Friday, 30 September 2011

A meringue dress...

After the failings of the coconut pie, I had some egg whites left over. I've been eager to try the lemon meringue cupcakes after seeing so many beautiful examples on the Hummingbird Bakery's Facebook page (!/HummingbirdBakery) so I grabbed the spare egg whites and set to work!

The cupcake is very typical of your usual Hummingbird cuppy, but with a twist of lemon. I love lemon curd and was finger-lickingly happy to add a dollop into each cupcake after it had cooled. The method used reminded me of making butterfly cakes with my mum when I was small!

I love the colour of the lemon sponge, too - so golden and bright!

So far, so good.

Next came the meringue stage. I believe this method of making meringue is the Italian method, not one that I'm familiar with having never tried it. In fact, I've never had much success with meringue full-stop so I was determined to get this right!

Two attempts and many eggs later... I got my beautifully frothy meringue! Note to self - take your time cracking eggs, even the tiniest bit of yolk in the whites will sabotage your meringue... sabotage it, I tell ya!!Also - mind your fingers on the sugar syrup. I know the pink bible says this, but I didn't pay much attention. But do... it's very, VERY hot!

I'm not yet the proud owner of a cook's blowtorch, so I popped the meringue-topped cuppies under the grill and knelt in front of them... I know they can catch really quickly so I wanted to be vigilant. My hubby commented that I looked like I was praying for a good result... he wasn't far wrong!

And I think I did ok. I hunted high and low but couldn't find any gold glitter dust in my baking cupboard, though I think the meringue would look magical with a shiny sprinkling over it.

What I've learned this week is: don't bake while you're nursing a cold as it leads to runny coconut pie and too many attempts at Italian meringue... that's my excuse, and I'm sticking to it!

Coconut shy?

Ok, ok, I have to admit it... I've had my first Hummingbird failure!

After the success and yumminess of the Coconut cake that I made earlier this year (, I had been looking forward to trying out the Coconut Pie for ages.

Unfortunately, this time the custard element caught me out.

All went well with the pastry. I think I've got quite a knack to making good pastry after my old nan taught me when I was a wee nipper, so that bit was a doddle.

I even had enough left over to make a separate heart-shaped casing. I was doing well... or so I thought...

I got to the coconut custard stage and was starting to juggle things a bit. I had to whisk until I got a custard-y consistency. And there's my failing... I guess I just like my custard less thick than the Hummingbird!

I thought the filling looked a little runny as I lay the cling film over, but I carried on regardless and followed the recipe. But, when after a whole night in the fridge the filling was still liquid, I knew I'd been beaten!

Oh well, I'll live and learn... the coconut custard did taste really good though!