Thursday, 24 February 2011

Lemon cake

Although I have left the joys of the ICCHFC behind, I am hopeful that I can rouse my new troops to a regular celebration of cake.

My first attempt to bring the joy of cake to my new office was a lemon sponge "birthday cake" (as office tradition demands).

The lemon sponges were sandwiched with lemon curd and whipped cream and topped with a lemon icing. I decorated it with lemon icing and meringues (attached with lemon curd).

It turns out that there is a strong under-current of cake appreciation and this went down far better than I could ever have hoped. Maybe there is hope for a new cake club...

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Corn dogs

To keep up the theme of deep-fried American "treats" I had a go at corn dogs. I used a recipe from Lou's blog.

Basically corn dogs are frankfurters in a polenta batter. I couldn't be doing with firing up the deep-fat fryer mid-week, so I just shallow fried them hence the crazy triangular shape.

They were pretty crunchy, but peculiarly grainy too (that's be the polenta then!) . The mustard added a nice tang.

However, I'm not entirely sure these were fit for a meal. They're much more suitable for snacking at the ballpark!

Monday, 7 February 2011

ICCHFC - Week 70: Strike cake(!)

In protest of not having been saved a cookie last week, Sara had threatened not to bring in cake. Thankfully she did: a delightful chocolate chip sponge with a Nutella filling.

It was a fitting last cake for me. Next Monday I will be starting a new job, so the Cakers will carry on without me and my Monday's will be poorer for it. I've really enjoyed cake club and can't believe we've been doing it for 70 weeks. The start to each week has been made a little more bearable with the sweet elevenses. I really look forward to the break and banter.

I wonder, when is it appropriate to bring in cake for the first time at a new job?

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Deep fried Twinkies

A while ago (I'm talking maybe May 2010) J went to the US to visit her brother who is working out there. On her return, as is customary she bought treats for the office. These included a box of Twinkies:

Now Twinkies are pretty hardcore sugary snacks. Despite our best efforts we weren't able to finish the box, so I ended up taking a brace home. Not quite knowing what to do with them I whacked them in the freezer, knowing full well that since Twinkies are reputed to be the only thing to survive a nuclear bomb, I thought they'd last.

Now, I've really no idea how I came across the idea of deep fried Twinkies. (It was probably from the Wikipedia page.) Anyhoo, as I'm in the process of eating my freezer (so I can defrost it), the Twinkies reared their head and I dug out the recipe I'd found from Good Morning America and my trusty deep fat fryer.

The batter was brilliantly crisp, but deep fried warm sponge cake was weird. And not in a good way. The sponge had practically dissolved, almost melted, and the "cream" centre was just about still there, lurking.

To cut through the sugar and fat the traditional accompaniment is a berry sauce. This being a spur of the moment Saturday afternoon thing, I didn't have any berries so free-styled with a dark chocolate sauce. The bitterness of the chocolate just about made the thing edible.

I guess this is the American equivalent of a deep fried Mars bar. Although I know which one I prefer and it won't require a trip across the Atlantic.

If you just happen to have some Twinkies lying about and want to have a go here's the recipe I used (apologies for the cups).

Deep-Fried Twinkies

2 Twinkies - frozen hard
Flour for dusting
1/3 cup milk
2dsp vinegar
1tsp oil
1/3 cup flour
1/3 tsp baking powder
Pinch salt
Wooden sticks - lolly sticks (or toothpicks will suffice)

1. Heat vegetable oil in deep fryer to 190°C.
3. Mix together milk, vinegar and oil.
4. In another bowl, blend flour, baking powder and salt.
5. Whisk wet ingredients into dry and continue mixing until smooth. Refrigerate while oil heats.
6. Push stick into Twinkie lengthwise, leaving about 2 inches to use as a handle, dust with flour and dip into the batter. Rotate Twinkie until batter covers entire cake.
7. Place carefully in hot oil. The Twinkie will float, so hold it under with a utensil to ensure even browning. It should turn golden in 3 to 4 minutes. Depending on the size of your deep fryer, you might be able to fry only one at a time, two at the most.
8. Remove Twinkie to paper towel and let drain. Remove stick and allow Twinkie to sit for about 5 minutes before serving.

Variation: Slice Twinkie into 4 pieces. Flour and batter each before frying. With this treatment, one Twinkie will serve two people if accompanied by a sauce.
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