Tasty Experiments: Lava Candy

It doesn’t matter what the Universe throws at us, I know at least one of our spawnlings loves me–the one who made me Lava Candy!!

(Note: This preference changes on a weekly no, daily no hourly basis. Hell, whichever spawnling lets me sleep in can score the Brownie Points at any given moment.)

Today’s tasty experiment is brought to you by Nefarious, our budding chemist/astrophysicist/mechanic. He wanted a Chemistry kit for his birthday. When the spawnlings’ godfather turned up, Nefarious was absolutely thrilled to have a real life chemist in the Lair and asked to bring out the kit. EG Tenacious willingly agreed; which is yet another reason why he (and his amazing partner EG Sinful) are the perfect guardians for our spawnlings, if something were to befall us.

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Lava Candy

** Adult assistance is required. Ingredients will get very hot and potentially burn exposed skin. Not nice.img_1256

Materials Required:

  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons golden syrup
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda (sodium bicarbonate)
  • Heavy based saucepan
  • Wooden spoon
  • Baking dish lined with waxed paper

Method

  1. Place sugar and golden syrup into the saucepan
  2. Over a VERY LOW heat, stir continuously until all the sugar has dissolved
  3. Continue to heat (there will be heavy bubbling of the mixture) and stir for 7 mins. DO NOT OVERHEAT. The syrup should be pale golden brown.img_1260
  4. Remove saucepan from the heat and immediately add the baking soda. Stir quickly but gently, making sure all the baking soda is completely mixed in.
  5. Pour onto a prepared paper lined dish/tray. Allow to cool for at least an hour. IT WILL REMAIN VERY HOT FOR QUITE AWHILE. DO NOT BE TEMPTED TO TASTE UNTIL COMPLETELY COOL. 
  6. Break into pieces and enjoy and then coat in milk chocolate. Either dip in chocolate or pour melted chocolate over broken pieces. The ‘Lava Candy’ is a bit like Violet Crumble. Aussie minions will know what I mean. Trust me – it’s good.

img_1271The science in all of this is in the reaction between the ingredients, particularly the addition of baking soda. It provides an excellent preliminary example of quick reactions between various chemicals.

It also provides EG Mum with her own supply of chocolate-coated Lava Candy. So I see this as a win-win all around.

Well, except for EG Tenacious, who had to return to work before tasting the chocolate-covered Lava Candy. Next time, EG Tenacious. Next time…

One Twitch At A Time

I can’t even blame this one on the spawnlings.

About a month ago, I developed a twitch in my left eye-lid. 

Just a small little spasm. A little involuntary movement, too small for anyone to see but enough to BUG THE ABSOLUTE S#!T OUT OF ME!!


*sigh*
At the time, I had started drinking coffee again – after giving it up for the last 7 years. Breastfeeding and babies and caffeine and whatnot. Taking up the habit again, I started with just a latte in the morning.

Slowly it built up – one more at lunchtime. One more in the afternoon. Less latte, more flat white.

And then the twitch started.

And it bugged me. 

Oh my chocolate deities, did it bug me. 

I would sit there, resting my open palm over my twitching my eye. Putting the slightest pressure on the spasm. Trying various temperatures and ideas, hoping for relief.

Nothing.

ARGH!!

Okay, okay. Breathe. 

The obvious culprit: Coffee.

Or was it just the easiest target?

Forgive me, fellow coffee drinkers. It has been one month since my last coffee. And I was wrong.

THE DAMN TWITCH IS BACK!!


So I’m thinking of drowning my sorrows in a flat white tomorrow morning.

Of course, EG Dad thinks I haven’t cut out enough caffeine. He suggested cutting out chocolate too.

The Funeral is on Thursday. Please give chocolate and coffee in lieu of flowers. It’s what he would have wanted.

What’s your sure-fire tip for an eye twitch? Share it in the comments below, and the one that works will win my favour for a week.


Sacrifice to Chocolate Gods

Ugh. I feel so crappy lately.

It’s hard taking over the world when you are struggling to conquer your own parental guilt. I’ve been so focused on getting the spawnlings through the school term (with chest infections and teething nights and stuff) – I forgot to keep the fun in world domination.

So, let’s get back in to it!! And what better way than a visit to the Aztec exhibition at the Australian Museum. Chocolate, blood, and sunshine – all the important elements.
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When you think Aztec, you may think of blood sacrifices; or maybe just a good family taco dinner. Maybe they’re one and the same. But the Aztecs were so much more.

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Let’s take a moment to say thank you to the Aztecs: for tomatoes, avocados, burritos, Taco Tuesday, bouncy balls for handball (actually no – I won’t thank that one! I’m sick of how quickly 8yo spawnlings lose the damn things).

And yes, chocolate. Blood in my veins as offering to the gods – sweet chocolate. Hell, the Aztecs even used cocoa beans as currency. One for a tomato; 30 for a small rabbit; 300 for a nice cloak. Cocoa beans. Genius.

Money actually grew on trees.

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Well, grew on trees and floated on water. Oh yeah, baby. Chocolate currency was as holy as Jebus H. Christ.

With all this chocolate hanging around, the Aztecs had a great way to burn off the calories. Nefarious particularly was impressed with the set-up for a game of football. That was until I mentioned the blood sacrifice at the end. Ultimate calorie counting. See, if you lost the game, your ineptitude was considered an insult to the gods. So you had to sacrifice yourself in order to appease them and allow your team to win next time.

Now Nefarious is all about bulking up with some muscle mass. That one is going to take over the world with brute force, and enough smarts to know how to get away with it.

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It wasn’t all chocolate and screaming locals. Sinister was rather impressed with the public education system. That’s right – the Aztecs had a free, compulsory education system for teens.

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And just to add to the vibe, the museum set up an Aztec playground. After the exhibit, spawnlings could also do extra activities like make Aztec paper gliders, build temples with oversized foam blocks, or even weave a gods eye. Zaltu definitely showed her management skills: minions build temples; Zaltu does her best Godzilla impression; minions think she is cute and rebuild her entertainment. Suckers.

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The exhibit is in Sydney until February and worth every dollar. We’re heading back for some more note taking.

BTW: you know I don’t take bribes unless they are significant. And even though there IS chocolate involved, *sigh* I DID NOT receive any from the Australian Museum for this blog post.

But if you want more info, go here.

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But clean up your own bloody mess afterwards.

Evil Genius Tool #6 – Easter Egg Baskets

It just wouldn’t be a Festival of Chocolate without some evil – in the name of chocolate, of course.

This year, I was inspired by a very sweet and thoughtful picture shared around the interwebs:

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Awwww. Now everyone gets the same amount of chocolate. Pathetic really.

That’s just not … Well, evil.

Here’s the proper way to do your East Egg Baskets.

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Now, let’s play along with the suggestion and tell the spawnlings to find the eggs that match their basket.

And then go and hide these eggs:

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EG Dad complained, so I threw in a pity red for him.

Happy Easter, minions.

Evil Genius Parent Award #39

Our spawnlings, Sinister (7) and Nefarious (4) are still a little young for Alien.

Pity.

Because we’re in the final month of #3’s tenancy and I’m feeling more and more like this:

Now, being an Evil Genius is hard work. Some may consider it easier when you look like you have already swallowed a small planet and thus appear capable of swallowing more.

However, it is harder to take over the world when it takes 7 minutes just to roll out of bed, let alone the additional time to chase the existing spawnlings to retrieve my glasses.

Then there are the hormonal swings, the weird cravings, and the constant nagging from minions about whether they should buy blue or pink sheets.

star sheetsStormaggedon is NOT sleeping in blue or pink sheets – he or she will be sleeping in black sheets, with star charts showing all the planets they will be expected to conquer by the time they are 12.

With all this going on, it’s no wonder that EG Dad (and the spawnlings) could do with some tips on how to manage their leader.

Natania Barron over at Wired had previously come up with a few ideas (5 to be exact) on what you can do for the pregnant geek. Not quite world conquering stuff, but it will help any EG Mum-to-be feel like they are getting back on track. Good work, Natania!

My favourite is #1 with the suggestion of the book Do Chocolate Lovers have Sweeter Babies? OF COURSE THEY DO! Personally I think it is the Dark Chocolate (with a touch of mint) that adds the EG to the spawnling, but at least this book provides the geeky reasons for doing so. I’ve already uploaded it to the iPad for reading.

The best tip I have for dealing with your EG Mum-to-be? Give her whatever she wants.

Have any other tips for managing the expectant EG Mum?

Last month of the pregnancy and I may or may not write less here. There are a lot of preps I have to do to ensure the spawnlings continuing their training in world domination while I manage the upcoming birth. DVDs to set up, food to freeze, science experiments to prepare. You can all relax – EG Inc might have to settle for just a country or two in the meantime, rather than the whole world.

Evil Genius Tool #4 – Easter Egg Hunts

I’ll be honest with you – we don’t celebrate Easter, per se.

For Evil Genius Inc, it’s a 4-day long Festival of Chocolate. A long weekend of sleep and chocolate.

The only thing we truly consider worthy of celebrating is the honorary sleep-in that EG Dad and I score on Sunday morning – thanks to some prior planning on our side.

Sinister and Nefarious have a pretty good understanding of the various festivals at this time of year. They know about seasonal festivities, about ‘breeding like rabbits’ (thanks to some dumb neighbour releasing their ‘pets’ into the neighbourhood), and they understand that chocolate puts EG Mum in a better mood, which puts EG Dad in a better mood (however, the co-relation is not directly understood … as yet).

But the only thing that 6yo Sinister and 3yo Nefarious truly care about at this age is – The Easter Egg Hunt.

So this is the plan for our Saturday night and Sunday morning:

These are the eggs the spawnlings ‘happened to see’ around the house:

photo 1

These aren’t the Eggs you are looking for…

This is the area we have for hiding eggs:

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And THESE are the eggs that will be hidden in the area on Saturday night:

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Guaranteed extra 30mins to 1 hour sleep in on Sunday morning.

If you REALLY can’t sleep in during this time, or if your existence sucks enough that you HAVE to wake up early on Sunday morning to hide the eggs, this will at least guarantee you the peaceful enjoyment of your cuppa tea/coffee. Maybe even two.

Go check the stash. Look for green Easter Eggs, or green wrapping paper.

Have none? Saturday should still have shops open to buy some supplies.

Trust me – the tranquility with that cuppa is so worth it. Just make sure you remember where you hid them.

Thank me when I take over the world. Easter Egg Hunts like this will be compulsory.

 

Have a better example of Evil Genius Parenting? Share it here or on the Facebook page by Sunday night and I’ll consider it for and EG Parent Award.