COCONUT LAYER MERINGUE CAKE

I came across this gorgeous slice of cake on Pinterest and tracked down the recipe. The ingredients are simple, but it looks slightly challenging to make. I would love to attempt this, though, as the cake looks so mouthwatering and divine. Perhaps for someones birthday. Anyways, just wanted to share with you for some inspired baking ideas! 

INGREDIENTS

  • 600ml eggwhites (approximately 16 eggs), at room temperature
  • 3 cups (660g) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornflour (cornstarch), plus extra for dusting
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 cups (100g) coconut flakes
  • vanilla coconut cream
  • 1 cup (250ml) double (thick) cream
  • 1 cup (250ml) coconut cream, chilled
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 160°C (325°F). Place half the eggwhites in a bowl and whisk on high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add half the sugar, scrape down sides of the bowl and whisk for 8 minutes or until thickened and sugar has dissolved. Place half the cornflour and half the vinegar in a bowl and mix to combine. Add the cornflour mixture to the meringue and continue beating for 2 minutes. Spoon into a well-greased 24cm x 34cm slice tin and smooth the top. Cook for 16 minutes or until the top is just dry to the touch. Remove from oven and allow to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before turning out onto a baking tray lightly dusted with cornflour. Allow to cool completely+. Trim the meringue into 2 rectangles, discarding the edges++. Set aside.
  2. Repeat the method with the remaining eggwhites, sugar, cornflour and vinegar to create 2 more meringue rectangles. 
  3. To make the vanilla coconut cream, place the double cream, coconut cream and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk until stiff peaks form. 
  4. To assemble, place 1 meringue rectangle on a cake stand. Spoon 1/3 cup of the vanilla coconut cream over the meringue. Continue layering with meringue and vanilla coconut cream, finishing with the cream. Lightly spread the remaining vanilla coconut cream over the sides and sprinkle all over with coconut flakes. Serve immediately. Serves 6. 

+ The meringue will shrink about 3–5cm from the edge of the tin as it begins to cool. 

Recipe via Donna Hay

FESTIVE HOLIDAY DECOR AT HOME

This Christmas my mom had our house frosted in Christmas so beautifully. She had her designer Jonathan and his team help with the decorations and it turned out beautifully. She wanted it done before Thanksgiving, the day before I came home and it was all done. I was slightly bummed I didn't get to help her and my dad pick a tree, but it's okay, at least it was flocked (: ! I loved the garland on the banisters going up our front porch stairs and the little details they incorporated with the Christmas figures my parents have collected over the years. Hope your Christmas holiday season is splendid! I can't believe it's already that time of the year. I realized I really need to slow down even if it means slowing my work schedule down, taking a break from technology and social media, or just taking time for me. Dan's dad had a stint put into his heart last week to prevent a heart attack and some other health issues, and it really opened my eyes to what stress can do to the body. I've always been very health conscious, but as we get older, we realize how precious life really is, and it's important to take even better care of our bodies. Happiness and well-being are way more important than the hype. Work will always be there. Give yourself permission to slow down and enjoy tiny bits of this holiday season. 2016 will never be back!

xx love and jingle bells

IMG_2288.PNG

Giving back is something that makes me feel so good. A lot of times I get stuck feeling really bad for people and animals who are not as fortunate as me. It makes me very sad, but then realize I have to snap out of it a little and begin acting on it instead. A couple of weeks ago, I went and donated some things to St. Vincent de Paul and it felt really good to give back. Yesterday, my mom and I were down in Menlo Park shopping at Alys Grace, a charming boutique (I also used to work at), and a little bunch of Salvation Army cards caught my eye. I really like the Salvation Army and always give to them especially during the holidays, even if it's just a dollar I have floating around in my purse. So I asked the salesperson what the cause was, and each card had a wish from someone in need of what they wanted for Christmas. We went down to Ace hardware and got two little boys the gifts they wanted - a construction set, and a football. It felt so personal to buy gifts for these boys and give them the treats they wanted. We were also grateful when Alys Grace gave back to us by offering us two 20% promos since we donated two gifts. Seeing the domino effect of kindness was a great way to end the weekend. Then today I was shopping for my pets and I went ahead and bought a few gifts for dogs/ cats of the SPCA. After that, I realized I wanted to do something each day to give back leading up to Christmas (and of course after, just a little more intentionally during the holidays). Things like visiting someone who is lonely, or giving up something I have to someone who needs it more. I really enjoy doing this and I hope this inspires you to give back a little more. You never will regret being kind!