Friday, 6 April 2012

Creme egg cakes

As Easter was approaching and I had a little time on my hands I thought I need make a suitable Easter creation. I decided that it was going to involve Creme eggs, easily the best bit about Easter, but needed some ideas. This is where I Googled what people had made previously and posted on the net. An amazing array of Creme egg cakes had already been  made to draw upon as inspiration. Hands down the best creation though was a cake with a Creme egg inside. No recipe was really given but the baker gave a few handy hints on her Flickr page and this was enough for me to at least give it a try.

First of all buy a pack of Creme eggs and remove the foil. Then put them in the freezer so they will resist the heat a bit more when in the oven. Leave them in there for at least two hours, I left mine in overnight. Only take them out just before you put the cakes into the oven.

To make the cake batter I beat together 80g or butter and 80g of sugar until light and fluffy. Next step is add two eggs and beat them in. Next add 80g of flour and a teaspoon of baking powder and fold them in. I decided that chocolate cake goes best with a Creme egg filling so added two tablespoons of cocoa powder and mixed in until no lumps were left. To loosen every up a bit add milk until you get a dropping consistency.

As these will turn out to be quite bit cakes use muffin cases. Set out six cases into a cake tray and spoon in about two tablespoons of the cake mix into each case. Now it is time to get the Creme eggs out the freezer and put one into each case. I originally tried to keep them upright but the cake mix spilt out of the cases and left the chocolate eggs exposed. So to be on the safe side try putting the eggs in sidewards. To finish cover the eggs with the remaining cake mixture. Put in the oven, I put them in at gas mark 3 for about 40 minutes to be on the safe side and protect the eggs from melting. Once out the oven leave them to cool.

To make the icing weigh out 50g of butter and about 175g of icing sugar. Mix together well and if you need some help binding it together add a few drops of water. Then I added two teaspoons of vanilla extract to give it a bit more flavour. I piped the icing over the tops of the cake, leaving a bit behind to help me stick decorations onto the cake.

For the decoration I got some mini Creme eggs and cut them open along the join and did slightly different things as topping for each cake, using the icing to help stick them in place a bit more.

And the cakes are good, sticky and sickly but good. The goo from the Creme eggs escaped a bit so made the surrounding cake very sugary but was fun to eat and especially to make.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Chocolate Philadelphia spread

I did something outrageous and bought Philadelphia's new flavour spread - Cadbury's chocolate. It sounds wrong but this is what happens when Kraft, an American company best known for soft cheese, buys Cadbury's. Nevertheless I was feeling brave.

It looks the same as any other Philadelphia products, except it is purple. I peeled back the foil wondering what would be found there, but all I found was a rather pleasant looking spread, rather like chocolate spread.

My expectation was that it would taste like chocolate cheesecake, which I am not really a fan of, but I was wrong. Instead it tastes like cold chocolate spread with a sour after taste. It is actually quite nice, but then it tricks you and if you end up eating about a teaspoon of it then it ends up tasting gross.

I am trying to figure out what I can do it with though. The serving suggestion is on bread, but I can imagine that will be very sickly. I have heard that it ends up tasting like millionaire's cheesecake if you spread it on digestive biscuits, but I want to use it as an ingredient. My biggest hurdle though is my boyfriend doesn't like the taste of the new spread so this limits my options. In fact I think I am stuck with occasionally stealing bits when I open the fridge door.

In conclusion, a fun experiment but probably won't try it again.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

The Linc

This is the last print issue of The Linc that has been worked on by a Reid or a Cresswell. Enjoy!

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

BBC iPlayer comes to Xbox

Finally I never need to use a laptop to catch up on television that I have missed ever again because iPlayer is now on my Xbox.

I never thought that I would be a person who would like the option to watch television on demand on my Xbox. When living alone I was quite happy with watching the television and if I needed to catch up on television then my laptop would suffice.

However, I then realised that maybe watching television would be something for everyone, not just when you are watching television on your own. I first realised this when my family where regularly using iPlayer on the Playstation to watch programmes that had clashed with other events. And it all seemed so simple.

Now I live with my boyfriend and we tend to watch television together. This alongside the fact that television of late is a bit hit and miss. Instead we just switch on the Xbox and log onto Netflix and pretend that television is watchable. So far we have got most of the way through Futurama and Scrubs and that is just the beginning.

And now we have iPlayer at our fingertips too, and it is easy to use and a fun application. The only thing now is I am beginning to feel very lazy when I think about the fuss of moving back to normal television from watching shows on demand forgetting that I am using a television.

Yes, I know I should get out more.

Photo: ChipperMist via Flickr

Monday, 19 March 2012

Duck socks

My duck obsession also extends to my clothing, here is a fine example.

Friday, 16 March 2012

Chicken teriyaki

I have taken a bit of a baking break this week - although I would like to say it is to be more healthy but mostly it is a time thing. So here is a recipe for a meal instead of delicious cake.

Fancying Chinese food I decided to make chicken teriyaki, I imagine the recipe I used was not that authentic but it was very nice and quite simple to do. The recipe comes from Lorraine Pascale's Home Cooking Made Easy book.

It is best to get everything prepared before you start cooking. As this recipe serves two get two portions of rice ready to boil and cut up two chicken breasts ready to fry. Also cut up a bunch of spring onions until they are finely sliced, I cut up about five spring onions.

Then to make the sauce. The recipe says to use mirin, which is a rice wine, but I used a vegetable stock instead. Make up about 40 ml of vegetable stock and then add about 30ml of soy sauce and stir in a tablespoon of brown sugar. It tastes too salty then pour in some more water.

Now that everything is prepped start boiling the rice and cooking the chicken. Flavour the chicken with salt and pepper as well as same garlic and ginger. Once the chicken is cooked add the sauce and allow it to cook for another 3-5 minutes. Then add the spring onions and cook for a further minute. At this point you can also add some seasame seeds but I couldn't find any in the supermarket.

Then serve up the rice and the chicken and you are done. I suggest making it, it is fresh, simple and really tasty.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Emma the English Oak tree

Today I went to a conference about reducing Lincoln's carbon footprint and the parting gift was an Oak tree sapling which I have planted in a tub for the time being and popped in my garden. It has been named Emma