LPW Update and What’s to Come

Hi! Long time no update, I know! My apologies. With the start of school and home improvement projects, September came and went in a quick whirl. But I’m here and I am back to share my baking plans for the next few months. 

Picnic Cakes were a success at the last pop-up so I will begin putting some up for presale monthly, starting next month in November. One thing I’ve learned is that folks don’t only want cake on special occasions, so I want to make it available more often. I’m planning to start testing a gluten-free red velvet cake. So might make its way onto the next picnic cake sale.

Just in case you missed the picnic cakes and are left wondering, “What in the world is a picnic cake?” Picnic cakes are single layer cakes topped with some buttercream and a filling, baked in a single serving tray. Optimal for post-meal desserts. Or not…I ate one after school pick-up!

January will bring cake slice tasting boxes again. I’m undecided on the menu but I’m already looking forward to coming up with it. With Halloween around the corner I’ve been thinking about Reese’s peanut butter cups. Applying those flavors to a cake, I’m thinking of chocolate cake with a whipped dark chocolate ganache and peanut butter swiss meringue combo. Gah, that sounds dreamy to me. Hope it does to you too. 

In between that I will still be fulfilling custom cake orders. Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have a cake vision that isn’t reflected in my work. We can chat and see about making it a reality. I love to sketch a few cake possibilities for my customers. It helps us get to the same page.  

Okay, I’m off to daydream of cake. Until next time, when the post will include a recipe!


Meringue Nests


I was 20 years old when I had my first meringue. I was studying abroad in London and living with a sweet host family in Muswell Hill. They often had a “pudding” (aka dessert) after dinner. On this particular day they served my roommate and friend some meringue nests sliced strawberries on them. We were in love. The crunchy sweetness with the berry juice complimented each other so well. 

Fast forward many years later my family enjoys eating meringues with fruit and whipped cream on many summer days. It’s a delicious recipe with very few ingredients: egg whites, caster sugar, vinegar, cream of tartar and your choice of toppings. For these meringue nests we topped with whipped cream, blackberries and strawberries. Another topping we love is lemon curd.

Meringue Nests (Makes 4-6 nests)

Ingredients:

  • 200g caster sugar (if you only have granulated sugar blitz it in the blender a couple of times until it’s finer)
  • 100g egg whites (about 3)
  • Pinch of cream of tartar (this helps build a stronger meringue)
  •  Preheat the oven to 400F . Line a half sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat.
  • Toppings (ex. whipped cream, curds, jams, berries, etc)

Instructions:

  • In the oven, heat the sugar in a deep baking dish for 5 minutes. This will produce a nice satin look to the meringues. Once done take out and put aside.
  • Turn down oven to 250F.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar until they reach stiff peaks. Slowly pour in the sugar and continue to whisk for another 8 minutes.
  • Scoop out 4 to 6 large spoonfuls onto the baking sheet. I like to use a basting spoon. With the back of the spoon I like to form a little dip for toppings in the middle of each nest.
  • Bake for 1.5 hours. Meringues will be cracked and satiny when done.
  • Cool on the tray. Can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week. 

Business Update!
You might have noticed that my online shop isn’t open. I am taking custom orders so feel free to email me for quotes and availability. For now I am limiting orders until my kids go back to school. I’ll open up the online shop sometime in September.

This month I was able to offer some cake tasting boxes. I truly appreciated the feedback I received on them (lots of “doesn’t taste like gluten-free cake”. Yay!) I am planning to offer them quarterly. I’m also considering a quarterly cake (4” and 6”) club and/or cake bar (picture a cake pop in the form of a bar) pre-sale. I’d love to hear if that’s something you’d be interested in (email me: hello@lindenparkwhisk.com!). 

Here are a few cakes I made these past few weeks:

Okay friends, that’s it for now. Until next time! 


Gluten-Free Penne Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes and Toasted Pine Nuts

Gluten-free pasta dinner is ready!

This pasta recipe quickly became a favorite in our home. Well, a favorite for my husband and myself because my kids only eat like, five things for dinner (but that’s another story…). I came across it in “Tasting Rome”, by Kristina Gill and Katie Parla, a book chosen by my cookbook club. For our meeting, I made the Garlic, Oil, Peperoncino, and Roasted Tomatoes recipe and I was so glad I did. I absolutely loved how the roasted tomatoes paired well with the saucy pasta. It’s a great  recipe to add on different garnishes. I slowly adapted it, changing things here and there. I’m excited to share it.

Gluten-Free Penne Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes and Pine Nuts

Ingredients:
-1.5 Lb cherry or grape tomatoes
-2 tsp dry thyme
-1.5 tb olive oil
-big pinch of sea salt
-12 oz box of preferred gf pasta (I use Jovial penne pasta)
-salt for water and for taste
-1/2 c olive oil
-2 to 3 smashed garlic cloves
-1 peperoncino or 1 tsp of red pepper flakes
-1/3 c of toasted pine nuts
-handful of shredded fresh basil leaves or arugula for topping (optional)
-grated parmesan for topping (optional)

Directions:

Halved grape tomatoes.

1. Halve the tomatoes. In a large bowl, mix oil, thyme, sea salt and tomatoes together. Set the tomatoes on a half baking sheet, cut side up. Bake at 225F for 2 to 2.5 hrs. You want them almost dry but still a bit juicy.

Roasted halved grape tomatoes.

2. Cook pasta according to pasta’s directions. Save about 3/4c of pasta water. This is really important because later you will need the starchy water to emulsify with the garlic oil to create a sauce. Leave the pasta in the pot.

3. While pasta boils, in a small frying pan toast pine nuts until golden brown. Set aside in bowl. In the same pan, heat oil on low with the smashed garlic. Cook for 5 minutes. Put in peperoncino or red pepper flakes, cook until fragrant, 30 seconds or so. 

4. Pour the oil mixture onto the pasta and mix together. Turn the range on low. Pour some of the starchy water into the pot and mix in circular motions, working to emulsify the oil and water that are in the pot. You may not need all the water. Keep an eye on it and mix until the sauce has come together.

5. Mix in the toasted pine nuts and tomatoes to the pasta. Add salt to taste.

6. Plate and add in any toppings. Enjoy!

In LPW baking kitchen news…I’m so close to re-opening. News of re-opening will be shared on social media so make sure you’re following me on Instagram and/or Facebook. I plan to kick things off with a bunch of cake tasting boxes and cake jars!

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