Archive of ‘Recipe’ category

Schmexy Frosting (recipe)

“Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.” (Kate Moss)

Now, kids, I know that the above is the thinspiration mantra of a lot of you out there but REALLY?!?!?! Icon that she is, don’t let your attitude towards food be warped by Kate Moss’ crazy. Methinks she probably hasn’t had very tasty food.

PLEASE. I BEESECH YOU. EAT. BECAUSE FOOD TASTES GOOD AND MAKES YOU HAPPY AND THAT MAKES IT WORTH IT. Don’t make me feel sorry for you as well.

Sometimes, when I give my girlfriends cake, they say things like “Oh my god, are you trying to make me fat?!”, in an accusatory tone no less, and it makes me a tragically sad panda, because I only give food to people out of love, and it’s not like I have a personal vendetta to make them fat. (I never have such a problem when I give cake to the boys though, in fact they just look slightly confused, scared and then mildly disgusted at the suggestion of anything low-fat hahaha.)

But I’m not being fair. Just because I don’t mind being a lard ass doesn’t mean I should expect you guys to regress to my level of general unattractiveness. So as a compromise, you know what, I’m sharing with you this Schmexy Frosting, something of an olive branch to those who refuse to eat cake, particularly since frosting is probably the most fattening part of cake. And as I always tell my friends, if I really love them, I’m perfectly willing to make healthy food for them.

And really, what’s a cake without some frosting? This is a delicious fat-free frosting flavored with vanilla. There is a definite, identifiable tang to it, thanks to the use of yogurt, so don’t make it if you don’t like yogurt. In fact, I’d say it’s almost like soft-set froyo. It doesn’t hold its shape like buttercream or cream cheese frosting so it’s definitely not the pipe-into-pristine-roses kind of frosting, really more the kind of frosting you would just dollop onto your cake and make as swirly and messy as you want.

I warn you: DO NOT expect anything resembling buttercream or cream cheese frosting, because YOU WILL BE SORELY DISAPPOINTED as this is nothing like it. But this is smooth, creamy and kind of perfect in its own, low-fat kind of way.
INGREDIENTS
  • 2 cups fat-free Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 vanilla bean pod, scraped of its seeds OR 2 tsps (good) vanilla bean extract
*it’s important to use good vanilla because the flavour is so, so important in this frosting
METHOD
  1. After measuring your yogurt out, put it in a fine-mesh sieve over a bowl. Clingwrap and put in the fridge for AT LEAST 4 hours, preferably overnight. This is extremely, extremely important in order to get as much liquid out of the yogurt as possible, or your frosting may never become creamy.
  2. Whip the yogurt either with a hand-held whisk or with electric beaters until perfectly smooth.
  3. Add in the icing sugar and keep whipping for as long as needed for it to become creamy and satiny.
  4. Mix in the vanilla
  5. Optional: add coloring to make it purdy
Orange & Pink because,
didn’t you hear,
bright colours are in!!!!!!!!

 

You can, of course, change up the flavorings. It’ll be delicious with any sort of citrus zest, and can be flavored with all sorts of flavoured oils and extracts, say, almond or peppermint. I think this frosting pairs especially well with a dense cake, like flourless cakes made with almond and semolina, also cakes flavored with citrus. It would be great on muffins as well.
Throw on some fruit and nuts, and it’s practically granola. Speaking of which, think about it: sometimes 1 serving of granola is as many calories as 1 cupcake. So, which would YOU rather have???
And anyways, “Any cupcake consumed before 9am is, technically, a muffin.” (Brian P. Cleary)
Hopefully this frosting brings out your inner sexbomb.

Do yourself a favor. Make yourself a big old cake, frost that baby with this schmexy frosting, and when it’s done you can put this song on and proceed to prance around in your underwear WHILE HAVING CAKE, my sexy friends!
Out of curiosity, and also because I am aware that some of our audience is quite young (hi my little chickadees!!!!!!!) and don’t want to be a bad influence, I googled the word ‘sexbomb’ and spent a good few minutes laughing at what I found on UrbanDictionary.
So, a ‘sexbomb’ is:
1. a song by Tom Jones, Welsh god of music and dance 
 
2. RPatz’s name, according to IMDB Twilighters. 
 
He is a god among men, and a god among vampires. 
He’s a sex bomb, a babe, beautiful, and glorious. 
Let’s love and honor the beautiful RPatz. 
OMG it’s amazing, the things you find on the internet.
And uh, the rest you can go read for yourself here because I want to keep our blog lovely and clean.

Caramel Eclairs (Recipe)

Lots of you, amongst them my dearest J – HELLO TO YOU IN HAMBURG!!!!! – have requested that I also post up recipes and share my culinary fatventures with you all, and so I have finally MANNED UP TO THE TASK, and now present to you our debut recipe post on TAG!

And so.

No one was the least bit hungry anymore, but that is precisely what is so good about the time devoted to pastries; they can only be appreciated to the full extent of their subtlety when they are not eaten to assuage our hunger, when the orgy of their sugar sweetness is not destined to fill some primary need but to coat our palate with all the benevolence of the world. (Muriel Barbery)

Wasn’t that just beautiful??? :’)

I do see the force behind the argument that the consumption of pastries should be an exercise of absolute reverence. It’s the least one can do to honor the artistry and immense effort that has gone into creating what is effectively, a work of art. But you know what? I am greedy; I must have as many pastries as I can. What with life being so short and all, and always insisting on getting in the way, it just can’t be helped.

Still, pastries really are something special. Maybe even more so than cupcakes. Yes, I did just say that. (Blaspheme!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)A few weeks back, I was invited to a tea party by a new friend. She and the rest of the party were mostly older than I was, some of them married, and each one of them glamorous and successful in her own way, so I didn’t know what to expect. Can’t tell you how quick people are to write me off when – drawing a breath in between rattling on about their careers as high-flying traders, investment bankers and remisiers – they ask me “What is it exactly that you do?”, I can only answer that I’m a student (and not an especially good one at that), that no, I do not have a job, and yes, I am completely and utterly dependent on my parents for financial support. And they immediately become ridiculously patronising. So understandably, I was a little nervous about going, because I didn’t know if they’d take me seriously.

When I was trying to decide what to take, I was sure that someone else would be bringing cake, so I decided that eclairs were the way to go. This isn’t the recipe I normally use for eclairs but I saw it in the Waitrose magazine and it looked great, so I decided to give it a try and it worked a dream. I did make some minor changes in order to make them caramel eclairs because I wasn’t really feeling the chocolate or vanilla.
You can find the link to the whole recipe online here, or watch the video demonstration here, food porn for the voyeurs amongst you, hey? ;) ;)

***If you wanted to make the ordinary vanilla pastry cream, follow this recipe exactly. BUT if you wanted a caramel pastry cream like the one I made, SKIP THE SUGAR (the 60g called for in the creme pattissiere), but follow the rest of the recipe exactly. And after Step 4, whisk in ~1/2cup of caramel sauce, or however little/much your heart desires. I used homemade because I always have a jar of caramel sitting around in my fridge but jarred is fine.

As for the caramel glaze, I kind of made it up as I went along, so I can’t give you the exact measurements but I basically heated some caramel sauce up on the stove and whisked in more heavy cream to thin it out because the caramel sauce on its own was much too thick.

Caramel Eclair – pardon the imperfect glaze (I didn’t wait for it to set properly before I clingwrapped it)
 
Cool, creamy, caramelly innards…
 
I popped 5 of these babies as soon as they were done only because I needed to try them, you understand. And for a second and third opinion, I packed 2 of them up for L and D, and happily they approved!!!!! (HI GUYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! <3 <3 <3) And thankfully, they were also really well received at the tea party the next day.
And you know what? I ended up having a FANTASTIC time. There’s nothing quite like an endless spread of beautiful, delicious treats, and free-flowing tea and bubbly, to bring a group of women together. Ultimately, in the face of sugar, sugar and more sugar, even the most sophisticated and elegant of them all will be reduced to a giggling schoolgirl. I’ve always believed that the way to any girl’s heart is paved with cake, and now I know it for sure, and also that it’s a rule that applies to all womankind.
After making these, I briefly considered giving up making cupcakes altogether and making eclairs exclusively for the rest of my life. Then I remembered how ridiculously labour-intensive they were, and changed my mind. Seriously, only make eclairs if you have a whole afternoon to spare, and if you are in the mood to do things slowly and calmly.

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