Thursday, July 26, 2007

Let them eat cake

This, my readers, is what a birthday cake should look like. Yes, homespun, yes, I agree it is a little lop-sided. But, it looks like a cake.

Sadly, this is not the spectacular birthday cake which I created for my husband's birthday. No. That one, which I had spent all day preparing including an extra run to the grocery store for a few urgent ingredients was not a success. It was, in fact, a big fat failure. All 75% cocoa solid, condensed milk, pure butter, coffee, bitter sweet chocolate, chocolate ganache of it was a disaster.

Because I broke it. When I came to split and ice it, I broke it. I broke it into so many small pieces that there was no gluing it back together with ganache, no cutting the layers smaller and making a smaller cake. The Ford truck which I'd found in Jewel to place on top took on a new significance, as if it had unloaded right there on the cake plate. This was a shame, because it was his 30th birthday and I had been melting chocolate since he left for work.

Which is why I was more than a little proud of the coffee and walnut cake I turned out earlier this week for a close friend's birthday. Vindication. Or, lesson. Don't over extend when it's that important. Stick to Mum's tried and tested recipe. Impress! And delight! Eat cake.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Coming out of the woodwork

And this one is well worth coming out of the woodwork for.

If you are anything like me, you have a lot of recipes floating around, so many that you never use half of them because you know there's a great Thai fish curry around here somewhere, but gosh darn it, where could it have gone.

I'm guessing this great product, the Neat Receipt Scanalizer could truly revolutionize my crazy recipe filing. Currently, all three rooms in the apartment, as well as the corridor to the master bedroom, contain clippings, printouts and scribbled family recipes. Despite my best efforts, there are recipes stuffed on top of the fridge, making a living as bookmarks, and holding up bookshelves in the second bedroom. To solve this cooking (and cleaning) conundrum, the Scanalizer enables you to send the images and details of each gourmet meal to your computer, where it can be found next time you fancy trying to follow the same recipe. Imagine a world where all your favorite recipes are stored happily on your computer AND YOU DON'T HAVE TO TYPE THEM IN FIRST. Hooray! Yes Please!

So nip over to 5 minutes for mom and check out this awesome contest, at