Beautiful Pavlova

Pavlova

A pavlova is one of those desserts one can whip up in 15 minutes, pop in the oven before dinner guests start arriving, and have for dessert a couple of hours or so later. Or, more often than not in my case, whenever your guests stop feeling so stuffed from dinner and start feeling like they have room in their stomachs for dessert. Or make the meringue ahead and keep it in an airtight container for a day or two (depending on the humidity in your area), and then put it all together just before serving.

My first encounter with Pavlova was, aptly, in Australia. I won’t get into the tussle as to where it originates from exactly, but this dish is definitely one loved by many Australians as well as New Zealanders. I had my very first taste of it in a little café somewhere in Melbourne. Granted, the way the café made it wasn’t something memorable, but I was immediately struck by the possibilities of the dessert.

The sweet meringue base is mild enough to be the foundation of a multitude of flavours, and pairs well with lightly sweetened whipped cream, fruit, fruit-based curds, etc. There’s something about the sweet crisp base combined with the billowy cream and the tart-sweetness of fruit that is a winning combination. Continue reading

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Happy 21st!

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Made this cake for my sister’s 21st birthday party. Happy Birthday MA!!

Strawberry cheesecake with a white chocolate mousse layer on top, green white chocolate trees and a chocolate house made of Lindt chocolate bars and chocolate biscuit fingers.

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So worth the effort. But this week has been exhausting.

Aaron’s Birthday

We recently celebrated Aaron’s birthday and as he’s a good friend of ours, I had the honour of making his birthday cake.

He didn’t have any idea what sort of cake he wanted, but was quite quick to say that he didn’t want chocolate. I asked him what his favourite fruits were, and he came up with peach, orange and pear. In that order. I was stumped at first… peaches aren’t in season, and using canned ones in birthday cake just doesn’t sit right with me somehow. Oranges are pretty hard to get right in-terms of flavour for curds, at least, I haven’t been able to conquer them yet… and pears… well, lets just say that I have one really good recipe for pear cake, but it’s not really the sort of cake you think of when you say ‘birthday cake’.

So after a few days worth of searching the web furiously for ideas, I came across a combination that I’d been wanting to try for a while now – White cake with orange cream filling and a good vanilla bean buttercream frosting. Unfortunately, when I tried to make the cake, a few things went wrong and I got pretty frazzled. Continue reading