I’ve made a bunch of fun things over the last few months that I haven’t posted about here because they weren’t new recipes, or because they were someone else’s recipe. But sometimes, it’s just fun to post pretty pictures of the things I’ve been making, so herewith – a gallery of some of the more entertaining food I’ve cooked in the last six months or so.
Agar Jellies with Lasers!
Remember those fluorescing agar jellies I made last year? Well, when I took them into work, the guys from the imaging facility got pretty excited about them, and decided to see what happened when you shot lasers at them.
The results were pretty spectacular, and they kindly sent me the photos to share (thank you, L. Whitehead and N. Geoghegan).
(They also assured me that they had not *eaten* the jellies that they fired lasers at – food in a PC2 area is not considered safe. But they did eat the rest of the jellies, and pronounced them good.)
I had a lot of fun with my biscuit decorating last year, and I was especially proud of my snowflake cookies, and the delicate colours I managed for their icing.
Of course, the most popular biscuits are always the ones that have the maximum amount of icing…
Terrarium Birthday Cake
Back in January, I was seduced by a very clever cookbook called ‘Bake Australia Great‘. It’s like a Women’s Weekly Birthday Cake book, only more Australian, with cupcakes featuring redback spiders, galahs, and budgie smugglers (the strategically placed cashew nut is… certainly something), a Byron Bay cake that is raw and vegan (but of course), and a Sydney Opera House Pavlova, among other things. It’s great fun, and one of these days, I will even review it.
This terrarium cake was for the birthday of a small friend of ours who likes bugs.
It’s a really fun cake, and easy to make, with a layer of biscuit crumbs, a layer of chocolate cake, and a layer of mousse or chocolate cream cheese icing. You top it with coconut grass and chocolate chips or chocolate covered sultanas for stones, and then decorate it with animals made from confectionery.
I love it because it is super cute and super adaptable – you can make it vegan or gluten-free or allergy friendly in any way you like, provided you can find the confectionery that matches your dietary needs. Admittedly, that can be a bit of a trick, but it’s still a fantastic idea.
Animal Cupcakes for a Fundraiser
Ah, remember the days before the pandemic, when all that we were worried about was… yeah, massive bushfires and climate change?
Well, we held a fundraiser at work (remember the days when we actually went in to work?) to raise money for the victims, human and animal, of the fires. I decided to go on theme and make cupcakes based on Australian animals.
The galah cupcakes were gluten-free, and yes, the decorations come from the Bake Australia Great cookbook. They disappeared within about fifteen minutes of the bake sale opening.
The koala cupcakes were vegan, which was a bit of a challenge, confectionery-wise, and they were a MASSIVE hit. The bake sale opened at 10:00, and by 10:08 I had people in my office complaining that they had been up to get morning tea and had missed the koala cupcakes.
Evidently, the combination of chocolate + cute animal is irresistible to children of all ages… something to contemplate for future fundraisers, certainly!
This is basically my vaguely spanakopita pie, except that I ran out of pastry for the lattice and decided to opt for a different approach.
I’ve actually started making my own pastry recently, and it’s very tasty and I am *almost* competent enough at it that it isn’t a massive pain.
But it’s definitely more fun when I use it to make Jurassic Pie.
Incidentally, I am informed by my in-house paleontology specialist that while T. Rex did not live at the same time as Stegosaurus, this only applies to the actual flesh and blood members of the dinosaur clan. The pastry variety clearly can, and do, co-exist. And I think the in-house paleontology specialist does not want to risk me cutting off his supply.
Costume Reveal Cake for Eurovision!
True, Eurovision didn’t really happen in the same way this year, but that hasn’t stopped us living and breathing Eurovision for basically all of May. I even got to write a post about it on the Smart Bitches, Trashy Books blog, where I am a staff reviewer, and I am very pleased with the response it got.
Anyway. We couldn’t have a proper Eurovision party under the current restrictions, but we could and did get dressed up in our Eurovision finery and deliver Eurovision-themed goodies to our usual partygoers.
The astute among you will recognise this as the rainbow cake I made for a rainbow wedding a few years ago – now with more sugar glitter for a proper Conchita Wurst gown effect, and baked in a heart shaped tin for Eurovision.
So that’s some of the fun I’ve been having in the kitchen recently. What have you been up to?