Friday, December 17, 2010

Q&A with Mrs Cake

I've noticed that lots of you have questions - I use Google Analytics to track how many of you there are out in cyberspace reading my ramblings, and it tells me the search terms people use to find me. There are a few really, uh, special ones, like "mr bad examples chocolate yoghurt cake" and "bitten hard mrs. pudding" - what? Does either of those make sense to anyone? Perhaps Mr Bad Examples and Mrs Pudding are a good match, but I'm not sure what my blog has to do with it. Someone also searched for "simon holst married" - sorry, but he is - and another visitor had typed "you don't think it. mrs cake" into their search engine. Is that a threat? A statement of mild surprise? I really don't know.

Anyway, in among the random stuff there are quite a few questions, and I thought it might be helpful to answer some of them. So, here we go: 

Can I freeze a sago plum pudding? 
You definitely can. If you make it within a couple of weeks of eating keeping it in the fridge is fine, but mine are safely frozen and stashed away in my parents' freezer (they'd better still all be there, dear family!). Most puddings are happily freezable - I usually freeze some of my sticky date puddings when I make them. Much like the supermarket ones (but tastier!) these will be ready to eat after a quick blast in the microwave.

What kind of heat gun should I use for chocolate?
I've been reliably informed that a hairdryer is probably the sensible option for most of us hobbyists, but if you want something gruntier you should make sure the option you go for can be adjusted to blow warm, not hot air, as chocolate is pretty sensitive and doesn't want to get too hot.

Where can I buy Callebaut chocolate in New Zealand? 
I buy mine from Moore Wilson here in Wellington - it's in the bulk section, and they have bittersweet, milk and white chocolate budlets in 2.5kg bags, as well as blocks (I prefer the budlets though, as big blocks of chocolate can be a challenge to cut up). In Christchurch I believe you can get the bittersweet ones from Trents, though you need a trade account to shop there. Back in Wellington, Bohemien sell 250g bags, though it is more expensive by weight, so if you will use 2.5kg within a reasonable timeframe you're better to go to Moore Wilson. 

How many people does a 5kg turkey feed? 
The general rule of thumb is about 1kg for every two people (as the weight of the bird includes bones,  which are included in the weight but aren't eaten), so a 5kg bird should feed 10, but I find that guideline pretty generous, and I rather think that would be enough for 12 or more people. You can stretch the meat further by making extra stuffing, too.

Can I fill brandy snaps with custard? 
I can't see why not! And now I also would like brandy snaps filled with custard. I've done it with ice-cream, which is really just frozen custard. So go ahead - and let me know how it goes!

I guess this means that if you want to ask me a question you could type it in your search bar, then trawl through squillions of results and click through to my blog - but I will also happily answer any questions you want to ask - email me at, or post on my Facebook page.While I'm all about encouraging you guys to pipe up, I'd really love to see your photos of stuff you bake, so feel free to upload your droolables (totally a word) to the Facebook page also. :-)

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