So baking, yeah we’ve not for a while…
But there are reasons! Good, good reasons! (well, some reasons)
Basically, the boys got totally caked out…they’d rammed in so many tarts and financiers they were actual cake boys.
So, we’ll be posting the wedding/birthday/barmitzva cakes but if you’re looking for some shitty cupcake variants it’s probably best to piss off now.
So what is this about?
Well…sometimes baked stuff is not just for shits and giggles. Sometimes it is totally NECESSARY!
Mykie was competing in a kettlebell lifting competition (I know, random, rite?) with two events split hours apart.
Mykie is a fussy eater and gets totally hangry. (like The Hulk but little, less verdant, more gay, more hair product)
With stuff to do at a comp…like cheer, warm up, gossip…let’s not even mention the time for costume changes… (you get totally sweaty and who wants to stay marinating in their own juices?) well the point is there is no time to pop out for an egg white omelette and a Harvey Nick’s breakfast martini, is there?!
So plans people, you gotta have the plans!
The high protein, portable, sweet treat…SECRET SNATCH CAKES!
Right, let’s be real, these aren’t going to rock your world or anything but they are so easy, a bit delicious, filling and don’t require refrigeration (anyone else chomped on a pack of warm chicken? Samonellicious!). Kettlebell lembas!
- 70g When Protein (we use optimum nutrition vanilla ice-cream flavour (fucking delicious))*parenthesis within parenthesis? living on the edge at Wondercat*
- 30g Wheatgerm
- 2 Eggs
- 50g Peanut butter (the good shit, at least 97% peanut with no added sugar)
- pinch o’ salt
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 10g flour of some description
- Xantham gum IF REQUIRED (if you are using gluten-free flour you’ll know the deal)
- sweetener to taste (make sure it’s one that can be baked with!)
- splash of milk
- beat peanut butter and eggs
- stir in everything else
- if it’s really thick and goopy, add a bit more milk
- plop it into some kind of muffin/cupcake tins
- bake at 150ºC for between 12 and 20 minutes depending on the size of your baking, erm…holes?
That is it. You can’t really go wrong…well you can… We used super tiny silicone block moulds so 12 minutes was long enough…we made a batch and baked them longer and they were so dry and claggy they sucked your face in like a raisin…so don’t over bake.
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…
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…
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.