Monthly Archives: October 2011
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.
The Wondercat Bakery had provided cupcakes for little monsters to chomp their fangs into…
We made, chocolate sponge monsters with Amarula butter-cream fur
And, Green lemon sponge zombies with dark chocolate ganache…
So the night progressed wonderfully! Socialising, maybe a little tipple or two?
Under the surface, two epic battles were being played out…
The forces of good and evil were colliding, it was furry verses slimy…
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…
Whilst the cake wars ended in stale mate, the battlefield littered with empty, torn cupcake wrappers…Dr Jager and Nurse Meister were totally victorious!
The limp corpse of Skeleton Boy was carted away and interred in a bed wrapped in towels to protect the bedding from face paint…
Have a great night folks! and thanks once again to Jan and Allan for being such wonderful hosts!
This afternoon was spent eating cake and discussing psychopaths whilst sat in a rocket ship…
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)
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
- 4) Chocolate: Her cake flavour of choice
So, here’s what we came up with!
Chocolate Cake with Dark Chocolate Ganache and Caramel Sauce…all concealed in pale blue and white (no easy task!)!
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!
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!?!?!
I haven’t included the recipe but if anyone wants chocolate num num, I’ll post it as a follow up.
I’ll sign off with a basket of cat…
Have a nice week everyone!
Don’t worry, we’re not doing a crumble recipe fully…because seriously, who can’t make a crumble?
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
- rub butter into flour until breadcrumby
- stir in salt, sugar, bp, vanilla seeds
- cut through a splash of cream just to get it sticking to inself
- grab dough, give it a squeeze (like honking on a boob possibly?) then plonk onto a baking tray
- it should be crumby in places, doughy in places, thick in bits, sandy in others
- bake at 170ºC until some bits are golden and crisp but others are still uncooked and stodgy
- leave to cool (ok, eat a little bit…it’s fucking scrummy)
- crunch up about 2/3rds (oh a fraction, I feel so 1970’s cookbook) of the hazelnuts roughly with a rolling pin
- take a zip-lock bag and put in the crushed nuts, the oats and snap up the biscuit stuff and throw that in too.
- 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
- pour onto your crumble filling, if it is very stir in a bit of melted butter to get it a little sticky
- scatter or arrange the intact hazelnuts on top
- sprinkle on a bit of brown sugar
- bake as your recipe says
So, Autumn is here, there is fruit a plenty and nipple-bitingly cold weather approaching! Go and make crumble!
Easing ourselves into Halloween treats by baking regular stuff and whacking something seasonal on it…pretty much what all novelty holiday stuff is anyways.
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!
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.
So the biscuit case it from this recipe
- 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.
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.
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?
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.
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!
- 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
- stir dry ingredients together
- slowly mix in liquid and knead until smooth
- put back in the bowl, cover in cling film and leave to rise for an hour or until twice as big
- knock back the dough and knead again
- roll into a sausage and cut into 12 pieces
- roll each piece into a ball
- flatten each ball, plop in a spoonful of filling
- fold up edges, to seal in filling then turn upside down to the nice smooth side
- place each on a little square of baking parchment and leave to rice again for 20 mins
- steam for 20 mins
- munch, munch, munch
Aduki Bean Paste
- 1 can of Aduki beans
- 250g caster sugar
- 2 tsp cornflour
- 1 tsp vanilla extract (optional, but I likes the vanilla!)
- 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)
- smoosh the beans up with a hand blender (still in the pan)
- mix the cornflour with a little milk until smooth
- add the cornflour mixture to the pan and bring back to the boil
- cook away until the mixture thickens
- leave to cool
- spoon into buns, or your mouth…this stuff is totally yummy!
Really happy with the bao! So soft and springy! Perfect for a cold Autumn afternoon with a cup of jasmine tea!
Have a good week everyone!
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.
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.
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…
- 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
- whisk butter and sugar until light
- beat in egg and almond extract
- fold in the rest until smooth
- put 45g in each cupcake case
- 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.
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).
Well, I think I just heard the bell so get out my classroom.
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!
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)
- Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy
- Whisk in eggs
- Fold in everything else
- Put 45g-50g in each case
- Bake at 160ºC for about 25-30 mins
- 60g Unsalted Butter
- 120g Icing Sugar
- 2 tsp Maple Syrup
- 1 tbsp Amarula
- Whisk it all together until light and fluffy
- It’ll be quite loose in texture as this is for spreadin’ not pipin’
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.
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!!!!
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!
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!
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…
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!)