Wednesday, July 14, 2010

She'll be wearing pink pijamas...

After a fab day out in the country with family, I headed home via the Warehouse in search of a mid-winter heater sale. The temperatures in Auckland had been around 2 degrees the previous night and I was fed up feeling cold. "Fantastic", a heater sale was on so I walked out with a 2 1/2 year old sitting under 2 HUGE heaters, a pair of half price pink spotty PJs and a new Thomas the tank engine train (Henry for those in the know).
The following day was our first photoshoot for our new range of cards and despite feeling exhusted, put on my pink PJs and my "lets get motivated" hat and set off in search of the perfect meringue recipe. Now, I had never made meringues before but did hear that with a pav you had to cook it for quite some time and then wait for it to cool over night. Groan, with it getting late I hoped the meringues were different.
Lesson 1 - always read the recipe!
I googled meringues and discovered that I needed cream of tartar. Having never used this before it wasn't in my pantry so out of the PJs and into something rather unflattering for a mad dash up to the local supermarket.
Whilst there I did a quick check in with sis and discovered that the Edmonds recipe didn't require cream of tartar. Hmmmm here now might as well get it ($5 NZD) !
On my return I realised that in fact the recipe I was reading was for meringue cookies and not basic meringues so a wasted trip to the supermarket! Oh well back into the PJs.
Meringues - they sounded frightening, reading the various recipes they all stated clean and dry equipment otherwise the egg wont beat to stiff peaks. They also suggested a glass bowl rather than plastic. Good advice.

The recipe I used was...

4 medium/large egg whites
1 cup caster sugar

All I did was beat untill peaks soft but not sharp, gradually added the sugar and pipped them onto a tray lined with baking paper. They cook in an oven 120-150 degrees for about 45-1 hour. Keep an eye on them as the try I had on the upper rack browned a wee bit hence 45 minutes was fine for me. I left them overnight in the oven and the next day they we delicious, sweet, crunchy and chewy. They looked great as well.
Lesson 2 - hot sugar and coconut dont mix!
After the success of the meringues and keeping with the white/pink and white theme in my mind I decided to make coconut ice. I love this sweet as well as fudge and have had many a disaster making it but last night in my pink PJs and with one success under my belt, I thought I would churn out some amazing stuff to wow sis the next day.
The recipe only required sugar, water, coconut and vanilla. Like many sweets of this nature the recipes said to boil untill the sugar surup forms a ball in cold water. I have never managed to get this right but knew enough to know not enough boiling and it wont set and have that biteability and too much it burns. So acting like a pro, I thought when the sugar started to crust around the edge of the pan I would crack on on finish this delicious pink and white treat.

Next step was the coconut - OMG what a disaster - my beautiful white coconut burnt on impact with the sugar surup! It was a cuppuccino brown colour. It looked interesting so like an impatient kid, I stuck my finger into the mixture to taste. OMG **** needless to say I spent the rest of the night with a very sore finger BUT with perfect sugary clouds to greet me the next day.

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