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  • Tropical Meringue Nests with Mango and Coconut

    Tropical Meringue Nests with Mango and Coconut

    The idea of whipping and cooking egg whites used to make me want to lie down in a dark room. They always seemed far too difficult and after a horrific attempt many years ago, my desire to ever work with them were wrapped up, boxed and placed on the never-again shelf. By chance, I stumbled upon a recipe for Swiss Meringue Buttercream by Whisk Kid and her step-by-step instructions were clear, precise and best of all, helpful. I successfully baked a Rainbow Cake using her famous recipe and I haven’t looked back. Making these super delicious meringue nests were easy, far easier than baking a cake, with significantly fewer ingredients and labour. If you have a stand mixer you could almost make this recipe and paint your nails simultaneously. Tropical Meringue Nests with Mango and Coconut Makes approx 10 4 egg whites, at room temperature 1 cup (220g) caster sugar 1 tablespoon desiccated coconut 2 teaspoons cornflour ½ teaspoon white vinegar 1 cup thickened cream 1 tablespoon coconut milk powder 1 mango Meringue Nests Preheat the oven to 100°C. Cut a sheet of non-stick baking paper to fit your baking sheet. Draw 6cm circles on the paper, spacing them at least 2cm apart. Turn the baking paper over and place on baking sheet. Place the eggwhites and caster sugar in

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  • Pain Façon Beaucaire – Making french bread with only 4 basic ingredients

    Pain Façon Beaucaire – Making french bread with only 4 basic ingredients

    Carrying on from my previous post, my fascination with homemade bread continues. I am currently in my second week of of nurturing a sourdough starter and it is bubbling away beautifully. I am too impatient to wait to the third week to make bread again so I pulled out this recipe from Richard Bertinet’s book, Dough. This is a fabulous book for novice bread makers like myself. The book concentrates on technique and timing. There are some great informative step-by-step pictures and includes an in-depth 30 minute DVD. The book uses fresh yeast, I was unlucky on my last visit to the local deli, they had run out of fresh yeast and were not getting a delivery until the following week. With some advice from a friend on twitter I substituted it with instant dried yeast. The result was glorious. This gorgeous bread was made with only 4 ingredients. It created a wonderfully chewy, soft, light as air crumb and the crust is thin and delicate, reminiscent of ciabatta. The whole process didn’t take more than 2 hours. All of the hard work was in the first 30 minutes and the rest of the time the dough was rising in my microwave. The unusual thing about this bread is its shape. The slit in the middle is deliberate and makes

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  • Basic Hearth Bread – Making my first loaf of bread

    Basic Hearth Bread – Making my first loaf of bread

    I always put making bread from scratch into the too hard basket. The thought of standing there and kneading dough for 30 minutes really put me off, not to mention the long rising times and the age old dispute about sourdough vs fresh yeast vs dry yeast. It was just easier to go to my local artisan bakery and buy a loaf for a few dollars. It only takes about 30 minutes to walk there and back. That all changed a few months ago when I discovered CityHippyFarmGirl. She made gorgeous luscious loaves and it inspired me to begin my own sourdough starter. I did some research and settled on a recipe from one of my favourite food writers. I purchased organic rye flour and organic bread flour and followed the recipe as closely as possible. It failed on the fifth day. It stopped bubbling and emitted a vomit-like odour. I threw the entire thing in the bin and decided that I don’t eat bread often enough to justify maintaining a starter. Then my friend Richard recently began Project Sourdough. It made me think that perhaps I needed to build my confidence. Starting with sourdough was probably too ambitious for someone that had little experience. I started to flick through Rose Levy Beranbaum’s The Bread Bible. Her chatty and friendly

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