May 31, 2015

My Dad loves Giraffes

My parents house has a whole herd of giraffes (not real of course). One of my fondest memories is from a safari park visit in Belgium, before health & safety rules - when you could unwind the sunroof and they'd stick their whole heads in the car and you could feed them!

That was the inspiration for the cake anyways. It was a three part process; biscuits, meringue kisses and the cake - all scamped up for reference...

 I unpacked the entire cupboard of baking essentials onto the counter in anticipation.

The biscuit dough first (Biscuiteer's recipe, of course)

Gerry the giraffe from my national history museum cookie cutter set

Popped them in the oven for 14 mins, I had a little mishap with the timer meant some of my giraffe's got a little bit more of a tan in the oven that others.

Still tasty though.

Next up the mixing station.  Four simple icing colours - yellows & browns.

The line icing goes into bags, the flood icing into bottles - I find it easier to use, and to remember which is which!

Left the herd to dry au naturel and got on with the meringue kisses

Heated up the sugar in the oven - just a quick 5 mins at 200C.

I also made an excellent discovery at Sainsbury's this week - two chicks. 

My least favourite part of meringues is separating the eggs, so messy. So this carton of egg whites is absolutely perfect!

And I gave a new set of colouring a go this time... hoping it wouldn't turn everyones tongues yellow...

They turned out quite well, just a touch of yellow and orange (a nice brushed effect)

A quick sponge cake smothered in yellow buttercream

Tidied up the cake stand and arranged the giraffes and candles.

As well as the cake we had a lush BBQ to celebrate Dad's birthday too, after a stressful week - it was perfect with all the family here to unwind and enjoy some tasty treats.

Larry the lobster popped in.

Not for long though... 

Some delicious starters - cooked pear wrapped in prosciutto.  And then a long lazy evening wrapped up around the fire pit.

Happy Birthday Dad!