> The Beesley Buzz: 2018

#ACEforSchool Challenge – Not just for the kids clothes – shhh!

One of the childhood stories I used to love hearing my mum tell me was of the time I had just started school myself and came home covered head to toe in paint. She was furious! My clothes were ruined. Mum made it quite clear to me just how much trouble I was in for ruining my clothes with my painting. Then the story goes on to tell of the open evening at school where my painting had been put on display. It had been chosen as the best painting in my whole class! My mum felt immensely proud of me but also hugely guilty about how cross she had got about the paint-stained clothes.

It’s a story that has stuck with me over the years and I’ve done my best not to make the same mistake with my own children. Having previously worked in childcare, I fully recognise the importance of messy play and mark-making activities in children’s learning and development – whether that is in the form of painting or sand play, or gloop or shaving foam play, or playing with mud – the possibilities are endless. The benefits of getting outdoors and playing in nature are also widely recognised these days. So getting clothes mucky is a small price to pay and is far outweighed by the benefits of these types of play activities.

And of course, there is school lunchtime. Judging by the state of my daughter’s school uniform, lunchtimes seem to consist of a large selection of tomato-based dishes; whether it’s spaghetti bolognaise, meatballs, or the tomato base of pizza, Miss T comes home wearing more of her lunch than she eats - or so it seems.

Yes – Miss T’s favourite stain is definitely tomato sauce – or more accurately a multitude of tomato stains all over her white school polo shirt.

Having learnt from my own mothers mistake, never have I vocalised my despair but inside my head I’m groaning “well that’s another item of school uniform totally ruined”.

Having wasted far too much time in the past standing at the wash basin scrubbing at stains in an attempt to remove them before putting them in the main wash in the washing machine, I’d practically given up hope of successfully removing stains.

So I was very excited to hear of ACE. I was sent ACE Stain Remover which has a spray nozzle to directly spray onto stains before washing.

I was also sent a bottle of ACE for Colours which can be dosed directly into the drum of the washing machine using the cap. This product can also be used for pre-treating stains by directly applying to the stain. ACE for Colours claims to eliminate odours as well as removing stains – something rather handy with two teenage boys living in the household and bringing home sweaty P.E. Kits to wash.

After putting ACE to the test I can confirm that it really does work! As I hang out the washing I can often detect a whiff of P.E. kit but with ACE for Colours added to the wash, our washload definitely smelled far fresher than usual. The boys P.E. kits are deep colours – D’s being Navy blue and J’s a rich burgundy red colour, so I did worry about the colours fading but they’ve stayed bright.

I’m all about honest testing of products on this blog so when it came to putting ACE to the test on stains I wanted to ensure we had some of the stains we normally battle with and so when Miss T came home with this splattering of tomato sauce on her polo shirt, I knew it would be the perfect test to see whether ACE really did live up to it's claims.

I used the ACE Stain remover to spray onto these stains before washing and then we used some of the ACE for Colours in the wash as well. 
The video shows the stains more clearly than the photos. You will also have to forgive the creases - I was so excited to capture the brightness and whiteness with the stains gone that this is before ironing! 

This video I made really shows just how well it works - I'm so impressed! 

It's important to remember to treat stains before washing because sadly once stains become 'baked in' after being heated up in a normal wash without any stain remover, they do become much harder to remove. But for fresh stains ACE is perfect and we've started to use the ACE for Colours in EVERY load of washing to help remove odours and minor stains. For the tougher to tackle stains like the tomato sauce, I'm definitely going to keep using ACE Stain remover spray.

And as I admitted in the video, it turns out that it's not just #ACEforSchool that ACE is perfect for - my own work uniforms have felt the benefit of ACE too! 

So with our uniforms in tip top condition and bright as bright can be, it's time to enjoy back-to-school season with some more fun outdoors enjoying the autumn season.

This post is an entry for the BritMums #ACEforSchool Challenge, sponsored by ACE. Get help for all kinds of stains with the ACEStain Helperhttp://www.acecleanuk.co.uk/ or to buy head to your local Tesco’s, Morrison’s, Waitrose or Sainsbury’s. We were sent the above two ACE products for the purpose of this blogpost. All views are our own honest opinions. 


GBBO WEEK 7 - Vegan week: Vegan lemon and poppy seed cake and aquafaba marshmallow fluff

Now first things first, I need to apologise for the rapidly deteriorating photo quality as we progress through the weeks of GBBO baking. This year I'm finding that the only way I can seem to find the time to bake along each week AND do a write up on the blog is by taking very quick snaps on my phone and then uploading them directly to the blog. Which is why you've probably noticed that some of the photos are even a bit topsy-turvey where I haven't had time to even change the orientation from portrait to landscape or vice-versa. So I seek forgiveness for the photos but at least I'm here and joining in!

My heart filled with fear at Vegan week because of the thought of baking without eggs or butter. But when I started to think a little more about it, it turns out that I've baked quite a few vegan bakes before...One of my most used recipe books is Henrietta Inman's Clean Cakes and whilst my primary purpose of making those recipes was to find alternatives to refined sugar and to try some gluten-free bakes, ALL of the recipes in that book are actually dairy-free too. Many of them are also free from eggs too and therefore those recipes are vegan. 

So without even realising it, my previous Vegan bakes have included...
My 'clean-eating' Strawberry bakewell tart
Blueberry Cheesecakes (with no actual cheese involved!) 
Goji bars
Healthy-ish millionnaires shortbread

as well as several other recipes from that recipe book that have never made it onto the blog like fudge made from beans!, buckwheat florentines, an apple pie which I adapted from the blueberry galettes recipe, roasted root vegetable tarts with spiced sesame crust (these are made with a delicious cashew bechamel), tomato and pepper pisaladiere and probably loads of other recipes as I really do use that recipe book more than any other!

I had a quick look through my instagram feed and found all these vegan bakes:

So as tempting as it was to blog one of these previous recipes, I actually wanted to have a try at something new. Since I first came across the whole aquafaba thing a couple of years ago, I've been keen to give it a try and even saved my chickpea liquid on a few occassions to do so, but then the doubts crept in and I'd end up binning the liquid.

But seeing how successful the aquafaba pavlovas turned out on bake off this week, I decided I really did want to do something with aquafaba. So when I came across this vegan marshmallow fluff recipe on Chocolate Covered Katie, I knew that was what I wanted to make.

Yet marshmallow fluff alone doesn't really qualify as counting as a bake! So then I turned to my fridge for inspiration. It is very rare for any food to go to waste in my household - I'm forever cooking, freezing, drying, preserving, so that nothing rots. Yet to my dismay I found one of my lemons rotting. So I knew I had to use the rest so they didn't turn bad.

As lemon and poppy seed cake is one of my favourite flavours, I decided to attempt a vegan version of it!

I found a great recipe here so I used that as a starting point and changed some of the ingredients to suit me better.

So in place of soy milk, I used hazelnut milk making the first set of ingredients to mix together as follows:
188ml hazelnut milk
45ml lemon juice
10g chia seeds
pinch of vanilla powder

The chia seeds act as an egg replacer in this recipe so whisking the above ingredients together and leaving them to thicken for a while will help in place of eggs.

Next I used 80g coconut oil and 100g coconut sugar and creamed it together. Then this mixture is to be mixed with the chia mixture. At this point it went quite lumpy as the coconut oil became more solid-like as it got chilled by the hazelnut milk.

In a separate bowl I mixed together the flour. I used 90g of wholemeal flour and 90g of self-raising flour. Add in 1.5 tsp baking powder, half a tsp of bicarbonate of soda, pinch of salt, 1 tbsp poppy seeds (around 10g) and 2 tbsp of lemon zest.

creaming together the coconut oil and the coconut sugar

The 'dry' ingredients plus lemon zest
Then it is a case of quickly mixing the dry ingredients into the wet and getting it into the oven. I remembered from watching GBBO that this stage needs to be quick as the bubbles are made as the ingredients are combined. So I guess in this case it will be the acidic lemon juice reacting with the baking powder and bicarb.
The final batter - ready to bake in the oven
I baked it in a pre-heated oven at 180C for 30 minutes in a greased and lined silicone baking tin.

Then it was time to put the aquafaba to the test! Sure enough it did whip to stiff peaks. I used 140g aquafaba liquid mixed with 70g of maple syrup. I had intended to include half a teaspoon of cream of tartar as that is supposed to stabilise the mixture but I forgot until the end when I quickly whisked some in.

It really is a case of whisking this stuff for ages - I think it was over 10 minutes on full speed but I was pleased it got there in the end.

The original plan was going to be to use the aquafaba marshmallow fluff to decorate the cake with but I was just concerned if it reverted back to being runny that it could ruin the cake. So I decided to serve the marshmallow fluff alongside the cake and not on it.

The cake turned out amazing! It's not much to look at and I was worried about the darker patches which hadn't mixed in properly but it smelt so lemony and tasted great.

I actually stirred in a teeny bit of sicilian lemon extract into the marshmallow fluff to keep the lemony vibe going throughout the whole thing.

It's definitely not very often that I blow by own trumpet, but I was really pleased with the taste and texture of this cake. Of course, it's mainly thanks to the original recipe that I found and adapted so I can't really take credit for it turning out so well.

So there we have it...Vegan lemon and poppyseed cake and vegan marshmallow fluff that doesn't look so great but really does taste great!

Linking up with Mummy Mishaps and Casa Costello for #GBBObloggers2018 and #GBBOBakeoftheweek:

Mummy Mishaps

Speedy samosas - GBBO WEEK 6 - pastry week

Before I start my write up of this weeks GBBO bake, just a reminder that there is just under a week left to enter our giveaway to win the fabulous Sirocco recipe book by Sabrina Ghayour - find out more here. 

I’ve called these speedy samosas purely because of my lack of time available to join in with this week’s GBBO. And an even speedier quick type-up of the recipe. Now I wouldn’t actually recommend anyone making these, because they didn’t turn out so great. The pastry was tasty but they tasted more like Cornish pasties than samosas. I’ve made samosas before but used filo pastry in the past which works well brushed with butter and baked. I baked these too rather than fried them but, as I say, definitely more of a Cornish pasty vibe going on.

Ingredients for samosa pastry dough:
225g plain flour
Qtr tsp baking powder
60ml rapeseed oil
Nigella seeds (for savoury samosas only)
75 ml cold water

Savoury filling:
1 red onion
1 leek
1 tsp tamarind paste
1 tsp mustard seeds
50g cheddar crumbled into small pieces

Sweet filling:
112ml milk
15g sugar
40g semolina
125g mascarpone
Teeny bit of vanilla extract
15g dark chocolate
1 tsp cacao powder
Teeny pinch of salt

Because I didn't have much time and I wasn't sure how these would turn out I only made a small batch. I made both a sweet samosa and a savoury one just to replicate what they did on bake off.

I made the pastry dough by mixing together the flour and oil to form a breadcrumb-like texture, then added the water to make a pastry dough. I broke the dough into two halves and mixed in nigella seeds into one half. This was my savoury samosa dough. The other half, without the nigella seeds, was the pastry for the sweet samosas.

The dough needed resting for about 30 minutes so I wrapped it in clingfilm and placed it in the fridge.

Whilst the pastry was chilling I made the fillings.

The savoury filling was just a case of finely chopping and frying the onion and leek. Then adding in the mustard seeds and cheddar.

The sweet filling was inspired by last years sfogliatelle during GBBO Italian week (which turned out disastrously for me but I loved the filling). It is made by heating the milk and sugar in a pan, then stirring in the semolina, and a pinch of salt. In a separate bain marie I melted the dark chocolate and added it to the semolina mixture along with a teaspoon of cocoa powder as the mixture looked too runny.

Then I rolled the pastry dough out and cut as many circles as I could. Each circle is cut in half and made to form a cone with a little water brushed on the straight edge. They seemed so tiny that I struggled to fill them and so tried a few variations on how to fill them – so some of them did end up looking more like Cornish pasties!

The Savoury samosas before being cooked

The sweet samosas before being cooked

The sweet samosas after being cooked - a couple of them had burst open

The savoury samosas after being cooked
I brushed them with rapeseed oil then they had 30 minutes in the oven at 180C but because I was so short of time I increased the temperature to 200C for the last bit of cooking.

I used The Raw Chocolate Co Pitch Dark chocolate in this recipe -
this stuff tastes so good it felt like a crime to cook with it! 

Both the savoury and sweet samosas tasted very pasty-like in texture. The sweet ones in particular were very dry. If I had more time I’d have tried tweaking the recipe a bit more but as it was they were perfectly edible and despite being far from perfect, got polished off very quickly indeed.

Despite being far from perfect, the pastry still tasted really nice!
Linking up with Mummy Mishaps and Casa Costello for #GBBObloggers2018 and #GBBOBakeoftheweek:

Mummy Mishaps


Little Dragons Cafe for Nintendo Switch

Little Dragons Cafe is a beautifully crafted new adventure game for the Nintendo Switch from the makers of Harvest Moon (a firm favourite in our household).

You choose whether to be either Ren or Rin - brother and sister co-owners of the Dragon Cafe - and then set off on your adventure. (You can even change your name as you set off).

Your task is to go out and explore and find new ingredients. Then, when a customer comes in to the cafe you have to use those ingredients to rustle up the dish they want. At first, your mum helps out but then she falls into a deep sleep. Now your challenge has changed - you have to find a way to wake her up whilst running the cafe on your own! And... you now have a baby dragon to feed and raise!

The overall adventure is split into a series of short challenges - each dish is a new game. But they are easy to pick up and great fun to complete.

D put together a video of him playing Little Dragons Cafe here:

He's recently started his own You Tube gaming channel and loves to make videos of himself playing various games.  It's called "Beesley Gaming" and you can find it here. Do pop over and show your support - Despite being only 12 years old, he's been making, editing and uploading the videos all by himself.

Back to Little Dragons Cafe...D says: "It's a fun game, with just the right amount of challenge." There's plenty to do, new challenges to experience as the dragon grows, and enough change to keep you entertained for hours.

Little Dragons Cafe is available to download from the Nintendo website.
For more info, follow Rising Star Games on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or visit the official Rising Star Games website.

Disclosure: We were sent a digital download copy of this game, to keep for the purposes of this review. All opinions are our own. The game is also available on PlayStation 4.

Ma'amool My Way - Week 5 GBBO - Spice Week

Whilst Ma'mool are supposed to be little bite-sized date pastries, mine have ended up somewhat larger! I will explain why I ended up having to make my ma'mool my way! 

I love using spices in my baking. Must be to do with my middle-eastern roots. I don't like particularly 'spicy' food but I love the fragrant 'spices' which aren't the hot type.

My lovely aunt had sent me these rather interesting teabags from Iran. They are saffron, rose and cardamom tea bags. Three of my MOST favourite spices. But as a tea the saffron just tasted all wrong and I didn't get on well with them at all. But I knew that one day they would come in handy for baking so I put them in my baking drawer and waited...until GBBO SPICE WEEK!!! YAY!!!

Having never made Ma'mool (or even heard of it) before, I wasn't quite sure where to start until an email pinged into my inbox from Bloomsbury Cooks with a recipe from Yasmin Khan's Zaitoun recipe book for...you guessed it...Ma'mool. I can't find the recipe anywhere online to link to but as I adapted it a fair bit, I'm going to write up my version here. Basically I halved the recipe and switched up some of the ingredients like using ghee in place of butter and coconut sugar in place of caster sugar and so on. I have Yasmin Khan's The Saffron Tales recipe book but don't yet have Zaitoun so I was glad to have received the email from bloomsbury with the fab Ma'amool recipe. 

Ingredients for the dough:
250g semolina
40g plain flour
90g ghee
35g coconut sugar
pinch salt
2-3 tbsp hazelnut milk
1 tbsp rosewater

Ingredients for the filling:
150g dates
1 saffron, rose, cardamom teabag (contents removed from teabag and crushed to a powder)
A little water or rose water

Obviously those teabags are not so easy to get hold of but saffron, rose petals and cardamom are quite widely available these days so you can just use a little of each of those spices instead of needing the teabags. 

In a food processor blitz together all of the dry dough ingredients together with the ghee to form 'breadcrumb' like texture.

Next add in the milk and rose water until it forms a dough. 

I found the dough to be really crumbly. It needs chilling for an hour before using but as you can see from the picture below, it was STILL really crumbly even after chilling.

To make the filling, I blitzed together the dates, spices and the water/rosewater in a food processor until it made a smoothish paste. This also needs chilling for about 30 minutes. 

As the dough was so crumbly, I couldn't manage to make the filled balls of ma'amool so instead I made bigger ones by pressing the dough into moulds, filled with the filling and then pressed more dough on top. I managed to prick some patterns into some of them too.

I baked them at 180C for 20 minutes. They could probably have done with more filling inside as I had some filling left over and as it is a dry tasting dough, a deeper filling would help bring added moisture to the party. 
Whilst I'd never eaten Ma'amool before, I have had similar tasting treats like Iranian naan berenji (rice flour biscuits) and noon nochodchi (chickpea flour biscuits) - both with a dry tasting dough and aromatically flavoured. So I can see how these Ma'amool would work really well with iranian style tea. Iranians tend to drink loose leaf tea with no added milk. Sometimes it is delicately flavoured with cardamom pods or rose-petals too. I made a pot of herbal tea with loose leaf camomile, lavender and rose petals to have with my Ma'amool. I found that my Viners eminence gold teaspoons from Maha home worked perfectly with my little Iranian tea cups too.

Linking up with Mummy Mishaps and Casa Costello for #GBBObloggers2018 and #GBBOBakeoftheweek:

Mummy Mishaps


Giveaway!!! Sirocco Recipe Book by Sabrina Ghayour

Have you ever meant to send a thank you note for a birthday gift and left it so long that it is now closer to your next birthday than the previous one? That happens quite often to me. The intention is there but time has a habit of rushing by far too quickly to the point that it gets embarrassingly late.

And this has become another example of something happening embarrassingly late... When Sabrina Ghayour's second cookery book, Sirocco was published back in 2016, I actually bought TWO copies of it with the intention of keeping one for myself and hosting a blog giveaway to share the second copy with one of our blog readers.

I am a massive fan of Sabrina Ghayour as I believe she has done wonders for bringing Persian cooking to the fore, first with her debut cookbook Persiana, and then with Sirocco and more recently with her third cookery book, Feasts. 

All the while inspiring us to try eastern inspired cooking through television appearances, at live demos and through her own supper clubs.

We had the pleasure of meeting Sabrina back in December 2014 at a Christmas supper club she ran to raise money for Jamie Oliver's Fifteen foundation. The food was incredible, needless to say, and meeting Sabrina an absolute delight. Her passion for food, flavours and cooking was evident to all and combined with her no-nonsense down to earth personality and awesome sense of humour make her an amazing person all round! I've been following her Instagram for all these years and again the way she connects with people is a pleasure to see - responding to questions and comments and always with sincere honesty often lacking on Instagram these days.

Little did we know back in 2014 that just a few months later our whole lives would be shaken up with Miss T's diagnosis of Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis. She was only 2 years old at the time. Having suffered from the same condition myself since the age of 10, I was utterly shocked that all these years later the same comment kept coming up when people heard of Miss T's diagnosis "but I thought only old people got arthritis." Thirty years on and knowledge of this cruel, painful, crippling disease has not increased.

So it has become my passion to do all I can to raise awareness of arthritis in children. It is NOT the same as adult on-set Rheumatoid Arthritis and entirely different from age-related osteoarthritis. If left untreated the consequences can be devastating including irreparable joint damage and deformity and even blindness caused by Uveitis which is a condition that children with JIA are at a high risk of.

The first step in prompt diagnosis and treatment is increased awareness both amongst the general population and even amongst the medical profession, that children and young people can and do get arthritis.

Sadly there is still no cure for the disease but the Juvenile Arthritis Research project, a charity that was set up this year with the core aim of finding a cure, is working hard towards it.

And when a young man called Alex (we refer to him as Amazing Alex because the challenge he has set himself is truly mind-blowing) heard of Miss T's condition and the multitude of treatments she needs just to enable her to walk, he decided to do something about it.

He is running 250 miles in a period of 2 weeks to raise funds and awareness for Juvenile Arthritis Research. That works out as an average of 18 miles PER DAY!!! I did say it was totally mind blowing. You can find out more about what Alex is doing at www.give.net/Run250

You may be wondering how all this links to this giveaway? Well the main reason that I just couldn't find time to run the giveaway until now is the sheer volume of appointments and treatments that Miss T needs taking up masses of my time. I've always wanted our blog to be used for good in some way and raising awareness of what Alex is doing seemed the perfect way.

So as well as all the usual options on Rafflecopter, there is also an option of heading over to www.give.net/Run250 and sponsoring Alex for his #Run250 challenge. It needn't be a huge amount - as little as £1 will help to make a difference. What is so amazing about what Alex is doing is that it is raising that all-important awareness as well as funds.

It is NOT ESSENTIAL to donate to be able to take part in the giveaway. The donate option gives extra entries (so please only complete that option on Rafflecopter if you have donated) but there are plenty of other options to complete for entries too.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Please note this giveaway is not affiliated with Sabrina Ghayour, Mitchell Beazley Publishing, or Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. We purchased this product ourselves and wanted to give it away via our blog to one of our readers.

The Rafflecopter widget should be straightforward to use, but if you need any more information on how to use Rafflecopter please visit Di Coke's guide.

Listed at Superlucky and Prizefinder.

SuperLucky Blog Giveaway Linky: the UK's biggest list of blog giveaways

Terms & Conditions:  (1) Open to UK residents only aged 18 or over.  (2) Entry is only through the RaffleCopter form.  (3) Bulk or automated entries not permitted.  (4) Entries must be received by the closing date (14 October 2018).  (5) By entering, you agree to accept and be bound by these rules.  (6) The winner will be selected at random from all valid entries.  (7) The winner will win the prize as set out in clause (16), and is subject to availability and may change.  (8) No cash alternatives.  (9) Winners will be notified by email after the draw.  (10) Prizes not claimed within 14 days of the prize winner being notified may be redrawn and awarded to a new winner.  (11) TheBeesleyBuzz reserves the right to cancel or change the competition or any of these rules at any stage, if deemed necessary in its opinion, or if circumstances arise outside of its control.  (12) Winners agree to their names being used for promotional purposes.  (13) The judges’ decision will be final, and no correspondence will be entered into.  (14) The prize will be sent to the winners' UK address only. (15) The prize will be sent direct by TheBeesleyBuzz using a recognised national carrier. TheBeesleyBuzz can accept no responsibility for loss of or damage to the prize during transit. Should this occur, the winner must notify TheBeesleyBuzz immediately so the issue can be resolved with the carrier. Once received, the prize is the responsibility of the winner. (16) The prize is a copy of 'Sirocco' by Sabrina Ghayour.

Triple raspberry meringue roulade: GBBO Week 4 - Dessert Week

Can't believe it is already week 4 of GBBO and dessert week. I often start to feel totally out of my depth by this point in the series but I was pleasantly surprised to find myself wanting to try making either a meringue roulade or a raspberry blancmange.

I opted for the roulade as I've made sponge roulade before and I've made meringue before so I figured it was the two combined and that hopefully it may turn out ok.
I've called my recipe "triple" raspberry roulade because it contains freeze dried raspberries in the meringue, fresh raspberries inside the roulade and raspberries within the berry coulis sauce I made to go with it.

For the meringue I used 4 large egg whites, 225g caster sugar and using a GBBO recipe book featuring the class of 2014 (series 5), I found a recipe for a meringue roulade which also had a teaspoon of lemon juice mixed in with the egg whites and a teaspoon of cornflour added to the caster sugar. I've seen recipes that suggest adding vinegar when making pavlova so I wanted to understand why some recipes suggest adding lemon juice, or vinegar or even cream of tartar. It is apparently because adding acid will help to stabilise the meringue - By delaying coagulation, it allows more time for air to get trapped and so produces a lighter meringue.

And the cornflour? Apparently that leads to a softer mallowy meringue.

It was a case of whisking the egg whites (and lemon juice) to stiff peaks and adding the sugar (with the cornflour). Then I carefully folded in 2 tbsp of freeze dried raspberries.
Whisk the egg whites to stiff peak stage
I then greased and lined a baking tray with baking paper. I was going to use a 27 x 22cm tin but the meringue looked too thick so I scooped it all out and put it in another tin that I thought was bigger - an 18x30 cm tin but it turns out the surface area of that is smaller - doh - maths has never been my strong point.
The meringue rose and was thicker/deeper than I was hoping

So I ended up with slightly thicker meringue than I wanted. I baked it at 160C for 30 minutes. Then turned it out onto another sheet of baking paper that I had dusted with icing sugar.

I left it to cool for 5 minutes before peeling off the original piece of baking paper.

Then, being in a hurry, popped it in the fridge to cool completely. I realise this is NOT a good idea as meringue needs to cool gently and slowly to prevent cracking.

Whilst it was cooking and cooling I made a berry coulis. It always seems a shame to use fresh berries for things like this when fresh berries taste so nice fresh and whole so instead I used a pack of frozen summer berries.

I'm afraid I don't have proper measurements for this but 1 pack of frozen berries (around 330g) with a splash of boiling water on the hob to soften the berries a little. Then blitzed in a blender and sieved to remove the seeds from the raspberries and blackberries.  Finally a little icing sugar and raspberry liquor mixed in.
Once the meringue was cooled, I whisked some double cream to make it thicker and spread over the meringue. Then added chopped strawberries and raspberries on top. The meringue did crack but thankfully didn't fall apart.
Then rolled! I did use the technique of starting the roll with a slight cut in the meringue and used the baking paper to help me roll it as tightly as I could. Ideally it should have then been chilled again but I didn't have time.

It didn't have much of a swirl but there was definitely the attempt of a swirl.
The meringue had the crispy outer and mallowy middle - which I've since learnt is the ideal for meringue roulade - so that was good.
Rahul has rapidly emerged as my favourite baker in the tent. Just love how humble he is and his surprise at his own baking - he genuinely doesn't seem to realise just what a talented baker he is.

Linking up with Mummy Mishaps and Casa Costello for #GBBObloggers2018:

Mummy Mishaps