Blog Archives

Wondercat is back baking! Chocolate Peanut Popcorn Cake

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…

secret 5-a-day

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!

Eric must have been able to smell the dozen vanilla Martinis Mykie had guzzled…Mykie has the face of someone desperately trying to appear less drunk than they are…comedy.

Anyways, enough chatter…

CHOCOLATE PEANUT POPCORN CAKE

so that’s why horizontal stripes make you look fat.

Sponge

  • 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
  1. Line a 6 inch *winks* round cake tin and whack the oven on to 170ºC
  2. Beat the butters and sugar together
  3. Add the eggs one at a time
  4. Alternate between folding in 1/3 of the dry ingredients then 1/3 of the buttermilk with the vanilla extract in it
  5. Bake for about 1 hour until a pokey stick comes out clean (you know the cake testing drill by now)

Ganache

  • 150g 70% dark chocolate
  • 150ml double cream
  • 50g peanut butter
  1. 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
  1. Pop the popcorn (sooo much fun!) then blitz it to a powder and toast the powder in the oven until erm, toasted?!
  2. Beat the butter, sugar salt and popcorn powder until smooth
  3. Whip the cream to soft peaks
  4. Re-whip the ganache until lighter and fluffier
  5. Fold the ganache into the butter stuff and then fold in the cream

Decoration

  • Popcorn
  • Peanuts
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp water
  • pinch o’ sea salt
  1. Toast the peanuts and pop the corn
  2. Make a caramel by heating the sugar and water
  3. 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)

Assembly

  1. Slice top off cake to level (cake spoils! munch away!)
  2. Cut remaining cake into 3 equal layers
  3. Spread a layer of the ganache in each layer then chill in the fridge for about 10 minutes
  4. Cover cake with icing and smooth sides
  5. Pipe remaining icing around top and bottom edges
  6. Pile up popcorn/nut/caramel mix into a mountain of deliciousness in the centre of the cake
  7. 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).

Not the most refined looking thing we’ve baked but it was fucking tasty!

rotating the cake makes vertical stripes…which we all know are slimming.

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…

See you soon!

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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!

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. 😉