Final Fantasy XI – Moogle Pie

Moogle PieIt must be a sin to be a cooking blog called “Moogle Pie” without having made a Moogle pie. FFXI was one of the only MMOs I embarrassingly put way too much time into (I was a pretty amazing BLM and WHM, totally not bragging). And although there’s little reward for playing an MMO, what I gained in friendship made everything worth the effort. This is also where I was introduced to Moogle Pie, a rarer uncommonly crafted food consumable that was a bit more of a novelty item than actually any real use.

In-game screenshot of Moogle Pie.

In-game screenshot of Moogle Pie.

Moogles, as many familiar with the Final Fantasy series may know, are small winged creatures touting various responsibilities depending on what game you happen to be playing. But, usually it’s to help rather than hurt. I can’t imagine that they could have created something this yummy with their doughy paws though. They must have used a great Instagram filter.

Fun Fact: Moogles also appear in franchises other than Final Fantasy;
Kingdom Hearts, Mario Sports Mix and Secret of Mana also feature this loveable mascot.

Ingredients

1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch double crust pie
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
4 Granny Smith apples – peeled, cored and sliced

Directions

Melt butter in a sauce pan. Stir in flour to form a paste. Add white sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and water; bring to a boil. Reduce temperature, and simmer 5 minutes. Do not let boil or burn.

Meanwhile, roll out half of the crust on a floured surface until about half a centimeter thickness, into the shape of a large oval. Fill center with apples, mounded slightly down the center of the pastry. Gently spoon half of the sugar and butter liquid over the apples.

To plait pastry, cut 1 inch wide strips on either side of the apple mixture and make sure they’re nearly long enough to reach the other side of the apple mixture. Fold each strip of pastry to the other side, alternating sides.

If desired, brush an egg wash over your Moogle pie and sprinkle a little sugar on top. I personally think this makes it look nicer, but it’s personal preference. Bake 20 minutes at 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).

Fun Fact: Square Enix’s cafe Artnia serves pancakes with a Moogle motif. Cute AND tasty.


No spells involved, but still tastes magical!

No spells involved, but still tastes magical!


DIFFICULTY: TWO MOOGLES
moogles copy

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Kingdom Hearts – Sea Salt Ice Cream

icecream
With summer upon us here in sunny New Zealand (Sorry to all those in the northern hemisphere), it’s time to break out the shorts, kick back and enjoy some ice cream. Kingdom Hearts I & II was one of the first games my husband and I played together, so I guess you could say it’s among one of my favorite game series. And what’s not to like? It’s a beautiful marriage between Disney and Final Fantasy, very much like the sweet and salty combination in Sea Salt Ice cream. I had made sea salt ice cream before, and since then it’s become a summer staple.

Sora and Roxas enjoying their ice creams

Sora and Roxas enjoying their ice creams

After KH 3 was announced and the HD rerelease came out, the cravings for a salty sweet treat creeped back into my stomach. So perhaps you could also enjoy your summer vacation with these sweet treats.

Fun Fact: Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch boasts its own version of a Salted Ice Cream treat. Though the icon is strongly reminiscent of mint chocolate chip.

Sea Salt Ice Cream:
4 egg yolks
2 cups evaporated milk
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup heavy whipping cream
sea salt to taste
blue food coloring (optional)
Green food coloring (optional)
ice pop molds (optional)

Directions:
[disclaimer] I did not use an ice cream maker. If using molds keep checking ice cream to make sure mixture isn’t separating or doing anything strange. If so, just give it a quick mix until frozen solid.ice cream moulds

• Mix the egg yolks and sugar together until thick and creamy.
• In a medium saucepan bring evaporated milk to boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
• Slowly pour hot milk into yolk/sugar mixture and mix well. Warning: make sure to temper the yolks, this means only add a little of the milk mixture until the yolks are the same temperature. You don’t want your yolks to cook!
• Pour milk/yolk/sugar mixture back into saucepan and heat on medium until a custard consistency is achieved. Do not boil.
• Put mixture in fridge to cool.
• In a separate bowl, whip the heavy whipping cream until soft peaks form.
• Once the custard has cooled, add whipped cream, vanilla and coloring to mixture.
• Add sea salt (keeping adding salt until it tastes salty sweet, it’s up to you).
• Freeze. If you wish, get some ice pop molds. Other websites suggest spraying a bit of PAM inside the molds so that the ice cream comes out easily, but I never do this. It’s easy enough to run the mold under a hot water tap for a few seconds then pull the ice cream out. Also, if you have no molds, ice cube trays or cake pans work just fine. Cover while freezing.

All that’s left to do now is find a nearby clock tower to enjoy your very own Sea Salt Ice cream.

Fun Fact: Series creator Tetsuya Nomura originally had sea salt ice cream on a trip to Tokyo DisneySea. He enjoyed it so much that he decided to include it in Kingdom Hearts II, using it as a treat that kids would typically enjoy during summer vacation.

DIFFICULTY: TWO MOOGLES
moogles copy

Professor Layton Hint Coin Cookies

cookies

What are those things that…you know…help you solve puzzles with clues in Layton games…? Gimme a hint?!

Ah, that’s it, hint coins. Playing Layton games would probably be darn near impossible without cheating or being a genius. And it just wouldn’t be the same game without frantically tapping around the touch pad, scouring the area for coins. It would be invaluable having some of those in real life (and possibly use them in Who Wants To Be A Millionaire). So why not? And while we’re at it we can make them sugar cookies.

Fun Fact: The Laytonmobile is built with a high ceiling to accommodate Layton’s hat which he never takes off. Despite its good condition, Luke believes that nobody would want to steal it.

Creating the stamp was a puzzle in itself

Creating the stamp was a puzzle in itself

I had to get a bit crafty with this, and by me I mean my husband and I (thanks Tom!). Trying to solve the puzzle of how to create the iconic Layton logo, and keep it food friendly at the same time needed no hint coin. Ruling out clays and polymers, for obvious reasons, I chose to make a normal stamp out of salt dough, which hardens to about the consistency of a rock when baked at a low heat over a long period of time. Again, with Tom and I flexing our creative muscles, we were able to sculpt a replica of the Layton seal using one parts salt, one parts water and two parts flour. It’s funny how something you learned in kindergarden is still handy to this day. Despite losing a few picarats trying to solve the stamp conundrum, it turned out pretty great in the end. I included the recipe I use for sugar cookies as well. By far this is my favourite recipe, its easy and comes out great every time without much spread.

Sugar Cookies:
1 cup of unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups icing sugar
1 egg, room temperature
2-3 teaspoons of vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

“Gold” glaze:
1 egg white
2 1/2 teaspoons of yellow dye
Optional: 2 tablespoons maple syrup (These cookies are sweet, but I have a greater sweet tooth.)
Optional: If you want to kick these up one more notch, gold food colouring spray is also available. Unfortunately, I live in the middle of nowhere.

Cream together softened butter and confectioner’s sugar. Add egg and the vanilla extract. Mix until the egg is thoroughly incorporated, it may separate then come back together. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt, then add little by little to the mixture. Mix well, dough is ready when I touch it, it has a little give, but does not stick to my fingers.

[Recommended but optional] Refrigerate dough until chilled, this makes rolling, cutting and stamping much easier. Roll out on parchment to about 1/4 an inch thick, use flour for dusting as necessary.

Ready for the oven

Ready for the oven

Then, stamp, cut and bake at 400 degrees for 7-8 minutes. Make sure to take cookies out before they begin to brown.

While cookies are baking prepare the golden glaze. Mix egg white and yellow dye together (and maple syrup). Immediately upon taking cookies out of the oven brush mix over cookies using a pastry brush.

This version makes about 9 large hint coins.

Fun Fact: Most of the voice actors in the English-language release of the games put on fake British accents. Actual British-English test players of the game reportedly hated Lani Minella’s mockney accent for Luke so much that the British edition completely redubs Luke’s lines with English-born Maria Darling. Christopher Robin Miller, however, put on an accent for the Professor so convincing that many players think he is British.


DIFFICULTY: ONE MOOGLE
1moogle

Poké Puffs

PokePuffsPokémon X&Y recently released worldwide bringing with it a new 3D adventure packed with new features. There were so many new bonus extras my head literally exploded. It probably took me a good five minutes to get over seeing everything rendered, including your character, in 3D. It simply looked great, considering the massive overhaul from previous generations.

After cleaning up the pieces and getting in to the thick of my adventure, Froakie in tow, I noticed that one of the newer features, Pokémon Amie, let you feed delectable looking creme puffs to Pokémon, called “Poké Puffs”. Severely jealous of the mountains of delicious looking treats I was feeding my Pokémon, I decided that enough was enough, and I’d make my own version of real life Poké Puffs.

Once on the lips forever on the hips, Sylveon.

Once on the lips forever on the hips, Sylveon.

At first it didn’t go as planned, I had added too much colouring to the mixture and some Puffs didn’t rise or only partially rose. Then, later, disaster struck while dying the whipped cream. I recommend using a mock cream instead of whipped cream if you’re new to baking, real whipped cream tends to go funny too quickly and trying to create a variety of coloured creams can be overwhelming. The creme puffs themselves however are decently easy to make, and don’t require an insane amount of skill.

Fun fact: Creme Puffs are also used as a treat in FFXI, granting a boost to INT, perfect for the Black Mage in your life. There’s even a dance troupe called “The Creme Puffs” that perform during special events.

Blobs used transform

Blobs used transform

Choux Pastry:
– 1/2 cup all purpose flour
– 1/2 teaspoon granulated white sugar
– 1/4 teaspoon salt
– 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
– 1/2 cup (120 ml) water
– 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
A few drops of pink, green and orange food colouring

Whipped Cream:
– 2 cup heavy whipping cream (double cream)
– 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
– 4 tablespoons granulated white sugar
Optional: Mint, strawberry and oraPirouline Wafer Biscuitsuit, Jelly etc.s, Pirouline Wafer Biscuits, Chocolate etc.

For the Choux Pastry:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly butter or spray the pan with a non stick vegetable spray.

In a bowl combine the flour, sugar and salt.

Place the butter and water in a heavy saucepan over medium high heat and bring to a boil. (Make sure that the butter melts before the water boils to reduce the amount of evaporation.) Remove from heat and add the flour mixture, all at once, stir until combined. Return saucepan to the heat and stir constantly until the dough comes away from the sides of the pan and forms a thick smooth ball (about 1-2 minutes). Transfer the dough to another bowl and beat slowly to release the steam from the dough (about a minute). Once the dough is lukewarm start adding the lightly beaten eggs (dough will separate and then come together) this will yield a smooth paste. Divide dough into three separate bowls and add a few drops (2-3) of food colouring to each. Remember not to add too much, or else this will prevent the pastry from rising. Spoon 12 small mounds of dough onto the baking sheet, spacing about 2 inches apart.

Bake for 15 minutes and then reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Continue to bake for a further 30 to 35 minutes or until the shells, when split, are almost dry inside.

For Whipped Cream: In a large mixing bowl place the whipping cream, vanilla extract, and sugar and stir to combine. Whip hip the cream just until stiff peaks form, be careful not to over beat. You can also add a bit of flavoured extract to your whipped cream, as Pokepuffs come in a variety of flavours; such as mint, strawberry or orange.

To Assemble: Split the pastry shells in half and fill (or pipe) with whipped cream, transfer to fridge ASAP. Separate the remaining whipped cream into three bowls, adding a bit of food colouring to each. Once again be careful as to how much is added. Pipe or spoon coloured cream on top of puff cases. Add garnishes as deemed fit, it’s personal preference!

Fun Fact: it is rumoured that the chef of Catherine de Medici, of the esteemed Italian Medici family, created the Creme Puff. Too bad they don’t defend from Templar attacks.

DIFFICULTY: THREE AND A HALF MOOGLES
moogles