Monthly Archives: October 2011

The tragic tale of Skeleton Boy and the Halloween cupcakes

Happy Halloween Everyone!

As most people appeared to have done, we celebrated Halloween over the weekend!

Lord and Lady Callister were hosting a Halloween Party so the boys got their fancy-dress on the go!

It was a night of great fun, great company, a great evening all round! But, things tragically ended in the early demise of Skeleton Boy.

Skeleton Boy...alive and kicking

The Wondercat Bakery had provided cupcakes for little monsters to chomp their fangs into…

Battery cakes

We made, chocolate sponge monsters with Amarula butter-cream fur

I think there's a hair in my cake

And, Green lemon sponge zombies with dark chocolate ganache

more simple than scary...the poor things have chocolate brains, I think it shows

So the night progressed wonderfully! Socialising, maybe a little tipple or two?

Diet Slipknot

 Under the surface, two epic battles were being played out…

The forces of good and evil were colliding, it was furry verses slimy…

This is soooo The Warriors 1979! (that's for my Dad!) Warriors! Who are the Warriors?

and, evil NHS armed with their deadly syringes of Jagermeister verses poor Skeletons Boy’s tiny, tiny liver and inability to say no to drink…

Enema?

Whilst the cake wars ended in stale mate, the battlefield littered with empty, torn cupcake wrappers…Dr Jager and Nurse Meister were totally victorious!

Skeleton Boy defeated!

The limp corpse of Skeleton Boy was carted away and interred in a bed wrapped in towels to protect the bedding from face paint…

R.I.P Skeleton Boy

 Have a great night folks! and thanks once again to Jan and Allan for being such wonderful hosts!

Psycho Sunday: Gateaux Joely

This afternoon was spent eating cake and discussing psychopaths whilst sat in a rocket ship…

tea, a good book and cake...sorry; tea, a good book as cake.

No lie, all true!  It was Skeplit: Psycho Sunday and we were discussing Jon Ronson’s “The Psychopath Test”.  The new and much improved location for Skeplit is the Rocket in TV21 Manchester! Meeeeeeoooooooommmmmbbbbbrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrpppppuuuuuuuuuuuuuuukkkkkkk (that’s my rocket noise)

A rocket...with tables and chairs inside...and Ren & Stimpy playing on TV.

It was also a chance to present Ms Joely with her belated birthday cake.

I wanted to make a cute, personalised cake so I picked a few things that come to mind when I think of her.

  • 1) Tea: She enjoys a nice cuppa.
  • 2) Book: She is the author of the AMNAR book series.
  • 3) A charm quark: subatomic particle and subject of her twitter name…also a cute toy from Particle Zoo

subatomic in size...huge in cuteness

  • 4) Chocolate: Her cake flavour of choice

So, here’s what we came up with!

Gateaux Joely

Chocolate Cake with Dark Chocolate Ganache and Caramel Sauce…all concealed in pale blue and white (no easy task!)!

Joely as three edible things...

I have to say that the book and the quark were not too difficult to construct…the teapot on the other hand was a total mother fucker!

son of Keldar

did I almost make a chocolate teapot?

I think Joely was happy with the cake and it was all gobbled up whilst discussing psychos…in a rocket ship…did I mention we were in a ROCKET SHIP!?!?!

strange lighting, that's rocket ship ambiance

half om nomed

I haven’t included the recipe but if anyone wants chocolate num num, I’ll post it as a follow up.

Wondercat CEO inspects the merchandise

I’ll sign off with a basket of cat…

Wondercat CEO got sleepsy

Have a nice week everyone!

A fumble with a crumble

Don’t worry, we’re not doing a crumble recipe fully…because seriously, who can’t make a crumble?

Crumble by Candlelight...A scent for men*. New, from House of Wondercat (*fat men)

What we are doing is sharing a few tips to get a great crumble, an interesting crumble, the sitting on the washing machine of crumbles…

Most crumbles are good if not great.  The squishy filling the buttery, sweet top, that middle section where the layers embrace each other and create the warm stodgy gloop of wonder.  So, how can we improve?  Texture, texture people! Texture, texture, texture!!!

What we want out of a crumble is all of the above, plus, an interesting nugget of something here, a crunch of joy there…something to literally get our teeth into!  Because, let’s face it, crumbles may be a comforting delight but you could gum your way through most of them (and there’ll be plenty of time for than in our twilight years sat by the window in the nursing home).

So here’s how we make our crumble a bit more stimulating…

Crumble Top Wondercat Style

  • 100g butter
  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • 200g plain flour
  • 100g rolled oats
  • 50g hazelnuts
  • pinch o’ salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • seeds from a vanilla pod
  • splash of cream or milk
  • bit of brown sugar
  1. rub butter into flour until breadcrumby
  2. stir in salt, sugar, bp, vanilla seeds
  3. cut through a splash of cream just to get it sticking to inself
  4. grab dough, give it a squeeze (like honking on a boob possibly?) then plonk onto a baking tray
  5. it should be crumby in places, doughy in places, thick in bits, sandy in others

    uncooked...yet delicious...I am an uncooked dough eater

  6. bake at 170ºC until some bits are golden and crisp but others are still uncooked and stodgy

    partly cooked...yet delicious...I am a partly-cooked dough eater

  7. leave to cool (ok, eat a little bit…it’s fucking scrummy)
  8. crunch up about 2/3rds (oh a fraction, I feel so 1970’s cookbook) of the hazelnuts roughly with a rolling pin
  9. take a zip-lock bag and put in the crushed nuts, the oats and snap up the biscuit stuff and throw that in too.
  10. take out anger with rolling pin on bag of stuff…don’t go too crazy as you want, no, REQUIRE boulders and nuggets of biscuit greatness
  11. pour onto your crumble filling, if it is very stir in a bit of melted butter to get it a little sticky
  12. scatter or arrange the intact hazelnuts on top
  13. sprinkle on a bit of brown sugar

    unbaked but I would...I did

  14. bake as your recipe says
We made little individual apple, cinnamon and golden raisin crumbles and they were much improved with the crunchy extras…total om nom time.

ooooh, toasted hazelnuts...this is Simon's; there were a few less hazelnuts when he got it

The hazelnuts on top toast up perfectly so you get a few different nutty flavours and shapes and sizes as well as the biscuity rubble.  Whist adding some greatness to the top you still retain that magical dividing layer of sticky, gooey, wonderful sexycrumbletimes (I’m imagining a planet of crumble, we are talking delicious mantle I think).

So, Autumn is here, there is fruit a plenty and nipple-bitingly cold weather approaching!  Go and make crumble!

p.s. Don’t dance semi-nekkid around the kitchen with an ipod tucked into your underwear *sobs*

poor pod, squished between my arse cheek and my tighty whities then dropped to it's death

Jack o’ Lantern Tart…or pumpkinless pumpkin tart?!

Easing ourselves into Halloween treats by baking regular stuff and whacking something seasonal on it…pretty much what all novelty holiday stuff is anyways.

drawing a face on something orange = halloween

Right then…a tart like a pumpkin…but no pumpkin…because pumpkin tastes strange…well it’s OK I guess but no, just no…no squash in my baking just yet.

So what flavour is this? I used some left over dough from the spiderweb cookies so the case is chocolate and hazelnut; the filling is orange with a marmalade glaze…so much more appealing than pumpkin!

candles, spooky book...working the ambiance

To continue with my pumpkin diatribe for a bit longer…it’s not that I don’t like it…I do, it can be scrummy!  But, the thought off scraping out a raw pumpkin or even cracking open a tin of it takes a bit of a mental run up…because raw pumpkin smells of warm farts…like someone has trumped in bed and then shoved your head under the covers…gross.  So I will get to baking with pump-kin…eventually.

pull my finger

So the biscuit case it from this recipe

Orange filling

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 50ml double cream
  • 25ml orange juice
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 25g caster sugar

This is such a cheating non-recipe! As I was only making 2 little tarts, I microwaved the cream and orange juice until hot, whisked the rest of the stuff together then added it to the warm orangey cream…then poured it into the blind baked tart shells and baked for about 15 minutes at 160ºC

I finished them with a glaze of warm marmalade and piped a face with chocolate…I don’t know why but it has total gay face…a good few sashays away from scary.

hiya love!

we felt a little bad cutting his big gay face up

 I will admit that the cream could have been smoother…they were little tarts and I was distracted by a bird outside so maybe overcooked the filling slightly…ooops.

But, TBH, chocolate, orange, hazelnut…super nice autumnal flavour combo…maybe a little spice would work well? Ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon etc…my mouth is watering right now.

Chocolate Spiderweb Cookies

So Halloween is approaching…

Perfect time to start spookifying our baking! Mwah ha ha ha!

spooky yet ordered

TBH…not really trying too hard with the scary as these are brown and pink…not a classic Halloween colour combo…but fuck it…we’re sooooo over black and orange already…

Also, what are Halloween spiderwebs about? More “How clean is your house?” than “Nightmare on Elm St”…really quite rando, no? just me then? 

spiderwebs around the fireplace...must fire the cleaner

These are double-baked cookies.  When we make biscuits you should really have a taste and texture in mind.  What we wanted from these is a nutty taste without being a pile of nuts glued together with some cookie dough (people really do over-use stuff in cookies, just ‘cos the bag has 100g of whatever, doesn’t mean the recipe needs 100g.  hold back and snack of the rest of the bag whilst the cookies bake (you know we are talking chocolate chips here).). *wow that is some gratuitous punctuation!*  What was I ranting about? Right, cookies…we wanted a taste of nut but with a nice crisp snap and crunch from the biscuit…no softies today.

Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies

Halloween in earth tones...tastefully spooky

  • 90g butter
  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • 180g plain flour
  • 1 egg
  • pinch o’ salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 20g cocoa powder
  • 50g chopped hazel nuts
  • 100g dark chocolate (we used a 72% cocoa solid bar)
  • royal icing for spooky wooky icing
  1. beat butter and sugar until light
  2. beat in egg and vanilla
  3. fold in everything else (except the chocolate and royal icing…that would be stupid, don’t be stupid)
  4. wrap in cling and put in the fridge for an hour
  5. roll and cut out
  6. bake at 160ºC for 12 mins
  7. take out and leave to cool

    appropriate quantity of nuttage

  8. bake again at 150ºC for another 12 mins
  9. take out and leave to cool
  10. melt the dark chocolate (don’t waff about with a pan of water, just blast it in the microwave until about 2/3rds melted then stir until all melted)
  11. pipe an outline

    apparently Simon couldn't wait for the finished article...anarchist

  12. fill in with chocolate goodness
  13. leave to cool in fridge
  14. put piping bag in mouth and squeeze out excess chocolate
  15. lick lips
  16. pipe spiderwebs with the royal icing
  17. eat

I discovered when making these that…I had a terrible nut allergy (not really…I’m totally laughing at my own tasteless joke); what I actually discovered is that I don’t have a CLUE what a spiderweb looks like!!! I had this picture in my brain but it turns out that was a mislabelled picture of a snowflake…

webs are hard

I decided to make a nice collage of pieces of spiderweb, oh and the square biscuit?…why do spiderwebs need to be on a round thing; who decided on that rule? I learned about spiderwebs and drew a few on paper before piping…no doubt shoving out something of greater importance from my tiny, tiny brain…goodbye family birthdays.

I'm no Peter Parker

As these are such nice crisp biscuits they are perfect for dunking; the chocolate melts and it’s just a mess of delicious…DELICIOUS!

Finlay-Jack Underlord of the Overworld

Right, I’m heading back to the sofa with the rest of the bikkies and a nice warming mug of gin. 😉

Go on and take a bao!

Bao, breast, bao, breast...hmmm interesting.

You look hungry right now,

Like you need to eat bao.

Bored of scones and apple pie,

Bao so tasty, makes you cry,

Please, just munch them down!

OMG? Did that just happen? Did we just rewrite Rihanna? Have we no shame? Have we far too much time on our hands?

take a bao...well to be honest, I'm not actually offering...there's a recipe coming up so make some yourself

Well, Simon is a sickling and Mykie is terrible at looking after sick people.  He’d be great if sick people wanted to be poked to make sure they’re still alive and who don’t mind carers who run away at the sound of vomiting…where was I going? Oh, yes, that’s why we had time to improve the lyrics for Rihanna…

So, Dou Sha Bao!  A family favourite food!  Simon calls them “towel buns” as he says they are like well, warm fluffy towels…duh.

can we shoehorn in another Rihanna song? S&M? Simon & Mykie?

A bao is a chinese sweet bun and Dou Sha is sweet aduki bean paste…stick with me, I know a bean bun doesn’t sound wonderful but OMG they are the nicest of treats!

Bao Dough

  • 300g plain flour
  • 100g rice flour
  • 20g caster sugar
  • 1 pack of yeast
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 225ml slightly warm liquid whey or half milk and water

    uncooked bao...the temptation to whack it and make the filling shoot everywhere was almost too hard to resist

  1. stir dry ingredients together
  2. slowly mix in liquid and knead until smooth
  3. put back in the bowl, cover in cling film and leave to rise for an hour or until twice as big
  4. knock back the dough and knead again
  5. roll into a sausage and cut into 12 pieces
  6. roll each piece into a ball
  7. flatten each ball, plop in a spoonful of filling
  8. fold up edges, to seal in filling then turn upside down to the nice smooth side
  9. place each on a little square of baking parchment and leave to rice again for 20 mins
  10. steam for 20 mins
  11. munch, munch, munch

    steam my little pretties!

Aduki Bean Paste

  • 1 can of Aduki beans
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 2 tsp cornflour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (optional, but I likes the vanilla!)
  1. heat the beans and the sugar until sugar has dissolved and the mixture is bubbling away nicely (it’s like heating baked beans so you can’t fuck it up)
  2. smoosh the beans up with a hand blender (still in the pan)
  3. mix the cornflour with a little milk until smooth
  4. add the cornflour mixture to the pan and bring back to the boil
  5. cook away until the mixture thickens
  6. leave to cool
  7. spoon into buns, or your mouth…this stuff is totally yummy!

cut open and getting cold, I hope you all appreciate the sacrifices we make to photograph things

Really happy with the bao!  So soft and springy! Perfect for a cold Autumn afternoon with a cup of  jasmine tea!

We really wanted to make them with artificial sweetener so we could eat the whole batch and not feel too guilty…but alas, we only had aspartame which gets major random when cooked…boo.

I do love playing with the contrast doodad

I think we’re going to make some chocolate cherry bao next time and shape them into bunny rabbits!  Should I feel bad eating cute fluffy bunnies? Maybe…I’ve been reading Jon Ronson’s: The Psychopath Test and now I’m paranoid!

Have a good week everyone!

Love,

The Wondercat School: Mini Marshmallow Flowers

OK class, calm yourselves, find your centres…shut your adorable little mouths; I’m teaching!

Since our last lesson I have gained permission from the headmaster to use a taser on naughty children…I’m feeling trigger happy so please pay attention.

touch them and it's taser time

 

This lesson will involve scissors so unless you want a pair of plastic, useless, safety scissors you should behave yourselves; No running!…except you, yes you…you can put the scissors in your mouth and run into the wall…I love teaching.

 

Five petals...can you count to five? It's one less than chicken McNuggets in a box (tip for your future careers)

Today we are making mini marshmallow flowers…

  • Take a mini marshmallow
  • Do not eat
  • Cut with scissors diagonally into two pieces
  • Do not eat
  • Dab cut edges into coloured sugar
  • Do not eat
  • Arrange decoratively onto a cupcake
  • Do not eat

Well, technically they are complete but this is my classroom and I get to say who eats and when.  Any back-sass and you’ll get a short sharp taser to the face…are we clear class?

 

The canvas for these flowers are almond sponges with blueberry jam and blueberry frosting…

artificial colours...you can eat them right before I send you home to your parents

  • 110g unsalted butter
  • 110g golden caster sugar
  • 110g SR flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch o’ salt
  • 1 tsp good quality almond extract
  1. whisk butter and sugar until light
  2. beat in egg and almond extract
  3. fold in the rest until smooth
  4. put 45g in each cupcake case
  5. bake 25-30 mins at 160ºC until lightly golden

The jam is home made by my mother-in-law; if your cretinous relations lack the skill or motivation to provide you with similar then tell them to buy you a jar…also tell them Ms. Finlay says “shame, SHAME ON YOU”!

The butter cream is just a simple half butter to icing sugar flavoured with Blueberry Lorann Oil and coloured with a Purple Wilton Gel.  Even the moronic child who has been licking my board duster can manage that.

cakes in single file...watch and learn

 

For a little life lesson girls, the best way into a man’s pants is through his stomach…so use excess baking ingredients to your advantage (not that any of  you will be bagging a man without receiving twenty quid and a punch in the tits in return).

make the most of your resources

 

Well, I think I just heard the bell so get out my classroom.

Class Dismissed.

The Wondercat School: Brush Embroidery Tutorial

OK, class…settle down, backs straight…it’s learning time.

Welcome to Brush Embroidery for dumb-asses

I’m your teacher Ms. Finlay, bad boys and girls will end up in the naughty box…

the best children are battery farmed

Right then children, time to learn brush embroidery…

figure 1: brush embroidery

First things first, create a canvas on which to work.  I have made some almond biscuits filled with marzipan and blackcurrant compote and covered with lemon royal icing.  You can do the same or use a cake perhaps?  Maybe a piece of cling film over a plate?  T.B.H. I don’t really care what you use I just need to keep you occupied until playtime…

a canvas as blank as your inbred little minds

 

Take some royal icing in a piping bag.  I used a number 2 piping tip, you can use the same or just snip off the end of the bag if your mean mummy and daddy couldn’t be bothered to provide you with the correct equipment…I’ll be having words with them at parents evening, if I can get your perverted father to keep his eyes off my tits.

Pipe a zig-zag curved line for each petal.  Think of a circle and pipe the petals to follow the edge; you don’t know what a circle is?  Have you paid no attention to anything I’ve said this year?  You cretinous little monster…don’t even start with the crying!

figure 2: notice the curve

Now, take a wet brush and drag from the middle of the line to the middle of the imaginary circle.  The aim is to smudge only half the line so you leave a raised edge.  Wipe and dampen your brush for each petal.  What do you mean all this water has made you pee yourself?!  I’m paid to teach not wipe up your messes…you can sit there stinking of piss until your mum picks you up.

figure 3: notice the untouched edge of the line

I’ve told you what to do now, just keep doing it until the bell rings and I can be rid of you all.

par exemple

Take a look at some of mine and try not to kill yourselves whilst I sneak out the fire exit for a fag.

presentation is always important, it appears your parents don't agree judging by how you all arrive in the morning

 

see how the marzipan has absorbed the compote...let's try and make your squishy marzipan brains soak up my delightful teachings

There will be a test on this in the morning unless a teacher accidentally backs her car over you on her way home…whoops! my bad!

Brushed Icing Flower Cupcakes or Autumnal Flavour Orgasmicakes

Well this week has been H.O.T!

Far too warm to be baking really which is strange as it’s October; I’ve been sorting out my scarves and gloves for the A/W season…then heatwave!

too pretty to eat? erm, no...nom nom nom

This meant that I was making Baby Shower cupcakes in my underwear on a humid Friday evening…

Almond Cupcakes with Maple-Amarula Butter Cream (makes 12)

  • 165g SR flour
  • 165g Unsalted Butter
  • 165g Golden Caster Sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • Pinch o’ Salt
  • 1 tsp Almond Extract (good stuff)
  1. Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy
  2. Whisk in eggs
  3. Fold in everything else
  4. Put 45g-50g in each case
  5. Bake at 160ºC for about 25-30 mins

once again The Wondercat Bakery over uses photo editing apps...deal with it.


  • 60g Unsalted Butter
  • 120g Icing Sugar
  • 2 tsp Maple Syrup
  • 1 tbsp Amarula
  1. Whisk it all together until light and fluffy
  2. It’ll be quite loose in texture as this is for spreadin’ not pipin’

one for you, one for me...sorry, I got that wrong...two for me, none for you


To decorate I cut out fondant with a diameter about 3cm larger than the cakes.  You need enough room to give a nice dome and still tuck right to the edges…my first got ripped off as it was far to small even though it looked majorly big enough p.s. b.t.w. f.y.i… the icing needs to be quite thickly rolled or it looks super lumpy on the cake…not pretty.

brusha, brusha, brusha, brush me...I wanna be gree-eedy!

I’ve been wanting to try the old brush embroidery for a while…unfortunately I decided on multiple small flowers per cake so the brush strokes overlapped…not as lacy delicate as I wanted but hey ho, I think it suits the cakes and looks  tooootally Lilo and Stitch/Hawaii…cute!!!!

CAKE!

So easy to do, it just takes a bit of time…I’ll put together a brush embroidery tutorial post in the near future.

So the end result?  They got positive reviews from the Baby Shower (but T.B.H. who would tell you your cakes taste like shite in a silver wrapper?), I really enjoyed the flavour combo…the almond and maple gave a rich, slightly caramel flavour and the Amarula added a creamy, ripe fruit twist leaving the warmth of alcohol behind…total sensory sexytimes!

I literally heart cake

Definitely a flavour combo to help you welcome in the autumn…and you end up with a big bottle of Amarula to sip on…happy days!

Boxes of things…

Our internet had been kicked in the cooch and was limping along this weekend…

So just a short post now we can upload pics again…

Box of cake = Edible

 

Box of cat = Non-edible

Have a lovely week everyone!

Hope you all enjoyed the Indian Summer! (No one has said that this year, they say it every other year the sun sticks it’s face out around October!)