Must Try Geek Recipes for the Holidays

Anime Baking

It is that time of year when everyone tends to break out the cooking supplies and starts baking. So today we will fill you in with some awesome recipes to mix things up this holiday season. Whether it be for friends, family, or just yourself, here are some fun geek themed baking recipes. Below we will share some must try ideas!

The Cake is NOT a lie

Portal Cupcake

Portal Cupcake

In the popular video game series Portal, the antagonist computer AI will occasionally make promises that there will be cake at the end of the challenges you face. Here is a recipe for the cake so you can enjoy! (Instructables.com)

Chocolate Pudding Cake Ingredients

  • 1 box chocolate cake mix (or devil’s food)
  • 1 box instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 4 large eggs
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup vegetable oil

Small tin cans**- up to 18

Parchment paper

Chocolate frosting – about 2½ cups

Chocolate – one ounce covers 6-8 cupcakes

White frosting – about ½ cup

Cherry Jelly Beans – 3 per cake (can substitute Red Hot cinnamon candies)

Plain white birthday candles

Directions: 

 

  1. Prepare your pans, either by greasing and flouring (or using spray that does both steps as once) or by fully lining them with parchment paper.  The bottoms of the tins should be lined with disks of parchment that have been cut to fit inside.  To do this, trace the outside of the can onto parchment and cut about ¼” inside the tracing. 
  2. Cut one extra round disk for later use and set it aside. 
  3. Then cut strips of parchment that will fill the sides of the can, as shown.  Once you’ve cut your pieces, add the lining paper.
  4. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  5. In a large bowl, combine the cake mix and pudding mix.  Add the eggs, sour cream, water, and oil.  Beat on low until the liquid is incorporated.  Then increase the speed to medium and beat 2-3 minutes, scraping down the sides periodically.
  6. Fill each tin HALF full with batter and place tins on a cookie sheet or in a baking pan.  Bake about 25 minutes, until a toothpick pricked through the center comes out clean.
  7. You want each cake to be level on the top. If your cupcakes are not level, use this quick tip:  While the cupcakes are still hot, place a fresh, clean towel right on top of the cupcake.  Being careful to use a hot pad to prevent burning yourself, press down against this surface, compressing any bulges until the cake is level.
  8. Allow the tins to cool a few minutes before carefully removing them from the pans.  They will be covered in parchment paper.  Remove this after a few minutes but DO NOT remove the round disk of paper on the bottom of each cake.  These cakes are much easier to handle and transfer if you leave on this piece of parchment.  Finish cooling on a wire rack. 
  9. Brush the excess crumbs off the cakes.  If desired, crumb coat the cakes (by frosting a very thin layer of icing to that will “glue down” the crumbs).  Refrigerate your cakes, crumb coated or not, for about an hour before continuing.  This helps keep the cakes solid and helps prevent the grated chocolate from melting as easily during assembly.
  10. Grate your chocolate.  One ounce covers about 6-8 cupcakes.  Try to keep this chocolate cold.  Place the chocolate in on a plate or wide, shallow bowl or pan. Make your chocolate frosting, if you are using a homemade version.
  11. Frost the top and sides of your cake carefully.  I find it works best if you frost from the top down.  Then, before the frosting sets, hold the frosted cake over the grated chocolate by placing the bottom on your hand or a spatula.  Spoon grated chocolate over it the cake. Then place your spare parchment paper disk on the top (to prevent you from touching the grated chocolate and getting it all over your hands) and quickly turn the cake onto its side into the loose grated chocolate.  Spoon chocolate over the sides until they are covered, turning the cake slightly if needed.  Use your parchment disk again to help you pick up your cake and place it onto a clean plate or platter.
  12. I placed each cupcake onto it’s own demitasse saucer from which they could be presented to guests. The “cherries” on each cupcake will be replaced with cherry-flavored jelly beans.  Jelly Belly’s Very Cherry is a good choice.  Optionally, you can use red cinnamon candies, red mini M&M candies with their logos facing down, or even small balls of red fondant to create the same effect.  If using jelly beans, carefully cut each jelly bean in half.  You need 6 halves for each cake.
  13. Load a small piping bag with white icing.  Use a small tip or simply cut the tip off the piping bag.  Add the white icing around the cherries and candle, To do this, simply pipe a puffed “blob” of frosting about half an inch across.  Make the white icing blobs fairly tall, as they will need to disguise the cut ends of the jelly beans.  Pipe one of these in the center and six around the edges as shown.  For authenticity, these cakes should have 8 cherries but, with the size of the jelly beans and the cupcake, 8 cherries covers too much of the tops.
  14. Finally, press a plain white birthday candle into the center!

 

An Pan “Japanese Meat Bun”

An Pan

An Pan

You seen it in Japanese anime and manga where characters are eating delicious meat buns for a snack or meal. Well look no further!

Ingredients: 
3 cups bread flour
2 eggs 2
7 oz. milk 
3 Tbsp. butter 
3 Tbsp. sugar 
1 tsp. salt 
1 tsp. active dry yeast
1lb. 12oz. anko (or any filling you like)
Black Sesame Seeds (Optional)

Directions: 

  1. Use a bread machine to make dough and add the following ingredients according to your bread machine’s instructions: Flour, milk, butter, sugar, salt, dry yeast, and 1 ½ eggs; (save the remaining half of an egg) and set it on the dough cycle.
  2. When the machine has finished, turn out the dough onto a floured work surface. Lightly punch it down and massage it into a flat shape to remove gas bubbles. Fold the flattened dough in thirds to form a loose roll. Slice the roll into 15 equal pieces and form each piece into a ball. Rather than rolling it into a ball, pull the outside of the dough down and stuff it into the underside, folding it in on itself, so that the top surface becomes round and taut.
  3. Let the dough rest.
    Place the balls, tucked side down, on a tray and cover them with a thoroughly wrung-out wet towel. Let rest for about 20 minutes.
  4. Wrap the bean paste in the dough.
    Prepare a cookie sheet or other pan with a silicon mat or parchment paper. Gently flatten out each ball of dough, then put a ball of azuki paste in the middle. Pull the sides of the dough up around the bean paste, then pinch it closed at the top, being sure to seal it completely. Turn the ball over (so the pinched-shut end is on the bottom), lay it on the pan, then press gently down on the center with your finger to make a slight dent in the middle. It will round itself when you bake it; if you don’t make the dent, you’ll end up with a gap between the dough and the bean paste.
  5. Put the buns somewhere warm and let it rise for about 50 minutes till they’ve expanded to twice their original size or so, they’re ready.
  6. Beat the remaining egg then brush  it on the top of the buns.
  7. Bake at 350°F (180°C) for 15 minutes, until golden; they might cook slightly faster than this if you’re using parchment paper.

 

Doctor Who Candied Popcorn

Doctor Who Candied Popcorn

Candied Popcorn

Do you like Doctor Who? Why not eat some themed candied popcorn while watching your favorite show! Yum. (geekyhostess.com)

Ingredients:

8 cups popped popcorn (I’d recommend air-popped plain or lightly salted popcorn)

1 cup mini marshmallows

2 cups white chocolate chips or white candy melts

1 TBS Police Box Sprinkles

1 TBS blue sanding sugar

1 TBS white sanding sugar

Directions: 

  1. Mix the popcorn and the “adipose” (mini marshmallows) together, and place on a wax paper covered baking sheet.
  2. Melt the white chocolate chips in 30 second increments in the microwave, stirring between cycles. Continue until chips are fully melted.
  3. Pour the melted white chocolate over the popcorn and marshmallows. Mix until evenly covered.
  4. Scatter the sprinkles and sparkling sugar over the popcorn, gently mix to evenly coat. Let cool until chocolate is hardened.

 

Harry Potter’s Pumpkin Juice

Harry Potter's Pumpkin Juice

Pumpkin Juice

On that cold chilly winter evening, sit down to a nice cup of pumpkin juice. Based off the book and movie series Harry Potter. (Geeky Chef)

Supplies: 

Cheesecloth (Method 1)

Large Bowl (Method 1)

Juicer (Method 2)

Blender (optional)

Large Serrated Knife

Roasting Pan

Aluminum Foil

Ingredients:

1 Sugar Pumpkin

1 cup Apple Juice (optional)

1 tbs Cinnamon (or to taste)

1/4 cup Honey (or to taste)

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cut the pumpkin in half using the serrated knife.
  3. Use a spoon to scoop out the stringy guts from the center. The guts you can toss but I highly recommend setting the seeds aside and toasting them later.
  4. Put the Pumpkin halves in the roasting pan skin side up, flesh side down. Cover the pan with foil and roast for about 90 minutes or until the flesh of the pumpkin is soft and juicy but not burnt.
  5. Once cooked, the pan will have juice at the bottom so save that and set it aside.
  6. Using a spoon, scoop out the flesh of the pumpkin from the skin. Toss the skin.
  7. If you have a juicer, this part is easy, just process the pumpkin flesh through your juicer as you would any other veggie or fruit. If you don’t have a juicer, this part is simple but time consuming and rough on your hand muscles. Take some of the pumpkin flesh and wrap it in the cheesecloth. You will probably have to do this a little at a time. Over a large bowl, squeeze the flesh through the cheesecloth so that the juice goes into the bowl. Get as much juice as you can, should be about a half a quart or more from the whole pumpkin. I also recommend saving the leftover pumpkin pulp as it works great in baked goods and smoothies.
  8. When you have as much juice as you’re going to get from the pumpkin, combine it and the other ingredients in a blender and blend. It will get kind of frothy, but will eventually settle. Add ice to serve right away or set in the fridge for an hour or so until cool. Warning: this juice does not keep long, it tends to solidify into a gelatin-like texture after 24 hours. It can still be used for a brilliant pumpkin milkshake though!

Serves 4-6

 

Cream Stew!

Cream Stew   Cream Stew

The yummy looking soup that you have seen in several anime like Trigun, Tsubasa Chronicles and the video game Animal Crossing is here! Make your very own version of cream stew!

Ingredients:

Cream Roux

3 cups milk (add more if you want a more liquid consistency)

4 tbsp butter

1/3 cup flour (add more if you want a thicker consistency)

Stew

carrots (½ bag of baby carrots or 2 large carrots)

1 potato

1 bunch of broccoli (crown part)

½ yellow onion

1 small tray of chicken

1 tbsp vegetable oil

salt/pepper for taste

Directions:

  1. Prepare the vegetables and chicken. First slice and dice the carrots and potato. Put in separate microwave safe bowls
  2. Microwave them for around 2 minutes each, take them out and poke them with a toothpick to check the texture, and then put them in again for another 1-2 minutes.
  3. Blanch the broccoli in water for 2 minutes on one side and 2 minutes on the other side. (If you have a large pot that submerges the entire bunch 2 minutes should be enough for the batch)
  4. Once it’s blanched, chop off the top part of the broccoli and rip it into bite size pieces.
  5. After finishing all that, dice up the chicken and onion and fry with the vegetable oil until the chicken is fully cooked.
  6. Now it’s time to work on that cream roux. Pour the milk into a large pot and add the flour and butter. Stir all of that on low heat, slowly turning up the heat until the mixture thickens*.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Feel free to add other seasonings as well such as parsley.
  7. Once the cream roux is at the consistency and taste you prefer, stir in all other ingredients (except potatoes) into that pot.
  8. Add the potatoes once it almost done because if the mixture is too hot, it melts the potatoes and leaves starchy consistency to your cream stew.

Note: If you want a thicker mixture, add more flour. If you want a more liquidy mixture, add more milk. The vegetables and chicken will have their own water content so if the cream roux is consistency is too thick for your liking, keep in mind that adding all other ingredients may water it down.  So you may not have to add more milk.

 

So whether its looking for that perfect drink to sip by the fire, or that new special something you want to bring to your family’s holiday meal, our list has everything you need to make this holiday season special!

 

References:

Instructables.com – http://www.instructables.com/id/The-Cupcake-is-Not-a-Lie-Portal-Cupcakes

Geeky Hostess.com – http://www.geekyhostess.com/doctor-who-candied-popcorn-with-adipose-marshmallows/

Geeky Chef – http://www.geekychef.com/2014/09/pumpkin-juice.html#sthash.6SUjKwiw.dpuf

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