This past weekend, I visited a couple of friends in London. Mostly because I had not seen them in a gosh long time, but also because I had sh!t of theirs that simply had to leave my house (it was clashing with my drapes!)
As it goes, one of them was to be tattooed. At home. How amazing is that? Home call tattoo artists!
While the process was under way, I was politely asked (read practically barked at) to bake some green tea cookies. My reaction: search up a basic butter cookie recipe and add green tea powder to it.
You can all guess where this is going.
Sometime after mixing the butter—which I think I think I put too much of—sugar and green tea powder I realised something wasn’t right. I managed to shrug it off and carried on. Egg… flour… alright something is up.
The texture just wasn’t right (sorry, no photo). What I did notice, however, was that it resembled muffin batter in the making. All I needed was milk. I think you can all see the predicament I was in. Was I to stick to the cookie recipe, or follow my yeast-fuelled baking instinct and turn it into green tea muffin batter?
I followed my gut (didn’t feel like eating cookies, anyway) and in the milk went. Muffins were officially in the making.
They were awesome!
I don’t have a muffin tray at home; I have a scone tray, which makes my muffins grow wide and flat. These, on the other hand, grew marvelously high with the laterally tight confines of a proper muffin tray. They were my creations and they were beautiful.
Icing was mentioned and therefore applied. It may have a been a mistake, as the green tea flavour was extremely subtle and easily overpowered by icing in the same bite.
Straight after that I started making a coffee cake. It wasn’t one of those which consist of layers of biscuits dipped in coffee intercalated with cream. No. This cake was to be a sponge with coffee incorporated in it.
I’d had the idea marinating in my head for a while and since he opportunity presented itself…
I didn’t need the recipe for this one. I just followed patterns that somehow stuck to my head. 2:1 flour: sugar ratio; improvise the butter; add one egg; add milk as necessary. Then I made a “coffee paste” by mixing instant coffee in minimum water and beating it until is was thick (almost as much as molasses). This paste was then folded into the cake mix and baked (125ºC-ish?).
Once it was baked, I let it cool and cut it into a moustache and goatee shapes, just for sh!ts and giggles. Icing went on and, with the help of the green tea muffins/cupcakes, silliness ensued.
Shut up, I know the ‘tache and goatee look like a pair of lips. It still looks ridiculous.
Now, what’s the moral of the story? Practice actually helps. No really! Were it not for my few years of midnight/improvisational baking (and helping my sister and mum do it), I never would have been able to decide what to do. Any divergence from the recipe (or a lack of recipe, in the latter occasion) would have thrown me in a panic! I have baked so much, it has become instinct. This has been the first time I have blindly followed my kitchen instincts… and the results are good! Of course, I won’t rely on them exclusively, but it’s good to know I’ve got my own back when the whisk goes rogue.
As for the final look of the tattoo: it will have to wait until the next post. Just remember, it’s not a fox!