Happy New Year! What better way to start 2013 than with Pantone’s Colour of the Year. A year on from 2012’s Tangerine dream, 17-5641 Emerald Green takes up the mantle of colour of the year – and we couldn’t agree more. Take inspiration for your celebration in a myriad of ways – emerald green lends itself to lush tropical greenery in your flowers – whether it’s centrepieces or bridal bouquets. Think succulents or traditional white roses with an abundance of foliage, or our personal favourite, magnolia’s. Contemporary and classic all at the same time, emerald green is a rich jewelled tone that works well against a calming backdrop of white for maximum impact and refined elegance.
If there is one go-to dessert I love to roll-out when entertaining and there’s no time to plan another option, it has to be the humble Pavlova. It’s a crowd pleaser using ingredients you will more than likely have in your pantry. I’ve tried pretty much every recipe and the one I’ve found to be the most fool-proof is from Readers Digest. I love my pavlova to have a perfectly crunchy shell and marshmallow centre and have found the following tips help in getting some serious air. Don’t let this list scare you though – they are super-easy to make, but these tips will help you get the best result. But if yours does implode, simply turn into an Eton Mess and no one will ever know. Try Nigella’s version here.
- Clean equipment! You need to get serious about this – those beater whisks and bowl need to be cleaner than Lindsay Lohan leaving Betty Ford. Big time.
- Purer than pure egg whites. No fishing out bits of yolk with a spoon. This will seriously impede your ability to fluff your whites. Separate each egg into a smaller cup, then pour the white into the mixer bowl – that way you won’t accidentally spoil the entire amount when you inevitably stuff up the last egg. True story.
- Get your eggs to room temperature before you start. I have no idea why, it just seems to help. Trust me and my legacy of mediocre pavlovas.
- Get your egg whites to form soft peaks first, before adding your sugar. Slowly. Really, really slowly.
- Caster sugar is better than the standard white sugar you put in your coffee as it’s finer and dissolves better during mixing. This is not a con to get 50 cents more from you at the checkout. Fact.
- Make like Michael Jackson and beat it until you can’t feel any granules when you rub a bit of mixture between your thumb and forefinger. Sugar that isn’t mixed in properly causes your pavlova to weep, and no-one wants a weepy pav.
- Always preheat your oven and always bake your pavlova immediately.
- I like to turn the oven off and leave the pavolva in there until it’s all cooled.
- There’s no crack that couldn’t be filled beautifully with whipped cream and fruit, so don’t stress!
- Top with fresh fruit and cream – assemble everything just before serving to avoid the soggy factor.
- Drizzling passionfruit over is a definite winner, as the tartness cuts right through the sugar. I can never seem to find fresh passionfruit, so the pulp in syrup from a tin works just fine! Freeze any leftover pulp in ice-cube trays for next time.
Pretty-Much Perfect Pavlova
8 egg whites
375g caster sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla essence
2 teaspoons brown vinegar
Large pinch of salt
2 teaspoons cornflour
Prep: 20 minutes | Cook: 1 hour 10 minutes
1. Use a large baking tray; line with baking paper. Mark a 23cm circle on it as a guide for the meringue. Turn the baking paper the other way, but you still want to see the circle through the paper.
2. Preheat oven to 180°C.
3. In a large, dry bowl, beat the egg whites with electric beaters on high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar and beat continuously until mixture is firm and glossy and sugar has dissolved. Beat in vanilla, then the vinegar and salt. Sift the cornflour and fold in.
4. Using a spatula, spread mixture over marked circle. Straighten sides, making them higher than the centre, but don’t overwork this bit or get too worried about it. Bake for 10 minutes in the centre of the oven.
5. Reduce temperature to 120°C. Bake for a further hour. Remove pavlova from oven and leave to cool completely. Whip the cream until firm; chill.
6. Just before serving, top pavlova with whipped cream. Decorate with fresh fruit like strawberries, peaches, kiwi fruit or mangoes and drizzle passionfruit pulp over the top.
Make gift wrapping a cinch by stocking your cupboard with a few doilies, twine and parcel labels. Next time you’re in the supermarket, pick yourself up a roll of brown paper and the combined effect is something sweet and chic, all at the same time. Pictured here are our packages wrapped with Divine Twine, Parcel Labels and Doilies – all available in Miss Bunting’s shop.
Everyone’s got one. The friend that is always so glamorous, stylish and put together – y’know, without even trying. Actually, I’ve got a few, and if I didn’t have such solid self-esteem, I’d be in a perpetual state of anxiety. One of them is Emma from Scanlan PR – my firecracker friend and resident crazy lady, Em is as close to my heart as family and one of Miss Bunting’s biggest supporters. Fiercely loyal, feisty and funny, Em is always cheering me on from the sidelines while she juggles a successful career with motherhood to beautiful baby Leo. Blessed with model looks, an innate sense of style and a finely tuned radar for what’s new and chic before anyone else does; it goes without saying she’s my soundboard for all of Miss Bunting’s product ideas.
Dressed in a stunningly simple Vera Wang gown, Emma married her dashing hubby Chris in 2010, against the picturesque background of Clairault winery in Dunsborough, near Margaret River, Western Australia. Unflappable under pressure, Em demonstrated anything but bridezilla qualities when faced with a delivery of wilted flowers from her appointed florist. Instead of carrying out what I would consider to be a well-warranted diva tantrum, Em delegated her most trusted hit squad to scour the entire southwest. Their brief? To find an eclectic array of flowers in varying colours and buy up what was in stock. Roadside, service station, florist and supermarket were duly emptied of flora, and while this sounds excessive – that was pretty much the entire roll call of retail outlets in the rural southwest. The groom’s father stopped off at a rose farm en route (and also provided a gorgeous cane-cut viognier from their vineyard for guests to take home), and family picked flowers from their own gardens in Perth and packed them carefully for the 3 hour drive down south. And while this deviated from the planned colour palette, what she ended up with was a dreamy collection of flowers in a celebration of colours, and a romantic, relaxed, effortlessly chic vibe to which most were none the wiser to what had just happened a mere 12 hours ago. The lesson? No pressure, no diamonds – and this diamond day proved some disasters can turn into happy accidents; it just depends on how you approach them. See more pictures from Emma’s wedding here.
Readers of Paula Joye’s fabulous blog, Lifestyled may be familiar with her post on Justine Cullen’s wedding, but for those that haven’t, it’s definitely worth a recap. I read about it half way through planning Miss Bunting last year, and it’s every bit as perfect as you’d expect a fashion magazine’s editors wedding to be.
And then some. If ever there was a vision – or an essence of what a Miss Bunting wedding might look like, then surely this is it.
Editor of Shop Til You Drop, Justine’s wedding to Greg on Sydney’s South Coast was festival meets intimate family & friends gathering. What makes this wedding so special is not about how much money was spent on the celebration – though the bride is decked out in a divine Jenny Packham number and looks utterly spectacular – it’s the fact this wedding is positively heaving at the seams with individuality and unique handmade touches. Literally a family affair, it seems the entire family was called upon to make elements of the wedding decoration all under the watchful eye and delegation of self-confessed control freak, Justine. The effect is truly special – you can literally feel the love and care that’s gone into the preparation of making this event extraordinary. This wedding was surely mood-boarded down to the last detail, and it shows. The vision that she bought too life is as special as the day itself and perfectly illustrates that the devil is in the detail. Read all about it here. And get inspired here at Miss Bunting.
In my other life as an advertising & marketing manager, I’ve had the opportunity to work with some amazing talent including creatives, designers, producers, hair & makeup artists, models and of course – photographers. More often than not, it’s the people on location that not only get the job done brilliantly and seemingly effortlessly that you’ll continue to keep on working with and booking – but it also helps to throw in those personalities that make the job fun. You know the type – the ones that keep you laughing until your sides hurt and you look forward to shoot days when you’ll be working together, even when they make the call time 4 am. Enter photographer extraordinaire, all-round good-guy and lover of the 4 am call time, Allan Myles. A Glaswegian native with a heart of gold and a sense of humour as black as night, Al is the consummate professional – landing the shot of the day when you’re not even looking and making everything seem so darned easy when it’s actually been years of technical skill he’s honed over several continents, acres of frames and countless subject matter. He’s got cabinet full of awards for his work, including 6 Bronze Lions from Cannes amongst a raft of others – so really, who better to shoot a cluster of big balloons and party table settings?
Despite a lack of interesting faces to shoot, Al still bought his A game, getting my favourite shot of the day in the bag by 5am. A crisp morning with a slight breeze, the reflection of the balloons in the water on location at the University of Western Australia gave a remarkably moody twist and other-worldly quality to a decidedly frivolous and fun subject matter. The 1 second window in which the water remained as still as glass and uninterrupted by wind and rogue ducks gave us my favourite image of the day. A close second has got to be a candid shot of Autumn, his vivacious daughter who helped eat all cupcakes after our final shot of the day, the sunset picnic shot taken on his stunning property in the Perth Hills. So thanks Al, for bringing Miss Bunting to life with your amazing eye.