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







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.

Slutty brownie with almond-coffee, crispy chocolate swirl with chopped nuts icecream

Someday, I really need to:

  1. Come up with better names for my icecreams
  2. Overcome my laziness and start documenting the insane number of different icecream flavours I make

...but today is not that day.

Today's lazy 'recipe' is instead, a bunch of links!

I got the idea from these two places…

http://www.thelondoner.me/2011/06/slutty-brownies.html

and

http://whatsgabycooking.com/slutty-brownies/

…but of course, being me, I changed stuff a bit…

I didn’t use a brownie base, I used my own flourless chocolate cake base here
http://nugget.posthaven.com/flourless-triple-chocolate-cake-of-lazy-doom

I was lazy for the cookie dough and used a Betty Crocker mix. You can of course, use your own nummy version!

I baked the thing for 40-50 minutes at 180C, non-fan-forced. Check on it often towards the last 10 minutes, because you don't want the cookie bits to overcook/burn.

Utterly unorthodox but undeniably authentic-tasting chilli crab

I'm a really lazy cook, so if I can take shortcuts, or leave an appliance to do things for me, I will.

I'm also not at all snobby about using spicepacks, provided that they're good enough that they don't taste like spice-packs. This 'proper' kind of spicepack is really easy to find in Asia, but it seems the rest of the world hasn't really caught up yet...

Now that a nugget has transferred to an Oz server, these proper spice-pack crafting mats are harder to find, and I've yet to find one that has a proper chilli crab taste. So I've cobbled together my own version of (lazy) chilli crab that, although it uses at least 50% totally untraditional ingredients, tastes really authentic, and is barely any work at all.

Right! Onwards with the weirdness!

Crafting mats

  • 6 Crabs! Preferably meaty ones like mud crabs or sand crabs (I used sand crabs). I bought mine pre-cooked, but there's no reason you can't cook your own. Here's a great guide on how to cook and rip crabs apart most satisfyingly. RAWRRR.
  • Ajvar - 1 mountainously heaped tablespoon per 3 crabs
  • Chinese cooking wine - 1 part
  • Soy sauce - 2 parts
  • Mirin - 2 parts
  • Balsamic vinegar - 1 part
  • Crispy prawn chilli paste - 1 mountainously heaped tablespoon per 6 crabs or to taste. I love this brand, but you can use any brand you like
  • Cornstarch - just a little bit to gloopify the sauce a bit
  • Eggs - 1 egg per 2 crabs

Crafting method

  1. Dump ajvar, cooking wine, soy sauce, mirin, vinegar, cornstarch, and prawn paste into a pan big enough to hold at least 3 crab halves.
  2. Stir the stuff about until it's mostly homogenous.
  3. Cook on low heat for about 30 min, stirring every 10ish min.
  4. Beat the 3 eggles together, then put them aside to await their doom.
  5. Dismember the crabs.  If you haven't cooked them yet, cook them before dismembering. It's okay to give little happy growls and roars as you yank the shells apart.
  6. As you yank the tops of the crabs off, you may find scary looking gloopy gloop inside. DON'T THROW IT AWAY! Throw it in the simmering pan of sauce instead, and give it a good stir when you do. This makes the sauce wonderfully crabby. For anything else that isn't scary-looking-but-tasty-gloop, discard it as the guide above says. You can split the crabs in half after yanking off the tops by simply folding them inwards. If they're cooked, they'll break pretty easily.
  7. After 30min (that's how long it took me to process 6 crabs), or when the sauce has reduced by about 40-50%, dump in the beaten eggs and stir it all together until it's good and gloopy.
  8. Start adding as many crab bits as will fit into your pan.
  9. Coat the crab bits in the gloop, and mush the gloop into any crevices.
  10. Let each crab bit sit in the pan for at least 30s after coating and mushing before transferring to a plate.
  11. Do the top shells last, because it's really hard to stack stuff on top of them.
  12. When all the crab bits have been coated, mushed, heated and transferred...
  13. ...fallen ravenously upon crabbles and eat for the next 2 hours.

If you have access to salted egg yolks, smash one up and add it in at step 1. :( I really missed having that in the sauce, but I couldn't find any that day. It still tastes really good without it, but any of you who know salted egg yolks will know the difference. ;)

tinyurl.com/snailcrab



Awesome no-fail blondies from Inspired Taste!

Get da no fail blondies recipe by Joanne from Inspired Taste!

They taste awesome, and have a really nice crispy-top texture and moist dense insides that somehow manage to be fluffy at the same time. Very 'more-ish', which isn't usually how I feel about sweet baked stuff. Nugget is all about the meat... the MEAT! But these are so more-ish that I had 2.5 pieces, which is 1.5 more than usual for any sweet stuff I make.

Mine looks a little different because I added pecans and blueberries. I put the blueberries on a light layer of panko breadcrumbs to stop them falling to the bottom of the blondies. People usually use flour for that, but I was lazy, and I had panko I wanted to finish up. The idea is that the flour (or panko) absorbs the blooberreh juices as they scream and essplode and die, thereby stopping them from falling to the bottom.


Lovely fatty gelatinous LAZY rice cooker pig trotters of braised doooooooooooooooom!

I looooooooooooooove animal fat! Fried, baked, stewed, boiled, broiled, cold from the fridge (mmm butter), melted in my tea (mmm cream) - glorious animal faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat!

I also love food where the majority of the 'cooking' involves me ignoring it while I go kill mobs. XD

These braised pig trotters are therefore, in a word, perfect!

Crafting materials
2-3 pig trotters (chopped into whatever size your butcher chops them for you)
Soy sauce (5 parts)
Chinese cooking wine (3 parts)
Vinegar (2 parts - doesn't really matter what kind of vinegar. I used apple cider vinegar.)
5 spice powder (1 part)
Ginger, chopped finely (1 part - I used the tube stuff because I'm lazy)
Garlic, chopped finely (1 part - I used paste because... yes I'm lazy)
1 large onion, chopped into bits however small you get to before you get lazy
Brown sugar (a bit)
Ground white pepper (a bit)
Sesame oil (a bit)
Garlic cloves x 5, still in their little skins (Optional)
Enoki mushrooms (Optional, I just love the darn things)

Crafting method

  1. Blanch the trotters, leave them to cool, then scrape off and discard whatever bits look dubious to you (usually hairy bits)
  2. Mix all the ingredients together except the trotters, chopped onions, garlic cloves and enoki mushrooms
  3. Galoosh the liquidy ingredients into your trusty rice cooker
  4. Dump in the garlic cloves, onions, and trotters
  5. Add enough water so that the trotters are just covered
  6. Stir everything until the liquidy ingredients are homogenously... liquidy
  7. Separate the enokis into slimmer bunches and strew them on top of the whole liquidy trottery mass
  8. Close rice cooker and set it either on Soup/Cook for 2.5 hours, OR set it on Steam for 2.5 hours (this will depend on the kind of rice cooker you have)
  9. After 2.5 hours, open the rice cooker and add more water so that the trotters are covered again.
  10. Give everything a stir
  11. Cook on Soup/Cook OR Steam for another 2.5 hours
  12. Splat all that unctuous gooey gelatinous fatty piggy goodness on a plate of white rice and NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM. If you can find a decent sambal oelek, even better!

Note
You need to blanch the trotters first (boil them for a short while until they turn white and scummy stuff comes to the top of the boiling water pot) so that they don't smell piggy in a bad way, vs piggy in a good way! Which is what they'll smell like after you get rid of the Bad Piggy by blanching...





Flourless triple chocolate cake of lazy doom!

Basic crafting ingredients

  • 3 parts dark chocolate (at least 70% cacao or whatever they call it)
  • 1 part salted butter
  • 1 part fine sugar (whatever colour makes you happy)
  • 4 large eggs (or about 2 parts worth of eggs)
  • A bit of vanilla essence (mebbe 1/2 a teaspoon - it varies depending on your essence strength)
  • Some cocoa powder (however much makes you happy)


Make dat cake!

  1. Mix sugar and cocoa until stuff is a lightish brown. If you want to add extra powdered flavourings (e.g. chai powder, etc) this is the time.
  2. Plop eggs (minus shells) into sugar and cocoa mixture, dollop in vanilla essence and any other essence you like.
  3. Mix it all together until nice and bubbly and uniformish. Use a friendly electric mixer if you have one, or just whisk if you don't.
  4. Melt the butter and chocolate in whatever way makes you happy. I like using either a rice cooker (slow), or a microwave. If you're using a microwave, plop the container holding the choc and butter into a plate with some water in it. It's sort of like a lazy nugget's version of a microwave water bath, and it works. Nuke for 1 min, stir, then nuke for 30s each time, taking out to stir until lumps are gone.
  5. Galoosh the melted choco-butter mixture into the egg-sugar-vanilla mixture, and stir it a lot until it is a smooth, rich, dark brown batter.
  6. If you want to add extra solid tasties (e.g. nuts, berries, whatever), fold them into the mixture now.
  7. Pour the whole lot into a greased (yay more butter) metal baking cake pan thing.
  8. Stuff in oven and bake at 180 celsius / 350 farenheit (conventional) for 45-50 minutes.
  9. It's done when you poke a toothpick into it and it comes out just a tiny bit crumbly dirty, which I think is what the cookbooks MEAN by clean. Honestly, I have no idea. ._.

Let it cool then eat eeeeet!

It's also very good if you make chocolate icing out of a combination of nuked chocolate chips, sugar, butter, and a bit of cream. I have a lazy version of that which you can do in a rice cooker, or a microwave. Also, better pictures later. I blame my guildie who was asking for this!

Salted buttar? Yes. Salted buttar. I use salted butter because I'm lazy, and I only buy salted butter. If you want to use unsalted butter, then add salt yourself, or omit the salt altogether, that works too. If you're adding salt, mix it together with the rest of the powdered stuff.

For a slightly 'lighter' version, use 2 parts chocolate, rather than 3 parts. The reviews on the 2 parts vs 3 parts are divided. I think it depends on how much of a choco monster the eater is. As a non-choco-monster, I like the 2 parts better!