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1  COOKING / Dessert / The Britainberg on: August 13, 2009 12:00:56 PM

Never having attempted a standard Battenberg before I was thrilled with how this potentially unstable variant came (and held) together. With an event celebrating a UK based organisation coming up I wanted to do something relevant, and this just popped into my mind. It still seems likely to me that someone will have already done it before.

I have to admit to having used store bought the icing and the marzipan. Marzipan I can do but needed a lot at short notice, which also influenced the decision on the icing although I also wanted to be sure of a good strong red colour.

For the cake itself I just used the first Battenberg recipe I found online, colouring all of the mixture with blue food colouring instead of separating it in two as you'd normally do. In order to maintain colouration I used water icing in place of apricot jam to glue everything together, and it did a great job; I attribute a good deal of the cake's stability to that. Also, bear in mind that with all the white stripes it takes about three times the amount of marzipan that a regular Battenberg does!

Again because of the short timescale, and also because it was a first try, I didn't worry about getting the width and placement of the diagonals exactly correct. It seemed unlikely anyone would fail to recognise what it was because of that!

If you do one of these yourself be sure to attract a crowd for the cutting of the first slice, that reveal and the reactions it generates are priceless!
2  COOKING / Dessert / Re: Chocolate Chip Bacon Cookies on: August 13, 2009 11:58:51 AM
To my British culinary sensibilities the idea of mixing sweet and savoury like that is a little alarming, but there's a little voice in the back of my head saying it might possibly be delicious. Either way, everyone else is going to think I'm insane when I try this...
3  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Re: Gluten Free/Celiac Recipes on: August 13, 2009 11:56:12 AM
I have a couple of friends with coeliac and have a very simple chocolate cake recipe which caters for them AND the lactose intolerant (although the dark, rich flavour goes particularly well with fresh whipped cream as a filling, which kind of cancels that out!). The only problem is I can never get it to rise properly, or at least it rises at first and then sinks a little. Not catastrophically, but it leaves the surface a little wrinkled. Has anyone got any experience with cakes like this? Any tips would be appreciated.

6 eggs (separated)
150g castor sugar
50g cocoa powder

Preheat oven to gas mark 4 (180c) and grease and line two 20cm tins.

Beat the egg yolks with the sugar well (for at least 3 minutes) and then add the cocoa.

In a separate bowl whisk the whites together until firm.

Very carefully fold the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture.

Separate into the tins, level off mixture and bake for about 15 minutes.

Allow to cool slightly before turning out.

The result is a very spongey, very light cake with a deep flavour.
4  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Re: life-sized horse mask, cake, puss n' boots, giraffe. EXTREMELY image heavy! on: August 13, 2009 11:34:12 AM
The octopus is amazing and if it weren't for the construction shots I don't think I would have twigged that wasn't a real boot! Nice work.
5  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Re: Steampunk Poppet- Take 2 on: August 13, 2009 11:11:29 AM
Generally I find Poppets rather terrifying but evidently my appreciation of steampunk is greater than my fear of poppets because that is pretty cool! I love the necklace with the gear pendant.
6  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Re: Kraken on: August 13, 2009 11:04:47 AM
Ha ha, that is awesome! I've alway loved Bloopers (the Mario monsters) for their vacant expressions and general weirdness. The only stuffed toy I've seen that was bigger was the near life sized giraffe which used to live on the bottom floor of Hamleys, but that was about 2,000 and would probably have taken three or four people to move it (not to mention needing a pretty tall room to be kept in!).

Nice work.
7  COOKING / Dessert / Re: 3D cakes on: August 13, 2009 10:45:45 AM
Wonderful! What did you use to do the face on the Thomas cake?
8  COOKING / Dessert / Re: Baby Shower Frog Cake on: August 13, 2009 10:25:11 AM
I do like the water effect. Are those frogs edible?
9  COOKING / Dessert / Re: Chocoholics Beware - You're about to OD on: August 13, 2009 10:22:45 AM
So much deliciousness! I simply must try those cheesecake cupcakes. I'm a bit reluctant to try the oreo brownies for fear that they might prove more popular than my own brownies.
Um, and also I doubt you can get that brownie mix over here in the UK.
10  COOKING / Dessert / Re: cakes i made in class on: August 13, 2009 09:07:16 AM
Mmmmmm, chocolate with orange icing, doesn't get better than that - and the roses are fantastic! The red velvet cake intrigues me too, might have to give it a go.
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