In early December Sylvie and I were at it again. We started by getting ourselves organized. We had decided to make two kinds of meringues which both called for caster sugar. So we made our own by pulsing regular sugar in the blender a few times.
Then we started whipping the eggs for our first recipe: nutella meringues.
Once we had our stiff peaks, we very gently folded in the nutella.
We set these to bake and dry in the oven for about an hour and a half and then turned our attention to our first batch of pâte de fruits. Since last year was such a success, we decided to follow the same recipe and use the same fruit combinations. This meant starting with de-seeding the raspberries through a colander.
After several frustrating minutes we realized this would go a lot faster in a metal colander with a larger spoon. Once we reached the right amount of fruit, we combined it with sugar and gelatine and began to boil the mixture.
And then we did the same with the peach.
And now that we’re old pros at this, we had the brilliant idea to set each batch in a loaf pan lined with plastic wrap. And boy were we right, it was the exact right size.
We set both the raspberry and peach batches aside and turned to the next batch of meringues. This time we decided to make traditional french meringues (ironically based on a BBC recipe).
My mouth is watering just looking at that bowl. We baked these for one and a quarter hour then turned our attention to the last batch of pâte de fruits, the raspberry/peach batch.
Then we set those aside to set and put the meringues out to cool.
After all of the baking was done we enjoyed a nice dinner and gather our strength for the crafting portion of our evening.
This year we decided to try something different and make ornaments out of oven dry clay. Well believe me when I say: I have never laughed this much in my life.
There was something about working with this new medium that seemed so full of potential and yet so incredibly difficult to execute. And once we realized nothing was looking the way we had envisioned, we started laughing uncontrollably and didn’t stop for at least an hour. But this is the amazing thing about art, this ornament here is what kicked off our laughing fit:
But in the end, it turned out to be the most beautiful one of the night. It just took MANY MANY layers of gold foil. It’s probably worth more than my house now.
And a few others turned out OK too.
Although maybe a little rough around the edges..
Once we could breath again we finished off by cutting up our three batches of pâte de fruits and tossed them in sugar.
And they turned out just as delicious as last year.
This was definitely one of the best annual baking days we’ve ever had. I can’t wait to see what we get up to next year.