Tuesday, June 2, 2009

I'm ba-ack...!

Yes, I know, it's been a very long time since my last post - almost three months in fact! No good excuses really - I've been very busy of course, what with flying East to visit my husband's family (complete with a very odd and embarrassing cupcake-baking episode, in which I managed to break my mother-in-law's mixer, much to her amusement - thank goodness - and then had to finish making my vanilla cupcakes AND make buttercream from scratch, using only a wooden spoon and muscle-power!! This is not a method I recommend, either for its rather heavy end product or for the fact that I nearly had a cardiac from the unaccustomed exercise...), as well as having just come unscathed through my own family's busiest birthday season of the year (what goes on nine months previous to May every year, anyway??), and having been ill, and the fact that I'm going to be a bridesmaid in July, and the preparations for the wedding are now in full swing... Phew...! Really though, I guess I just haven't posted out of laziness really. Sometimes it's just too damn appealing to park myself on the lounge in front of Grey's Anatomy or House with a cup of tea. But speaking of the idiot box, the current season of Masterchef Australia has got me all excited about cooking again, and naturally specifically baking...

So okay, I have done a bit of baking over the last few months - I have been on a mission to find a mudcake recipe that actually tastes (and feels, and looks) like mudcake, as opposed to just rich chocolate cake. Not an easy task, I can tell you. Some taste really good, but just aren't that really dense texture. Anyway, I finally found one that is, and it's at Planet Cake. To be honest it's not quite my all-time favourite tasting chocolate cake (although it is pretty damn good), but the texture is awesome. Real mud cake, finally. I recommend it, and I also think it's jolly nice of the amazing craftspeople at Planet Cake to put their recipe online. Anyone who decides to buy me their book will be extremely popular...

For my own birthday cake I went a bit different this year - no elaborate decorations, not a piping bag in sight. I made a Japonaise cake, which I found at Taste.com.au - and it was fantastic. For those who are unfamiliar with this little beauty (as indeed I was), it's a French creation, consisting of an ultra-silky, sexy coffee buttercream sandwiched between several very thin layers of almond meringue. Yum. There were no leftovers, people went back for seconds.

If you do give this one a bash, keep in mind that this is very unusual buttercream - it takes quite a bit of time and patience (and a splatter-guard would have been quite good too) to get the butter to take up the coffee - but it is totally worth it.

Oh and the other kind of fun thing I did recently was for my friend's son's birthday - he is mad-keen on Ben10 at the moment, which I had never heard of (The Muffin being a girl, and only two). So he says he fancies a Humungosaur cake. So I say "sure, no worries." Anyway he was thrilled with the end result, his mum was happy, I was happy, so it was all good. (And be kind - I would like to point out that his eyebrow ridges got smushed against the top of the box before this photo was taken, and he had also been sitting in said box in a park for a couple of hours)

Anyway, I'm done, it's midnight, I'm off to bed. This ended up being kind of a long post - making up for lost time, I guess - so sorry about that, and congrats if you got this far....!


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