TTT: Fandoms

Hah. Fandoms. I don’t even know how many fandoms I’m in, because I love practically many things. A lot. I suppose I could list a bunch down off the top of my head, and for the most part, they are video-game related. Some book and anime stuff, too!

Top Ten Fandoms I Constantly Squee Over

One Piece – Honestly, it’s still one of my favorite animes to date. I don’t know why that is, because so far there’s been a standstill in really good episodes, but I just can’t stop loving this anime. Also, the Pirate Warriors video games are pretty fun. Repetitive, but fun.

Ouran High School Host Club – BEST SHOUJO EVER. Honestly, it was hard limiting the amount of anime I fangirl over, there’s definitely a lot more out there that I love, but Ouran is the sole representative for shojo type anime.

Fullmetal Alchemist – YAAAAS. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood has got to be one of the best things that came out a couple years back. I mean, I did love the original anime as well, but Brotherhood kind of knocked the series out of the ballpark.

Bioware – Yeah, I started this list with just adding a series, then realized I’ve loved every single Bioware game I’ve played so far. So, um, yeah, Bioware just gets a lot of love for its Dragon Age and Mass Effect series. And honestly, the fandom for DA and ME is ridiculously talented. I get jealous from all the artistic work.

Bethesda – Also similar to Bioware in the fact that I loved all of the games I’ve played of theirs. So this includes OblivionSkyrimFallout 3, Fallout 4Dishonored, and Dishonored 2. Yeah. I totally play a ton of video games…

BioShock – This was probably my first entry into the modern Western-created game. Prior to this, I was often an Eastern gamer, and often I gravitated toward Japanese RPGs. When my sister recommended BioShock, I was skeptical, considering I was not very keen on first-person shooters. Hell, once I played it, though, I was absolutely hooked, and I’ve loved all three games in the franchise. Yes, even BioShock 2.

Final Fantasy – I am picky about which FF games I’ve played over and over, but old-school has always been the best. I must have played from Final Fantasy VI to Final Fantasy X with great enjoyment. I did play FFXII and enjoy that, too, though I suppose the appeal kind of stopped from there, up until FFXV came along.

Tortall series – No words can describe how much I love the world Tamora Pierce has created in her Tortallan series. It’s hands down one of my favorite fantasies.

Shades of Magic trilogy – Schwab has an awesome fandom, but there’s still not enough fanfiction dammit! This needs to be remedied.

Avatar: The Last Airbender – One of my favorite TV fandoms ever. EVER. I should have put this up near anime, but it’s a whole cartoon series that deserves to be set apart. I could say I don’t know why I love this series so much, but let’s all face it. I love it because elemental magic, Asian-inspired culture, a cast of fabulous characters, and martial arts bending all around.

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Food and Fandom: One Piece

It’s only taken this long to do something One Piece-related, yeah? Anyway, I should probably be avoiding the Internet because of the guilty feeling I should be harboring for finally deciding on not doing NaNoWriMo this year, but I’m not. Because I did end up baking, and that’s hella-productive enough on a Halloween weekend.

My brother’s birthday is the day before Halloween, and with my sister and me working on his cake, it was bound to be more artistic than usual. Well, that was the plan anyway. In any case, since I wasn’t doing the “decorating” portion, I decided I’d actually make the cake from scratch, so I turned once again to the Brown Eyed Baker’s blog for some good cupcake recipes that involved a chocolate topping. I found an interesting take on Boston Cream Donuts, rendered into cupcakes instead.

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Which led me to doing a custard cream for the first time. I was mostly worried that I’d overcook the eggs and heavy cream on the stove, so I practically hovered over the simmering pot just to take it out of the fire as soon as it was thick and custardy. To be honest, I didn’t have to worry too much, because by the time I put it in the fridge and waited the few hours, it solidified into an actual custard consistency. I tasted it, too, and was reminded of those egg custards my sister and I loved from the NYC Chinatown.

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In hindsight, I probably should have made bigger holes inside the cupcakes so as to fill the cupcakes with more custard cream, since I ended up with a lot of leftover cream (as well as chocolate). That said, once I gathered the leftover stuff, I quickly baked graham cracker crust and put the leftover custard plus the chocolate (dark chocolate baking bar from Jacques Torres) on top. That ended up being the hat for my sister and my arranged creation.

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The cupcakes didn’t come out as flat as I’d hoped. I’m blaming the oven, because I swear I managed to have flat cupcakes when I was baking at my friend’s. Nevermind. I just used a wooden spoon to “gently” pat the tops of the cupcakes down. And by gently, I mean smacking them a bit until they were remotely flatter than a rising volcano.

As for the cupcake arranging…

One Piece: Brook

I haven’t watched much anime lately, but I think that’s mostly due to the fact that reading subtitles isn’t very feasible when you’re multitasking like nobody’s business. That said, there’s one anime that my siblings and cousin have been watching and catching up to, and that’s certainly One Piece. It’s a favorite in the household (much like the Avatar: The Last Airbender series is), and when my sister and I thought about a birthday cake for my brother this year, we knew we wanted to do something that said Halloween as much as it said One Piece. So we went with the singular character that epitomized both the anime and the Halloween season: Brook. Brook is also a prolific musician, a trait similar to my brother, so I thought it was a perfect cake to make!

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Officially, this wasn’t how we both envisioned things, but I thought it came out great! My sister got the Rice Krispies duty, so she formed some and used the leftover chocolate to style the rice krispies treat into Brook’s skeletal face. Needless to say we have a lot of leftover rice krispies treats, but those things are so delicious we kept them in the fridge for later snacking purposes!

VerdictThe Boston Cream Cupcakes were delicious warm and cold. The chocolate glaze hardened like ganache, so the top didn’t break apart into shingles when biting into the cupcake. The custard was definitely the highlight of the entire thing, but I wouldn’t sell the chocolate glaze short, either. I loved the combo, and frankly, I thought this tasted like a much better version of a Boston Cream Donut. So there’s that.