City of Ghosts & Candyman

Diana and Carrie discuss haunted cities, fish and fries er chips er crisps, pasta pizza, PB+B+CC, more 90s fancy pasta dinners, red wine, and honey candy. We don’t summon any demons (…).

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Hook’s Green Sugar

Hook's Green Sugar Cake header

“Did you hear them say Peter Pan’s from home?” Smee whispered, fidgeting with Johnny Corkscrew.
Hook nodded. He stood for a long time lost in thought, and at last a curdling smile lit up his swarthy face. Smee had been waiting for it. “Unrip your plan, captain,” he cried eagerly.
“To return to the ship,” Hook replied slowly through his teeth, “and cook a large rich cake of a jolly thickness with green sugar on it. There can be but one room below, for there is but one chimney. The silly moles had not the sense to see that they did not need a door apiece. That shows they have no mother. We will leave the cake on the shore of the Mermaids’ Lagoon. These boys are always swimming about there, playing with the mermaids. They will find the cake and they will gobble it up, because, having no mother, they don’t know how dangerous ’tis to eat rich damp cake.” He burst into laughter, not hollow laughter now, but honest laughter. “Aha, they will die.”
Smee had listened with growing admiration.
“It’s the wickedest, prettiest policy ever I heard of!” he cried, and in their exultation they danced and sang…

– Chapter 4, Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie

Hook sugar closeup

* You can find the recipe for the cake shown in these photos here.
It’s large, rich, and very damp–and jolly thick! *

Hook’s Green Sugar

  • 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 2 Kiwi Fruit
  • Zest from 3 Limes

Peel the kiwi fruit, & then cut the sides away from the center where the little black seeds are; you don’t want any black seeds. Put the kiwi pieces with 1 cup sugar in a food processor & pulse until combined. Spread the kiwi sugar out on a large tray & let dry for a few days.

Just before you’re ready to put the sugar on the cake, break the sugar up into chunks (it will have solidified together) & put them into the food processor. Add the lime zest & pulse until the sugar is broken up & fine.

After sprinkling the top of the cake with coconut flakes, generously put on green sugar (you may or may not use all of it). Serve anonymously to your enemies, & hope that they don’t have mothers to tell them not to eat random cakes!

Suggestions:
* Here’s the recipe for the cake shown in the photos for this post.
* If you make the coconut cake shown, for the coconut whipped cream frosting, use rum flavoring instead of vanilla or coconut to give it that pirate flare.
* Add kiwi slices between the layers of the cake, and on the top for decoration.

Hook cake w kiwi

“…We could tell of that cake the pirates cooked so that the boys might eat it and perish; and how they placed it in one cunning spot after another; but always Wendy snatched it from the hands of her children, so that in time it lost its succulence, and became as hard as a stone, and was used as a missile, and Hook fell over it in the dark.”

– Chapter 7, Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie

Hook cake slice w kiwi
Listen to the episode! Fiction Kitchen Episode 45: Peter Pan

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Uncle Monty’s Coconut Cake

ASoUE Coconut Cake

“Hello hello hello!” a loud voice boomed out, and from behind the door stepped a short, chubby man with a round red face. “I am your Uncle Monty, and this is really perfect timing! I just finished making a coconut cake!”

The cake was a magnificent thing, rich and creamy with just the right amount of coconut.

A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Reptile Room by Lemony Snicket

This recipe is adapted from a white cake recipe on “Add a Pinch”.

Uncle Monty’s Coconut Cake

Coconut Cake

  • 2 Cup Butter, softened
  • 1/2 Cup Shortening
  • 2 Cups Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Cup Coconut Sugar (or no coconut sugar, & 3 Cups or white)
  • 5 Eggs, room temperature
  • 3 Cups Flour
  • 2 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 Cup Whole Milk, room temperature
  • 1/2 Cup Buttermilk, room temperature
  • 2 tsp. Coconut Flavoring
  • 1/2 (14 oz.) Can (so, 6 oz.) Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1 Can (14 oz.) Coconut Milk (reserve the solidified cream)

Coconut Whipped Cream Frosting

  • Reserved Coconut Cream (from 14 oz. can of coconut milk)
  • 1 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 2 Tbsp. Powdered Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. Coconut or Vanilla Flavoring
  • Sweetened Flaked Coconut
Pre-heat your oven to 350ºF, & grease & flour three 9″ round cake pans.

Cream together the butter & shortening. Slowly add the sugar & mix for about 4 minutes. Add the eggs 1 at a time, until combined.

In another bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, & salt. Whisk together the whole milk, buttermilk, & coconut flavoring in a cup. Beginning & ending with the flour mixture, alternately mix the flour & milk mixture into the butter/sugar mixture until combined.

Distribute the batter evenly into the 3 pans, & bake on the middle rack for about 30 minutes, rotating the pans at 15mins. Remove from the oven & let the cakes cool in the pans for a few minutes.

Whisk together the sweetened condensed milk & coconut milk. Poke many holes in the tops of the cakes (still in the pans), & then spoon on the coconut milk mixture (about 1/4-1/3 cup each). Let cool until room temperature, & then cover with plastic wrap & put in the fridge for a couple of hours to chill.

Chill a mixing bowl in the freezer while the cakes are chilling in the fridge. Combine the heavy cream, reserved coconut cream from the can of coconut milk, & flavoring, & mix for a few minutes until the mixture begins to thicken. Sift in the powdered sugar & mix until thick like frosting, but not too much so it gets clumpy!

Remove the cakes from the fridge & float the bottom of each cake pan in a dish of very hot water. Run a butter knife around the inside of each pan to make sure the cakes are loosened. Invert one of the cakes onto a large plate or cake platter.

Spread the top of the cake with 1/3 of the cream frosting. Carefully place the second cake on top & spread with half of the remaining cream. Put the last cake on top & spread with the remaining cream. Sprinkle the top generously with coconut flakes.

Listen to the episode! Fiction Kitchen Episode 54: A Series of Unfortunate Events

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Apple Carrot Currant Cake with Apple Brown Sugar Glaze

apple-carrot-currant-cake

Poor Anne, she hates her red hair (aka her lifelong sorrow) and will smash a slate on your head if you call her “Carrots.” Marilla makes apple cakes, pies, and preserves, and is famous on the island for her currant wine (try not to mistake it for raspberry cordial and pound three glasses). Matthew is so nervous to buy a puffy-sleeved dress he buys 20 pounds of brown sugar while dancing around the subject. All these things make for a delicious cake!

This cake has just enough flour and egg to hold it together, and is dense with goodies inspired by the characters in Anne of Green Gables.

Carrot Apple Currant Cake with Apple Brown Sugar Glaze

For the cake

  • 1/2 cup currants
  • 1/2 apple juice (I used the nice cloudy unfiltered kind)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • spices: seeds of 2 cardamom pods, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 egg
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup carrots (about 3 medium), grated
  • 1/2 cup Granny Smith apples (about 1 1/2 medium), grated
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

Soak currants in apple juice for at least 10 minutes. Strain, reserving the juice.

In one bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt and spices. In another bowl, which together egg, butter, brown and white sugars. Stir flour mixture into egg/butter/sugar mixture until just combined, then fold in carrots, apple, currants, and walnuts.

Spread into a prepare loaf pan and bake at 350° for 55 minutes to an hour. Remove to a rack to cool in the pan.

For the glaze

  • approximately 3/4 cups apple juice
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • pinch of salt

Using the apple juice reserved from the currants, add juice to make one cup. In a small saucepan, combine apple juice, butter, brown sugar and salt. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer, and cook, stirring often, until reduced to about 1/4 cup.

Poke holes in the warm cake and spoon the glaze all over the top. Allow cake to cool completely in the pan.

Listen to the episode! Fiction Kitchen Episode 22: Anne of Green Gables

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