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Archive for October, 2015

Bake Off

So in case you’re not a food-obsessed greedbag like I am, it was the finale of the Great British Bake Off last night, and so we all got together to celebrate with our very own Geektown Bake Off!

We did this last year for the final, and again at the start of this season. It’s always a fantastic opportunity to challenge your pancreas to make enough insulin, and to challenge your stomach to fit that last piece of cake in. 

  

We hosted it in the new flat and it was great fun. I was happy to see Nadiya take the crown, as the whole series had kinda been about her #journey. 

I ended up making a tiered cheesecake- seeing as it was the final I decided to push myself and go for a showstopper! 

The flavours I went for were white chocolate, honeycomb and ginger and maaaan thankfully it turned out being delicious. Here follows my recipe!

  
I used 13cm and 20cm springform cake tins, and have included recipe quantities for both. The smaller cheesecake would serve about six, and the bigger about ten. 
Total ingredients

Decorations

  • Gold dust
  • Cake dowels or other support system
  • Washed and dried non poisonous leaves- try to pick ones with good veins
  • Icing sugar to dust

Base

  • 4 or 5 digestive
  • 6 or 8 ginger snaps
  • 75g butter 125g

Cheesecake Mix

  • 180mL double cream 240mL
  • 280g white choc 400g
  • 360g Philidelphia or other cream cheese 480g
  • 100g icing sugar 130g
  • Vanilla extract
  • Ginger
  • 50g honeycomb

Blitz the biscuits (3:2 ginger snaps:digestives) in a food processor, then add about 50-100g melted butter to bind the base together.

  
Put in cake tin (lined with paper if not springform) and chill in fridge while making the rest of the cheesecake

Mix the cream cheese and double cream mixture together, add in the ginger (>1 tsp ginger in big, half a tsp in small) and vanilla. Stir well. 
It’s likely you will need some icing sugar to thicken the mixture and allow it to set but be aware this will sweeten it, especially as the white chocolate is still to come. This is where the ginger comes in handy so add some to taste 

  
Melt the chocolate in a water bath saving some for the leaves. Be careful not to burn the chocolate, and most importantly don’t forget to lick the bowl when you’re done. 
  
Slowly add in the chocolate, after allowing it to cool somewhat but not harden. 

Once it’s all mixed together and you’re happy with the taste, gently stir in some of the honeycomb (leaving enough to decorate the cake after) 

It’s important to put in the honeycomb last as otherwise it dissipates. You want a bit of crunch left over but also when it dissolves it leaves a delicious pool of caramel which is brilliant to get on the end of your fork. 

Pour the mixtures into your cake tin(s) onto your now hardened base and if you’re making tiers this is the point when you should cut your dowels to size and pop them in your bottom tier

  

Put your cheesecake into the fridge to chill for a few hours, or the freezer if it’s particularly runny. 

Rub your gold dust over the washed and dried leaves then brush them with melted white chocolate. Refrigerate or freeze while you wait for the rest of the cheesecake to set. When ready, peel them from the leaves. 
  
Decorate the cake as desired with your white chocolate leaves, chunks of honeycomb and goldust, and finally dust with icing sugar as desired. 

When the cheesecake has been refrigerated and has set (you should expect a bit of a wobble when you shake the tin) take them out of the tins and set them up where you’ll be displaying it. 

  
Try to delay setting the cake out and putting the honeycomb on for as long as possible, as otherwise it may melt a bit at room temperature
Enjoy your feast! I managed to take home the title of star baker so will soon be putting the victory oven mits to good use!

M

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Kid on the new block

Haven’t blogged here in a while as I haven’t had much access to the internet. Why? BECAUSE I’M IN A NICE NEW APARTMENT, THAT’S WHY. (And it doesn’t have internet yet shhh)

I’m living with the two school friends I’d been living with last year, and I was getting a bit worried we wouldn’t find anywhere if I’m honest, as our lease expired at the end of August and we still hadn’t found anywhere to live. I moved back home and thankfully we managed to find somewhere new- an apartment in South Belfast, allowing me to live out my dream of being a twenty-something living in an apartment. I just need a chick and duck and my transformation into a character from Friends will be complete.

I hadn’t actually seen the place before I moved in, so was trusting in my friend’s taste that it was a nice place, and decided to just go for it cause we were having trouble with people pipping us to the post. And it turns out she has great taste- the new digs are awesome. Much bigger than I was expecting, and with brilliant perks like a balcony, kitchen island and two showers in my en suite bathroom. Hell to the yeah. The rent’s obviously a fair bit more expensive than the previous house, but in comparison with places in England it’s still pretty great value.

It’s a bit further out than my last place which is one of the downsides. Previously I’d been able to walk to my hospital in about fifteen minutes, and when I move to my next hospital it would have been less than ten minutes. Sadly that’s not really possible so I’ve gotten myself a bike (and called it Nox), and am now cycling into work and back. Pedalling back uphill at midnight is less than fun, but that’s life.

I’m halfway through my time in A&E and am obviously still a bit crap at my job, but I’m getting slowly less incompetent which is nice. I think it’s likely not for me as a career in the end. While it’s fun and exciting, I’m not sure that the type of medicine practised is really for me: there’s more of a focus on making a general decision on where a patient needs to go, rather than the diagnostic work-up in medicine, with the feedback of getting a proper answer and most importantly being able to see the outcome of your hard graft. In the ED you do see results, but usually only on quick cases, not the ones you have to think hard about and work on. So I’ll probably be going down the route of core medicine training in the end. Reassuring to know.

That’s all for now folks, I’m off to get things ready for having a few people over to the new place tonight. It’s the GBBO final and we’re having our own Bake Off! Expect my next post to be a food blog.

M