As some of you are aware, I have gone back to study (mainly in response to the monthly career crisis that I have where I bemoan that there is no research funding and that the pressure to get it and living under the ‘publish or perish’ paradigm is getting to me). As interested as i’m sure you all are about my study plans, this is not why I brought it up.
What has amazed me is how different the undergraduate university experience is from when I attended my first lecture over a decade ago… I walked into the lecture theatre and instantly felt old – the room full of what appeared to be 12 year olds each facing an illuminated screen of some description (laptop or electronic tablet)… my pen and paper approach was clearly obsolete. I immediately felt disadvantaged. It seems that this experience is not only going to be a steep learning curve in terms of subject matter but also in how the kids do it now-a-days…
Fortunately, I had my favourite new toy (an iPad) in my bag – so it was, somewhat smugly, whipped out… but then I realised that I didn’t know what to do next… I surveyed the room confused (I must have looked like one of the clown heads in that amusement park game which move from left to right, mouth agape). I turned to the student next to me and whispered:
“Hi, sorry to bother you but where did you get the slides from?”
“Oh, I just downloaded them from the blackboard”
I looked around confused for a moment or two – firstly there was no blackboard that I could see and secondly I could not fathom how a presentation could go from a blackboard to a tablet… The confusion must have been clearly imprinted on my face as my new friend kindly said:
Oh, that at least I knew about – the student online portal. It turns out lecturers load the slides just prior to the lecture, you can then use the uni’s wifi to download it to your electronic device and add comments to it directly… Awesome! No more madly trying to copy down the slides before the lecturer moves onto the next one AND trying to listen and understand what is going on. A different approach to reach the same outcome.
In terms of doing things differently, today’s recipe is a chiffon cake but instead of using egg whites you use egg yolks (a good way to use up the yolks left over from all those macaron-a-thons). These were so delicious that Miss Prettier-than-Julia-Roberts refused to share!
Coconut cream cupcakes
Daffodil (Chiffon) Cupcakes
Adapted from: http://www.cooks.com/recipe/4o2h33hm/marians-daffodil-cake-chiffon.html
12 egg yolks
1½ cups caster sugar
½ cups boiling water
1½ cups plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp lemon essence
Beat egg yolks until very thick and lemon coloured. Add sugar in small amounts and keep beating. Add boiling water and beat 30 seconds, add sifted dry ingredients gradually, then add flavourings, beat all well (about 5 mins). Spoon into patty case lined cupcake tins (fill 2/3 – ¾). Bake in preheated 180 degree Celsius oven until top becomes golden and a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.
Coconut cream icing
Adapted from: http://praneesthaikitchen.com/2012/01/12/dreamy-coconut-frosting-recipe/
125g unsalted butter
2 cups icing sugar
1/3 cup coconut cream (the thick top layer from a can or carton of coconut milk)
1 pinch of salt
1 teaspoon coconut essence
1½ cups desiccated coconut
1 cup shredded coconut
With an electric mixer, beat butter on medium speed until creamy. Fold in sugar and coconut cream; beat until creamy, about 3 minutes. Fold in coconut essence and desiccated coconut. Spread the icing to cover the cupcakes then roll in the shredded coconut.