Hi everyone! Just wanted to quickly say a Happy New Year to all our lovely blog readers. I know we have been quiet with our blogging throughout the last couple of months and I sincerely apologise for that. There’s no point in me making up excuses, the actual fact is that personally I was just being lazy and lost my blogging mojo.
A couple of weeks ago, a good friend of mine, Christine, asked if I could create a dessert table for her wedding. She gave me free reign of the dessert selection, with the only request that the colour scheme be pink, gold and brown. I won’t lie, initially I was a little hesitant as it had been quite a while since I had baked anything worthwhile. Not wanting to let her down, I decided to go against any reservations I had and gave it a go.
Past experience from baking for my own wedding along with a couple of dessert tables I’ve done for friends tells me that I should select desserts that can be made up to a week in advance, e.g. Cookies and Brownies. With this in mind, Christine and Tommy’s wedding dessert table consisted of:
- Rose and Vanilla Macaron
- Chocolate Cake pops
- Hazelnut and Choc chip cookies
- Cranberry, Macadamia and white Chocolate cookies
- Fruit Tart
- Walnut Brownies
- Red Velvet Cupcake
- Home made caramel Popcorn
- Apothecary jars filled with Japanese lychee lollies, Pink baby jellybeans, Strawberries and Cream and Ferrero Rocher.
The plan was to start baking a week prior to the wedding, giving me ample time to relax and do things at my own pace. I’m not sure what happened, but that weekend I was too lazy to bake, so shifted the start day to the Thursday before the wedding. Thursday night, just before I was ready to start baking, my niece decided to visit. How could I say no or ignore that little munchkin. Before you know it, it was nearly 11pm when they decided to leave. That left me with Friday night and saturday afternoon to bake everything I had promised the bride.
Friday night after work, shit had hit the fan. I was panicking now. Nothing had been done. The only way around this was to multitask, which I’m not a believer of. First up were the cake pops and brownies. Cake pops were successful, but the brownies failed. The butter somehow separated from the extremely dry brownies, rendering them to the bin. By the time I had made the second batch of succesful brownies, it was bedtime. I went to bed that night with a little apprehension. I still have so much to do, and only half a day to complete them.
Saturday afternoon after work, I started to work on things slowly, making sure I didn’t make any mistakes. Within the first hour, I had piped the macarons, whilst waiting for it to dry, I had made the cookie dough. Things seemed to move at quite a fast pace, everything was working out well and went according to plan. Once the cookies were baked and cooling on the cooling rack, the macarons were baked. I breathed a sigh of relief at the sight of beautiful feet on the macaron shells. From then, I moved on to the red velvet cupcakes.
In my attempt to save time, I got Howard to help assist in making the caramel popcorn. Surprisingly it turned out perfectly, I don’t think I could have done it any better myself. Once the cupcakes were cooling down, I baked the tart shells. By this time, anything that needed to be baked was baked.
After dinner, Howard helped me assemble all the components; sandwiched the vanilla buttercream between the two rose macaron shells, piped the cream cheese frosting on to the cupcake and filled the baked tart with creme patissier.
On the morning of the wedding, I finalised all the minor details, for example, painting gold dust on to the brownies and topping the fruit tart. I absolutely adore the look of Black Star Pastry’s Watermelon cake, so decided to base the topping of the fruit tart on the cake.
An hour before the reception, Howard and I rushed to the restaurant to set up the Dessert table. Despite all the frantic rushing about and ensuring all the desserts were displayed as I had imagined, we managed to finish the set up 5 minutes before guests were due to arrive.
Looking back at the Dessert table, I realised how much I missed baking and working under pressure. I first met the bride, Christine in year 7, she was one of the first friend I made in high school. Almost 15 years down the track and we’re still good friends, for which I am very privileged. I would like to send out a huge congratulations to the happy couple, and thank Christine and Tommy for trusting me to bake for their guests. It was such an honour for me to be given the opportunity to be a part of their special day.
Now that I have finally completed my first blog for the new year, I promise to be more consistant with my posts. Look out for upcoming posts tracking our eating adventures throughout London, Spain, Portugal and France.
To finish things off, I’ll give you my recipe on how I made the Rose and Vanilla Macaron. It’s an amazing combination, and is now one of my favourite macaron flavours.
Rose and Vanilla Macaron
Rose Macaron- Adapted from Tartelette
- 110gm almond meal minus 2 teaspoon
- 200gm icing sugar
- 3 egg whites
- 30gm caster sugar
- 2 teaspoon plus extra dried rose petals
- 1/8 teaspoon pink gel paste
- 3 days prior to baking the macaron, separate the white from the egg yolk. Allow it to age in the regrigerator by covering it with a cloth or paper towel. On the day of baking, remove from the fridge and allow egg white to reach room temperature before whisking.
- Process the almond meal, icing sugar and 2 teaspoon of rose petals until well incorporated.
- Whisk egg whites till it reaches a soft peak, gradually incorporate the caster sugar while beating. Whisk till a stiff peak is achieved (about 3 minutes of medium speed), then add the pink gel paste. Whisk until well mixed.
- Add 1/3 of the previously processed almond meal and icing sugar into the egg white. With a spatula, mix the mixture, adding the remaining 2/3 of the mixture as you go. Continue mixing until the mixture is well incorporated and is of magma consistency.
- Pipe the mixture onto baking paper, leaving a gap of 2.5cm between each circle.
- Allow the macaronage to sit for half an hour, this dries out the outer layer- thus when baked forms a crispy shell.
- Pre-heat fan forced oven to 120 degrees celsius.
- Upon lightly touching the top of the piped macronage, the mixture should not stick to your finger. Once this has been achieved, bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes.
- Remove from oven and allow the shell to completely cool. Once cool, use simple syrup to stick pieces of dried rose petals on to the macaron shell, then sandwiched with Vanilla buttercream.Vanilla buttercream- Adapted from Tartelette
- 100gm sugar
- 2 egg whites
- 170gm unsalted butter
- 1 vanilla bean split open and seeded
- Place sugar and egg whites into a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water. Whish continuously until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture thickens to a thick white mixture.
- Tranfer to a stand mixture and whisk on medium speed until mixture cools down.
- Swap the whisk attachment to a paddle attachment, then add softened butter, one tablespoon at a time. Add the vanilla seeds and continue mixing until smooth.