Monday, 23 January 2012


It was my birthday last week and this weekend I had some friends round for a joint birthday get together/ baby shower for my friend who was due to give birth last Thursday!

I had a real notion to make pavlova but must admit was a little apprehensive that it would sink, crack too much etc. The recipes I looked at also seemed to vary in the cooking time so I played it by ear and settled on 1 hour 20 minutes given that I used a lower oven setting than some recipes.

I couldn't decide how best to decorate/ serve - I had considered nutella , chocolate or butterscotch sauce but settled on a lighter whipped cream , strawberry and kiwi combo to make sure the taste of the sweet slightly chewy meringue came through.

That being said this turned out a real winner with one of my friends going back for her fourth portion :)

Along with my friend I also made some whoopie pies which I'll post later.


4 egg whites

225g golden caster sugar

1 tsp cornflour

1 tsp white wine vinegar

vanilla essence/ extract

284ml carton double or whipping cream

1 lemon , zested

fruit of choice for topping, strawberries, kiwi etc

1 tbsp icing sugar

Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Cover a baking sheet with baking parchment. Whisk the egg whites with electric beaters until they just form stiff and shiny peaks. Gradually add the sugar a couple of tablespoons at a time and whisk really well between each addition. When all of the sugar is used up continue whisking for 3-4 minutes or until the meringue is stiff and glossy and stands up in peaks, then whisk in the cornflour and vinegar.
Spoon the mixture onto the baking parchment and use a palette knife to make a circle about 20cm in diameter. Put in the oven, turn the temperature down to 120C/fan 100C/gas ½ and cook for about 1½ hours. Turn the oven off and leave the meringue inside until completely cold. I made this the night before and left in the oven overnight. 
Whip the cream with a bit of icing sugar to sweeten . Cut and display fruit on top. Serve with more cream, sauce or fruit if desired.

Monday, 2 January 2012

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to everyone! I've never been a lover of New Year and this year was a very quiet one with a few visits and catch- ups with family and friends. I've always wanted to attend a really nice party perhaps in a country house something like a ceilidh but so far have never had the chance  (perhaps one year!).
Anyhow the New Year has got me thinking about the changes I want to make and the things I want to achieve for the year ahead and the future.
First off I finally purchased a new phone a htc salsa. For someone who loves the internet and technology I was never really into phones and was apprehensive about a touch screen. So far I've loving it and can't believe how easy it is to access the internet, send messages and catch up on facebook !
I'm also considering making this blog about all things creative and not just food related. I'd love to try get my work shown more and maybe see if I could get a job in something more creative or perhaps secure a few commissions? ( I'm being optomistic - its only the 2nd January after all!).
For now heres a sketch I did from my new Dowton Abbey book.