June 08, 2015

Party weekend!

This Sunday was my mum's 50th birthday!

Happy Birthday Mum!
I hosted a party to celebrate the big day, inviting friends and family over for a BBQ and was pleasantly surprised that almost everyone I asked came (and even a few extra which resulted in a busy house!)!

The chickens were loose all day and the bees were VERY active (with rain coming and going all day they could feel a storm trying to come so they were busy stocking up food) but everyone coexisted well. The chickens crossed the creek to see the horses in the bush paddock for the first time (that I'm aware of) and the (not-so) chicks were admired by everyone for their pretty feathers.
I may share the recipe for this pink angel food cake with pink marshmallow frosting too!
Pink was the colour of the day for mum's party and I made a pink vanilla angel food cake with very pink marshmallow frosting and vanilla macarons with raspberry purée and pink vanilla buttercream.

I want to share with you the recipe for the macarons because I found them to be very successful. They were a little "rustic" because I couldn't be bothered to do step 2.... they still turned out good (maybe a little taller than they should have been) but they were delicious regardless!

Vanilla Macarons with Raspberry Purée and Pink Vanilla Buttercream
Vanilla Macarons

  • 120 g egg whites (separated into 60g and 60g), room temperature
  • 150 g almond meal (ground almonds)
  • 150 g icing sugar
  • 150 g white granulated sugar, + 35g for the meringue
  • 50 g water
  • 1 tsp vanilla (clear if you have it, pure otherwise)
  • sprinkles or other decorations (if you just want them plain, skip this and skip step 13, going for 15 minutes at step 12 instead!)
  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. If you don't own one of those fancy macaron mats, trace 1 inch circles on one side of parchment paper and put the paper pencil-side-down on a baking sheet (so you can still see the marks through the paper but don't make a mess of your pretty meringues!)
  3. In a food processor, pulse together almond meal and icing sugar and sift into a bowl.
  4. Mix in 60 g of egg whites and 1 tsp vanilla extract until you get a smooth paste.
  5. In a pot on the stove, start to boil together 150g of sugar and 50g of water while you whip you whip the egg whites (you're aiming for 230F on your candy thermometer!)
  6. In a clean, grease free bowl (I usually wash it out with hot water and soap before mixing, just to be sure it's clean) whip the egg whites and remaining 35g of white sugar to stiff (not dry!) peak (when you lift the whisk, the egg whites will stand straight up).
  7. When your sugar reaches 230F, slowly stream the hot syrup mixture into the meringue while mixing. Continue to whip the egg whites until they become room temperature and it gets to stiff peak.
  8. Not-so-gently fold about a third of the meringue into the almond paste mixture to loosen it up (you won't completely deflate your meringue here).
  9. Gently fold in the rest of the meringue into the batter until no streaks of meringue remain (It will become a thick, lava-like texture that reincorporates itself into the batter within 25 seconds).
  10. Transfer mixture to a piping bag and pipe onto your prepared parchment lined baking sheet or macaron mat.
  11. Rap the sheet against a table to get out the air bubbles, if that doesn’t get them all out use a toothpick to pop any big air bubbles.
  12. Let them sit for about 10 minutes to form a skin.
  13. Add sprinkles and let them sit for 5 more minutes.
  14. Bake in preheated oven for about 7 minutes, turn the pan and bake for another 7 minutes.
  15. Allow macarons to cool on the sheet (since they're so light it only takes 10 or 15 minutes)

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla (clear if you have it, otherwise use pure)
  1. Whip the butter and vanilla in a mixing bowl until lighter in colour.
  2. Add Icing sugar in 3 stages and whip until light and fluffy.
  3. Transfer to a piping bag with a small appropriate sized tip to fill the macarons.
  1. When all the macaron shells are cooled, pair the shells to matching sized halves.
  2. If you want a fruit filling (I used a thick raspberry purée), pipe a ring of buttercream and put the fruit in the middle before sandwiching the other half of the macaron together, if not, fill the whole shell with buttercream, then sandwich together.
  3. Store the macarons in an airtight container in the fridge at least overnight which will result in a soft, chewy macaron (otherwise they shatter when you bite them which is yummy, but not a macaron!).
  4. Try hard to not eat them all!

I'll have to share the recipe for that cake too, it was a HIT! The cake was perfectly springy, fluffy and delicious and the frosting was SWEET and sticky and yummy! Not a crumb was left from the party!

Happy 50 mum!!