Food: Dirt & Worms fairy cakes taught me something about cherries…

When I was in America as a child I was introduced to the concept of ‘Dirt and Worms’.

Basically it is a very unhealthy but fun pudding which looks like this:

dirt and worms

(Photo from Kraft)

There are various recipes to make Dirt & Worms but it generally goes along the lines of:

  • instant pudding
  • cookies
  • some sort of whipped topping
  • jelly worms

 I’ve been roped into helping with a bake sale and wanted to make a fairy cake version of  these, for which I wanted to use a glace cherry to give the impression of innards… yes that is somewhat gross but I didn’t volunteer to bake so they are getting what I want to make!

It turns out that not all glace cherries are created equal, for example Sainsburys £1.40 for 200gr glace cherries ingredients look like:

Cherries (56%), Glucose-Fructose Syrup, Sugar, Fruit And Vegetable Concentrates: Sweet Potato, Apple, Cherry, Radish; Acidity Regulator: Citric Acid; Preservative: Sulphur Dioxide

These taste very different to the Waitrose Cooks Ingredients £2.09 for 200gr glace cherries which contain less freaky sounding flavourings:

Cherries (54%), glucose-fructose syrup, sugar, CONCENTRATED FRUIT JUICE (2%) (cherry juice, aronia berry juice, elderberry juice), preservative sulphur dioxide

dirt and worm cakes

(Photo from Kraft)

As the taste is very noticeably improved with the Waitrose cherries I suppose I better splash out on those as I want to gross people out rather than leave them with a bad taste in their mouths!

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Nails: Let there be cupcakes

January is finally over, the days are getting longer, people are finally shutting up about how great they were for not drinking for a month, most of the people I know who are doing a half marathon have now realised how behind they are in their training plans, the detox junkies and dieters are now staring longingly at any treats that come into the office.

Because I’m a lovely caring person I’ve decided to help them out, rather than bring in sweet goodies I’ll just wave these nails at them… gorgeous cupcake with sprinkle nails!

cupcake nails

(Picture from Pinterest)

Your butt may be tiny but the sight of these nails will make you cry.

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Cake part 2!

Continuing on from my hard day playing nicely with the bank

We made two of our cakes wait until the day after purchase from Patisserie Valerie cake.

Cake three was the mysteriously named selva , which turns out to be “Chocolate sponge layers filled with whipped cream, zabaglione (liquor flavoured) custard and fresh fruits”. It was ok but I wouldn’t get again.

Cake four was strawberry gateaux and was similar ok but not worth trying again.

To sum up, the cake experiment really wasn’t worth it and it was all slight disappointing really!

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Food: Cake! Putting a smile on my day!

It was a hard day, it was a useful day but on my gosh it was hard. Three hours chatting to the bank in order to sort out a mortgage that they had already agreed in principle and that we already a) bank with and b) have an existing mortgage with.

As such I decided that cake was in order, specifically Patisserie Valerie cake. We even decided to push the boat out and try their 4 slices of cake for £10 offer. I was very good and, even sharing with the husband, we made the cakes last over two days!

Their Blackforest gateaux was very nice

However the double chocolate was really disappointing and indifferent, which was gutting as I really like chocolate!

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Proving that cake isn’t always friendly

Continuing on from yesterday, the nice meal out didn’t go so well but it is ok as I’ve ordered a fancy cake from a Patisserie…

So I turn up clutching my scrap of paper with the order number on, I sidestep the ladies who are bamboozled by the choice of cakes – which bluntly can be divided into either fruit tarts or chocolate and cream slices, and hand my number to the lady behind the counter.

She pulls out a box from lower shelf of the fridge unit and takes off the lid… everyone in eyeshot peers into the box and goes “ooh”… expect me, I’m scrabbling for my phone to prove that it is the wrong cake.

cake

(Photo from patisserie valerie)

It is unquestionably the wrong cake, exotic fruit tarts don’t look anything like mixed berry tarts and I definitely ordered the former at a cost of nearly £30 for an 8 inch cake.

The lady behind the till agrees they are definitely not the same thing and says that if I had ordered in-store then they would give me a full refund and let me take the cake. But as I ordered online I would have to email their head office to ask for my money back.

My face must have been a picture as she hurriedly requisitioned the four normal size exotic fruit tarts they had in stock and gave me those as a peace offering. The ladies who had been bamboozled had just decided they wanted to have them, oops!

So I had a big cake that wasn’t what I wanted, four small versions of what I did want and then a small bag of truffles were thrown into the bag too – approximately £15.40 worth of bribes to prevent me making a scene.

I was very grateful for the bribes as my parental unit wasn’t overly taken with the mixed berry cake so having a small version of the correct one went some way to temper the disappointing day!

It also took the edge off the website having no clear policy on cocked-up orders and the 15 working day turn-around time for them to reply to emails! So I am waiting to see what they say, whilst finishing off the sub-par, unwanted and under-loved mixed berry cake.

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Crafty pretty food

Kid’s birthdays are hard to cater for, it isn’t so much due to the children – give them enough e-numbers and they will be too wired to do anything but run around trashing the venue.

It is the parents who will poke, prod and judge anything served. The food needs to be healthy, fancy and look like you’ve spent hours on it.

crafty food 4

Fortunately one source of inspiration could be the great many crafty food things that other people have made and have ended up pictured on Pinterest.

crafty food 6 - cheese and hot dog

Alternatively, my sister-in-law has managed to sucker her mother into doing the donkey work and slaving over a hot stove for every passing whim.

The latest one is she was expected to cater a Christening – including a home-made four tier Noah’s Ark with 3D animals on sponge cake, however I have my doubts that this event will come to pass.

There are two reasons for this, the first is my sister-in-law is all mouth and no trousers; the second is the church has an attendance card with a stamp system accompanied by a policy which requires my sister-in-law to attend 6 times before the event. The event was due to be in a couple of weeks and the card is still blank!

crafty food 3

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