Monthly Archives: August 2011

Paisley Feather Cookies

Just a bit of piping play with some leftover cookie dough…I think there is potential for a full batch…maybe not the two-tone one, seriously, how horribly decorated is that one!?

my entry in the edible renewable energy competition

my first entry was less successful

adaptable for space power...I would ease off licking the radioactive icing though

carefully calculated icing grooves improve the aerodynamics...not just randomly squiggled with a piping bag, honest.

the dots are microchips...mmmm chips.

I have no idea what the photo captions are all about, but things powered by delicious? *starts drafting Nobel acceptance speech*

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La forêt noire: Birthday Cake for Mr Simon!

Simon is 35 on Tuesday but due to our busy schedules (dahhhhhhhhlings) we had birthday cake today!

Exhibit 1: a cake

As we had a lot on this weekend Si let us off the hook as we originally were making a Necronomicon cake for him.  He decided on a forêt noire to save us some time; save us some time!! Don’t think so!

We used the recipe from The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Pastry Arts which involved making:

  • Génoise sponge
  • Creme d’Or
  • Kirsch syrup
  • Cherry compote
  • Creme Chantilly
  • Tempered chocolate

Now let’s rewind back a day to the many hours of whisking, screaming, stamping and bowl licking that made us miss the Manchester Pride Parade! (the licking did help ease the pain)

Let’s come back to the hazy present (please imagine swirly sounds and smoke machine) and finishing the cake with a big fat hangover.  This is why the finished product doesn’t really do justice to the work involved…I cracked the chocolate cup so lost interest, made a shitty pattern with chocolate shards so ended up literally throwing chocolate pieces at it.

Exhibit 2; a multi-nippled breast

Note to self: Always plan final design and don’t scratch your ass with a hand covered in melted chocolate.

So not the prettiest of the cakes we’ve made but it tasted real, real, reeeeeal good!!! (Oh GOD! The carbs! All the carbs!!!! *shouted through face full of cake*)

golden cherry boom boom

Annoyingly, I couldn’t get a good shot of the inside layering, in the one shot I did someone has obviously been indulging in cherries outside their slice zone!

Exhibit 3: pac-man's flamboyant brother: RIP

RESPECT THE SLICE ZONE!!!

Exhibit 4: a gaping cherry hole

Exhibit 5: a pussy

 

Happy Birthday Simon from all at The Wondercat Bakery!!

Memoirs of a Gay-sha! Another tenuous pride baking connection!

We had a freezer full of cookie dough and a hankering for some sweet, sweet goodness…may as well have another attempt at a Pride themed bake!

Sayuri's a little concerned someone will notice her "plum has already been bitten"...

So, remember the Will and Grace episode where Ousian-the bashful geisha was smashed?? L.O.V.E.D. Blythe Danner in that episode! So in honour of Ouisan, I thought I’d make some “Bashful Geishas”!

I was soon off on a tangent (I entered my bad “memoirs of a geisha” place) and spent the evening prancing around pretending to be Hatsumomo being a total bitch or Sayuri waiting on the bridge for the Chairman *sighs and craves shaved ice*.

When I took a break from the crazy Japanese role-play I realised I didn’t have a geisha cookie cutter (not reeeeeeally a big surprise)!  What to do? *light bulb* We got creative with a circle and a four-point star (what was that you say? genius? oh you! I wouldn’t say geeeenius…but if that’s the word you want to use who am I to stop you?).

So onwards with the show…

BRING OUT MY GIRLS!!!!!!

Memoirs of a Gay-sha (I totally robbed that from JuJubee from Drag Race Season 2) staring…

Gives great face (and head)

The bitch we all love to love.

Big heart, big face.

The bashful geisha.

So the story begins.  Hatsumomo lays down the law:

To be fair, I wouldn't want a little cretin playing with my shit.

Not content with being a frosty cow, Hatsumomo gets the claws out:

Where do you even get Canisten Combi in pre-war Japan?

Sayuri has a heart to heart with Pumpkin who is far,far too into Americanising herself:

I'm like totally the Kim Kardashian of this tea house.

Meanwhile in New York City: Ouisan senses impending doom:

Whoa! That Grace lady looks like she wants to do me in!

 Like a typical porn film the plot is rather thin and ends in a big group number:

Marlon Brando, Jimmy Dean, on the cover of a magazine...

FIN

Wondercat has grown very attached to the girls so if anyone munches on them we will be pouring bleach on something they love.

Today’s the day the teddy bears have their big gay picnic!

We were planning to bake something for pride but really, rainbows…

always gross and tacky and making up 7 colours of icing…no thanks.

So what tenuous gay links could we make with the available cookie cutters in my box of baking tricks?!

We could have gone for butt nekkid gingerbread men…we could have turned a tennis racket into some manly parts?  But we decided to leave the distasteful themes and go for…the cuddliest (and hairiest) of gays…BEARS!!!!!!

So here is my collection of lovable, snugable little gay bear cubs!

 

a suspicious lack of sandwiches? These are low-carb bears.

Miranda Hart-enough said.

as close to a rainbow as we were prepared to get...

A group of gays posing for a black an white shot...Original.

Now you are just showing off...and making the gay jokes far, far too easy.

Enough to bring out the furry in anyone! ;P

Book Cakes: Bakespeare? Sorry, I went there.

Really need to stop with the cakey puns…they are so not even close to funny.

Let’s try a Shakespearian cake quote instead (cheers Google University!):

Dost thou think because thou art virtuous there shall be no more cakes and ale? (Huh? Say what Billy?)

I think I may start hiding cake around the house...

So, this week end the boys are off to Stratford to see the RSC perform “A Midsummer Nights Dream“.  They are very excited as last year the theatre was being refurbished…shiny newness this year!

In honour of the bard, we thought we’d bake something with a literary theme.  So books, bit obvious, but you think of something better! 😉

I wonder if we can modify the "coffee" table...

Also, it’s Simon’s birthday later this month and we are planning to bake him the Necronomicon with Cthulhu tentacles wiggling around it.  Book practising is therefore required…why does that word always hint toward the obvious Freudian slip?  Let’s just say it out loud and get it over with: necrophilia (wah wah :$)

So, a book, just a rectangle right?  Erm, NO!  It got all a bit tricky and there has been screaming, crying and stamping of feet in the Wondercat Bakery…

  • Making a cake look crisp and rectangular: annoying
  • Making a piece of icing look like leather: difficult
  • Binding cake book in icing leather: pass the smelling salts
Getting the leather look involved a bit of trial and error.  I got the texture with…a pleather coaster! Total inspiration! I rolled it gently into the icing et voilà! We soooo need a medal for that stroke o’ genius!

as leathery as Donatella Versace

The colouring was dry brushing with gel food dye:
  • Blue Book= pale blue base, dry brush with royal blue, shadow with navy.
  • Brown Book= khaki base, dry brush with caramel, shadow with dark brown.

in summary; I made a blue one and a brown one.

The piping was all free hand (no stencils or templates here people!).  Happy with the side of “Macbeth”, happy with the “tragedy & comedy”.  Not sooo happy with R&J! The font ended up off centre (ok, maybe I should have planned it out first) so I free-styled some floral work which looks, well, let’s not mince words, shit.

happy face 🙂 sad face 😦

put the piping bag down, step away from the cake...

I said PUT THE BAG DOWN!!! Hearts? Really?

I think I’m going to sit by myself with cake whilst the boys are away (they won’t be on a row boat this year after Mykie called Simon “incompetent” (he did steer them into the river bank)) and totally pretend I’m brushing up on my Shakespeare…

How many times is he going to photograph a book? Many, deal.

Sally Lunn-Asian Style: Disaster management!

black and white, hides all sins...as does cropping half the photo off.

 

We have been trying to turn around a disaster wrapped in a crisis tied up in a catastrophe this evening…

So, we found this recipe for a Sally Lunn flavoured with cardamom.  A Sally Lunn loaf is some sort of fragrant, sweet bread thing from Bath (thank you Wikipedia) that seemed easy to throw together, just a bit of proving time required.

My friend Janis from who “the Janis” is dedicated is the only other person I know who really likes cardamom so, I thought I’d make her a loaf!

Obstacle the first: to grind cardamom you need to first shell the little blighters! Manicure=ruined

After much shelling and smooshing we got ground cardamom and the baking could continue.  All went well there was stirring and proving and greasing and singing and dancing and running and jumping (I went and worked out in the basement whilst the loaf was rising; by “worked out” I mean “had a private disco to Lady Gaga”).  So about to pop it in the oven final instruction…sprinkle with sugar and cardamom.

I’d worked so hard getting the ground cardamom I wanted to make the most of it…sprinkle was replaced by chuck a load on.  The weight of the sugar and cardamom on top of the floaty light dough made what can be compared to a big ass groove in a leather sofa; we watched in horror as the poor loaf deflated!

Anyways, in the oven it went and our over zealous use of the sugar/cardamom caused another problem: caramelisation and over browning!!! NOOOOO! Why didn’t I sprinkle?! Why didn’t I just put the little remaining cardamom in a nice cup of coffee?!

So out comes the loaf too dark, too crisp with an invisible fat little hobbit sat in the middle of it.

The only solution, turn it upside down (oh, nice and flat and not too brown at all!) and get jiggy with some icing to glam it up a bit.

all gong no dinner I'm afraid!

We originally went with a striped pink and green sugar motif but it looked so bad it got spatula-d off and thrown straight in the trash (fine, some reached my mouth, happy now?).

I don’t know why we went with an Asian theme for a quintessentially English bread but things had got so messed up already why the hell not?

even the woman on the furoshiki has wrinkled up her nose at it...what a bitch.

So, I think it may be a little too dense, a little too crispy, a little too cardamomy (cardamomy, I like that) but I can’t taste it as it is for Jan!

Let’s hope it doesn’t taste too bad…we’ll have to bake her a better one!

get your big face out of my Sally Lunn...no cake for you!

Baking lesson for today:

You can’t polish a turd, but you can roll it in glitter. 

Mixing Bowl Porn: want…need…ordered!

OMG! OMG! Look look look!

Oh Mason Cash, I can’t wait to get my hands all moist and sticky in your Jubilee range!!!

*drools*

God save the cream!

Off with her bread!

Let them eat cake!

Now to wait the 5 days delivery…tick tock tick tock…bored.

Umbrella Cookies: Don’t rain on my parade!

Don’t tell me not to live, just sit and putter; Life’s candy and the sun’s a ball of butter…

a brolly cookie against a painting of a city...or a giant hand holding a table parasol coming to smash the place up!?!

So it is Sunday, I am not feeling at my best due to a trip to Birmingham for a night of dancing.  Birmingham BTW doesn’t have a Vivienne Westwood shop! Britian’s second city?! Not in my book! They’re living like animals, ANIMALS!!

Speaking of animals: A bull made of jelly beans…

"shall we visit the badger made of cheese next?"

So, as I was saying, not feeling tip-top but I was compelled to bake something.  I’ve not made iced cookies for jelly bean donkeys years!

what a glorious feeling *munch munch munch*

And yes, I know it’s summer and some people may question my decision to make umbrellas;  to these people I say “No cookies for you!

you can have none of my umbrellas, ellas, ellas...

Biscuit Recipe

  • 120g soft butter
  • 185g icing sugar
  • 330g plain flour
  • 1 egg
  • pinch o’ salt
  • almond extract
  • tsp baking powder
  1. Cream sugar and butter
  2. Mix in egg and almond extract
  3. Stir in the rest of the stuff
  4. Roll out and cut
  5. Bake for about 7 minutes at 190ºC
They are iced with royal icing which I will do a full post on.  For now here are a few pointers…
1)icing consistency is super important
2)flood-fill icing think glacier rather than river
3)it takes time and patience…not the best activity with a hangover
4)you will smoosh one with a finger or elbow (eat the evidence)
5)wait for things to dry before adding more icing or silver paint
6)piping away from you usually gets a neater line
7)unless you are some crazy robot, you will have variations in quality, none will be totally perfect
8)using leftover icing to pipe yourself a moustache is awesome

umbrellas and a laurel bush...I'm not sure where to go with this...I may feel wittier in my toga.

that's some fine comic sans

Later my dears, I’m off to my bed…

The Vanilla Duck

We have been designing a logo for new blog The Vanilla Duck!

Quack!

Really cute site with recipes and ideas for gluten/dairy/other stuff free baking.

They have an amazing understanding of the properties of different flours and alternative ingredients which makes it a must for any cake lover with food intolerances!

We may bake some duck cookies as a gift for them! Have a lovely week folks!

Love,

Ruby Wedding Cake: Like total 70’s retro cool-city man!

Well that is enough with the 1970’s slang…I had to google it, some of it seems quite recent…think we’re getting like so totally old man(?)!

Da da d daaaaaa da da da daaaaaa

So, Wondercat was asked to make a Ruby wedding anniversary cake; congratulations Sue and John!!!!

The brief was something ruby and white with text and models of the couple in their wedding ensembles!

Devine...want that dress!

*gasp* Which one is the photo? I just don't know? OK technically both photos, one is a photo of a photo (mind=blown)

Check out that wedding outfit!!! A-MAZE-ZING!!! I have totally fallen in love with how iconically 70’s it is! It is a skirt and jacket combo; check out the lines and the structure; check the floral head band…dreamy! I would sooooooo wear this everyday (I wonder if they do it in kitty sizes with a tail hole) and be living the dream!

We were given free reign for the design work which after leaving a rose motif on the drawing board we went for a cascade of blossom, hearts and rubies. Not to blow our own trumpet (parp) but we are really quite pleased with it.

Follow the yellow brick...erm...ruby slipper...erm...I give up, make up your own caption...make sure it involves Dorothy...and a small dog.

check that micro-piping on the flowers! micro-piping, micro-piping...fun to say.

 

 

Secret...that "dash", it's the bottom of a "1". Call me MacGyver.

The figurines were tough. Such teeny tiny pieces of paste to model. Very happy with the bride, her bouquet in particular; but, I think the groom isn’t up to the same level…

Do I need a sword on my wedding day?

 

As it was a ruby wedding we were going to use a pink butter cream but with white icing (well the palest ivory to make to brides white outfit pop (yes we used the term “pop”(checkout the quotation marks inside brackets inside brackets, how very Inception of us (mind blown)))) it may have shown through like a black bra under a white dress…seriously, do people do this intentionally? Do they leave the house thinking “yes, underwear visible, good to go!”. You may as well just put the bra over the dress and have done with it.

Sorry, where were we? Oh yes, pink icing…we decided to use plain creamy butter icing but SURPRISE! Pink sponge! An almond/vanilla twist on red velvet! We also used our Granny Dot’s home-made blackcurrant jam as the fruit in it looked like dark little rubies (it’s all about the details…no fur coat with out knickers here!)

I'm sure everyone has this shot in their wedding album...why do photographers always want to climb up high? Perv down the brides top me thinks.

I don't think many people have this shot in their photo albums...it would be strange, strange and odd, very odd.

I dunno, press a button, slide a slidey thing, stuff happens, photo gets funky.

So, later man…Disco Sucks! (or so we are told)