Sugarbird's Sweet Nothings

I am passionate about food. And cooking. And baking. And running. Come and find a new recipe, a funny story, some strong opinions and whatever else I feel like throwing in the mix today.
June 27th, 2011

Grand Marnier Marshmallows

I currently have a little more time on my hands than usual, and so I have been looking over all the things I have never made that I always meant to, and have been watching the Food Network (its dangerously addictive) and being even more inspired. So I have started Rum and Raisin truffles, and this morning I have completed Adults-only Grand Marnier Marshmallows.

I saw the Marshmallows in a copy of the Delicious Magazine earlier this year, and I always wanted to make them, but I never quite got up the courage. After my impressive failures with sugar-based treats such as fudge and nougat, I was not ready for yet another pile of goo to be chucked in the bin. But I was reading over the recipe again and thought I’d take the plunge. I mean, I have to get lucky once in a while don’t I? Read the rest of this entry »

May 1st, 2011

Rhubarb, Vanilla and Sour Cream Crumb Cake

I can’t remember the last time I had rhubarb. When I think of this long, leafy plant (which is technically a vegetable and not a fruit) I think of the rhubarb crumble and custard that my mom used to make when we were kids. I love sour things (I eat lemon, much to the bewilderment of anyone nearby) and I always loved the contrast of the very tart rhubarb and the smooth, creamy custard.

My green-fingered neighbour Geri has an enormous pot of rhubarb growing in her back garden, and when I was over there last weekend, Kevin mentioned that they did not know what to do with it all. It was a monster of a plant.  I recalled that I had received a Delicious Magazine a while ago that had a few rhubarb recipes so I offered to take some off their hands and return it in the form of Rhubarb, Vanilla and Soured Cream Crumb Cake, and a Rhubarb and Orange Cheesecake. Kevin, being a huge fan of all things baked, jumped at the idea and on Friday they turned up at the door bearing a huge bunch of beautiful rhubarb, leaves and soil-covered stalks and all. Awesome 🙂 Read the rest of this entry »

April 8th, 2011

Friends, and Strawberry Sorbet

Today, I’ve been thinking about friends, a lot. Not the TV series, but personal friends. I am not someone who has ever had loads of friends. I remember one day in high school, when the teacher was off, my class spent the lesson on the steps of the pool. All around me kids were laughing and chatting and being normal, and I sat there feeling alone. I even remember writing it down. How its possible to be surrounded by people, but still be completely alone. In fact, I generally spend my life feeling like I am an alien from another planet and therefore speak a different language and am on a completely different wavelength to the rest of the world. Occasionally I meet someone who must be from the same planet because I find that I can communicate with them, they don’t find me weird, and we get along. But that doesn’t happen often.

Maybe that is whay I have resported to talking to the black hole of the itnernet through this blog. If anyone is reading this, and if you don’t think I’m weird, then thank you. You’re great.

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April 4th, 2011

Pistachio Petit Four Surprise Birthday Cake

Why not start my post with the pretty picture of the whole and beautiful cake? Because this is the best bit about making a cake. When its been hacked to pieces and everyone around you is munching it. Awesome. And it makes me happy looking at this picture. And right now, while injured and unable to run, with this annoying dull ache in my leg, I need pretty cake pictures to make me smile.

I was commissioned to make this birthday cake by my neighbour Kevin for a surprise birthday party for his wife Geri. This weekend was her 50th birthday, and after insisting that she did not want a 50th birthday party, he decided to throw her a 49.9th birthday party instead. And just to make sure that she could not object or get out of it at all, he made it a surprise party so she knew absolutely nothing about it. As Kevin is a frequent devourer of my cookies, cakes and other tempting treats, he knew I would be delighted to make the cake for the party, which I was, provided I could come along and see the surprise on Geri’s face for myself. And just for good measure we brought along my mom and sister who were visiting for the weekend. It worked out nicely as it was my mom’s birthday the very same day, so I took advantage of the fact that Kevin was barbecuing and putting on a good party and celebrated with her as well.
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March 27th, 2011

Strawberry, Almond & White Chocolate Yeasted Meringue Coffee Cake

Before anyone gets confused or misled, this cake is more a bread than a cake, and there ain’t no coffee in it.What’s the deal with it being called ‘Coffee Cake’ then you ask? Apparently it is because this kind of bready cake is a good accompaniment to coffee, and they were originally paired by the Dutch, Germans and Scandanavians. You have your morning mug of steaming latte, or your afternoon cappuccino, and this cake will sit next to it like they were made for each other. Personally, I am more than happy to eat this cake with coffee, tea, milk, water, or just straight up. By itself. Its yummy.

This recipe is the March Daring Baker’s Challenge. The March 2011 Daring Baker’s Challenge was hosted by Ria of Ria’s Collection and Jamie of Life’s a Feast. Ria and Jamie challenged The Daring Bakers to bake a yeasted Meringue Coffee Cake.

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