Friday, March 1, 2013

Happy Birthday Dad!

Yesterday was my Dad's birthday and as with all birthdays in our family this meant work was replaced with a day of celebrating and I mean really, who is going to argue with that?

As you know, Mum and Dad have been living on site in a caravan whilst their dream home is being built and last Thursday, just in the nick of time, they finally got the keys to their new home! It has been a long and tiring and stressful process, especially the last few weeks, but I think the first morning they woke up in their new home after a good night's sleep in their own bed, it made the whole thing worthwhile. Mr B and I have been so proud of the way they have dealt with the trials and tribulations they have endured and so happy that they have finally reached the light at the end of the tunnel - plus it meant that we could celebrate Dad's birthday in their brand new home!

Starting the day in style, we enjoyed a fruit platter, orange juice, coffee, yoghurt and a mandatory birthday cupcake out on the new deck overlooking the Derwent River. It was a beautiful morning for it and just a gorgeous spot to sit outside and have breakfast - if it were my home I would definitely be eating every meal possible out there....and probably sitting out there reading a book or enjoying a drink or hell, just taking in the view in the in between times!

For our next trick, we all climbed on the bikes and hit the road. It was a slightly overcast day, but it made for a fantastic ride up the coast to Bicheno and the Bicheno Motorcycle Museum. Bicheno is roughly a 2.5hr ride from home and it's rare that we all have the time to get out and go for a nice long ride but when we do, we make the most of it! The Bicheno Motorcycle Museum has been on Dad's must-see list for quite some time now and what better time to cross something off than your birthday! The Museum was really interesting and full of lots of old classic motorcycles. Fuel tanks empty, both ours and the bikes, we headed up the road and after filling the bikes up, we stopped at the Bicheno Pub to fill the bellies up! A delicious warm pub loaf, some bad boy fries, a plate of scallops and some fish cakes later, Mum and I were calling best meal of the day on these Sweet Potato and Zucchini Fritters / Fries, crunchy, tasty and just what the doctor ordered.

Bellies and fuel tanks full, it was back on the road and ready for the ride home, fingers and toes all crossed that the ominous black clouds down the highway would pass by the time we got there! Luckily enough they pretty much did, we hit a few really cold patches and a little bit of drizzle, but nothing too bad. Once we got home, and into some warm dry clothes, it was time for presents!! And a group shot....this was the second attempt....Mr B couldn't figure out which button to push for the timer and when he did....well he pushed the wrong one.


Third time lucky!! What a team!

And finally it was time for the cake! Except it wasn't a was a tart, an Iced Vo-Vo Tart to be precise! Not long ago, Dad made it very clear that his beloved Iced Vo-Vo's were a heck of alot smaller than they used to be and as fate would have it, that very week, Good Taste Magazine featured an article on how to turn these cute little biscuits into a tart! Somehow, in the few days before Dad's birthday and in the midst of moving and un-packing, Mum remembered this little gem of information and voilĂ   we had our birthday cake!

Iced Vo-Vo Tart

For the base you will need:

150g Arnott's Iced VoVo Biscuits
200g plain sweet biscuits
160g butter, melted

For the marshmallow filling you will need:

150g marshmallows
1 tbspn milk
200ml thickened cream
1 tspn vanilla paste

For the raspberry jelly you will need:

4 tspns gelatine powder
2 cups fozen raspberries
2/3 cup water
2 tbspn caster sugar

For the topping you have two options....

I used 1 cup of vanilla buttercream tinted pink with 2-3 drops of pink food colouring and sprinkled with 1 tbspn dessicated coconut. I use the Australian WW recipe for buttercream and it's the nicest and easiest to work with I have ever tried!

BUT you can also use 1 cup of whipped thickened cream tinted pink with 2-3 drops of pink food colouring and sprinkled with 1 tbspn dessicated coconut.

To put it all together....

Spray a square fluted tart tin, with removable base, with oil.

In a food processor, process the biscuits until they become fine crumbs. Add the butter and process to combine. Use a glass to spread and press mixture firmly over base and sides of prepared tin. Place in the fridge for 1 hour.

To make the marshmallow filling, combine the marshmallows and milk in a microwave safe bowl and heat on high for 60 seconds. Remove from the microwave and stir mixture until smooth. Set aside for about 6 minutes to cool. It's really important that you do this or it will split in the next step. 

Use an electric mixer to beat the cream and vanilla bean paste in a bowl until firm peaks form. Gently fold half the cream mixture into the marshmallow. Fold in the remaining cream until combined. Spoon over the biscuit base and smooth the surface. Place in the fridge for 2 hours or until firm.

To make the raspberry jelly place the raspberries, water and sugar in a saucepan over medium-low heat for 1 minute or until the sugar dissolves. Bring the mixture to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes or until the raspberries soften. Add the gelatin to the raspberry mixture and stir until it dissolves. Strain the mixture through a sieve into a bowl. Discard the seeds. Set aside for 25 minutes to cool. Carefully pour the jelly over marshmallow. It's best to do this whilst the tart is still in the fridge if you can, or you put yourself in the akward situation of having to try and carry a very full tart tin to the fridge without leaving a trail of jelly behind you! Leave in the fridge for 2 hours to set.

To make the buttercream topping, beat 100g softened (but not melted) butter until it's pale and creamy using the electric mixer. Add 1 cup of icing sugar, 1 tbspn of milk and a dash of vanilla essence. Beat until smooth and fluffy. 

Spread half of the mixture along one edge of the tart. Spread the other half of the mixture along the opposite side of the tart, leaving a thick strip of the jelly visible in the centre. Sprinkle with dessicated coconut. 

This tart is best left in the fridge until you're ready to serve it, but you can definitely make it in advance....I made the base and the marshmallow filling on the Sunday, the jelly on the Monday, the frosting for the top on the Tuesday and when we served it on the Wednesday it was absolutely delicious! 

I'm not going to say that this tart didn't give me it's fair share of grief....I had raspberries dripping from every corner of the microwave after they blew up, I split at least 4 cartons of cream for various reasons....I even burst into tears at one point, but the look on my Dad's face and the end result was worth it all and so much more. 

Happy Birthday Dad!!

Mrs B xx 

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful way to celebrate Brett with your family and a new house to boot. Congratulations to you and Julie - it took 12 months but it looks so good. Enjoy x



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