Posts filed under: ‘Cooking‘
Thousands of years ago, Julia Agrippina wrote the true history of her family, the Caesars. The document was lost, or destroyed, almost immediately. (It included more monsters than you might think.)
Hundreds of years ago, Fanny and Mary ran away from London with a debauched poet and his sister. (If it was the poet you are thinking of, the story would have ended far more happily, and with fewer people having their throats bitten out.)
Sometime in the near future, a community will live in a replica Roman city built in the Australian bush. It’s a sight to behold. (Shame about the manticores.)
Further in the future, the last man who guards the secret history of the world will discover that the past has a way of coming around to bite you. (He didn’t even know she had a thing for pointy teeth.)
The world is in greater danger than you ever suspected. Women named Julia are stronger than they appear. Don’t let your little brother make out with silver-eyed blondes. Immortal heroes really don’t fancy teenage girls. When love dies, there’s still opera. Family is everything. Monsters are everywhere. Yes, you do have to wear the damned toga.
History is not what you think it is.
2 comments February 2, 2013
Look what I made!
Nice shiny domes – check
Pretty, ruffled feet – check
Crisp outer shell – check
Soft, fluffy interior – check
But I do have a confession to make:
2 comments December 27, 2012
I work in the homewares department of a large department store, and this keeps my kitchengeek self well supplied with toys.
So when I saw this:
Now, generally I am not a fan of these jigsaw pans but I immediately knew *EXACTLY* what I wanted to do with it. And then it went on clearance and I paid like three dollars for it. Of course, that was months ago, and it’s been sitting in my cupboard ever since, because, well, time it is lacking.
Add a comment December 5, 2012
Macaron’s. That sweet little bite of heaven. So quickly devoured, so melt-in-your mouth. The bane of so many who venture into the kitchen.
Of course I had to try making them.
One reason is because they are gluten free, and since I’ve had to move into GF cooking as a general way of life now, I figured it’d be handy to know how to make them. But also, you know – they’re challenging, and I do like a bit of a kitchen challenge.
The first time I attempted them I had never actually tried one, so perhaps that wasn’t the wisest move. Not that I’ve let that stop me before.
They tasted fine, at least, I thought they did, but they were eggshell thin, reminiscent of crazy paving, and had no feet to speak of.
Since then I have tried macarons from several places, so at least I have an idea of what I’m aiming at.
I made some more last week:
Taste wise they rocked! Cranberry & Salted Pomegranate = yum!
Aesthetically, not so much. I obviously under mixed it as all my shells had nipples. Some of them cracked, and the oven was obviously a fraction too high because they lost their pale pink colour and started to have a toasty look.
So, I read more blogs and recipes and guides on What Can Go Wrong, and I tried again today.
Things started off okay…they certainly looked better than my last attempts
The one batch of mix was able to give me three batches in the oven. Each batch came out a little differently.
Batch the first:
And the third:
As you can see, the third lot is overcooked…I’m trying to find the fine line in my oven temperatures to give my macaron’s a nice foot without toasting them,,,so far, not overly successful.
The second lot are my best. A few cracks here and there, no feet, but could be worse. And they kept their colour nicely.
Batch one was undercooked…which left me with something that looked like a Macaron Massacre – lots of gutted bodies.
They might not have ‘footed’, but I could still make them into wanabee ‘rons.
I still had some Salted Pomegranate filling left over, so I made some with that, and then the others I made White Chocolate & Raspberry
And look at this! ONE (semi) FOOTED MACARON:
Just don’t look at the back of it! However, I’m taking that as proof positive that it can be done!
Add a comment August 26, 2012
In a future world of extreme climate change, Perth, Western Australia’s capital city, has been abandoned. Most people were evacuated to the East by the late ’30s and organised infrastructure and services have gone.
A few thousand obstinate and independent souls cling to the city and to the southern towns. Living mostly by night to endure the fierce temperatures, they are creating a new culture in defiance of official expectations. A teenage girl stolen from her family as a child; a troupe of street actors who affect their new culture with memories of the old; a boy born into the wrong body; and a teacher who is pushed into the role of guide tell the story of The Nightside.
Nightsiders by Sue Isle is a collection of four stories set in a post apocalyptic Perth. It’s a world where the sun is vicious, and the few remaining residents move around at night time in order to survive.
When I was trying to determine what kind of cupcake would embody Nightsiders, I automatically went to lemon, because of the sun, but I wasn’t quite happy with that as a choice, because it felt too fresh, which I didn’t think represented the feel…not the writing isn’t fresh, it is. It’s n awesome book! Rather it was the whole “lemon fresh” thing I had an issue with. Until I realised that making Scorched Lemon Meringue Cupcakes would be perfect.
I have a very easy, basic cupcake recipe that works well as the base, and as an added bonus it’s gluten-free.
2 comments August 3, 2012
In case you don’t know this, I’m not one to walk away from a cooking challenge, so when Deadlines, the new imprint from Twelfth Planet Press, announces a Trifle Competition, to celebrate the release of A Trifle Dead by Livia Day, well, I had to give it a go.
Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I do some work from Twelfth Planet, so I won’t actually be submitting my recipe, as I don’t want to cause any issues for Alisa.
(ETA: I just realised how that sounds. It’s not that there’s an expectation that I will win, rather, since allegations of impropriety have been levelled at both Alisa and myself in regards to awards and competitions, I figure it’s better to remove myself and not leave either of us open to those types of allegations.)
My trifle starts with a raspberry jelly with a wild hibiscus flower set, not in a shot glass, but a long stemmed liqueur glass.
It’s then topped with a delicious vanilla custard. Now, I don’t say delicious lightly, as I’m not generally a custard person but I kept finding excuses to test this custard, and then I had to fight The Boy for the leftovers.
After letting the custard set I placed a circle of Delicious Death chocolate cake in the glass. Then I placed a ring of chocolate cake on top of that to make a well, which I filled with a raspberry coulis.
Not being a huge fan of cream on its own, the glass was then filled with a cherry brandy syllabub that I had let separate, and topped off with a maraschino cherry.
And let me just say YUM. I don’t do trifle. I have never yet met a trifle I like. Until now. I will be making this again, and chances are I will probably partake of it.
Also, totally gluten free.
Add a comment July 31, 2012
Seeking to salvage their foundering marriage, Melanie and Richard retreat to an isolated beach house on a remote Queensland island.
Intrigued by a chance encounter with a stranger, Melanie begins to drift away from her husband and towards Helena, only to discover that Helena has her own demons, ageless and steeped in blood.
As Richard’s world and Helena’s collide, Melanie must choose which future she wants, before the dark tide pulls her under … forever.
2 comments June 17, 2012
This is one of those “It seemed like a good idea at the time” stories.
The Crazy Cupcake Adventure really began several weeks before Continuum 8, when Alisa and I were discussing what to do for the Twelfth Planet Press hour. In a moment of (insert adjective here)ness, I suggested themed cupcakes.
It was always going to be easier to make the cakes at home and transport them over frozen and unfrosted.
The challenge was going to be in decorating 300 cupcakes in a hotel room.
The tools I took:
The tools I didn’t take:
There were items I had packed, but when we reached the airport we discovered we were significantly overweight and had to do some quick and judicious culling, so in Melbourne I had to Make Do.
And of course, one of the tools I couldn’t take on the plane was my blowtorch. Fortunately Alex had recently acquired one so I was able to borrow that for some extreme cake decorating.
The day started at 7:30 when I went in search of Coles, which was hidden deep underground with no signage. So I, um, may have gotten a little lost. I procured most of my ingredients and Alisa later did a second foraging expedition to get the final ingredients, and some painkillers to knock a blossoming migraine on the head.
On top of operating with one solitary bowl, I had to find ways to soften butter and cream cheese to a temperature that wasn’t akin to a snowball on Mount Everest. I solved this by having the ingredients in my bowl and warming the bottom I the container with the hair dryer that the hotel supplied. it worked a treat! Except when I blasted the air into the bowl and ended up snorting a face full of icing sugar dust. I was tired and migrainey, okay!
Eleven and a half hours after starting, with ten minutes to spare, I finished. A quick shower and dress and I was able to swan into the party which was in full swing.
Nine minutes past seven I walked in and over half the cupcakes were gone! This is (one of) the reasons we don’t have many photos. And it is an awesome reason to not have many photos!
6 comments June 13, 2012
I caked and baked in the last few days.
You may recognise some familiar items from this post. After making them, I was hit by inspiration to make a packing box, complete with packing foam peanuts (mini marshmallows), to take to my friend Tehani’s “Going Away Do”.
The cake was a VERY RICH and dense 4 layer chocolate cake, complete with strawberry mousse filling, and LASHINGS of ganache. (I actually ladled the ganache over the cake.) I managed to outchocolate even the most die-hard chocaholics that were present. And the strawberry mousse filling – Oh. My. Goodness! Yum. Fresh strawberries and cream cheese and…and…and…nomnom) Oh and yeah, my previous post about strawberry sensitivity…I think I can say it’s confirmed. :/
These are all Tansy’s fault. She had to show me steampunk cakes last week. So OF COURSE I had to try making some. I was really pleased with how these turned out.
Note the ones with the letters? Well, I was aiming for old fashioned typewriter keys, and I did TW for Tehani’s initials, since I was going to take these to the do as well, and then I was going to do FC for FableCroft Publishing, which is her company, but I didn’t end up with the C, and that didn’t bother me too much. However, what that did give me was this:
And so I leave you with a pic of Tehani cutting the cake. It was a lovely day, although I did catch a bit too much sun I think. I’m starting to look decidedly pink.
Add a comment December 10, 2011
Remember these guys?
Yesterday, while playing with my fondant, I had the sudden realisation that my current creation was quite Doozer-esque, so then, of course I just had to try and make it totally Doozer like
Also, this may have opened up a Pandora’s Box of ideas, because now there’s a plethora of geek figures and items I want to try making.
Add a comment November 12, 2011