Monthly Archives: June 2011

Skepticakes: June Edition

Skeplit-the Great Atheist Picnic…

So today was another instalment of the Greater Manchester Skeptic Society book club; all about New Atheism and books surrounding the topic.

Wondercat Bakery provided Skepticakes and Skeptibiscuits and the delicious Ms Ayesha made a batch of scrumptious brownies made with mayo (we will be pestering for the recipe)! 

We veered off a little bit from traditional flavours…blueberry-cardamom cupcakes with lemon butter cream and a hint of sea-salt.  The thought process went something like: I love lemon and cardamom together and I adore blueberry and lemon together…there is also something about a little salty taste in the mouth that reminds me of summer (I’m talking a tequila slammer…get your minds out the gutter).  I’m not sure if they will become a classic but I think they were tasty (they all got eaten)?!

I played with some colour swirling with the butter cream but as you can see the intensity faded with each cupcake, not sure how I’ll ever get a consistent batch *calls Aquafresh customer questions*.

The Skepitbiscuits were simple enough; a plain shortcake biscuit with chocolate fondant and a touch of raspberry jam.  I mainly wanted to practice script consistency but to be honest it started getting a bit like edible naughty boy lines at school…hey-ho, we all know what practice makes…(actually it really doesn’t)

So, that’s this months Skepticakes done.  It’s “The Secret” next month and Wondercat already has a few ideas!!!

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How to use up banana jam…

OK, OK, banana jam wasn’t the best plan!

Actually, it was a good plan but there are only a limited selection of foods that go well with banana jam (so far the best pairing has been with a spoon).

So, two and a half jars left what to do?

The weather is really crappy, watching Wimbledon with Pimms is depressing me as it seems pathetic without sunshine…baking time!

 

Whole-wheat, chocolate, monkey loaf!

Monkey food served with a nice strong pot of Darjeeling!

It is a bit of a “throw some stuff in a bowl” recipe…I made it up, but it tastes lovely.

Nice and moist, has the weightiness of  a good slicing loaf, the wholemeal flour brings it down from “cake” to a “spread it with butter (or peanut butter) and munch with tea” type of thing.

A suitable afternoon snack for tennis watching on a rainy June day!

Jam, Jam, Jam…

We went to the Harvey Nichols Jam Master Class this evening!

Hosted by   (who was adorable BTW) it was a pleasant evening swathed in wafts of sweet, jammy aromas…yum! Clippy made two damn tasty jams for us and talked through the jam making process.  Many jam expert tips were shared along the way *insert “evil laugh of secret knowledge” .mp3* and the class came to a creamy climax with scones as tasty vectors for sampling Clippy’s fresh cooked wares!

So the jams Clippy demonstrated were “Strawberry Petal Fizz”; a decadent, saccharine spread of strawberry, rose petal and champagne; and then “Pimped Cherry Jam” created by HN’s head chef and featured this amazing stuff !

Strawberry Petal Fizz and Pimped Cherry

 

If I could marry jam I would marry the Strawberry Petal Fizz, Pimped Cherry would be the maid of honour…they were THAT tasty!

A highlight of the evening was meeting the lovely ladies from LOLLICAKES who provided these amazing hand-painted treats…

It's a pot of jam! It's a cake!

Run people! Order yourself some cakes on sticks!!!

Mine is currently sat on the dining table…I am resisting and plan to give it to Simon (as I’ve trashed the kitchen trying to make jam).

SO…as I’ve eluded to, on the way home I felt inspired to get my jam on! I threw caution (and anything I’d learned this evening) to the wind and decided to make a sugar-free banana jam!  Eating low-carb and tracking calories on Daily Burn totally murdered by jam…hence the sugar-free idea!

It doesn’t look the prettiest, but Mykie’s Monkey Mash tastes great!

Mykie's Monkey Mash

 

I flavoured it with cardamom, nutmeg and cinnamon…I don’t think it’ll keep long as I guess it’s usually the sugar that keeps the bugs at bay.  I have three jars full so I think the low-carb thing is totally screwed for the next couple of days!

 

I’m planning to spend the next few weeks getting my jam on…any ideas on fruits/combinations etc. let me know…if banana was the first thing to pop into my head I shouldn’t be in charge of picking flavours! TO THE JAMMING ROOM!

The “Janis”

Yesterday was the wonderful wedding of Allan & Janis.  The Wondercat Bakery made them a cake…

 

Such a lovely day!  The bride looked stunning, like a real-life Galadriel; the groom looked equally dashing…such a lovely couple!

So the “Janis”!  Yes, we have named the cake after the bride…it seemed very fitting as the concept was something tall, elegant and sweet.

Janis, Mykie and Finlay-Jack met over tea and biscuits to discuss the cake (and general gossip/chitty-chat); this was the picture that was to be the inspiration for the cake:

We decided to add pillars to give some extra impact and mirror the statuesque beauty of the bride.  Janis also wanted an all white cake; to add some depth we went for a pearly white base with a matt lace effect over the top.  We also thought that having the lace design growing out of the top would make it more special than just plonking on some roses.

The cake was to be a traditional fruit top and bottom tier (Delia inspired fruit cake with the addition of a lovely cognac and a hint of rum) and the middle tier was to be a light vanilla sponge with a berry conserve and vanilla butter cream.

So here’s the result:

I have discovered two great things whilst making the cake:

1) Clay texture moulds!

2) Wendy Collin Sugarcraft Shop! My new favourite place!!!

Here’s the happy couple cutting the cake (bad photography courtesy of Simon…If anyone has better shots PLEASE send them to me!).  Look how stunning they are! Can you believe that the mother of the bride MADE THE DRESS!!!?? It was so beautiful…classic, timeless *swoons*.

So, amazing day all around! Thank you so much to Allan and Jan for inviting us to share their special day…It was wonderful! Wishing you many years of happiness together! xx

Love,