Sunday, September 14, 2014

Nothing Left To Chai


In addition to having a cool name, and an unbelievable amount of musical & creative talent, Jex Thoth can also pull off a cape better than anyone else I know.
The band Jex Thoth formed in 2007. They were originally called "Totem" until another band with the same name objected. That's when Jex decided to share her name with her band. My fellow Midwesterners' (Midwest is best!) first release was a split with the legendary Pagan Altar. It's really awesome! I love both bands, and their styles compliment each other well.

Their music is kind of psychedelic doom, with lyrics about nature and the occult.  Jex burns candles and Palo Santo wood on stage at each show. Palo Santo is a tree that grows in South America. It doesn't smell like any wood I've ever burned. It smells more like burning moss and dirt, and it's also kind of sage-y. The scent sticks to you long after the show has ended. They played here last Wednesday, and when I got home, my cat could not stop sniffing my hair and clothes. He was into it.

Jex also lent her musical talents to the album Restored to One by Sabbath Assembly. It's an album of hymns originally written and sung by members of a religious movement called The Process Church of the Final Judgment. It was based in the UK and US throughout the 60s and 70s. The group taught about embracing both your dark and light sides (worshiping Jesus and Satan at the same time), and basically you get what you give, kind of like Karma. Since the group is no longer active, and no recordings of their original hymns were ever made, it took a lot of work to track down former members and breathe new life into these songs. It's an interesting project that definitely benefited from Jex's involvement.

This recipe was inspired by the song "Nothing Left To Die." It features a chai tea cake paired with red-edged vanilla frosting to match the album cover. If you can't find bags of chai tea, feel free to substitute ready-made chai tea in a box for the milk.

Jex Thoth- Nothing Left To Chai




Makes 18



Metal Constituents:
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 bags chai tea
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
For the frosting:
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 5 Tablespoons whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • red food coloring gel
 

Merciless Instructions:
  1. In a small sauce pan, heat the milk over low until it just begins to simmer.
  2. Remove the milk from the heat and add chai tea bags.
  3. Allow to steep for a full 10 minutes before removing tea bags and setting aside to cool to room temperature.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cupcake tin with baking cups and set aside.
  5. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, and nutmeg. Set aside.
  6. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  7. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each one.
  8. Add applesauce and continue to mix.
  9. Add the flour mixture in 3 parts alternating with the chai milk, beginning and ending with the flour. Be careful not to over mix.
  10. Fill each baking cup about 2/3 full.
  11. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean.
  12. Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
  13. To make the frosting: In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter until smooth and creamy.
  14. Add powdered sugar one cup at a time, alternating with cream.
  15. Add vanilla and continue to beat until light and fluffy.
  16. Place a frosting bag that has been fitted with a coupler and a frosting tip, into a tall glass (pint glasses work great).
  17. Using a paint brush, paint 4 long lines of red food coloring gel along the inside of the bag.
  18. Carefully fill the bag with frosting, trying really hard not to mess up the food coloring lines.
  19. Frost completely cooled cupcakes. Here's a tutorial with pictures.
  20. I am the chai, I am the rumor that be.
Here's some really great footage of an entire Jex Thoth set in Munich. They play "Nothing Left To Die" at 1:07:55, but I encourage you to watch the whole set while you eat these cupcakes. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

In Cake Batter, There Is No Law!

Bolt Thrower are my favorite bad ass nerds. They're into kinda dorky stuff, but don't take that as a sign of weakness. If their songs are any indication, they're well-versed in battle, and will surely defeat any and all of their enemies.
They're from Coventry, England. This is the same town where Lady Godiva famously rode nude through the streets, to protest the excessive taxes put in place by her husband. Hotchie Motchie!

They've been around since 1986, and their name comes from a weapon used in the game Warhammer. It's a D&D-type game where you have armies made up of elves, dwarfs, orcs and a bunch of other geeky fantasy characters. I've never played it myself, but it seems to be quite popular.

And for the record, I'm not above geeky fantasy anything. I love Lord of the Rings and would hang out with Treebeard any day.

Bolt Thrower have yet to release a follow up to 2005's Those Once Loyal. Apparently they did write a new record, but weren't very happy with it, so they scrapped the entire thing. They released a statement explaining that they weren't going to put out an album unless they felt it was at least on par with it's predecessor. I can definitely respect that. Although I am curious to hear what they scrapped. I bet it's good, and they were just being too harsh on themselves!
However, plans to record a new record are "postponed indefinitely." I'm not that upset about this, because the records they have released are AWESOME. Their songs provide the perfect soundtrack to any all-encompassing battle. Each one is a mighty battle cry, drenched in an angry resonance that can only be described as genius.

This recipe was inspired by the song "In Battle There Is No Law!" They're Strongbow cupcakes. I'm not sure if the members of Bolt Thrower are fans of Strongbow cider (or cupcakes for that matter), but it's English and hard- just like them!

Bolt Thrower:
In Cake Batter, There Is No Law!

Makes 24






Metal Constituents:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups Strongbow
For the frosting:
  • 1/2 package cream cheese (4oz), room temperature
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 Tablespoons Strongbow
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
For the caramel drizzle:
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla
  • Pinch of salt

 
Merciless Instructions:


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cupcake tin with baking cups and set aside.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  4. Add egg and vanilla, beat until well combined.
  5. Add flour mixture in 3 parts, alternating with Strongbow. Beat until just combined.
  6. Fill each baking cup about 2/3 full with batter.
  7. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean.
  8. Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
  9. To make the frosting: In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until well combined.
  10. Add cinnamon and cider, and continue beating.
  11. Add powdered sugar one cup at a time, and beat until light and fluffy.
  12. Frost completely cooled cupcakes.
  13. To make the caramel drizzle: Mix all ingredients together with a whisk in a medium saucepan, over medium-low heat.
  14. Once the butter is melted, continue to whisk constantly for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the mixture thickens.
  15. Remove from heat and allow to cool for about 10 minutes, or place in the fridge for 5 minutes.
  16. Once the caramel is cooled, but still liquidy, drizzle over each frosted cake.
  17. No turning back, in cake batter there is no law!
Here's some live footage of Bolt Thrower playing "In Battle There Is No Law!" Enjoy!


Sunday, May 18, 2014

Full of Cake

If "8 Across: Swedish Death Metal" was the clue on a crossword puzzle, without even thinking, I'd use those little boxes to spell out "ENTOMBED."
Entombed are one of the greatest Swedish Death Metal bands of all time. Their first 2 albums Left Hand Path and Clandestine are awesome, and definitely considered classics within the style.
Swedish Death Metal is different from regular old Death Metal, in that it's rooted in punk rock and it's much more melodic. The scene in Stockholm in the early 90's, gave those Floridians at Morrisound Studios a run for their money. It's pretty interesting that the best Death Metal comes from either the swamps of Florida or snow drifts of Sweden.
Dismember, At The Gates, and Afflicted are also really great Swedish Death Metal bands. If you haven't already, check them out!

In 1993, Entombed released Wolverine Blues. With this album, they branched out from traditional Swedish Death Metal, and started playing "Death & Roll," which is a combo of Rock & Roll and angry, growly, Death Metal. This record has been reissued recently, in celebration of it's 20 year anniversary.

Nicke Andersson left the band in 1997 to focus on his punk/rock band The Hellacopters. They're really great too! Check out High Visibility, because it fucking rocks.

Entombed has had a lot of line-up drama over the years, with various members leaving and returning to the band. There are actually 2 Entombeds now: "Entombed" with Alex Hellid, and "Entombed AD" with L.G. Petrov, Olle Dahlstedt, Nico Elgstrand, and Victor Brandt. Entombed AD is supposed to release a new album in August of this year. Here's hoping it kicks ass!!

This recipe was inspired by the song "Full of Hell." It features lingonberry cakes topped with chocolate Crème Brûlée to match the crackly-faced dead guy entombed on the cover of Wolverine Blues. Just sprinkle some turbinado sugar on top, melt it with a torch, and crack it with the back of a spoon. Brutally delicious.

Entombed: Full of Cake

Makes 18





Metal Constituents:
 

For the pastry cream:
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar, divided
  • 3 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
For the cupcakes:
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup + 2 Tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup lingonberry jam
For the topping:
 
Merciless Instructions:


  1. Make the pastry cream first: In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk together egg yolks and 2 Tbsp sugar until well blended.
  2. Add cornstarch and mix until everything is well combined, slightly pale and fluffy. Set aside.
  3. In a medium saucepan, heat cream, milk, remaining 6 Tablespoons sugar, salt and vanilla over medium heat.
  4. Once the sugar is completely dissolved, add chocolate chips and continue to stir until they're melted.
  5. Bring mixture just to a gentle simmer, stirring occasionally. Adjust temperature as needed, but DO NOT let it boil!
  6. Take about 1/2 cup of the hot cream mixture from the pan, and with your mixer on low, slowly pour it into the egg yolk mixture, letting it run down the inside of the bowl. This will keep the mixture from turning into scrambled eggs.
  7. Reduce burner temperature to medium-low.
  8. While whisking the hot cream mixture in the saucepan, slowly pour the egg yolk mixture back into the hot cream mixture in the saucepan.
  9. Cook mixture, whisking constantly, until thickened.
  10. Once it's the consistency of a thick pudding, remove from the heat, and use a spatula to force the mixture through a fine mesh strainer and into a bowl.
  11. Stir in 1 Tbsp butter.
  12. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing directly against the surface of custard.
  13. Chill thoroughly, for at least 2 hours.
  14. To make the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cupcake tin with baking cups, and set aside.
  15. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt, set aside.
  16. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
  17. Add egg, beat until combined.
  18. Add egg whites and vanilla, and continue to beat.
  19. Add flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with milk. Mix until just combined.
  20. Beat in Lingonberry jam.
  21. Fill baking cups about 2/3 full.
  22. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center of cupcake comes out clean.
  23. Allow cupcakes to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
  24. To assemble cupcakes: Using the cone method, cut out a small hole in the middle of each cupcake.
  25. Entomb a healthy amount of chocolate pastry cream in the center of each cupcake, then pipe or spread more pastry cream over the top in an even layer.
  26. Working with one cupcake at a time, sprinkle the entire top of the pastry cream with lots of turbinado sugar.
  27. Using a chef torch,  heat the sugar until it's melted and bubbling. Yeah... I kinda singed the edges of my cupcake liners, but whatever. It's fine. Just be careful with this step. Hot sugar burns, fucking hurt.
  28. Allow the melted sugar to cool and harden, then crack it all over with the back of a spoon. Serve immediately.
  29. I'm full of cake!

Here's some live footage of Entombed playing "Revel in Flesh" off of Left Hand Path, and "Stranger Aeons" from Clandestine. Enjoy!




And here's "Full of Hell" to listen to while you're baking.



Sunday, March 16, 2014

Sweet Tormint

Before Bathory,
before Mayhem,
before
Celtic Frost,
there was Hellhammer.

The story of Hellhammer starts like any other tale of a band: A few crazy kids, big fans of metal (especially Venom), who decided to start their own band as a "fuck you" to the conservative society surrounding them.
These kids however, changed the course of metal.
The main thing about Hellhammer is how different they were from everything else. The biggest metal band in Switzerland at the time was Krokus.
Hellhammer are crude, and primitive in a good way. Maybe they weren't the best musicians, but that doesn't matter. Tom G Warrior's raw, growling vocals make him sound like he's just clawed his way out of the depths of hell, and he's here to tell you all about it.
I myself generally prefer music that isn't polished or "produced," especially metal. Fuck everything, strip it down to the bone, and only give me what counts.

Hellhammer were only around from 1982-1984, but to this day, their music and legend are extremely influential in the metal underground. They weren't appreciated in their own time (of course), and Tom G Warrior even felt that Hellhammer hindered Celtic Frost's success at first.

The fact remains that there would be no extreme metal, no Black Metal, and no Death Metal without Hellhammer. They opened the gates to a new hell for our ear holes, and for that I am eternally grateful.

This recipe was inspired by the song "Sweet Torment." It's features hi-hat cupcakes with chocolate cake, broken Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies, mint frosting, and a chocolate shell. Yes the frosting is mint, even though it's red. Green doesn't match the album cover, and it's just not brutal enough. Besides, right now it's St. Patrick's Day weekend in Chicago, and I'm fucking sick of the color green.
Also, if you can't find Thin Mints near you, feel free to substitute with Grasshoppers or even Creme De Menthe cookies.

Hellhammer and Girl Scout Cookies- Why the fuck not? They're both extremely awesome!

Hellhammer- Sweet Tormint







Makes 18


 Metal Constituents:

  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup dark cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 sleeve Thin Mint cookies (16 cookies), broken into large chunks

For the frosting:
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon mint extract
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • red food coloring

For the chocolate coating:
  • 2 cups dark chocolate chips
  • 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil


Merciless Instructions:

  1. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, start melting the butter.
  2. Once your butter is almost completely melted, stir in cocoa powder, salt, and water.
  3. Continue to heat, stirring constantly, until everything is mixed together- about another minute.
  4. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
  5. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cupcake tin with baking cups, and set aside.
  6. In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk together flour, sugar, and baking soda.
  7. Add butter/cocoa mixture in 2 additions, mixing well after each addition.
  8. Add egg and continue to whisk.
  9. Add yogurt and vanilla, and whisk until combined.
  10. Using a spatula, fold in broken Thin Mints.
  11. Fill each baking cup about 2/3 full.
  12. Bake for 17-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into one of the cakes comes out clean.
  13. Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
  14. To make the frosting: Beat the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
  15. Add salt and mint extract, continue to beat.
  16. Add powdered sugar one cup at a time, continue to beat.
  17. Add cream one Tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached.
  18. Add enough red food coloring to create a dark, blood red shade.
  19. Frost completely cooled cupcakes.
  20. Place frosted cupcakes in the freezer for about 10 minutes.
  21. To make the chocolate coating: While your cupcakes are freezing, combine chocolate chips and vegetable oil in a microwave-safe tall glass. I used a pint glass, and it worked perfectly.
  22. Microwave at 30 second intervals, stirring after each interval, until all the chocolate is melted, but not too liquidy (about 1 1/2 minutes all together).
  23. Remove a few cupcakes from the freezer.
  24. Holding one frosted cupcake upside-down, dip it into the chocolate, all the way down to the wrapper, and completely coat the frosting.
  25. With a twisting motion, lift it out of the chocolate, and allow excess to drip off. (Bakerella has a tutorial with lovely photos for this technique here.)
  26. Transfer to a wire rack with paper towels underneath to catch any still dripping chocolate.
  27. If there is any frosting that didn't get covered with chocolate, you can use a toothpick to cover it with more chocolate.
  28. Repeat with remaining cupcakes.
  29. Once all cupcakes have been dipped in chocolate, place into the fridge for another 30-45 minutes, to allow the chocolate to harden.
  30. Serve cold.
  31. Sweet but cruel.

I was unable to find any live footage of Hellhammer (I'm not even sure it exists), but here's "Sweet Torment" to listen to while you're baking. Enjoy!



Sunday, February 16, 2014

Hit and Runts

Not all genres of metal are completely dismal, some just plain rock.  With NWOBHM, you're guaranteed a good time. One of my absolute favorite NWOBHM bands, that always delivers, is Girlschool. Their bad attitudes are reinforced with leather pants and bangs in their eyes. Like most NWOBHM bands, their songs are influenced by punk, but they also like to whip out the power chords and fast guitar solos. I must admit, I have found myself on several occasions dancing around my kitchen singing Girlschool songs into my spatula. Their awesomeness is contagious!

Girlschool formed in 1977 in South London by bassist Enid Williams and vocalist Kim McAuliffe. They were friends that grew up on the same street and played in a cover band together called "Painted Lady." A few years later they met guitarist Kelly Johnson and drummer Denise Dufort, and became Girlschool.

They shared a manager with Motörhead, and ended up touring with them a lot. As a result, both bands became good friends. They combined their forces to create Headgirl, and on February 14, 1981, they released an EP entitled St.Valentine's Day Massacre. It contained a cover of "Please Don't Touch" originally by Johnny Kid and the Pirates. They also covered each other's songs. Girlschool performed "Bomber," and Motörhead performed "Emergency." The EP was a big hit for both of them, and it remains a classic to this day.

This recipe was inspired by the song "Hit and Run." It features a strawberry banana cake topped with grape frosting and Runts. I know Runts are an American candy, but I have been assured that they are available in London (thanks Anne!). Feel free to sing into your spatula while you bake these.


Girlschool- Hit and Runts




Makes 24


Metal Constituents:

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1/2 cup strawberry banana Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup mashed bananas (about 2 normal-sized bananas)
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped strawberries

For the Frosting:
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon heavy cream
  • 2 Tablespoons grape soda
  • Banana, Strawberry, and Grape Runts


Merciless Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cupcake tin with baking cups and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  3. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  4. Add flour, one cup at a time.
  5. Add baking soda, yogurt, and vanilla. Beat until just combined.  
  6. Using a rubber spatula/pretend microphone, fold in bananas and strawberries.
  7. Fill each baking cup about 3/4 full.
  8. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into one of the cakes comes out clean.
  9. Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. 
  10. To make the frosting: Beat the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer until it's creamy.
  11. Add powdered sugar one cup at a time.
  12. Add cream, and grape soda.
  13. Beat on high until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  14. Frost completely cool cupcakes.
  15. Top with banana, strawberry, and grape Runts.
  16. Something better than pies- Hit and Runts!!

Here's the video for "Hit and Run." Enjoy!




I also really like their cover of ZZ Top's "Tush." Here's that video too:




And last but not least, here's Headgirl playing "Please Don't Touch" on Top of the Pops.



Sunday, January 12, 2014

Mark of the Pizza Cake

What's not to love about horror films, pizza, and Thrash Metal? Sounds like an excellent Saturday night to me! Axeslasher are the embodiment of all three of these radical elements. And let's face it, front man Professor Pizza is a God amongst pizzaphiles.
The cover art on Anthology of Terror, Vol. 1 is by artist Ken Sarafin, and was inspired by comic book tales of farming the human race. It's an homage to Ed Repka, with a touch of Twilight Zone camp. It paints the perfect picture to go along with their songs that are mostly about characters in gory, horror stories. "Axeslasher" in particular is about a scorned Metalhead who comes back from the dead to avenge his death. Only heshers and Metal's loyal followers, are spared.

This record has all the elements of classic thrash, but it still feels like something new that I haven't quite heard before. I have to admit, I've been listening to it pretty much non-stop since I got it. It was the official soundtrack to all my holiday baking this year.

Anthology of Terror, Vol. 1 also contains a cover of Kraeyshawn's "Gucci Gucci." I'm not really into Hip-Hoppy songs (I'm a fan of a few like "Hypnotize" and "Big Pimpin'"), so I personally consider this to be a vast improvement over the original.
It's a great little EP overall, and I can't wait to hear what they do next!

This recipe was inspired by the song "Mark Of The Pizzagram." It's the first savory Metalcakes recipe I've posted. Okay, okay... So these aren't really cakes. They're more like rolls. Pizza rolls can be made several ways, but I found a method close to cinnamon rolls works best.
To make the pepperoni pentagrams, I used this picture as a template. Just shrink the image to pepperoni-size, and remove the negative space of the image with an X-acto, or very sharp paring knife. If you're having trouble making a clean cut in your pepperoni, try freezing it first, then cutting.

Axeslasher
Mark of the Pizza Cake

Makes 12







Metal Constituents:


For the Pizza Sauce:
  • 1 can (28oz) whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 medium-sized cloves of garlic, grated on a microplane
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • pinch of salt
  • 2  6"sprigs of fresh basil, with the leaves attached
  • 1 medium-sized yellow onion, peeled and split in half
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
For the Pizza Dough:
  • 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup semolina
  • 1 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 3/4 cup beer (I used High Life)
  • 1 cup shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • Toppings of your choice. Recommended by Professor Pizza: Pepperoni and Mushrooms or Satanic Goat Cheese and Herb

 
Merciless Instructions:


  1. Make the pizza sauce first: Process tomatoes and juice in a food processor or blender until they're pureed, but still a little chunky. Set aside.
  2. Place olive oil and butter in a saucepan and heat on medium-low until the butter is melted.
  3. Add garlic, oregano, pepper flakes, and salt. Cook, stirring constantly, for about 3 minutes.
  4. Add processed tomatoes, basil, onion halves, and sugar.
  5. Bring to a simmer.
  6. Cover, and cook for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  7. Remove onion halves and basil sprigs. Set aside to cool.
  8. To make the Pizza Dough: Mix together both flours, yeast, baking powder, salt, olive oil, and beer (either by hand, or in the bowl of a mixer with a dough hook attached), until your dough is soft and smooth. If your dough seems too dry, add another splash of beer.
  9. Place your dough in a large bowl that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
  10. Cover with a kitchen towel, and allow to rise for 30 minutes.
  11. While your dough is rising, preheat oven to 450 degrees. 
  12. Grease each section of a cupcake tin with butter, and set aside.
  13. Once the half hour is up, punch your dough down, and place on a floured surface.
  14. Using a floured rolling pin, roll into a 10" X 12" rectangle.
  15. Spread pizza sauce over your dough rectangle. Don't feel obligated to use all the pizza sauce, I always have some left over. You can use it as a dipping sauce for your finished pizza cakes.
  16. Cover with both types of shredded cheese, reserving about 1/4 cup of each for use later.
  17. Starting with the long side of your rectangle, roll it into a log. 
  18. Using a serrated knife, and a gentle sawing motion, slice your pizza log into 12 pieces.
  19. Place each piece into a greased cupcake tin.
  20. Allow to rise for 30 minutes.
  21. Bake for 10 minutes. 
  22. Remove pizza cakes from the oven, and top with remaining shredded cheese and your choice of toppings.
  23. Bake for an additional 8-10 minutes, or until the crust is slightly browned and the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  24. Remove pizza cakes from the oven, and serve hot. If you have any left over, store them in the freezer in an air-tight container. Then re-heat in the oven at 450 degrees for 15 minutes.
  25. Pizza cakes rise in the night. 
I couldn't find any live footage of Axeslasher, so here's "Mark of the Pizzagram" and "Invasion of the Babesnatchers," the first two tracks off Anthology of Terror, Vol. 1. Enjoy!



Sunday, December 15, 2013

South Sugar Plum Cakes

When I was 7, I went to an all school assembly on the afternoon of the last day before Christmas break. I'm sure a bunch of little kids excited for Santa were way too hard to control, so they decided to just show a movie instead of trying to teach us anything new. We sat on the floor of the gym and watched (the original) Escape to Witch Mountain projected on a huge screen. I remember it was about psychic orphan twins, who were really aliens, and their quest to get back to their home planet. It had that guy from Green Acres in it. At the time, I thought it was really awesome. Now however, I'm much more excited about the band Witch Mountain.

Hailing from Portland, Oregon, Witch Mountain are doomy and heavy with blistering guitar solos and vocals that sway between soul and NWOBHM. To me they sound like what would happen if Jimi Hendrix and Bruce Dickinson joined Coven.
They released Come to the Mountain in 2001, when doom wasn't nearly as popular as it is now. Then due to family, and side project commitments, they took a decade long hiatus. Turns out that haitus is just what they needed to find the vocalist they'd been looking for all along. Their 2011 release South of Salem marked their first record with Uta Plotkin, and she is amazing.
Once they finished recording South of Salem, they recorded "Veil of the Forgotten" for the Metal Swim compilation. I love that song! It was definitely one of my very favorites on that whole compilation- which is saying something because there are a lot of really great songs on it.

This recipe was inspired by the song "South Sugar." They feature Sugar Plums on top. Contrary to popular belief, sugar plums aren't actually sugared plums. They are no-bake cookies made with dried fruit, spices, honey, and nuts that are rolled in powdered sugar. They're pretty festive, and hopefully as you make them, you'll have doomy visions of Witch Mountain, dancing in your head!

To celebrate Witch Mountain, and the holiday season, I present to you:

Witch Mountain
South Sugar Plum Cakes

 


Makes 22



Metal Constituents:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 tespoon salt
  • 1 stick butter, room temperature
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 egg whites
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  •  1-1/3 cups buttermilk
  • 1 cup plum jam
For the frosting:
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
For the Sugar Plums:
  • 1 cup toasted almonds, chopped
  • 1/8 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1/2 cup pitted prunes, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup dried apricots, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup pitted dates, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar 
  • purple sanding sugar
  • purple edible glitter 



Merciless Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cupcake tin with baking cups, and set aside.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  4. Add egg whites, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  5. Beat in vanilla.
  6. Add flour mixture to the butter mixture in three batches, alternating with buttermilk.
  7. Beat until well combined.
  8. Fill baking cups about two-thirds full.
  9. Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of one cupcake, comes out clean.
  10. Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
  11. Cut a small cone-shaped hole in the middle of each cupcake.
  12. Using a piping bag or small spoon, fill each hole with jam.
  13. To make the frosting: In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter until creamy.
  14. Add powdered sugar, one cup at a time.
  15. Add salt and both extracts.
  16. Continue to beat until light and fluffy.
  17. Frost completely cooled cakes.
  18. To make the sugar plums: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and set aside.
  19. Place the almonds, honey, spices, zest, prunes, apricots, and dates into a food processor, and process for a few seconds until everything is just sticking together, but before it starts to form into a big ball.
  20. Scoop about a teaspoon of the mixture out at a time, and roll into balls.
  21. Place each ball onto the prepared baking sheet.
  22. Mix the sanding sugar and glitter together in a small bowl.
  23. Roll each ball in the powdered sugar, and then roll into the glitter mixture.
  24. Place one Sugar Plum on top of each frosted cupcake.
  25. I don't think that I can bake anymore of these South Sugar Plum Cakes.

 Here's some live footage of Witch Mountain playing "Veil Of The Forgotten:"



And here's "South Sugar" to listen to while you're baking:



Happy Holidays from Metalcakes!!
2013 was awesome!  *High Five* Here's to 2014!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Septicakes

I am so happy Lord Mantis are from Chicago! They fill my cold, black heart with hometown pride.
As the dead-on album artwork by Justin Bartlett indicates, they're pretty dark and creepy, with dirty lyrics about hatred, fucking, and nautical apocalypses. Who could ask for anything more?
Most of their members were/are also in other really great Chicago metal bands. Charlie and Andrew were both in Nachtmystium, and Bill is in Indian. Andrew also has a solo project called Avichi.
Ken Sorceron from Abigail Williams has joined the band, and he plays on their new record, which should be released in Spring 2014.

Don't miss an opportunity to see these dudes play live. Their shows prove their reputation for emanating rotted loathing and hatred, is well deserved, as they absorb you into a wall of sound.
Their first record Spawning the Nephilim, is also really great. It isn't as plush as Pervertor, but it's a solid death metal record, that's for sure.

This recipe was inspired by the song "Septichrist." "Septi" means seven, so these cakes are packed with seven different types of chocolate.
Just like Lord Mantis, they are not for the faint of heart.
And for you nerds that want to make sure I didn't cheat, here are the 7 different chocolates I used: 1. Cocoa Powder, 2. Devil's Food pudding mix, 3. Chocolate ganache, 4. Dark chocolate frosting, 5. Chocolate malt balls, 6. Mini chocolate chips, and 7. Chocolate syrup.

Lord Mantis: Septicakes






Makes 30


Metal Constituents:

  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour 
  • ¾ cup unsweetened dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1 box (3.8oz) instant Devil's Food pudding mix
  • ½ cup sugar 
  •  ¾ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1½ cups malted milk powder
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Ganache:  
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips  
  •  2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

For the Frosting:  

 
Merciless Instructions:

 
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cupcake tin with baking cups, and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, pudding mix, both sugars, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In a 2 cup or larger measuring cup, whisk together milk and malted milk powder until powder is dissolved.
  4. Add milk mixture and oil to the flour mixture, beat until combined 
  5. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each one.  
  6.  Add sour cream and vanilla, and beat just until combined. 
  7. Fill baking cups about 2/3 full. 
  8. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into a cake, comes out clean.
  9. Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
  10. To make the ganache: Place chocolate chips in a heat proof bowl. 
  11. Bring cream to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat.  
  12. Pour cream over the chocolate chips, and let stand for 2 minutes. 
  13. Add butter, then whisk mixture until smooth. 
  14. Allow mixture to cool, stirring every few minutes.  
  15.  To make the frosting: In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter until smooth.
  16. Add powdered sugar and cocoa powder and continue to beat.  
  17.  Add milk and vanilla and beat at medium speed until frosting is fluffy and lighter in color.
  18. To assemble your Septicakes: Cut a small cone-shaped hole out of the center of each cupcake. 
  19. Using a pastry bag, frosting gun or small spoon, fill each hole with ganache. 
  20. Frost cupcakes. 
  21. Sprinkle crushed malted milk balls and mini chocolate chips on each frosted cupcake. 
  22.  Drizzle with chocolate syrup. 
  23. Fall into the chocolate womb.
 Here's some live footage of Lord Mantis playing "Ritual Killer." Enjoy!