When I offered to cater and style my sister-in-law’s baby shower I knew the menu would be a challenge. Not only was there special considerations because of pregnancy but she also has a medical condition that is helped by eating a gluten free diet. So where to begin?
I always start with the sweet things – I can’t help it – maybe my priorities are wrong but a party isn’t a party without yummy sweet treats. So there was a couple of obvious ones… Macaroons! of course! But what about the cake? So I looked at a tone of recipes and settled on one from the Little and Friday cookbook. This is a fantastic cookbook and has quite a few gluten free recipes from the cafe and I’ve found them really reliable and very yummy. The orange, almond and rose water cake was the one I choose. I made two to get a nice high cake once iced.
My other brainwave was mallow-pops. I hear-by coin this name if no one else has before me! My variation on a cakepop, the marshmallows are stuck on cake pop sticks and dipped in colored candy melt then in sprinkles or colored sugar. Each one was placed in a cellophane bag then tied with a ribbon and a Printable Party Ideas Twisting by the Pool 1.5inch circle tag. These looked great on the table but also doubled as a party favour.
I also asked our Facebook fans for some ideas and got some great suggestions from them.
For the savoury table snacks we went for vegetable crudités, choosing colors that complemented our pool party theme, greens and yellows. For dips I made green goddess and guacamole, healthy choices for moms-to-be. Gluten free corn chips were served on the side.
Gluten Free Menu
- Yellow and Green Peppers, Corgette and Cucumber crudités
- Green goddess and Guacamole dips
- Gluten free corn chips
- Pineapple and grape fruit kebabs
- Macaroon Mess
- Orange, Almond and Rosewater cake with cream cheese frosting
Macaroon Fail? Never fear, Macaroon Mess is here!
I must have made hundreds of Macaroons by now. I’ve even taken a night class to learn their secrets. But they are tricky, fickle things and even now probably two thirds end up in the reject pile. They still taste great of course but maybe they are cracked or have peaks or horror of horrors not passed that number one macaroon test – no feet!
So I end up with tins full of macaroons that eventually go stale and get thrown out. Seemed like an awful waste. While prepping for our latest party I had a brain wave – the Macaroons taste great, look pretty why not create a twist on an old classic – instead of Eton Mess why not Macaroon Mess. Now someone may have come up with this before but if they haven’t I hear by coin it! If you’re not familiar with Eton Mess it’s a heavenly mix of crushed meringue, strawberries and cream. Another one of those serendipitous happy accidents like brownies that have found their way into our most favourite recipes.
How do you create a Macaroon Mess?
Part of the beauty of the dish is it’s really easy and if you have a great clear glass trifle bowl it will look spectacular. It’s simply a matter of layering. Starting with cream, sweetened with sugar and essence, either vanilla or an appropriate flavour for you other ingredients, add a layer to the bottom of your bowl.
Next some fruit. This mess was for a “Twisting by the Pool” baby shower. Our colour theme was blues, greens and a punch of yellow for an accent. So I picked fruit that fit that theme. I used a mix of fresh and canned pineapple and folded lemon curd through the juice to thicken it and balance the sweetness. You could use a berry compote or stone fruit but make sure they are thickened a little so there isn’t too much juice that will just end up curdling your cream.
Then add a layer of Macaroons. Crumble and crunch those little suckers up and sprinkle them over the fruit. Repeat this sequence until your bowl is full or you’ve run out of ingredients. Save a layer of cream and a sprinkle of Macaroon crumbs on the top. The Mess will start out with chewy crunchy bits and the longer it’s left they will melt into a marshmellowy sticky ribbon of pretty colour. Have fun with your colour, flavour and fruit combinations. My family have given it the definite thumbs up.
Printables shown in the photos are available from our Etsy shop.