Friday, May 22, 2015

Want to come to Disney World with me?

It should come as no surprise to anyone who has read this blog that I love Disney World. It's right up there with the entire rocky mountain range (especially Canada and Boulder, Colorado. I would have loved to study there!) Luckily my hubby also likes both! The only thing holding us back is a lack of money. That might change if my blogs started earning dollars a day instead of pennies. Click a banner! go on, no pressure ;) (Kidding aside, I'm grateful to all of you who read this blog and I do not do this for money.) 

Though Disneyland Paris is just a 6 hour drive away, it is very expensive. In part because they put it right next to Paris. Once in a while I check how much it would cost and it always seems that just a few days Disney Paris is just as expensive as two weeks Florida! Excluding transportation costs. I always end up choosing to save for a big trip to Florida, even if it is years away, than spend it on a few days Paris.
You can imagine how excited I get when Disney turns on their webcam. They do this for special events and the one I like best is the 24 hour event they started having annually. It's going on right now so check it out:

A great view of Disneyland, though a little small on my iphone... Tiny people :D   
This will get you no less than 6! Webcams in Disneyland California   
This is Floridas webcam, it is not as good as those from California but you can watch the parades and fireworks really well with this one! 

Want to know when to watch the Florida cam, check this site for the scedule:'coolest-summer-ever'-event-at-the-magic-kingdom.htm

Wishes is awesome, as are the parades.

And the best part this year: the cams how sound now! Yay! You can hear the hustle and bustle of the theme park and all the beautiful music.

Have fun!!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Willow tree wedding cake and Scottish Outlander birthday cake

It's been busy lately and here are the results:

'All we need is love, and a little cake' wedding cake

This is a wedding cake I made for friends. I had to make it bigger than we agreed upon of course, which was quite challenging considering I was also their master of ceremonies (at least that's what they call it here. It might be more comparable to maid of honor duties.).
I also made some sugar flowers, you can almost see one at the bottom

This 5 tier cake has two flavors. The dark tiers are chocolate cake with mocha butter cream. I used chocolate ganache to crumb coat and the outer layer is a poured on chocolate gelatin.
The top tier has the outline of Austrian mountains painted on it with royal icing. I did this to correspond with their wedding rings. They incorporated the design because they look out on these mountains from the apartment they rent when they go on ski vacation, which incidentally is also where he proposed!
Setting up a cake in formal dress hahaha

The off white colored tiers are white chocolate cake with a champagne butter cream. It's also crumb coated with chocolate ganache and covered with natural marzipan (so no color added). The flowers/lace type design was made with royal icing.
A little girl helped me decorate, she is standing just off camera but she was so sweet!

The bride asked to have "All you need is love, and a little cake" added to the cake, maybe as a topper as she didn't want one of those traditional ones. I on the other hand had a (in my opinion) much better idea. I really love Willow Tree figurines and while getting inspiration for a sculpture I wanted (more on that some other time) I noticed they have cake toppers. They have a few but this one resembled the bride and groom the most and I loved the design. The figures are really intimate but actually only touch in three places and you can look at it from any angle giving "...a different understanding of their shared feelings". The fact that you can look at it from any angle makes it nice for a cake because it means you can photograph from any angle and the topper will still be awesome! 
The great thing about this topper is, they can put the figurine somewhere in their house and it will look gorgeous, which is why this was my gift for them.
(FYI: the topper is called Around You, by Willow Tree. It's tested to ensure food safety and comes with a little piece of plastic to put between the topper and the cake as the topper is not waterproof.)
Willow Tree on the mountain

I did add the phrase to the cake, but decided it would fit better in the theme to make it say "All we need is love" and to add the "And a little cake" on the base plate. It's funny but I really didn't want that to be too obvious. The fruit was also on request. There was supposed to be more of it, but I didn't have much time on location to set up the cake so I couldn't try it out.

Anyway, I thought the cake turned out awesome! It looked exactly how I envisioned it, no big problems and the bride and groom were happy. Good enough for me ;)

So on to the next one.

a Scottish/Outlander themed birthday cake

It was a bit too green but I loved how it turned out
The lady who ordered this wanted a Scottish/Outlander themed cake for her birthday. She wanted a stone circle, thistles and tartan, and the cake was only for 6 to 7 people! That's small!
I decided to make the thistles life size and use a base board to put them on. That way the circle wouldn't be cluttered. I made little tufts of grass and put tiny points of purple on them to represent tiny thistles. You can't even see it in the pictures but it really made a difference, just a little pop of color near the circles!

The thistles were fun to make
I wasn't too impressed by the tartan printed on frosty sheet. It was hard to handle and had been printed a bit too dark (in the pictures it looks lighter than it did in real life). I still liked the way it turned out though.
There was also a request to add a phrase on the cake. I'm presuming it's Scottish though the online translator didn't understand it. It basically said Happy Birthday Anna!
The tartan was a bit dark and hard to handle on frosty sheet.
It was a fun cake to make. On request it was a coconut cake with a pineapple butter cream filling. I crumb coated with chocolate ganache because I had a long drive and I don't have air condition. It's covered with marzipan but the rocks are fondant and the piped on grass is butter cream.

The client loved the cake so that was awesome! I hope she noticed I made the stone circle like the one on Outlander! I might have to mail her just to ask :)

Now on to my Dad's birthday cakes! They are going to be fun :D

So what do you think? Is the wedding cake extravagant enough? Did you recognize the rocks as those from Outlander?


Thursday, May 7, 2015

Gluten free chocolate chip cookies, no egg either

These gluten free chewy cookies also contain no egg and very little ingredients. They do not last long in our house and are great for unexpected company because they are so quick and easy to make!

Gluten free chocolate chip cookies

Makes about 12 medium cookies


300 grams (3 cups) almond flour
90 grams (6 tbs) butter, room temperature
5 medjool dates, pitted
4 handfuls of chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C (350 F)
Put a piece of wax paper on a tray.

Mix flour, butter and dates in a food processor until no big pieces of dates remain.
Add up to 5 tablespoons water, one at a time, until the dough starts to form a ball.
Add the chocolate chips (you can add as little or many as you like which is why I didn't give a clear amount)
Mix the dough by hand until the chips are well spread.

Roll small balls from the dough, about the size of a golf ball.
Put them on the tray, pressing them down to about 1 cm (1/3 inch) thickness.
Keep in mind that these cookies do not spread or rise. What you make on the tray is what they are going to look like after you baked them.

Put the tray in the center of the oven (or if you can't put it in the center because you have a stupid oven just like me, put it above the center, not below).
Bake the cookies for 10 minutes.
Let them cool on the tray.

Try not to burn your tongue! (I always do, they are just too yummy to wait for them to cool!)

Let me know what you think!

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