Happy Birthday (4!!!) to us…
I can say I’m a very emotional person but birthdays always make me a softie. So I thought about telling you finally the story of how Deanna and I met. For many years I worked all by my lonesome- a freelance photographer making my way in the industry, without a place to call an office, no co-workers, and without anyone to develop ideas, share responsibilities, or even just to gossip about the boss. In those years, I realized that that was definitely the downside of my profession as a photographer. And then… a little over four years ago I was looking for a stylist who was just starting out to work with me on a cookbook with a low budget. Deanna had just started working freelance and had sent out an email to many photographers with a few images of her work. When she sent it to me, I had no use for a stylist at the time but for some reason it caught my eye, so I saved it one of my email folders. So when the time was right I called her. It was two days before her wedding, and I caught her quite off guard. She came a few days later to meet me at my studio, and just like in the most romantic of movies, I knew right away I had found my (work) partner. Matkonation still had yet to be conceived, but once we started working together, we both knew we had something special.
When the blog came was conceived (along with the birth of my second son), our partnership went full speed and we began working together as a team. Although we didn’t know where we were headed, we were headed on the journey together, and not just as partners but as true of friends as friends get.
This time of year when we celebrate another year of creativity, growth and good food, makes me look back and the things we’ve accomplished and look forward to the things that are yet to come. We never imagined four years ago that the blog would become what it is today, we never thought we would get so much gratification from the work itself, and from the response we get from our readers. We never thought we would do such amazing collaborations and meet such talented people in Israel and all over the world.
And now for our birthday wish for the future- the sky is the limit. We have big dreams, to be known all of over the (internet) world, to travel and do what we love (food photography and food styling). But our biggest dream is to just keep on telling our life stories through food and photos and to keep hearing from you, our readers.
Now that I’m tearing, it’s time to stop being emotional and to get on with the cake.
For our birthday, we thought long and hard on the kind of cake we wanted, and after searching and searching for recipes, we decided it was time for a layered meringue cake. I’ve tried making meringue before and it just didn’t work out for me. I read tons of recipes, and I found out where I went wrong in my previous attempts, and I went for it- totally scared it wouldn’t come out.
Here’s my conclusions:
It’s really (seriously) easy to make meringue, as long as you follow the guidelines. Keep in my mind that you’ll have a lot of egg yolks left over, which are always great for making another dessert (I made Crème Brule)!
The guidelines for making a fool-proof meringue:
Amarena Cherry and Dark Chocolate Merignue Cake
We decided to flavor our cake with Amarena cherries and dark chocolate, but you can turn this cake into any flavor you want. Use your favorite fruit, or candy. Or both! I like cakes that aren’t over-sweet so I made the whipped cream without sugar. If you’re topping isn’t super sweet (likes nuts) then make sure to add some sugar into the whipped cream. You can store the meringue discs in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days, and assemble the cake just before serving. You don’t want to let the cake sit for too long before serving, otherwise it may get a little soft.
Inspired by Tanya Zouev’s Black Forest Pavlova Cake:
Ingredients for one 10-inch (26 cm) cake:
For the meringue:
8 egg whites, at room temperature
1½ cups sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon good quality cocoa powder
For the filling:
3 cups heavy sweet cream (for whipping)
¾ cup Amarena cherries (with syrup)
3.5 oz./100 grams dark chocolate, shredded