Chocolate Meringue Cake with Drunken Fruit and a new blog home…

Hello all, my blog has a new home on my brand new website!

www.sweetpeadarlingheart.com

Please come and check it out, and if you would like to keep on receiving my recipes, enter your email address using the pink subscribe box on the right hand side of the site, I’d love to keep sharing with you!

Head on over to find out the recipe for this Chocolate Meringue Cake with Drunken Fruit; I made it for my own ‘Friendsgiving’, it’s a rich and delicious thing to share with your nearest and dearest. A definite recipe for the upcoming festive season.

Hope to see you at my new site

x

Amber

sweetpea_darlingheart_boozy_chocolate_meringue_cake

Thanks to my lovely friends Sarah from Love Katie and Sarah for her beautiful photography, and Rita from Blooming Brides for her gorgeous home grown flowers xxx

 

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Jewelled Orange Blossom Florentines

Inspiration. It comes from all around. A word here, a picture there, even perhaps a smell snatched whilst en route.

Florentine

Florentines. Why did you pop into my head and consume my thoughts? Perhaps it’s the Christmas decorations that have started to adorn the streets; an invitation to dinner; a flick through some cookbooks?  I’m sure it’s a combination of all these things and probably more.

Traditionally florentines are flavoured with either orange peel (of which I am not particularly fond) or orange zest. Neither of these did I have. But what I did have was inspiration! Hurrah. So I took a more middle eastern route and flavoured mine with sour cherries, cranberries (okay, maybe that’s just Christmas inspiration) and orange blossom. Dark chocolate drizzled on top, of course.

Crunchy, tangy, sweet and delicately fragrant. And festive, oh yes, definitely festive.

Cranberry

Jewelled Orange Blossom Florentines

Makes 30 – 40 biscuits
  • 75g unsalted butter
  • 100g sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon orange blossom honey, or 1 tablespoon honey plus 3/4 teaspoon orange blossom water
  • 1/4 cup dried sour cherries
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 100g flaked almonds
  • 20g flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 70g dark chocolate, melted

almonds

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C. Line two baking trays with aluminium foil, matte side up.

In a small saucepan, place your butter, sugar, milk, honey and orange blossom water over a low heat until the butter has melted. Once the butter has melted, turn the heat up just a little and cook, stirring occasionally to prevent it from catching on the bottom of the saucepan, until the mixture reaches 115 degrees celcius on a sugar thermometer, or soft-ball stage.

Remove the saucepan from the heat, then stir in the flour, salt, almonds and dried fruit.

Place scant teaspoons of the mixture on the lined trays. Allow lots of room between the drops of mixture, as the mixture spreads tremendously while it bakes! See before, and after baking…

FlorentineRoundFlorentineFlat

You may need more than two trays, in which case you can bake in two batches.

Bake in the oven for 6 – 8 minutes, or until the florentines are deep golden brown and smell like sweet buttery heaven. If they are not baked enough they will stay sticky, so check on them and give them an extra minute if needs be.

Transfer the florentines still on the foil to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.

While they are cooling, melt your chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Drizzled the melted chocolate over your florentines.

Allow to cool completely before gently peeling the florentines from the foil. They are quite fragile, but this is part of what makes them so delicate and delicious. They will keep in an airtight container for up to one week.

FlorentinesPlate

Cherry, rocket and walnut salad

SaladCherryRocket

Believe it or not, it is almost summer down here in Melbourne. How do I know? Certainly not from the weather, but a few days ago and for the first time this season, my organic grocer had cherries! Oh, rejoice! Nothing declares summer to me more than cherries, and as is the tradition in our family I always make a wish when eating the first one of the season.

Cherries often feature on an Australian Christmas table, sometimes atop pavlova or often just piled high in a bowl to be popped one by one as the fancy takes you.

We ate the first of these juicy jewels on their own, with pleasure, but then a whim took me and told me to make a salad. Salads are actually one of my favourite things to eat… and with the addition of cherries even the kids were diving right in.

Light and peppery, crunchy and sweet, this salad is fresh, simple and ticks so many boxes, it’s a world of right.

Cherry, Rocket and Walnut Salad with Goat’s Cheese

serves 2 as a side or 1 for a light meal, perhaps with some bread

rocket

  • 50g walnuts, toasted
  • 100g rocket, rinsed
  • 80g cherries, halved and pitted
  • 50g goats fetta
  • a splash of olive oil and red wine vinegar

Toast your walnuts in an 180 degree C oven for 5 mins, or until golden and fragrant. Allow to cool.

Rinse your rocket and cherries; cut the cherries in half and remove their stones.

Grab your favourite salad bowl. Heap in the rocket, and sprinkle with the walnuts and cherries. Using your fingers, tear up the goats fetta. Give it all a good drizzle with olive oil and red wine vinegar. I like my salad dressings on the tangy side so I give two slurps of vinegar for each of olive oil, but you follow your tastebuds.

Using your hands give everything a good toss and tumble, scooping up a few of the walnuts and cherries to adorn the top…

CherryRocketSalad

yum.