Miss Cakehead writes, "The Depressed Cake Shop will be like nothing ever seen before as it will sell ONLY grey coloured cakes. Raising money for mental health charities, it will also provide a platform for discussion of the illness. The pop up is based in the UK but with other events starting to be planned around the globe."
Swedish artist Johanna Mårtensson created this installation depicting a cityscape made of bread in 2009, and photographed it as it decayed, creating a series of pictures representing the destiny of all human folly come the day that we make ourselves extinct and vanish from the face of the Earth:
I was inspired by an article about how well the earth would do without us. Within 500 years all buildings would be half fallen or fallen, perfect homes for animals and plants. The forrest would soon grow in cities. After hand buildings as well as pollutions would be taken care of by bacterias and micro-organisms. An ufo that came here in a couple of of hundred thousand years would not see many signs of that a gang of primates ones thought that they where the lords of the planet.
Elaine Wherry took a break from working in San Francisco high-tech startups to work at Dandelion Chocolate, the chocolate maker/cafe that her husband co-founded. She calls her tenure at the chocolate factory her life as "an oompa loompa," and in a fascinating post, she writes about the differences and similarities between working in data-driven startups and in physical, retail-based hard-goods business. It's a wonderful study in contrasts.
For loops are a veritable miracle — At the chocolate factory, something breaks every single flippin’ day. Each morning I gave my evil eye to the roasters, melangers, temperers, wrapping machine, dishwasher, or anything with a screw, fuse, gear, glue, belt, or oil level and asked, “Okay, which one of you little buggers is going today?”
In comparison, code brings tears to my eyes. If that for loop worked yesterday, then barring catastrophic hardware failures or someone checking in code they shouldn’t, it’ll likely work today. That type of, “if you don’t touch it, it’ll keep working” certainty seems divine. I’ve always loved the Web but I have renewed appreciation for redundancy, unit testing, and monitoring now.
Matt sez, "Maya Weinstein is an artist who just finished her MFA at Parsons, with the awesomest thesis ever: a DIY kit for making your own High-Fructose Corn Syrup, the industrial sweetener that is, well, let's say problematic these days.
"Amazingly, HFCS is not available for consumers to buy, and as Weinstein discovered, making it yourself requires some pretty unusual (and expensive) components, like Glucose Isomerase. But it's a totally fascinating process, and only the first in what Weinstein hopes will be a series of 'citizen food science' kits."
Wisconsin's Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream has some refreshingly honest ad-copy on the side of its vans. The photo was snapped by a Consumerist reader named David, and shows a van whose advert disclaims any nutritional merit, proudly proclaiming "gobs of rich Wisconsin cream" as well as lots of "real ingredients" (whatever those are). My own experience has been that eating food high in grass-fed animal fat is good for me, so that sounds about right to me -- though carrots are good, too!
Lawyers for Ferrero, SpA (makers of the Nutella spread) have sent a legal threat to Sara Rosso, who founded and maintains the World Nutella Day site, where they promote Nutella through recipes, tweets, stories, and (obviously) an annual day devoted to the sugary gloop. Rosso has capitulated and will no longer promote their products for them.
Seven years after the first World Nutella Day in 2007, I never thought the idea of dedicating a day to come together for the love of a certain hazelnut spread would be embraced by so many people! I’ve seen the event grow from a few hundred food bloggers posting recipes to thousands of people Tweeting about it, pinning recipes on Pinterest, and posting their own contributions on Facebook! There have been songs sung about it, short films created for it, poems written for it, recipes tested for it, and photos taken for it.
The cease-and-desist letter was a bit of a surprise and a disappointment, as over the years I’ve had contact and positive experiences with several employees of Ferrero, SpA., and with their public relations and brand strategy consultants, and I’ve always tried to collaborate and work together in the spirit and goodwill of a fan-run celebration of a spread I (to this day) still eat.
This amazing retro-gamer wedding cake was made by Wedding Cakes By Nicole of Bunbury, Australia. The cake pays homage to many of the arcade greats:
I created a 3 tier square cake, with each of the sides representing a popular retro platform game. Topped off with a game off Pong, with the score depicting Stephen's "30" years. The board had a joystick, buttons and coin slot. Pacman (my favourite), Donkey Kong, Frogger & Tetris
A chain of Osaka cafes sells a crazy parfait, topped with a ginormous piece of cake:
On a recent day out in Osaka, our reporter stopped by a café and ordered a truly hard-core parfait. It wasn’t that the parfait was so big, and no, it didn’t contain any shocking ingredients. What blew our minds about this parfait was its topping.
It was a slice of cake, and it was so big it wasn’t even trying to fit into the glass. Our reporter had this sweet-tasting tag-team at the Semba branch of Osaka-based café MIOR.
Who Needs a Cherry on Top? Osaka Café Crowns its Parfaits with Cake [Casey Baseel/RocketNews24]
(via Super Punch)
It appears that you can make delicious (and fantastically high-carb) bread by mixing melted ice-cream with self-rising flour and baking it. I'm willing to believe that this is totally yummy but I'm not going to try it:
1 Preheat oven to 350 F
2 Let ice cream soften at room temperature for 10-15 minutes.
< 3 In the bowl of your mixer combine ice cream with flour until the flour is incorporated.
4 Evenly distribute sprinkles in the bottom of a greased Bundt pan and scoop batter evenly on top.
5 Bake for 35 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
6 Invert and allow to cool completely.
EFF is celebrating the new inductees into its Takedown Hall of Shame with a new cooking show! In this episode, EFF staffer Parker Higgins bakes a "Mean Spirited Censorship Pie" -- which is what all have to call the classic Southern dessert formerly known as "Derby Pie," now that Kern's Kitchen in Louisville is threatening to sue anyone who posts a family recipe with that name.
It's sarcastic, carbtastic, and informative -- delicious!
What better way to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the publication of Watson and Crick's landmark paper on the double helix structure of DNA than by making your own double-helix out of jellybabies and licorice? Dr Mark Lorch's method for making edible DNA models promises to capture the "elegant simplicity" of DNA.
Two long, flexible sweets, such as liquorice ribbons.
A few handfuls of soft, highly coloured sweets, such as jelly babies or marshmallows.
For advance bio-engineers, Lorch also explains how to extract the DNA from a kiwi fruit using things lying around your kitchen.
How to make a DNA double helix from jelly babies and liquorice [Dr Mark Lorch/Guardian]
Here's an unexpected use for a dead hard-drive: use its motor to power a candy-floss machine:
A Chinese engineer who operates a data recovery and hard drive repair center is being hailed as a genius after inventing a DIY candy floss machine made from a used hard disk. According to the instructions, all that is needed to create your own candy floss maker is a hard drive that can still power up, a round flat metal tin, six bicycle spokes, an aluminum can and a plastic basin. A series of photos demonstrating how to create this candy floss machine have made some sensation across China internet …
The key to the improvised cotton candy maker is the hard drive’s rotating platter. Most commercial cotton candy machines spin at around 3,450 rotations per minute, while modern hard drives operate at 5,400 rotations per minute or higher. We’re really admired this kind of DIY creation from a technical nerd …
Turning an Old Hard Disk Into a Candy Floss Machine [English, MicGadget]
技术宅拯救世界：用旧硬盘自制棉花糖机(图) [Chinese, tt.mop.com]
Last week, Tate & Lyle Sugars created a one-day pop-up cake hotel in Soho, where the rooms were stuffed with edible fixtures and furniture:
A Mediterranean-inspired bedroom, with edible furnishings, a caramel popcorn-filled bathtub, floating meringues and edible pearlescent popcorn bunting, all created using Light Soft Brown sugar. The perfect location for a midnight feast!
A Pirates of the Caribbean room, with a giant treasure chest full of edible pearls, ginger spiced doubloons and cutlasses, which visitors can spray gold themselves, and rum and raisin chocolate brownies and tea cakes – all made from Taste Experience Caribbean-inspired Light Muscovado sugar
A British-inspired Golden syrup sugar room, with a giant golden-syrup lion, patriotic treacle tarts in the shape of the British Isles and a giant tower of doughnuts
A Mayan-inspired room hidden in the cellar featuring a Mayan fudge temple, complete with floating meringue ‘clouds’, ‘sacrificial’ salted caramel and chocolate hearts, and Mayan-inspired carved gold cookies all made from Taste Experience Mayan-inspired golden caster sugar
A Mississippi-inspired ‘Mardi Gras’ room featuring a five foot long rainbow cake in the traditional colours of green, yellow & purple, gold baby heads and of course King Cakes
A Barbados-inspired library, with edible shells, and beautiful hand-painted cookies, fruit cakes and florentines showcased as museum features inside vintage glass jars, all made from Barbados inspired Dark Muscovado sugar
A Guyanese-inspired room, complete with a sea turtle cake, and cake ‘turtle eggs’ buried in mounds of Demerara sugar
A South Pacific-inspired room with a huge two metre high Easter Island statue, made entirely from chocolate mud cake baked using Golden Granulated sugar
Here's a fun set of instructions for baking anatomical heart-shaped bread that you rip apart and gorge upon:
Nothing says romance like ritual cannibalism. Use this anatomical heart pull apart loaf to pretend you’re vampires feasting on the heart of that asshole in HR who gave a promotion to Brad. Alternately, you could engage in a little Indiana Jones cosplay where the sexy archaeologist in your life can rescue you from having your heart ripped out by any other man. Gentlemen bakers, you could show up at your vegetarian girlfriend’s house triumphantly holding this and declaring you were successful in the hunt, so tonight you feast. There are so many ways to express your doughy love.
This wonderful Jawa birthday cake was made by adapting a teddy-bear cake mold, garnishing it with chocolate fondant and adding mini-party-light LEDs from a craft store. It was created by the wife of Flickr user Fat Tony 1138 for their daughter's fifth birthday. Lucky kid!
This amazing EVE Online Gallente Space Station cake was created by Duff Goldma of Charm City Cakes in Baltimore, MD. It's unquestionably the greatest MMORPG space-station cake I've ever seen.
Ashley Rodriguez has tweaked a recipe for homemade "Cadbury's" Easter creme eggs from Instructables user Scoochmaroo and published it. The store-bought version of these glop-filled chocolate eggs always seem like a good idea until they get halfway down my oesophagus (whereupon they try to reverse direction); who knows, maybe a "small batch" homemade one with less HFCS and plutonium* will continue to reward ingestion all the way to my digestive tract's terminus.
½ cup Lyle’s golden syrup
6 tablespoons butter, softened
½ teaspoon salt
3 drops orange blossom water (optional)
1 vanilla bean, seeds removed (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cup powdered sugar
¼ to ½ teaspoon yellow food coloring
12 ounces dark chocolate, chopped (or 1 bag bittersweet chocolate chips)
*Or whatever Cadbury's uses to attain that "Holy shitting Cthulhu, what have I just swallowed?" sensation
Remember Katie Fisher? She was the 24 year old who was killed crossing the street by a driver who ran a red light, only to have Progressive Insurance -- her own insurance company -- pay to defend her killer in court, and then lie about it. Her brother, comedian Matt Fisher, has decided to honor her memory with Katie Fisher Day, a day when people bake cookies and send them to their friends (Katie sent Matt a batch of cookies every week while he was at university).
Step 1: Pick someone you love. It can be your mom, your brother, your friend, some guy at work. Anyone you’d like to feel a little more loved.
Step 2: Bake them cookies. Any kind will do! Chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin. Are you a crappy baker? Send them crappy cookies. Or buy some. It’s the thought that counts. We’ll post recipes here on the site. Post yours if you have a good one!
Step 3: Send those cookies. Mail them. Drop them off in person. Whatever’s easier. Just make sure you send them! The goal is to send them on March 12 or have them get to your person by March 12, but look, if you send someone cookies on another day, we’re cool with that.
Step 4: There is no Step 4. This is a simple thing. Let’s not overcomplicate it. Though we would love it if you told us about your special someone, sent photos of your cookies and/or sent us a recipe.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.