Friday, 7 April 2017

Cake Monday - April

We race (electronically) and the loser has to bake a cake to feed the office. 
Why? Because we like cake.
Who? Everyone in the office. No one gets out of it. When? 1st Monday of the month. The rules: you make the cake yourself, without any help. You can't 'repeat' a cake. Your cake will be judged on presentation, difficulty and taste, and marked out of 10 by each colleague. When you have baked 3 cakes, you are out of the competition for 1 year.

Banana Loaf Cake by Dom
Following a cheesecake disaster (it didn't set), Dom made this Banana Cake as a cheesecake-replacement for his Cake Monday. One piece of advice to readers who are thinking about making a Banana Loaf, 

BE CAREFUL!


To make this cake, Dom carefully peeled 2 bananas. He then carefully mashed them with a fork until smooth. Butter was melted, but not too much - you don't want it fully melted (George was VERY sceptical about this technicality). Sugar, eggs and flour were then carefully placed into a bowl and the banana was carefully mixed in. A splash of milk was (carefully) added and the mixture was whacked into a greased and lined baking tin (obviously being careful not to spill any batter onto the tin otherwise the spillages will burn). He then kept one eye on his cake (and the other on his electronic device). 

The Verdict:
We weren't buying into the complexity of this cake. It was simple. BUT, it tasted good! It was nice and light and fluffy, and we all enjoyed eating it. Adam ate the whole thing (he doesn't do cake) and would even consider a second slice. Negativity came from Sue and George who felt more could have been done with the cake, suggestions of icing/chocolate or other fillings were suggested. That said, we did appreciate the fact that Dom had made 2 cakes in 2 days for his colleagues. 

Banana Loaf Cake Average Score: 6.8

Next time: George 

Monday, 27 March 2017

Skiing - March 2017!

Unfortunately, three colleagues ended up having to drop out of the trip for various reasons, but despite the depleted group and some terrible weather, we got out there and skied!







Green beer!

Manly cocktails


Callum's pudding: Lemon sorbet with vodka





5m visibility















Friday, 10 March 2017

Careers Fair - March

Rhys, Jamie, and George head to a local grammar school to discuss recruitment as well as engineering career opportunities with pupils in Years 11, 12, and 13 at their Careers Fair. 


Cake Monday - March

We race (electronically) and the loser has to bake a cake to feed the office. 
Why? Because we like cake.
Who? Everyone in the office. No one gets out of it. When? 1st Monday of the month. The rules: you make the cake yourself, without any help. You can't 'repeat' a cake. Your cake will be judged on presentation, difficulty and taste, and marked out of 10 by each colleague. When you have baked 3 cakes, you are out of the competition for 1 year.

Orange Praline Meringue Cake by Sue

Sue chose to make a genoise sponge for Cake Monday as she's never done one before and had always fancied making one (such a refreshing change to have someone embrace Cake Monday!!). To make the genoise, Sue had to whisk eggs over hot water and the air whisked into the eggs is what makes the sponge rise (there's no rising agent). Side fact: a genoise is also a good sponge to eat because there's very little fat in it. Butter and flour were very slowly incorporated into the whisked eggs as was orange zest. This cake has FOUR layers, so Sue then turned her attention to making the praline. This involved heating whole almonds with sugar until it caramelises and then allowing it to set and cool so it's brittle before whizzing it up to crumb consistency. Sue then made & cooked 2 flat layers of almond meringue (as you do) before making an orange buttercream. Some of the praline was added into the buttercream. The cake was assembled alternating the different layers; sponge, meringue, and buttercream. The whole cake was neatly covered in the orange buttercream and coated with the praline crumbs. Sue piped a pattern using the buttercream on top of the cake.

The Verdict:
Katie had been waiting for this moment for 2 years and she REALLY liked it, especially the praline and the meringue. The sponge was light and sweet and we massively appreciated the clear effort that had gone into this cake as well as the different techniques employed which made it look so professional. Callum felt the introduction of chocolate would have increased his score and Jamie went against the grain claiming it "wasn't my kind of cake". It was Greg's kind of cake however, who enjoyed the gooey meringue. George found the cake a little dry with the combo of meringue and genoise, but was in awe of Sue's achievement, particularly the hot egg whisking moment.

Orange Praline Meringue Cake Average Score: 9




Next time: we've taken to videoing the race as proof when colleagues are on holiday and get selected as next month's baker. Dom is back in the kitchen, not a place he frequents.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Cake Monday - February

We race (electronically) and the loser has to bake a cake to feed the office. 
Why? Because we like cake.
Who? Everyone in the office. No one gets out of it. When? 1st Monday of the month. The rules: you make the cake yourself, without any help. You can't 'repeat' a cake. Your cake will be judged on presentation, difficulty and taste, and marked out of 10 by each colleague. When you have baked 3 cakes, you are out of the competition for 1 year.

Sweet Potato Cake Pots by Adam

Cake-resistance can't begin to describe Adam's contempt at having to bake a cake. He hates cake and he hates making cakes even more. You could say extreme lengths were taken to avoid having to bring in a cake - Naomi Campbell couldn't have arrived any later than this overdue bake. Anyway, this month's Cake Monday arrived in the form of individual ramekins and was made with ingredients as healthy as you can get for a cake. Sweet potato was boiled and mashed up. Cocoa powder, egg whites, almond milk and cooking protein were all added before the pots entered the oven for 30 minutes. The topping was made from coconut yogurt, normal natural yogurt, coconut, dark chocolate and some sugar, and topped the cooled cakes. Granola was then sprinkled on for some texture.   

The Verdict:
Katie didn't like the texture which was quite stodgy. Others did enjoy it - it felt healthy and was very original, and its intense flavour "tasted professional"! George & Sue were out of the office on the day it was produced and came back to find none had been left for them, so it must have tasted good. 

Sweet Potato Cake Average Score: 7.


Next time: Sue has finally got her wish and lost the race. She wants to bake, and is under some intense pressure to hit the top of the leader board with her cake and bread-making skills. C'mon Sue!

Friday, 10 February 2017

February update

Cake Monday for January is still on the cards. Long story short, it's coming next week...

5-a-side football is happening today: Enterprise Recruitment Vs Sports Space fitness instructors. Apparently it's just a kick about.... Rhys isn't a footballer, but has been roped into the game. He's confirmed he can run for the ball (sprint speed extraordinaire), but that's where his prowess ends. Dom is concerned he's brought the wrong gear having assumed they were playing indoors. They aren't. It's snowing outside. George wants a team photo for the Blog, but has been told firmly that that is not going to happen.

Rhys made his first placement today, which means more cake is due in the office - this could prove a handy back-up to Cake Monday on Monday. And on the subject of Cake Monday, just 3 people will be in the race to decide who has to bake for March. Sue has been at the company for over 2 years and has never been called upon to bake for Cake Monday despite wanting to - could this be her moment?? (Katie and George hope so!!!).




Thursday, 12 January 2017

Dom's Dinner Disaster


When you return to work at lunchtime after a heavy session at the gym, you REALLY look forward to your lunch. You get in, you heat it up, you get out the condiments to make it even better. What's the worse thing that could happen?.....This:






If that wasn't bad enough, Callum's Condiments have gone and need to be replenished.
On the plus side, you've got Curry Night to look forward to tonight Dom!