As part of ‘Bampa’s 60th birthday celebrations we went out for a meal in a local restaurant. We decided to make a bit of a fuss for this family meal and turned up with balloons to make him smile.
I made a coffee and walnut sponge which was really nice, very light and crumbly. Here’s a picture of three of his grandchildren helping him blow out the candles.
In addition to cakes I’ve also made quite a few pavlovas in the last year or two. They’re a brilliant invention and deserve a posting of their own really. Unfortunately I’ve only got one photo to show here but I’m sure there will be lots more to come.
Pavlovas are indeed named after Anna Pavlova the russian ballet dancer in 1926. For this pavlova opposite I used a smaller circle or oval to have enough left over for a lid. I’ve also doubled up the mixture to make a really big pavlova with a big lid for family parties.
3 egg whites
190g 61/2 oz caster sugar
1 level tsp cornflour
1 tsp raspberry vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
Large tub of whipped/double cream
Any fruit you like I normally use a berry mix including strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries but whatever is in season. Equally an exotic fruit pavlova is lovely with pineapple, passion and kiwi fruits.
Draw a 23 cm (9inch) oval on a piece of baking parchment and place on a baking sheet.
Whisk the egg whites until stiff then gradually add the sugar, 2oz at a time whisking after each addition until the whites are stiff again. Then fold in the cornflour and vinegar.
Pipe, or dollop the meringue into the oval marked on the baking sheet making a dip in the middle to hold the filling. Bake in the oven at 180C 350F mark 4 for 5 minutes then lower to 130C 250F mark 1/2 for a further 45-50 minutes until set but soft in the middle.
Leave to cool slightly then carefully peel off the paper. When completely cold, add the whipped cream and remaining 1/2 oz of sugar (if you want to) with the fruit and pile on top!
You could also make a coulis from some of the fruit to drizzle over.
Hettie shared her birthday cakes with Aunty Sarah again so this time I made lots of cup cakes with pink icing, glitter, silver balls and flowers. At some point I’m going to have to learn how to make the flowers and other decorations…
The cakes were specifically vanilla as ordered by Sarah. Phil took these rather lovely shots of them as we’re combining both our passions, mine being baking and his being photographing (and then eating) what I make!
Hettie enjoyed eating the icing first. Again I’m quite happy with these cakes, they look wonderful together on mum’s old fashioned glass cake stand.
Also some cakes I had commissioned for Phil’s 30th birthday party with Star Wars characters from Konditor and Cook a bit sickly to eat but great fun to look at!