Thursday, July 17, 2008

Here's a great article about iridescence in meats.

The article is by Erwin Waters.

I was looking for this after coming to terms with the "condition" while trying to make a cold cut sandwich :)

Iridescence in meats, specifically beef, can be detected in some of the muscle tissues of some animals before and after rigor mortis. It is most common in the muscles comprising the round, navel and brisket.

The type of light and the angle of the light reflecting off the muscle will have an effect on the visual brightness of the various iridescent colors. The most common color is an iridescent green, with the next most common color an iridescent orange-red.

Very limited research has been done on the iridescence in both raw and cooked beef, and that which was conducted did not lead to any specific causes or conclusions. There has been no specific proof, or even connection, between the usage of phosphates and the appearance of the iridescent areas in the muscles of cooked cured or uncured meats.

Once iridescence is present in a muscle, it can not be removed with any of the processes commonly used for the preparation and cooking of solid muscle meats.

Due to the fact that the iridescence is directly associated with the reflectance of light from the meat surface, the color of the meat, it's surface condition, the type of light reflecting from the surface and the angle at which the light is hitting the surface, the condition of the meat will have an effect on the intensity of the iridescence. Smooth surfaced meats will show iridescence more vividly than meats with rough surfaces, and dark colored meats will reduce the intensity.

It is primarily for these reasons that cooked cured meats, whose color is brighter than uncured meats, will show the iridescence more vividly. The addition of phosphates to curing solutions enhances moisture retention, which allows the surface of the meat to retain a smoother texture. Tumbling of the meats after injection or marinading, releases a sufficient amount of proteins, which fills the voids between muscle fibers, increasing reflectance and thus increasing the intensity of the iridescent.

Cooking to higher temperatures, or for longer periods of time, will soften the connective tissue, increase moisture losses and cause the muscle fibers to shrink. When the meat is cut with a knife, or slicer, the surface of the meat will not be as smooth, decreasing it's reflectance, which in turn reduce the intensity of the iridescence.

Even though iridescence is a natural occurring factor, and does not effect the quality or the palatability of the meat, it is not acceptable to the consumer, and the consumer perceives the iridescent colors as spoilage, primarily because of the greenish hues. Meat muscles that have a structure in which the muscle fibers run parallel to each other and need to be sliced perpendicular to the length of the muscle fiber, will show the iridescence more vividly than those meats whose muscle fibers run in various directions to each other, and which can be sliced at an angle or parallel to the direction of the muscle fiber.

Present merchandising, primarily for product cost, demands that many of the processes that enhance the reflectance of the meat surface, need to be included in the process. Eliminating those meat pieces that show iridescence before they are processed is an almost impossible task, many pieces of meat in which iridescence was not noticeable when in the raw state, will end up showing iridescence after processing and slicing.

At the present time there does not seem to be an acceptable solution to this problem. Due to the fact that under usual circumstances iridescence is only apparent in a few pieces of meat in a processing batch, additional cooking, with the additional cooking losses, would be more costly than having to accept returns of pieces that show the iridescence very vividly.

Even though it has not been determined if handling practices during or after slaughtering has any effect on the possibility of iridescence, periodically meats from some packing houses seems to present this problem more often. If iridescence is a major problem, or tends to increase, it is suggested that comparisons be tested on meats from other sources. If a change in processing was instituted, which includes a change in non-meat ingredients used in the brine, and iridescence increases, and if more than one change was made at one time in the process, to determine which change in the process could be responsible, tests should be conducted with each change separately applied.

There is no magic cure, the best that can be done is to minimize the problem with the suggestions given.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Chocolate Cake Recipe

Finding the perfect chocolate cake recipe was always going to be a tough mission. Should it be kinda light or dense? Iced or maybe drizzled? Made with melted down chocolate or good ground cocoa? Ask anybody about their idea of a perfect chocolate cake and you’ll get a completely different answer. But whichever camp you’re in, we hope you’ll find your idea of perfection below...

A Chocolate Cake Journey

If you’re kinda like me, you’ll have tried many chocolate cakes in your time. Some disappoint and some enthrall. Where to start? The River Café’s Chocolate Nemesis is legendary among chocoholics. Unfortunately, not only is the recipe extremely difficult to master, it also contains two bars of butter! So perhaps Nigella Lawson, modern-day queen of cakes, should provide the first recipe. “If you’re going to get started, this is the cake you should begin with,” she asserts in the Chocolate Cake chapter of Feast. And her signature chocolate cake, featuring sour cream, butter and melted chocolate, certainly produces a rich, intensely chocolatey result. It’s generously filled and topped with a sour cream and chocolate icing. But is it the definitive cake?

Seeking opinions it becomes clear that, although people want it to be satisfying, the perfect chocolate cake shouldn’t be so dense and rich that they can’t bear another slice. I wanted to find a lighter alternative: something in between the thick, heavy, sour-cream cake and a simple chocolate sponge. I asked around. I gathered recipes a bunch of from professional chefs and family friends. And I soon discovered that there are two basic templates for the chocolate cake.

The first is a traditional method: at its simplest, an all-in-one sponge with cocoa substituted for some of the flour. Recipes vary, but the basic idea is to use equal amounts of flour, butter and caster sugar, blended with eggs and cocoa. This offers a light, springy texture. Perfect for those who like their chocolate cake fluffy.

The second is a modern chocolate cake method, which a different type of fat to create a richer cake. Nigella swaps half her butter for sour cream; others dispense with the butter altogether in favor of vegetable oil and/or yogurt or crème fraiche. Variations on this recipe produce a denser crumb and richer chocolate flavor.

What About The Topping?

Below you’ll find two classic toppings: a chocolate ganache and a chocolate butter icing. The dark ganache has a bitter, adult flavour so, if you’re making it for children, try using milk chocolate. You can, of course, fill and top your chocolate cake with jam (try apricot or cherry), cream, grated chocolate, or chocolate chips (sprinkle over the cake in the tin, hot from the oven).

The Perfect Rich Chocolate Cake

We want oh so rich, but not belt-busting. Nigella’s sour cream brings that certain creamy taste, but it’s a high-fat concoction. This rich chocolate cake is made using a mixture of half-fat crème fraiche and vegetable oil, giving a moist cake that won’t break the calorie bank.

You can make it richer or simpler by topping it with a rich ganache, or just dusting it with icing sugar. Choose from the Topping suggestions below.


  • 8oz self-raising flour, sieved
  • 3tbsp cocoa
  • 0.5tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 6oz caster sugar
  • three eggs
  • 150ml crème fraiche
  • 150ml sunflower oil
  • 3tbsp golden syrup


  • Tip the dry ingredients into a bowl or food processor and mix to combine.

  • In a jug, whisk the eggs until pale, then add the crème fraiche, sunflower oil, and golden syrup. Whisk together thoroughly, then tip the mixture into the dry ingredients and beat or blend to combine.

  • Pour the batter into a greased 8” round tin, and bake at 140 degrees C for 40 min- one hour. Cool on a wire rack.

The Best Chocolate Cake Ever

This is our perfect chocolate cake. It’s light enough to take a buttery filling, or – for a change – cherry jam, and a ganache topping. It’s also fluffy and charming enough to convert the anti-chocolate cake league.


  • 8oz self-raising flour
  • 3tbsp cocoa
  • 2tsp baking powder
  • 8oz margarine
  • 8oz caster sugar
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 10tbsp milk


  • Sieve the first three ingredients into a bowl (or processor bowl), then add the margarine, caster sugar, beaten eggs, and milk, and beat until combined.

  • Tip into 2 well-greased 8” round baking tins, and bake at 160 degrees C for about 50 minutes.

  • Test with a skewer – when it comes out of the cake clean, the cake is done.

  • Cool on a wire rack, and finish with icing of your choice.


Each topping recipe makes enough to top one 8” cake. To make enough to fill and cover, double the quantities.

Chocolate ganache:

Pour 4floz double cream into a saucepan, and add 4oz of broken dark or milk chocolate. Allow to melt, whisk to blend, and then refrigerate until it reaches spreading consistency. Spread over the cake.

Chocolate butter icing:

Beat 3oz butter until soft. Sift in 6oz icing sugar and up to 1oz of cocoa, depending how strong you want the icing. Add 1tbsp boiling water and beat until well blended.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Funny cakes

Colourful cake decoration featuring some attractive (and no doubt very sweet) nubile girls.

Artful cake decoration featuring couples in various poses of fornication. This gives a whole new meaning to 'eating out'!

A decorated cake illustrating bedroom bondage.

Outrageously phallic cake decoration; the female recipient appreciates the joke.

Decoration atop a wedding cake, showing the groom being dragged to the altar (or perhaps home afterwards to wash the dishes).

SUPERB HASH COOKIES (and cannabutter recipe)

1 package Devil's Food cake mix
1 cup Canna-butter (cold)
1 1/2 cups chopped nuts
1 package choclate chips
1 package toffee chips
1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk

you chop the cold cannabutter into the cake mix until it's finely chopped.
Then spread it into the bottom of a glass baking dish, lightly sprayed with cooking oil.
After it's evenly pressed into the bottom of the pan, spread out the chopped nuts, the chocolate chips and the toffee pieces evenly onto the top.
Open the sweetened condensed milk, and pour over the top of the nuts and chips.
Pop the whole thing into a pre-heated oven 325 degrees F.
Bake until the sweetened milk bubbles to a light golden color.
Take the pan out and let it cool completely, or wait until it quits bubbling and top with vanilla ice cream.
This goes over pretty well.


Well, to be honest it is quite simple! However, you want to do it right as you're using material that is not necessarily ideal to waste. If done properly using this recipe you can maximize the quality and quantity of the CannaButter you make.So to start we will begin by listing some of the things you are going to need...

**Proper Clothing Is a MUST. When you have fats and water together they tend to be very volatile and burning your arms is not a part of this recipe. So please use HOT GLOVES and long sleeves as you may or may not accidentally burn yourself.**

Materials you will need:
- A strong grinder to grind the Cannabis material.
- A stove to heat the CannaButter.
- A medium sized heavy duty sauce pan/pot with lid. It's important to have the pot the same size as the element that it is on to ensure even heat distribution.
- A measuring cup.
- A whisk or a large fork to mix the material with the water/butter solution in the pot.
- Cheese cloth to strain the material before cooling.
- A bowl large enough to hold and cool the CannaButter material.
- A space in your refrigerator to cool and separate the water from butter.
- A heavy duty plastic wrap to handle and compress the CannaButter into a smaller, easier to handle shape.
- A freezable container to store the material
- A space in your freezer to store the finished product.

Please Make sure you have all these things before you begin and have them set aside as you will need them immediately during and at the end of the CannaButter making process.

To make a strong CannaButter you will need to adjust the amount of Cannabis you use in accordance with the strength of butter you would like. It is not recommended to make weak CannaButter or reduce the Cannabis:Butter ratio as you may feel "ripped off" after you've tried the butter.
This recipe will make about 350g of medium-grade strength CannaButter.
Remember you will have a small loss when handling the material.

So with that being said,

Ingredients you will need:
- 1lbs of unsalted butter.
- 2cups of water.
- 1 ounce of premium,middle or low grade Cannabis. Obviously the better product you use the better the butter will be.

That's it!
Okay, Now go get your shit together and let's cook!

To Prepare:
We'll begin by grinding the Cannabis material very very fine. Way beyond the extent that you would grind it if you were smoking it. Make your Cannabis a fine powder. Using an electric coffee grinder dedicated to the purpose of grinding Cannabis or cleaning one VERY, VERY well. It's suggest buying a rinky dink coffee grinder if you do not have one as cutting the Cannabis with scissors or grinding it with a space case grinder will not make the Cannabis fine enough.
You basically want a bowl of very, very fine Cannabis material.

Bring 2cups of water to a covered boil. Once the water is boiling, add your butter and melt it in the water. Once the butter is melted, reduce the heat to a very low setting so that when covered the CannaButter will simmer but not boil. We will now add the ground Cannabis material to the water and butter solution...Once you add the Cannabis powder you will whisk and mix it into the pot thoroughly, so that there are no clumps and nothing stuck to the bottom. Now that you've made sure there are no clumps in the solution, place the lid on the pot and leave the heat on a minimum temperature.
The CannaButter is now ready to simmer and cook for 22-24 hours. This amount of time is important. It is required to extract the THC from the finely ground Cannabis. However, you do not want to cook the CannaButter any longer than 24 hours. NO MORE THAN 24 HOURS. After 24 hours the THC will degrade and the butter will go bitter.
During this 24 hour cooking period you will need to check on the CannaButter every few hours to ensure that the boil is not to strong and to ensure that the butter has not reduced to much. If you find the solution reducing faster than expected it does not hurt to add a few table spoons of water over the 24 hour period.

Once you have simmered the CannaButter for long enough, turn the heat off.
Let the solution sit for 2-4 minutes and remove it from the heat.

USE APPROPRIATE CLOTHING AS THIS IS WHERE YOU CAN BURN YOURSELF other words.. don't do this next step in your boxers.

You are now ready to extract the used Cannabis material from the CannaButter solution..
Place the cheese cloth over an open bowl and ensure that when the liquid is poured through the cheese cloth will not go with it. The idea here is to strain the solution using the cheese cloth so that you will not have bits of cannabis in the solution. Most of the THC is extracted by now. Once the solution has been strained through the cheese cloth and the material collected, you will have a solution in a bowl and cheese cloth full of soggy Cannabis material.
Squeeze and extract as much of the solution from the cheese cloth and material as possible. The butter solution is what you want, not the bi-product
which is the soggy Cannabis.
Remove as much of the solution as possible into the bowl.

Place the bowl with the CannaButter solution into your reserved space in your refrigerator and let it cool for a few hours, even overnight. This process will separate the fats from the water. The fat being our CannaButter. During this process you will be able to see the progress of the butter as it cools, much like watching Jell-o go firm. However, you want to let it sit long enough to ensure the complete separation of the fats from the water.

Removing Your Butter and Storing:
Removing the butter from the bowl may seem a bit tricky...but will be considerably less messy if you use the Heavy duty plastic wrap to handle the now solid butter. Simply remove enough plastic and use it like a doggy bag to remove the top slab of CannaButter from the bowl. Pat dry the CannaButter to remove any excess water. Now use the plastic wrap to compress the CannaButter into a smaller more manageable size. Store in a freezable,airtight container or mason jar.
Depending on the amount of CannaButter you make, it may be better to use a slotted spoon or spatula instead of your hands.


If kept frozen the butter will not go bad or lose any potency before you get around to using it.
The butter will melt quickly once it warms up.. so handle it quickly and keep it in the freezer as much as possible.
And that's it! Now go lick clean some utensils and enjoy your CannaButter.

CannaButter can be used in a range of things and can even be used to bake goods like muffins,cookie and brownies. Some simply enjoy CannaButter on toast. Whatever you decide to use it in or on, remember that you do not want to re-cook it but baking it into something for a short period of time (about the length of time it takes to bake cookies or muffins) will not harm your CannaButter at all.

That's it! get cookin'!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Celebs and tattoos

I felt it's time to do one about ink, as I'm inked myself, and it's a fun subject to write about.
Here are a bunch of pics of celeb tattoos, as in tattoos of celebs, on celebs, and other stuff in that vein :)

Hope you enjoy my compilation.

LMAO Manatee

When I got this pic via stumble upon, I just couldn't resist. It's brilliant!!!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Gun cakes

Seems kinda bizarre to get a cake like that for your birth day, but I guess that if you've got gun freaks in your family, you'd like to keep them on the good side :P

Hamburgers, nice juicy succulent hamburgers

As you may already know, a hamburger (or simply a burger) is a sandwich that consists of a cooked patty made of ground meat and is generally served with various garnish or condiments like ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato, onion, relish, pickles, and cheese toppings, placed inside a sliced Hamburger bun, often baked specially for this purpose, or pieces of bread, toast, or other stabilizers, i.e. lettuce. The meat patty is beef (even tho it's called HAMburger), unless otherwise noted.
Now, It's fair to say that over the years the hamburger as we know it has evolved, took artistic shapes and forms, was influenced by various cuisines and is available in both gourmet and junk forms.

Here's a nice recipe for super juicy hamburgers:


  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3/4 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons evaporated milk
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced


  1. Preheat grill for high heat.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the ground beef, egg, bread crumbs, evaporated milk, Worcestershire sauce, cayenne pepper, and garlic using your hands. Form the mixture into 8 hamburger patties.
  3. Lightly oil the grill grate. Grill patties 5 minutes per side, or until well done.

in case you don't, here are a few suggestions:

And in case these pics made you drool, cos I know I'm drowning in saliva over here, here are a couple of pimped burger recipes:

Bacon Wrapped Hamburgers


  • 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 6 hamburger buns, split


  1. Preheat a grill for high heat.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the Cheddar cheese, Parmesan cheese, onion, egg, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Crumble in the ground beef, and mix together by hand. Form into 6 patties, and wrap a slice of bacon around each one. Secure bacon with toothpicks.
  3. Place patties on the grill, and cook for 5 minutes per side, or until well done. Remove toothpicks before serving on hamburger buns.

and here's the other one::

Spicy Blue Cheese Hamburgers


  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 1/2 cup hot chicken wing sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard
  • 4 hamburger buns, split


  1. In a medium bowl, mix together the ground beef, blue cheese and onion. Season with Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and pepper. Mix well, using your hands if necessary. Form into four patties, and place on a plate. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  2. Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat. Remove the hamburger patties from the refrigerator, and pour enough hot wing sauce over them to cover the top surface. Allow to sit for 10 minutes.
  3. Place hamburgers on the hot grill, and cook for about 5 minutes per side, until no longer pink. The internal temperature should be at 180 degrees F (85 degrees C) if taken with a meat thermometer. For extra spicy burgers, baste with additional wing sauce while cooking. Serve on buns.