A very dear friend of mine recently got married and with the impending (that sounds a bit ominous), but joyful, event drawing near I was in a state of panic about what to get the happy couple. This seemed to be quite a recurring issue – especially with many couples living together, they have everything they need… In my state of panic, I turned to my bestie, Ms TT for advice. Since the bride and groom were moving overseas, Ms TT suggested that give them some framed photos of famous Sydney landmarks – kind of a farewell gift. I liked this idea, but was concerned that it was not very personal (I mean I didn’t want it to look like I had just purchased some touristy postcards and framed them) – to which she suggested that I get hold of some block letters with their initials on them and (in a very touristy manner) place them in every photo. Brilliant!
So we spent a day (yep, she was dragged along as the ‘ideas person’) traipsing around Sydney – we did get some interesting looks from the tourists at these famous landmarks. I think they were curious about the woman lying on the ground – I was getting an interesting angle of the Sydney Harbour Bridge – taking photos of letters… In fact, while taking photos at the University of Sydney, we actually amassed a crowd who stood behind us and watch the process (so this must be how famous people feel 🙂 ).
The final shots that made the cut were:
There were also a few good ones (in my opinion) that didn’t make it through (can you find the letters in these?)…
For the card, we wrote the couple’s names in sand. Luckily I managed to get one shot before some random walked through our art work (I kid you not… stepped all over “Nath”) – which had Ms TT exclaiming very loudly “Seriously?” to which the oblivious offender looked at us surprised… to be fair to him, he was very very apologetic… it was the end of a very long day.
The final product:
To continue with the theme, I took the letters to the wedding and got photos of the guests holding the photos – there were some fun pics (I won’t post these since I haven’t asked for permission) – but I think it tied in which is obviously crucial!
For those who are interested, we purchased the letters from www.pinkfrosting.com.au . I will put out there that this is really is only something you do for people you care about as it took up time, parking fees and had us (at moments) feeling sheer frustration! Would I do it again? Maybe. I did think that this could be what I give as a Wedding gift to all friends… But perhaps on a case-by-case basis. I think this was a perfect gift for this couple as they are leaving our sunny shores for a while (I want the photos to be a constant reminder that they need to come back)… In case you didn’t catch it, I will miss you, xoxo.
Anyway, enough emotional stuff… and back to food. You may have cottoned on by now that I am a huge fan of a theme. Christmas is all red and green with hints of cinnamon, nutmeg and peppermint; my 30th was a Marie Antoinette party all bright and colourful with French macarons; and I seem to have the tendency to jump on a bandwagon (cupcakes, bread, dumplings, putting letters into every photo…) – really, if you want me to get excited about something, throw a theme my way. I guarantee that I will catch it like a pro-fielder and, after a throwing around some ideas, will toss it back with thematic sequins and ribbons.
So, when proffered the theme by fellow blogger The Littlest Anchovy of lemons (as part of this month’s Sweet Adventures Blog Hop) – I got excited! It did, however, require some serious thinking. My favourite lemon recipe is the kaffir lemon and lime tart which I have already blogged about, so it needed to be something different.
What has been on my list to try and make is a chiffon (angel food) cake, so I thought I could incorporate the lemons into this, using Black Star Pastry’s lemon myrtle chiffon as inspiration. The chiffon was light and fluffy (and with no oil or butter can only be healthy right?) and a little bit Australian, and the lemon butter very zesty (we will ignore the fact that this predominantly makes up for the lack of butter in the cake) and when combined with the cream cheese icing, even those to usually find chiffon cake too dry would enjoy this. This recipe definitely meets the brief!
Deliciously Lemony (Myrtle) Angel Food Cake
Zest 2 lemons + 1 lime (2 lemons would probably have been enough but I wanted to be safe rather than sorry and so added a lime to the mix – since that was what I had in the fruit bowl).
165 ml lemon juice
220g butter, coarsely chopped
165g caster sugar
4 egg yolks
Combine lemon juice and butter in a saucepan and stir over low heat until butter melts. Whisk sugar, egg yolks and eggs in a bowl until combined, add to lemon juice mixture and stir continuously for 4-5 minutes or until mixture thickens slightly, transfer to a container and refrigerate (or in my case freeze) until completely cold.
I didn’t use all the lemon butter – but it is something good to have on the side if anyone wants more… I know of a certain someone who will eat this out of a jar!
The angel food cake.
1 cup plain flour
1.5 cups sugar
12 egg whites (I used large eggs)
1.5 tablespoons finely grated lemon/lime zest
1.5 tablespoons lemon myrtle
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 160 degrees, with rack in lower third of oven. Mix together the flour and ½ cup sugar in a bowl.
In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together on medium speed until frothy (about a minute). Add zest, juice, cream of tartar, vanilla and salt. Continue whisking until soft peaks form. With the mixer running, gradually add remaining sugar. Increase speed of the mixer to medium-high, and continue to whisk until firm (but not stiff) peaks form. Fold through gently 1/3 of the flour-sugar with a rubber spatula. Repeat with another third of the flour/sugar mix, and again with the final third.
Pour batter into an angel food tin, and run a knife through the centre of the batter to remove any air bubbles. Bake for about 45 minutes (until a skewer comes out clean). Remove pan from the oven and invert to cool (you can usually place the centre funnel of the cake tin over the neck of a wine bottle. Allow to cool for 1.5 to 2 hours.
To remove from pan, run a knife around the inner and outer edges of the tin and invert onto a plate. If not completely cool, place on a wire rack instead.
The cream cheese icing.
540g light cream cheese, softened
7 tablespoons icing sugar sugar
1 tablespoons corn flour
2.5 teaspoon finely grated lemon/lime rind
2.5 teaspoon lemon myrtle
Combine all ingredients.
Spread the cake with the cream cheese icing. Pour/ spread the lemon butter over the top.