Hey, we’re back! Well, by back I mean a random post…shit got busy…the boys moved house which was traumatic…stupid glass panelled doors (after the third headache I learned to stop running into them).
Anyway, I know what you’re thinking…cupcake fucking schmupcake…seen, done, ate many…I agree; but what if *switch to sultry/slutty M&S voice* “These weren’t any cupcakes, these were made with the finest ingredients and flavours from around the world”? (by that we mean the imported food isle in M&S and Harvey Nicks…we aren’t actually going to Ecudador to sniff cocoa beans (we totally should have)).
Super luxe peanut butter butterfly cupcakes (Makes 12)
- 145g Tate & Lyle: Fair Trade Golden Caster Sugar
- 150ml Merchant Gourmet: Almond Oil
- 170g McDougals: “00” Flour
- 35g Green and Blacks: Cocoa Powder
- 1 tsp Baking Powder (You find a luxury version. You can’t? Shut up fuck up then)
- 1/2 tsp Cornish Sea Salt Co.: Fine Sea Salt
- 2 Duck Eggs (All duck are tremendously luxurious)
- 170ml Total Greek Yoghurt: Full Fat
- 1 Ndali: Vanilla Pod
- A few spoons of Gold Top Jersey Milk
- 200g Hotel Chocolat: Hacienda Iara 100% Dark
- 100g The Tasmanian Honey Company: Leatherwood Honey
Peanut Butter Frosting
- 100g Kerrigold Butter
- 100g Koeze: Cream-Nut Crunchy Natural Peanut Butter
- 200g Tate & Lyle: Fair Trade Icing Sugar
- A few spoons of Gold Top Jersey Milk
- Melt the chocolate
- Stir in the honey
- Wrap in cling film and whack in the fridge
- When cool, kneed, roll out and cut into shapes (or make into penises, literally minutes of amusement)
- Pre-heat oven to 180ºc
- Mix oil with caster sugar until sugar starts to dissolve a bit
- Mix in vanilla pod seeds and eggs until creamy
- Mix in flour, salt, baking powder and cocoa
- Stir through the yoghurt
- If the mixture doesn’t fall off a spoon add a splash of milk
- Fill cake cases half full and push in a disk of modelling chocolate
- Bake for 18–20 minutes
- Cool on a wire rack (important! If you leave them in the tin they keep baking; the wire gives their bottoms a nice breeze)
- Beat butters together
- Mix in icing sugar with a splash of milk (it stops you getting a nose full of white powder *looks innocent*)
- Loosen with a little more milk so it’s smooth and can be piped (any extra can go straight in the mouth).
Really, if you need directions, how are you working the Internet…or breathing? But for the sake of thoroughness…
- Cake=Bottom Frosting=Middle Chocolate=Top …a human centipede of deliciousness
- Do not eat until fully assembled (maybe we ate a few too many butterflies as the cakes were cooling…don’t judge me)
Was it worth the hassle and expense of using top end shit?? Ermahgerd! Totally!
The sponge was light, moist and rich. The frosting was deliciously nutty and not gaggingly cloying (nutty? gagging? behave…pervert). The modelling chocolate melted in the mouth; the combo of the fruity, nutty Iara and spicy, sweetness of the Leatherwood honey was fucking mind-blowing…the pieces in the cakes melt and become a sticky, chewy nuggets of joy.
The best review of this bake was Mykie being told by a straight man “If I were gay, I’d marry you.”
So cake awesomeness! With great power comes great responsibility…don’t blame us if you are inundated with offers of marriage or sexy times…use these cakes wisely.
So hello and happy new year!! We trust you gobbled more than your fair share of festive goodies over the holidays?
Maybe like us, you are now into January, full of good intentions of healthy eating…but let’s face it…it don’t feel good does it? The feelings of temperance and virtue from your steamed chicken salad don’t quite compare to the memories of the bucket of Lindt reindeer you scoffed. It’s time to give yourself a little, tiny break and treat yourself. We’re not going crazy now, just a little somin’ somin’ to take the edge off! How about a batch of tiny delights from Christmas leftovers and larder scraps (yes, we are full of domestic smugness). So ladies and gays, how do you like the sound of a mouthful of hot, spicy, chocolate man parts?
Hot and spicy chocolate men bites
- 40g butter
- 20g dark chocolate with orange
- 20g dark chocolate with chilli
- 25g caster sugar
- 33g plain flour
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 tsp mixed spice
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- Melt the chocolate and butter (we microwaved it (slowly, don’t blame us if you blow the thing up and burn your house to the ground))
- Whisk the egg and sugar until light and pale
- Fold everything into the egg mix.
- Pour into little silicone moulds
- Bake at 170ºC for about 10 minutes
A little bite of something nice! Fuck the rice crackers and carrot sticks. This is really quite an awesome recipe that makes a little batch so even if you go a bit Christina Aguilera and eat the lot, it’s not too much of a crisis…more clinging on to the side of the wagon than falling off face first in the horse shit and dirt.
So on that pleasant note, good luck with any resolutions and 2013 plans!
Well hello, long time no see!
Where exactly have we been for a year you may be asking…or not.
We thought we’d play it safe for a good few months and hole up in the Wondercat Apocalypse Bunker-just in case the world turned to shit or something…luckily, Obama is still president…bazinga!
OK, that may have been a lie. Baking and then writing about baking takes a fair bit of time and dedication…after not hearing from the Great British Bake Off we got a little bit meh about the baking thing…did you watch it BTW??! OMG we were soooooo Team Brendan! If that man doesn’t do drag cabaret at the weekend I’ll eat my litter tray. In the end, the best gay won I suppose. The closest we’ve come to baking recently has been making these Halloween delights…
It was Mr Whitworth’s birthday so Team Chadong decided to cook for him…the boys asked me to whip up a little something for dessert. The concept is based upon an after dinner truffle the Chadongs had at the Lucullo Terrace – a dark chocolate truffle with finely ground popcorn in it…fucking amazing! Oh, and after dinner the boys ran into our baking idol Eric Lanlard in the hotel! Maybe Mykie was a little tipsy and a touch starstruck and perhaps pestered the poor man for an autograph (whilst pulling out a camera?! replace tipsy with ridiculously shit-faced)…the shame! Hang your head boy!
Anyways, enough chatter…
CHOCOLATE PEANUT POPCORN CAKE
- 240g SR Flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 105g unsalted butter, room temp
- 105g whole nut peanut butter
- 340g golden caster sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 185ml buttermilk
- Line a 6 inch *winks* round cake tin and whack the oven on to 170ºC
- Beat the butters and sugar together
- Add the eggs one at a time
- Alternate between folding in 1/3 of the dry ingredients then 1/3 of the buttermilk with the vanilla extract in it
- Bake for about 1 hour until a pokey stick comes out clean (you know the cake testing drill by now)
- 150g 70% dark chocolate
- 150ml double cream
- 50g peanut butter
- Ok we were totally lazy and just stuck the lot in a bowl, microwaved it for 40 seconds until the chocolate had started to melt and whisked the shit out of it as it cooled…job done.
Icing (not frosting, Rule Britannia!)
- 50g popping corn
- 50g butter, room temp
- good pinch o’ sea salt
- 50g icing sugar
- 250ml whipping cream
- the left over ganache from the filling
- Pop the popcorn (sooo much fun!) then blitz it to a powder and toast the powder in the oven until erm, toasted?!
- Beat the butter, sugar salt and popcorn powder until smooth
- Whip the cream to soft peaks
- Re-whip the ganache until lighter and fluffier
- Fold the ganache into the butter stuff and then fold in the cream
- 50g caster sugar
- 1 tbsp water
- pinch o’ sea salt
- Toast the peanuts and pop the corn
- Make a caramel by heating the sugar and water
- Pour caramel over nuts and corn and swish it all about…careful, the caramel is hot (We may have burned ourself by stuffing it into our pie hole before it cooled)
- Slice top off cake to level (cake spoils! munch away!)
- Cut remaining cake into 3 equal layers
- Spread a layer of the ganache in each layer then chill in the fridge for about 10 minutes
- Cover cake with icing and smooth sides
- Pipe remaining icing around top and bottom edges
- Pile up popcorn/nut/caramel mix into a mountain of deliciousness in the centre of the cake
- Sprinkle on a pinch of sea salt
The cake went down well with Team Whitworth! The mixture of squishy cake and crunchy popcorn was delightful…It tasted like the bastard child born from the erotic encounters of a gateaux and a chocolate bar. The Vanilla Duck could indulge as we’d used lactose free dairy ingredients…Wondercat is sooo very considerate of dietary needs (apart from those fucking vegans…oh and we’ll throw vegetarians under the bus as well).
So that’s it for now folks…I think we’re going to try for a regular bake schedule…possibly every two weeks? Our old schedule of twice weekly was frankly, fucking insane…cake lying around everywhere, cake coming out of peoples noses, hiding cake down the back of the sofa…
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.
Well that is as near (or far) from any sort of physics we’ll be getting…
This weekend was all about different types of chocolate cakey things with pistachio ice cream…ok, only two things…and we bought the pistachio ice cream *hangs head*
Simon asked for these for dessert on Saturday…and we all know the best way into a man’s pants is through his stomach…
- 40g unsalted butter
- 40g dark chocolate
- 20g caster sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 30g plain flour
- 2 tsp cocoa powder
- dash o’ vanilla extract
- melt the butter and chocolate together
- whisk the egg and yolk, sugr and vanilla until light and moussey
- fold the brown goo into the creamy goo
- fold in the flour and cocoa
- pour into greased and cocoa dusted moulds…or just use silicone ones
- bake at 200ºC until set outside but liquid inside…it’s best to under bake and let them cool a little to strengthen the outside…we are talking about 8 minutes
Sunday brunch…oh yeah!
- 50g plain flour
- 15g cocoa powder
- pinch o’ salt
- 1 egg
- tsp caster sugar
- 20g melted budder
- 100ml whole milk
- 50ml coconut milk
- dash o’ vanilla extract
- sift the dry stuff
- whisk in the wet stuff until nice and smooth
- leave to rest for 30 minutes
- oil a pan and get flippin’!
This amount makes about five crepes which is enough for one serving (maybe…probably not).
We dolloped (gross word) with pistachio ice cream and sprinkled with crushed peanuts…then drizzled with sweetened coconut milk…yummers!
So that was the weekend, very similar ingredients, very different outcomes!
Oh yeah, and a cat in a box…
Well it’s been a tough week at the bakery…real life work has been taking over our lives leading to many tears, tantrums and feet stomping…
We did manage to escape for an evening and visit some friends for food, crafts and gossip…all delicious and juicy.
Wondercat couldn’t possibly attend empty handed…well we could, but we didn’t…
- 33ml water
- 33ml cream
- 27g unsalted budder
- 1 tsp caster sugar
- pinch o’ salt
- 50g plain flour
- 2 eggs
- heat the water, cream, budder, salt and sugar in a pan until boiling
- take off the heat and chuck in the flour quickly and stir like bejesus!
- put back on the heat for about a minute, stirring until it starts to come away from the sides in a blob (this always looks slightly erotic…we really don’t know why! maybe it’s the glistening oiliness looking like a greased up buttock…maybe we are just perverts).
- take off the heat again and whisk in the eggs slowly (oh yeah, beat the eggs).
- whack in a piping bag, leave to cool for a few minutes then pipe into little sausages…we like to pipe a sausage sat on another sausage…go crazy.
- bake in a pre-heated oven (oh yeah, pre-heat the oven) for about 20 minutes at 190ºC…it helps to throw some water into the bottom of the oven to get it nice and misty and help the rising.
- when looking nice and bronzed turn the oven down to 170ºC, turn each eclair upside down and jab it with a skewer (that word really makes us feel icky inside) or a toothpick to let out any moisture.
- bake for another 15 minutes or so until crisp and dry.
- 30g Hazelnut butter
- 200ml Double cream
- 50g icing sugar
whisk it all up until light and soft and billowy…DO NOT OVER WHISK! Over whisked cream in a desert is like opening a nice big gift to have a midget pop out the box and kick you in the groin…stop whisking before you think you’ve whisked enough to be on the safe side (we said whisk along then, and also “midget” which I think may be a bad word these days?!)
- 1 part chocolate (the good shit)
- 1 part cream
I will give no quantities as we like to have a pile left over to gorge on and rub all over ourselves like a piggy in shit (sorry), I’d say about 75ml/g of each should do if you are a normal person.
- melt the chocolate
- heat the cream until just bubbling
- stir the two together
- leave to cool and thicken for about 10 minutes then give a quick whisk to lighten it a bit
Not very difficult…
- cut the tops off the éclairs
- pipe the cream in using a large star tip
- pop the top back on
- pipe the ganache on using a basket weave nozzle going back on yourself every inch or so to create a shell pattern (fancy)
And you’re done! Munch away!
These are actually very nice and light enough that you can eat about three and still tell yourself you’ve eaten mostly air.
The hazelnut filling is delicately flavoured and light…not claggy like peanut butter.
They went down well with our friends and Simon enjoyed a couple as well…despite his assertion he wasn’t going to eat any.
Now back to the dull work of working at the weekend…
Another belated holiday post…we could have gotten away with this one using selective, none festive photos…but no; we will be honest and use the pic with the big ole Christmas tree…
So let’s set the scene *screen goes wavy, twinkly music*
- Mr Adam and Mr Jon where coming over for dinner and games (yes, we’re those sort of people)
- We are in charge of a dessert (Simon is making tuna meatballs for main)
- The kitchen is stuffed so full of holiday food it would make a turkey blush
- We were sure we could throw something together with what we had in already (and if we had to endure one more trip to a ridiculously crowded Waitrose, we’d have vomited on the Quick-Scan machine)
Say hello to Choco-berry Tart!
For the crust, we had some cookie dough (from the reindeer biscuits) in the freezer. We thawed it,rolled it, baked it, cooled it…then smashed the fuck out of it with a rolling pin…then mixed the crumbs with melted butter and squished it into a tart tin (coffee ground tamper from coffee machine is awesome for this!)
For the filling, we had been given a jar of “M&S Blackcurrant and Cassis Mousse Base” in a hamper from Granny Dot and Grandpa Mike (such a good hamper! bottle of Quady’s Elysiumin there too!) which you just stirred into whipped cream…Yes, this did fill us with shame and guilt at the thought of using shop bought stuff and passing it off as home baking has us weak at the knee and hyperventilating into a paper bag *gives a sharp look in Lorraine Pascale’s direction*. It was fine though, better than fine actually, and we would have stopped there, but the guilt, OH THE GUILT! It gnawed at our soul! So we took some port, blackcurrant jam (homemade from the hamper, told you it was an awesome hamper!) and leaf gelatine and ran up a jelly/glaze for the top.
Finally, we shaved some white chocolate over the top, piped some left over cream from the mousse (grabs paper bag) and threw on some blackberries that we dusted with a deep red luster dust and black glitter (another guilt relieving extra step -OUT DAMN SPOT).
This was going to be a smug “baking just takes a bit of thought and you can find everything you need in the kitchen” post; but who are we trying to kid? It was bloody Christmas! If we couldn’t find shit to throw together some kind of dessert, it would be more surprising!
Tart tasted good through, and the M&S Mousse Base was actually *gags, sits down, swigs gin* damn gorgeous (much to our chagrin…and you still ain’t off the hook Ms. Pascale).
What we will say is that baking doesn’t take a lot of effort or planning. It is something you can do on a whim…keep some butter, flour, sugar, eggs around and you are pretty much good to go!
We think this is the last Christmas post but we’ve seen Creme Eggs and hot cross buns for sale already so we’re not going to make any apologies if a tree pops into a shot in the next few entries.
It’s be like forever since we’ve posted because The Wondercat Bakery went to China!
We have so many new baking ideas and inspirations for major baking experiments…China is totally stingy with their internets so I’ve not been able to do anything! We are currently on the plane home so I thought I’d write up a tart we baked the week before we left.
The was massive oriental anticipatory excitement going on in the bakery and we had Mr Adam and Mr Jon over for a luncheon so we created a black sesame and coconut tart with bitter chocolate peanut pastry!
So, this was an absolute made up recipe from different whosits and whatsits galore (you want thingymabobs? I’ve got 20). The annoying thing about it was everything turned out so great (there will be more in-depth self back-patting to follow) until the last minute when we decided to pipe some rando flourishes with black royal icing that was hanging around; the black bled into the beautiful translucent white top…it soooo brought back University memories of gel electrophoresis…but frustratingly devastating…curse my lilly gilding! Curse it!!!
Apart from the rivers of grey ombre grossness it was a pretty looking thing!
The pastry was crisp, nutty and buttery and as bitter as Arlene Phillips when Alesha Dixon stole her seat next to Len (are you watching Strictly BTW?! Love the Grant! Love him!).
The sesame filling was smooth and set to a lovely consistency. Smooth and creamy, held into slices without resembling cut up rubber (I had mild panic about over-setting the fillings and creating something fit for the A La Carte Kitchen (if there were any doubts about my 30 years, that reference should put a stop to them)). The sesame gives a divine, nutty, slightly smoky flavour that is defined yet subtle. The one down side of using black sesame?…It makes things grey! Who really wants grey food? It is probably the least desireable colour for munchables…I have grey food here people, anyone for grey food?!?!
Luckily, this was accounted for. To add some lighter, sweeter notes to the tart and hide the strange alien greyness we made the coconut layer to give a beautiful glassy surface resembling the purest white marble (I know you are thinking WTF with the douchey descriptions, me too, but we’re 9 hours into a 14 hour flight so the springs in my brain have unwound themselves).
Again really happy with the set on the coconut, smooth, firm, but not like chewing on bathtub sealant!
The flowers turned out quite well. We will admit to smooshing a few in the making process and we did try smaller ones but they broke like a hymen during step aerobics (that’s a thing right? I blame the plane for the vulgarity).
We were so very pleased with the results as sometimes a DIY recipe can got totally breasts skywards…we had given this one a lot of thought so it was great not to throw it in the “never make again” pile along with the Orange Bolognese (that one was truly the worst thing EVER!). Creamy, nutty, mellow sesame giving way to the dark, bitter crunch of pastry then wrapped up in the light, sweet, richness of coconut and rounded by the richness of peanut!?!…PARP that will be the sound of my own horn.
Anyways, we are going now as the iPad is on 12% and we have numb arses!
I think the plan for the next few weeks is a write up of China, mainly so we down forget any of it but also to document the inspirations for future baking (it’ll be long and probably dull but this is our blog so you’ll just have to deal…or not read it, I’m not holding a gun to your head or anything); then, when we have recovered from 2 weeks of indulgence (and trousers once again can be buttoned up) we will start up the baking again!
Oh, forgot to say we have made up and baked a Christmas cake recipe so that’ll get a mention sometime…it is currently having a nice spa session in a bath of apricot brandy!
Laters people…we are going for a leg stretch!
ps. Yes this didn’t get posted on the plane…as there are plane rules that I’m sure need to be obeyed. That small flick of the index finger sliding flight-mode from off to on could have been the death of us all.
So, since we’re back and still jet lagged (5 days later! WTF) we can’t be arsed posting up the recipe for the tart. If you are interested I will do so leave a request in the comments.
Good to be home people!
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.