Last night I finally got to see one of Evil Miss Cakehead's edible horror installations in person. The Helpers is a grotesque, edible pop-up shop in Bethnal Green Road near Brick Lane, which opened last night. It features dismembered bodies, murder weapons, cigarette butts, car batteries with wires, blood-spattered knives, bags of vomit, Chinese takeout meals, and even a television -- all made of cake, all edible, and all delicious. There really are no words for the dissonance presented by such a scene. But it's pretty special.
So last night we opened The Helpers – a experiential experience serving cocktails and cake all themed around the movie of the same name – a stunt for Koch Media. The creations were incredible and (never thought I would say this) we pushed the limits so far we are all looking forward to some pretty cake projects for Valentine’s Day and beyond. You can see all the cakes over on Miss Cakehead’s Facebook page, and them featured on This Morning here. Just bear in mind they were for a horror film so they are made to the brief set by our client Koch Media. We have not just lost our minds and started making really dark cakes. In fact the chocolate gun was so disturbing and realistic we gave it as an extra present to someone who has always been massively supportive of our work (I had to get it out of there!). Huge thanks to Original Content London for creating an awesome and very disturbing set.
The Helpers – Horror Movie Edible Installation
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This magnificent raw turkey cake (orange and rum spice cake) was created by London's Sarah Hardy. Yum!
Raw Turkey Christmas Cake
Conjurer’s Kitchen created this anatomical wax-model cake for the mad bakers at Eat Your Heart Out. Delicious and educational!
Anatomical Wax Model Cake
Chef Mom's mozzarella ghost and olive spider Hallowe'en pizza literally made my mouth flood with saliva. Spooky, spooky drool.
Slice the fresh mozzarella. Using a ghost cookie cutter cut out some ghost shapes. Place the ghosts on top of the pizza sauce. Using the finely chopped olives, place eyes on the head of the ghosts. Bake the pizza for about 5 - 6 minutes, or until the cheese is fully melted.
Once the pizza is baked, make spiders by sticking the rosemary leaves into the green olives. Place the spiders next to the ghosts and serve.
Spooky ghost pizza recipe
Further nutritional oddments from a touring author (see yesterday's installment). I stopped into the most excellent indie bookstore Diesel at the Brentwood Country Mart in LA for my Pirate Cinema book tour, and noticed that the ice-cream parlour next door was advertising bacon-spiked ice-cream sliders, as well as a corn and spicy cheese crisp ice-cream sandwich.
I'll be in Lansing, MI tomorrow (tell your friends), and look forward to discovering more characteristic local cuisine.
Bacon and spicy corn Ice Cream Sliders, Brentwood Country Mart, Los Angeles, California, USA
Here's a cute idea from CHOW and Chris Rochelle for baking chocolate cakes in campfire coals, using scooped-out orange peels as molds:
Cut the tops off about 10 oranges and scoop out the pulp. Fill the oranges three-quarters of the way with chocolate cake batter (cake mix works fine), then put the orange tops back on and wrap each orange in aluminum foil. Place directly onto the smoldering coals of the campfire, avoiding any intense flames, and cook for about 30 minutes, turning once or twice.
I've had sorbet served in an orange and pate served in an orange (AKA "meat fruit). Both were delicious. You could probably do a whole meal inside of citrus peels.
Step Up the S'more: 7 Ideas for Campfire Treats by Chris Rochelle
Eat Your Heart Out Bakers, home to some of the weirdest confections in my weird world, have unveiled a line of anatomically correct macaroons. Because of reasons. If you have to ask, you'll never om nom nom nom.
Fills me with joy how all the uber talented EYHO bakers continue to push the limits of creative baking. Case in point being these incredible heart macarons which Miss Insomnia Tulip created using different coloured batters. Hell yeah of course they will be on sale at EYHO…
Anatomically correct heart macarons
A Japanese point-of-sale system has the native cunning to recognize baked goods of its own accord, a surprisingly tricky computer vision problem:
Brain Corporation has developed a system that can individually identify all kinds of baked goods on a tray, in just one second. A trial has started at a Tokyo bakery store.
This technology was co-developed with the University of Hyogo. This is the world's first trial of such a system in actual work at a cash register.
Bakery goods POS visual recognition system on trial in Tokyo bakery
Uber, a spunky startup that's made a name for itself by using mobile devices to hook up people with rolling stock -- starting with an app that let idle limo drivers in San Francisco know about people who couldn't get a cab due to the city's notoriously dysfunctional taxi regulations -- has a great new stunt. They're giving ice-cream truck drivers and people who want ice-cream the ability to understand each others' needs: if you're willing to buy five or more ice-creams, you can signal that and nearby truck-drivers will see and respond to your desire. The service is available in Boston, Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Toronto, and Washington DC.
* You can request ice cream by selecting the ‘ice cream cone icon’ in your Uber app.
* Set the location where you want the ice cream truck to show up and tap ‘request ice cream delivery here.’
* You’ll receive an ETA and be able to communicate with the driver.
* The ice cream truck will deliver five ice creams (you will have the option to order more when the truck arrives).
* We’ll bill your credit card card on file $12 for each bundle you order and hook you up with some sweet Uber swag.
(via Hacker News)
The McDonald's sponsorship deal at the Security Games in London meant that Olympic workers are not allowed to buy chips (AKA fries) unless they come with fish. A chorus of complaints from site workers has led to a relaxation of the sponsorship terms so that workers (but not visitors) can buy their chips from the vendor of their choice, even if they're not served with fish.
From The Guardian's Robert Booth:
It all results from one of the stranger twists of Olympic planning. McDonald's sponsorship deal included the exclusive right to sell chips in and around Olympic venues. Other caterers had negotiated special rights to serve chips with fish – but not chips on their own, or with anything else.
Cue frustrated scenes at the lunch counter in the ceremonies catering area where staff were toiling over the staging for Danny Boyle's 27 July opening extravaganza. "Please understand this is not the decision of the staff who are serving up your meals who, given the choice, would gladly give it to you, however they are not allowed to," read a notice pinned up by staff. "Please do not give the staff grief, this will only lead to us removing fish and chips completely."
"It's sorted," said a spokesman for Locog. "We have spoken to McDonald's about it."
But the embargo will hold in other areas. That means no chips with anything other than fish anywhere else in the park unless spectators dine at McDonald's.
I know a couple of people on the lighting and automation crew at the Security Games and they report that there's a mass lunchtime exodus from the site by its workers every day as they troop off to find anything to eat that isn't McDonald's.
Chip-hungry Olympic workers celebrate freedom from McDonald's monopoly
(Image: Big Mac meal with Chocolate Shake, Fillet-O-Fish, Chicken McNuggets - McDonalds, Hume Hwy AUD16.80, a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike (2.0) image from avlxyz's photostream)
Click Clack Gorilla's "ode to spaghettieis" celebrates a German ice-cream dish that looks like spaghetti Bolognese. The noodles are extruded white ice-cream. It was invented in 1969, and remains popular.
It really looks like spaghetti, doesn’t it? I imagine that it is made using a machine much like the one that came with the Play Dough restaurant set I had as a child. (Yep, it is, says the internet. Shops use a fancy automatic press, and you can make it at home with any old noodle press.) I’ve never tried it myself, but I’m willing to bet that it’s as much fun to make as it is to eat. A heap of noodle-shaped vanilla ice cream on a bed of whipped cream and covered in strawberry sauce and coconut chips (or nut chips)? Yum.
But the whimsy doesn’t stop there. Oh no! There are other varieties. Carbonara (with a brownish liquor sauce and nuts), and oh crap I can’t remember the rest (I was at the ice cream shop a couple of hours ago, but I’m going to have to call breastfeeding brain on this one). Just take my word for it. It’s a theme with a number of amusing variations.
When Spaghettieis and I met, we fell in love instantly. It was tasty, it was novel, it was cheap (2 DM to the dollar in those days), and it was responsible for at least half of the ten pounds I gained during our month-long high school exchange. I ate it every chance I got, which turned out to be every day during our final week in Krefeld. But the pounds melted back off once I was out of the land of noodle ice cream and sandwiches for breakfast. Did I say yum?
german food: an ode to spaghettieis
(Image: Untitled, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from lainetrees's photostream)
Wikipedia's "Generic citrus sodas" lists 27 (as of this writing) generic equivalents to Mountain Dew/Mello Yello/Sun Drop. "In deference to Mountain Dew's leading position in the market for citrus sodas, most brands of generic citrus soda have the word 'Mountain' in their names." Read aloud in a rush, they're a kind of tone-poem about marketing, dental caries, and caffeine shakes.
1 Citrus Drop/Citrus Drop Xtreme
2 Citrus Pop
3 Heee Haw
4 Hillbilly Holler
5 Kountry Mist
6 Mountain Breeze
7 Mountain Drops
8 Mountain Explosion
9 Mountain Frost
10 Mountain Fury
11 Mountain Holler
12 Mountain Lightning
13 Mountain Lion
14 Mountain Maze
15 Mountain Mellow
16 Mountain Mist
17 Mountain Moondrops
18 Mountain Roar
19 Mountain Rush
20 Mountain Splash
21 Mountain W
22 Mountain Wave
23 Mountain Yeller
24 Mountain Rush
25 Mt. Chill
27 Rocky Mist
Generic citrus sodas
(Thanks, Fipi Lele!)
A1 Concepts "Let's Pizza" vending machines are robots that scratch-bake pizzas in three minutes, to order. In this video, the Let's Pizza is demonstrated by a model (made extra weird by dubbing from some unknown language) in the world's most painful looking stilettos, who stresses again and again how hygienic the machine is, producing pizzas "untouched by human hands" and "in a human-free environment." Your robo-pizza is thus prepared "with a guarantee of total hygiene." The dubbing, the rubegoldbergian gadgetry and the strange, squeamish emphasis on hygiene (as though pizza from a mere human kitchen comes covered in boogers, stray pubic hairs and a thin film of DNA) combine to make this the greatest product demo of all time, ever, in the history of the universe.
The brainchild of Italian entrepreneur Claudio Torghel, the machine will be distributed by A1 Concepts, based out of the Netherlands. It's expected to hit our shores later this year, according to the industry website Pizza Marketplace. The company is expected to set up its U.S. headquarters in Atlanta.
Just what America needs: Pizza vending machines
Miss Cakehead sends us these "Incredible and gross chicken feet cake pops created for the Evil Cake Shop by Miss Insomnia Tulip."
The feet are made from vanilla & raspberry cake, triple dipped in white chocolate with the pop hand painted to resemble a boiled chicken foot; the chicken dipping sauce pop (top) covered with coloured piping gel; the battered chicken foot pop is covered with the dipping sauce and crushed citrus sprinkles to resemble batter. Ruddy amazing Yorkshire based baking talent and a really innovative cake pop design to boot.
Boiled Chicken Feet – Extreme Cake Pops
(Thanks, Miss Cakehead)