Kitteh cupcakes - take two!

AKA if at first you don't succeed, try something easier. XD

This was only a partial success though. And by partial, I mean... 10%. >.>

See, from sheer luck, I didn't have that much batter left in the last one. Plus I didn't stuff it with salted caramel.

As a result, that's the only kitteh with a nice, smooth surface. XD

So! Only fill the cups to half AT MOST for a nice smooth surface. And resist the urge to stuff the kitteh or the stuffing may leak, and result in very mutant kittehs.

That whole plate in the background? Mutant kittehs.

But hey, at least now I know what NOT to do!

SCIENCE!!!!

Grumpy cat cupcake muffin thingies! ଘ(੭*ˊᵕˋ)੭*

Now, I'm sure someone who can actually use icing properly would get a better result... but these can be a proof of concept! XD

So come forth, O you icing people! Make better ones!

The usual disclaimer: I don't really measure stuff very exactly. I tend to eyeball, and go by ratio. What this means is if you have a bit more or less of any one part, as long as it's reasonably close, everything should be fine. I'm using grams, but really... if you look at it, it's parts vs parts. XD

Note that because I'm lazy, and made equal batches of white and brown bits, there will be about 4-5 cupmuffins that are just dark brown left over. I stuffed cherry jam and a frozen cherry into those... but they're fine plain, too!

Ingredients
Makes about 12 cupcakes... but it's a bit weird. More on that in the actual recipe below...

For the white bits...
200g cake flour
25g sugar
50g butter
1 tsp baking powder
Vanilla essence
125ml milk

For the brown bits
200g cake flour
25g cocoa powder
25g sugar
50g butter
1 tsp baking powder
Vanilla essence
115ml milk
10ml very dark strong coffeefeefee

For the face bits
Pink icing (nose and mouth)
White icing (Eye whites)
Brown / chocolate icing (for sticking on the ears)
Mini chocolate chips (Irises)
Chocolate Melts, cut into quarters (1 chocolate melt = 4 ears)

Craft the kittehs!
Preheat oven (non fan-forced) to 180C.

White bits

  1. Dump dry ingredients in food processor
  2. Whir around in food processor for a bit, if you're too lazy to sift. I never sift. XD
  3. Cut the butter into vaguely cuboidal shapes
  4. Dump butter into food processor too
  5. Whir stuff around in food processor until the mix looks kinda coarse and you mostly can't see any butter lumps anymore
  6. Dump white bits in a bowl
  7. Make a well in the white bit dry ingredients
  8. Dump vanilla essence into milk, stir until you can't see the essence anymore
  9. Dump vanilla-essence-milk into well you made in white bit dry ingredients
  10. Fold white bits into milk stuff until just combined. The consistency you want is thick, almost-becoming-liquid paste, sort of like a very rich, thick shake. The kind that is a bit of work to suck through the straw. So add milk until you get that consistency. 125ml is just an eyeballing figure...

Brown bits
Really, this is the same as white bits except that you have the coffee. XD

  1. Dump dry ingredients in food processor
  2. Whir around in food processor for a bit, if you're too lazy to sift. I never sift. XD
  3. Cut the butter into vaguely cuboidal shapes
  4. Dump butter into food processor too
  5. Whir stuff around in food processor until the mix looks kinda coarse and you mostly can't see any butter lumps anymore
  6. Dump brown bits in a bowl
  7. Make a well in the brown bit dry ingredients
  8. Dump coffee and vanilla essence into milk, stir until you can't see the essence anymore
  9. Dump coffee-vanilla-essence-milk into well you made in brown bit dry ingredients
  10. Fold brown bits into milk stuff until just combined. The consistency you want is thick, almost-becoming-liquid paste, sort of like a very rich, thick shake. The kind that is a bit of work to suck through the straw. So add milk until you get that consistency. 125ml is just an eyeballing figure...

Assemble the face-base

  1. Fill half the cupcake cups (around 9 of them) with white bits. If you have more left over after 9, by all means fill more... but I didn't.
  2. Use a teaspoon (or something else small) to get the brown bits that will be behind the grumpy eyes. Use a smaller blob than you think will be needed, as it'll spread a bit when baking.
  3. Plop vaguely semicircular brown bits side by side onto the white face base.
  4. Repeat until you run out of white face bases.
  5. Plop leftover brown bits into the other cupcake cups. You should have something like 5 brown cupcakes, and 7 catcakes. The catcakes will be smaller than the browncakes.
  6. For the pure choc cupcakes, I filled half the cup with the batter, plopped some jam in the middle (about half a teaspoon), plopped a frozen cherry on top of that, and then covered it with the other half of the batter.
  7. Shove in oven and bake for 25m or so. Or until the usual stab it with a toothpick and the toothpick comes out clean happens.

Put the face on the base

  1. Let the face bases cool for about 30min or so - you can eat the pure chocolate ones first though! ;) There's a reason they don't even show up in these photos...
  2. Pipe the nose and mouth with pink icing - I used the normal 'line' type nozzle.
  3. Pipe the eyes with white icing using the ummm 'flat' type nozzle. Hopefully better than I did...
  4. Stick a mini chocolate chip into each white icing eyeball to make the iris.
  5. Cut a chocolate melt into 4 quarters - I used a butter knife.
  6. Pipe some chocolate icing (again using the 'line' type nozzle) on each side of the face, roughly where you think ears should be, and of roughly that length. This is the 'glue' for your chocolate melt ears.
  7. Stick chocolate melt quarter onto the chocolate icing... ears!

That's about it really.

The rest is optional, and involves cackling, and pretending to be a zombie, and making cats say sad things as you eat off bits of their heads...

ヽ(”`▽´)ノ







Tera: Celebrity toon wannabes via the character creator!

It's not perfect (it's actually pretty racist... but let's not go into that here), but it's very versatile!

Some faces get better results than others though. Those with very distinctive mouth shapes, for instance... :( Don't really come across well.

Can you tell who these toons are based on? >.>

So far I've only made females! But I think I'm going to try some males next!

It's also made me realise that many of our celebrity faces are really... well... uniform and average. OTOH we are sort of trained to find 'average' faces attractive, so that's not that surprising!

Random subconcious / unintentional sexism is the best sexism!

A random user generator! It's a really nice idea / tool! Except the execution is slightly disturbing.

In no particular order:
  • Both male and female are apparently male, since male is the default
  • But look! Anton Andrews, presumably male male... he likes creating stuff! He makes 'fun and creative' things!
  • Now look at Katie McCoy, presumably (fe)male... (s)he likes consuming things. And also running. Work? Why would a (fe)male worry their pretty little head on something like that, when (s)he can have chocolates and then run them off? With puppy love too! Cause that's just what a warm, nurturing (fe)male type wants, together with the chocolates, and the running...

._.

Never spent a cent on your F2P game? Congratulations, you're a hare!

I've noticed that whenever an F2P game is criticised as having somewhat evil monetisation strategies, someone will invariably pop up and say, 'I've never spent any money on this game, and I am so leet! You can totally play for free!'

...or at least, for very little!

*Nugget peers at her 2 Forsaken World accounts, with a grand total of US$301 spent in the course of more than 3 years.*

Yeeeeeeeeeeeeees.... BUT!

That doesn't make you (or me!) a good little underdog, sticking it to The Man... or whatever the mentality seems to be in most F2P communities I've been a part of.

What that makes us is rabbits.

Or more accurately, mechanical hares.

Modern greyhound racing has its origins in coursing.[1] The first recorded attempt at racing greyhounds on a straight track was made beside the Welsh Harp reservoir, Hendon in 1876, but this experiment did not develop. The industry emerged in its recognizable modern form, featuring circular or oval tracks, with the invention of the mechanical or artificial hare in 1912 by Owen Patrick Smith.

- Wikipedia, the source of all truth! >.>

And the truth is, we're not only not sticking it to The Man, we're actively working FOR him. And we're well worth the 'pay' of our status, and our loot.

Because we run along in front of all the other, newer players who go... wait... if I just work a little bit more, I too can be...!

But it's a rigged game, because a lot of the time, these newer players fail to see the rest of the underlying structure that made us rabbits what we are.

We got in early. We're old players. Who've been playing a long time. We were able to cash in on booms in the economy which are no longer present in a mature game. So even though we didn't spend anything (or spent barely anything)... if you want to match a rabbit today, as a new player... Pay up.

Or sit there wondering why 'these other guys could farm it but I can't'. Then give up. Or pay up. XD

For example, if a newbie wanted to match my toons in Forsaken World today, they wouldn't be able to 'just farm' it all. I'd say at a guesstimate, the combination of both my accounts, if a newbie started playing this week and wanted to be at my power level within that week... conservatively, they'd have to drop about US$4,000 on the game.

That's crazy. But you know, the existence of the rabbits, bounding ahead... if they can run that fast and never get tired... surely I should be able to, too? *chase* *puff* *pant*  *chase* *puff* *pant*

...Ugh! Chasing is hard! I'll pay just a little bit to make things just a little easier.

Congratulations! The F2P game has another new customer, and another potential whale. ;)

Icecream rose: 21 cones & 1 flat-edged trowel later...

Yay! An orange creamsicle with chocolate rice bits rose thingie!

Turns out that with the right tool (yay trowel), making icecream roses is really quite easy, and rather fun!

The trick is to start off with thin squarish pieces for the base, rotating the cone as you go along.

Then, towards the outer bit of the flowers, slowly start using thin rectangular pieces, rather than squarish ones, for the outer petals.

Also best done with icecream right out of the freezer - letting it melt just makes things messier and more squidgy.

Smooth icecreams are obviously the easiest to work with, but chunky icecreams work fine too, except for marshmallows. The darn things bounce all over the place and don't cut very well. And even if you manage to cut them, they try to fall off the petals...

Interestingly, these roses pack a LOT of icecream into a single cone. About 2 scoops worth, even if it doesn't look that way.

They also offer a nice way to mix flavours! So far I've just done the centre as one flavour, with outer petals as other flavours, but this is mostly because I only have one trowel...

21 cones later, it takes me about 2-3 minutes to make one rose. It's really very easy, once you get the basic concept down. Plus, as mentioned before, it gives the icecream a super 'fluffy' mouthfeel.

Now I'm wondering why this isn't more popular at icecream / gelato / frozen yoghurt shops.

If you want to try it out, but don't want to get a trowel...you can use a pie slicer, but their tapered heads are far from ideal. It's hard to get good leverage, and even harder to cut the icecream in thin slices. You'll end up with a different shape of petal, that can be quite tricky to maneuver. It's not unpossible (see previous post), but the trowel makes a HUGE difference, and isn't expensive.