Crisp, white meringues are one my favourite things to make, but a few weeks ago I tried something a little different by adding some colours to the mix! The reason? I wanted to top my daughter’s rainbow birthday cake with rainbow meringues. I had so many party guests (well, the parents) asking me for the recipe that I have decided to pop it on the blog this week along with my go-to meringue recipe. I am also sharing a few tips for making your own rainbow cake.
Firstly, rainbows – I think this has been my favourite kiddie party theme so far! There is just so much you can do. To be honest I was completely swamped in the run up to the party, but thanks to a few simple ideas from Pinterest I was able to pull it all together in a short amount of time. In terms of decor I made colourful paper chains (too easy), tissue paper pom-poms in various colours and popped glasses filled with colourful water and sunflowers on the table. Some of the food also took on the rainbow theme, with the most popular snack by far being pretzel sticks that were dipped in white chocolate and then 100’s and 1000’s. Rather than going for a sugar laden party bag each little guest received a rainbow ribbon wand as a thank you gift.
You can’t have a rainbow party without a rainbow cake right? This cake took an entire day to bake and assemble, but I think it was worth it. Six layers of vanilla cake in all the colours of the rainbow all covered in vanilla buttercream and chocolate ganache and topped with rainbow meringues, flowers and glitter. Here are a few tips if you are thinking of making one too:
- I mixed a few drops of gel food colouring into vanilla cake batter to make the rainbow layers. I find these give a brighter colour than the supermarket liquid colours.
- I baked the layers separately (yes, it took ages!) in a 20cm straight sided cake tin.
- When icing the cake I started with a very thin, smooth layer of icing all over the cake, often called the crumb coat. I then popped the entire cake in the deep freeze for about thirty minutes to set and harden before icing it. This made it much easier and neater!
- I used this chocolate ganache recipe to go on top of the vanilla buttercream icing. Remember to let it cool before pouring it over the cake.
I will be taking a little break next week while the kids are still on holiday but will be back in May with some lip smackingly delicious Italian inspired recipes, don’t miss those!
- I used a plastic disposable piping bag for this messy meringue mixture. I have also included a picture below of the nozzle that I used.
- You can use as many colours as you like but I would use 2-4. I used red, yellow and blue for the meringues on top of the birthday cake.
- Use 2 drops of gel food colouring per colour for bold, bright meringues or a single drop per colour for a lighter more subtle colour. I used two drops for the meringues in these pictures.
2 large egg whites, room temperature
100g castor sugar
small pinch of fine salt
½ tsp vanilla extract
gel food colouring
Hello foodies! I do hope the week has been treating you well, and if not hang in there as the weekend is just around the corner. And weekends mean brunch, and what is brunch without a few tasty pastries? I do love a good croissant every now and then, but did you know how easy it is to make them yourself? This week I am showing you how!
I could not resist this recipe when I came across it – the title alone has me dreaming of soft cake drenched in sticky citrus deliciousness. It is adapted from a recipe by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi from their book Jerusalem. I also happen to have an excess of marmalade in my fridge and adore anything with coconut in it so this one had my name written all over it!
MINCE PIE TART
with CHRISTMAS CUSTARD
2 small apples (about 200g)
1 x 454g jar fruit mincemeat
2 tbsp mixed citrus peel
1 tbsp brandy
flour for dusting
400g ready made puff pastry
star shaped cookie cutters
milk for brushing
icing sugar for dusting (optional)
For the custard:
2 egg yolks
2 tbsp castor sugar
2 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
4 whole cloves
1/2 tsp vanilla paste
1 1/2 tsp finely grated orange rind
Step 2.) Peel and grate the apples. Squeeze out any excess liquid and place in a mixing bowl. Add the fruit mincemeat, citrus peel and brandy. Mix well.
Step 3.) Dust your work surface lightly with flour. Line the tart tin with puff pastry. Cut the excess pastry away from the rim. Press the scraps into a ball and roll out again. Cut out star shapes of various sizes.
Step 4.) Tip the fruit mince mixture into the tart tin. Arrange the stars on top of the tart and brush lightly with some milk.
We stayed in the spacious and comfortable homestead surrounded by beautiful mountains, grazing sheep and the sounds of nature. The farm is a fabulous family destination and the children had the opportunity to feed the animals each morning and evening, milk the goats and go on a tractor ride. The grown ups enjoyed being able to switch off (there was hardly any signal on the farm) and some amazing star gazing in the evenings. Another highlight of the weekend was being able to collect fresh free range eggs in the mornings to enjoy for breakfast. Which brings me to this week’s recipe… but first, here are a few snaps from our trip.
|Boating on the dam.|
|The farm’s resident pooch waiting to join the tractor ride.|
|Our next door neighbours for the weekend.|
|Fresh farm eggs for breakfast.|
VANILLA BEAN AND ALMOND MERINGUES
with MIXED BERRY SAUCE
For the berry sauce:
3/4 cup mixed frozen berries
3 tbsp castor sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
For the meringues:
3 large egg whites, room temperature
150g castor sugar
small pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla paste
1 1/2 tbsp ground almonds
fresh cream to serve
Step 2.) Preheat your oven to 120°C and line a tray with baking paper.
Step 3.) Whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks when the beaters are lifted. Gradually add the castor sugar (about one tablespoon at a time) while beating, and beat well between each addition. Whisk in the salt and vanilla paste.
Step 4.) Drop heaped tablespoons of the meringue mixture onto the prepared tray. Finally, sprinkle the ground almonds over the meringues.
Step 5.) Bake the meringues for 1 hour. Switch the oven off but leave the door closed, and allow the meringues to dry out for a further hour.
Step 6.) Serve the meringues with fresh cream and the berry sauce. Store any leftovers in an airtight container. The sauce should be stored in the fridge.