It’s been w-a-a-a-a-a-y too long since my last post… but I have a wonderful excuse – I made a baby! I will have to give some of the credit to my wonderful husband too (for when he is reading this!).
We welcomed Zoe into the world at the end of January 2013… and I’ve spent the last 6 weeks falling deeply in love with her, and even more in love (if that’s possible) with Heidi, who is simply besotted with Zoe.
My chief helper Heidi also turned two last weekend…. somebody definitely broke into our home and stole those two years!!
Although I was up to my neck in dirty nappies and baby vomit (I had a week alone with the two kids whilst my husband traveled interstate for work), I couldn’t let the day come and go without making a bit of a fuss of Heidi. So we had a small family afternoon tea, and Heidi and I did some baking… (I must add that Heidi wears her Liberty print apron every time she cooks… most of the time naked underneath!)
Salted Caramel Macaroons
I ‘m not shy about telling you that these salted caramel macaroons were amazing… or that they were from a packet mix.
With new baby in tow, I had to cut some corners somewhere!
Anyone from Australia that knows a-thing-or-three about baking will have heard of Adriano Zumbo who is famous for his deserts, and especially macaroons. Well, I stumbled across his new bake-at-home packs and thought I would give them a whirl. I was impressed, they were quite easy, and there are videos on his websites for some of the tricky parts of each recipe, giving a little extra support.
Persian Love Cake
The talk of Heidi’s second birthday party was the Persian Love Cake. It is always a massive hit.
The recipe originally came from Qöm, a Middle Eastern restaurant at Peregian Beach on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland (where I have spent a lot of time, as a very good friend managed the restaurant/bar above it for a while). I was given this recipe by my Thermomix consultant (Yes, I have also been very busy testing out my new Christmas present!!)
1 whole nutmeg
220 gm raw sugar (I have cut back the sugar to 125g and it is still great!)
220 gm brown sugar (I have cut back the sugar to 125g and it is still great!)
120 gm unsalted butter
1 tsp salt
250 gm Greek-style yoghurt, plus extra to serve
Preheat oven to 170.C
Grind nutmeg for 12 seconds on speed 9. Set aside.
Coarsely chop pistachios by pressing Turbo 3 times. Set aside.
Grind almonds for 4 secs on speed 9. Add sugars , butter and salt. Mix on speed 5 for 15 seconds, using spatula to assist.
Pour half the mixture into a lined and greased 26cm springform pan. Gently press the mixture into the base using a jar or tablespoon.
Add 2 eggs, and nutmeg to the TM Bowl. Mix on speed 3 for 10 seconds, stopping after 5 seconds to incorporate ingredients with spatula. Add yoghurt and mix on speed 3, reverse for 10 seconds. Pour into prepared tin.
Scatter with pistachios around the edge and bake in oven til golden brown, 35 – 40 minutes. Make sure that the top of the cake doesn’t wobble if you shake the tin slightly.
Cool completely in tin on a wire rack to room temperature, then serve with extra yoghurt. Will keep in an airtight container up to one week (if you hide it).
For Heidi’s birthday cake I made rosewater cupcakes. They sound rather posh, but they are simply vanilla cupcakes (packet mix again) with pink colouring and rosewater added to the icing! Heidi placed all the flowers on the top, with a little adjusting by Mum to ensure they were centered.
This year we combined Heidi’s birthday with her cousin Tommy who was turning six. Tommy can’t have dairy, so I made my trusty gluten and dairy free chocolate and orange cake. This too, is always a crowd pleaser. The sugar animals were found in the cake decorating section at the supermarket – the kids loved them.
I have to mention the little wooden soldiers holding the candles. They were used for both my brother’s birthday cakes (commencing their use almost 50 years ago!!). I love that Mum has kept them all these years so the tradition can continue!
I want to make it known that I haven’t given up on Bernice, was just momentarily distracted. I should still find the time to transform into Bernice now and then – even though I have two chief helpers to look after. However you might find my posts are lighter on text, and heavier on images… reducing the time it takes to post.
I have heaps of photos I’ve taken of things I’ve made over the last few months, but haven’t yet written the post… I’m hoping that might change over the coming weeks. Fingers crossed!
Tell me what you think…