I meant to write this post on Wednesday, as part of the What I Ate Wednesday party…
It was going to be a “What I Made Wednesday”, full of culinary creativity… but I ran out of time. So I decided to do it on Thursday – but yeah, I was being slightly over-ambitious by hoping that I’d have time yesterday!
Still, the thought was there… and I’m always late, so it’s all fine…
It was all in relation to my beautiful goddaughter Jessica’s first birthday. I went with her mum to the cash and carry on Wednesday morning, went straight to meet my friend Lisa for Body Balance and a coffee, got home, went to ride Dave, got back and started said creativity.
Coleslaw, for the birthday barbecue.
But although I love a bit (or a lot) of coleslaw, it doesn’t exactly look good – and it ain’t exactly culinary creativity :-)
What I made next counts though, I think:
My mum used to make mini gingerbread stars, on cocktail sticks and with Smarties iced on, for all our birthday parties when we were little and they rocked. I couldn’t find a tiny star-shaped cutter so mine weren’t exactly the same:
I used an old recipe of my mum’s, not sure where from originally, halved, de-glutenised and adapted:
Preheat oven to 170C
160g flour (I used Doves Farm plain white GF but am sure plain normal flour would be fine)
50g brown sugar
2tbsp golden syrup
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground mixed spice
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Sieve the flour, bicarb and spices together into a bowl and set aside. Melt butter, sugar and syrup together over a low heat. When melted, pour into the bowl and mix until it comes together as a dough.
Roll out on a floured surface to about 1/4″ thickness and get cutting out! Bake, in batches, on lined sheets in the middle of the oven for 10 minutes, until browned. I then sank the cocktail sticks into the shapes, squashed the dough round the edges a bit, to make 30 decent-sized biscuits-on-sticks. When cooled, I dipped Smarties into icing made from icing sugar and enough water to make a paste and stuck ‘em on.
They went down a treat yesterday; my friend’s 10-year-old stepdaughter said they were her favourite thing all day :-)
But my favourite was this:
Of course Jessica had to have a cake!
I made a standard GF vanilla sponge but wanted to do cashew cream for the inside. I looked at a few recipes and, in the end, just soaked 100g cashews overnight, then blended them in the food processor with 2-3 (can’t remember which!) tsp melted coconut oil, a splash of vanilla essence and 100g icing sugar (you’d only really need 50g for sweetness but I wanted it thicker!)
It came out really well. I also spread raspberry jam inside the cake and on the top, ready for the (premade) royal icing and used icing paste to stick the pink ribbon on. I knew I wanted to make roses to go on it… but didn’t start until Wednesday night.
I got to bed late on Wednesday… but it was so worth it :-)
Laura and her husband were really pleased and Jessica, bless her heart, had such a lovely day. It was a barbecue and about 45 people came… the sun came out partway through and it turned into the most beautiful evening.
The birthday girl did start crying by 7.30pm because she was knackered - but if you can’t cry on your birthday, when can you?!
I’m going to have to post another picture of the cake though. The roses aren’t up to my mum’s standards but for a first try, I don’t think they’re too bad :-)
Happy birthday Jess xx
If anyone wants to make roses like that, they’re actually not hard so I can always post about it and put pictures up… let me know!
Today was more chilled… riding, cycling, relaxing. It’s amazing how knackering children’s parties can be!
I’d tried – and loved – the vanilla ones before so I was really pleased with them – I think I’ll have to follow Jemma’s example and scatter them on top of smoothies; hers always look beautiful – and delicious! – but I’d never tried the savoury mix and it is amazing… I’ve had to put the pot in the cupboard, or I could literally finish it tonight… I don’t think I’m even joking :-) Thank you very much!
The other great thing, in case you haven’t noticed the big red addition to my sidebar, is….. Eating Like A Horse is now featured on the Channel 4 Food website! It’s on the list of “best gluten-free and allergy-friendly food blogs“!
I’m so flattered and am really looking forward to checking out the others – thank you so much to Celia and the other lovely people at Channel 4 Food!
Hope everyone has a great weekend :-)