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    Tuesday
    Nov052013

    Chocolate Soil 


    crystallised chocolate soil 

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    A two ingredient chocolate soil, I'll give you all the dirt today (ok couldn't resist) on how make it with the least amount of cleaning up.  

    With chocolate soil you can add crunch and texture to a plated dessert, make pot plant cupcakes, set up a garden scene for your cake or perhaps just sprinkle on your favourite ice-cream. 

    Flavour it up; you can use a flavoured dark chocolate i.e. blueberry, orange, mint etc for flavoured soil or add your own flavour by stirring in cinnamon, ginger, chilli flakes, a drop or two of peppermint oil or whatever takes your fancy. 

    We are aren't going to use a *candy thermometer, we are going to do this by eye... a photo will act as your guide. 

    Here we go...

    Chocolate Soil 

    Ingredients

    100g (3.5OZ) Caster Sugar

    75g (2.6OZ) Dark Chocolate roughly chopped (even if you don't usually like 70% dark chocolate, I would recommend using it here because your are adding sugar to counteract the bitterness)

    Tools.... a wire whisk and a baking tray lined with non stick paper ready for you to tip your completed soil on. 

    Method

    On you stove top in a small to medium saucepan add the caster sugar, gently pour in 2 tablespoons of cold water. We are being gentle so we don't splash sugar crystals on the side of the pan.

    Turn on your heat to high and you are going to just let it do it's thing without stirring, the sugar will dissolve and bubble and boil until you see "golden brown edges". 

    the center of the boiling sugar is still clear, the edges have changed to golden brown. 

    have your roughly chopped chocolate ready to go

    Immediately remove saucepan from the heat and all at once whisk in the chocolate, along with any flavouring if using. Don't forget to whisk around the edges. Whisk until all the chocolate is coated, this doesn't take long ... a couple of minutes.

    it starts to look like "soil" almost instantly 

    Yep, you're done, it's finished and ready to poured onto your non stick paper prepared baking tray to cool.

    finished chocolate soil

    Once cool, store in an airtight container for up to a week, or freeze up to a month.

    *I've adapted this recipe from Heston Blumenthal's chocolate soil... halved the sugar and made it a simpler soil. His recipe has many more elements and is part of his wickedly delicious tiramisu recipe. Check out Hestons tiramisu on SBS food

    Clean up tips: Remember how we cleaned up our sugar work saucepans? It's the same today, fill your saucepan with water, bring to the boil, empty the water out and wash as per usual. Clean your whisk the same way, boiling water will remove any stuck on crystallised chocolate.

    *really want to, need to, use a candy thermometer... 135 cel or 275 F. 

    Happy Baking :) 

    You might be interested in Christmas Pie Pops with recipe for Grand Marnier fruit mince

    Friday
    Nov012013

    Heston Mince Pies with Pine Sugar review

                   pack of six Heston mince pies with pine sugar

    Heston Blumenthal, is an English celebrity chef and owner of The Fat Duck, a three-Michelin-starred restaurant in the UK. Heston has written many cookery books, appeared in many TV cookery shows including regular appearances on MasterChef Australia. 'Heston' is a ready made range of food produced for Waitrose an upmarket range of British supermarkets .

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    Oh, I missed out on these pies last Christmas so I was excited to see them in the local supermarket today. Straight home to open the pack and popped them into the oven to warm. Ahhh, tragic I know that I'm excited about fruit mince pies but I do love Heston Blumenthal, the theatre, the magic, the great food. 

    Lets start with the pastry on these little fruit mince pies, puff pastry replaces the regular short crust. Now being a lady (I am so!!), my first bite contained pastry, just pastry. It's not particularly buttery, it is umm, nice and "puffy" ;) Back to the "being a lady" your last bite is all pastry too. The kind of pie you need to have a drink with or provide cream/ice-cream to get it down.

    Hmmm, the side of the box promises fruit mince filling with 'the added ingredients of lemon curd, rose water and apple purée'.... the ingredient list includes citrus oils, juices and zest. This is sounds lovely and I want that fruit mince pie, what you actually get tastes pretty much like the filling of any good commercial fruit mince pies... I missed the citrus and the promised rose water.

    The pine sugar for sprinkling does deliver a "fun factor", when sprinkled on the oven warmed pies the aroma is "Christmas" and it provides a much needed flavour boost.  The sugar alone (ok I put it on a spoon and ate it which you aren't going to do) is heading towards loo cleaner... not that I have eaten loo cleaner but you know what I mean. 

    All in all, the pies are just ok, they look pretty and the sugar element is fun. 

    In Australia from Coles Supermarkets

    You might also be interested in fruit caviar 

    Or make some Nutella dust 

    Thursday
    Oct312013

    Happy Halloween 

                   the continuing adventure of the Gingerbread man

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    The Gingerbread man is still on the run from his first blog appearance Christmas 2009.
    Caught up with him in Egypt in 2010.

    Lost him in 2011 but found him under attack by Zombies in 2012.

    This year I thought I'd cut him a break and let him cut himself a costume to do some Trick and Treating. 

    Happy Halloween :) 

    You might like to do some "gingerboy eating" with this chocolate truffle ginger cupcake recipe

    Tuesday
    Oct222013

    Catrin Day of the Dead Cupcake

    catrin day of the dead cupcake

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    Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de los Muertos) is a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico and around the world in other cultures. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. November 2nd is the official date for Day of the Dead, it is celebrated between October 31st and November 2nd.

    In 2013 Day of the Dead celebrations begin November 1st and finish November 2nd. 

    I've made a Cartrin this year, because a lady needs a dance partner. 

    Made in the same way as the Catrina skull last year, you start with a white egg shaped piece of fondant or modelling paste.

    Roll small sausage shapes and add to the skull to build up features. Use your finger tips and modelling tools to blend and shape the skull. Use a toothpick to mark out cracks and scratches on the skull.

    Start the body with a torso shaped piece of fondant or puffed rice treat. If using puffed rice treat, cover with a base layer of fondant first. Cut a vest and apply with damp brush, I had imprinted the rolled fondant so I dusted with green lustre dust at this stage to bring out the pattern and add depth of colour. Small balls of fondant were marked with a toothpick and attached as the buttons.

    Make white collar for the shirt, attach. Proceed to make the jacket, again attaching with a brush barely dampened with water.

    Bow tie is made with two rectangles, the larger one is pinched in the middle and shaped. The smaller one is wrapped around the center of the large one.

    Make pocket handkerchiefs with small triangles, attach to jacket and then attach false pocket flap to the top.

    For the hat I used puffed rice treat to reduce the weight, I know he is a skeleton and all but I didn't want to squoosh his head. Squeeze and shape the puffed rice treat into a top hat, cover with fondant. Make a band and brim with fondant.

    For the buttonaire see Catrina Cupcake  

    Leave the pieces to dry, supported where necessary to keep the shapes. Once dry use dusts to shade the piece and insert either a strand of dry spaghetti or a small wooden through the whole piece and attach to your cupcake.

    Happy Baking :)  

    Amazon has a range of day of the dead figures... click on the Senorita to visit Amazon :) 

    You might also be interested in a recipe for quick and easy Chocolate Peanut Spiders for the kids and young at heart.

    Saturday
    Oct192013

    Chocolate Tia Maria Fridge Cake 

    last of the chocolate coffee liqueur fridge (ice box) cake

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    Oh, have you tried replacing some of the cream in your ganache for plain Greek yoghurt?

    Even if yoghurt isn't in your top 500 foods, once added to ganache a little bit of magic occurs. Well, ok not "magic" (I'm trying to sell you on the idea because I like it so much), but rather the yoghurt has a two fold effect of lightening the texture of the ganache and adding an acid component that cleans the palate. 

    I like a ratio of 50% cream to 50% Greek yoghurt. The yoghurt ganache can be made with white, milk and dark chocolate. Think white chocolate yoghurt ganache with strained passion fruit puree for truffles or dark chocolate yoghurt ganache sauce with profiteroles or for your berries and waffles. What follows is the basic ratio/method that you can use in your existing recipes, plus a retro fridge cake laced with Tia Maria that the "Lovely Lauren" my step son Daniels girlfriend declared was so nice "I could eat this everyday". 

    Chocolate Tia Maria Refrigerator Cake

    Ingredients

    Sponge fingers come with different amounts of biscuits depending on the brand... from 250g to 400g but the following recipe makes plenty of ganache, in fact you might have some over to top a cupcake or two. 


    I x packet of savoiardi/sponge finger biscuits

    125 ml (quarter of a cup) of very strong brewed black coffee  (you can make up instant if you don't have shots of expresso handy) 

    1/4 cup caster sugar (superfine) 

    3 tablespoons of coffee liqueur (add more coffee if you want to avoid the alcohol) 

    1 tsp of pure vanilla extract/essence

    150g  (5oz)  milk chocolate, roughly chopped

    150g  (5oz) dark chocolate, roughly chopped

    250 ml (one cup) thickened cream (whipping cream)

    250 ml (one cup) plain thick Greek yoghurt

    Place the sugar and coffee in a saucepan, bring to a rapid boil and boil one minute or until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat. Stir in Tia Maria and vanilla extract. Set aside. 

    Melt the chocolate with half the cream in a heat proof bowl over pan a simmering water. Remove from heat and stir through the remaining cream and yoghurt. Refrigerate until the ganache is thick enough to spread. 

    Divide up your sponge fingers, I made my cake by laying six sponge fingers side by side and allowed another 12 sponge fingers to create two layers on top. *This size will give you leftover ganache, if you are using a larger packet of biscuits you will use all the ganache. 

    Spread some of the chocolate ganache onto your cake platter to secure the first row of sponge fingers. 

    Start to build the cake by dipping biscuits in the coffee/tia maria solution, lay six across the bottom, top with ganache, dip another six biscuits lay those on top of the base layer, top with ganache and lay final layer of dipped biscuits on top. Use remaining ganache to cover the sides and top of cake. 

    Chill for 4-6 hours. 

    Optional: decorate with your choice of chocolate curls, grated chocolate, chocolate coated coffee beans or crushed choc/coffee candy bars. 

    adapted from no bake Irish gateau Hamyln all colour cookbook: 200 chocolate recipes 

     Happy Baking :)

    You might also interested in no bake Tia Maria Treats

    Or perhaps you have been hankering to make a Chinese dragon  

    Wednesday
    Sep252013

    A Trip to the Moon Halloween Cupcake

    A Trip to the Moon (French: Voyage dans la Lune)

    A Trip to the Moon (French: Voyage dans la Lune), is a 1902 French silent film directed by Georges Méliès. It was named one of the 100 greatest films of the 20th century by The Village Voice, ranking at #84, and in 2002 it became the first work designated as a UNESCO World Heritage film.  Wikipedia

    Sweating modelling chocolate today, but first a bit on 'A Trip to the Moon'. It was fantastic a hand coloured print of the short silent film was found in the 1990's and fully restored in the 2000's, however for me it did lose a little of it's "innocence" once I saw the blood coming from the moons eye. My parents are to blame of course. Mum told me it was "dripping cheese" coming from the moon... and I believed it ;) 

    black and white still of the iconic moon

    colour still of the moon 

    And you can watch it now on You Tube (it's black and white... think of cheese).

    Ok on to "sweating modelling chocolate". Modelling chocolate is brilliant when you are making figures or highly detailed pieces that you need to spend more time on than fondant alone would allow. The problem is "temperature", it's fairly cool in Melbourne at the moment but already my modelling chocolate is starting to sweat/fat seperating. 

    Now you can put your modelling chocolate in the fridge to firm up again, but as the temperature rises, and rises, over summer it's a losing battle. But you can still have the benefit of a bit of extra time to sculpt by mixing it with your fondant or modelling paste. 

    sweating modelling chocolate (sorry for the phone photos... bit of colour glitch)

    I thought "hmmm, might be ok?"

    But no, scrapped that and mixed fondant, a little CMC powder, modelling chocolate just till the sweating disappeared. 

    In the height of summer I use 50/50 fondant and white modelling chocolate... you can adjust the amounts to the weather conditions where you are. 

    Here you can see I still made a lot changes to moon after this point, the modelling chocolate content allowed me to work longer without the surface crusting. The mixture is soft and malleable. 

    I use this recipe, though any modelling chocolate recipe would suffice. 

    Have fun sculpting and happy baking :) 

    You might also like Swamp Zombie!!

    Saturday
    Sep142013

    Frankenstein's Monsters Cupcake

                                 Frankenstein's Monsters Cupcake; topper made from modelling chocolate and fondant

    “I ought to be thy Adam, but I am rather the fallen angel...” Mary Shelley

    Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus is a novel written by Mary Shelley about eccentric scientist Victor Frankenstein, who creates a grotesque creature in an unorthodox scientific experiment. Wikipedia

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    Goodness, I'm late, I'm late, I'm always running late but instead of making a white rabbit/Alice in Wonderland cupcake I had a slight panic moment when I saw Martha Stewart's Halloween issue is out already... it must be time to work out this years Halloween baking theme. Shall it be classic monsters? Yet, I've never done Hitchcock before.

    Mad scientists appeal to me. I think I can make something with a bowl of green goo (green coloured peanut butter turned into powder perhaps?) or pop rocks/space candy, I love pop rocks, I could fill test-tubes with those and give them out to sprinkle of top of frosted cupcakes or bake them into the cases of chocolate chilli tarts.

    Hmmm, what to do? What will you do? 

     

    Also out now the first edition of Taste.com.au magazine. Definitely worth a look, with  Zumbo, Manu and Matt Preston writing stories/recipes plus a plethora of other aussie food journalists. Paper copy from Woolies, digital copy from itunes. 

    I'm off now to read Martha Stewarts Halloween :) Happy Baking. 

    Thursday
    Sep122013

    Honey Joy Cupcakes

                                                       honey joy cupcake 

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    I do love a bit of retro, it makes people happy, it makes me happy :) and can anything be more retro that breakfast cereal? Hmmm, now I've said that you can probably think of examples that are more retro but ssshhh that will spoil the segue into today's story.

    Okay, cereal/childhood, childhood/cereal, those TV advertisements with Tigers, Monkey's, Roosters and Toucans to boot... little toys and collectibles hidden in the colourful boxes and those cute individual cereal packs that you always wanted your mum to buy you.

    That's probably a slightly glossed over version of childhood memories, no soggy flakes floating in milk today but rather a small vanilla cupcake, brushed with warmed honey, swirl of milky white chocolate ganache and topped with a mini honey joy.

    Honey Joys are a "side of the box" corn flake recipe that has been popular with Australian kids for generations. The Aussie alternative to the marshmallow rice krispies treats in the US perhaps? 

    Simple and inexpensive to make, honey joys are usually baked in cupcake paper liners in a cupcake pan. Today I've used silicone half sphere baking pans to make mini honey joys, but a buttered mini cupcake pan would also be suitable. 

    silcone sphere baking pan, standard honey joy, baked mini honey joys

    Honey Joys 

    Ingredients

    • 4 cups corn flakes (breakfast cereal)
    • 1 tablespoon honey
    • 1/3 cup sugar
    • 90g  (3.17 OZ) butter or margarine

    Method

    Preheat oven to 150C - 302F  (130C/266F fan)

    Melt butter, sugar and honey together in a saucepan until frothy. Add corn flakes and mix well. Working quickly spoon into the holes of silicone pans or buttered mini cupcake pans. Bake in a slow oven 150°C for 10 minutes for silicone or 7 to 9 for minis. Cool. Store in a single layer. 

    Cake batter

    Preheat oven to 180C/350F (160C/320F  fan)

    Ahhh, being a bit "Australian" sizing today because I've used smaller than standard cupcake but bigger than mini paper liners. Patty cake/Fairy cake sized... though I'm not really sure what the correct name for them is. You can use a mini cupcake tin and paper liners for a slightly small result.

    Line two 12 cup trays with paper liners (the small patty/fairy cake size)

    Ingredients

    125g butter (4.4oz)
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    2/3 cup (150g) castor sugar (superfine)
    3 eggs
    1½ cups (225g) *self-raising flour
    ¼ cup milk (60ml)

    optional

    1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons of honey warmed in microwave until runny

    Method

    Beat butter, extract, sugar, eggs, sifted flour & milk on low speed with an electric mixer until ingredients are just combined. Increase speed to medium & beat for 3 minutes until smooth and pale in colour.

    Drop spoonfuls of mixture into the paper liners. Bake about 20 minutes for patty cake sized and 15 to 17 for mini cupcake size. The cakes will be lightly golden with a slight spring when the centers are gently touched.

    Allow to cool in tins for 5 minutes removing to a wire rack. Brush tops of cakes with warm honey is using. Leave cakes to cool.

    Ganache

    Ingredients

    250 grams (8.8 OZ) white chocolate (finely chopped)

    125 mls (4.2 fluid OZ) cream 

    Method

    Combine the chopped white chocolate and cream in a dry and heat proof bowl over simmering water. (Do not let the water touch the bowl). 

    Stir occasionally until both chocolate and cream are almost all combined, but you can still see a little chocolate unmelted. 

    Remove bowl from heat and stir until the chocolate and cream are fully combined.

    Refrigerate until the ganache thickens and reaches piping consistency.

    Stir the ganache and either fill your piping bag and pipe a donut shape on top of each cake with a large round piping tip or use a teaspoon to drop a spoonful of ganache in the center of each cake.

    *Store any remaining ganache in the refrigerator. 

    Top each cupcake with a honey joy just before serving. 

    *can't find self-raising/rising flour where you are? 

    From the Australian Women's Weekly this easy conversion; To convert plain flour into self-raising flour, add two teaspoons of baking powder to each cup of plain flour. Adding one teaspoon of cream of tartar and half a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda to one cup of plain flour gives the same result.

    *left over ganache can be rolled into truffles or gently melted in the microwave for a white chocolate sauce. 

    Happy Baking :)

    You might also be interested in chocolate scones 

    or Little Lime Lemon Lamingtons  

    I'd love to see on Facebook too. 

    Saturday
    Aug102013

    Once Upon a Time cupcake or Cinderella and the Brothers Grimm. 

                                       once upon at time cupcake

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    But she could not get her big toe into it, and the shoe was too small for her. Then her mother gave her a knife and said, "Cut the toe off; when thou art Queen thou wilt have no more need to go on foot." The maiden cut the toe off, forced the foot into the shoe, swallowed the pain, and went out to the King's son.

    Cinderella Brothers Grimm

    Missed career... I would have loved to have been a "folklorist"... I do love a good story and what better than the Brother's Grimm. 

    The story of Cinderella gained popularity when a version was penned by French author Charles Perrault in 1697, popularity of the tale continued when the Grimm brothers included a version in there first volume of fairy tales in 1812. Of course we all know the 1950 Disney movie, but it's a Grimm brothers retelling that inspired today's cupcake. 

    making a fondant toe

    Having trouble shaping fingers and toes for you fondant figurines? Start taking photos of fingers and toes, yours, the kids, great Uncle Charlie and pop them a hands/feet folder in your computer for reference. Toes like fingers are rarely straight, ok this seems like stating the obvious but it is the common mistake that you see in fondant figures... super straight fingers and toes. 

    Once I made my toe shape it was just a matter of adding the details, no pedi's in those days so I aimed for a "rough toe", a bit dirty with chipped nail. Colouring was done with a small artists brush and blending white, brown, red and yellow petals dusts. A toothpick was inserted in the base of toe to attach it to the cake.

    making casual roses

    Small casual roses are easy to make for your cupcake toppers. Make tiny balls of fondant, to start the rose roll one the balls into a cylinder shape. Roll/squash the other balls into tear drop shapes.

    putting roses together

    Start to attach the tear drop shapes to the cylinder with a little water, build up the the rows by slightly overlapping the petals each time you go around. Oh, and make sure each row of petals is higher than the last row. Use your fingers to shape the petals as desired. You can make these roses very quickly once you get the hang of it. To finish, cut or pinch off the rear of the rose to neaten your work and adhere to cupcake with a little water or cake glue. 

    Red cake gel makes for great blood that stays in place. 

    Happy Baking :) and don't forget if you have a question or just want to say "hi" Facebook is your best bet for a fast result.  

    The Lone Baker Facebook

    Want to read Cinderella fairy tale in it's entirety? Here it is.... 

    The wife of a rich man fell sick, and as she felt that her end was drawing near, she called her only daughter to her bedside and said, "Dear child, be good and pious, and then the good God will always protect thee, and I will look down on thee from heaven and be near thee." Thereupon she closed her eyes and departed. Every day the maiden went out to her mother's grave, and wept, and she remained pious and good. When winter came the snow spread a white sheet over the grave, and when the spring sun had drawn it off again, the man had taken another wife.

    The woman had brought two daughters into the house with her, who were beautiful and fair of face, but vile and black of heart. Now began a bad time for the poor step-child. "Is the stupid goose to sit in the parlour with us?" said they. "He who wants to eat bread must earn it; out with the kitchen-wench." They took her pretty clothes away from her, put an old grey bedgown on her, and gave her wooden shoes. "Just look at the proud princess, how decked out she is!" they cried, and laughed, and led her into the kitchen. There she had to do hard work from morning till night, get up before daybreak, carry water, light fires, cook and wash. Besides this, the sisters did her every imaginable injury -- they mocked her and emptied her peas and lentils into the ashes, so that she was forced to sit and pick them out again. In the evening when she had worked till she was weary she had no bed to go to, but had to sleep by the fireside in the ashes. And as on that account she always looked dusty and dirty, they called her Cinderella. It happened that the father was once going to the fair, and he asked his two step-daughters what he should bring back for them. "Beautiful dresses," said one, "Pearls and jewels," said the second. "And thou, Cinderella," said he, "what wilt thou have?" "Father, break off for me the first branch which knocks against your hat on your way home." So he bought beautiful dresses, pearls and jewels for his two step-daughters, and on his way home, as he was riding through a green thicket, a hazel twig brushed against him and knocked off his hat. Then he broke off the branch and took it with him. When he reached home he gave his step-daughters the things which they had wished for, and to Cinderella he gave the branch from the hazel-bush. Cinderella thanked him, went to her mother's grave and planted the branch on it, and wept so much that the tears fell down on it and watered it. And it grew, however, and became a handsome tree. Thrice a day Cinderella went and sat beneath it, and wept and prayed, and a little white bird always came on the tree, and if Cinderella expressed a wish, the bird threw down to her what she had wished for.

    It happened, however, that the King appointed a festival which was to last three days, and to which all the beautiful young girls in the country were invited, in order that his son might choose himself a bride. When the two step-sisters heard that they too were to appear among the number, they were delighted, called Cinderella and said, "Comb our hair for us, brush our shoes and fasten our buckles, for we are going to the festival at the King's palace." Cinderella obeyed, but wept, because she too would have liked to go with them to the dance, and begged her step-mother to allow her to do so. "Thou go, Cinderella!" said she; "Thou art dusty and dirty and wouldst go to the festival? Thou hast no clothes and shoes, and yet wouldst dance!" As, however, Cinderella went on asking, the step-mother at last said, "I have emptied a dish of lentils into the ashes for thee, if thou hast picked them out again in two hours, thou shalt go with us." The maiden went through the back-door into the garden, and called, "You tame pigeons, you turtle-doves, and all you birds beneath the sky, come and help me to pick

    "The good into the pot,
    The bad into the crop."

    Then two white pigeons came in by the kitchen-window, and afterwards the turtle-doves, and at last all the birds beneath the sky, came whirring and crowding in, and alighted amongst the ashes. And the pigeons nodded with their heads and began pick, pick, pick, pick, and the rest began also pick, pick, pick, pick, and gathered all the good grains into the dish. Hardly had one hour passed before they had finished, and all flew out again. Then the girl took the dish to her step-mother, and was glad, and believed that now she would be allowed to go with them to the festival. But the step-mother said, "No, Cinderella, thou hast no clothes and thou canst not dance; thou wouldst only be laughed at." And as Cinderella wept at this, the step-mother said, "If thou canst pick two dishes of lentils out of the ashes for me in one hour, thou shalt go with us." And she thought to herself, "That she most certainly cannot do." When the step-mother had emptied the two dishes of lentils amongst the ashes, the maiden went through the back-door into the garden and cried, You tame pigeons, you turtle-doves, and all you birds under heaven, come and help me to pick

    "The good into the pot,
    The bad into the crop."

    Then two white pigeons came in by the kitchen-window, and afterwards the turtle-doves, and at length all the birds beneath the sky, came whirring and crowding in, and alighted amongst the ashes. And the doves nodded with their heads and began pick, pick, pick, pick, and the others began also pick, pick, pick, pick, and gathered all the good seeds into the dishes, and before half an hour was over they had already finished, and all flew out again. Then the maiden carried the dishes to the step-mother and was delighted, and believed that she might now go with them to the festival. But the step-mother said, "All this will not help thee; thou goest not with us, for thou hast no clothes and canst not dance; we should be ashamed of thee!" On this she turned her back on Cinderella, and hurried away with her two proud daughters.

    As no one was now at home, Cinderella went to her mother's grave beneath the hazel-tree, and cried,

    "Shiver and quiver, little tree,
    Silver and gold throw down over me."

    Then the bird threw a gold and silver dress down to her, and slippers embroidered with silk and silver. She put on the dress with all speed, and went to the festival. Her step-sisters and the step-mother however did not know her, and thought she must be a foreign princess, for she looked so beautiful in the golden dress. They never once thought of Cinderella, and believed that she was sitting at home in the dirt, picking lentils out of the ashes. The prince went to meet her, took her by the hand and danced with her. He would dance with no other maiden, and never left loose of her hand, and if any one else came to invite her, he said, "This is my partner."

    She danced till it was evening, and then she wanted to go home. But the King's son said, "I will go with thee and bear thee company," for he wished to see to whom the beautiful maiden belonged. She escaped from him, however, and sprang into the pigeon-house. The King's son waited until her father came, and then he told him that the stranger maiden had leapt into the pigeon-house. The old man thought, "Can it be Cinderella?" and they had to bring him an axe and a pickaxe that he might hew the pigeon-house to pieces, but no one was inside it. And when they got home Cinderella lay in her dirty clothes among the ashes, and a dim little oil-lamp was burning on the mantle-piece, for Cinderella had jumped quickly down from the back of the pigeon-house and had run to the little hazel-tree, and there she had taken off her beautiful clothes and laid them on the grave, and the bird had taken them away again, and then she had placed herself in the kitchen amongst the ashes in her grey gown.

    Next day when the festival began afresh, and her parents and the step-sisters had gone once more, Cinderella went to the hazel-tree and said --

    "Shiver and quiver, my little tree,
    Silver and gold throw down over me."

    Then the bird threw down a much more beautiful dress than on the preceding day. And when Cinderella appeared at the festival in this dress, every one was astonished at her beauty. The King's son had waited until she came, and instantly took her by the hand and danced with no one but her. When others came and invited her, he said, "She is my partner." When evening came she wished to leave, and the King's son followed her and wanted to see into which house she went. But she sprang away from him, and into the garden behind the house. Therein stood a beautiful tall tree on which hung the most magnificent pears. She clambered so nimbly between the branches like a squirrel that the King's son did not know where she was gone. He waited until her father came, and said to him, "The stranger-maiden has escaped from me, and I believe she has climbed up the pear-tree." The father thought, "Can it be Cinderella?" and had an axe brought and cut the tree down, but no one was on it. And when they got into the kitchen, Cinderella lay there amongst the ashes, as usual, for she had jumped down on the other side of the tree, had taken the beautiful dress to the bird on the little hazel-tree, and put on her grey gown.

    On the third day, when the parents and sisters had gone away, Cinderella went once more to her mother's grave and said to the little tree --

    "Shiver and quiver, my little tree,
    Silver and gold throw down over me."

    And now the bird threw down to her a dress which was more splendid and magnificent than any she had yet had, and the slippers were golden. And when she went to the festival in the dress, no one knew how to speak for astonishment. The King's son danced with her only, and if any one invited her to dance, he said, "She is my partner."

    When evening came, Cinderella wished to leave, and the King's son was anxious to go with her, but she escaped from him so quickly that he could not follow her. The King's son had, however, used a strategem, and had caused the whole staircase to be smeared with pitch, and there, when she ran down, had the maiden's left slipper remained sticking. The King's son picked it up, and it was small and dainty, and all golden. Next morning, he went with it to the father, and said to him, "No one shall be my wife but she whose foot this golden slipper fits." Then were the two sisters glad, for they had pretty feet. The eldest went with the shoe into her room and wanted to try it on, and her mother stood by. But she could not get her big toe into it, and the shoe was too small for her. Then her mother gave her a knife and said, "Cut the toe off; when thou art Queen thou wilt have no more need to go on foot." The maiden cut the toe off, forced the foot into the shoe, swallowed the pain, and went out to the King's son. Then he took her on his his horse as his bride and rode away with her. They were, however, obliged to pass the grave, and there, on the hazel-tree, sat the two pigeons and cried,

    "Turn and peep, turn and peep,
    There's blood within the shoe,
    The shoe it is too small for her,
    The true bride waits for you."

    Then he looked at her foot and saw how the blood was streaming from it. He turned his horse round and took the false bride home again, and said she was not the true one, and that the other sister was to put the shoe on. Then this one went into her chamber and got her toes safely into the shoe, but her heel was too large. So her mother gave her a knife and said, "Cut a bit off thy heel; when thou art Queen thou wilt have no more need to go on foot." The maiden cut a bit off her heel, forced her foot into the shoe, swallowed the pain, and went out to the King's son. He took her on his horse as his bride, and rode away with her, but when they passed by the hazel-tree, two little pigeons sat on it and cried,

    "Turn and peep, turn and peep,
    There's blood within the shoe
    The shoe it is too small for her,
    The true bride waits for you."

    He looked down at her foot and saw how the blood was running out of her shoe, and how it had stained her white stocking. Then he turned his horse and took the false bride home again. "This also is not the right one," said he, "have you no other daughter?" "No," said the man, "There is still a little stunted kitchen-wench which my late wife left behind her, but she cannot possibly be the bride." The King's son said he was to send her up to him; but the mother answered, "Oh, no, she is much too dirty, she cannot show herself!" He absolutely insisted on it, and Cinderella had to be called. She first washed her hands and face clean, and then went and bowed down before the King's son, who gave her the golden shoe. Then she seated herself on a stool, drew her foot out of the heavy wooden shoe, and put it into the slipper, which fitted like a glove. And when she rose up and the King's son looked at her face he recognized the beautiful maiden who had danced with him and cried, "That is the true bride!" The step-mother and the two sisters were terrified and became pale with rage; he, however, took Cinderella on his horse and rode away with her. As they passed by the hazel-tree, the two white doves cried --

    "Turn and peep, turn and peep,
    No blood is in the shoe,
    The shoe is not too small for her,
    The true bride rides with you,"

    and when they had cried that, the two came flying down and placed themselves on Cinderella's shoulders, one on the right, the other on the left, and remained sitting there.

    When the wedding with the King's son had to be celebrated, the two false sisters came and wanted to get into favour with Cinderella and share her good fortune. When the betrothed couple went to church, the elder was at the right side and the younger at the left, and the pigeons pecked out one eye of each of them. Afterwards as they came back, the elder was at the left, and the younger at the right, and then the pigeons pecked out the other eye of each. And thus, for their wickedness and falsehood, they were punished with blindness as long as they lived.

    ###


    "Cinderella". Brothers Grimm, transl. Margaret Hunt, Grimm's Household Tales, Vol. 1, 1884.

     

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    Monday
    Jul082013

    A quick look at the Game of Thrones Official Cookbook

                                                                                          Turkish flat bread with black sesame.

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    Fan or Fandom cookbooks is that what you call them? I was attempting to block out all the bad fan cookbooks from my mind and think of the happy "Wookiee Cookies" memories... truly in the past we had the most fan fun cooking from the 'Wookiee Cookies: A Star Wars Cookbook'. 

    On picking up my stepson Daniels copy of A Feast of Ice and Fire: The Official Game of Thrones Companion Cookbook I was surprised and delighted to see a "real actual cookbook" between the covers.

    The contents are broken into the following categories; stocking your Medieval Kitchen, The Basics, Recipes by Region plus tips for putting together your feast and even dressing the table.

    I like that there is an old version of a recipe, followed by a modern day version of a recipe, honeyfingers anyone?

    Tryoshi Honeyfingers page 202-203

    Modern Honeyfingers page 204-205

    If you're a fan of George R. R. Martin's bestselling fantasy saga 'A Song of Fire and Ice', HBO's Game of Thrones or both... you'll whipping up a Westeros inspired dinner party in no time. Which is what Daniel had in mind when he said "I've bookmarked recipes for you to make".

    The Surprise:

    Hmmm, silly of me but I actually thought my stepson had read the recipes before he asked me to make them. Daniel requested Medieval Cheese-and-Onion Pie (page 143-144)

    I loyally (this is in my voice, Daniels version might differ slightly) went fourth to whip up a batch of *medieval pastry dough (page 9) and baked a pie worthy of Kings Landing. 

    Here comes the surprise bit... Daniel looks at finished pie and says "whoa what are the black bits?"

    I replied "dried currants".

    Daniel "I think I said leave the currants out".

    Me "no you didn't".

    Dan "yes I did".

    I win the dispute because I boiled onions for pie and anyone that stands in the kitchen to boil onions wins.

     cheese-and-onion pie ... I was going for a rustic edge, but think it just looks like I forgot it trim it.

    So the pie filled with onions, eggs, cheese, currants with basil and just a bit of saffron was served. Ok, this probably isn't sounding great, but you know what? The real surprise was that it was delicious, Daniel and lovely Lauren had two servings. This pie would make a great picnic pie served at room temperature. The combination of sweet and savoury sparked discussion which is always good and although most loved the pie a couple of people at the table didn't like the sweetness paired with what is essentially an early form of quiche. 

    I also baked a loaves of traditional flat bread (page 175-176), which was easy and "it's fresh warm bread", enough said. 

    All in all in the book is lots of fun to bake from and I will be baking the old version of lemon cakes and the new version of honey cakes for Daniel when he returns from overseas.

    Authors Chelsea Monroe-Cassel and Sariann Lehrer run the succesful blog Inn at the Crossroads. Lots of interesting recipes and ideas there so pop over and a have a look. 

    *the medieval pastry recipe is wonderful, easy to work with, sturdy but not tough. The pie recipe did not include blind baking the crust, however I would blind bake next time. Blind baking instructions are included at the beginning of the book. 

    *there is meat and mulled wine and the like in the book too

    Stockists: A Feast of Ice and Fire: The Official Game of Thrones Companion Cookbookvailable from all good bookstores... it's printed in Spanish as well.

    Happy Baking :) 

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