced Sugar Cookie recipe below.

 

Spiced Sugar Cookies

200g unsalted butter

170g caster sugar

30g cinammon sugar

1 egg lightly beaten

400g plain flour

In an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugars together until well combined.

 Add the egg and gently combine.

Add the flour and carefully mix until everything comes together.

Bring the dough together with your hands and mould into a disc shape.

Cover dough with plastic wrap and rest it in the fridge for 30-60 minutes.

You will also need the following:

1 piece of A4 sized paper

Ruler

Pencil

Scissors

Sharp knife

Pastry brush

water

Baking tray

Baking paper

RTR fondant

Cornflour

Pink colouring gel

Purple colouring gel

 

 

While the cookie dough is resting in the fridge, make a Christmas Tree template on a piece of paper.

Divide template into puzzle pieces and cut each piece out with scissors.

When cookie dough is well rested, roll it out to an even thickness of around 5mm.

 

Place template pieces onto the dough and cut each cookie puzzle piece out with a sharp knife.

If dough is difficult to manage, pop the rolled piece of dough into the freezer for a couple of minutes, and have another try.

Carefully place  cookie puzzle pieces onto a baking tray covered with baking paper.

Cook in a moderate oven for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned.

Allow to cool on the tray.

Dust bench or rolling mat with some cornflour and roll out some purple coloured fondant.

Place template pieces onto the fondant and cut each shape out once again with a sharp knife.

Brush each cookie puzzle piece with water and place the matching piece of fondant on top.

Gently roll each piece to fit with a rolling pin.

Gently brush each cookie puzzle piece with edible mauve lustre.

Dust bench or rolling mat with cornflour and roll out some bright pink coloured fondant.

Cut small circles using a cutter, using water to stick them onto your cookie puzzle pieces.

Cut three strips from the pink coloured fondant and add them to your tree trunk cookie piece using water.

Allow cookie puzzle pieces to dry for at least six hours before wrapping.

Cookie puzzle pieces will keep well in an airtight container for up to three weeks…that is, if they last that long!

Puzzle me!

Eat Me!

Have fun!

Related Images:

‘Night before’ Halloween Pots!

Aren’t these just the cutest little Jelly Pots to go along with all of your other Halloween goodies?

Two smooth layers of jelly followed by a ‘cookie crunch’ level… and some soft ‘gooey’ meringue on top!

You will need:

Mini pots or shot glasses

Yellow coloured jelly

Orange coloured jelly

Store bought chocolate cookies (crushed)

Meringue (see recipe below)

Piping bag

Blow torch!

Jelly Pot How to…

Make up the orange coloured jelly as per the instructions on the box.

Pour cooled jelly into mini pots and allow to set in the fridge (2-3 hours)

Make up the yellow coloured jelly as per the instructions on the box.

Pour cooled jelly over the orange layer,( being sure to leave space for the cookie layer) and set in the fridge (2-3 hours)

Sprinkle crushed chocolate cookies over jelly layers.

Prepare meringue mixture (see recipe below).

Pipe meringue onto each cookie layer.

To finish, brown each meringue layer with a blow torch.

Style with twine and mini spoons….you are done!

Enjoy!

Meringue Topping

Ingredients

2 egg whites

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Pinch salt

You will also need:

A candy thermometer

 

1      Put the egg whites, sugar, cream of tartar and salt into a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and whisk constantly until the mixture is 60 degrees celsius and the sugar has dissolved.

2      Tip the mixture into a the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk on high speed until soft peaks form.

3      Continue whisking until the meringue is cool.  This will take approximately 10 minutes.

4      Pipe or dollop the meringue as desired.

Related Images:

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!

‘Rhubarb and Cinnamon Cake’ by Stephanie Alexander

Remember my first Bake Night back in July?

I introduced the gals to my favourite cake recipe by Stephanie Alexander.

The Rhubarb and Cinnamon Cake!

Given that it is our second ‘Bake Night’ tomorrow, I thought it best to get myself organised (finally) and type up the recipe!

Huge thanks to Stephanie Alexander for granting me permission to share this beautiful recipe on my blog….so, so chuffed!

Rhubarb and Cinnamon Cake

Recipe by Stephanie Alexander, page 852 of the cook’s companion, published by Penguin

Ingredients

80 g unsalted butter
300g plain flour
380g brown sugar
2 eggs
a few drops of pure vanilla
1 tsp salt
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
grated zest of 1 lemon
1 cup creme fraiche or sour cream
400g rhubarb (cut into 1 cm pieces)

Topping

1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Method
Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius.

Grease a 24cm springform tin with 20g of the butter, and then dust tin with a little of the flour.

In a food processor, cream the remaining butter with sugar, then add eggs and vanilla.

Sift remaining flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda and cinnamon into a bowl, then add to food processor and pulse a few times to combine.

Add lemon zest and creme fraiche, then transfer to a large bowl and stir in rhubarb.

Scrape into prepared tin.

Mix topping ingredients and sprinkle over cake.

Bake for 1 1/4 hours or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

Serve warm or cold.

Stephanie likes to serve this gorgeous cake with a rich vanilla custard and a spoonful of stewed rhubarb.

However, if you are after a super easy option,  I recommend a spoonful of Almond and Honey yoghurt on the side!

Do let me know when you have made this cake, as I feel sure that it will become your  ‘best cake’ too!

Happy baking!


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:

Just how red is ‘red velvet’?

A few ‘red velvet’ facts…

A red velvet cake has a mild chocolate flavor, and is made with cocoa, white vinegar, baking soda, and buttermilk.

Red velvet cake can be anywhere between a dark- red, bright- red or red-brown colour, which comes from red food dye.

The cake is traditionally iced in rich cream cheese frosting.

Legend has it that the cake was actually born in the North, at New York City’s Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.

Here are my latest red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and a sprinkling of cinnamon sugar.

A little question to start the week…

Just how ‘red’ is your red velvet?

Dark red

or

Bright red

or

Red-brown?

I look forward to hearing your thoughts!

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:

‘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!