It's almost Mother's Day Dear Reader and I've got a gorgeous cake for you! It's a light rose chiffon cake wrapped up in a layer of rose and strawberry whipped cream and a glittery layer of sprinkles. It is topped with a pink carnations. I called her Rose.
I have to confess that I've looked for this exact shade of pink for months now. It became a bit of an obsession. Every time I would walk past a florist I would look for his exact shade of pink. I don't even know its name. I just knew that it made me happy and made me a bit crazy looking for it. I knew that the flowers would decorate a cake too. I just didn't bank on it happening around Mother's Day.
Carnations have different meanings according to their colour-the pink is associated with Mother's Day. Although I have a mother, I also have other maternal figures in my life (so many that I am grateful for!) and one of them is Queen Viv who has been mistaken for my mum at times.
We haven't seen her in a while as she recently started a new job. She left the quicksand world of magazine publishing and now works for the shooter's association of Australia which is a bit of a change for her.
Or so we thought...
Although I have known her for over 20 years she still manages to surprise us. She told us about how all of her family used to shoot and that she was very familiar with a rifle. One day she noticed a well known druggie enter her gate and walk down the side of her house. She grabbed a rifle in one hand and the phone in the other and she and the rifle stared the intruder down. "He knew that I was going to shoot him first and then call the police!" she said in that determined manner that we know so well. She and the rifle won.
We asked her if she did much shooting after that, we were all taken aback as this was a completely new side to Queen Viv that we were completely clueless about. "Oh no," she said gesturing her hand away as if swatting a fly, "I didn't like the recoil on my shoulder!" she said breezily, Queenly really.
I mean you think you know your mum but they can always surprise you ;)
So tell me Dear Reader, is your life an open book or do you reveal yourself slowly to people? When you buy flowers for people, do you match the flowers to their personality or choose a particular colour? Are you making anything special this Mother's Day?
And if you're looking for ideas for your own Mother's Day feast, take a peek here at these recipes I devised for Foxtel Lifestyle using edible flowers to tie the theme together!
There's an antipasto platter to start with. Then there's home baked buttery pastry with a home made quiche with smoked salmon fans and chives on top.
The salad is a pretty pink and green floral salad with edamame, pomegranate and avocado. And for dessert there's a luscious pink pavlova with fresh raspberries, pomegranate, pistachios, sour cream and raspberry caramel that tastes a little bit like cheesecake and pavlova in one!
Rose, The Pink Strawberry & Rose Cake
An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott
Preparation time: 15 minutes plus 15 minutes cooling time
Cooking time: 40 minutes
- 250g/8.8ozs. caster or superfine sugar
- 80g/2.8ozs. water
- 5 eggs, at room temperature
- 170g/6ozs. cake flour
- Pink food colouring
- 1 teaspoon or so Rose water
A few drops Strawberry flavouring
- 2 tablespoons caster or superfine sugar
- Pink colouring
- 1 teaspoon or so Rose water
- A few drops Strawberry flavouring
- Pink and white sprinkles (about 2-3 tablespoons' worth or so)
- Pink carnations
Step 1 - Take a 24cm chiffon tin and do not line or grease. Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Heat the sugar and water in a saucepan until it starts to simmer. Try not to stir it too much, you just want the sugar dissolved. Once dissolved, cool completely (I put it in a sinkful of ice cubes and cold water).
Step 2 - Start whipping the eggs on medium speed for a minute then increase to medium high and pour in the syrup in a thin stream and the colouring and flavouring and whip until you get triple the volume. It will take maybe 5-6 minutes to reach this volume.
Step 3 - Sift the flour into the eggs in two or three lots folding it in well. Make sure to get the flour that has gathered at the bottom (I find that a lot of it sinks and you want it to be evenly dispersed). When it is evenly folded through, scoop it into the tin and then bake for 30 minutes or until cooked through. When done, run a butter knife around the edge to loosen it but cool it in the tin completely before removing it from the pan (use the same knife and slice along the tin to loosen).
Step 4 - Whip the cream with the sugar until thick and spreadable and add the colourings and flavourings. Spread around the cold cake (I find it easiest to do this while it is on the serving plate and just wipe the edges with a damp paper towel).
Step 5 - Lean the cake on a slight angle (the cream will help it stick to the serving plate) and add the sprinkles to the side of the cake. Then decorate with pink carnations.