An Ode to Butterscotch

Oh Butterscotch, where have you been all my life?

All these years, I turned my nose up at your homespun appearance and simple charm,  preferring to court your blasé city-girl cousin, Caramel!

Caramel, that brittle, bittersweet beauty. Hard hearted and unforgiving! Creating huge insecurity in me due to my inexperience with sugar thermometers and such other sophisticated tools of flirtation.

Butterscotch- easy going, rustic looking, simple……but addictive. Butterscotch. Delicious butterscotch.

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

On ice creams,  on puddings, on fruit, on cereal. And by the spoon….mmmmmm

I’m sharing this secret recipe that’s been in the family vaults for generations, so that you can make your own….and I don’t have to share.

Butterscotch Sauce

Makes about 1 cup (or just enough to hoard and eat by yourself)

Butter 100g or 1/2 cup
Brown sugar 2/3 cups, firmly packed
Fresh cream 1/2 cup

In a heavy bottomed saucepan, melt the butter over low heat.

Add the brown sugar and stir until melted and bubbling. About 2 minutes.

Take the saucepan off the heat and add the cream. Continue stirring and cook over gentle heat, until it forms a sauce.

Cool, then bottle. Serve over ice cream, or drizzled over cake.

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Rainbow Cake

“Life is like a rainbow,
You need both sun and rain to make its colour appear”

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It turns out that I’m not the only one in love with rainbows!

Every child below 10, that’s celebrating its birthday, regardless whether girl or boy, loves rainbows or rainbow cakes.

I’ve made several of these rainbow tie-dye cakes lately, and they are fun to do.

Yes, they involve more washing up, and LOTS of gel colours, but they are simple enough to make, and dramatic when cut.

Six year old Nandini wanted a rainbow cake, and I decided to make a little Rainbow Dash to go on the cake.

What you need:

A tasty vanilla cake batter
Gel colours in purple, blue, green, yellow, orange and red
6 equal sized bowls
6 spoons
2, 8″ round tins, lined and sprayed

I used my yummy 1-2-3-4 recipe as the base, and divided it between 6 bowls.

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Each portion was coloured with food coloring gels to make deep colours.

Starting with the purple, pour it into the bottom of each tin.

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Pour the blue batter onto the purple. It will spread the purple batter out to the edges of the tin.

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Next, pour the green. Follow with the yellow, orange and end with the red.

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Once the batter it poured into the tins, gently rap the base of the tin on a folded towel, to spread it out.

Bake in a preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, or until the cake is done.

Cool the cakes, then wrap in cling film and freeze for a day.

To frost and decorate, you need:

Buttercream of choice
Cake boards, 8″, 12″
Serrated knife
Offset spatula
Fondant
Gel colours

Tort the cakes to form 4 layers. You will have a vibrant rainbow cross section.

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Use a little buttercream to “stick” down the first layer onto an 8″ cake board.

Use a good 1/2 cup of frosting between each layer, ending with the flat bottom of one of the cakes, on top. I left my buttercream white, as the cake was colourful enough, and I planned on putting a rainbow on the sides.

Crumb coat the cake. Chill. Then cover again with a generous coating of frosting.

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While the crumb coat was chilling, I coloured my fondant, using the same 6 colours I’d used for the batter. I rolled thin cylinders and formed them around a glass bowl to create a curved shape.

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Since I had a lot of left over fondant, I made little balls in each colour, to use as a border.

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Once the cake is finished, move it onto the larger cake board, securing in place with a daub of buttercream.

I added the rainbow to the side of the cake, then used the balls of fondant to form a border.

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The pièce de résistance was the little Rainbow Dash topper on the cake!

Have a wonderful rainbow filled day!

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R

Women- in Literature and Lore

Our new Study Group had begun! And it’s a topic close to my heart.

Here is our write up. We have 12 lovely ladies who’ve signed up and have chosen strong and inspiring women to present on!

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Woman has inspired mankind from time immemorial.

As Gaia the Mother of Humanity, as Penelope the ever loyal wife, as Saviti, daughter par excellence!

“Woman was made of a rib out of the side of Adam; not made out of his head to rule over him, nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be beloved,” wrote Matthew Henry, in 1708.

Beautiful words. But far from reality!

For centuries, women were relegated to the position of the weak that needed protection. The fragile that needed sheltering. Puny, powerless. Denied the respect and equality that they deserved.

For millennia women have dwelt in the shadows of their male counterparts. Seen, but not heard. Needed, but peripheral. Subjugated, sidelined and suppressed.

But despite being ignored or overlooked, women have always inspired mankind. This SG focuses on strong women of mythology and fiction who have empowered countless others ; who have ignited the imagination of a million more.

Be it a Draupadi, determined to avenge her humiliation, or a Sayuri held back by strict social constraints. A Kunti, raising five children in a hostile court, bereft of relatives and allies or a Mulan battling prejudice while warring with the enemy.

Choose your hero from either the classics or from contemporary literary works. From mythology or from modern lore. Choose a woman or women whose ideology resonates with you.

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Parvathi

Some strong women from literature:

Mingmei Yip: Peach blossom pavilion, Skeleton Women, Nine fold heaven

Arthur Golden: Memoirs of a Geisha

Lisa See: Snow Flower and the secret fan

Khaled Hosseini: Mariam and Laila of a Thousand Splendid Suns

And some from ancient mythology:

Hangaku Gozen

Draupadi

Kunti

Sita

Parvathi

Savitri

Semiramis

Ishtar

Sheba

Mary

Zenobia

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A Fairy Tale

I’m back after so long, that it feels almost like I’d been in exile!

But instead I have a story for you! A story that is recorded in the annals of my family’s history…..

A long, long time back, when dinosaurs roamed the earth, and the internet was born, there was a woman (she may, or may not have been me). She constantly browsed foodie sites on the net and saved recipes for cookies and brownies and cakes.

One sad day her internet was especially slow. So she complained to her son, Prince Charming! (Did I not tell you that she was the Queen of surfing the internet !?!)

He said, “Ma, just delete the cookies, and your computer will be fine!” The Princes in my family—-what can I say? No etiquette.

With a heavy heart and many sighs, the Queen, deleted all her cookie recipes.

Think of Sleeping Beauty’s parents’ anguish at having to watch her sleep for a 100 years…..think of Belle’s despair at having to leave her old doddering dad…..

Still, not a patch on our Queen’s sorrow on parting with her beloved cookies.

Once the dark deed was done, she came to her son and told him, “Son, my computer is still very slow. Even though I deleted all the cookies. Do I have to delete my brownies too?”

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The Prince has been banished to distant Boston, because he rolled around laughing…..

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The Queen then spent her energies creating a purple dragon (albeit a cute one) to guard her castle computer.

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And then they lived happily ever after……

R

Nina’s Birthday Party/新菜のお誕生日会

radhika25:

I’m sharing Miyuki’s post with all of you. Gosh! I’ve been away for a month!
Enjoy!
R

Originally posted on Duel Languages:

I’m not a big birthday party person.  I know, I have two toddlers, but I am just not a big birthday party girl.  That’s always the difficult thing with kids.  How to make it THEIR day, but a day where the parents don’t go completely insane.  At Nina’s day care, it seems like most parents just do a small party at the school, then one later with just family. Since most of Nina’s close friends are from her school, I decided to make her school party THE party.  I asked her teachers if they could set aside an hour or so for Nina’s birthday party.  Nina is currently in N1 (she’s moving up to N2 after her birthday) but a lot of her friends are in N2, so I requested to do her party with both classes.  That’s about 24 kids.

I picked a gender neutral theme, Dragons, so all…

View original 1,051 more words

Burger and Fries

Nope! This is not a recipe for making a burger and frying crinkle cut potato chips. I don’t teach you how to make mustard and home made tomato ketchup. Or even how to whip up sesame buns in half an hour.

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I just want to help you make it— in Cake! Yup….you heard me right. In cake.

What you need:
White/yellow cakes 2
Chocolate cake 1
Fondant in brown, green, yellow, red, white
Buttercream plain
Buttercream in bright yellow for the mustard
Buttercream or royal icing in bright red for the ketchup

My burger bun was made with two lemon cakes. One baked in an 8″ round tin; and one baked in a bowl, also 8″ in diameter to get the curved shape with no carving. And I made a chocolate cake 3/4″ high, for the patty.

I started with the bottom layer of the burger, covered it with lemon buttercream and a layer of fondant tinted pale brown.

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Working with green fondant, I created some curly lettuce leaves and stuck them in place with a touch of water. Once the lettuce is in place, place the chocolate cake on the bottom layer with a generous daub of buttercream to hold it in place.
Add cheese slices in yellow. Using a ball tool, make some depressions in the cheese triangles.

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Then come the tomato slices- semicircles in red, and a dollop of mustard along the edges. You only need to put your decorations along the edges- this ain’t a real burger ;)
Next make your brown fondant darker for the top. Cover your curved cake with buttercream and then with the darker fondant. Place on the chocolate layer with buttercream holding it in place.

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Once your cake is ready add the little touches that make it come alive- sesame seeds made of white fondant on top, potato chips with the remaining brown fondant, and tiny tubs of mustard and ketchup!
My board was covered with red and white striped paper. I hate wasting fondant, covering the board- something that never gets eaten anyway.
And in a moment of inspiration I decided that the birthday girl’s name should be spilled ketchup.

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If you have any questions, please feel free to ask me.

Enjoy,
R