Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Here Comes Our Bride!

Photo courtesy of Shar Devine

At White Tie we love weddings. We love being involved in the planning process, helping our Brides and Grooms achieve the look, style and atmosphere they yearn for to make their day of days splendid and memorable – whether it be a private beach ceremony with delicious, perfectly formed canap├ęs and champagne or a dinner party for 200 of their closest friends! We love it all!

It’s even more exciting and gorgeous when it’s one of our own. My beautiful daughter, George, married her Lewis on 21 January at the Rose Chapel followed by a fun filled reception. George has a wonderfully ‘simple is beautiful’ approach to the world – she is overflowing with good humour and warmth, and loves the out of the ordinary – or life with a twist! George and Lewis’ special day reflected all of their attributes for they are a well matched pair… One is a kiwi, the other a Brit and they met in Greece. So to shake things up a bit, we did food stations of New Zealand, England and Greece. Mussels and lamb cutlets for NZ, bangers and mash and bacon butties for England and onion pie and Greek salad for Greece. We had a small intimate family dinner the night before as the formal seated event instead.

Just before her wedding – and my girls don’t believe in long engagements (thanks for the 6 week heads up!), I threw a “Champagne and Chocolate” afternoon for a bridal kitchen party. George adores chocolate and champagne so I combined these two wonderful ingredients and served my guests all things chocolate! Chocolate is a comfort food for most of us so I kept it comfy, clean and simple.

Apart from chocolate lamingtons topped with cream and strawberries (who can resist, and straight from our childhoods), chocolate sponge drops (that smooth soft sponge and the cream!) and chocolate pikelets (posh pikelets!), glamorous chocolate macaroons in two flavours no less – I also served chocolate marbled cheesecake – a real winner for any occasion and an incredibly delicious caramel tart which one of my guests said she wanted to throw herself into the dish and eat the lot! So thought I would share these recipes with you…

Marbled Chocolate Slice
250g cream cheese
75g extra sugar
5ml vanilla
1 egg
185g butter (melted)
40g cocoa
210g sugar
2 eggs
150g flour

Put cream cheese in a bowl and beat until smooth, add sugar and vanilla. Scrape sides and beat in egg. Beat until smooth. Set aside.
Meanwhile, melt butter and cocoa and beat together. Add sugar and combine. Pour in beaten eggs and mix well then add flour. Mix until well combined. Pour mixture into a 20 cm x 30 cm tin and spread out evenly.
Dollop cream cheese mixture equally over top and swirl with a knife to create a marbled effect.
Bake 150°C for approximately 20 minutes or until set – should wobble slightly. Cool in tin.
Cook it – love it!

Caramel Tarts
Tart cases
60g icing sugar
90g butter
200g flour
30g cornflour
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 egg
1 rounded tablespoon cocoa
½ tin condensed milk
½ cup sugar
60g butter
1 tablespoon golden syrup
1½ tablespoons flour
1 egg yolk

Cream icing sugar and butter together, add egg and other dry ingredients and mix until combined. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Roll out pastry thinly and line 24 patty tins. Chill again and then bake pastry @ 180°C for 10 - 15 minutes or until just starting to brown. Place all filling ingredients in a bowl over pot of boiling water and beat until combined and sugar has dissolved. Pour into pastry cases and ice with chocolate icing when caramel has set.
Cook it – love it!