Fallout 3 – Fancy Lad Snack Cakes

fallout

Fallout seems to be one of those game franchises you either love or hate, the Marmite of gaming, if you will. With rumors currently running rampant about the probable announcement of Fallout 4 I remember the old style charm and wit it so often summoned in its quirky post apocalyptic world. That’s what makes Fallout such a great game, the sheer size and vastness of the wasteland, along with the massive quest list you can complete (or not) and all in what would have been a brilliant retro 50’s era.

Another reason Fallout is such a great series is its countless nods to pop culture. It can be seen in many places in the game, and one of those places are in its food items. Fancy Lad Snack Cakes, a clear take on Hostess Snack Cakes, not only makes mention of such an iconic American brand, but also pokes fun at the dubiously long shelf life of the things. I mean, do they ever really expire?

So very fancy.

So very fancy.

Anyway, here is my take on what Fancy Lad Snack Cakes would possibly look like. There is never a clear picture of them, possibly out of fear Bethesda might be sued. However, it isn’t hard to imagine that they would look like Hostess cupcakes, with a bit of a twist: I made them in a round disc-like shape with a cursive “fl” on top instead of loop-de-loops. After all, you have to keep these cakes fancy.

Fun Fact: “The Plunger Room of Death” is a small area unmarked on the Pip-Boy world map. It is located South of the Chryslus Building, and East of Farragut West Metro Station. The entrance is a door underneath an intact bridge. Inside are dozens of toilet plungers and bloody hand prints on the walls.

Ingredients:

Chocolate Cakes
1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 cup boiling water
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated white sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Chocolate Fudge Frosting:

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
2/3 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/3 cups confectioners sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS:

Tastier than a Stimpak.

Tastier than a Stimpak.

Chocolate Cakes:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly oil a pudding tin and set aside.

In a small bowl stir until smooth the boiling hot water and the cocoa powder. Let cool to room temperature.

In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture and beat only until incorporated. Then add the cooled cocoa mixture and stir until smooth. This will be slightly runny, don’t panic.

Fill each depression about two-thirds full with batter and bake for about 16 – 20 minutes or until risen, springy to the touch, and a toothpick inserted into a cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Once the cakes have completely cooled, frost with icing. You can either spread the frosting on the cake with a small spatula or if piping, fill cakes will white cream or custard then cover with chocolate frosting. Finally a simple milk + icing sugar frosting is piped on top to create the FL logo.

Chocolate Frosting:
Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.

Beat the butter until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar and beat until it is light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla extract. Add the chocolate and beat until incorporated.

Makes about 24 cakes.

Fun fact: Wastelanders’ favorite cereal, Chocolate-Frosted Sugar Bombs, or also known simply as “Sugar Bombs”, are shaped like miniature nukes.

DIFFICULTY: TWO MOOGLES
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Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars – Muku Cookies

muuku
With Christmas mere days away, I’m in full swing with baking Christmas themed cookies. I wanted to bake a few different kinds and although normal Christmas cookies are all well and good, I pulled some inspiration from my usual source: video games.

Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars is one of those anomalies of a game that sounds like quite an odd concoction of ideas. However, a Mario RPG developed by Square and published by Nintendo just seemed crazy enough to work, and work it did. Featuring on many “Top [insert number here] Game” lists, SMRPG touts a colorful soundtrack, clean visuals (for the time) and chirpy dialogue. It really is a must play, and comes highly recommended by myself.

It even features cookies! When the item is used, the party summons a Mukumuku, who tries to hit a member of the party, but fails. The creature then hurts himself by throwing a bomb. For some reason, this recovers 69 HP for all party members.

A Muku Cookie

A Muku Cookie

For these cookies I used a simple shortbread recipe with buttercream icing, it makes it look nice and tastes great! Not to mention quite hard to mess up for anyone who is baking challenged.

Fun Fact: In the Japanese version, Bowser’s Haiku was instead a free-verse poem, which translated to “Why does everyone say ‘Mario, Mario’? My heart is very sad”, with his name at the end (as a sort of signature) instead of “Haiku”.

Shortbread Recipe

Ingredients:
175g butter, softened
½ cup Icing Sugar
1½ cups plain flour
½ cup cornflour
Pinch of salt

Too cute to eat.

Too cute to eat.

Directions:
Preheat oven to 150°C. Grease or line an oven tray with baking paper.
Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Sift in flour, cornflour and salt and mix thoroughly with the butter mixture until it forms a dough.
Knead dough, then roll out to 10mm thickness on a floured surface. Press out shapes using a biscuit cutter. Press remaining dough together and roll out again, press out shapes until mixture is used up.
Bake for 30 minutes or until pale golden.
Makes: about 14, can halve recipe.

I dyed a buttercream icing brown and then simply piped bear faces on top, and iced the sides. Simple!

Fun Fact: Bowser’s victory pose was changed when it was brought to the U.S. as it previously resembled the “Up yours!” gesture.

DIFFICULTY: ONE MOOGLE
1moogle

Bowl Of Grilled Bananas with Passionfruit Sauce – Guild Wars II

bananas
Although my journey into the world of MMOs ended at Final Fantasy XI, I can’t lie about the few times I would occasionally divert to other MMORPGs. FFXI was the gateway drug into Runescape, Everquest, Rift and Guild Wars II (shockingly enough, never World of Warcraft). And, although time spent with these games were fleeting, I can still remember what a huge role crafting played in the day to day continuation of these online experiences.

Obviously my favorite craft was cooking, and looking back at this particular recipe is so laughable, all you need are a banana, a bottle of Passionfruit sauce and presto! Magic happens before your very eyes. If only it were that easy in real life.

What's that orange stuff?

What’s that orange stuff?


Anyway, on to the recipe. I wanted to create something simple after the amount of time I had put into the Super Mario 64 cake and this fit the bill, it takes about 5 minutes.

Fun Fact: Traveling to many of the vistas entails a LOT of platforming for an MMORPG. Having jumping puzzles is also unusual in the MMO genre.

Recipe:
3 firm bananas
2 Tbsp of brown sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp of butter
Pulp from 2-3 passionfruit

Direcions:
Pre-heat the grill. Line a baking tray with foil.
Slice the bananas in half, length-ways. Spread the butter over the cut side. Place the bananas, cut side up, on the baking tray.
Sprinkle bananas with brown sugar. Grill for 4 minutes then gently turn bananas over and grill for another 4 minutes or until golden and soft.
Divide bananas equally amongst two serving dishes. Top with passionfruit pulp. If desired, serve with vanilla yoghurt, custard or even ice cream.

Fun Fact: To promote the “Dragon Bash” holiday, ArenaNet produced physical versions of the dragon piñatas that appear in game and sent them to assorted gaming journalists. I wonder what was inside?

DIFFICULTY: ONE MOOGLE
1moogle

Super Mario 64 – Mario’s Cake

cake
Is there anything that says “I love you” more than making someone a Mario themed birthday cake? I think not. I mean, I personally could solely receive a huge cake for my birthday nowadays and be completely excited about it. This week, however, was my husband’s birthday, and I wanted to make it something special with a unique cake.

The cake as it appears at the end of Super Mario 64

The cake as it appears at the end of Super Mario 64

Princess Peach is also a firm believer of the phrase “The way to a mans heart is through his stomach”, constantly baking Mario cakes upon her rescue. It’s funny to think the entirety of Super Mario 64 starts upon the promise of cake, with Mario receiving this letter from Peach:

What a tease.

What a tease.

Unfortunately for Mario, this begins an insane quest to rescue Princess Peach and receive said cake. Thankfully for my husband, this cake requires no princess to be rescued, nor Koopas to be stomped, in order to relish in its deliciousness.

I’ll include the really easy cake and frosting recipe I use when I’m making a white cake, it’s super yummy and can even be used for cupcakes!

Fun Fact: Many fans of Super Mario 64 are convinced that Luigi is hidden inside the game somewhere, citing numerous, in-depth attempts to find him. However, Nintendo themselves have gone on record saying they didn’t include Luigi because they needed more room for levels.

White Cake

1 cup white sugar
1/2 (113g) cup butter
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup milk

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9×9 inch pan.
In a medium bowl, cream together the sugar and butter. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Combine flour and baking powder, add to the creamed mixture and mix well. Finally stir in the milk until batter is smooth. Pour or spoon batter into the prepared pan.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven. For cupcakes, bake 20 to 25 minutes. Cake is done when it springs back to the touch.

White Frosting

Fondant Peach - beautiful AND delicious

Fondant Peach – beautiful AND delicious

1 cup white sugar
1/3 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

In a saucepan, stir together the sugar and water. Cook over medium-high heat until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is bubbly. Stir constantly.
In a medium mixing bowl, lets eggs whites and salt sit for a couple minutes. Whip the egg whites, salt and vanilla to soft peaks. Gradually add the sugar mixture while whipping constantly until stiff peaks form, about 7 to 10 minutes.

I used a few things to assemble the cake. First I used a buttercream icing to smooth out the bases and fill in the gaps between the top and bottom layer. I then poured the white icing over the top of the cake to give it a similar effect to Peaches original cake. And finally, I sculpted the figures of Mario, Peach and the Star with my own two hands. Then I waited to serve before piping whipped cream and adding the fruit. It took me, in total, about 3 days as I’m a very busy Boo.

Fun Fact: Princess Peach doesn’t do too badly for herself either, she’s featured in more video games than any other female character in gaming history since her debut in 1985.


DIFFICULTY: 4 AND A HALF MOOGLES
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