G was busy last week continuing to perfect his cake-making skills. He made a wee 5-inch cake using a classic genoise recipe. He made a classic fruit syrup glaze for the strawberries; he made a classic vanilla cake syrup to brush on the cake to ensure it was both tasty and moist; he made creme patisserie to fill the cake with and finished it all with a phenomenal Chantilly cream icing that was OMG!
The conclusion, a good 8 out of 10 we thought. Sure, it’s a HUGE amount of work, and, sure we can wander down to Metro to buy one in seconds and at probably 1/10th the price of making it from scratch. But, when it tastes and looks this good, why would you?!
2 & 3) carefully slicing the genoise
4) laying on the cream patisserie and sliced strawberries for the first layer; 5) followed by some Chantilly cream
6) smoothing it out; 7) onto the second layer
8) finally crowning the cake and applying more vanilla syrup; 9) and the Chantilly cream
10 & 11) he’s a wonder with making it look gorgeous
12) glazing the strawberries for the top; 13) just about done
All About Steve
Phil Traill, who surely must be a rookie, directed this embarrassing train wreck. Granted one goes into films like these expecting little – it is afterall just another tired Hollywood oddball date-flick, with all the under expectation that comes with such tripe. Sure enough oddball Mary Horowitz (Sandra Bullock) does all the usual things these sad and silly women do in such films and Steve (Bradley Cooper) is there to obligingly soak it up. Mary is enamored of crosswords first and foremost and mistakenly confuses Steve’s obliviousness for love. It is truly sad that Hollywood continues to propagate such dreadful stereotypes of women. Shame, shame. The only redeeming factor in this horrible mess is Thomas Hayden Church (as Hartman Hughes) and for that, and that alone, my rating 2 out of 10.
Long before Quentin Tarantino made the movies he now makes, director Juzo Itami was blazing the trail with films like Tampopo. It is the quintessential “noodle western” (Itami’s own term) that pokes fun at Japanese custom with both a humour and truth that is razor sharp. Thoroughly original and thoroughly idiosyncratic it is on the face of it a modern version of Home Makeover meets Iron Chef. Nobuko Miyamoto is Tampopo – the ramen maker of our story – who is guided into the zen of ramen making by a group of wonderfully odd characters that include a very young Ken Watanabe (as Gun) and Tsutomu Yamazaki as the Man With No Name-esque Goro (reference to Clint Eastwood westerns is on purpose). Along the way, there is food aplenty served between comic and tragic segways that may leave a Western viewer a little agog. In one amorous scene you’ll never look at an egg yolk the same way again … promise! Persevere however and Tampopo will shed a new light on just how fine Japanese cinema can be and how, some 25-years on, this film remains utterly modern. My rating 9 out of 10.