Thursday, 25 April 2013

And then came Mothers Day.......

Mothers Day is only 2 weeks away now, and what are we all doing for it?.......entertaining our Mums of course! And it wouldn't be Mothers Day without lots of prettiness, lovely flowers, cakes, and soft hues of pastels. When I think of my Mum, I specifically think of Hydrangeas (her favourite flower of course) and Italian shortbread, or Canestrelli as it's otherwise known (she just loves all things Italian!). So I've incorporated these two elements into my Mothers Day inspiration, along with a few other traditional ideas too.

Mothers Day wouldn't  be complete without a high tea of cupcakes, cookies, macrons and of course cake! But why not add some new ideas this year, perhaps meringues, Italian shortbread, or even donuts?! Better still, what about Petit Fours?! I'm on the campaign this year to bring back Petit Fours! They have seriously been overlooked in the entertaining world, and seemed to be just reserved as an after dinner sweet, usually at weddings and banquet dinners.  But they can be made to look so pretty and taste so delicious and really should be featured on dessert tables, not brushed aside as an after thought. So this year for Mothers Day I will put Mr Meko (aka my pastry chef/husband extraordinaire) to the job to make and share with you all a very pretty Mothers Day Petit Four, to be featured on your Mothers Day table. Watch this space for the recipe.
 
Meanwhile, I've picked out a few of my favourite ideas for Mothers Day, but the full Pinterest board can be found here, with full image credits.
 
Enjoy x

Blue Hydrangeas from www.katyelliott.com


Table Setting from www.mefphoto.com


Pink Meringues from www.blogg.amelia.se/lindalomelino

Pink Layer Cake from www.sweetstella.com.au/

Hydrangea Cupcakes from www.belleinspirations.blogspot.com.au/
 
 Canestrelli (Italian Shortbread) from www.chiharubatolecrostate.com and spilucchino.blogspot.com.au
 
Flower Cupcakes from www.thepastrystudio.com

Pink Ruffle Cake from www.pictureperfectforyou.tumblr.com

Tiffany Box Petit Fours from www.brasstacksevents.com/

Petit Fours - source unknown

Table Setting from www.lindaraxa.blogspot.com.au/

Mothers Day Cake from www.littlebigco.blogspot.com.au


Saturday, 20 April 2013

Forget the ANZAC biscuits......

So as promised on the last blog here is our 'ANZAC' Inspired Apricot & Coconut Frangipane Cake. This is not a recipe you will find anywhere else as we created it all ourselves in the Meko test kitchen! Something new to try this ANZAC day rather than the usual ANZAC biscuits or lamingtons........enjoy x
 


You'll need:
 
400g butter, softened
400g caster sugar
400g shredded coconut
8 eggs
120g plain flour
1 tsp vanilla essence
825g tinned apricot halves
60g brown sugar
60g rolled oats
 
Preheat your oven to 180c and grease and line a 9 inch square tin with oil spray and baking paper. Be sure to use one large sheet of baking paper (not pieces) with excess height on each side to allow for easy removal of the cake from the tin once baked.
 
Drain your apricots from their syrup in preparation for use later.

Mix the oats and brown sugar in a bowl and set aside.
 
Using electronic beaters, cream together your butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Continuing to beat, add your eggs one at a time along with your vanilla essence until mixed through. Be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl down at least once during this process to ensure an even mixture.

Add the coconut and flour and beat slowly (or stir) until thoroughly combined.
 
Using a spatula, dollop the mixture into the tin, ensuring your spread it right to the edges and smoothing over the top.
 
Press your apricot halves into the top of your cake mix, cut side facing down, to form rows. You'll use approximately 16.
 
Reduce your oven to 160c and bake for 1 hour (baking times may vary for different ovens), turning once half way through baking, or until cooked through. You will need to cover with tin foil once cake turns golden to ensure it doesn't colour too much.

Remove from the oven, discard the tin foil and sprinkle the entire cake with the brown sugar and oat mixture and then return to the oven for a final 10 minutes to turn crunchy.

Allow to cool fully before removing from the tin.

Using a serrated knife, trim off the cake edges for a professional finish. Then slice into thirds, and then thirds again to create 9 slices.

Serve with a dollop of thickened cream.

Saturday, 13 April 2013

A little ANZAC inspiration

With ANZAC day approaching next week, as always, I've been searching the net recently to find some different yet traditional ways to celebrate it. Last year on the blog, we made ANZAC cookies dipped in white and dark chocolate which were so yummy! (get the recipe here). But this year I'm inspired to create something that is a bit of twist on the old ANZAC biscuit classic. As such, I've opted to make an ANZAC slice but instead exploring some different flavour alternatives. There are plenty of variations on ANZAC slices out there at the moment, gooey caramel, chocolate and even coconut, oat and apple. In saying that I think I have settled on an apricot and coconut ANZAC slice, but plan to make it as more of a friand than a biscuit base slice. Stay tuned for the next blog for the recipe and pics.

Meanwhile, I thought I would share with you some of the great ideas I found on line for the special day. Whether you are having a quiet afternoon tea with family and friends, or maybe looking for some traditional Australian fare to enjoy over some drinks, there is something for everyone. And as always the entire Pinterest inspiration board can be found here along with full image credits.  

Lime and Mascarpone Anzac Tart from GourmetTraveller.com.au

Anzac Day Cupcake by Rochelle Steer

Cheese, Rosemary & Tomato Mini Dampers from WomensDay.ninemsn.com.au

Anzac Slice from au.lifestyle.yahoo.com

Anzac Biscuits with Poppy Craft Bag (source unknown)
 
Lemon Rosemary Yoghurt Cake by BakedBree.com

Sweet and Spicy Rosemary Nuts from MyKitchenInTheRockies.com

Rosemary Lemonade from ABeautifulMess.com

Coconut, Oat and Apple slice from Wholesome-cook.com

Rosemary and Parmesan Crackers from AlexandraCooks.com

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