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DECK THE HOLIDAY'S: 07/10/12

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

DARK CHOCOLATE FUDGE DONUT CAKES!

   This fine confection comes from www.cookingandme.com .  Looks like a donut, but it tastes oh  so chocolatey good. ( add a little whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream and you're set for the night).


Sometimes, you need to bake something for friends you are visiting for dinner. When you are trying to decide what to make, you need to figure out how to use that amazing Valrhona cocoa powder you've been saving up for too long, the doughnut pan which you thought was such a smart and essential buy, and you also need to make sure your own chocolate craving is satisfied.







Dark Chocolate Fudge Doughnut Cakes Recipe



I turned to one of my favourite books to address all of the above - A Passion for Baking by Marcy Goldman. I managed to use up the cocoa powder, inaugurate the new doughnut pan which I am in love with now, and get some super fudgy, sticky, not-so-sweet, delicious chocolate doughnut cakes.

Win!

The original recipe was for Dark Fudge Bundt Cake but that shouldn't deter us. Make it into anything you like - a cake, bundt cake, cupcakes, or these lovely doughnut shaped ones if you have the right pan.

Dark Chocolate Fudge Doughnut Cakes


Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 35 minutes
Makes 18 - 20 doughnut cakes


Ingredients:

1 ¾ cups of white sugar
1 cup of firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup of unsalted butter, melted
3 eggs
2 tsp of vanilla extract
3 ¼ cups of all-purpose flour
¾ cup of cocoa powder
2 tsp of baking powder
1 ½ tsp of baking soda
½ tsp of salt
1 ½ cups of warm coffee (I used warm water mixed with 2 tsp instant coffee powder)





How I Made It:

1. Preheat oven to 350F / 180C. Generously grease a cupcake tray, (grease the liners if using), doughnut pan, ramekins, or bundt pan, whatever you prefer to use. This cake tends to be quite sticky after baking so make sure you grease your pans well. You can make out the stickiness from the first picture, actually!

2. In a bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together until well blended.



Dark Chocolate Fudge Doughnut Cakes Recipe

3. In a separate bowl, combine both the sugars with the melted butter. Mix well.




Dark Chocolate Fudge Doughnut Cakes Recipe

4. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat for a minute until smooth. I did this in my Kitchenaid to make things easier (and also so I would I get some use out of it!)




Dark Chocolate Fudge Doughnut Cakes Recipe

5. Then add the flour mixture and stir to moisten the batter.




Dark Chocolate Fudge Doughnut Cakes Recipe

6. Slowly drizzle in the coffee, stirring at the same time carefully to make a smooth batter. I mixed it gently just enough for all the ingredients to blend well. Don’t overbeat.




Dark Chocolate Fudge Doughnut Cakes Recipe

7. Spoon batter halfway into the prepared moulds or pans and bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 mins until the top glistens and springs back on touch.



Dark Chocolate Fudge Doughnut Cakes Recipe


8. Remove and cool before sprinkling with icing sugar. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Dark Chocolate Fudge Doughnut Cakes Recipe




After 2 days, store in the refrigerator for up to a week and serve warmed in the microwave for 30 seconds or after leaving it out for about 2 hours.




Dark Chocolate Fudge Doughnut Cakes Recipe





These carry really well for a party or pot luck. I love them as-is with no frosting or even dusting of sugar, with a glass of cold milk. Yum!



Notes:
- This recipe makes a lot of cake so halve it if you'd like. Some of the measurements are not easy to halve so do what I do. If you need to halve 1/3 cup for instance, just take a 1/3 cup measurement cup and fill it half way. For eggs, just use 2 instead of trying to use 1.5 eggs.
- I've mentioned it in the recipe but I'll say it again. The cake comes out quite moist and sticky so grease your pans well
- If you'd like a sweeter cake, increase sugar amounts. I know it looks like a lot but we are also adding a fair bit of chocolate and coffee. Adjust accordingly. You can also frost it if you'd like, keeping the amount of sugar the same as in above recipe
- To make this cake eggless, follow usual substitution ingredients (eg: flax seed meal, Ener-G, yogurt, etc)

TOP 10 UNBEARABLE PHOBIAS!!






    Everyone has a fear of some sort, but not all of us suffer from the type of pathological fear called a “phobia.” Some phobias are well known, such as agoraphobia, which is the fear of being in an open area or in a large crowd, and Thanatophobia, which is the fear of death. (I think we can all relate to the latter.) There are other phobias that are just plain bizarre; for instance, arachibutyrophobia, which is the fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of one’s mouth. This list, however, is devoted to those phobias that seem inherently unbearable. In other words, fears that fundamentally affect a sufferer’s quality of life to an extreme extent. While perusing the list, let’s keep in mind that there are real people suffering from these phobias; understanding the phobias themselves will allow us to understand (and sympathize with) the tribulations of the sufferers.




10. Ambulophobia













“The fear of walking or standing.”

    Imagine the implications of such a fear: the mere thought of standing or walking around fills you with utter terror. How in the world do you live a normal life? You certainly can’t travel around in a motorized chair all the time. Unfortunately for ambulophobes, human flying has not yet been achieved, either. It would seem that an individual suffering from this devastating phobia would be forced to confront their fear many, many times, every single day of their life. That doesn’t sound like fun.



9. Decidophobia










“The fear of making decisions.”

As you can see, some phobias have profound psychological consequences. If someone is deathly afraid of making a decision, then how do they go about life? Do they instruct others to make a decision for them? Isn’t that a decision in itself? Do they simply follow a real life equivalent of stream-of-consciousness, simply “going with the flow”, and not interfering with the normal course of events? But isn’t THAT a decision, too? Decidophobes must be in a constant state of mental flux; as long as they contemplate a decision, they shouldn’t experience fear. It’s the act of actually making the decision that terrifies them. This essentially means that any sort of personal interaction with the world requires a decidophobe to overcome traumatizing fear.



8. Epistemophobia (Gnosiophobia)











“The fear of knowledge.”

    What? The fear of knowledge? Indeed. No school. No education. No introduction to any new facts of any sort. Developing epistemophobia is akin to placing a cognitive cap on your development. You can’t learn anymore, unless you’re willing to withstand unrelenting terror throughout the entire process, which would obviously impair your ability to even comprehend the new material in the first place.




7. Cibophobia











“The fear of food.”

    Let’s perform a quick analysis of this situation: food is required to live. Cibophobes are frightened by food. This means such people have two options: (1) avoid food altogether, thereby killing themselves through malnutrition and dehydration, which is clearly not a viable (or attractive) prospect, or (2) stay alive by eating food and dealing with bone-chilling tremors every time a spoonful of cereal approaches their mouth. Imagine being a cibophobe; maybe you really enjoy macaroni-and-cheese, or bacon-and-cheddar cheeseburgers, or some other delectable dish. Well, now all the enjoyment you get out of those meals is wiped away because you’d be eating them with a touch of pepper, a dash of salt and a dollop of dread.



6. Somniphobia (Hypnophobia)











“The fear of sleep.”

    Just like the aforementioned phobia, this one involves something that we all need to stay alive: precious shut-eye. But whereas one might be able to go a few days without food, and thereby dampen the effects of cibophobia, it is much harder to remain functional even after a single day of sleepless activity. I can’t even imagine the overall physical and mental fatigue that this phobia causes; if you stay awake, you harm your body physiologically and undermine your brain’s capabilities, but if you try to go to sleep, you’re overwhelmed by fear which may, plausibly, make it impossible to fall asleep, anyway. Certainly a horrible fear for anyone to have to deal with.



5. Acousticophobia










“The morbid fear of sounds, including your own voice.”

    We are now moving into the territory of even more bizarrely limiting phobias. How does one live a normal life as an acousticophobe? Do you live in a sound-proof room? Do you walk around with ear plugs? Do you convince a doctor to surgically make you deaf? These all sound like rather drastic decisions, and dangerous ones, to boot, but the other alternative is not very promising: go through life and be horrified by any random noise, whether it’s the slight buzzing of a nearby housefly or the distant rumbling of thunder or the roar of a passing vehicle, or even your own voice. And even if you tried to shield yourself from the terror by covering your ears with your hands, that wouldn’t work; you’d still hear the blood rushing through your head. Scary.



4. Chronophobia












“The fear of the passing of time, or more generally of time itself.”

    Stretching this fear to its logical conclusion, one would assume that the fear of time also entails the fear of concepts pertaining to time, such as the past, the present, the future, and words like “later,” “early,” etc. What a horrible existence that would be, eh? Even if chronophobes aren’t afraid of words or ideas pertaining to time, they ARE afraid of time itself and of its passage, and as human beings we are well aware that time is constantly ticking away. Just imagine being a chronophobe, and staring at a watch or one of those old analog clocks with loudly-ticking second hands. Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. Every passing second reverberates like an earthquake of shock and terror through your soul.



3. Counterphobia












“The preference by a phobic for fearful situations.”

    Re-read that definition. This is an arcane, mind-bending phobia if there ever was one. So, we have a phobic, and this person actually SEEKS OUT those situations or objects that cause them intense discomfort and fear. This may sound like some sort of strange, twisted masochistic syndrome, but it’s thought that counterphobes engage in these activities in an effort to combat their phobia. I’m sure you’ve heard the old maxim advising you to “face your fears.” Well, for a person suffering from a phobia, that advice is a lot easier said than practiced. So counterphobes try to conquer their intense fears by placing themselves in their peculiarly fearful situations, which evidently does not work, so the counterphobe is in a constant oscillating existence of fight-or-flight. Thus, counterphobia takes the standard mental devastation caused by phobias and, just to make things worse, adds in a whole new level of psychological problems. Yeah, not a very nice phobia at all.



2. Phobophobia









“The morbid fear of developing a phobia.”

    Again, re-read that definition. Phobophobia is the fear of developing a fear. Well, wait a second – it’s already a fear, so in that case, isn’t phobophobia essentially a self-referential disorder? It would seem so. This is such a ridiculously complicated fear that it seems more like a paradox or brain-teaser than a legitimate fear, which is why I really pity any individuals suffering from it. They fear developing a fear, but they’ve already developed a fear, so phobophobia sort of feeds upon itself in an endless cycle, ad infinitum. Truly, truly disheartening.




1. Pantophobia










“The fear of everything.”

    At first, you almost want to laugh at this phobia. “The fear of everything? Really? That’s just absurd.” But then the realization sinks in and you finally understand the gravity of this phobia. Think about it: the fear of EVERYTHING. One source describes this phobia as “a vague and persistent dread of some unknown evil.” So, in a theoretical sense, a pantophobe can go through life in a completely normal way, enjoying themselves, except for the fact that they are haunted by an incessant, unwavering, relentless fear that some universal, esoteric sinister force is out there somewhere. Whereas all the other phobias in this list refer specifically to some cause, this one has been placed in the number one position because it entails a ubiquitous dread: no matter where a pantophobe goes, no matter what he does, every aspect of his life, every thought, every object, every relationship, interaction, environment, and moment is plagued by a nagging thought that an evil force is hovering above his head, following him from behind, closing in on all sides. All the time. Until the day he dies.

COMIC-CON FROM SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA!




    San Diego Comic-Con International, also known as Comic-Con International: San Diego, and commonly known as Comic-Con or the San Diego Comic-Con, was founded as the Golden State Comic Book Convention and later the San Diego Comic Book Convention in 1970 by Shel Dorf and a group of San Diegans. It is traditionally a four-day event (Thursday through Sunday — though a three-hour preview night on Wednesday is open to professionals, exhibitors, and some guests pre-registered for all four days) held during the summer in San Diego, California, United States, at the San Diego Convention Center. Comic-Con is both the name of the annual event and the common name of the organization.
    Comic-Con International also produces two other conventions, WonderCon and the Alternative Press Expo (APE), both held in San Francisco, California. Since 1974, Comic-Con has bestowed its annual Inkpot Award to guests and persons of interest in the industries of popular arts as well as to members of Comic-Con's Board of Directors and convention committee. It is also the home of the Will Eisner Awards.



The floor at Comic Con


    Originally showcasing comic books, science fiction/fantasy and film/television (as was evident by the three circled figures appearing in Comic-Con's original logo), and related popular arts, the convention has expanded over the years to include a larger range of pop culture elements, such as horror, anime, manga, animation, toys, collectible card games, video games, webcomics, and fantasy novels. The convention is the largest in the Americas, and fourth largest in the world after the Comiket in Japan, the Angoul√™me International Comics Festival in France, and the Lucca Comics and Games in Italy, filling to capacity the San Diego Convention Center with over 125,000 attendees in 2007.

History and Organization

    The convention was founded by Detroit, Michigan-born comics fan Shel Dorf, who in the mid-1960s had mounted the Detroit Triple-Fan Fairs, one of the first commercial comics-fan conventions. When he moved to San Diego, California in 1970, he organized a one-day convention (Golden State Comic-Minicon) on March 21, 1970 "as a kind of "dry run" for the larger convention he hoped to stage. Dorf went on to be associated with the convention as president or manager, variously, for many years until becoming estranged from the organization.



Some of the characters you just might run into


    Following the initial gathering, Dorf's first three-day San Diego comics convention, the Golden State Comic-Con, drew 300 people and was held at the U. S. Grant Hotel from August 1–3, 1970. Other locations in the convention's early years included the El Cortez Hotel, the University of California, San Diego, and Golden Hall, before being moved to the San Diego Convention Center in 1991. Richard Alf, chairman in 1971, has noted an early factor in the Con's growth was an effort "to expand the Comic-Con [organizing] committee base by networking with other fandoms such as the Society for Creative Anachronism and the Mythopoeic Society, among others. (We found a lot of talent and strength through diversity)". By the late 1970's the show had grown to such an extent that Bob Schreck recalled visiting with his then-boss Gary Berman of Creation Conventions and reflecting, "While [Berman] kept repeating (attempting to convince himself) 'This show's not any bigger than ours!' I was quietly walking the floor stunned and in awe of just how much bigger it really was. I was blown away."







    The convention is organized by a panel of 13 board members, 16 to 20 full-time and part-time workers, and 80 volunteers who assist via committees. Comic Con International is a non-profit organization, and proceeds of the event go to funding it, as well as the Alternative Press Expo (APE) and WonderCon. In September 2010, the convention announced that it would stay in San Diego through 2015.

Events

    Along with panels, seminars, and workshops with comic book professionals, there are previews of upcoming feature films, portfolio review sessions with top comic book and video game companies, and such evening events as awards ceremonies and the Masquerade, a costume contest, as well as the Comic-Con International Independent Film Festival, which showcases shorts and feature length movies that do not have distribution or distribution deals.







    Traditional events include an eclectic film program, screening rooms devoted to Japanese animation, gaming, programs such as cartoonist Scott Shaw!'s "Oddball Comics" slide show and animation expert Jerry Beck's program featuring TV's "worst cartoons ever", as well as over 350 hours of other programming on all aspects of comic books and pop culture.
    Like most comic-book conventions, Comic-Con features a large floorspace for exhibitors. These include media companies such as movie studios and TV networks, as well as comic-book dealers and collectibles merchants. Like most comics conventions, Comic-Con includes an autograph area, as well as the Artists' Alley where comics artists can sign autographs and sell or do free sketches. Despite the name, artists' alleys can include writers and even models.
    Academicians and comic industry professionals annually hold the Comics Arts Conference at Comic-Con, presenting scholarly studies on comics as a medium. Educational forums such as the Comics Arts Conference help Comic-Con maintain its non-profit status.





Some of the folks from Gotham City and friends

Exclusive Collectibles

    In the 21st century, the convention has drawn toy and collectibles designers who sell "Comic Con Exclusive" products. Such companies have included Hasbro, Mattel, and Sideshow Collectibles. Most such exclusives are licensed properties of movie, comic book, and animation characters.

In The Media

    Comic-Con International has served as the setting for Mark Hamill's Comic Book: The Movie, and for an episode of the HBO television series Entourage, the latter of which, while set at the event, was not filmed there. Comic-Con also served as an excuse for the fictional characters Seth Cohen and Ryan Atwood's trip to Tijuana, Mexico in the first season of TV series The O.C. The convention also featured prominently as a setting for the Numb3rs episode "Graphic". In Season 4 of Beauty and the Geek, an episode was featured where the contestants traveled to Comic-Con 07 and were given a challenge to create their own superheroes. In an episode of Punk'd, Hilary Swank gets Punk'd after an "attack from talking robot." In season five episode six of the Showtime show Weeds, attendees from Comic Con 2009 are seen in Silas and Doug's medicinal marijuana club. It has been reported that a mock up of the external area near Hall D of the Convention Center depicting Comic-Con will be shown in the movie Paul which will be starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. Issue #72 of The Invincible Iron Man (published by Marvel Comics in the fall of 1974) was set at the July–August, 1974 Comic-Con at the El Cortez Hotel. The issue features cameos by a few of the special guests.








Quotations

Mark Evanier on the first Comic-Con venue:
"I never stayed in the old U.S. Grant [hotel] but it was the scene of the first San Diego Con, which I attended way back in 1970, back when we thought it was mobbed to have 500 comic fans in the same place at the same time. The hotel was undergoing a massive renovation then as well, but was merely upgrading from Extremely Shabby to merely Somewhat Shabby. The place I still miss is the El Cortez Hotel, where the con was held for several years in the seventies. I'd say the place was a dump but that would be demeaning to dumps. Still, it was a fun dump, run by a management that didn't seem to care all that much what we did to it".




Some of the Stars that have appeared over the years


"In the seventies, when we all started going to San Diego Comic Book Conventions, back when they called them that, the Hotel San Diego was a frequent venue for con events. Some years, before it outgrew any available hotel ballroom, the Inkpot Awards presentation was held there. There were many memorable parties and gatherings, such as in 1982, when a group of Jack Kirby's friends staged a memorable surprise birthday party for him in one of its halls. Perhaps some year, you were either so hard up for money or so desperate for an available room (or both) that you even booked into its sadly deteriorating accommodations. It was one of the cheaper places to sleep and con-goers took advantage of that up until June 2001 when the building was declared structurally unsafe and was closed down".

 


Will the real Princess Lea please stand up!


Crowding

    Capacity attendance at Comic-Con in 2006 and 2007 has caused crowding issues. Concerns have been raised that the event is possibly too massive for the San Diego Convention Center, Comic-Con's home through at least 2015. In 2006, Comic-Con for the first time, had to close registration for a few hours on Saturday to accommodate crowds. In response, for 2007, Comic-Con introduced a new three-day membership that did not include Saturday. Nevertheless, the 2007 show went on to sell out Saturday, as well as Friday and Sunday for the first time. Additionally, both the four-day and three-day memberships sold out for the first time. For 2008, the three-day memberships were abandoned and the convention decided to sell memberships only in advance, with no on-site registration.




People waiting to get inside Comic Con



    In 2008, all memberships were sold out before the convention for the first time ever. This sellout has given rise to the new phenomenon of Comic-Con memberships being scalped for exorbitant prices on websites such as eBay.
    In April 2008, David Glanzer, Comic-Con's director of marketing and public relations, commented on the organization's desire to remain in San Diego:
"We've been approached by other cities, [but] I don't think anybody wants to leave San Diego. I certainly don't. It's a perfect fit for us. It's expensive, whether it be paying for the street signs that tell you what streets are closed, or for any police or the hall or any of the myriad things, it's expensive. But it's a great city. There's been some talk of expansion of the center, which we would certainly welcome. Hopefully if everything lines up, we will be here for many more years."


So big that even Darth Vader need a ride to get around


    Heidi McDonald reported on her blog The Beat as of October 7, 2009 Preview Night for the 2010 show has already sold out. Glazner explained the early sell-out:
   For 2010 the decision was made to offer an option (of whether they wanted to attend Preview Night) to those who pre-registered for four-day badges. We limited the number of badges for Preview Night to the number of those who attended in 2008.


More characters at Comic Con


    Mark Evanier on his blog News from ME noted as of November 9, 2009 all 4-day passes for the 2010 show had already been sold out.
    On February 23, 2010, The Orange County Register reported that the larger Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim would be making a bid to become the new home of Comic-Con starting in 2013. On September 30, 2010 Comic Con announced that they have extended their stay up to 2015.
    The North County Times reported on July 26, 2010 that 4-day passes with access to Preview night for the 2011 Convention sold out two hours before the 2010 convention closed.