Waiter, there’s a seagull in my latte
They are the scavengers of the sky, and now they are dining out at the expense of Mount Maunganui’s cafe scene.
Menacing seagulls are dive-bombing al fresco customers, knocking over coffees and defecating on cafe patrons.
Cafe Cabana barista Luke Edmond said staff at the Marine Parade eatery replaced coffees and meals about three times a week because of birds swooping in and causing chaos.
“Just the other day one of our regulars was sitting down here drinking a bowl latte.
“The bird actually landed in the bowl, flew up and pooed on her. And of course when it spread its wings to fly away, it flicked coffee on everyone else in the area,” he said.
The cafe replaced six coffees and four meals.
Chuck It All Together Chocolate Cake
“If you give me chocolate cake, I’ll be your friend forever.”
1 2/3 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups sugar
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups milk
100 g (3 1/2 oz) melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1. Preheat oven to 180 C (350 F)
2. Grease 20cm springform pan, line with greaseproof baking paper.
3. Put all ingredients into a processor and mix.
4. Pour into baking pan.
5. Bake for 50 minutes, ..is time measured the same way in other parts of the world or do you have to convert according to time zones?
(Centre should spring back, and skewer comes out clean)
6. Cool, and ice… (frost whatever ya call it..)
100 g (3 1/2 oz) butter
250 g (8.81849 oz or 1 cup) icing sugar…(powdered sugar)
1/3 cup of cocoa
Milk to mix
1 teaspoon vanilla
Beat butter and dry ingredients until combined, add milk, teaspoon by teaspoon, until you have a thickish, soft, spreadable, delectable icing. Use 1/3 to fill sliced cake, and the rest as icing. Refrigerate till set.
*OK I can’t claim this recipe, but this is the stock standard chocolate cake that my wife bakes, and it is an awesome chocolate cake, rich, dark and handsome… opps moist..
What is this? A cooking blog now…? Eh, whatever…
Anyway… here is my pizza dough recipe that you might like to try… well it is not actually ‘mine’ I got
it off a wood fired pizza guy… but his pizza’s were totally kick ass awesome, so I asked him if
he would share his ‘secret’ recipe… it turns out the best food often uses very simple
2 Cups Flour (I use white high grade … bakers bread flour… dunno what they call it in the
1 Tablespoon Yeast (I use granulated)
1 Teaspoon Salt
3 Tablespoons Oil
190 mls Warm Water (OK that is 6.42466 fl oz… or 0.803083 US cup… heh)
1 Teaspoon Sugar
1. Mix sugar into warm water, and then sprinkle yeast on top. Set to one side until it starts to
go all foamy creamy on top…
2. Combine sifted flour, salt, and oil into bowl… or better still food processor with plastic
3. Make a ‘well’ (yeah whatever) and add water yeast mixture… if you are using a food processor
just pour it down the spout, while pulsing. Keep pulsing until it forms a nice round ball and it
all leaves the sides. If you are using a bowl just mix it with a wooden spoon until you can’t
stir the sucker any more… then it is time to knead.
4. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface… like the counter top… there is prolly a
Youtube thingie about kneading, but basically pull the back half of the dough over the front half,
1/4 turn and repeat… oh about 50 or so times… depending on whether you used a food processor
or not… apparently the ‘science’ is that the gluten molecules of the flour need to be
stretched or something… (yeah whatever)… just need the crap out of the dough until it is
smooth and elastic. Use a small amount of extra flour, if the dough starts to get sticky…
but you definitely don’t want it too dry… (yeah whatever..)
5. Set the dough in a greased bowl, cover (I just put a tea towel over it)… place
in a warm place, and let it rise… patience grasshopper…
6. Once it has risen, punch it down and you are ready to make your pizza. I don’t use a rolling
pin or anything fancy, I just push the dough down with my fingers until it is a reasonable circle.
This quantity will make one large or two medium pizzas. I reckon you can work out your own
7. The next trick is the baking… a blazing bloody hot oven, basically max it out… oh and a
pizza stone… it is important to pre-heat the oven and pizza stone to blazing hot… don’t rush
it and try to cook before the oven is up to temperature.
8. Now the tricky part is getting the pizza from the bench to the oven and onto the pizza
stone… you can’t exactly pick up a loaded pizza and put it in a bloody blazing hot oven with
just your hands.. the whole thing will fall apart and you will get burnded… pizza places have
fancy shovels… I get around this by making the pizza on a sheet of baking paper, on a baking
tray… and then slide the loaded pizza on the paper from the baking tray to the stone, you can
then use the corner of the paper to pull the pizza back onto the baking tray when done. If you
don’t use a pizza stone.. (but seriously… you like, so need one…) …slide the pizza from one baking tray, to a preheated one in the oven. Did I mention that the oven has to be bloody blazing hot? What you don’t want to do, is put a cold baking tray with the pizza on it into the oven, you don’t wanna waste heat, heating up the tray and the base wont be crispy.
9. Providing the oven is blazing hot, about 250 C or (heck I dunno about 482 F… do ovens even
go that hot?) the pizza should only take about 7 minutes or so.
10. Smell the deliciousness, and eat when done… but be careful that oven is bloody hot. Just