August 2008

As mentioned previously, we made cupcakes for the birthday party, 70 or so. It was the first time I’ve ever cooked on such a scale, but it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be, mostly because the recipes made a lot of cupcakes.

Chocolate cupcakes with storebought frosting and silver cachous.

Vanilla butterfly cupcakes with raspberry jam and cream filling, dusted with icing sugar.

Vanilla cupcakes filled with strawberry jam and cream, dusted with icing sugar.

Chocolate cupcakes topped with white chocolate mousse.



I have to apologise for the prolonged awkward silence, life has been rather hectic lately. I’d attempt to cram it all in one post, but I think that would make for a very long post (not that our posts don’t tend to be too long sometimes anyway). I’m not sure I should try to play catch up: It won’t end up being in order anyway.

The latest venture though was a 21st birthday, for which Tim and I made cupcakes. It was a fantastic night, that strange mix of fun, seriousness, emotions and social flitting. Hopefully the birthday girl had a ball, I hear things settled down sometime around 3 in the morning…

The birthday cake. I think the top layer was taro filled, the bottom one was chocolate. The sponge was so light and fluffy.

Cocktail slushies. No, your eyes don’t deceive you, that really does say “Rock Hard Melon”. I didn’t try the alcoholic one, but the Strawberry Seduction was rather nice. It seemed to have the effect of red cordial on the kids.

An agar jelly cake. Isn’t it pretty?

There were a few hundred profiteroles lying around on the tables, homemade (and handmade at some points). Very yummy!

 The assortment of cupcakes on offer. The larger ones, as well as the butterfly cupcake above were made by Tim and I, the butterfly topped mini cupcakes were made by the birthday girl’s sister. Apparently they were all very popular. I’ll need to do a post on the making of at some point…


I may not have said much on this blog to date, but I still serve (no pun intended) a vital purpose.  For you see, it falls to me to write about certain sweet creations when Chris is otherwise indisposed…

Of course, when I mean ‘indisposed’, I mean, ‘jumping up and down in ecstacy over her creation’…

It all started weeks, no, months ago, when we chanced upon a very comprehensive set of instructions on how to make macarons.  “This can’t be too hard,”, we said, all the steps are laid out right there for us.  We were told, in excruciating detail, how macarons can be foiled by overbeating, overfolding, overcooking, overcast weather… but those chefs at Lindt seem to make perfect ones all the time.  How bad could it be?

We quickly learned that it was all true…



…One makes a lemon tart, of course!

Unlike many of my friends, I find that the longer holidays go on for, the higher the likelihood of my descent into insanity. I first noted this phenomenon in highschool, where I would begin dreaming about going back to school by about the second week of the break, persisting as an almost-nightly occurence until the holidays finished. I simply cannot stand being left alone, at home, with nothing to do but eat, sleep, and chat to friends online.

It has helped that I’ve become interested in cooking for myself – that typically means I’ll spend half the day looking up recipes to attempt, an hour or two cooking, and more time cleaning up (although that probably hasn’t helped my waistline…). And so, in the last few days of the uni holidays, and spurred on by the lovely citrus cremes from Adriano Zumbo, I decided to try my hand at a somewhat time-intensive lemon meringue pie.

My family does have a lemon pie recipe, lovingly copied from a TV show years ago, but I really wanted a softer, more meltingly smooth cream. I decided to try a recipe adapted from Dorie Greenspan and Pierre Hermes (the macaron king) by Fanny at Foodbeam, but halved the recipe so that I’d only end up with one tart.

While long, the recipe isn’t difficult to follow, and the creme came together rather well. The only hitch with the making of the filling came with the blending, as I don’t have a handheld blender. If you read regularly, you would also be aware that I have…issues…with using the blender. I chose to simply strain the creme, and hoped that that would be enough, but as the evening wore on, I realised it probably wouldn’t work. So I enlisted Mum’s help and used a small blender.

At my family’s request, I made a simple whipped cream topping rather than the meringue. I don’t think that made too much of a difference, it was just sweet enough to balance the sourness of the lemon creme.

The recipe for the creme was fantastic, halved without a hitch, and was utterly lemony. It’s not quite as ‘easy’ as the tarts you just put into the oven to bake, but I’m not complaining, it has meant I’ve leveled up – I can now use a double boiler! *game music plays in the background* If you want to do a little less work, then, like me, use a pre-made tart shell. You can buy them pre-baked, or frozen and bake them yourself.

I’d like to try making the tart pastry and meringue next time, but for now, I have a gorgeous lemon creme recipe to play with… And I think next on the list will have to be lemon meringue cupcakes! =)