Photo credit: Simon from the heart of food
Oh yes, it's that time of year again - when shopping centres play carols that get stuck in your head for the rest of the day, and reindeer horns and red noses start appearing on cars around Sydney. It's Christmas, which means it's also time for the 2nd annual Sydney Food Bloggers Christmas Picnic!
As usual there were copious amounts of food present which were arranged on the makeshift dining table. As much as I wish I had the stomach space to try everything, I never quite get around to it all but everyone's contributions looked delicious!
Clockwise from top left: Ribs by Billy from A Table for Two; Macaron tower by Cleony from I Eat Sweet; Chocolate Christmas tree by Lisa from Lisa Perkovic; Orange, pistachio and cardamom cupcakes by Angie from Angie Lives to Eat (and Cook)!
There were more sweets than savouries as expected and even though I keep telling myself to make a savoury item for the next food blogger meet-up, I ended up making a sweet item... oops! Luckily there were savoury contributions from other people but you had to be quick otherwise you missed out (case in point: Billy's ribs - gone in 60 seconds!)
Clockwise from top left: Mini pecan pies by Rhonda from The Dainty Baker; Mini Christmas puddings by Vivian from vxdollface; Cheese bread by Tammi from Insatiable Munchies; Strawberry Santas by Ayana from Absolutely Ayana
I ended up making meringues to bring to the picnic. Midway through beating the egg whites I realised that I could Christmas-ify them up by colouring them green and putting little stars on top. And voila - Christmas Tree Meringues!
These were really easy to make, and also relatively quick although they do need to be in the oven for a while. Even though it's only egg whites and sugar beaten together, they do become strangely addictive and I may or may not have munched on a few on the way to the picnic...
A big thank you to Helen from Grab Your Fork and Suze from chocolatesuze for organising the picnic, I had an awesome day! Looking forward to the next one already :)
Christmas Tree Meringues
2 egg whites
125g caster sugar
green food colouring
edible star decorations (I purchased mine from the supermarket)
1. Preheat the oven to 120ºC. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add the caster sugar until glossy, firm peaks form. Once the sugar has been incorporated, add the green food colouring until the desired colour is achieved.
2. Using a spatula, put the mixture into a piping bag with a star tip. Pipe the meringue onto lined baking sheets in a spiral motion to create a tree shape. I made the base of my spiral about 2cm in diameter. Leave enough room between each tree to allow for the meringue to spread slightly. Top each tree with a star decoration.
3. Bake in the oven for about 30-45 minutes (actual baking time will depend on the size of your meringues). If you like your meringues spongy and marshmallowy in the centre, bake for a shorter amount of time; if you like your meringues dry throughout, bake for a longer amount of time. When ready, turn off the oven and open the oven door slightly ajar and allow the meringues to cool completely in the oven.