I had a great weekend. Really special.
Firstly, I went to my friend Katie's 30th birthday at the Harbour View Hotel in the Rocks. It was held in one of the function rooms, and is nestled under the Sydney harbour bridge. So, amazing view of the park under the harbour bridge, and you can see right up onto the bridge and where the trains cross every few minutes. I love that it is so iconic for Sydney but also such an active piece of architecture for Sydneysiders - we really couldn't do without it. The pub itself is quite hidden, even the tourists wandering through the Rocks don't really find it without specifically looking for it. The bridge climbers might though, as the first stage of the climb is along a precarious iron pathway under the bridge that goes right over the balconies of the hotel.
Katie totally rocked it in a designer dress, quite the birthday girl. Loved catching up with a few good friends too.
On Sunday, we held Sarah's birthday shower at my place - she's got a month to go, but is still looking radiant and gorgeous, despite Sydney's super humid summer.
Between Lorraine and I we managed to make the place look really girlie and vintage, and put on a spread to match. Lorraine has been hunting and gathering old fashioned English china for months at Rozelle markets, and other op shops in the Inner West and now has a gorgeous collection. I also pulled out a few of my grandmother's cups and saucers, as well as a lot of decorative silver forks and spoons. It was just the sort of party she would have loved, so it felt very special to be able to use them too.
Dips & fruit platter
Lorraine's rocky road
Cupcakes from My little cupcake in Neutral Bay. It was way too hot to spend the whole of the day before baking. This shop is totally worth a visit for gorgeous cupcakes, but also girlie decorations, tea sets, aprons, baby toys and cupcake displays.
Lemon Polenta Cake
Jasmine's chicken sandwiches
I thought I would just leave you with the recipe for the Lemon Polenta Cake (modified from Nigella Kitchen)
It's a flourless recipe - so also great for gluten intolerant people, and is richer and heavier than flour based cakes.
For the cake:
200g unsalted butter (room temperature)
200g caster sugar
200g almond meal
100g fine polenta ( you can also use cornmeal)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder (use gluten-free if needed)
zest of 2 lemons
For the syrup:
Juice from 2 lemons (save from above)
125g icing sugar
Line a springform tin with baking paper and grease the sides. Preheat the oven to 180.
Beat the sugar and butter until it is pale, and whipped in texture.
Mix together the dry ingredients (almond meal, polenta, baking powder) and beat some of this into the sugar/butter mixture, alternating with the 3 eggs until everything is combined.
Finally, add in the lemon zest, then beat until the batter is even.
Then pour into the springform tin and bake for 40 minutes.
When ready, it will be golden on the top, and the cake will have started to come away from the sides of the tin. A cake tester will also come out clean.
To make the syrup, pour the lemon juice and the icing sugar into a small pan. Heat over a low flame until the icing sugar is incorporated.
Prick the cake with a cake tester, or a piece of spaghetti, and then poor the lemon syrup over the cake (whilst still in its tin). Leave to cool in the tin, sitting on a wire rack.
Dust with icing sugar to serve.
Thanks to all the girls for making the afternoon really special, and to Lorraine for organising everything.