Mini Lemon Meringue

Whenever I go to a coffee shop or restaurant, I will invariably order a lemon meringue.  I wouldn’t say that it’s my favorite sweet treat of all time, but I order it because people always seem to manage to make such dry and tasteless chocolate cakes that I simply cannot risk the disappointment.   At least a bad lemon meringue will simply make me go, “oh well… at least it’s edible…”
But what I love most is a little creation I made in the past and recently introduced to my regular Friday clients:  mini-lemon meringues in hand-crafted and cinnamon-infused puff pastry.
It’s rustic and definitely not of the cookie-cutter variety.  Absolutely delectable.

Whenever I go to a coffee shop or restaurant, I will invariably order a lemon meringue.  I wouldn’t say that it’s my favorite sweet treat of all time, but I order it because people always seem to manage to make such dry and tasteless chocolate cakes that I simply cannot risk the disappointment.   At least a bad lemon meringue will simply make me go, “oh well… at least it’s edible…”

But what I love most is a little creation I made in the past and recently introduced to my regular Friday clients:  mini-lemon meringues in hand-crafted and cinnamon-infused puff pastry.

It’s rustic and definitely not of the cookie-cutter variety.  YUM
LemonMeringue

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Happy birthday Heidi

Heidi’s instructions for her 3rd birthday cake was loud and clear. She wanted a PRINCESS CAKE.  With wings!

The family favourite courgette cake was used as a base for this cake, while lemon cream cheese frosting and chopped pistachio nuts defined the dress trim.

fairy princess cake

Tennis Court

It’s been a pretty busy week – cake orders have been pouring in, the kids’ school broke up for the spring holidays and I had to prepare two birthday parties for my daughter – one at her school and one at home.

Meanwhile, the Tennis Court cake I had to bake for Friday was crowned “order of the week”.  It was the first time I created a tennis court and because my technical tennis knowledge is a little lacking, I first had to do some research…

The base lines and racquets were made from chocolate.

Happy birthday Jessica – I hope you and your tennis-loving friends loved eating the cake as much as I loved creating it!

Camp baking

Ever been out camping and suddenly had the urge to bake something?   It happens to me quite often, so I’ve decided to build a library of recipes specifically for camping.

Take, for instance, this past weekend.  I actually had a movie date with my friend, but The Man decided it was time to grab the tent, the kids and the dogs and go out camping!  Awesome stuff.  Except that Beaverlac is in the middle of nowhere with no electricity.  Or so I thought… because it turned out that, although it has no electricity and only one hot-water shower on the entire farm, it also has a little shop where one could buy (almost) anything.  In my case, I forgot my box of rooibos tea and sugar, and R13 later I walked out with some Freshpak.

But back to baking… so I sat around on Saturday afternoon with my hands itching for a good baking session, when inspiration struck:  BREAD!

The basic recipe:

  • 500 g self-raising flour
  • 1 can of beer (at this point I do not recommend Castle, but something lighter like Windhoek Lite, especially if you don’t want a beer-tasting loaf)

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Mix together and give it a good kneading until you have a nice elastic dough ball.  I was in the mood for some cheesy, garlicky goodness, so I added some chopped cheese and garlic too…

Now, here’s where the fun starts.  You can pop the whole thing into a pot and place it on the fire, make stick bread OR make some rolls, place them on the grid and braai until done.

Or add herbs like rosemary or some maldon salt.  Freakin hell…. add choc chips if you must.  Not even the sky is the limit when you bake this bread at the campsite!

Bread

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A gentleman’s cake

So I’m working at a new office with new colleagues and new challenges.  And they came to realise pretty quickly just how handy it is to have me around, since every Friday is now known as Cake Friday.

So far I’ve baked for an office baby shower and birthday, and it was subsequent to Mr G’s birthday that he asked me to make something special for his son-in-law.

Now, what’s a girl to do when she has free reign over the cake she’s about to make and the only instruction is to use EXACTLY the same recipe as the one used for Mr G’s own birthday cake?  You make a Gentleman’s Birthday Cake, of course:  three-layer buttermilk chocolate cake with dark chocolate buttercream frosting and the entire top surface of the cake covered with malted puffs.  Pure decadence.

Lorraine’s party package

Lorraine is a long-time client of my mom’s so I only felt a tiny twang of performance anxiety when she booked me to bake cupcakes for her birthday party.

After some deliberation and weighing up all the options, I received an order for 60 chocolate cupcakes topped with Lindt & Amarula ganache, a malted puff ball and a rose petal or two.

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Order confirmed, our conversation soon turned to my very famous courgette cake.  Or to be more exact, my version of Flora’s Courgette Cake, as featured in Nigella Lawson’s How to be a Domestic Goddess.  I told Lorraine how all my clients’ reactions went from the initial “eeuuww” to “THIS. IS. THE. BEST. CAKE. EVER.” once then have taken a bite.  So she decided to order one too.

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I was quite nervous about the outcome of the cake, especially because I’m usually around when people take their first bite.  But there was no need:  I got an e-mail this morning, singing its praises 🙂

Looking back at all my blog entries until now, I think that Flora Woods’s Courgette Cake has probably received the most coverage.  Of course, I added my own secret ingredients to give it the Cake Revolution stamp, and I developed an additional lemon curd topping (thanks Flora – your curd recipe is tops too!!), but I need to thank Flora Woods once again for giving Nigella this recipe and, in turn, inspiring me to bake something truly great.

I owe you one!

And the winner of 12 FAB cupcakes are…

KREESTAR!!!!!

That’s right – a box of yummy cupakes will soon make its way to you.  Want to be the next winner?  Then keep an eye out for the next competition, starting soon.