A friendly giant from the Schwarzwald

A friendly giant from the Schwarzwald

People I know with December birthdays tend to get a little uppity about their limelight being stolen by a certain other, late in the month, celebration that seems to encroach on their fun. Sam is no exception to this rule, stating that no C-word related shenanigans can take place until after the 13th… which is fair enough. I’d totally have a tantrum if the attention wasn’t firmly on me!

So I thought I should make an effort to bake him a cake – something we realised I’d never done for him before. When it comes to cakes, he’s all about chocolate, the more the better. But for his ultimate dessert, we have to have a throw-back to the 80s. We’re talking the quintessential powerhouse dinner party menu of the time: prawn cocktail, steak and finished with a large slab of Black Forest Gateau.

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But as it’s Christmas and I rarely stick with run-of-the-mill, I thought I’d try my hand at a roulade version of a BFG (see…the title always makes sense eventually!)

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Cake or Biscuit?

Cake or Biscuit?

Vull moon. ‘Arf moon. Total eecleeepse.

These words possibly mean nothing to anyone outside of the UK, but if you’re over the age of about twenty, they should be synonymous with an advert for little discs of joy: Jaffa Cakes.

What are they? Are they a cake of a biscuit? Biscuits go soft if you leave them out and cakes go hard – these defy logic and don’t really do either. They’re in the biscuit aisle, but technically shouldn’t avoid the associated tax because of the chocolate. Very confusing!

One thing is certain though, these sponge-y, orange-y, chocolate-y treats are delicious and moreish: I’ve been known to consume a packet in one go. Shush, don’t judge… I’m sure there’s only about eight in a box… And yes, I’ve used them in a classroom situation too.

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So when I saw one of these speedy cooking videos, that seem to do the rounds on Facebook, for a giant Jaffa cake, I just knew I wanted to try it for Monday Munchies! I mean, everything is brilliant in miniature but small things made to epic proportions are equally as appealing!

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Cake. In a glass.

Cake. In a glass.

I don’t like alcohol.

There, I said it. It’s alright, I can tolerate it, but if it suddenly disappeared off the planet I’d not miss it. A little like chocolate. And coffee. Ooh, who said you need politics and religion to be controversial?! 😉

However, sometimes I need to leave the house and be sociable and indulge in a glass or two – there are only certain times and places that it’s acceptable to drink tea and nobody wants to sit with their pint whilst I sip on a glass of milk! Designated driver duties work wonders but still, I can’t always use that excuse.

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So when it comes to ‘preferred’ beverages over 0% ABV, I skip straight to the harder stuff – I’ve developed a liking for vodka, probably because I don’t think it has that much of a taste (and I can pretend I’m an international spy…), although I’d like to think I’m a little more discerning these days than liking bog-standard Smirnoff.

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However, anyone who knows me realises that I do love cake – so joy of joys, when a drink tastes like a cake, I’m a happy bunny! Perhaps this is another reason why I opt for vodka: the beauty of the spirit being that you can infuse it with anything and it will pick up the flavours. Strawberries, Skittles, even bacon or pickles (?) can be used to create a distinct base for a cocktail.

Therefore, as tomorrow marks my… *cough* birthday, I thought I’d share some delicious cocktails, that imitate classic cakes and treats for this week’s Monday Munchies. Because, what says celebration more than cakes and cocktails? (Okay, okay, presents, balloons, flowers, fireworks, champagne, parties all work too!)

Shakers at the ready for CAKE. IN A GLASS!

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Monday MONKEY Munchies!

Monday MONKEY Munchies!

Today marks the start of the Chinese New Year celebrations and with it, the Dawning of the Planet of the Apes.

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Okay, I know that’s not strictly true – I’m clubbing all non-human primates together here but it sounded better!

It’s actually the Year of the Monkey: The ninth sign of the Chinese Zodiac.

If you were born in 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004 or within the last month (you’re a VERY advanced reader if you fall into the latter…) then you may display the characteristics of the monkey: Quick-witted, intelligent, curious and innovative.

Personally, I’m a dragon. More specifically, a fire dragon. No wonder I’m Team Targaryen!

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Anywho, for today’s Monday Munchies, I thought I’d share some healthy recipes that monkeys  would want to nibble on. Because everybody knows, monkeys love bananas!

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It’s not exactly SCONE to plan!

It’s not exactly SCONE to plan!

Depending on your nationality, dialect and whether you eat tomAYtoes or tomARtoes will have a bearing on your pronunciation of this week’s Monday Munchies title.

I asked the maid in dulcet tone
To order me a buttered scone;
The silly girl has been and gone
And ordered me a buttered scone.

Source, Wikipedia (Anon.)

Personally, having the flattened Yorkshire tones peculiar to the East Riding of the county, it makes no sense to me. You see, I’m a ‘scone as in bone‘, not a ‘scone as in gone‘ kinda girl. Actually, I’m more ‘scern as in fern‘ (Mum’s been on fern, she’s made a batch o’ scerns…) but enough about my accent…I’ll leave you to decipher the translation!

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However, as today marks Burns’ Night in Scotland, I thought I’d honour their pronunciation for the purpose of making my title work! Oh, and because I discovered something I wasn’t aware of: Scones originate from Scotland!

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