Saturday, May 11, 2019

638 & 639/1038 - Nut meringue cake with buttercream filling

Mother's Day is not a huge deal in our house, with me reminding the kids every year that I don't want or need a present. They are obliged, however, to hang out with me for at least part of the day and then I don't mind if we all go our separate ways. Such is life with independent teenage boys. 

So, tomorrow they will head over to my own Mum's place with me to enjoy a homemade lunch. As always, my effort goes into cooking rather than buying yet another present to add to the pile of things filling our already cluttered houses. Dessert will be this beautiful layered cake, complete with three nutty meringues stacked one on top of the other, filled and topped with the most incredibly decadent buttercream and topped with toasted almonds. 

It all sounds rather complicated but actually it was incredibly fast to make. Only one of the layers ended up with a slight split in it, but therein lies one of the joys of making a cake which will be completely hidden under a slathering of buttery goodness. 

Apparently making this cake the day before is a good thing, with the topping seeping it's way into the meringue layers and tasting its best on day two. Of course, this means that I have had to be content with staring at it longingly...and to appease my craving, helping myself to a couple of well sized spoonfuls of the leftover filling. Butter and sweet - what a combination. 

Exams are looming and so this is likely to be the last post for May, hence my desire to combine two recipes in one post.  

Until June! 

Monday, May 6, 2019

637/1038 - Irish stew

A warming stew is just what the doctor ordered after a disappointing and chilly night at the football. We adore lamb in our house and this recipe makes an incredibly tasty dish from what is quite an ordinary cut of meat. We did enjoy the stew as it came on Sunday (which was wonderful!) but my family will never say no to some home-made pastry and so these gorgeous pies were the result of our leftovers being made even more fabulous.

The cooking options for the stew were in the oven or on the stove top. I opted for stove top as I do like to check progress from time to time and lifting the lid is a whole lot easier than dragging a full rondeau in and out of the oven. Insert my awkwardness and the stove top was a very sensible option!

The recipe called for three cups of water (or stock, but lamb stock is hard to find!) but somehow my rondeau was completely full and so I put in much, much more in order to cover the ingredients. Because of this, I cooked it mostly lid off so that the excess water could evaporate. It also meant that I spent some time today reducing the juices so that the pies wouldn't run everywhere. But the taste was AMAZING and so I don't think my heavy handedness on the liquid pouring was too much of a problem.

Because I used (lots of) water and not stock, I had to adjust the flavour slightly, which I did with a good dash of hot sauce and a decent slurp of Worcestershire sauce.

Just fabulous. 
Irish stew as it comes

Friday, May 3, 2019

636/1038 - Quandong and berry sponge pudding

Quandongs really are a wonderful fruit and I am so pleased I have an enormous bag of the dried variety to play around with. This was the first time I have tried rehydrating them and while the flavour was still fabulous, it was a little more subdued. 

I decided to pair the quandongs with strawberries and was pleased to discover that they are a really lovely combination. The sponge topping was very simple, but if you are using a deeper dish with less width as I did, the cooking time will be much longer than what is recommended.

We are in the middle of about a million fabulous projects right now but I am also feeling supremely guilty for having slowed this challenge to only one recipe per month. I calculated my finish time based on this pace, realised the challenge would take more than thirty years to complete and promptly pulled The Cook's Companion off the shelf and searched for a recipe to make immediately. 

Feeling industrious, I also made two batches of ice-cream to serve with the pudding; one vanilla and one wattleseed which is pictured above in the shape of a slightly sad and melted scoop, suffering under the bright lights of our dining room. Even slightly melted, it paired beautifully with the pudding.

So there it is - the first recipe for May and completed only two days in. Hopefully more to come soon!