I've had a manic weekend - hence my absence here - consisting largely of cake and parties. It sounds like a great combination (and it is - what's not to like?) but can be quite exhausting! I flew down to Christchurch at lunchtime on Saturday, in time to whip up a quick batch of cupcakes in the nick of time for my sister's baby shower, attend said baby shower, eat dinner (always good when there's time for proper food), bake cake for 100ish people, sleep, decorate cake for 100ish people (always takes longer than you think it will!), shower, attend party with 100ish people to celebrate Grandpa's 80th birthday, and jump on a plane to fly home again.
Aside from the fact that Sunday's schedule didn't really leave time for eating (except, ah, cake scraps (that's a balanced breakfast, right?) and a smoothie Sister Cake made at one point) it was also really hot - it got up to 36 degrees, apparently, which is pretty much the top of the scale for Christchurch, and definitely not ideal conditions for working with buttercream and fondant. The cake turned out okay in the end - though the icing was on the soft side - and Grandpa will only turn 80 once so it's not like I'll have to do it again anytime soon (well, y'know, until Grandma's 80th in August - but the weather will be much cooler for that).
Last weekend was a little more tranquil - Mr Cake and I visited The Blueberry Farm with a friend, picked a bucketful of blueberries and had a lovely lunch at a stunning spot by a river - that's how summer is supposed to be.
It seems Wellingtonians have mostly already forgotten how wonderful the weather was last weekend, given the spiteful way the skies treated them this weekend. Since I was in Christchurch melting I missed that but perhaps these summery shots will make you all feel a little less bitter?
Anyway, the upshot of the blueberry mission is that we have tons of blueberries, and I was keen to put them to good use in some sort of dessert. While waiting for the cakes to cook on Saturday night I roped my friend Belinda (you may remember her custard square reviews) into helping me throw together a quick but delicious dessert to fill the bellies of a collection of family members who had collected in my parents' living room (the cake so took over the weekend that the only time I had to catch up with her was while baking, so she got kitchen duty, sorry Belinda!).
This was pretty quick to throw together and you can use a fair bit of creative licence to make your own with what you have/like. The filling in ours was blueberries, marscapone, lemon zest and juice, a little cornflour to thicken and sugar, and it was a nicely tangy, fruity filling.
The recipe which inspired me said to fry the turnovers, but baking gets pretty good results, without stinking out the kitchen - and I wouldn't say these are especially nutritious, but they are healthier than they would be if fried! I painted on an egg glaze and sprinkled raw sugar over them to get a nice crisp top.
Not much to look at, but they definitely went down well - and I was very pleased to put my feet up. We served them with custard and ice-cream - I love creamy things with pastry! We ran out of filling for the last one so Belinda rummaged and found some jam, which was a perfectly acceptable alternative (though I do like blueberries more) - so you really can make it simple if you prefer. Do you ever put random fillings in pastry to make scrummy spur-of-the-moment desserts?
Blueberry Marscapone Turnovers (adapted from Food Network)
1/2 cup mascarpone
2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp cornflour
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
1/3 cup fresh or frozen and thawed blueberries
2 1/2 sheets pre-rolled puff pastry
1 egg, beaten
Preheat the oven to 180 C and line a baking sheet with baking paper. Mix together the marscapone, sugar, cornflour, lemon juice, and lemon zest then add blueberries and gently stir to combine.
Cut the two whole sheets of pastry into quarters and the half sheet in two (you should have 10 small squares of pastry). Divide the filling between the pieces of pastry, and fold each one in half diagonally. Press the edges to seal, then brush with beaten egg, sprinkle with raw sugar and place onto the baking tray. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before eating (the filling will be HOT!). Serve with ice-cream, cream or custard, or as they are. Makes 10 turnovers.