Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
What can I say? This cake is intense. Possibly it should even come with a health warning on the side similar to a packet of cigarettes, only instead of graphic pictures of mouth and lung cancer, it would depict someone vomiting while their heart is being shocked back into rhythm. But if Rosemary Stanton is your idea of the Anti-Christ this is the cake for you. It is a true inversion of the food pyramid, containing vast quantities of all the 'good fats' - butter, eggs, sugar and of course chocolate. My soon to be 'late' husband polished off half the cake this afternoon and has been heard periodically murmuring 'that's gooooood cake' as he potters about the house.
Molly apparently made this as her wedding cake (which made me feel a little sentimental while I was baking). It certainly isn't the first thing I'd think of as a wedding cake - it isn't a show stopper in terms of presentation, with nary a fondant flower in sight, and frankly looks a little like an old boot. But it certainly does pass as a special occasion cake in terms of flavour and with an extra pinch of love stirred in, who am I to judge?
This cake is very easy to make - there are no complicated steps, you only use one bowl and stir everything by hand. This meant Minty could be involved through the whole process and had a lot of fun… though waiting for the cake to be cooked was unsurprisingly a little challenging for her.
Also I should probably mention that my cake took 45 minutes to cook… which was almost double the recommended cooking time. What the…?? I suspect my oven may have been up to it's usual tricks… it likes to keep me on my toes whilst baking.
Monday, June 21, 2010
First we died the noodles. To do this, put some white vinegar in containers and colour it with food dye. Pop the noodles in and wait until they reach the desired colour and then put them on some paper towel or newspaper to dry out. This first step was great fun - we mixed all sorts of different colours and Minty had great fun dropping the noodles in. I should however of had some inkling of where this activity would end up when Minty announced, 'mmm these smell yummy'.
Next step was to thread the necklaces. We used some string tied to a spoon so that the rigatoni wouldn't fall off the other end of the string as we threaded.
We got as far as threading one noodle and then Minty decided she wanted to taste the noodles. After licking an orange noodle she declared, 'it tastes like a tiger', which I can only imagine means it tasted like cat hair. I attempted to move the activity along by demonstrating making my own necklace. Minty however wasn't interested and instead went on to announce that the purple noodle tasted like a walrus. In the end I was forced to confiscate them before she ingested an entire bowl of highly coloured raw noodles. This was the reaction...
Shortly after this photo was taken, unbeknownst to me, Minty thieved the necklace I had made and went behind the couch for a lovely snack of tiger noodles.
Friday, June 18, 2010
My parents came to visit today and my wonderful/amazing/fantabulous dad gave me a much needed hand with painting our 'navy coffin'. Sadly I am not wonder woman (though thank Christ I don't have to wear blue hot pants) and trying to do all the renovating by myself whilst tending to the demands of two 'lively' kidlets was proving impossible. Inspired by '60 minute makeover' dad was a force to be reckoned with and got a phenomenal amount of work done in the short time they were here. There is still a fair bit of work to be done but the end is now in sight. Thanks Dad! xx
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Sunday, June 13, 2010
It's been a whirlwind of a long weekend. Back to Melbourne on Saturday for my dad and bro-in-law Alex's birthdays, one of my good friends came down to stay with us on the island on Sunday and Monday brought a visit from my oldest sister and (her son) the kid's cousin Nick. On top of all this fun and festivity, little Turi is battling a horrid cold and will not sleep. As any parent knows, babies have an issue with mouth breathing so a stuffy nose is disproportionately distressing for the whole family. I am currently averaging about four hours sleep per night (and not in one block), so if this post makes very little sense and lacks wit and insight that is my excuse.
Onto more interesting topics, of the cake variety...
My dad seemed quite excited by my first ice-cream cake adventure so I decided to surprise him with one for his birthday. I had to restrain my natural tendency to go a little over the top with flavour intensity (more is more is generally my motto) as mum had advised me to keep things classic. So I went with a layer of chocolate and a layer of vanilla ice-cream topped with chocolate ganache. Both ice-cream recipes were from David Lebovitz's 'The Perfect Scoop' (oh how I love this book!). If you want more detailed instructions on how to make an ice-cream cake I've written about it here. I won't repeat myself again lest I bore you all.
For decoration I stencilled the letter E (because E is for excellent and incidentally also my dad's initial) on the top with icing sugar. Stencilling is one of my favourite ways to decorate a cake. I think it adds a sophisticated touch. To do this you basically just draw or print out your design (I used Renaissance font) and then use a craft knife to cut out all the black sections. It is probably a good idea to make the stencil out of something sturdier than regular printer paper if the design is more complex. Lay the stencil on the cake and dust icing sugar with a fine sieve. Carefully remove the stencil. If you get some runaway icing sugar flecks you can attempt to brush them off with a pastry brush. I'll share with you another cake stencilling idea tomorrow.
Happy birthday dad and Alex! I hope you enjoyed the cake!
Friday, June 11, 2010
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Sunday, June 6, 2010
Thursday, June 3, 2010
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Day six without a washing machine. We are officially drowning in a sea of dirty laundry. Perhaps unsurprisingly the kids have ignored my requests to keep their clothes clean so we can rewear them. A well-meaning devout member of the baptist playgroup we attend told me that God doesn't throw anything at us that we can't handle, and while I don't believe in any kind of a God that concerns himself with my laundry, I am attempting to adopt the kind of saintly attitude that allows me to take such challenges gracefully in my stride. After all Jesus didn't have a washing machine, although I'm sure the other mothers didn't look askance at Mary if she sent Jesus down the street in a dusty robe. Looks like we might have to haul ourselves over to the laundromat tomorrow.
I know I said yesterday I was going to make a pie… but we didn't have any cream on hand, and what's pie without cream?? We did however, happen to have exactly 85grams of cocoa left… the precise amount needed to make these rich, moist chocolate cupcakes (if that's not a sign I don't know what is). And because I am feeling more sinner than saint this evening I decided to top them with some decidedly wicked, decadent creamy peanut butter frosting (surely the gluttons frosting of choice).
Peanut Butter Frosting
1/2 cup (130g) peanut butter
1/4 cup (55g) softened butter
1 cup (125g) icing sugar
1-2 tablespoons milk
Put the peanut butter and butter in an electric mixer. Beat until creamy. Gradually add the sugar, adding the milk as necessary if it gets too thick. Beat for about 3 minutes until a smooth consistency.
Come back tomorrow for some highly amusing photos...