Tag: flowers

The magic box

There is no bad weather, just bad clothes. Swedish proverb

Here in Médoc, instead of taking our kids to a toy store, we take them to a ‘pépinière'(flower and plant nursery), which has become their new fairground attraction. Last April, we told our kids they could pick a small plant to take care of. Mia chose verveine (lemon verbena) for its refreshing smell, Louise chose pink geraniums for the colour, and Hudson opted for a raspberry plant for its opulence. We put these three plants in a box, and told the kids it was their full responsibility to take care of the green babies. They proved to be good plant-sitters, and today the plants have grown to perfection! Plants are a symbol of growth, encouraging all of us to adopt new ideas, so it was only a matter of time before the kids fell in love with their ‘magic growing box’.

What better way to grow memories than in your own garden?

Garden cake

The weather turned amazing again – after a stint of summer here in Médoc, we had the classic April showers a tad too long. As a result, the flowers and foliage are sublime and the grass is greener than ever. I couldn’t resist picking a few flowers to decorate a cake I have been longing to make on this sunny day – the garden cake. I have always imagined this sweet temptation to be served in a garden, with a glass of Pimm’s (very Wimbledon) and a pretty summer dress à la Scott Fitzgerald. This lovely cake is composed of two large meringues with whipped cream and berries in the middle and on top. I like a ‘melt in your mouth’ Italian style meringue, so the center should be slightly soft. Here’s a few good tips – the egg whites should always be at room temperature before whipping, you should use minimum 50 grams sugar per egg white (or they won’t set properly), add sugar tablespoon by tablespoon, gradually when the egg white starts forming, and use a large glass bowl to whisk the eggs.


6 egg whites
350 grs caster sugar
250 ml whipping cream
1/4 teaspoon vanilla essence
Big handfuls of your favourite berries – in this cake there are raspberries, blueberries, and red berries
Pretty flowers & leaves of your choice – mine came from my garden, they are used for decoration and not to be ingested. (make sure to rinse them well).

You can make this cake even more special by decorating it with edible flowers, just make sure to choose them well for safety reasons.

Pre-heat your oven 140° celsius.

Whisk the egg whites until soft peaks start to appear, then you can start adding the sugar gradually, spoon by spoon, until the whites become glossy then stiff – this should take approx. 10-12 minutes. I use an electric whisk.

On a parchment line baking tray, form two meringues (20 cm width/5 cm height), one next to the other, and bake for 45-55 minutes. When ready, take out of the oven and leave to cool.

For the filling:

Whip 250 ml cream till light and fluffy, add vanilla essence. I don’t add sugar to the cream as the meringues are sweet enough.

When the meringues are totally cool, add the whipped cream, scatter as many berries as you like, then sandwich the other meringue on top. Add more whipped cream on top of the second meringue. Now you can simply enjoy the last part of decorating your cake with berries, leaves and flowers – all things bright and beautiful.

Note: The flowers and leaves in the photo of the cake are only used for decorative purposes and not to be ingested.

View post ‘Garden cake revisited‘.