Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Tulips, chocolates and Turkish delight

Midwinter is almost here and already the days are getting longer.  Add to that the full second the world gained overnight and things are looking decidedly rosy.  The schools are closed for the mid-year holidays which means lighter traffic on the roads.  It also means that today we had the good fortune of having our three Sydney grandchildren and their mother here for lunch.

They came bearing tulips, chocolate and Turkish delight.  Wonderful children, they know our weaknesses.  Our ten-year-old granddaughter has a severe dairy allergy so when I opened the July issue of delicious. Magazine, there on the cover was the perfect solution - a stunning dairy-free celebration cake.

Coconut chiffon cake with meringue icing.  I mean, what could possibly go wrong?  Well, if you rush in without reading the complete recipe, a whole lot.  Like possessing not one but two 20 cm spring form pans.  However, I did have one 23 cm spring form pan plus an ordinary cake tin of the same size, so I made do with those and shortened the cooking time to compensate for the size.  Good job Robyn, I thought smugly.

The cake was lovely, light and airy, which it should be with all those egg whites.  I was feeling pretty chuffed, with only the meringue icing to contend with and that's where I read a little further down the recipe.  The four egg whites and the rest of the ingredients were to be placed in a heat-proof basin, sat over simmering water and whipped to within an inch of its existence for seven minutes, or until thickened.  Ah, an Italian meringue.  After the seven minutes passed and my trusty little electric hand beater was at the point of imploding, I realised that it was not stiff like the cover of the magazine and became a little disheartened.  At this point I did what I always do in desperate moments - I read the balance of the recipe.  The meringue was to be transferred to the bowl of my Kenwood Chef and beaten at high speed for a further five minutes.  

The resemblance to the magazine cover cake was as different as day is to night, but it was at least on the plate and received much praise when it was delivered to the table.  I encouraged the kinder to take a finger lick of the icing before they felt obliged to commit to a slice. The verdict was varied, all the way from interesting (the two older ones) to weird, from the six year-old.  However, they opted for a slice and then finished the meal with lashings of chocolates and Turkish delight.  A generous slab of cake was send home for our son-in-law to deal with.

Would I make it again?  Are you kidding?

It's the first day of the new financial year in Australia and I am holding a couple of sales to help boost the economy.  The first is on my MadeIt store where for a short period I am offering 50% off selected items.  Some have already sold, so if you find something you like, don't delay.

The second option is over at my Etsy store where I am offering 20% off my entire stock to celebrate 4 July.  This sale ends on 11 July.  Simply use the coupon code hotfudge4july at the checkout to activate the discount.

Image: Boutique Baby Photography
Now the question is, can we face up to another slice of the cake for dessert tonight?