Pages from "Steve Rogers #18, U.S.Avengers #7...

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acelightning: the famous photo of Earth seen from space (Earth)
([personal profile] acelightning Jun. 21st, 2017 06:02 am)
The actual moment was almost six hours ago, but that makes this the "First Day Of [Summer/Winter]". Whichever season you're entering, may you all be blessed in whatever ways you need the most!
acelightning: dramatically lit place setting awaiting serving of fancy food (eats01)
([personal profile] acelightning Jun. 21st, 2017 05:21 am)
This is a cake just slightly larger than a life-size mug of coffee. It made four servings - it's rich and rather dense!

Coffee Mug Cake
Cake in the shape of a full coffee mug
Cake with a slice removed
Coffee-mug cake with a slice removed

I started by making a dark chocolate ganache, to which I added powdered instant espresso, to give it a deep mocha flavor. As the ganache was cooling to a spreadable consistency, I made a plain vanilla genoise cake batter, and baked it in a jelly-roll pan. Because of my lack of mathematical ability, I had the wrong amount of batter for the size of the pan, and the layer came out much thinner than I had planned, but my idea was still workable.

Genoise is usually brushed with syrup while it's still hot. The syrup I made was a "simple syrup", but I used turbinado sugar instead of plain white sugar to give it just a hint of a flavor edge. (I didn't have any coffee liqueur, and also I felt that might have made the flavor too one-dimensional.)

I used my largest round cookie cutter, which just happens to be the same diameter as the coffee mug I was using as a prototype, to cut out circles of syrup-moistened cake. I stacked them with ganache between each layer, until the stack was tall enough, then stuck a skewer down through the middle (so it wouldn't tip over or slide apart) and put it in the refrigerator until it was firm. At this point I noticed that the stacked layers closely resembled Dobos torte or "seven-layer cake". I had used up all the ganache, so while the cake was chilling, I whipped up a small batch of plain confectioners'-sugar-and-butter frosting to coat the sides.

When the cake could stand firm without the skewer, I covered the sides with the frosting, and began to shape the marzipan. My idea was that the marzipan would resemble a ceramic cup, so I rolled it out and cut a strip that was just taller than the cake (to look like the rim of the cup). The icing held the marzipan to the cake. I had just enough marzipan left to shape into a handle - and a tiny nubbin left after that, which I rolled into a "snake", coiled up, and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar, like a little cookie that might be served alongside the coffee in a fancy coffee place.

I brushed a little of the syrup onto the top of the cake, to make it shiny and liquid-looking. And, as a final touch, I added some clusters of different-sized silver dragees, like the clusters of little bubbles that often appear around the edges of a cup of coffee.

As you can see, it really did look like a mug full of black coffee! It smelled wonderful, and it tasted absolutely delicious! You can also see, from the sliced picture, the multi-layered texture, which was a surprise to the person who cut into it :-)
([personal profile] caivu posting in [community profile] scans_daily Jun. 21st, 2017 02:20 am)

The finale of "The Many Arms of Death".

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([personal profile] laughing_tree posting in [community profile] scans_daily Jun. 21st, 2017 10:10 am)

Everyone’s done vengeance, everyone’s done "The night is so dark." Giving Batman more pain doesn’t reveal anything about his character because he’s taken as much pain as he can. But giving him love and joy, that combines with the tragedy of his past into something new... -- Tom King

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([personal profile] robby posting in [community profile] gardening Jun. 20th, 2017 05:59 pm)
 Over the years, I've noticed that my garden has a range of different pollinators. Sure, the European honey bees do show up, but it's for the big events, like almond or lemon trees in blossom. Less glamorous pollinators, like native bumble bees and various flies do the everyday pollination of my squash, eggplant and plum trees. 

Here's a link to an article that describes the connection between the honey bee and modern agriculture, and points out that in a thriving diverse ecosystem (like our gardens) we still can rely on the more natural range of pollinators.


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