Friday, October 30, 2009

When worlds collide.

Perhaps the only thing to afford me as much pure, simple, dusted sugar pleasure as baking, eating, and fantasizing about the previous two; is late 80s/early 90s hip-hop. I don't know what it is. It just really gets me. Maybe in another life I was a stern bitch with tight rhymes and even tighter corn rows. Maybe. So anyway when I stumbled across the Brixton all girl group Cookie Crew it seemed that all my prayers had indeed been answered. Listen, learn, freestyle to yourself in the bathroom with the shower running.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

My Baboon Heart!

So I had a mishap on the weekend. One highly out of character for me. One I feel may just haunt me for years to come. Keep me up at night. Be brought out at inconvenient times. That dream job interview? Well Wendy you seem great there is just one incident we turned up...My graduation? Congratulations on your graduation Dr Pepper, wait what is this in the fine print? My funeral? Here lies Wendy, champion rocket sledder, world renowned Crypto-zoologist, loving wife to David Duchovny and attentive mother to Shark Boy, a life well lived sans for that ONE incident.
That's right ladies and gentlemen, I released some fail cupcakes.
Well by most peoples standards they probably were not that bad, actually pretty nice, but anyone familiar with my obsessive nature related to all things baked will understand, "pretty nice," is not nice enough.
In this specific case, the offenders in question were just a little dry. And filling them with jam, leaving them in a tin to sweat and slathering them in Buttermilk icing just didn't quite do the trick.
So to atone for my sins I will set out to create the moistest cake known to man. Using all my tricks and know how I will set this terrible deed right. And hopefully leave my future "mother of Shark Boy" tag untainted for another day.

2 C. Flour
1 C. Sugar
3/4 C. Cocoa
2 tsp Baking Powder
2 Eggs
1 tsp Salt
1/2 C. Buttermilk (you can use regular if you don't have it on hand, but try to avoid low fat)
1/2 C. Vegetable Oil
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 C. Boiling Water
1/2 C. Pureed Pear

1. Preheat oven to 150 degrees
2. Beat eggs and sugar
3. Combine dry ingredients
4. Combine wet ingredients
5. Add alternating wet and dry ingredients to egg mix*
6. Spoon into cupcake pans and bake for 30 min, checking after 20

*At this point I added choc-chips and raisins because I planned to make monkey cupcakes. And I dunno, for some reason it struck me that monkey's, as cakes, would be stuffed with choc-chips and raisins.

Out of the oven and into your heart!

Design note.


Not too shabby.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Talkin' 'bout Eatin'

The first in my series of interviews with historical figures. Exploring their culinary likes and loves. For my first interview we have the prince of darkness himself. Remember you don't have to be aligned with some ones politics to lax about food!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I've got a bug infestation!

I love it when people suggest ideas for cupcakes. So when a friend of mine asked if I could one day attempt some little Lady Bird ones I couldn't stop thinking about how rad they could be. So I put out the call to my friends, "If you were a Lady Bird cupcake what flavor would you be?" Eventually I decided they would have to be Red Velvet.
Now I think Red Velvet cake is chronically under rated, and not often talked about outside of the States. But if you want an alternative to a chocolate cake I really recommend it. When I make it I actually use about the same amount of cocoa as a normal chocolate cake (about 3 Tbs), the combination of the chocolate, butter milk and intense color is really a treat. It's so moist and light, GET INVOLVED!



2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cocoa powder

1 1/2 cups vegetable oil

1 cup buttermilk, room temperature

2 large eggs, room temperature

2 tablespoons red food coloring

1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


150g cream cheese, softened

1/4 C butter milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees

1. Sift flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder

2. In a large bowl

beat oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla.

3. Fold in dry ingredients until well combined

4. Fill cupcake pans (or you can make a pretty cool and dramatic full sized cake) and bake for 20 min, checking after 15 min

5. Combine all your icing ingredients and decorate the fully cooled cakes inspired by any bugs you choose!

Fresh out of the oven!

The finished product.

What can I say, my mom was PRETTY IMPRESSED!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Peanut Butter Jaming.

I love peanut butter. I can't get enough of it. That moment in the morning when you spread it onto hot toast and wait a few seconds for it to melt into the bread and get all soggy before you launch in. Just add some thick jam and I'm yours for life. Now the only thing I may, may love more would have to be cupcakes. I don't know what it is. But I trawl books and cooking sites for pictures of tiny, colorful buttons of happiness for hours. It induces the sort of spasms of emotion that verge on an diabetic attack. And I'm always looking for ways to push the usual cupcake boundaries and introduce new flavors, so it's probably no surprise that I've been quietly thinking about P&J cupcakes for some time.
There is only one problem.
I have a secret.
I HATE peanut butter in sweets. Please don't tell anyone. I just cannot stand the saltiness of peanut butter cookies, Hershey's peanut butter cups, even peanut butter ice cream always leaves me feeling pretty sketch.
But the temptation to combine my two great loves finally overwhelmed me, so here is my solution.
Now I do warn you I tend to cook by sight and taste more than from a recipe so these numbers are more an estimate than a guide, so don't feel too constrained by them.

3/4 C. Plain flour
1/2 tsp. Baking powder
1/4 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. Baking soda
75g. Butter
1/2 C. Peanut butter (I used crunchy everyone has a preference)
1 Egg
1/4 C Milk
1/2 tsp Vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 180
2. Sift all dry ingredients in a large bowl
3. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy
4. Slowly add lightly beaten egg, vanilla and milk to butter and sugar mix
5. Beat in dry ingredients slowly
6. Spoon into muffin tins and bake for 20 min, checking after 15

Add more of less milk depending on how your consistency is looking. And remember to monitor cooking time because it will change depending on how dense you choose to make your batter.


Now this bit can be a bit messy, but it's what makes them really amazing.
When your cupcakes are cool, pop about 1/2 Cup of good quality jam into the microwave for about 20 seconds or until runny. Pour into an icing bag, and very gently insert the nozle into the center of your cake. Squeez and fill until the cake is almost ready to explode. Now some may actually explode a little bit, I personally think this is the best case senario, because the muffin case will keep it more or less together.

Finally combine a few tsp of softened peanut butter, icing sugar and hot water to make your icing. Again the exact mesurements really depend on you tastes and prefered consistancy. Then just ice and top with a cherry!

They're not the prettiest cupcakes in the world, but they're pretty intense, which if you're like me is the only way you like your baked goods!

To begin...

When meeting new people, it's usually best to start with an introduction. So here it goes. Here lies Sugar Sandwiches, my first attempt at the food blog I've long day dreamed about. A little space to share my recipes, thoughts and reflections on all the foods that I love. I wouldn't say it will be a place for the usual amateur food critic musings that Melbourne loves so much. Not because there is anything wrong with that. Rather because I'm just not really one for critiquing food. As a general rule if you can bake it, burn it, digest it, discuss it or fry it, I probably fantasize about it. I love food in all it's forms and guises, so I hope you enjoy following me through out my occasionally tempestuous but always tenacious love affair.