“Oxalis Triangularis/Purple Shamrock”
This kid wins all my diamonds. Seriously.
It took me forever to find this damn cow.
Suren Manvelyan’s photograph of a fish’s eye. Other amazing close-up eye photos here.
Request: Minecraft – Cake
I purposefully don’t play Minecraft; though enough of my friends have harassed me to play it and I’ve heard nothing bur praises. I’ve spoken before of my horribly addictive personality and I know that if I got involved in Minecraft I would never again see the light of day and they’d find my shrivelled, malnourished corpse collapsed over my laptop. It would be a good way to go, but just not yet. Either way Minecraft Cake has been on my list for a while now and enough of you have been asking for it so here you go!
Also from next week, due to popular demand, I will provide ingredients in American-friendly terms. Who knew I’d ever get involved in politics?
What you will need: Large mixing bowl, 20x20 square cake tin, small bowl, small pot, sieve, whisk, rolling pin, spatula, greaseproof/baking paper.
For the Cake:
200g Plain Flour
2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
200g Golden Caster Sugar
200g Butter (Room Temperature)
2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
3 Medium Eggs (Room Temperature)
3 Tablespoons Milk
For the Frosting:
100g Dark Chocolate
150ml Single Cream
100g - 200g Icing Sugar
White Ready-to-roll Icing
Red Ready-to-roll Icing
Preparing the Cake:
Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease and line a 20x20cm square cake tin.
In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy.
Beat the eggs and add them slowly to the butter and sugar along with the vanilla extract.
Sieve in the flour and baking powder then combine it gently into the mixture. Pour into the prepared cake tin and place in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
Once golden brown and springy, allow to cool and store in the fridge while you prepare the frosting.
Making the Frosting:
- In a bain-marie, melt the chocolate, butter and cream together until smooth.
- Allow to cool until the mixture thickens slightly, then slowly whisk in the icing sugar until the chocolate is light and fluffy. Allow to cool further before spreading onto the cake.
Making the Cake:
Once the cake has cooled, level it carefully then cut it into 4 (you can make 2 minecraft cakes from this recipe). You may want to use a cookie cutter or make a template so each piece is of equal size.
Take a portion as your base and add a little frosting to the top of it and layer another piece of cake for the top – set aside.
On a clean work surface, sprinkle some icing sugar and roll out the white icing to about 1 cm thick and cut a piece large enough to comfortably cover the cake.
Spread some frosting on top of the cake and then cover with the white icing. Trim the icing, then cut in the pattern. You may want to make a template and use scissors/scalpel.
Roll out the red icing to about 1cm thick like before and cut out 4 large and 6 small squares, arrange the red squares on top of the cake to match the Minecraft Cake.
Cut appropriately to serve. If you leave the cake you will have to return to the cake to continue eating it.
I found this really stressful! I’ve made it at least three times now because this is a rather important entry! The cake its self is beautiful, just a simple sponge recipe, the tricky part is getting the shapes and icing correct. I didn’t think I would have to use my technical graphics skills to work out cake patterns – maybe I would have enjoyed it more at school if that had been its purpose from the start. All I can say is cardboard templates really saved the day here. You can of course make this cake massive if you have the right sized tins, I did not so I had to improvise and make smaller, personal cakes - that way I didn’t have to share. I am, however, officially sick of eating cake.