**Edit update: Due to unforeseen personal events, Monica has had to cancel her appearance at this event. We hope to catch up with Monica next time around ❤️** You’re invited to join myself and a panel of excited readers in a live book club chat with Monica McInerney about her new book, The Goodmothers.
We chat live via Zoom and you can nab yourself a seat in ‘the bleachers’ and ask Monica questions via the chat box. This is a free event by you do need to register to join in.
Lovelies, do you dream of writing a novel or maybe a memoir? A children’s book or fantasy trilogy? Is finding the TIME the thing that is holding you back?
TIME is a writer’s greatest resource yet I find few of us really have a handle on how to work in harmony with it. If you are doing the ‘life juggle’ and trying to find the time to get to your passion project, then this four-week e-course might just be the thing you need to break through your time blocks.
I know what it’s like to write with an array of competing deadlines and priorities and I’ve done it badly and I’ve done it well. If you want to learn how to find the time to write your own book, I’m delighted to share with you the techniques, wisdom and strategies I’ve developed over the years. To find out more about this e-course I created just for you–the time-challenged writer–head on over to this link.
If you already know this course is right for you, you can enrol now!
Thank you to all the wonderful readers who have bought The Cake Maker’s Wish so far. Your support means we need to print more copies! YOU GUYS ARE AWESOME!
If you’ve read the book already, remember that just by writing a review for Goodreads or Amazon (and posting it to Facebook or Insta and tagging me so I can find it), you’ll go into the draw to win an indulgence pack including Ruby Olive jewellery, Fresh Chai Co chocolate chai, a block of chocolate and a signed backlist book. Winner drawn 2 July!
This week, The Cake Maker’s Wish finally made it out into the world after I began working on it five years ago! I had a wonderful time launching it online last Sunday afternoon. If you’d like to see the video, you’ll find it on Facebook here.
Now… for your chance to win a gorgeous prize pack!
Once you have your copy of The Cake Maker’s Wish, simply take a photo of it with some cake (any cake!) and post it to Facebook or Instagram, tagging me so I know it’s there, and using the hashtag #cakeandcover
Here’s an example:
The winner will be chosen from a shortlist and win this wonderful prize pack, including a brooch and matching earring set from Ruby Olive, a copy of The Beekeeper’s Secret (for you to enjoy or pass on to a friend), my favourite brand of chai (and this one is chocolate chai!), and Lindt chocolate.
The winner will be chosen on 2 July. I can’t wait to see your entries 🙂
It was my absolute pleasure to speak to Christine Anu on ABC radio last night on the ‘Evenings’ program and to create a virtual three-course dessert degustation for listeners to enjoy. I took the recipes from my book, The Cake Maker’s Wish, and matched them with accompanying drinks and (as spontaneously requested on air!) music as well. I had a wonderful time talking about one of my favourite topics: food.
These meringue bites are so simple (and inexpensive), they’ll become your go-to treat for any last-minute guests dropping in for coffee, or maybe use them as additional birthday party treats.
This is another recipe from The Cake Maker’s Wish. My cake maker, Olivia, gets to have fun creating a wedding cake for a celebrity couple and adds meringues as embellishments to her design, which is another great use for these mini meringues.
The basic meringue recipe is simple but it’s also flexible as you can change the colour (pink, blue, white, caramel or rainbow unicorn!) or flavour (think vanilla, chocolate, coffee, rose or orange blossom) to suit your taste or needs. Glam them up or keep them simple. They can go as far as your imagination desires.
This one can also be gluten free. (In theory, cream of tartar is gluten free but if you have any concerns about it being processed in the same facility as grains then check with the manufacturer.)
4 egg whites, room temperature… free range, please… I love my chooks 🙂
1 cup of castor sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
Add colours or flavours of your choice (e.g. vanilla, rosewater, orange blossom water, coffee, chocolate powder, strawberry powder, jam etc.). Add these to the desired taste or effect but most flavourings only require about half a teaspoon.
Preheat your oven to 120C.
Beat your egg whites and cream of tartar until they are beginning to hold shape.
Add in your sugar a little at a time, mixing well between additions until the sugar is completely mixed through and the meringue is white, fluffy and holds stiff peaks.
Add your vanilla and/or flavourings or colourings of choice and beat through.
Pipe your mini meringues onto baking trays lined with paper. Bite-sized pieces could be the size of a twenty-cent coin.
Place the trays in the oven and reduce the heat to 90C and bake for around an hour and a half. You want them to cook slowly so that they harden into bites.
Have fun with these! You could try splitting the meringue into two halves and colouring them differently, then putting both colours into a bag and piping them in a swirl to show both colours.
I’ve been dying to share this news!! To celebrate the release of THE CAKE MAKER’S WISH I have FOUR of these wonderful prize packs for you to win. Each pack contains:
* An adorable petunia brooch with matching half moon earrings set from Ruby Olive ($49 value, either lilac or mint)
* 125g The Fresh Chai Co. chocolate chai (which is my favourite chai brand ever, and you KNOW how much chai I drink… $11.95 value)
* one of my signed back list novels (various titles, valued at $19.95)
* Lindt dark chocolate, 70%, which is one of my favourite chocolate choices.
That’s over $80 worth of gorgeousness right there, delivered to your door.
HOW TO WIN:
(1) Join the Facebook live stream book launch on my AUTHOR page (not my personal page) on Sunday 31 May at 3pm AEST and leave a comment. One winner chosen at random at 5pm 1 July.
(2) Once you have your copy of THE CAKE MAKER’S WISH, photograph your book with some cake and post it to your FB timeline or Instagram account and make sure you TAG ME (so I know it’s there… you’ll need to make sure your privacy setting is on PUBLIC) and use #cakeandcover The MOST BEAUTIFUL photos will be shortlisted and put to public vote to find the winner.
(3) Make sure you’re signed up to my MAILING LIST because one of these boxes will go out to someone on that list! That’s all you have do, then wait for my next newsletter for your chance. You can do that here: https://josephinemoon.com/become-a-vip/
(4) Once you’ve read the book, leave a review on either Goodreads or Amazon and share it to my timeline/tag me. One of these boxes will go to the review that I think best captures the spirit of the story.
Enter in each category and get four chances to win!
I can’t wait to share these boxes with you! A big thank you to Adam from The Fresh Chai Co. for providing the scrumptious chai and to Skye from Ruby Olive for the beautiful jewellery.
Wishing you the best of luck!
T&Cs: Australian postal addresses only (sorry!). All entries must be in by 5pm on 2 July 2020, except for the Facebook live stream, which will be chosen at 5pm 1 June.
I’m not even going to try and pretend that I’m not crazy in love with these cupcakes! I had my character, Olivia Kent, bake these in The Cake Maker’s Wish because I found recipes online and thought they would be amazing. But… when I went to make them, I found them seriously lacking in flavour. It was so disappointing. I love the intensity of lemon meringue pie and lemon curd so I wasn’t going to have a bar of that! I changed the recipes to jack up the flavours, big time. Now, they burst with lemon and the seductive aroma and flavour of strawberries. Every mouthful inspires hope and happiness, perfect as a winter warmer to chase away the blues.
I’m not going to lie, though: these are not quick to make. But, oh, they are worth it, especially for a special occasion.
3 Tb arrowroot or cornflour (check that it’s gluten free cornflour if you want them GF)
2 tsp baking powder (check specs for GF)
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup lemon juice
500g pure icing sugar (check specs for GF)
1 1/2 cups frozen or fresh strawberries (hulled)
1/4 tsp vanilla
(Note: These quantities will make more than enough buttercream for your cupcakes. You can reduce these quantities if you wish, keeping the ration of 2:1 for icing sugar to butter, or freeze the excess and use later for biscuits or a loaf cake of some sort. I always figure that if I’m making something I might as well make a lot of it to freeze some for later.)
Preheat your oven to 180C (160C fan forced) and line your cupcake trays with paper. (This batch will make approximately 16 cupcakes.)
In a mixing bowl, beat your butter and lemon zest, then add in the sugar and beat again until well mixed and fluffy. Add the egg whites and vanilla and beat to combine.
In another bowl, mix the dry ingredients of ‘Cake Part 2’ together, then add half of it to the butter mixture, mix to combine, then add half the sour cream, mix to combine, then repeat with the remaining dry ingredients and sour cream. Finally, add the lemon juice and beat again to form a batter.
Fill your cupcake papers to 2/3 full and put them into the oven. The cakes will take 20-25 minutes, give or take. (I have a slow oven and mine took 30 mins.)
Place your strawberries into a blender and blitz until consistent.
Transfer the strawberries into a small pot and heat on the stove until they are gently boiling, stirring often. Continue to cook them until they have reduced down to approximate the colour and consistency of tomato sauce.
Cool the sauce before adding it to the buttercream, otherwise it will melt the butter. (Putting it in the fridge is helpful.)
Pulped frozen berries
Reduced to sauce
Make sure your icing sugar is as free of lumps as possible. You may need to dry beat it first. (Bashing it on the kitchen bench also helps!)
Beat your butter, icing sugar and vanilla until smooth and creamy. Add approximately three tablespoons of the strawberry sauce and beat until combined.
You may like to use a piping bag to pipe the cream or simply spoon it on! If you wish, you might like to decorate your cupcakes with extra strawberries or edible flowers for an added touch of beauty.
These gingerbread love hearts are inspired by my character, Olivia Kent, from my book The Cake Maker’s Wish, who makes a peach-coloured version, though with much more fancy, professional decoration than these have! Still, I like to keep things in the realm of achievable. I had never made royal icing before making these pretty biscuits and while they might be beginner level, I still think they’re a gorgeous gift for yourself or someone you love. (I certainly didn’t hear any complaints when I gifted them on!)
I’ve made these ones gluten free (as we are a fully gluten free household) but if you want to make them with regular flour, you can simply swap it for the same amount and they will turn out better, I’m certain. Anyone who has worked with gluten free food will know how variable the outcomes are and just how tricky it can be to work with, especially if you have to roll dough! Given that, I’m pretty darn pleased with these.
Most recipes I looked at included 1 tablespoon of ground ginger in the recipe. I did that to start with but could barely taste it! For me, what on earth is the point in something being ‘ginger’ bread if you can’t taste the ginger. I’ve doubled the amount and think it hits the sweet spot, but if you are a super keen ginger lover, feel free to experiment with even more, if you like.
Here we go…
1/2 cup brown sugar (packed)
1/2 cup golden syrup
1 egg, separated
2.5 cups plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 Tbs ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground all spice
150g pure icing sugar (make sure it’s gluten free if you want them to be GF)
Preheat your oven to 180C (160C fan forced) and line two baking trays with paper. Ensure you have a little extra flour ready to dust your workspace to roll out the dough.
With your beaters, beat the butter and brown sugar together until creamy, add the golden syrup and egg yolk and beat again until mixed.
Sift in your flour, spices and bicarbonate of soda. (Hot tip: if you don’t have a sifter (or don’t like using one–because they can be quite hard on fingers, wrists and elbows–you can simply shake your ingredients through a wire mesh strainer and it will work just as well.) Mix or low speed until combined into a bit of a ball of dough.
Place you dough onto your floured workspace and knead lightly until it forms a nice, lightly floured dough. You can wrap it in plastic and let it rest in the fridge for half an hour if you like, but I didn’t (because I didn’t read the instructions properly!) and it worked just fine.
Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough until it is about 4-7mm thick. If you are using gluten free flour, I recommend the thicker width as gluten free dough tends to fall apart and break easily.
Cut the dough into hearts with a cookie cutter, or any other shape you like, and place onto your papered baking trays, giving a little room between each biscuit for them to expand during cooking.
To make your icing, beat your egg white until you they hold white peaks. Sift your icing sugar into the bowl and beat on low speed until combined. Add your colour of choice (or separate into multiple bowls if you want additional colours), then feed into a piping bag with your nozzle of choice.
If you would like to pre-order The Cake Maker’s Wish, click here.