Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Cake Monday 19th January 2015

We race (electronically) and the loser has to bake a cake to feed the office. 
Why? Because we like cake.
Who? Everyone in the office. No one gets out of it. When? 1st Monday of the month. The rules: you make the cake yourself, without any help. You can't 'repeat' a cake. Your cake will be judged on presentation, difficulty and taste, and marked out of 10 by each colleague. When you have baked 3 cakes, you are out of the competition for 1 year.

'Sparkly Rocky Road Cake' by Katie. Katie's baking background is 'packet-mix' cakes. 

Question: how do you make a cake when you have no weighing scales?
Answer: you guesstimate each quantity.

Question: how do you make a cake when you have no liquid measuring jug?
Answer: you clean out a beer bottle and use that as your measuring vessel.

Question: how do you mix the ingredients when you don't own an electric blender & don't want to spend all afternoon mixing?
Answer: you use a 1950s egg beater of course.

Ingenuity was used in this cake. Katie remembered that cocoa as a chocolate flavour received criticism in the past, so she melted a bar of Green & Blacks finest into the mix. Only problem was, she melted it on its own so she didn't have long to beat it into the cake before the chocolate began to solidify. The other issue she faced was that the cake didn't appear to be cooking 20 minutes in. It was then that she realised that Mary Berry's recipe was intended for TWO cake tins, not one. At this point, the cake changed from a sandwich cake to single-layer cake.

Once the chocolate cake was cooked (and burnt bits removed), Katie turned her attention to the decoration and made a butter cream mixed with marshmallows (some of which were melted into the icing) to cover the top of the cake. She also cut out a heart-shape from one of the marshmallows and sprinkled pink glitter on top. Katie spent a lot of time on the glitter part. Cookies were also placed on the icing. 

The Verdict: there were a few who appreciated the cake, but many who didn't. The decoration was described as 'weird', it looked like scrambled egg, and the marshmallow detail was compared to those polystyrene wotsits used for packaging. The other problem was with its construction; the icing came away in its entirety as you took a mouthful. All in all, the cake was okay, but the icing wasn't. Katie doesn't want to do Cake Monday again. 'Sparkly Rocky Road Cake' Average Score: 6

Next time: we haven't got long to wait to sample one of Jamie O's masterpieces. 

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

New Year, New Job?

Happy new year! We had staff holidaying in Dublin, the Isle of Man, France, and way “up north” on NYE. That alarm clock has been a struggle so far this year, but it’s only a couple of months until we hit the slopes on our work ski weekend.

New resolution to change jobs? We are hiring! We look for self-motivated, ambitious and enthusiastic people who have the ability to quickly assess information and make decisions! Click and apply.