A family of six and their fearless journey through life, love and the pursuit of all things yummy

French Meringue Cake – Just for Dad! June 20, 2012

It’s was Father’s Day and Lonnie requested “something French-ie” for his dessert. I found this recipe, courtesy of Laura Calder, and decided to give it a whirl. You can flavour your meringue and your French buttercream with a million different combinations. Go crazy!!!


  • For the meringue
  • 4 ounces ground almonds or hazelnuts
  • 1 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 4 egg whites
  • For the buttercream
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 cup or 2 sticks butter, very soft
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • For the top
  • 1 cup slivered almonds, toasted
  • 6peaches, sliced


To make the cake: Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment and draw on 2 (9-inch) circles. Cook’s Note: You could also do rectangles.

In a small bowl, combine the ground almonds, cornstarch, and all but 2 tablespoons of the sugar. In a separate bowl, beat the whites to soft peaks, and then beat in the remaining sugar to make a stiff meringue. Fold in the almond mixture in 3 batches to combine thoroughly. Using a piping bag with a large tip, pipe the meringue onto the circles on the parchment. Bake until crisp and dry, about 1 1/2 hours.

To make the buttercream: Heat the sugar with 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons water to dissolve, then boil to soft-ball stage, which is just before the syrup changes color (235 to 240 degrees F on a candy thermometer). Beat the egg yolks in a stand-up mixer, then, with the beaters running, quickly add the hot syrup in a thin stream. Continue beating until the mixture is cool and forms and thick mousse, about 5 minutes. Beat in the butter, gradually, and finally add the vanilla.

To assemble the cake: Set a round of meringue on a serving plate. Spread over a quarter of the buttercream. Lay in a layer of sliced peaches. Spread the top layer with buttercream and set it on top of the first. Spread the remaining butter cream over the sides of the cake. Press the toasted almonds all around the sides. Arrange another layer of peach slices on top.



The Art of Maceration June 2, 2012

Filed under: Food, Wine, and Nummies — Brandi @ 10:21 pm
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Okay, there really is no art. In fact, it’s kind of up to you. The definition of maceration (in the culinary world) is to soak fruit in some sort of liquid. Any liquid. It’s basically marinating fruit. I started on this maceration kick because I wanted to cut down on the fat and calories that I use in my sweets. I am of German decent and of course, we put cream on EVERYTHING, so I started macerating fruits. This is what I tried last night with my low-cal baked custard: Macerated Blackberries with Sweet Vermouth. To quote a 13 year old, “O-M-G!” It’s delicious. And the great thing about using alcohol, it PRESERVES your fruit! Here are some other ideas what to do to macerate various fruits. Go crazy. Have fun. Name it after yourself. Life is too short to be humble. Slather your fruit over low-cal frozen yogurt or on top of angel food cake. Unreal. Thank you God for berries. And booze.

INSTRUCTIONS: Take any fruit (and I do mean any), sprinkle 1 T. of sugar/honey over fruit and add in whatever proportion any of the following (it’s to taste people!)

  • Liquors and liqueurs with a fruity, herbal or spicy profile
  • Vinegars such as balsamic, cider, red wine or champagne
  • Honey, maple syrup or agave nectar
  • Ground or whole spices including cinnamon, black pepper and star anise
  • Citrus juice and zest
  • Fresh, chopped herbs
  • Ginger
  • Fresh and dried chiles
  • Extracts like vanilla or almond

Floating Cloud Butterscotch Pudding May 1, 2012

Filed under: Food, Wine, and Nummies — Brandi @ 1:08 am
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When you’re in a pinch and need to whip up a quick dessert, or you just have a hankering for something warm and gooey, this is it. Don’t let the simplicity make you think this dessert isn’t the bees knees. This is my mum’s recipe and it’s old school and decadent. Give it a whirl and let me know how yours turns out.

Heat oven to 350 degrees

1 1/3 c. packed brown sugar

2 1/2 – 3 cups water

2 tsp. vanilla

Put into a pot, heat until boiling and let it go for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and put into a 9×13 pan or some fancy pants casserole dish.

Mix together with a whisk:

1 T. melted butter

1/2 c. white sugar

1/2 c. milk

1 cup flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

Drop by spoonfuls into the hot butterscotch. Place them so they’re “floating” in the dreamy liquid! Bake until the clouds are a golden brown. Serve with vanilla ice cream or homemade whipped cream.

I was too excited and took a picture before I added my whipped cream!