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Archive for September, 2008

Five-minute chocolate cake

Craft: magazine featured a five-minute microwave chocolate cake the other day – now there’s something hard to resist. The comments weren’t entirely favourable though, and the idea of three tablespoons of oil in a one-cup cake seemed… excessive.

A little searching uncovered a slightly modified version which replaces half the oil with yoghurt. Promising, and definitely worth a crack. I added a handful of chocolate chips to the mix because I had them, and extra chocolate is almost never a bad idea.

I used a ‘cup’ a little smaller than a latte bowl – the amount of batter is generous – so I’d recommend using either the biggest cup you own, or a small bowl. True to expectation the cake rose above the rim of the cup while cooking, and sank back to its original state at the end. Since there’s no rising agent in the batter I opted not to keep cooking the daylights out of it, and let it sit for a minute.

Turning it onto a plate and digging a fork in revealed it to be deliciously moist, dense and chocolatey. I mean, it’s no gateux (mine was the teeniest bit chewy), but if you’re craving an immediate chocolate cake fix, it’s hard to go past.

Five-minute chocolate cake

4 Tbs plain flour
4 Tbs caster sugar
2 Tbs cocoa
1 egg
3 Tbs milk
2 Tbs vanilla yogurt
1.5 Tbs vegetable oil
handful of chocolate chips

Mix dry ingredients together in a large cup (something about the size of a latte bowl seems to work well), then add wet ingredients and stir until mixed.

Microwave uncovered on High for 3 minutes, then let stand for a minute. The cake will rise a little above the rim of the cup, but sink again at the end of cooking.

Turn out onto a plate, add a scoop of ice-cream, a drizzle of cream or a spoonful of yoghurt and eat!

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Rockstar magic

You know how sometimes your job title just doesn’t do justice to how awesome your job actually is? When you’d rather be a ‘Director of First Impressions’ than a receptionist, or a ‘Nerd-Rustler’ instead of an IT recruitment specialist? Or, as James and his workmates debated, something much, much cooler-sounding than a ‘digital modeller’.

I think they’ve got proper fancy titles hidden away somewhere, but what they really wanted was something that said, ‘Yes! I make magic! With pixels! But not ordinary magic. Rockstar magic! Rockstar pixel magic! Yes! You heard me! Magic!’. But ‘Rockstar Pixel Magician’ kinda says Siegfried and Roy — not the Penn and Teller they were hoping for.

Then inspiration struck.

And I stitched it onto a pencil tin for posterity.

[Caution: contains adult language. Viewer discretion advised.]

(more…)

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Just in case you ever need to know…

There’s an excellent post over at VeganYumYum on food photography.

(And if you ever need to impress someone with vegan food, you can’t go wrong with Comtessa‘s vegan chocolate raspberry cake from Moore Wilson on Tory Street.)

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Craft round-up

Despite being generally un-enthused about most things recently, I’ve still been producing the odd crafty item.

That stash of embroidery floss I bought from the stitcher’s closet was carefully selected to cover most of the patterns in Beatrix Potter Counts, and one of my very favourite patterns was the tailor of Gloucester. Plus, he’s apt for a needlebook, which is what he’ll be turning into.

The comfort shawl is coming along quicker than I expected, although I may have been  hasty in starting the eyelet rows. I’m kind of hoping it’ll grow when blocked. I know blocking isn’t mandatory for it, but I’m thinking that I’ll really need it to grow. Either that or I’ll just have a lot of eyelet rows.

I’ve just finished a truly inexpert toadstool baby rattle – I created, dropped and split stitches all over the place. Pictures to come when the light is decent. I read a few reviews that commented on how big they turn out, but seriously, this thing is about the size of Hannah’s head! I may try another at half-size.

I also finished off a pencil tin just for James, but that one will get a post of its own because, well, it contains adult language…

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On wheeee!

I seem to be suffering end-of-winter blues, which is not, as you might think, a sadness that winter has ended. While I love a warm fire and rainy days with no guilt about staying inside reading/crafting/gaming, I’m heartily sick of layers, being cold, and being deprived of sun. I need something to bring me out of this wintery ennui.

I did get pretty excited to see the new Knitty up this morning — I only wish I had the patience to finish Camden, but I can’t see it happening any time soon. I’m also quite fond of Abrazo.

Other stuff I’ve been eyeing up…

Right, must be about time for dinner. Perhaps that will sort out my funk!

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