Hey kids! So you may (or may not) have noticed we’ve been a bit posting-lite of recent…
Well the thing is, we have a job, and a life and grown-up stuff and erm…Skyrim, so Wondercat has been demoted to “when we have some time spare”. Soooooo, having the week before Easter off work and a new kitchen on the verge of completion means it’s time to crack open the self-raising and turn the Kitchenaid up to 5!
It was our dear friend, the fabulous Miss Ayesha’s birthday so what better way for the new kitchen to lose it’s cake-ginity? (It beats drunk on a Saturday night with a dodgy batch of cupcakes…oh, we went to our bitter place of regret again)
Miss A requested a chocolate and cinnamon flavoured cake…she also mentioned a colour scheme but we sort of disregarded that and free-styled…we wanted to make something like the lady herself; striking, glamorous, exquisite and sophisticated.
Behold the “Miss Ayesha”!
We can’t take all the design credit as it is based on a design we found on Google University…but I think ours is prettier!
The cake was a chocolate, cinnamon sponge with a touch of ginger and nutmeg…it was nice and moist due to our new Wondercat sponge recipe (the secret ingredient: Dairy Milk Philly!)! It was split in to three layers and filled with Fortnum & Mason marmalade, a chocolate ganache (75% cocoa) then glazed with a maraschino and cinnamon syrup before coating with vanilla flavoured fondant.
We used white fondant which was painted on top in gold mixed with a bit of yellow (it did dry the icing a little making it crack a bit…something to work on), the sides were painted in red mixed with fuchsia lustre and the piping work was a dark brown royal icing using size 1, 1.5 and 2 piping tips.
Hopefully we’ll get a chance for some Easter baking (we are itching to make some hot Atheist “A” buns) and manage to post about them…but Alduin ain’t going to kill himself.
This weekend at The Wondercat
Bakery Laboratory, we endeavoured to create buns LIFE!
“I had worked hard for nearly two
years hours, for the sole purpose of infusing life into an inanimate body dough. For this I have deprived myself of rest and health consumed much Gewürztraminer and Jelly Belly beans.”
My assistant Igor helped me fashion bodies from dough and fruit:
- 25g plain flour
- 125ml milk or whey
- mix and heat together (microwave for about 35 sec) until a smooth and thickened
- leave to cool
- 375g bread flour
- 100g plain flour
- 75g sugar
- tsp salt
- 1 packet yeast
- tbsp sesame oil
- tbsp butter
- 150ml warm milk or whey
- 2 eggs
- mix flours sugar and salt in a bowl then mix in yeast
- add water roux and 1 beaten egg and mix together
- add the milk and kneed to a nice elastic dough (about 10 mins)
- kneed in butter and oil (about 10 minutes)
- put in a bowl, cover with cling and leave in a warm place until doubled in size (about 1-1/12 hour)
- knock the down back and kneed again (about 10 mins)
- divide into blobs (about 70g) keeping a bit for ears and tails
- roll each blob into a flat circle, put a tbsp of FILLING in the middle
- pull edges up over filling and twist together
- turn blob seam side down, shape smooth and put on lined baking sheet
- add small pointy blobs for ears and a little sausage for a tail
- brush with beaten egg mixed with water
- leave in a warm place for 30 mins
- bake 175C for 15-20 minutes or until nice and golden (turn down oven if ears are cremating)
- leave to cool then pipe a face with ROYAL ICING
“It was already one in the
morning afternoon; the rain pattered dismally against the panes, and my candle silk cut super-slim was nearly burnt out, when, by the glimmer of the half-extinguished light, I saw the dull yellow tasty sugary eye of the creature open…”
Actually, forget the galvanism, we totally went the “Death Becomes Her” route; we used a potion and wore this delightful outfit:
SEMPRE VIVA! LIVE FOREVER!
All was going well, my creations were satisfactory.
Then they started running amok! Climbing over each other, setting sky+ to record X Factor…What a fucking liberty! Enough is enough!
We needed to find out what went wrong and put an end to their mischief.
We sent Igor to befriend them and gain their trust…
Then when their back was turned…
We captured one and began the vivisection!
It appears the problem was caused by moist filling creating quite a heavy, doughy crumb (which we found deliciously pleasing TBH) and over browning of ears and tails due to their small size.
The main problem with my creations was piping their features too soon. The warm dough made them “cry” and get a bit melty in the face region…WE HAD CREATED MONSTERS!
After learning of their inner-workings we were able to capture and contain the rest of them for further study.
So it was a hard journey but finally we learned: Only play God if you can pull off this ensemble:
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.
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?