Friday, 5 April 2013

Fancy Fake Day

Quite sadly, cooking, blogging, tweeting and pinteresting is not currently going to keep our Party of 11 in the lifestyle to which we are accustomed (or wish to become accustomed), so I have a real job in a real office that presently pays the bills. A job that I like, with people I like, but which doesn't doesn't involve food or pretty party things.
However, every couple of Fridays, my job and cooking obsession collides when my Bake Day comes around. And when it does come around, I have delusions that I'm going to bake some gorgeous thing or other to great acclaim.

What happens in reality is that I arrive home from work after 8pm the night before, exhausted, not having shopped or prepped anything beforehand. And the kiddos are asleep, rendering the Kitchenaid off limits anyway. The rule at P11 headquarters is - you wake 'em, you take 'em - even if they're not yours!

So, when my Bake Day rolled around today, and I had uni last night until 9pm - one hour away from home - I was in despair and facing what has become known around here as Fake Day. That is, buying morning tea rather than making it. So, after a lot of brain racking (is that a thing?!) on my behalf to try and figure out a menu that was quick and easy, hadn't been done a million times before, could feed a small crowd and didn't require any noisy kitchen equipment.

A traditional morning tea to me is sandwiches, cakes and pastries, so I decided to twist that idea slightly and (just like last Easter weekend) use every shortcut I could think of.

The first step was to choose something savoury and I immediately decided on Tacos. They easily feed a crowd and its kind of a group activity to make them - hey, I'm a team player! But the beef ones weren't going to be a good idea without a full kitchen in the office, so I went with chicken. Rather than cooking up a batch of it though, I decided the ready-made chicken chippies from Woolies across the road would do, and added the traditional taco toppings.

Old El Paso Dinner Kit Taco Soft Crispy Chicken
An easier take on these is to buy ready-made chicken chippies or tenders and add whatever extras take your fancy. No cooking whatsoever!

For the sweet parts, I went with a chocolate cake with rocky road topping and Caramello Croissants. Well, to call them croissants would be an insult to French people quite frankly. Maybe choc-caramel croissant-like pastries is a better term. Though I can't see that name taking off.

The result was what will now be called a Fancy Fake Day!

Fancy Fake Day Morning Tea Menu (for 12-15)

Sweet Chilli Chicken Tacos
Choc-caramel Croissant-like Pastries
Rocky Road Cake

Sweet Chilli Chicken Tacos

20 Ready-made chicken tenders or chippies
Soft Tortillas
Sour Cream
Sweet Chilli Sauce

I actually feel ridiculous trying to type instructions for these tacos, but here goes. Buy the ingredients, warm up the tortillas and chicken if you need to, and set out the rest of the ingredients for your crowd to make their own tacos.  Done.

Rocky Road Cake

Ready made Chocolate Cake
1-2 blocks of White Chocolate

Yet again, the instructions for this cake are pretty self explanatory, but there was a trick I used that made matters go smoothly. Take a ready-made chocolate cake (or make one, if you really are a domestic goddess!) and pop it into a tin of the same size, lined with baking paper extending an inch or two over the sides. Take a knife and even off the top of the cake so that you have a flat surface to work with.

Melt the white chocolate and spread a thin layer over the top of the cake, then place the marshmallows and peanuts on top. Drizzle over the rest of the chocolate, making sure that all of the toppings are covered. Place the whole thing into the fridge and let the chocolate set, before cutting and serving. To cut the cake, use a hot knife (I run mine under the hot water for 30 seconds or so).

Choc-Caramel Croissant-Like Pastries

1 packet Puff Pastry
1 block Caramello Chocolate
25g butter or 1 egg

This was the only "cooking" done in the whole of this menu, but really it took no time at all. It was also made a thousand times easier by watching this video by the real domestic goddess. It did take me a few goes to get it right because the pastry I used was the standard frozen square one, not that fancy rolled one Nigella appears to have there.


If you're using the square ones, defrost them and trim all the edges off, leaving as much as you can (very important for it to puff!). Cut the large square into into 4 smaller squares, then each into a triangle. Take 2 squares of chocolate and place them on the long side of the triangle, then roll it into the croissant-like shape, pressing the edges down as you go. Lay them out onto a baking tray and brush with melted butter or a beaten egg. Serve them warm so that the chocolate caramel goodness inside is all melty.

Step 1: Place chocolate on the long end of triangle

Step Two: Roll the triangle

Step 3: Fold back one side and tuck in any edges

Step 4: Fold back the other side and voila!


No comments:

Post a Comment