Pistachio, Blueberry and Pansy Pavlova ({Gluten Free} Birthday Cake Alternative)

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(Don’t know what happened to the quality of that picture, sorry! ^)

Today I get to ice my birthday cake 🙂 That makes many people happy, constructing a big cake and making it look all pretty, then sharing it with everyone?

Anyway I wanted to show that you don’t have to have a cake to have a glorious creation to showcase at your birthday. A stack of meringues can do just the trick! Plus they can be simpler!

(here is a smaller version….. v)

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Anyway, I hope you enjoy; I catch a plane soon so I thought I would post while I get the time. When is your next break? Do you have any baking planned? Do comment 🙂

 

 

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Pistachio, Blueberry and Pansy Pavlova 
Ingredients:
Pavlova:
8 egg whites (at room temperature)
400g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 Tbsp cornflour
Blueberry Coulis:
1 cup frozen or fresh blueberries
To Assemble:
Handful of pistachios
Crystallized pansies
300ml cream, whipped to soft peaks

 Instructions:
Preheat the oven to about 120 degrees Celsius. Line two baking trays with greaseproof paper. If you like, you can trace three plates/cups are gradient-sizing as guidelines for later on.

Whip the egg whites in a large bowl until they are light and frothy. Increase the speed and start adding the sugar a bit at a time. Continuing whipping for about 10 minutes until the sugar has dissolved (you shouldn’t be able to feel it when you rub some between your fingers). Mix in the vanilla and cornflour.

Spread the meringue onto the trays, so you have three big circles, getting smaller. Bake these babies for about an hour, or until they are slightly crunchy on the outside and cooked through. Cool on the trays.

Meanwhile, make the coulis! Cook the blueberries over low heat until thickened. Cool.

When you are ready to assemble, carefully transfer the biggest circle to your serving plate (doesn’t matter if it breaks) and layer on some cream and a bit of coulis. Place the next layer on top and then repeat. Finally, arrange on your top layer and spoon the coulis over the whole thing. Sprinkle on the pistachios and arrange on the pansies. Done!

Serves a good 10+ people. You can make the pavs a day before if you like.

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Have fun everyone!

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Lemon & Blueberry Pansy Love Cake

 

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Summer can be so glorious! And nature as well, all that is needed to decorate this cake is some wonderful pansies and then all the flowers do the colour co-ordinating for you 🙂

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I had some leftover crytallised pansies from a pavlova I made (which I just realised I haven’t posted yet!) and wanted to use them on a cake. It worked out better than I had expected, and matched the heavenly blueberry and lemon flavours inside.

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The cake itself is actually vegan, so you could exchange the butter in the frosting for a vegan alternative, and use fresh flowers perhaps! Either way, it is pretty delicious. If you have some different edible flowers to use, or some different jam, go ahead and use that!

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Lemon & Blueberry Pansy Love Cake
Ingredients:
Cake:
225g flour
150g sugar
1.5 tsp baking soda
1 T vinegar
7 T oil
zest of 3 lemons
½ cup juice
½ cup water
Icing:
100g butter
Zest and juice of a lemon
230g icing sugar
To fill:
Blueberry Jam to fill (half a cup?)
Plus:
Crystallised pansies to decorate

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line two 20cm diameter cake tins (if they don’t have removable bottoms then you can just grease them.
Combine the flour, sugar and baking powder. Make two wells in the mixture and pour the oil into one and the vinegar into the other. In another bowl, combine the zest, juice and water, then pour it all over the other ingredients. Mix until there are no more lumps. Pour half into each cake tin and bake for 25 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean when inserted. Cool in the tins.
When ready to ice and assemble, make the frosting. Soften the butter and whip until pale. Add the lemon juice, zest and half the icing sugar and combine. Add the rest of the icing sugar and whip until light and fluffy.
Place the bottom layer of the cake onto the serving plate and spread a thin layer of frosting on top. Now spread on the blueberry jam. Arrange the top layer of cake on top. Ice the cake on top and down the sides. Now arrange the crystallised pansies around on the sides and you are done!
You can ice quite a few hours before assembling. Serves 10.

Enjoy everyone!

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