Category Archives: Skepticakes

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!

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Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes!

Yesterday was Skeplit which meant Wondercat Bakery had Skepticakes to make (with a hangover from far too much Belgian beer sampling).

We had planned to make some ice-cream cones for ages and finally after visiting SIX supermarkets we found the cup cornets needed! Seriously, six supermarkets over the last few weeks, who was buying up all the cup cornets…ridic-uuuuuu-lous!

I used my super quick, sure fire sponge recipe…I can’t believe I’m sharing this…I can hear the clack of Victoria sponge purists clutching their pearls in horror…

Speedy, sure-fire sponge

  • 110g SR flour
  • 110g unrefined caster sugar
  • 110g unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch o’ salt
  • Flavourings (we used a splash of almond extract)

Whack everything in a bowl
Whisk until light, pale and smooth
Spoon into 12 cupcake cases or a lot more cornets (see below!)
170C for 17 minutes…cornets took about 21 (I’m slightly anal about my timings- there’s no greater crime than an over cooked sponge. You were either a) not paying enough attention or b) really stupid and sat there watching them burn).

I told you…you could make them with your feet it’s that simple!
This is only for haste mind you…I expect full creaming of butter and sugar if you have the time!

Disaster struck!!! Having never baked in cornets before I had no idea how much batter to put in each one; I obviously used to much!

OVERSPILL!! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! Forget muffin top, we had a grade 5 penniculus going on!

The Swiss-meringue butter cream we used to simulate vanilla ice-cream was quite successful but took ages to make (and I burnt my face somehow with the temperature probe covered in molten sugar…I get bored easily, I think I was trying to take my temperature). It worked wonders on the hangover: cut to the forehead “arc of shame” from sticking my face in the bowl to lick up every last buttery scrap…Yes, I’m disgusting, deal with it, I have.

Vanilla ice-cream frosting

  • 60g egg white
  • 140g caster sugar
  • 250g unsalted butter (cubed and about 20 minutes out of the fridge)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • A dash of lemon juice
  • A smidgen of yellow food colouring

Heat the egg white and sugar over a bain-marie to 140f (it takes a while, don’t mess around or you’ll burn yourself…probably best to ask a grown-up to help you).
Pour the hot stuff into a cool mixing bowl and whisk, whisk, whisk. For about 10 minutes at least until it has cooled down to about room temperature.
Whisk in the butter cubes one at a time.
Add the vanilla and the lemon juice (I know vanilla ice-cream doesn’t taste like lemon but for some crazy reason this really added to that authentic ‘sat in my PJs watching Glee with a tub and a spoon’ taste)
Add the yellow, teeny bit at a time to get to that soft magnolia colour of my chilly mistress (there is just something about good vanilla ice-cream, it does something to me in my specials).

I guess they turned out so-so over all…definite room for improvement but there is potential…like a chubby girl with a pretty face.

I really wanted to spend more time on them and do the whole 99 thing with a flake and raspberry syrup and maybe chocolate hidden in the cone…but I was unprepared and not firing on all cylinders (check out that engine reference…manly! Grrr!).

Note to self: Don’t wing a recipe you’ve never made before when people are expecting cakes.

Mr Simon enjoyed his sample!

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!!!

Hello and Welcome!

Greetings! Welcome to the Wondercat Bakery!

Right then, a new blog! Exciting!? Well, I wouldn’t hold your breath just yet…

I am Finlay-Jack!
Welcome to the Wondercat Bakery!

My human carer Mr Mykie has been mildly obsessed with baking for a good few years now, it’s about time he started documenting some of his creations; the good, the erm…not so good(?) and the down right disgusting!

I’ll be along for the ride to provide an honest commentary on proceedings…perhaps some sort of rating system?

We may include recipes, we may provide them on request; depends on how lazy we get.

If it’s baked, piped, whisked or spangled we’ll be posting about it!

What’s going to happen as we get started is a re-post of items from the first time we tried this blogging thing; and write ups of “cakes of baking past” to make use of the pics I’ve collected through the years.

There will be, of course, new baking fun and I’ll be here to taste test for you!

Bake well and prosper,

Finlay-Jack