60 birthday wishes!

My Uncle's amazing cake - and delicious too

My Uncle’s amazing cake – and delicious too

This time last year I discovered the recipe for the best chocolate cake in the world and all in the name of baking an amazing cake for my Uncle’s birthday.  This year I was given the weekend off as my Aunt arranged for an old friend, who is also a fantastic cake decorator, to bake the birthday boy a special cake.  However, I couldn’t let my uncle’s extra-special birthday pass without preparing some sort of treat for the whole family to enjoy together, so I instead decided to revisit an old favourite, egg-free meringues.

My original thought had been to use the meringues plus a great new product I’ve discovered to make a M-friendly Eton Mess dessert.  I read about Soyatoo! Rice Whip on the fantastic Lucy’s Friendly Foods blog and had immediately ordered both the rice and coconut whipping cream to keep at home.  I’m always looking for easy alternatives to use for desserts other than just cakes or biscuits and the rice whip fitted the bill.  A couple of weekends ago, I had whipped it to serve with some home-made apple and blackberry crumble and both children had cleared their bowls – a sure sign of a big culinary success.

However, inspired by the prospect of the new Great British Baker series starting next week, I thought I’d give a nod to macarons instead.  I didn’t venture into completely new territory by attempting to add ground almonds to the mix (that’s for another day), but did colour my meringue mixture before baking and paired them into sandwiches for serving.  I made flavoured buttercream icings to sandwich my meringues together and used M and G as taste-testers for the final product.  I had mixed success.  The yellow and pink meringues turned out beautifully, but the orange ones were an unmitigated disaster and ended up in the bin.  I made lemon and strawberry flavoured icing, filled the meringues and served the “macarons” in a dish. I would love to show you how they looked, but I forgot to take a “before” photo and this is all that’s left for the “after” one!

A single, solitary strawberry macaron left

A single, solitary strawberry macaron left

HAPPY 60th BIRTHDAY UNCLE R!

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