Friday, 5 September 2014

ESA Principia Mission Cartoon

It's Friday cartoon time again.

Today's cartoon was inspired by Tim Peake's 'Principia' Mission, and the fact no one can agree on it's pronunciation!


Friday, 1 August 2014

The Evolution of the Moon

This weeks Friday Cartoon is inspired by research into why the Moon has lave seas on the near-Earth-side but not the other- it seems the Moon is Lemon shaped!



Friday, 2 May 2014

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

How to make Cornflake cakes for Techies

The following recipe isn't a CartoonKirsty Original, it's been around for about as long as Cornflakes have; however the write up came after a conversation at lunch today with a Engineering friend of mine. My original instructions were:
                  Melt chocolate in a bain-marie, stir in the cornflakes, divide into                        paper cases and let them set
followed by a look of  terror on his face, so I decided to translate the recipe- after all- it's not rocket science!  Enjoy ;)

Timing
Prep time: 10 min
Make time: 15 min
Chill time: 1-3 hours[1]

Non-edible parts list
1 x medium bowl, glass/ pyrex or similar
1x small/ medium saucepan, aluminium/ ceramic/ or similar
1x spoon, wooden, long handle, with point if available
2x spoon, desert[2]  eating, for the use of, stainless steel or similar
6 or 12 hole cake pan OR 2L cooking dish, rectangle, shallow OR storage box, rectangle OR container, other, rectangle shallow sides e.g cereal box cut in half along the long axis.
6+ paper cake/ muffin cases OR tin foil, sheet
1x cup/jug, any material
? 1X  knife, sharp, vegetable or pairing type.
Oven gloves OR tea towel

Edible parts list:
1x box cornflakes, any brand.
100-200g milk or plain chocolate[3]  OR 2x full size Mars™ chocolate bars
1-3L cold tap water
Optional- sweets for decorating

Large equipment needed:
Cooker, hob
Kitchen sink
Work top
Fridge, kitchen type 0-5°C OR room with cool ambient temperature (≤ 20°C).

Instructions:
1. Gather all equipment, ensure serviceable.
2. Wash hands in approved hand washing sink, clear work area of obstructions
3. Place cases, paper 6 or 12 of as needed, into cake tin OR shallow dish OR place tin foil out on a flat surface where it will not be disturbed.
If using shallow dish ensure the cases are touching sides and each other for structural support
4. Place (cold) glass bowl on top of (cold) small saucepan- ensure the diameter of the pan allows the bowl to sit stably in the top of the pan by about 1/3 height of the bowl, without touching the bottom on the pan- later this will form a ‘bain-marie’ or water bath.
if step 4 not fulfilled use a bigger bowl and/or smaller saucepan until correct fit achieved.
5. Take bowl off saucepan, fill saucepan ½ full with water- Place bowl back on saucepan- ensure that the water should not touch the base of the bowl.
adjust water height to accommodate, at least 3cm of water needed for safety,
If this this persists carry out trouble shooting as step 4.
6. Place saucepan onto cooker ring, turn on appropriate  cooker ring to a medium heat, bring water up to a rolling simmer[4]
7. Use hands to break chocolate into ≈1cm quadrangles OR if using Mars™ Bars use sharp knife to cut each bar into ≈1cm quadrangles: place into bowl.
8. Place bowl onto saucepan
9. Allow to sit for 1-2 min- when melting is seen, slowly stir chocolate until melted
if chocolate starts to thicken or solidify add ≈10-20ml of cold water and stir, this should turn the chocolate back into a smooth liquid.
10. Use oven gloves or tea towel to remove HOT bowl from pan and place on work top
11. Keep the pan on the hob in case re-melting is necessary- top up water if required.
12. While chocolate is still liquid, carefully add cornflakes to the mix, stirring constantly. Enough cornflakes are need to use all liquid chocolate, while every flake is coated (≥ 90% chocolate coverage on 100% of flakes)
13. While still warm use desert spoons to place 1x spoonful of chocolate/ cornflakes mixture into each paper case, use spare spoon to push mixture off portioning  spoon[5]
If using tin foil- heap into little mounts, with ≈ 1/2cm clearance on all sides
Decorate with sweets at this stage if desired
14. Leave in fridge or in cool pace to set for at least 1hr.
15. While cakes are setting- clean chocolate off cooking equipment and surface, return kitchen to pre-baking state, Cooker hob to OFF.
If the melted chocolate stets on the equipment soak in very hot water with washing up liquid until melted, then clean as normal.
16. When cakes are set solid, maintaining their shape unsupported- eat!
Caution- depending on chocolate used they may be hard to bite into- in this case eat with hot tea or coffee.

[1] For the cakes not you
[2] The medium sized spoon for eating cereal, not for use in tea or for serving food.
[3] Not to contain nuts or biscuit, can contain caramel or praline
[4] ‘rolling simmer’ just before boiling point, large bubbles seen to break surface of water, with steam, but not violently.

[5] If fingers used for this process: caution may be hot, also no licking!

Monday, 6 January 2014

Concordia vs Concord


There has been lots of things going on in the news about Antarctica this week, with boats getting stuck, being rescued, then the rescuers also getting stuck and needing rescued! It's a very tough environment at the bottom of the world, and this cartoon is for the boys and girls for the 2013-2014 season who are mad enough to go down there.

Concordia is a research base right near the middle of the content at Dome C, it's one of the most remote places on Earth- sometimes the ISS crew are their nearest neighbours! Concordia is run by the French Polar Institute and Italian Antarctic Programme, and each year ESA sponsors a doctor to go South and carry out research on the overwinter crew, as they face many of the conditions that are expected on long term space missions to Mars.

I've been lucky enough to listen to talks from two of these doctors from the UK, which inspired this cartoon- enjoy :)

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

No-bake Halloween witch's wood cabin cake/ alternative Christmas gingerbread house

What happens if the wicked witch doesn't want to live in a gingerbread house? Well she could live in a Matchmaker log cabin instead!

 Here are some no-bake designs for Halloween or Christmas. I've used all pre-made ingredients, which would make this a brilliant project for kids, or those short of time! To create the log cabin effect I've stuck the Matchmakers onto a cherry maderia cake using butter icing,  alternating Matchmakers the same length as the cake and longer ones (which where cake length+ 2x Matchmakers widths) I found starting and the bottom and working up was more successful than top down.

Then simply decorate with icing, sweets and any yummy thing you like- et volá- instant Wicked Witche's house or Christmas cabin!


Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Rouge Squadron X-wing Cookies

Continuing this weeks trick or Treacle theme I think I've found the coolest cookies possible- x-wing gingerbreads!

This recipe makes about 16 soft biscuity gingerbread x-wings for films nights or Halloween parties.