Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Pavlova for Australia Day 2016

The last time I made a pavlova for Australia Day was 2013, so I needed to make one this year after such a long pavlova drought.  I followed the same recipe, but I used apple cider vinegar and potato starch because we didn't have regular white vinegar and corn flour. It still turned out well with heaps of meringue which was thick and fluffy.

Inspired by Nigella Lawson's lemon meringue cake, Mum was keen to slather this pavlova with lemon curd (from a bottle I'm afraid, but we're keen to make it from scratch next time) instead of whipped cream.  I'm not sure which is the lesser evil - the sugar from the curd or fat from the cream! Since the pavlova already had such a tang, I didn't add any passion fruit.

Compared with 2013 pavlova, I think I need to brush up on my decorating skills!

Women's Weekly Blackberry Lemon Cake

Wishing you a very happy 2016!  Oh my goodness, it's been over 7 months since I've updated my blog, how disgraceful!  I blame my boss for this... ok, not entirely because I'm a grown up and responsible for my own life, but he was promoted mid last year which meant my job got a lot busier. Not that it's a bad thing, but my primary focus was work and I was grumpy because life wasn't as balanced as I like it to be. It didn't help that I had a milestone birthday, but I spent a week at my favourite St Regis Singapore which made things a little better. So for 2016, I would like a more balanced year to have more time to make things.

I was chatting with my colleague SB about baking more and he requested a croquembouche and an opera cake ... he's been watching too many episodes of The Great British Bake Off ! I haven't baked for over a year so I picked this simple blackberry lemon cake from Women's Weekly's Indulgent Cakes book to ease back into baking rather than start with something so extravagant!

I shared this cake with my favourite boys (SB included) from work, and they gave it a thumbs up.  I even bought Tom & Jerry sandwich bags to store them in as I didn't think they would appreciate the Hello Kitty ones I have!

I thought the cake was a little too sweet so I would cut down on the sugar, and the texture was soft and crumbly. I added extra lemon zest (because I love my zester) and doubled the quantity of blackberries.