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  1. Yesterday
  2. I was busy collecting Mardi Gras throws in this basket. I put my haul in this basket. I love bead necklaces and bead bracelets and I am not disappointed because I got a lot of them. I also got some fruits (coconuts and apples), coins, a large tea mat that I am definitely going to use at my next tea party, shiny gems, and even a tiara.
  3. People who were screaming loudly Hiya Debnath Artemisia Thorne River Fenwick Lex Green
  4. Last week
  5. The Mardi Gras has finished and it is lucky that all partygoers were given a magical bag of holding. It has an extension charm placed on it, so that it can hold as many items as possible. What did you get at Mardi Gras? How many beads did you catch? Have you taken any photos? Maybe got a souvenir or two? Did you squirrel away any food to be shared around the fireplace? You can show your haul in two ways. You can make a graphical representation (600x600 pixels or less, please) of your haul in any medium and within HOL rules. While you can borrow pictures from the internet, the final product must be of your own creation. You can also describe it in at least 80 words. Post your haul below by 11:59pm HOL-time on 29th February to earn 10 rubies.
  6. Chocolate Brownies: Ingredients: 185g unsalted butter 185g best dark chocolate 85g plain flour 40g cocoa powder 50g white chocolate 50g milk chocolate 3 large eggs 275g golden caster sugar Instructions: 1. Cut the butter and dark chocolate into small pieces and put them in a large bowl. Melt them together, either in short bursts in the microwave, or over a pan of boiling water, and then leave to the side to cool slightly. 2. Turn the oven on to 180 and grease a square tin ready to bake in. 3. Sieve the flour and cocoa powder into a bowl. 4. Cut the white and milk chocolate into small pieces. 5. Put the eggs and caster sugar into another bowl and whisk them together. 6. Add the melted dark chocolate mixture into the eggs and sugar and fold it in. Add in the cocoa and flour mixture and fold it in. Finally, add in the white and milk chocolate chunks and mix them evenly through. 7. Pour the completed batter into the tin and bake for 25 minutes. Then, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool.
  7. Funfetti Cake Ingredients 1 cup (220g) unsalted butter, room temp 2 cups (400g) granulated sugar 1/2 cup (110ml) vegetable or canola oil 4 large eggs, room temp 1 tbsp vanilla extract 3 1/4 cups (435g) all-purpose flour 2 1/2 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp baking soda 1 tsp salt 1/2 cup (125g) full-fat sour cream, room temp 1 cup (225ml) buttermilk, room temp 3/4 cup (140g) rainbow jimmies sprinkles Buttercream 1 1/2 cups (330g) unsalted butter, room temp 5 cups (600g) powdered sugar 1 tbsp vanilla extract 2–3 tbsp milk 1/2 cup (90g) sprinkles for decorating Instructions Preheat the oven to 350F and grease and line the bottoms 3 – 9″ cake pans with parchment paper. You can also use 3 – 8″ cake pans, but you will need to leave out about 1 cup of batter (If the pans are overfilled, the cakes will sink in the middle. Make sure only to fill the pans a little over halfway). Line the pans in cake strips if you have them. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and set aside. Using a hand or stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, mixing on medium-high speed for 3-5 minutes with the whisk attachment. With the mixer running on low, pour in the oil. Scrape down the bowl and give it another mix. Mix in the eggs one at a time, followed by the vanilla. Scrape down the bowl after every 2 eggs. Mix in the sour cream. With the buttermilk and dry ingredients, mix into the batter alternating between the two, starting and ending with the dry ingredients (dry, wet, dry, wet, dry). Take the bowl off the stand once the batter is combined. Take a rubber spatula and give it a good mix, scraping down the bottom and sides of the bowl. Then, fold in the sprinkles. Pour into your cake pans and spread it even. For 9″ cakes, bake for 30-35 minutes. For 8″ cakes, bake for 35-40 minutes. They’re ready when a toothpick in the center comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then run a knife around the edges, turn them out onto a cooling rack, and peel the paper off. If you’re frosting the cake that day, transfer the cakes (still on the cooling rack) to the fridge to thoroughly chill before assembling (about 1 hour). If baking the cakes a day ahead, allow them to cool to room temperature on the rack for 1 hour, then wrap them in plastic wrap and place them in the fridge overnight. Buttercream Mix the butter using a hand or stand mixer with the whisk attachment until smooth. Mix in one cup of powdered sugar at a time, adding the vanilla and milk as it begins to thicken. If the buttercream is still too thick when you’re done, add another tablespoon of milk. Assembly Level off the chilled cakes if needed. Spread a thin layer of buttercream between each cake layer, then give the entire cake a thin crumb coat. Do so by spreading a very thin layer around the cake, just enough to enclose all of the crumbs. Place the cake in the fridge for 20 minutes. Frost the cake with the rest of the buttercream and decorate with extra sprinkles. Enjoy!
  8. Chocolate Cheesecake Cake It’s a layer of chocolate cake, followed by a layer of chocolate cheesecake, and then another layer of chocolate cake. I know the recipe only says to garnish with chocolate chips around the side, but I also added grated white chocolate to the top and Ferrero Rochers to the edges, and it was phenomenal, I highly recommend. Ingredients For Chocolate Cheesecake: o 16 oz. cream cheese-softened at room temperature o ½ cup sugar o 3 eggs-slightly beaten with a fork o 1 tsp. vanilla o ¼ cup sour cream- room temperature o 5 oz. milk chocolate-melted For Chocolate Cake: o 1 ½ cup sugar o 1 cup+ 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour o ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder o 1 tsp. baking powder o 1 tsp. baking soda o ½ tsp. salt o 2 eggs o 2/3 cup milk o 1/3 cup vegetable oil o 1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract o 2/3 cup boiling water Chocolate Frosting: o ½ cup unsalted butter-melted o 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder o 3 cups powdered sugar o 1/3 cup milk (or more if needed) o 1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract o About 2 cups chocolate chips for garnish Instructions To make the cheesecake: I. Preheat the oven to 325 F. Spray 8.5 inch springform pan with cooking spray and line with parchment paper. Then wrap the springform pan in 2 layers of aluminum foil to make sure no water leaks in when you place it in water bath later. II. First, mix softened cream cheese, sugar and vanilla extract just to combine. Then, add slightly beaten eggs and mix on low speed just to combine, do not overmix it. Fold in sour cream. Finally, fold in melted chocolate. Pour in prepared springform pan and smooth the top. III. Place springform pan in larger roasting pan and filled with hot water halfway through. Bake 40-50 minutes until the edges has set and the center is just barely jiggly, but firm to touch. IV. Lift springform pan from water bath and place it on the counter to cool at room temperature. Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. To make the Chocolate Cake: I. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease two 8.5 inch round cake pan, line the bottom with parchment paper, grease the paper an flour the pan. II. In a bowl stir together dry ingredients: sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, soda and salt. Add eggs, milk, vanilla and oil and mix on medium speed for two minutes. Pour in boiling water and mix just to combine. III. Divide the batter evenly between the pans and bake 20-25 minutes, until the toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean with a few moist crumbs attached. Cool the cake in the pans for 10-15 minutes, then invert on rack to cool completely. Chocolate Frosting: I. When the cakes are cooled, and the cheesecake has firmed, make the frosting. II. Stir together melted butter and cocoa powder. Add powdered sugar, milk and vanilla and mix until smooth. If the frosting is too thick add additional tablespoon of milk at the time, and if it’s to thin add powdered sugar to reach spreading consistency. To assemble the cake: I. First place one cake layer onto serving plate and spread thin layer of frosting. II. Remove the cheesecake from the fridge, remove the foil from springform pan, then remove the ring from springform pan. Run a thin metal spatula under the cheesecake to remove it from the bottom and transfer the cheesecake onto a serving plate (or simply invert the cheesecake onto cake layer and lift the bottom of the pan and peel off baking paper). III. Top cheesecake with thin layer of frosting, too. IV. Place second chocolate cake layer. Spread remaining frosting on top and sides of the cake to cover completely. V. Finally, garnish the sides with chocolate chips. Store the cake in the fridge.
  9. Mixed Meat Lasagna To prepare the meat sauce, heat 2 tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat, add diced bacon (1½ cup) and cook it until it turns brown, avoiding crispiness. Add a finely chopped onion (1 small) and minced garlic (3 cloves), sauté them until the onions turn translucent, followed by the ground beef (450g) and ground pork (200g), cooking them until brown and fully cooked. Next, drain the excess fat. Stir in crushed tomatoes (800g), tomato sauce (400g), tomato purée (2 tbsp) and 1/3 cup each of red wine and heavy cream. Finally, season it with 2½ tsp dried oregano, salt, and black pepper to taste. After simmering it for 20 minutes, set it aside. For the béchamel sauce, melt 4 tbsp of butter in a separate saucepan over low heat, and avoid browning. Then gradually add 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, stirring continuously for 2–3 minutes, to create a roux. Whisk in 4 cups whole milk, nutmeg (1/3 tsp), salt, and white pepper to taste. After whisking for 6–8 minutes (until it has thickened), set it aside. Next, preheat the oven to 190°C /375°F and begin layering in a large baking dish with a thin layer of meat sauce, then a lasagna sheet, then alternated meat sauce and béchamel sauce layers, adding Parmesan, cheddar, and mozzarella cheese, finishing with all the three cheeses on top. Cover it with some aluminium foil and bake it for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and bake it for an additional 15–20 minutes until the top is golden and bubbly. Rest it briefly before serving and garnish it with fresh basil and finely chopped Parsley.
  10. Mud Cake Ingredients: - All-purpose flour - 2 and 1/4 cups (8 and 1/2 ounces) Dutch-processed cocoa powder - 1/4 cup (7/8 ounce) Baking powder - 1 tablespoon (1/2 ounce) Salt - 1/2 teaspoon Unsalted butter - 1 and 1/2 cup (12 ounces) Canola or vegetable oil - 1/2 cup (3 and 1/2 ounces) Granulated white sugar - 1 cup (7 ounces) Powdered white sugar - 2 cups (8 ounces) Eggs - 2, large Vanilla extract - 1 teaspoon Buttermilk - 1 cup (8 ounces) Semi-sweet dark chocolate (melted in a double boiler) - 2 and 1/2 cups (20 ounces) Black gel food coloring (optional) Dark chocolate shavings (optional) Equipment: - Parchment paper The process: - In a medium sized bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt, stirring continuously. Set this mixture of dry ingredients aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil, and 1 cup granulated white sugar together, until the mixture becomes creamy. Add the eggs and vanilla extract and stir until evenly mixed. Then, add the buttermilk and the above mixture of dry ingredients, bit by bit, alternately, stirring continuously. Then, pour in 1 and 1/2 cups of melted, semi-sweet dark chocolate, and stir to combine. Add in black gel food coloring to get a rich black soil-like color. You may skip the black gel food coloring if you want a lighter version of the color. If you are aiming for blacker colors, play with the black gel food coloring to get the shade of black you desire. The resulting mix is your batter and it should be very thick, as the batter of a mud cake is usually very thick. Lightly grease the sides and bottom of three 8" (20cm) baking pans with canola or vegetable oil such that parchment paper sticks to the pan. Then, line the bottom and sides of the baking pans with parchment paper. Pour the batter into the baking pans, distributing equally, and spreading evenly. Preheat oven to 350°F / 175°C. Put the baking pans in and bake for 18-22 minutes, until a toothpick or the tine of a fork inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. If it comes out stained by the batter, bake further, checking every 2 minutes, until it comes out clean. Take care to not bake too much, or else the cake will be dry. Once the cake is properly baked, carefully remove it from the oven and set aside for cooling. Beat 1 cup of butter until soft and creamy. Sift 2 cups of powdered white sugar and add it to the butter, then beat until fully combined and smooth. Pour in 1 cup of melted semi-sweet dark chocolate and stir until creamy. Add black gel food coloring and combine until the color resembles that of the baked cake. You may not need the food coloring in this step, if you did not use it when making the batter. Cut the baked cake into cylindrical slices and layer with the above buttercream frosting. You may shape the cylindrical cake into a solid flower pot-like shape (with no cavity) using a knife. Smear an even layer of buttercream frosting on top. Use a spatula to smear on the sides smoothly and evenly. Put the entire thing into the freezer and let it chill for 3 hours. Then, remove from the freezer and bring to room temperature. Alternatively, cast the Chilling Charm and cool it enough to make it set. Optional step - Sprinkle dark chocolate shavings on top.
  11. I think it still feels like something is missing ... oh! we haven't shouted the slogan for this event. you can see the slogan on the following paper and let's shout the slogan loudly (in my pm), that easy right? Send the answer to me and one other organiser of this activity via private message and you will get 10 rubies as a reward if you send the answer before 29 February at 23:59 HOL time.
  12. After all the activities that we have taken so far, we certainly don't want to go through the rest of the Mardi Gras celebration with a weak body because running out of energy. So, share your best cake recipe or your favourite food recipe that you think would be perfect to eat as an energy booster before the Mardi gras is completely over. Post the recipe below before 29 February at 11:59pm HOL time and you'll get 10 Rubies as the reward.
  13. Correct solutions were sent by: Adeline Morior Artemisia Thorne Dibyarup James Potter Hiya Debnath Lex Green* River Fenwick
  14. Approved Jae Moore - Slytherin visitor Rejected Someone signed up with their email address as their display name. If you recently signed up and your name doesn't appear here, please try again. :)
  15. Imgur Link - Larger Version [2649 x 1865 px]
  16. I really love to cook and one of my go-to ingredients is garlic. It is such a beautiful ingredient to use in your dishes. It always manages to add a flavourful touch to any dish it is put into. Also, the way it is processed plays a very important role in how it will behave within the dish. For example, adding garlic paste is quite different from adding chopped garlic that has been tossed in butter for a bit. In my opinion, no amount of garlic is too much garlic, simply because of how much it can improve a dish to which it has been added.
  17. Probably like to check out some books on ancient magic and runes, hieroglyphs and perhaps even the Book of Spells by Miranda Goshawk. Ancient magical history being my top priority.
  18. My costume consists of firstly a golden crown on my head with a feather behind my ear and sticking out. My dress robes will be an emerald green with a purple around the edges and purple streamers in the sleeves. Embossed on my robe is the Gryffindor House symbol of a lion with the name Gryffindor underneath it in gold writing. Under my dress robes, I will wear dark purple pants with emerald green dress boots. I might also die my hair temporarily blonde for this occasion.
  19. My choice of surprise would be an Amethyst, my favourite variety of quartz!
  20. I would put a lovely and tiny shining star made of pure gold inside the King Cake. The star would symbolize the star that guided the Three Wise Men to the baby Jesus.
  21. Earlier
  22. Correct solution were received from the follow participants! Adeline Morior Anne-Marie Gagne Artemisia Thorne Dibyarup James Potter Hiya Debnath Lex Green River Fenwick
  23. King Cake Surprise I love to collect coins so I would add in the cake a silver or aluminum coin with a beveled crown design on top
  24. Float Design Green Themed material overlaid float with a red and golden crown on the top, purple feathers at the back and flame feathers on the sides. Golden fairy lights all around the edges with a red seat and purple ribbon on the top representing a kings hall. Black mask at the front. Glittery golden and purple gems on outer side.
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