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2020 Holiday Cooking Contest

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Lunatic Pudding

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The Story

Spoiler

It was a cold rainy day, and grandma Tuzi was gathered with her grandchildren round the stove, delighted by the warm hug of its sparkling fire and lulled by the crackling of the blazing wood.

Nainai Tuzi - that was how the children called their nana - prepared her grandchildren’s favorite dessert, her famous Lunatic Pudding, the one that she always prepared for them when they come to visit her.

The children were devouring their dish, but the youngest of them was curious about the peculiar shape of that dessert, so with the mouth still full, and the face dirty with whipped cream asked her:

“Nainai Tuzi, why is the pudding shaped like a Lunatic?”

Nainai Tuzi cleaned the child’s face with a towel, and then answered:

“My dear bunnies - that’s how she called her children -, the story I’m about to tell you is from when I was still as young and lively as you are.

Long time ago, my parents and I had to move from our hometown Payon to the capital Prontera, looking for a better life. There my parents set up a lunatic farming, in a field in the nearby of the city. I’ve always loved lunatics, and I was so happy for this new life, because I could spent all my free time with those little fur balls! People usually came over to adopt one too, because they are caring and loving pets.

I loved petting them, their fur was so soft, and it was very precious too, because it’s the warmest! They needed all the love one could give them to grow the most soft and marvelous fur. And when it grew too long the poor little creatures needed to be sheared, or they would have suffered from the excessive heat!

One day my mother told me about a lunatic whose fur was the most marvelous of all. It was a special lunatic, who roamed around a temple hidden in the forest at north of the capital. Its mantle was darker than that of a normal lunatic, and during a full moon night its fur would have started sparkling with an enchanted glow, summoning all the lunatics and dancing with them until dawn. His name was Eclipse.

I longed to touch its soft mantle, but my mother told me that it would have been impossible to touch it. The Eclipse was incredibly elusive, because many humans tried to hunt and kill it for its precious fur. I was so sad, so she told me that maybe if my heart was pure enough the king of lunatics would have felt my good intentions, and even reveal itself…

With my heart refilled by new hope, I decided to try and go looking for it. I started to visit the temple every night, bringing carrots, straw, and every homage I thought a lunatic could enjoy, but nothing grabbed its attention. Thus I told myself “what if I cook something for it? If I put all my love in what I prepare maybe he’ll know that my intentions are good!”. That is how I came up with the idea of a lunatic shaped pudding!

That night the moon shined bright in the sky. I spent the whole day cooking the pudding, so I was really tired, but my will was firm, and I decided to go at the temple no matter what. I sat at the stairs of the temple, and put the pudding next to me. I waited and waited, until the tiredness took over and I fell asleep.

The following day I woke up with the dawn light, the pudding was no longer there, but instead I found a rainbow carrot and a wisp of bluish hair. I burst with happiness and gratitude, the king of lunatics deemed me worthy! The fur was really the softest of all, and I still keep it as my most precious treasure”.

“Nainai teach us how to prepare the lunatic pudding!” said the youngest grandchild.

“Oh, why my dear?” said grandma Tuzi.

“Because we want to meet the Eclipse too!”.

 

The Recipe

Spoiler

Ingredients for a round cake mold (16 cm in diameter)

  • 500 ml of milk
  • 45 gr of starch
  • 110 gr of granulated sugar
  • 40 gr of cocoa powder
  • A pinch of salt
  • A packet of plain biscuits (100 gr is ok)

Necessary tools

  • A round mold cake of 16 cm in diameter

  • An electric mixer

  • A pastry bag

  • A bowl or two

  • Spoons, a cooking spatula (a silicone one is perfect), an egg whisk

  • A pot

 

For the decorations

  • 100 ml of whipping cream

  • A tablespoon of cocoa powder

  • Some teaspoons of a red colored jam. Feel free to chose the flavor, since it will be just decorative!

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Instructions

1. My dear bunnies, today your Nainai Tuzi will teach you how to recreate the Lunatic Pudding! Let’s start with the cooking. Mix well all the powdered ingredients (the cocoa, the sugar, the starch and the pinch of salt) in a pot. 2.thumb.jpg.5449ded7b1b2b424f5ae8286c777006c.jpg
2. Add the milk slowly, and mix with a whisk in order to remove all the possible clumps. 3.thumb.jpg.951f140e35ff7f85990e3e68bd61523d.jpg
3. When the mixture is well combined and the clumps are all removed put the pot on the fire, at minimum-low heat. 4.thumb.jpg.c7fc98413f6029ce09127ac8f187a7f9.jpg
4. Mix constantly until the boiling. Then cook it for approximately 2-4 minutes, until the pudding is thick enough - be careful, never stop mixing, or you will get clumps! 5.thumb.jpg.fe0af77854e5552a8f4a066d677cde4e.jpg
5. Now it’s time to put together the dessert! Be quick and don’t let the pudding chill, or it will not be smooth enough. We are going to make a couple of layers of biscuits and pudding alternately, so remember to keep everything to hand.
Start putting in the cake mold a couple tablespoons of pudding as a base, and then add a first layer of biscuits. You can cut them to help you fill the round shape of the mold if you want, or you can just use round biscuits.
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6. Pour 1/3 of the pudding over the biscuits - but first mix it with energy if a thicker layer is on the top -, and level with a spoon to have an even surface. Then put on the pudding a second layer of biscuits, in the same way as before, a second layer of pudding, and then again a last layer of biscuits and pudding (total: 3 layers of biscuits and pudding). 8.thumb.jpg.68b75b14570bd2112b574e196a2633c6.jpg
7. Let the mold chill for a little bit. When the mold is cool enough, store it in the fridge for at least 4 hours - you can also leave it overnight if you want. 9.thumb.jpg.49bf4390234627f84fbd0f4c3d5a5db3.jpg
8. Before forgetting the pudding in the fridge, remember to put a bowl and a whisk - or the beaters of the electric mixer - in the freezer! These will be used to whip the cream.
Remember, everything that comes in contact with the cream should be cold, otherwise the cream will go runny.
👈👈👈
9. Now it’s time for decorations! Remember the bowl and the whisk in the freezer? It’s time to recover them and whip the cream until stiff! I use an electric mixer because it’s quicker and easier, but if you want you can whip the cream by hand with a whisk. The cream is ready when you turn the bowl upside down and it won’t fall. 10.thumb.jpg.0ee8e3fa2ec5b52065d54b92adf8aa31.jpg
10. Put a tablespoon of whipped cream in the smaller bowl. This will be used for the inner part of the lunatic’s ear. Put in this small portion some teaspoons of a red jam, and mix gently, until you reach your favorite gradation of pink. 11.thumb.jpg.5b245984eff044998e3b64e07fa62c30.jpg
11. Put the white cream in a pastry bag. The easiest way to fill a pastry bag is to put it inside a mug, and then turn its edges on the outside, in order to let the pastry bag fill the mug properly. Then with the help of a tablespoon fill it with the cream and tighten the edges to close it. Hold the pastry bag firmly, as shown in the picture. In this way the cream won’t come out from the wrong way. 12.thumb.jpg.89f1bb645e874673527b7a88d0638ecc.jpg13.thumb.jpg.f2aadbacae4be99babef36ef75a3bffb.jpg14.thumb.jpg.355812256d2a15858b409ffa8f27b466.jpg
12. Put a first layer of cream on the pudding, and level it with the spatula. This is the base for our decorations. 15.thumb.jpg.f51a545ab6de22299ce2e250886d83e0.jpg
13. Draw the lunatic’s features on some baking paper. Cut it and put it on the mold. Then sprinkle some cocoa powder on it, and remove CAREFULLY the paper. 16.thumb.jpg.d724c536214dbadd39e81873ba6e02d1.jpg17.thumb.jpg.85366d87747ec94076500ceb2bbd6aa2.jpg18.thumb.jpg.cec6a8ae30e5194779156489a04f27f5.jpg
14. Fill the inner part of the ears with the pink cream, just take your time, use the handle of a teaspoon and make it even. 19.thumb.jpg.e09af29805592c1f70a35c728257b2aa.jpg
15. Now it’s time to draw the fur’s pattern. You can use the handle of a teaspoon or a toothpick, as you prefer. 20.thumb.jpg.c4003a7386287a0e333dfedfb19bdc9f.jpg
16. The Lunatic Pudding is ready! Store it in the fridge until it’s time to eat it. 21.thumb.jpg.acfc7679fcc50c6bba2db3ddda3ae1f8.jpg

 

 

Spoiler

GM Challenge

 

  • GM Spica – Milky Way Galaxy: basically it’s all milk and cream, but if you guys are lactose intolerant just use lactose free ingredients like I’ve done.
  • GM Blackstar – Show Stopper: look at that cute bunny face! *.*

 

PS. I know that pudding is a generic term in English, but I had to use it to let you all understand. The name of this dessert in my language is “mattonella di budino” ^^

 

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~Dayrondo's: "Poring's Red Pool"
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Story Time:

Spoiler

This was very cold evening. I was just a kid, 1st lvl Novice walking through the Prontera Forests. I was wandering for a bit trying to become great adventurer, but the guild did not want me on their great journeys. I had to take the easiest missions... They said "for starters" but I knew they won't let me join they adventures for next 5 or 10 years.

With my head full of thoughts I was traveling through the land of monsters, seeking for porings - they stole some potions from my employers.
Suddenly before my eyes grew up the entrance to some kind of cave. As I came closer I could read the writing over the entrance "Hidden Temple".
Since I've seen it for the first time and there were no monsters on my path earlier I tought that they all were inside.

"What is the worst that may happen" - I spoke to myself and went inside.

The temple was very strange inside. It was some kind of labirynth - perfect place to hide. Full of hope I traveled through by walking by the left side.
I constantly was prepared to take out my as from my sleve - Trick Dead and run tactic.
At some point I've heard some strange noise in the darkness in front of me. Those were similar to dripping water.

"Blop blop blop"

"That has to be the poring crew that stole the potions!" - I though.

I couldn't be more wrong.
I went further and saw it. Frightening, huge and blobby. 
That was the great overlord of lower level of labirynth - Mastering.

The monster saw me. I had no time for Tricking Dead... Even if I did he would just eat me with his slimey body. I ran past him and further into the labirynth.
I didn't know why, but I was convinced that there was something that can protect me. By running I didn't care about what I saw, but thinking of those terrible creatures now makes me feel cold and scared. As I ran beside some snakes and then the great swarm of moths I noticed I am on some kind of open ground. There was no place to hide, but I've been running so long that I probably lost that Mastering. At least I didn't hear the "blopping" for a while.

"I can't stay here, be brave, search for someone or at least find a shelter" - I was talking to myself.

I walked and walked and walked... There was no end for this open space. I started to lose hope. I was afraid of turning back and facing the great slime that was there, somewhere, waiting for me to come back with hope of finding a way out.

In a moment I saw something... Something that looked like a bedsheet on the ground. I came closer to it and tried to feel the softness of silk. 
My hand went through the bedsheet. It went freaking through it! It wasn't possible!
I tried to look closer at the bedsheet and then I saw it. That thing was floating in the centre. It was round-shaped and started to elevate from the ground. The bedsheet, or rather the monster was levitating! I've never seen such thing in my life I was paralyzed in fear. That one thought - "Trick Dead". So I did it. I started to pretend to be dead.

"I am not alive human, but I can see that you are. I am Ghostring!" - I've heard the voice inside my head.

I was prepared to die at this moment. I was afraid, cold, alone and some kind of flying, ghosty roundish monster was gonna end my miserable life.

"Don't be afraid though. I may be ghost, but I am friend of angel of all the porings - Angeling" - said the bedsheet.

I was still paralyzed. Lying on the ground and waiting for the final blow. Then I've heard it... The terrifying sound of... Dripping water. I paniced I turned around and I saw it.
It was some other monster than Mastering... It looked like a poring with angel wings. It had peaceful aura and emanated with light.

"Come with me little one, I will show You why all porings are pink" - it said.
"Okay, I will come with you" - I didn't know why I said that, but I felt like it will protect me and let me go back home.

I stood up and walked to that pink, angelic being. It did not said a word, just start to walk while fluttering it's little wings. We went into forest that now I noticed was quite close on our left. I've heard some splashing noises and in few moments I saw a pond before my eyes. I started to tremble again, I was really going to die. I tried to run, but was paralyzed again. The angelic creature smiled to me and said.

"Dont be afraid, that pond is the reason why porings are pink - it is not what it looks like"

I coldn't believe it. It had to be what it looked like. It was blood pond... It had to be!

"It's not blood - it's our favourite soup!! Oh and by the way, I am Angeling. Welcome human to our fountain of pinkness and smoothness. This pond of sound makes us all pink and blobby, but also make us, the porings happy. You are welcome to try it!"

I still was trembling, but I did it and started to move to the pond. As I walked I started to smell it. The sweet and sour smell that was similar or soup of my mother that I ate when I was very little. I grabbed my mug and took some red liquid from the pond. As I tasted it I regained all my strenght.

"Thank you for not killing me Angeling I really though I am dead" - I said with a smile to my savior.
"No problem kid. Now we have one last thing to do - I have to teach you how to do this soup. It will take off the curse from Mastering and will make him a cute poring again! You see... He drank some strange sort of potion that he stole from humans! You gotta help him or he will eat all the living beings, those cute and those dangerous in the Hidden Temple!" - saying this Angeling took ouf of himleft the Chef's hat and gave it to me.
After tasting the soup I was convinced it will work. It is my duty to help those porings and to repay their kindness!


How to make the soup and dumplings:

Spoiler

The soup it our national dish for christmas called Borsch. In most cases it is served with homemade little dumplings called "Uszka". Those are filled with shrooms. 
Borsch with Uszka is the first of 12 dishes that are a must for Christmas in Poland :).

Preparing the broth:
1 big onion (I used 2 halves of two kinds of onion)
1 carrot
1/4 celery root
1 parsley root
1-2l of water
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1. Chop the vegetables - go for a thick chunks so it will be easy to drain them.
2. Put the veggies into the pot, add water and set on fire.
3. Boil them untill those are soft.

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4. While boiling veggies get 4 beetroots, peel them and chop into thick cubes.
5. Get dryed shrooms and soak them in hot water.
6. Prepare sour beetroot juice and Borsch in a bottle (for lazy ones :) or you can try to make Borsch by yourself - won't add the recipe here because of too much text)

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7. Separate the vegetables and the broth.
8. Add the beetroots to the broth together with salt, pepper, marjoram and non milled cumin - my twist is using additional chili flakes for spiciness.
9. Pour water from soaked shrooms into the pot and boil everything for about 30-45mins.
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10. Stop boiling (turn off the fire) and add whole bottle of beetroot juice and Borsch into the soup.

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Preparing the "Uszka":
500g mushrooms
1 big onion (here goes the other halves of my onions)
1 egg yolk
350g flour
250ml water 

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1. Chop onions and shrooms intro small cubes.
2. Heat up the pan with oil.
3. Put them on the pan and fry with addition of dryed parsley, salt and pepper.


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4. After preparing the filling for dumplings let it cool down and prepare the pastry.
5. Put the flour, oil, water and one egg yolk into the bowl.

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6. Mix it with hour hands until they pastry is ready.

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7. Cut the pastry with glass into round-shaped discs.
8. Fill them with tea spoon of filling and close the pastry around it.

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10. Time to boil our porings untill they start to swim!

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Last steps:
1. Take out a soup plate and fill it with your Porings. 
2. Flush them with your Borsch - beetroots makes them pink.
3. Add some eyes (I used soaked in hot water lentil) and smiles (edible coal pen was usefull here)
4. Eat up! :D

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GM Challenges:

Spoiler
  • Show Stopper! - I used chili flakes and soaked shrooms as ingredients and decoration. Also the angeling wings are made out of parsley root and his halo is made out of carrot from vegetable broth.
  • Heart warming dish - there are some chili flakes used as a decoration and ingredient (self dryed peppers btw :D).
  • Nightmare before Christmas - story is about kiddo novice, and soup is red as blood :).
  • Avid Gamer: RO recipe below

Requirements:
Profession Cooking trained to 50 or above

Red Lava Soup:
20 Red herbs
5 Killed Spores (not poision ones!)
1 Carrot
5 Green herb roots
1 Spicy sauce
1 Red spice
3 Potatoes soaked in the scarlet dyestuffs
1 Dragon breath coctail - their taste resembles onion and garlic together
1 Pot
15 Holy water
1 Royal Cooking kit

Mini Dumplings:
1 Cooking oil
25 Edible mushroom
1 Dragon breath coctail
1 Flour
1 Peco Peco Egg
2 Holy water
1 Royal Cooking Kit


1 Level 5 Cookbook
1 Spoon

Use Royal Cooking Kit with level 5 Cookbook in your inventory to try to make Mini Dumpling and then Red Lava Soup - succes rate is 80% for Level 5 Cooks and 100% for higher level cooks.
Mini Dumplings gives +5 VIT and Red Lava Soup gives +5 STR.

If you have 3rd Royal Cooking Kit you can try to make Red Lava Soup With Dumplings that gives + 5% HP/SP and +5 to all stats for 30mins. Success rate is low though - only 15% for Highest Level of Cooking Profession

 

Edited by Mingar
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We have an amazing community on TalonRo, and when I think of good times spent with friends here, I’m lucky enough to have a few great memories to choose from. This has been a sad year for a lot of us though, a year of unexpected goodbyes. I just couldn’t find it in myself to make something silly like I usually do. I took the challenge to find something comforting though to heart, and my hope is that as you all continue forward in your own lives this year, you find a plethora of reasons to keep your feet moving forward and reasons to smile.

I wrote my story, and chose to create this recipe in honor of my first two friends on Talon. It’s a well wishes of sorts, and also an acknowledgement that we are no longer a daily part of each other's lives. I know this is something most of you have faced, as friendships forged online tend to be transient in nature, with those lucky few hanging around for the long haul. 

So Remi and Sevi, this one’s for you. I carry you forward in my heart, always. 

 

  Hugel’s Fish Cake Soup

                          (Ramen with hand made Narutomaki (fish cakes) )

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Our Story

Spoiler

Ribbet arrived as the sun was going down over the sleepy fishing town of Hugel, the dim light doing little to mask the changes. The races had exploded in popularity after the town installed an airship, and it drew a steady influx of tourists from all corners of Midgard to bet on the enchanted monsters and bingo halls. The unfamiliar swell of new buildings had caught her by surprise, it took more effort than she expected to find the old cottage at the top of the hill overlooking the coast. In the end she followed the faint smell of stewing meat in the wind. The gruff face silhouetted in the open doorway obviously did not recognize her, but she was roughly gestured in with a wooden spoon all the same and guided to a comfortable spot near the fire. She supposed time had changed her too. Ribbet hadn’t seen much of the world when she last sat by this hearth, her face had still been smooth and unmapped by experience. This room seemed preserved from time though, and she allowed her shoulders to relax in the familiar warmth as she ordered a bowl of Hugel’s famous fish cake soup.

            Leaning wearily against the worn wood of the table, her thoughts drifted over the day’s journey. She’d always meant to visit again, but life happened, and it had been years since she’d traveled out this far. Her friends had long since abandoned the town, leaving only echoes of the past behind. A quick scan around the market center had shown that the remains of their old flower cart was discarded to the side, now just a pile of dusty wood and rusty nails. Years of weather won against the enchanted balloons, the once cheery bright colors now faded. Closing her eyes, she remembered the first time they’d all sat together, painting the plastic orbs. Sevi had splashed more paint on himself and the cobblestones than on the balloon itself, Remi teasing that it looked like he’d wrestled with an escaped rainbow. She had always been much neater and precise in her movements, and Ribbet made careful strokes with her own brush, trying to emulate that grace and failing. It didn’t matter, she smiled and laughed with her friends anyway. The easy companionship between the three of them buoyed her heart and she was glad to just be included in that sticky summer sun painting together.

            Cold fingers curled around the warm bowl of proffered soup gratefully. The warm steam wafted around her face and she inhaled just as deeply as the first time she’d tried it. Remi was so vibrant that day, light glinting off the goggles perched over her nose, advising Ribbet earnestly that the cute knight from the races earlier hit on *everyone* and to not pin her heart on someone so insincere. That was one of the first clear memories she had with her friend, and it still touched her now how concerned Remi had been over something as common as a bruised heart. They’d both collapsed into giggles when Sevi had showed up at their spot with the same love token the knight had given Ribbet. He tossed it down like a trophy before them, nearly tipping over their bowls of soup with a grand sweep of his hat. They’d all laughed again at that. All of that laughter--she couldn’t remember now the last time she’d laughed that freely. Back then it flowed from the three of them so easily, surrounding them like their own soundtrack.

            The races cemented their early friendship. The three of them fell into an easy pattern of sharing lunch in the shade of the trees as they mostly lost their daily wages. Sevi assured them sagely that the magic enchanting the racing monsters ensured an equal chance of winning, but he seemed to rake in twice the amount of wins. Ribbet was a bit superstitious and always bet on the same numbers, lucky 42. Remi, she learned from morning mass, was a year ahead of her and posted at the same local church. If she ever felt guilty about indulging in the vice of gambling she never showed it, and soon began pulling Ribbet into the bingo hall most evenings as well. Ribbet quickly learned that her angel-faced friend held a deep mischievous streak under her reserved outer nature. She found herself more often than not running from the bingo hall, hand in hand with her smiling friend dashing toward evening prayers. More than once they had to slip into the back, Remi’s calm covering her face like invisible armor. 

            As she slurped her first noodles, her mind wandered back to Sevi, forever their instigator of adventures and troubles. Talking the two newly minted priestesses into joining him at Odin’s Temple, promising enough loot to cover their expenses for a year. How pitifully unprepared they’d been for the waves of unrelenting Frus and disarmingly cute Skeggiold. They fell over and over again to the monsters, the scent of their blood drawing what felt like an endless mob of the beasts. The older priests near the temple noticed the blood bath and finally took mercy on their battered party, hauling them bodily back to safety. The sharp tang of embarrassment clogging up her throat and how it finally loosened at Sevi’s easy wink and promise that they’d do better tomorrow. And they did. They barely escaped alive again, but their bags of loot grew steadily larger with each trial, and they learned.

            The way the ingredients in the comforting soup mingled pleasantly reminded her of the way her friends strengths complimented one another. Sevi, always so brave and eager to stare down danger with wild abandon. Remi, more reserved, but freely giving of her heart and always fully throwing herself into protecting her friends. It took both of them back then to keep Sevi, the reckless wizard, alive. Crunching through the vegetables in the soup provided a macabre comparison of Sevi’s body when it was flung from the giant dragon’s maw before the two young priestesses invaded her mind. The rhythmic crunching of bones sounded the same. They frantically cast their healing magic and resurrection prayers as he flung himself over and over at the beast. His tired and battered figure standing so proudly at the end holding the card relic in shaking fingers. She wondered who fought beside them now, and she found herself hoping fervently that the two had somehow survived the trials of time and forged forward together after the new life growing in her belly pulled her away. They complimented each other so well.

Tipping the last of the broth down, her stomach and spirit now warmed from the comforting soup and the memories it invoked. She nodded her thanks and stood to leave, a hefty tip and her ticket stub -lucky 42- left beside the empty bowl. It was tempting to dawdle in the once familiar town, to explore all the ways it had changed and all the ways it never would. Maybe it could help her understand the changes in her own life. She had promises to keep though, and new friends who were counting on her return. She saddled her llama and continued toward the airship, turning her back to the town that was no longer her home. Its memory burned bright in her heart, long after the lights dwindling in the distance faded away.

 

How to make Hugel's Fish Cake Soup

 

Spoiler

How to Make Hugel Fish Cake Soup

 

Step 1; Gather your supplies and ingredients

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You will need either precooked Narutomaki (fish cakes) or 

 

Narutomaki Ingredients:

Plastic Wrap

A flat measurable surface (I am using a sushi mat)

Food Processor

Food Steamer

3 fillet of white fish (Pollock here)

1 pinch of salt

Red food coloring or Beet Juice if preferred

1 large egg white (yolk discarded)

1 ½ tablespoon Rice Wine, or Sherry with extra ½ teaspoon sugar added

¾ tablespoon of sugar

 

Broth Ingredients:

Wok or large pot

Fresh Sprig of minced Ginger

Garlic Powder or fresh minced garlic to taste

Red Pepper to taste ~ I like it spicy!

White Bean Paste (1/3rd cup used in mine)

1 tablespoon sesame oil

2 tablespoon soy sauce

The white parts of 2 green onions minced

4-6 cups of Chicken Stock, Broth, or Bone Broth (to make your soup as thin as preferred)

 

You need your Ramen noodles, I used instant Nissin brand. They cost a little more but taste really fresh for instant! 

 

Ramen Toppings: 

(consider all of these optional and adapt the way you prefer!)

Corn, as much or as little as makes you happy - tastes sweet

Pickled Cabbage - I like a small amount for the zing

Bean Sprouts - Adds a nice crunch, steam this 3 minutes if yours does not say safe to eat raw

Carrots - steamed 3 minutes, cut into your favorite shape or slivers

Sesame seeds

Toasted Seaweed

1 soft boiled egg, peeled and sliced in half (6 mins seems to be perfect)

 

Don’t forget your favorite Ramen bowl! 

 

Step 2: Fish Cakes Baby!

Rinse and pat dry your fish

Add all narutomaki ingredients EXCEPT FOOD COLORING  into food processor and blend until it makes a smooth paste.

Lay down plastic wrap over your rectangle surface, leaving a generous amount of extra wrap on each side

Spread half of the fish paste over your rectangle surface

Use Beet Juice or Red Food coloring to dye the other half of the fish paste

Spread red fish paste on top of white, leaving 1 cm of space on each end

Pick up the edge of the plastic wrap and roll the fish paste like a pastry roll, taking care to roll tightly to avoid large air gaps. Take notice of the start of my roll in the following picture.

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Steam your fish roll for 20 minutes, add your vegetables on a separate rack the last 3 minutes

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Step 3: Topping a Noodle

I like to start by organizing everything that’s going into the ramen aside from the meat.

Chop all the raw ingredients if you haven’t yet. Shape your carrots into cute little shapes, separate the green onion into white and green bits, organize your toppings so you’ll be able to add them at the end quickly, boil your egg to preferred done-ness so it has time to cool and be peeled.( 6 minutes at rapid boil = soft yellow center, very slightly runny)

Slice your fish cake into your preferred shape! I included long slices, showing off the spiral and cute bite size shapes. 

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Step 4 Don’t Be a Soggy Noodle

Boil water and cook instant noodles according to instructions, 1 minute short. (they will soften more at the end in the hot broth).

Rinse under cold water and place a ramen mountain in the center of your ramen bowl!

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Step 5: Cooking with Fire!

Drizzle Sesame oil into your large pan or wok, crank it to medium high and add your garlic, ginger, and the white part of your onion.

Saute for 3 minutes, until onion is translucent and it’s very aromatic

Add Red Chili Powder/paste to taste

Add Soy Sauce

Add Bean Paste

Pour in Chicken Broth

Add Sugar

Whisk everything together well until combined and adjust heat until it simmers for 2 minutes

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Step 5 Make it Pretty

Ladle hot broth over your noodle mountain and have fun decorating with the toppings! Ramen is meant to be a very aesthetic pleasing dish, and it’s all part of why I find it so comforting. 

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Step 6: Some Regrets

Eat your delicious noodle dish and try not to cry at your destroyed kitchen. <3

 

Thank you for your consideration! ^^

The GM Challenge I took on was GM Ktulu Challenge: Alembic as I included Sherry in my fish cakes! 

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TamTam's Chocolate Frozen Cake

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STORY TIME!

Spoiler

 

Christmas. A time one of a kind, when you want everyone to just be happy and cheerful, just to enjoy their lives. That being said, it was a bit difficult, when you were just attacked by Poison Spores while trying to tame them, as my younger brother, Al Mawte, was. All the more I wanted to cheer him up, and to make him feel the Christmas spirit.

But... How do I find it in the ruins of Morroc, really? Because this is where we happened to be living our lives. Me, a freshly-turned Assassin, and my brother, still a Thief. Oh, and by the way... My name is Kalid. I thought you may want to know that.

So, how do I find the Christmas spirit in Morroc? There are no Christmas Trees, no elves, no snow. Lutie! Lutie was my answer. I needed to go to Lutie, and to bring my brother something from there, something that would make him happy... And maybe, just maybe, I could swipe some presents from the famous Toy Factory~

And so, to the Warper Service, onto my glorious journey, I went! I heard there used to be times when one could travel between Prontera and Morroc on foot, but now, with the Dimensional Gorge in the way... Let’s just say I’m glad there is a way to avoid that much walking. Because hey, mounts cost money, and I have other spendings, raising a kid brother. Like... milk. Boy, does Al love milk, especially sweet one. Oftentimes I wander off to the forests between Prontera and Geffen, just to steal some sweet milk from Savage Babies... Or Orc Babies...
I... I think I may be a bad person :X

A-anyway. The first thing I’ve seen in Lutie was this enormous, GIGANTIC Christmas Tree. I’m not sure, but it could be as high as the Morroc Palace, before it was torn down by the explosion...? I didn’t even know trees that high existed, so well... Let’s just say it made an impression.

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There was this little dancing girl by the tree, and she was kind enough to tell me where was Santa’s house... Because I thought to myself, “where would I find the best presents? Obviously, at the Boss’ house! Bet the old man keeps them all to himself...!” Which, in retrospect, wasn’t a really Christmasy thing to think, but... Please don’t blame me for being from Morroc, heart and soul!

To prove my Thief heritage, I sneaked into Santa’s house by the chimney, because the door were constantly busy with visitors. The chimney was very clean, I suppose it must be used often... Well, weird kink but okay. Once inside, I started sniffing around, until a beautifully laid table, with the most deliciously-smelling food came into view. Oh, boy. There were all kinds of food one could ever dream of. Puddings, tarts, meat dishes, roast potatoes, roast peasants and turkeys... But out of all these wondrous foods, there was one that caught my eye the most. Because hey, it looked like it was made entirely with cookies and cream, and... If THAT wasn’t something that would bring Al Mawte joy, then I don’t know what was!

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Right then, when I was reaching for the cake, I heard a commotion in the living room, where I spotted Santa before. He was coming, and he was going to catch me red-handed, in his house, and... Damn! That’s one naughty deed!
I jumped behind the wall, into the bedroom, hearing as Santa, along with his wife, start the dinner. It was lost... Except... Maybe it wasn’t? I looked at the bookshelf I was standing near to. There, on the top shelf, stood a cookbook. Slowly, quietly, I reached for it... And yes. Under the “cream” section, I found the creamy, milky goodness. The Chocolate Frozen Cake. Greedily, I read into the instructions... Realized I won’t be able to remember it... Tried again.... Tore out the sheet and ran away through the backdoor.

Well, I didn’t have the dish, but now I knew how to make it! I knew what I need to gather, I knew how to do it... Yeah, no worries Al! Big bro is on the task! .....right after I get a bit warmer, sheesh.

I went straight ahead, hoping to find someplace warmer, and all of a sudden, I encountered what I thought looked suspiciously similar to a Factory... And well... With all the elves running around... Yeah, I guess... That had to be it! That’s the huge storage of all the presents in the world! No day like today to enter, grab some presents, and make Al’s day better! Not to metion that I could already start gathering the cookies, which I’d need for the cake I wanted to give him. ❤️

I rushed in, sneaking around the elves, so that they don’t notify Santa, and finally, I got to the storage space. It was gigantic. If I started telling you how many presents there were, trying to describe each one at least with one word, we’d be here until next Christmas, I swear.

presents.jpg.19fd96001f2549ce773c13328b85acde.jpg

I stood on this mountain of gifts, wondering which one should I pick, when I heard people again. There was no time to waste, so I just grabbed the first one I put my hands on and ran. But just as I was heading back to the entrance...

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Ouch.... I’m wondering, does Santa pay these creatures to guard his premises? Damn, that hurt...

 

So... Back in Morroc I was. I lost both the gift and the cookies when the Angeling got me, but the recipe I still had, tucked safely in my pocket. And there was still time. It was still only Christmas Eve, so until tomorrow, I could still make it! I only needed to get the ingredients, take care so Al doesn’t notice what I’m preparing... And I could still stir something special up!

 

 

 

INGREDIENTS LIST

Spoiler

banana.png.3529b838ae0fb5306d194bc209032f10.png Bananas - 3 pieces

41894340_sweetmilk.png.714ceee03bfa81c3ebe88e7796d2ca3b.pngSweet Milk (fancy Pronterians tend to call it Whipping Cream - 30% fat) - 500ml (this one starts cooled, so in the fridge it goes)

cookies.png.0e2925901822b55589489fda243e049d.pngChocolate cookies - 650g

chocolate.png.474e6d3d2e700df57b4192c5cd268d17.pngCaramel Chocolate - 200g

1816916842_sweetsauce.png.2df64ac7054f114d1b0d0c0692c6102f.pngSweet sauce (toffi) - for decorating only

butter.png.baa1fef953290f8122d9a079e0c7d451.pngButter - 80g

 

GETTING THE INGREDIENTS

Spoiler

Obviously, I wouldn’t be myself if I just went and gathered everything without any strange adventures. So...

 

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When it comes to bananas, I tried picking them at Yoyos, but... Well... Let’s just say it didn’t end up well...

yoyo.png.0b1713508b370adc28e2bc5729bfdde2.png

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So in the end I just stole them in Prontera. Right in front of the Guard Captain, too. Am I good, or what~?

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I mean... Yeah, I could just buy them from Ponka-Hontas’ husband... But...

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41894340_sweetmilk.png.714ceee03bfa81c3ebe88e7796d2ca3b.png

Sweet Milk was the regular. Just another hour or so at Savage Babes, and the candy was stolen from the baby~

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butter.png.baa1fef953290f8122d9a079e0c7d451.png

As for butter, I know the owner of the cattle farm near Morroc. She let me have some if I help her with milking today... So ayup, new skill learnt!

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Cookies were a bit tougher... And required going into Toy Factory again... And sneaking through the Angeling guards.... BUT, I made it. No, there are no photos. Why? Ah... Well... It’s totally not like I didn’t manage to take any before I died... No... x.x

 

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Sweet Sauce you can buy at the camp, near Morroc. It. Hurt. My. Wallet. _ YES, I know I could’ve stolen it, but, you know. You do not steal from the guys who share your misery, especially not from the ones you live with. Although I wish someone told HIM that, cause that price is simple theft!

screenTalonRO913.thumb.jpg.ae88637c667eda1dc84f7257eafe5992.jpg

 

chocolate.png.474e6d3d2e700df57b4192c5cd268d17.png

And when it comes to Chocolate, especially of such a distinct taste... This one is expensive. Hard to get. Way too hard for a low-level Assassin. I didn’t have the money for that, especially with what I already spent on the sweet sauce. I had to cope differently. So...

Well... Okay. Do not try shouting on #Main as loud as you can, repeatedly, that you need something. Really. I checked that for you so you don’t have to.

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But... Then, just as I was losing hope... TamTam has arrived to the Factory. You can imagine how I ran! No Angeling, no Santa, no elves, nothing could stop me from having the chance to ask TamTam himself for the chocolate I needed for my brother!

I ran frantically into the Factory, and sped to the floor where TamTam was. He was there, roaming and giving gifts to everyone who flocked around. It was my chance! I was hoping so, so much, that he would agree! I so wanted to make Al happy, and without this chocolate, I just couldn't make this cake! I begged heartily, telling TamTam how much I want to just make my little brother happy, and then...! He agreed! I’ve been given the most luxurious food item I’ve ever held in my hands! The last, and most crucial, ingredient was finally in my posession! And so...

chocolate.png.474e6d3d2e700df57b4192c5cd268d17.pngchocolate.png.474e6d3d2e700df57b4192c5cd268d17.pngchocolate.png.474e6d3d2e700df57b4192c5cd268d17.pngchocolate.png.474e6d3d2e700df57b4192c5cd268d17.pngchocolate.png.474e6d3d2e700df57b4192c5cd268d17.pngchocolate.png.474e6d3d2e700df57b4192c5cd268d17.pngchocolate.png.474e6d3d2e700df57b4192c5cd268d17.pngchocolate.png.474e6d3d2e700df57b4192c5cd268d17.png

 

 

THE COOKING PROCESS

Spoiler

1. The first, and foremost, step is to wash the floor where you'll be cooking (fancy Pronterians with their fancy, clean kitchens may skip this point, though). Since we're at it, you may want to store all your most expensive stolen goods somewhere near, so noone steals them while you're busy cooking.

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2. Optional: if you have a younger brother with an enormous affinity for pets, throw the Wild Rose out of the place before you start cooking. Otherwise, you may need to wash the floor again. Take care to hold the Wild Rose properly not to hurt it (also, this is the moment you may start wondering where did it lose the ribbon this time).

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3. Now you can gather all of the utensils and ingredients in one place! Here are the ones I've used:

knife.gif.fd38eef5d3a84f82bf1a600739c50c80.gifA knife (I bought mine cheap from some player, when the rust was removed it started serving well)
bone.gif.283927bee786ba8f73707f72b044f90e.gifA bone for grinding (my favourite is a Nightmare Terror thigh bone, fancy Pronterians may use a mortar though)
pan.gif.e1a9d742effad53983b908afe37dc06e.gifA frying pan (if you don't have one, I strongly recommend getting it. Magnolias have lots of them)
spatula.gif.8ff9c01b2dab0f37937fd7af270310d6.gifA spatula (or a stick, if you wish. Or a bone)
plate.gif.f34ba371162e18ee3a502774c7693300.gifPlates are useful (buy some year-old ones at the store, they'll be cheaper. Or steal them in Prontera, the people are not too vigilant there.)
bottle.gif.a2673f815b684909874edd54813a9b43.gifEmpty bottles are useful in many cases, for mixing, shaking, flattening things... Get one!
springform.gif.10b1bb7d6a05bccd894029c1beb04f78.gifSpringform (it really, really helps in getting the cake out of the bowl)

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4. Now it’s time to crunch the cookies. You will want to grind them into fine sand, without leaving any bigger particles. Just try to do it as thoroughly as possible, or later on, the crust might fall apart at places.

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You want it to look something like this:

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5. Slice the chocolate. You don’t really need to shave it into such small pieces, a bit bigger will do, but be careful not to leave whole chunks together, as they will not melt well.

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6. Sprinkle the butter with sliced chocolate (let’s say 1 chunk of the bar). Then, take them out into the desert sun (or heat on small fire, for the fancy Pronterians) until the butter melts and can be combined with the chocolate. The chocolate makes the mix more sticky. The cookies from the Toy Factory were very dry and powdery; if yours are more moist, the chocolate might not necessarily be needed in this step. It makes the crust tastier, though, so I’d leave it anyway.

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And when it melts...

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7. When the chocolate butter is ready, mix it with the ground cookies.

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You will want your mix to look like dirt. Yes, this is fine, don’t worry.

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8. Put the mix into the springform; some of it should be on the bottom of it, but make sure to also build steady walls of crust on the walls of the form. This is best done with your fingers, although a spatula will do.
Now, we move on to the best beggar’s choice ever. The empty bottle, as I told you, makes for an extremely useful kitchen cooking tool. It can grind things, mix things, and in this case, flatten things. Use the bottle to press on the bottom and the walls of the crust to make them more compact and durable.

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And when you're done, it should look like this:

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9. And here we come to the difficult part, at least if you live in Morroc. We need cold. So... Lutie it is! Just, please, make sure to remember to take some warm clothing. I’ll tell you a secret... There’s this guy in Hugel. He has tons and tons of warm, wooly scarves. You know what I’m aiming at, right...?
So. I stole a Stole and went to Lutie. Below the city, there is a foresty enclosure where wild animals roam. Contrary to how it sounds, it’s a pretty safe place to store your cake, since there won’t be any humans to find and eat it. Just, make sure the Garm Baby doesn’t find it either. Al tells me dogs shouldn’t eat chocolate.

Place the springform in the snow and surround it with it, so it can cool down until it sets (again, the fancy Pronterians, who have ice-fuelled refrigerators in their cellars, could use those fancy devices for it).

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10. Now, rush back home, cause we're not done yet! Now is the time we really, really appreciate the comfort of the Warper Service, cause we're in for a lot of fast travelling...
When you're back home, you can move onto the next part of the preparations: making the filling!

Start with picking a stone. There's plenty of that all around.

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Good! Now, place it on the frying pan.

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11. The next step is kinda tricky and requires your mad Morroc kid / Thief trainee / Assassin Pro skill of balance... Or, in case of fancy Pronterians, I guess you could use any metal thingy that allows you to steadily place a bowl of cut chocolate in a water-filled pan.

Like this.

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Now, simply pour water into the frying pan and leave it all in the Morroc sun (or place it on medium fire, so the water can simmer and melt the chocolate gently by surrounding it with heat). We'll come to pick it up later.

 

12. Pour half of the cooled Sweet Milk (Cream) into a bottle. Keep the rest cooled, still. I guess you could just keep it in snow along with the cake crust... Fancy Pronterians could use a mixer for this step, since they have such fancy appliances.
(OOC mention: this is absolutely doable and very fast to whip cream in a bottle, but do not use a glass one for it. You will need to either cut it or squeeze hard to get the cream out later. Also, make sure there is more air than cream in the bottle, otherwise you'll just end up shaking the cream and get nothing out of it).

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After you already spilled the cream on the floor, this is the moment to bring the Wild Rose back in the house.

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Now, wash the floor again. I warned you.

 

13. Go pick the chocolate. It should already be nicely melted and liquid, so place it near the whipped cream you now have and let's begin with the magic.

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In small portions, pour the whipped cream into the chocolate and fold it in (mix it in) gently.

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The goal is to dissolve chocolate in the cream, so it doesn't set. Don't worry if the whipped cream changes back to cream. What's done is done and the air bubbles are still there, safe and sound.
Don't add too much cream at a time, or the mixture will cool too fast and the chocolate will solidify and lump together again.
Remember to do it gently, or the air bubbles will break and the mixture will be less puffy.

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When you're done mixing the cream in, place it in the snow for a few minutes so it can cool down (but don't keep it in there for too long. You want it cool, but still liquid.)
See? Told you you'd appreciate the Warper Service in a second.

 

14. You can either wait a few minutes in the snow, trying not to get caught by the Sasquatches, or run back home for a moment to cut the bananas.

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After they're cut, you need to go back to get your crust out of the snow anyway. Now, place the cut bananas evenly in the crust.

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15. Whip the rest of the Sweet Milk (Cream) and run to get your filling back from the snow.
Gently fold the rest of the whipped cream into the cooled liquid.

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16. Pour the choco-cream liquid into the crust evenly, trying not to overflow the edges of the crust.

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17. Now another tricky part: try running into your snow hideout in Lutie, through all the monsters, with a liquid cake in your arms. I sincerely wish you luck.
The cake needs to cool down a bit. You can either:
a) Make a mousse version: you could optionally add some sugar and vanilla to enhance the taste. Cool the cake overnight.
b) Make an ice-cream version: the freezing enhances the taste by default, so no need for additions. A few hours of freezing will do the job.

18. After the filling is solid, it's time for decorations. I... I wanted to express my gratitude for TamTam, because he gave me chocolate, which allowed me to make the cake for my brother, so... Well. Thank you, again.
It really means a lot to me. ❤️

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HOW IT ALL ENDED

Spoiler

“Hey, Al... I’ve got something for you. Merry Chri-”

“AL!? Why do you... What’s that Poison Spore doing here?! What? You... tamed it...? Oh my Odin, Al... You’re really one persistent kid. Well, I wonder who you’ve taken it after...”

 

screenTalonRO921.thumb.jpg.af651f396f647eb0a4a4bf5ffb1459d3.jpg

 

 

GM Challenges

Spoiler

GM Spica Challenge: Milky Way Galaxy - Your recipe must include milk or cream.
(There is cream. Lots of cream. LOADS of cream q.q)

GM Blackstar Challenge: Show Stopper! use 2-5 of your ingredients used in your recipe as decorative presentation for your dish.
(The bananas are used as TamTam's star and propeller, and decoration in the background, and the cookies are together with bananas in the final presentation picture)

GM Alisa Challenge: Avid Gamer - Include a fake in-game step by step version of your recipe using your imagination and knowledge of the RO world.
(It was super fun! ❤️❤️)

 

 

 

 

and I also have a random picture I couldnt delete, lol. This is me, stalking Santa... Creepy moment, I tell you.

santa.jpg

Edited by Aimitis
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It's 1AM here and viewing this thread is a huge mistake. I'm breaking my 24 hrs fast then /sob 

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Happy New Year everyone! I really had a lot of fun this year trying to make a traditional Christmas sweet RO themed. I hope you all enjoy my attempt and know that they tasted super yummy. 🤭

 

 

Item: Yule Willow Christmas Cakes
Ign: Ashadia
GM Challenges Attempted: GM Zelda Belly Ache (Roughly 5 1/2 cups of two types of sugar used or just over 1kg), GM Spica Milk Way Galaxy (lots and lots of heavy cream), and GM Blackstar Show Stopper (cocoa powder, sugar and powdered sugar were use in landscaping ^_^) 

 

Here are my little Yule Willow Christmas Cakes:

File_026.thumb.jpeg.520cdcb062476fd14693dc600f5f36e6.jpeg

 

I've always been rather fond of the fact that the map with the most willows on in it, in the game, looks like a willow itself. So, this is my story on how I think that came to be.  

Story: A Hero Among Willows

Spoiler

A Hero Among Willows



Of all the things a fairy could take shelter in and accidentally lend it’s magic to, it had to be a hollow lump of wood. I know that beggars can’t be choosers and the fairy inside me could have very well chosen any other lifeless log to take a rest in (and that I could be still lying defunct on the forest floor instead of telling you my story) but, sometimes I really wish I wasn’t a stump with legs, lazing about in the kind of place people only visit to get somewhere else. 

I think, in another life, I’d choose to be something that could evolve — even an ant egg can transform into something more than it was before — but I’m a willow and that’s all I’ll ever be. 

You see, willows don’t have a lot of weight behind their name. You think of a willow and I’m sure all that comes to mind is that they’re on a map with some equally animated mushrooms and that we are popular to kill in winter (for reasons beyond me). Adventurers don’t see a willow and quake in their boots, nor fear a map because we reside there. 

Still, us willows have something within us that no other being, human or otherwise, could understand. We have a home given to us by a great deity through the sheer will power and sacrifice of a hero. We roam on a land that holds the story of our determination and fuels our pride as beings of this Earth. 

A long time ago, when Midgard was new — just after Odin and his brothers killed Ymir, made everything we know from the ruins of his body and the trees began to sprout from the roots of his hair — a hero among willows was born into the world by the mistake of a tree fairy and our kind made their first stumbling steps into the world.

I’m sure you can imagine, those first moments of an entirely new existence are very exciting. One moment you are nothing but the remains of a once-mighty tree (the very same material from which man was made) and the next, by chance alone, you are a moving stump with free will and endless lands to explore, sights to see. But it doesn’t take long living in a world named Manheim to realize that it has been designed with man in mind — and that in such a world everything else lives and exists for the benefit of them. It doesn’t take long to realize you are but a beast in a world that defines thus as anything not of man. 

It was easier in the beginning, when man was still learning to make fire and sharpen rocks into weapons, easier when there weren’t wheels and fire and steel. But as man started to take hold of their perceived birthright, the lands the beings of Midgard once called home were soon overrun with smoothed paths and sprawling buildings. Everything not normal, not safe, not human was pushed to the edges and made to fight for whatever was left. 

Isn’t it funny how the word humane shares it roots with a species that has little regard for anything but themselves?

As ideal living locations for humans were quickly being claimed, the first willows watched their forests fall away and Midgard become less and less safe — but what was there to be done? It’s not like a willow is powerful in their own regard. Nor were they particularly frightening enough to prevent themselves from becoming kindling and frames for houses. There was little they could do and that, precisely, is what troubled a willow named Fig, who thought his people deserved a little more.

Now, Fig was not a big stump and, as I said before, there is very little glamour in being a reanimated tree, but Fig had something in him that made his will stronger than any feat. Maybe he was made from one of the original hairs of Ymir, or maybe his fairy had a little more spark in it, but whatever the reason for his fire, Fig believed he could make a difference for his people.

And so, he set off to request an audience with Odin himself to petition for a special land for the creatures made of trees. It took him years to find the king of gods, as Odin was known to hide himself among his people in hopes of uncovering new knowledge. Fig traveled far and wide, across great deserts and past thriving towns with bars and shops and churches until a raven led him straight to the deity’s side.  

While Odin was revered greatly among the humans of Midgard, there was little known about his feelings toward the other beings of the realm and Fig knew he was going into the conversation with very little hope. Still, he stood his ground in the face of a king and spoke of his brethren dying on the outskirts of human towns and the battles between the creatures of the world.

Odin listened calmly, not giving any sign of interest, and when Fig had finished his tale he told the young willow that if he wished for a land for his people, he needed to prove his worth through a series of difficult tasks. (Though he failed to mention that each and every one of them would be nothing short of a feat for the woodland creature.) 

Nevertheless Fig set out to complete the tasks without a doubt in his mind that he would return to the king of gods successful. He traversed the depths of the Earth to obtain aloe from the trunk of Yggdrasil, traveled to the great pyramids to collect an egg from the birds trapped between dimensions, entered the realm of Santa to eat his weight in candy (though it cost him several weeks and belly aches) and even survived the depths of the cave named after Odin’s son to secure the heart of a firebird — despite being very much susceptible to death by fire.   

It was years later when he was once again led to Odin by the shadow of a raven and time had not been kind. His bark was brittle and burned, his feet swollen and sore but his heart still beat as strong as ever as he looked the god in his eye and told him of his travels. 

Needless to say, Odin was a little stumped how one little willow could accomplish such tasks. He’d never expected nor, frankly, wanted him to succeed and he didn’t know how to proceed from here.

“You see, even for the king of gods, it is hard to create something from nothing,” he explained to Fig, perhaps a bit too bashful for a wartorn king. “Even the world today was created from the body of a giant.”

He was in a tough place, he went on to say, because Fig had more than proven himself a brave and deserving tree, but his hands were tied. He couldn’t very well move the humans off a piece of land, nor any species from what was left. 

Fig sat on the news a minute, processing everything Odin had said. Beyond the idea that his tasks had been little more than amusement for the gods, there was still something for Fig to cling to in Odin’s words.  

So with both a calm voice and a clear mind, he looked up at the deity and said, “Use me.”

“If you could use a giant to create the world, then use me to make a home for my people.”

There were a lot of things Fig wanted to ask for: a beautiful forest, a quiet nook hidden away from the world — hell, he’d ask for a whole new world if he thought he could get away with it. But when it comes down to sacrificing your life for the good of your people, Fig reckoned he better come to terms with the fact that there are limits.

When Odin finally agreed, Fig used his final breath to ask him to make it peaceful. His people didn’t need mountains or rolling fields, stunning coastlines or dazzling sands. All they needed was a small forest and the privacy that came with living in “nowhere special.”

And so, a home was made for the willows in the Payon forest, where no one quite finds the time to stay for too long. It’s just a small land that looks so much like their brother and has little lure to it other than being a path to somewhere else. But the willows who live here know how special a home can be.

So my life may be boring but it’s thanks to my hero who didn’t know when to quit.

I’m a willow. That’s all I’ll ever be. And, I think, that will be okay.

 

WC: 1499

Recipe for: Yule Willow Christmas Cakes

Spoiler

How to make your very own Yule (Log) Willow Cake:


There are three separate components to a complete Yule Log, so we will break it into three separate “ingredients + prep” sections and a final assembly section.

 

 

For the Chocolate Sponge Cake Base you will need:

 

 


¾ cup all-purpose flour

1  tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

⅓ cup dark cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s special dark)

4  eggs, divided

5  tbsp sour cream

¾ cup granulated sugar

¼ cup butter, melted

1 tsp vanilla extract

 

Steps:

 

 

The first step for any successful baker is a clean work station so Step One is to wipe a small portion of your kitchen clean so that you look like a functioning adult to internet strangers. 

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Step two is to place all your ingredients on your now clean counter and spend an unfortunate amount of time trying to get the angle just right. (Even though some of your ingredients are supposed to be chilled.)

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*not pictured, the egg carton holding up our hero: powdered sugar*

 

 

Now, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (176.6 Celsius) and line a jelly roll pan (a cake pan with short sides) with parchment paper that extends about an inch past the lip of your pan. (This is for easy retrieval of your cake after it’s baked) I used a 9x13 pan.

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Combine your flour, baking powder, cocoa powder and into a medium bowl and whisk together. (If you’re like me, then you now have to transfer said mixture into a smaller bowl because you messed up and used your largest bowl first.)

 

If you haven’t already separated your eggs, now would be the time.

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In a large bowl combine egg yolks and sugar until it’s hard to decipher sugar granules. Ie: until well combined. Then add your melted butter (melt in a pyrex cup for extra bougie points), sour cream and vanilla extract. Remember that the recipe is always just a suggestion to the best outcome. I vote you always measure vanilla with your heart.

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Add your dry ingredients to your wet in portions and whisk until well combined. Then set aside like last year’s boyfriend. 

 

Use a hand mixer or move your egg whites to a stand mixer to whisk to stiff peaks. We may have trained our arms for this moment, but these things are best left to the machines. 

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Then slowly fold the egg whites into your batter in parts until the whites have completely accumulated to the chocolate. 

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Spread your batter into your lined pan into a thin layer and bake for roughly 11 minutes or until the top of the cake springs back when you touch it. (I don’t suggest this method as it is a sure way to get burned.) Or insert a toothpick to check doneness. 

 

Immediately after removing your cake from the oven, use the parchment paper to move the cake from the pan to a flat surface and roll the cake over itself from the shorter end, like a sushi roll. (Be careful not to roll too tight!) Set the roll aside to cool completely.

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For the Mascarpone Whipped Cream Filling you will need:
 

 

 

 

1 & ¼ cups cold heavy whipping cream

¾ cups powdered sugar

⅛ tsp salt

1  tsp vanilla extract

8 oz mascarpone cheese, slightly softened (this can be replaced with cream cheese if desired)

 

Steps:

 

 

Clean your stand mixer or hand mixer while you wait for your cake to cool and when it has completely cooled, you can begin work on the filling. 

 

Combine the cream, sugar, salt and vanilla extract in the bowl of your mixer (or a regular bowl) and whip on high until you reach soft peaks. 

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Then add the cheese and continue whipping until you have stiff peaks. (We’ve mentioned peaks a few times at this point and I’m sorry to tell you that you never truly know. It’s a ~feeling~ thing.)

 

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How to assemble your half-baked Willow:

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Now we’re going to carefully unroll our cake and take note of any places it may be stubbornly sticking to the parchment, like the belly fat we accumulated over the winter, and use a sturdy spatula or a butter knife to gently unstick what needs to be unstuck.

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Spread the cream filling evenly over your now-flattened cake and then roll the two together like before, only this time ditch the parchment. Once rolled, cover in cling wrap and set in the fridge, seam-side down, to chill and form for at least one hour.

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For the Chocolate Ganache Frosting you will need:
 

 

 

1 cup heavy whipping cream

8 oz semi sweet chocolate, chopped

 

Steps:

 

 

Just before you’re ready to remove your cake from the fridge, begin work on the frosting. (This is so that neither your frosting nor your cake get too warm while you’re prepping to decorate.)

 

Place your chopped chocolates in a bowl that can withstand some heat.

 

Warm your whipping cream either in the microwave or on stovetop until just boiling, then pour over your chocolate and let sit until the majority of the chocolate is visibly melted. (Like you face when you stay too long in Thor.)

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Stir until smooth and then let sit until cooled.

 

Transfer chocolate to a mixer/ use a hand mixer and whip on high speed until fluffy and light in color.

 

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For the Decorating Buttercream you will need:

 

 

1 to 2 tablespoons of milk

 

1 cup butter (salted and softened)

4 cups powdered sugar

2 to 3 teaspoons of vanilla

 

Steps: 

 

Combine softened butter and vanilla with a mixer. Then add the powdered sugar, mixing and adding slowly so as to not make your kitchen look like a narcotics crime scene. 

 

Once the sugar is incorporated, kick the speed up on your mixer and don’t be afraid of it. Like Deidara said, “true art is an explosion.” Your frosting will look a lot more like actual frosting and, maybe, a little stiff and dry.

 

Add in small amounts of milk until your frosting is at your desired consistency. We’ll be using ours for piping decorations, so we’ll want it soft enough to travel through a tiny frosting tip, but stiff enough to set in our designs. (I don’t know man, it’s the ~feelings~ thing.)   

 

Separate your frosting and add desired dyes to each portion. I’ll be using green and black. 

 

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When you have sufficiently dyed your frosting, spatula it into piping backs, or a zip lock with a cut tip, and you’re ready to decorate.

 

 

Decorating:

Cut the uneven ends off the ends of your yule log if desired then cut it in half to create two willows. Use a bit of frosting to anchor your willow upright and then continue on to frosting and decorating the upright log.

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Use your chocolate ganache to attach any desired arms or branches made from the scraps of your cake before covering your entire creation with the ganache. (Frosting is like the white out of baking. Use it to cover all your mistakes!) Then, use a fork to create a bark-like texture

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Use your bagged and dyed frostings to add finer details such as the willow’s face and vines with leaves.

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Congrats! You’ve created a monster your very own Yule Willow Cake. 

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So here is the final product:

Spoiler

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And it's inspiration: 

Spoiler

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Edited by Ashadia
extra photos keep popping up at the end of the post OTL
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Thank you everyone who joined in with this event, what lovely creations everyone has made! Wishing you all the best of luck /lv

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