In this episode, Kyla Myers and I talk about the San Antonio show, lots of our cake friends, all kinds of cake issues, and gush about the Cake God Mike McCarey. Then there’s a cakefirmation at the end by Mike himself.
In this episode, I discussed vendor experiences at cake, cookie, and baking shows, talked about how I’ll handle product disclaimers on this and future episodes, and played some interview clips from the Austin cake show featuring Mark Desgroseilliers, Sidney Galpern, Sachiko Windbiel, Denise Gall, and Tammy Colitti.
The social scientist author I mentioned is Dan Ariely. He’s not involved with this podcast at all, I have simply enjoyed listening to his audio books while working on cakes in the past.
If you enjoyed the show, please leave a review on iTunes and share it with your friends!
The following songs and sound clips were used in this episode of Eat the Evidence. I am extremely grateful to creators who provide this content.
I wanted a legitimate reason to eat popcorn for breakfast because I was craving it and feeling blerghy about trying to eat anything else. I googled around and found various ways of turning popcorn into cereal with milk but that was definitely not what I wanted, and I found some weird methods of squeezing kernels in water, but I didn’t want that either. I wanted popcorn in a pancake.
So I made some up, and it turned out really tasty. It is, however, very, very, very rich because of all the butter, so don’t expect a light and airy meal here. It makes four 6-ish-inch pancakes and I could barely eat two, whereas I usually eat about four of my regular (and much healthier) pancake recipe.
I sized this recipe to work off of a 70g bag of premade “lightly salted” popcorn. You can pop your own or use a flavoured popcorn if you like. The popcorn with sugar on it weighs more, so if the line of popcorn you like has a “lightly salted” version around 70g but the flavoured version weighs more in the same size bag, it should be fine.
Also, I ate a handful of the popcorn out of the bag as I cooked because I just assumed everyone is going to do that anyway, so really, the 70g doesn’t have to be exact!
Further, if you need this recipe to be gluten-free just ensure that all of the ingredients are gluten-free (particularly the oats and popcorn).
Note that it doesn’t come out as a pourable batter like regular pancakes, so you’ll need to put some in the pan and flatten it down:
Here’s how it looks flipped over, with a nicely crisped surface all over. No soggy weird popcorn here, just crispy popcorn pancakes!
I ate mine plain but you could add whatever toppings you like. Pour salted caramel over it and call it dessert! Or still breakfast. You’re an adult, you can choose to eat whatever suits you and I’m not going to judge. Unless you’re a kid reading this blog, in which case go pick a room in your house you’re allowed to go into, clean it, and then show your parents this page and ask for it for breakfast, with the promise that you’ll wash the dishes afterwards. That’d make me make some for my kids!
- 57g butter (half stick, ¼ cup)
- 100g porridge oats/quick oats (1 cup)
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 70g bag of lightly salted popcorn (or flavour of choice)
- 3 large eggs
- 120 ml water (1/2 cup)
- additional butter for frying
- Melt the 57g of butter carefully in the microwave so it's not too hot (it can still have softened lumps in it), set aside.
- Place oats in a food processor and process until very fine. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and mix in salt and baking powder.
- Place about half of the popcorn (or less, if your processor is small) in the food processor and grind down to fine crumbs. It's okay if some chunks remain. If you see any hard kernels, remove them. Transfer to the bowl with the oats. Repeat with the rest of the popcorn until it is all ground down. Note that if your kitchen is dry, it will become highly statically charged in your food processor and try to leap out all over the place when you go to pour it. If this is a problem, put a bit of water on your fingertips and flick it into the processor's bowl, or give it a tiny misting of water from a clean, food-safe spray bottle.
- Break the eggs into the popcorn/oat bowl and use a silicone spatula to work the eggs into the mix, folding up from the bottom regularly to ensure all of the dry ingredients get mixed in. The mixture will be crumbly.
- Pour in the melted butter and mix thoroughly.
- Add the water and mix thoroughly.
- Place a knob of butter into a frying pan on medium heat until it's melted and bubbly. Scoop about a quarter of your mixture into the pan and press it down flat with a spatula. When the edges start to brown, flip the pancake with the spatula and cook on the other side until its edges are browned, then carefully remove to a serving plate. Repeat three more times for the rest of the batter.
- Serve hot with any toppings as desired.
The first full episode of my new podcast is out!
You can listen to it and find all of the show notes here: http://www.eat-the-evidence.com/podcast/episode-1-april-20-2017/
For a full list of episodes, please see the podcast page.
If you have any comments or requests, feel free to add them below.
Exciting news everybody…I’ve launched a podcast to go with this blog!
The podcast follows the same content guidelines as this blog; it’s not directly for kids, but I try to keep the language clean and promise to preface each episode with a warning if there is content I wouldn’t want my own kids to hear. So it should be safe to listen to with your kids nearby.
The Pilot Episode is out and I’m already working on the first main episode. I aim to have episodes out every other week for the first while, and then maybe once my youngest child is in full-time school I’ll be able to move to weekly. You can listen now by clicking the link below:
Enjoy and get in touch to be part of the show!
Disclaimer: I received a free sample of this product in exchange for an honest review and to post Amazon promotional codes. I do not have my own Amazon affiliate link at this time so this post contains promotional codes that need to be entered at checkout before January 1, 2017, but this post does not contain affiliate links. All Amazon links are direct links only. The only compensation I have received for this post is the free grater.
Shortly before the biggest cake show of the year, I was asked if I would be willing to test and promote the new Deiss® PRO Citrus Lemon Zester & Cheese Grater, which is a mouthful of a title for what I’d otherwise call a microplane grater. I replied that we use microplane graters in our household all the time – primarily for Parmesan cheese, nutmeg, and zesting lemons – and that I’d be happy to give it a whirl and share discount codes with my readers, as long as I could do it after the Birmingham show.
So this thing arrived in the mail and I thought, “Yup, that’s a microplane grater, I’ll get to that in a few weeks.” Because at first glance other than the bright yellow handle, it just looks like every other microplane grater we’ve ever had, and while we ought to replace them more often than we do – because they do get dull after a few years and we really do use them a lot – shopping for a grater tends to be based on convenience and price more than features. I mean, it’s a grater, right? It’s a series of itty bitty blades that shred things. What’s to separate out one from the rest?
Well, I was surprised when I actually used it to find a really cool feature none of our other graters have had, and my husband has decided the Deiss is his new favourite as well. It’s a tiny thing that we didn’t even notice at first until I was grating up some Parmesan and realized I could put the tip of the grater down on the board and push the cheese without the grater slipping around. It was novel enough that I had my husband come take a photo of me doing it:
This is accomplished by two little rubber feet at the end of the grater:
To contrast, here’s the Deiss (on the right) alongside our old grater, which worked fine for grating but we could never put down on its tip without it slipping under pressure:
To get around the slipping, typically with the old grater we’d grate over a bowl. For ingredients that only need approximate measuring – such as how I grate nutmeg directly into a cookie recipe because I know it’s “about that much” and then “a bit more because I like nutmeg” – that’s still the easiest way to do it, as I did with the Deiss here:
But with cheese or an ingredient that needs to be measured, having to put the grater across a bowl means either using a large bowl that then needs cleaning, or using a small bowl that isn’t as stable and then you’re only using a small portion of the blades, so it takes longer. Being able to speed-grate a pile of fluffy Parmesan on a small cutting board is definitely preferable.
I meant to make something with lemon zest in time to do this post, but because I was so ill for weeks after the Birmingham show I haven’t done enough cooking and I realized I have to get this post done now so you all have time to use the discount codes before they expire! But I can’t wait to be able to speed-zest a lemon using a cutting board like this soon. It’s more stable, too, and I can tell you from all-too-frequent experience that grating your fingers while zesting a lemon is a real test of how many swear words you can spew in a matter of seconds.
In fact it’s telling that the Deiss has not claimed its first taste of blood yet. Usually a new grater, peeler, or knife has already sampled human flesh if it’s been in our house this long. We’re really rather horribly clumsy, and now that I’m typing this I’m pretty sure the Deiss can hear me and is just waiting for me to finish posting this and then it’s going to hunt me in my sleep, but until you see an update of my demise assume that this pleasant little feature is actually helping to prevent us from putting a little bit of ourselves into every dish!
It does come with a guard that snaps on and off (a little awkwardly, to be honest…we’ve had graters where they slide on more easily than this one), but we don’t tend to hurt ourselves on things in the drawer nearly so much as grappling with slippery cheese or the ends of nutmegs.
Anyway, all in all we’re quite pleased with the Deiss, and not just because whenever you get a new grater you realize how hard you were working with your old dull one, but because those tiny rubber feet actually do make a difference. Our household now requires that all future graters have this feature!
To get your own, here are links for Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. Use the corresponding code beside the link at checkout (where it asks you if you have a gift card or promotional code) to save US$1.50 or UK£1.48 until January 1, 2017.
For Amazon.com click the link below and use the code OPFL2K2X
For Amazon.co.uk click the link below and use the code ICM2QKR4
A few weeks ago in the middle of a super-busy cake time, I got invited to a friend’s birthday party. With no car and my grocery order already in for that week, I couldn’t easily go get a gift and even though it was specified that gifts weren’t necessary, I really wanted to bring at least a little something.
Luckily I remembered that the kind folks at Mister Chef had recently sent me a box of goodies for testing and review, including a little mould that happens to make gift-box-shaped edibles. (So yes, that means I got this mould for free, but as I always tell all PR people, I am always honest in reviews so you readers can be assured that I’m not just pushing products.)
I also had some cocoa butter I bought awhile back with the intention of playing with but haven’t had time, several varieties of pink glittery edible dusts accumulated from various cake show gift bags, raffles, etc. (in this case I used The Sugar Art’s Sterling Pearl Yummy Berry, so thank you to The Sugar Art for donating it to whichever show I got it from!), some ganache in the freezer (I freeze it in little chunks in a silicone ice tray I’ve had for ages so then I can pull out however much I need), and some nice chocolate in the pantry.
So I decided to throw all of that together quickly on the day of the party and make some chocolates shaped like gifts!
Step one was to make the ribbon sections of the mould a different colour so they’d stand out. This of course is completely unnecessary, but a nice extra. If you were making emergency chocolates with this mould, you could absolutely just make them all one colour. You could also pipe in some different chocolate first (ie some white chocolate if the rest will be dark, or vice versa, or a coloured candy melt). You could even decorate the chocolates after they come out of the mould, but it struck me that I’d get faster, cleaner lines by using the mould itself, so I went with it.
Although I wanted to use the cocoa butter for the most part, I decided it’d also be fun to test what happens if I just painted the dust in directly while still dry, so on two of the mould’s cavities I did that.
For the rest, I melted the cocoa butter slowly in the microwave – and I do mean slowly because it was the first time I did it and wow does it ever take a long time compared to full chocolate! But once it was a liquid, I scooped a small amount of the dust in and mixed it up. It made a pearlescent mix which pleased me because I knew it meant the final result would be glittery, which I knew the recipient would enjoy. Then I used the brush to paint the liquid into the lines of the ribbons. I learned quickly that the trick was to start at the top and let the liquid run down and cool as it went, doing this repeatedly to build up layers, because otherwise it all wanted to pool at the bottom and not stick to the super-smooth silicone (which is, of course, half the point of the silicone…to give a glassy-smooth but flexible decorating surface). If too much pooled down, I used the brush to bring it back up the side ribbons until each cavity had a good, thick layer of the tinted cocoa butter.
Then I did a basic shell-and-fill chocolate. I carefully melted some dark chocolate to just the melting point to keep it in temper (since I’m really horrible at tempering chocolate!), then poured it in the mould all around, banged it to knock out bubbles, and inverted the mould so excess could drip out. Once that was completely hardened, I warmed up some ganache just enough to be pourable and filled each cavity with a little space left at the top. I popped the mould into the fridge, and about 20 minutes later took it back out. Then I put more melted dark chocolate over the top and gave it a scrape over the top with a larger spatula. I let that firm up again in the fridge for about half an hour to be super sure they were firm, then popped them out.
The two that were dusted directly into the mould are the two in the middle on the second row, and it shows. The dust doesn’t show up as well as it does when it’s embedded in the cocoa butter.
I packed them up in a box and took them to the party.
So I learned the following:
- Having chocolate, frozen ganache chunks, and a gift box mould on hand means I can always whip up a party contribution without having to go shopping.
- Mixing sparkly, edible dust into cocoa butter and painting it directly into a chocolate mould works better than dusting the mould.
- Push from the stronger corners of a mould, not the middle!
- People are really happy when you show up with ganache-filled chocolates.
If you’d like to order the same mould, you can do so here (not an affiliate link, but again I did get the mould free from that source for review purposes).
I am definitely planning to use some candy melts to make red, white, and green ganache-filled gift chocolates for Christmas this year!