I owe you an apology for my negligence in updating this blog. It was all going so well until university started and I got sucked in a million commitments, leaving my readers wondering about the fate of My Lovely Bites. If it wasn’t for my husband’s support, the one that loved this project from ever since it was just an idea in the back of my mind, I would probably still be too ashamed to post after such a long absence!
So I apologise, and I want to do it with a sweet, sweet treat: Petit Fours.
But what have I been up to in the past months?
I got back from Italy and felt different.
Going back to Italy was also a very interesting experience, mostly because it made me challenge, quite radically, one of my worst fears: flying. Oh, how shaky and terrified I felt at the gate before taking that first flight alone! How I wished I had never taken such a sudden decision.
But the flights went quite well, and just as I was about to almost enjoy flying (about 1 hour from my destination, on the way back to Sydney…) the pilot announced that we would be flying over Sydney for some time, since a huge storm had caused the airport to deny any landing. That was scary for me, I-am-going-to-die scary. And the actual landing in between lightnings and dark, dark clouds (Even I couldn’t see the airport, how would the pilot know where we were going!?!?) was terrifying, I cried and cried for the whole last half hour until we actually touched ground and stopped moving.
And you know what?? I want to do it again! Ok, not the storm and lightning part…but when I had been home for a few days it finally occurred to me that “I did it, I took a plane and I survived!”. I thought about all the flights and the overall experience and I realised that it hadn’t been so bad, and that’s what re-ignited my wanderlust. So yes, I might be taking another plane, to an even more challenging experience quite soon…stay tuned!
I got through most of the first semester of university.
Starting university was…a new experience. I had all these expectations about university, years and years of dreaming about how different it was going to be from anything I had experienced before. I thought I would fit in straight away, make heaps of new friends, live the crazy university life!
Well, I was wrong. I didn’t fit in straight away, everywhere I looked I saw people hanging out with their old high school friends, circles already “at capacity” where I wouldn’t find a comfortable place for my weird self. It didn’t depress me thought, it just made me realise how wrong I was to think that university would change me and make me the party girl I never really was.
I also found myself in rooms full of newly independent 18-year-olds that are just starting to ponder leaving their little nests, and can’t wait to take advantage of their freedom. And seeing all this sometimes saddens me: yes, I was so eager to leave my home, too. But it’s been a few years now and I sometimes wish I would have appreciated more my life at home, being a kid, having no real worries, having my mom and dad so close. Because what you don’t realise then it’s that, once you have left, it’s never going to be the same again.
But overall, I am enjoying it. I like my courses a lot and, although I am a chronic procrastinator, I have received some good feedback so far which makes me want to do even better. Fingers crossed!
One of my recipes got published on my university’s cookbook!
Ok, ok, it’s not like I got the cover of a famous magazine or anything…but it was super exciting nonetheless! The recipe I submitted was an easy Apple Cake recipe that was handed down to me from my mom and that reminds me a lot of my childhood. Don’t you worry, in a few weeks the cookbook will be published and you will get the exclusive :) For now, here’s a few photos of the photo shoot…
What have you been up to? I shall catch up with my favourite blogs soon!
Petit Fours Recipe
Now, I must admit I don’t usually like the over-sweetness of some French pastries (e.g. Macarons…) so I wasn’t sure about Petit Fours. Their cuteness was what convinced me, I suppose :)
Basic Sponge Cake
8 Egg Whites
8 Egg Yolks
190 gr Sugar
95 gr Flour
55 gr Cornstarch
45 gr Melted Butter
1 tsp. Vanilla Essence
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C
2. Place the egg yolks into an electric mixer and mix on high speed until creamy. After 1 minute add about 2 tbsp. of sugar. Continue to mix for a few minutes until the mixture becomes thicker. Add vanilla extract and keep mixing until the mixture doubles in volume.
2. Beat the egg whites until white and frothy while adding the remaining sugar a little bit at a time.
3. Combine the yolks and the whites, making sure you don’t over-mix them.
4. Combine the flour and cornstarch and slowly sift into the mixture. Again, make sure you don’t over-mix it.
5. Add the melted butter.
6. Transfer the mixture into a square cake tin, giving it a few good shakes in order to it to settle, and bake for approx. 30 minutes. Let cool completely!
Tip: You can also use different kinds of cake (e.g. madeira cake, vanilla tea cake, …)ù
You will need:
- Strawberry Jam
- Vanilla Buttercream, of spreadable consistency (I thin mine with milk if it gets too thick).
1. Slice the cake into three layers (Hint: a long bread knife comes in handy!)
2. Fill the layers with a veil of strawberry jam and buttercream. You don’t want to put too much filling here, otherwise it might disassemble when covering it in icing!
3. Put the cake back together and cut into desired shape with a knife or cookie cutter.
Icing Your Petit Fours
60 gr White Chocolate
9 cups Icing Sugar
1/2 cup Water
1/2 cup Glucose Syrup
3 drops of Rosewater Essence
1. Melt the chocolate on a double boiler, which is just a saucepan filled with water about halfway and a heatproof bowl on top (making sure it doesn’t touch the water, the steam has to do the job!).
2. Once the chocolate is melted, add the glucose syrup, water, icing sugar and rosewater essence.
3. Mix until everything is melted and well combined.
4. Pour the icing on your little cakes, which you previously placed on a cooling rack, so as to avoid creating an icing ocean. A big spoon helps reaching all the sides evenly, however you have to be quick since this icing sets very quickly once the heat is off. Once covered, decorate as you please.
5. Let cool the Petit Fours for about 20 minutes before moving them, and use caution: the icing might still be soft and you don’t want to leave any fingerprints, do you?