Rosewater pistachio meringues and the Sweet Swap 2014

In the world of blogging, I’m a relative newbie. I hit my 200th post yesterday and was quietly thrilled at achieving such a milestone – but there are many people who have been blogging for years and have way more street cred than I do.

rosesBut the bloggers I’ve come across so far don’t even care! They’re a lovely, funny, clever, talented bunch and they welcome anyone into the fold. They’re top class human beings that I would never have had the chance to interact with if it weren’t for Baking with Gab.

Which is why I leapt at the chance to sign up to the Sweet Swap 2014! Not only do you get to create delicious little morsels and trade them with three people, the donations go to charity AND it opens you up to a whole new set of Australian bloggers.

There is not one thing that I dislike about these outcomes!!

I was assigned the 120 Dollars Food Challenge, A Cupcake or Two and Western Sydney Food Blog – three blogs who hadn’t yet come across on WordPress/Instagram/Facebook yet. I’m now stalking each of them a little bit, obviously!

unwrappedI packed up my fragile little meringues and shipped them off. I also included some little plastic pots of tea – because no Baking with Gab creation is truly complete without a good cuppa beside it. The tea that I included was a beautiful French earl grey from Neo.

peanut-finish

As per the rules of the swap, I was assigned three other bloggers – I received a gorgeous little raw vegan chocolate coconut squares from On the Flavor Road, which were gobbled up in one day because it sat dangerously within reach of my work keyboard.

I got chocolate and peanut butter cookies from Jeroxie, which the post office man was reluctant to let go because he could smell the peanut butter!

My final parcel to arrive were the butterscotch brazil nuts from Tiffin – they arrived in one piece (unlike my meringues, sorry guys!) and were snaffled by co-workers very quickly!

photo (2)I can’t wait for next year’s Sweet Swap. I’m going to start planning from now, so that I know that whatever I post next year will arrive completely in one piece and will be packaged as gorgeously as possible!

And here is the recipe that I sent out to my sweet swappers. Rosewater and pistachio meringues, such a classic combination of flavours.  I also sent off one experimental meringue, a  citrus and earl grey meringue – but they’re still a work in progress!

Rosewater pistachio meringues:

  • 4 egg whitesclose
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp rosewater
  • 1 tsp pink food colouring
  • ¼ cup pistachios, chopped
  • 8 rosebuds, dried (optional)

 

Before you start any whipping, wipe down your whisk and bowl with half a lemon to remove residual fats. Fats flatten meringues, so this is a precautionary little step. Wipe any leftover lemon juice out with a paper towel.
Whip your sugar and egg whites together. Start on a lower speed (I went for 3 on my stand mixer) and speed it up a notch at a time (up to about 8) over the course of a minute; I find that this method gets the most air into the meringues.

While the egg whites whip up, preheat your oven to 140°C and line two baking trays with baking paper.

 

Keep whipping until the mixture is thick and glossy, then add in your rosewater. It should take a further 3-5 minutes after adding the rosewater. When you’re done, the your mixture to hold soft peaks.

Using a tablespoon, plop great big lumps of meringue mixture onto your lined baking trays. You can sculpt them slightly if you like, or you can just leave them as is. They’re beautifully imperfect either way.

Pour your food colouring into the lid of the food colouring bottle and dip the end of a teaspoon into it. Delve the teaspoon straight into the middle of the meringue and swirl it gently outwards to create a beautiful seam in your meringue blob. Repeat with each meringue.

Sprinkle your uncooked meringues with the chopped pistachios. Be generous with them! If you’re including rose petals, pluck them from the stem now and scatter them over the tops.

Turn your oven down to 120°C and pop the meringues straight in.

Bake for 50-60 minutes – you’ll know they’re done when they’re dry to touch. You should be able to lightly tap on the outside and have it make a satisfying little hollow sound.

Transfer to a cooling rack and devour once cool. You can leave them overnight in the oven with the door open to dry them out further.

Mooberry review and waffles

wafflesI’ve been putting off writing this post for a while. Not for any sinister reasons , it’s just that this blog post hinges around waffles. Or the making of them.

I have been searching and searching and searching for a waffle maker so that I could post a recipe to accompany the review of Mooberry Neutral Bay which inspired me to make waffles in the first place.

I have had approximately zero luck finding a reasonably priced waffle maker! I thought I might be able to pick one up easily at Kmart or Target, but I have not had any luck. How is this? The few that I have found are either massive or too expensive. Where are the reasonably priced waffle irons that will fit in my small rental kitchen?

So this post has two parts – one part is telling you how awesome my Mooberry experience was. The second part is to implore you to help me find the waffle iron my dreams. Suggestions and donations welcome!

pairI was invited to sample Mooberry’s delights through my blog. I said yes, assuming that I’d get some froyo, which I love. I didn’t realise that Mooberry have so much more to offer than just frozen yoghurt!

I took the Boy along and we had a Mooberry date. It was so cute. The lovely Jamie, who took care of us, started us off with some froyo. The Boy got salted caramel with Maltesers, M&Ms and Tim Tam. It was the ultimate chocolate dessert.

flowersHe’d never had froyo before that day (because he thought it would be gross) and I think it’s safe to say that this serving changed his mind.

I got passionfruit with fresh strawberries and kiwi and lychee pearls. Those little pearls were unreal. They were like little bursts of summer. So you’d think that was it. Mooberry is predominantly a frozen yoghurt place.

hot chocolate
YOU’RE WRONG! Perusing the menu I realised that they offer delicious, even healthy brekkie options. I didn’t sample any of these though, I focussed on the sweet things! The Boy and I devoured a hot chocolate each (go Belgian chocolate every time, it’s glorious) and split a waffle and churros.

churros

Everything is drizzled in chocolate. It is basically my idea of heaven.dip

Jamie explained that they currently have their waffles delivered, but they’re experimenting with making their own. I will definitely be back to try out their house-made waffles, because if they’re better than the current ones, they’ll be divine.
It’s too bad I can’t try and replicate them. Who knew that finding a waffle iron would be so difficult?!
Mooberry Neutral Bay is friendly and funky. There are stag heads and faux grass on the walls, fairy lights adorning bannisters and Instagram pictures on the wall upstairs.

bananaIt’s a pretty photogenic place, as you may have seen, I insta-spammed my followers while I was there!  The staff are sweet and super helpful, the Boy and I had a lovely time.

 

 

House warmings and Instagram spam

succulentI’ve been absent from blogging a little bit recently. Work is keeping me away from baking and I’ve had so many things to do recently. I apologise.

So today’s post won’t have a recipe, which is most unusual. Think of it as more of a catch up. Feel free to comment below and let me know what you’ve been doing this weekend.

Cake Bake and Sweets Show 2014

The last 48 hours of my life have been amazing fun. In case you missed my Instagram/Twitter/Facebook frenzy, I was at the Cake Bake and Sweets Show at Olympic Park. I’m so excited to share everything with you that I’m not even posting a recipe today!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetIt’s still food-related, so that counts, right?

Not only was I able to sample a million different little things, I was able to chat to people who are passionate about their food – it was just lovely. I was super strict about what I bought because I already have a ridiculous amount of baking paraphernalia, and I still had a good time. Maybe all the sugar from the free samples tainted my view…the 6 pack of macaroons I purchased probably helped too.