Jap Cakes, Cat’s Sick, and The Color Purple…

I’m still recycling to bring my WordPress site up to full speed, and not too sure that either of these is really worth the effort, but hey ho. You have been warned. That said, Part 1 does include a recipe for Jap Cakes, so if Jap Cakes and/or baking with the kids are the kinds of thing that float your boat you might find it useful to read on. Part 2 is a bit of a moan and gripe about essay writing, relating specifically to Alice Walker’s  The Color Purple. Anyone writing an essay about The Color Purple will find absolutely nothing of value whatsoever to plagiarise, but may well be reassured to learn they are not the only one struggling to condense the life experiences of a good dozen or more characters into 1500 words…

Both posts were originally published in early March 2011


 Dunno where to start really. I want to write something for my blog but can’t think of a topic.

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Topic. 


Haven’t had one of those in years. I remember the last time I did eat one it was too sweet even for my sweet tooth – was like trying to eat the filling from a banoffi pie that had been rolled in sugar then covered in CHOKLIT. Actually, it must have been even sweeter than that, because as I typed the banoffi pie stuff it actually sounded quite tempting. I’m very good, though. I don’t succumb to my sweet tooth very often (which is probably why I’ve still got my sweet tooth – that and an aversion to Koki Kola. I do enjoy the Hokey-Cokey occasionally, but as far as I know that doesn’t affect your teeth – unless you trip over a chair or something and land face down on an ashtray. Knees bend, arms stretch, ow ow ow! Sorry. I digress), but I still like to indulge it occasionally.

The last time I did was when I went in to a local baker’s for a loaf of ‘artisan’ bread and saw they sold Jap Cakes (can you still say Jap Cakes or is that un PC? Does the ‘Jap’ in Jap cake refer, offensively, to Japanese people or was it a Japanese recipe originally, or is it something else entirely? I didn’t see a little plastic thingummy with the words ‘Jap Cake’ on it and all the other cakes were labelled, so perhaps someone complained? But that’s silly – wouldn’t Eccles Cakes be offensive to Goons? Lardy cakes offensive to fat people? Sticky Willies offensive to people with…. erm… …?). Anyhoo, back to Jap Cakes and my succumbing. The reason I succumbed is because my son has a gluten allergy so can’t eat many shop bought cakes. A Jap cake, however is a meringue-based confection, so when I saw them I thought it my duty to buy him one, and it would have been bad manners not to join him. He ate his with relish, and then ate half of mine too.

See. That’s how good a parent I am.

Anyway, I still can’t think of a thing to write, so I might as well go and have my lunch. While typing I clicked on the internet thingummy and did a quick Google for Jap Cakes, finding the recipe below. I haven’t tried it, so if you give it a go don’t hold me to account, but perhaps this can be Ben’s ‘life-skills’ lesson on Sunday morning, and then he and his BFF can eat them for tea. If we do give them a bash I won’t be using the coffee/buttercream recipe suggested, I’ll do something nutty instead. Who knows, maybe I’ll even boil up a tin of Fussell’s and do ‘Banoffi Japs’…

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Banoffi Japs….

 Jap Cake:jap cake

  •  3 egg whites
  • 170 gms caster sugar
  • 85 gms ground almonds
  • 2 tbs cornflour

Whisk egg whites until stiff, then add half the sugar. Fold the remaining sugar with ground almonds and cornflour into mixture. Line a baking tray with baking parchment and spoon or pipe mixture into 5 cm circles. (This mixture will make about 12 circles)

Bake at 150 C/ Regulo 2 for 40 minutes.

Filling: (The found recipe has a) coffee butter cream filling using 85 gm butter/ 115 gm icing sugar plus coffee essence and a little hot water. You could make a chocolate butter cream instead.

Keep two of the cakes and sandwich the rest with the icing and spread a little icing round the side. Crush the other two cakes and roll the assembled cakes in the crumbs. I think that bakers then dribble a little melted chocolate over the cake to complete the decoration  🙂 




I’m taking a brief respite from an essay I’ve got to write on the topic of ‘transformation’ as found in The Colur Porple… I’m 500 words in and my brain is making funny grinding noises like some important cogs and things are ceasing up…

 The daft thing is, I absolovely lute this book, so it should be a piece of piss, but in reality it often proves harder to write an essay about something you like than something you hate, because you keep wanting to look at the bigger picture instead of all those horrible, mincy little details (the devils in them, you know!) that are the bread and butter of essays. And it doesn’t help that the whole bloody book is FULL of transformations, happening to every bloody character on every bloody page. I mean, if Celie had just had a sexual epiphany OR a spiritual epiphany OR a psychological epiphany OR a lifestyle epiphany OR an educational epiphany OR (well, you get the idea with that one) … it would have been much easier to write about it. And if she’d been the only one going about having all these major epiphanies and undergoing all these transformations  rather than them happening to everyone all over the shop that would have been much easier to write about too. I do love her to bits, but she can be a bit of a pain in the arse with epiphany this and transformation that and the-interconnectedness-of-all-things-and-god’ll-be-really-pissed-if-you-don’t-see-the-purple-in-everything other, can’t she?

Oh. I invented a new word this morning. I went downstairs to make a cup of tea and as I walked into the living room I narrowly avoided stepping in a pile of cat’s sick. My foot was already on its way down, and I had to execute a sharp little feint to the right, and as I did I heard the word ‘Koik’ escape my lips. Not sure where it came from – the closest I can get is a sort of portmanteau word derived from the two exclamations ‘Christ’ and ‘Yoiks’, but ‘Yoiks’, I’m pretty sure, is not a word I’ve ever used other than perhaps ironically (as I might use the word ‘cripes’ or the term ‘gee-whizz’), and ‘Christ’ is far from being my first choice when it comes to expletives. I tend to prefer words beginning with ‘f’ – how about you? Anyhoo, etymology aside, ‘koik’ it was, and I’ve got to say it’s kind of growing on me…

I don’t watch a lot of telly through the week – well not ‘popular’ telly anyway – so it’s always nice to see something I’ve predicted popping up on TV Burp popping up on TV Burp. There were two David Attenborough clips on Saturday, and both were delivered by Harry in exactly the way I’d predicted too. I think the term ‘smug bastard’ could very well be applied to me here, and I’ll put my hands up and take it on the chin. He did miss a couple of golden opportunities with Kate Hamster on ‘the spice trail’, but as I can’t remember what they were now that’s all a bit academic.

cat sick

Talking of academic, Alice Walker et al are demanding another 700 words from me, so I’d better make a nice cup o’ tea and get on with that. Koik!


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