Harry Potter: Rock Cakes

Yet another Harry Potter influenced post, this time influenced by the mention of Rock Cakes when Harry and Ron first have tea with Hagrid at his hut in “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone”. However unlike Hagrid’s, these ones are guaranteed NOT to nearly break your teeth!

Rock Cakes

2 cups self raising flour

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

90g butter

1/3 cup caster sugar

1 cup sultanas

2 tablespoons mixed peel (you can replace this with sultanas  if you are not a mixed peel fan)

1 lightly beaten egg

1/2 cup of milk

1) Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Sift flour and cinnamon together in a large bowl and rub in butter. stir in sugar and fruit

2) add beaten egg then enough milk to give a moist but firm consistency

3) place 2 level tablespoon portions of mixture on a lightly greased baking tray about 5 cm apart. Sprinkle with extra sugar if you wish.

4) bake in oven for about 15 minutes or until browned, loosen cakes and cool on trays.

 

 

 

Harry Potter: Pumpkin Pasties

Recently Film Nerd and I visited Harry Potter: the Exhibition at the Powerhouse Museum. Besides our purchases of wands and the marauders map, we also purchased chocolate frogs, which came with an actual collectible wizard card, just like in the books! There were also the infamous Bertie Botts every flavour beans for sale.

Since visiting the exhibition I started to think of the food featured in Harry Potter and have now started attempts to replicate these. Please find below, what should hopefully be the first of many gourmet geek posts inspired by Harry Potter: Pumpkin Pasties.

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Gourmet Geek: Bubble tea inspired ice pops

Even though Australia is not having much of a summer at the moment (I hate you rain) summer time to me usually means lots of cold drinks and ice cream galore. And in terms of drinks, my consumption of bubble tea usually skyrockets around this time as well. I prefer easyways over chatime but each to their own…..

So when i stumbled on these ice pops ideas inspired by my favourite drinks, i had to give them a try. And the results may i say were…interesting.

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Creepy Cupcakes

Halloween was never a big holiday for me growing up, but lately Australians seem to be embracing this American Holiday (no offence to our U.S readers) But hey, any excuse to dress up besides conventions is good enough for myself and film nerd!!

In order to semi celebrate Halloween, as well as have an excuse to bake, may i present to you……creepy cupcakes! For these there is no recipe, just use your favourite cupcake recipe (mine are chocolate) and decorate with mint and chocolate butter cream and any interesting lollies that you can find. I decorated these with body part gummies and monster sprinkles found at Woolworths and Big W respectively.

 

 

Kirby Whoopie Pies

Hello All! I am back after a forced hibernation of sorts (uni assignments), and ready to share more of my geeky baking/cooking experiments with you all.

Apparently there is a fashion when it comes to baked goods. Everyone remembers the cupcake craze a few years back, and last year it was all about the macaron. The latest craze taking over the blogosphere is apparently the whoopie pie. An Amish creation, it is a cross between a cookie and a cake, with either a marshmallow or buttercream frosting sandwiched between each half.

Reading about the traditional marshmallow frosting got me thinking about the Nintendo character Kirby for some reason. According to Wikipedia, Kirby is a living pink marshmallow and it was the marshmallow reference that made me wonder whether I could make a Kirby themed whoopie pie with soft and fluffy marshmallow innards.

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The cake is a lie- Portal

First of all, this post is for Cyber Siren (who had the original idea) and Fourthverse (who egged me to do it). It is a tribute to the cake featured in Portal, a lovely looking black forest cake….

However making a black forest cake, although one of my favourite cakes, does not exactly make the cake a lie, does it?????

So Gourmet Geek presents a cake that is a lie…..

It is a meatloaf cake!!!!!!!

Not only is this cake a meal in one slice, it is also the perfect birthday cake for the carnivore in your life, or a great centrepiece at an anti- vegetarian function. Hell, it can probably even be modified to be a pet dog’s birthday cake if you so wish. So without further ado, here is how to make it.

 

 

 

 

 

Meatloaf Cake

Adapted from Martha Stewart

You will need:

  1. your favorite meatloaf recipe, preferably one that uses at least a kilo of mince (I would publish mine, however as it is a cherished family recipe, my mother would kill me if I did). Make sure that your recipe uses enough eggs to hold it together. Here are some links to similar recipes, if you have never made a meatloaf before.
  2. Two 20cm round cake pans
  3. 300g bag of instant mash potato (can also make your own mash, however I did not have time to put the mash through a potato ricer in order to get the smooth texture that is needed, so I used the instant kind)
  4. 1 cup (250g) frozen mixed vegetables
  5. 6 cherry tomatoes
  6. Piping bag fitted with star nozzle

1. Grease the cake pans and line with alfoil

2.  Make meatloaf mix according to recipe used. Divide mix evenly between prepared pans.

3. Bake meatloaves at approx 350°F/ 180°C/160°C (fan forced), until cooked through. Drain excess juices and leave to cool slightly in pans.

4. Meanwhile, cook vegetables according to packet instructions and make mash potato. Take a quarter of the mash potato mix and fold this through the cooked and drained vegetables (this will be the middle filling).

5. To assemble meatloaf, place one meatloaf round onto serving plate. Spread meatloaf with mash/veggie mix and top with second meatloaf round.

6. Spread top and sides of meatloaf with mash potato, adding more liquid if needed to keep mash at a smooth consistency. Pipe leftover mash potato using star-shaped nozzle around sides of cake and top. Top cake with halved cherry tomatoes.

7. Enjoy!

Eggy in a basket (V for Vendetta)

Ok this is a lazy gourmet geek post, I must admit. Our grand plans this weekend was to recreate the “cake is a lie” cake from portal, but other things happened to pop up unexpectedly.

 

For those who do not get the above reference, eggy in a basket, also known as one-eyed Egyptian, frog in a hole, sunshine toast and egg in a blanket, was the meal that V cooks for Evie in the film. And as i have my own V, what better thing to make for him for a lazy Sunday breakfast.

Eggy in a Basket

 

You will need (depending on the number of people you are making this for):

eggs

bread

butter

salt and pepper

tomato sauce

cookie cutters or egg cups

1)   Using the egg cup or cookie cutter, cut a circle out of the middle of the bread.

2)  Melt some butter in a fry pan.  Put the bread in the fry pan.   Crack the eggs carefully into the holes in the bread.

3) Fry them a little while then turn it over.  When the egg is cooked to your liking remove from pan and gobble it while it’s hot! serve with sauce if you wish

4) Enjoy!!

Fish fingers and custard (Steamed savoury egg custard with tempura fish fingers)

For those who are fans of the 11th Doctor, this is my tribute to the interesting combination that was the only thing that the 11th Doctor could stomach.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oo2RKAHu-kI]

But firstly for pure research purposes, I decided to make film nerd eat the real deal…..

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NGZxwxnbwGE]

Ok, it was not actually as bad as it sounded with the secret being getting the ratio of custard to fish finger right. However it becomes rather gag-worthy when you get a rather ‘fishy’ fish finger…

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n30w0sDMqUY]

Anyways film nerd and I still wanted to create a tribute that was palatable enough to serve at a dinner party as an entrée or any Dr Who themed parties. So here is the recipe. Enjoy!

 

Steamed savoury egg custards with tempura fish fingers

 

You will need:

4 1 cup ramekins or 8 ½ cup ramekins (if you are doing this fingerfood size)

For the savoury custard (adapted from Poh’s Kitchen):

160g prawns chopped (this also works well with chicken thigh fillets)
2 tsp (Chinese rice wine)
1/2 tsp caster sugar
pinch of white pepper
1 tsp soy sauce
4 large eggs
1 1/4 cups (310ml) chicken stock
4 large or 12 small dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in hot water for 20 mins, drained, squeezed, stems removed, sliced

 

For the tempura fish fingers

 

4 fish fillets (we used ling, but any firm white fish will do)

5g (1/2 cup) cornflour (cornstarch)
75g (1/2 cup) plain flour
1 egg, lightly beaten (we use eggs with a minimum weight of 59g)
188ml (3/4 cup) cold soda water

Vegetable oil for deep-frying

1.  Half-fill a wok or saucepan with water. Top with a bamboo or metal steamer that will hold your ramekins. Bring the water to the boil then reduce to a simmer.
2.  Meanwhile, combine prawns, chinese rice wine, sugar. pepper and soy sauce and set aside to marinate for 10 minutes.
3.  In a bowl, briefly mix the eggs, chicken stock and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Whisk slowly but firmly in order to avoid excessive bubbles in the mix.
4.  Divide prawns and marinade, shiitake, and egg/stock mixture into the bowls and steam with the lid on for 7-10 minutes.  When done, the custards should be opaque and creamy in colour and still a bit wobbly.

 

5. while the custards are steaming, cut up your fish fillets into finger lengths. Sift flours together in a medium bowl. Add egg and soda water and mix until just combined (it is okay if the batter is a little lumpy). Allow batter to stand for a few minutes.

 

6. heat oil in a wok or deep fryer. Dip fish fingers in batter, allowing the excess to drain away and deep-fry fish until batter is very lightly browned and fish fingers are cooked through. (It is best to fry fish fingers in batches, so as not to overcrowd the deep fryer.)
5.  Remove savoury custards from the steamer and top with tempura fish fingers. sprinkle with spring onion and some light soy sauce if you wish.  Serve while hot.

 

Here is the result…

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CFJ0xWEmDEQ]

Now for the taste test…

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0cNptjlsEbo]

What we wasted our money on at Supanova 2011…….

1. Spiderman Snuggie (Gifts for the Geek):

Its dorky, in questionable taste, and probably the only thing that we can say makes us both warm and cool at the same time (hehe). And it was the last one so of course I had to grab it!!! There was also an elmo version of this for sale too.

2. William Shatner “Shat Happens” Tee (Gifts for the Geek):

Probably sums up Shatner’s attitude to the fate of his latest television venture “$h*! My Dad Says

3. Dr Who sonic screwdrivers (Popcultcha):

Ok I think I know what film nerd is planning for his next costume……..

4. Potty paper rolls (Global Gear):

Ok my main reason for buying this is to keep guests occupied while they are…umm..occupied, therefore preventing the inevitable peek through our bathroom cabinets. Ok I’m kidding, really I thought they was funny.

5. Pop tarts in cherry flavour (Kings Comics [we think]):

(no picture available…. long since consumed)

Mmm artificial goodness……..ok still too sweet for me, but like an addict, I can’t help buying some whenever I see them on sale. Maybe a psychological response to my mother denying these to me as a child? Who knows?

6. 4 pack of Tru Blood (Popcultcha):

This stuff just tastes goods, bought before, will buy again.

7. Batman – Year One:

A graphic novel Film Nerd has wanted for some time… was sold out by Sunday morning!

Ok, that is it (aside from photos)!!  Time to start saving for next year!

Red (2010)

Director: Robert Schwenke

Cast: Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, Helen Mirren, Mary Louise Parker, Karl Urban, Richard Dreyfuss, Brian Cox, Julian McMahon

This is one geriatric caper that is enjoyable from the beginning to the end.

Lately there has been an increase in movies regarding the escapades of geriatrics and retirees. First we had Sylvester Stallone and his old buddies in the Expendables. Now we have Bruce Willis and his band of merry retirees in Red.

The story centres on Frank Moses (Bruce Willis), a retired CIA agent who is bored with retirement. His only highlight are his phone chats with his government caseworker Sarah (Mary Louise Parker), who is just as bored with her life as Frank is. But Frank’s humdrum existence gets a massive shakeup when the CIA come calling, and it is not for a friendly visit, with Frank ending up on the run from his old employer. In order to find out the reasons behind this, Frank decides to re-recruit his old gang of spies as well as drag an unsuspecting Sarah along for the ride.

Bruce Willis has a talent of playing loveable rouges and here he is in fine form. but it is the stellar supporting cast consisting of John Malkovich, Morgan Freeman and Helen Mirren that really lifts this movie from good to awesome. In my opinion, seeing Helen Mirren tote a variety of semi automatic weapons is worth the ticket price alone. Mary Loiuse Parker’s talent for deadpan is put to good use here as the unsuspecting hostage and Karl Urban rounds out this brilliant supporting cast as the CIA agent with a conscience who is hunting Frank and his band of merry retirees.

Red is a movie that is just good fun to watch. 9.5/10