Amber’s 11th birthday cake

I was asked to make a cake for a former colleague’s daughter who was about to celebrate her 11th birthday. Tina and I worked together for several years but had sadly lost touch since then. Through the power of Facebook, we have thankfully been chatting and catching up again. It also turns out that both our daughters will start the same senior school in September this year so it looks likely that we won’t be losing touch again.

Amber had specific requirements for her cake. It had to be white with bright coloured decoration and just HAD to have a bow! Not one to let a birthday girl down, I rose to the occasion with this two tier vanilla cake.

The top tier was a 6″ round and the bottom was an 8″ square. The bow was made from fondant, which was rolled very thinly and folded, supported overnight to hold its shape.

Summer Lavender Meringue

Such a simple to make dessert that anyone can make, though so many shy away from.

I’ve made one today using some lavender sugar that I made, and am sharing my recipe with you here.

4 egg whites (8tbs Two Chicks pasteurised egg white)
225g (8oz) lavender caster sugar
5ml (1tsp) cornflour
5ml (1tsp) white vinegar
2.5ml (1/2tsp) vanilla extract
Gel paste food colouring (optional)

Preheat your oven to 130C

Draw a 9″ circle onto some baking parchment, then turn it over.

Line a baking tray with the parchment.

Whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks.

Sieve the caster sugar to remove the flowers, return these to the jar to flavour more sugar.

Gradually add the caster sugar, a spoon at a time, whilst continuing to whisk.

Mix the cornflour, vinegar and vanilla together then fold into the meringue mix (add any paste colouring at this point too, if desired).

Spoon half of the meringue mixture onto the baking parchment and spread out to fill the circle you previously drew on the reverse.

Spoon ‘dollops’ of the remaining mixture around the edges of your meringue base to become a ridge.

Place in your preheated oven for 90 minutes.

Turn off the oven, leaving the meringue in there with the door closed until cold. This can take about 3 hours.

Serve with whipped double cream and and fresh summer berries.