Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Birthday Cake Nr 4!

There is no way I am buying a ready made cake from a bakery, when it comes to birthdays!
Not that I don't like them... It just doesn't seem natural to buy, as opposed to bake!

This year, for my little one's 4th birthday, I decided to use fondant. It is actually the second time I ever used fondant on a cake. I use it more often on sugar cookies. My favourite is buttercream, but for certain decorations, well, you can't beat fondant!

Ioanna likes the sea a lot, likes fish, likes Nemo, so.... it was an instant decision to make something related to fish.

The cake, itself, was a brown sugar cake. I found a mind blowing recipe from Summer's blog Cake, Paper, Party. Really, amazing, amazing cake. Loved the taste, loved the smell!
Also, this cake keeps well in the fridge. It was very moist and tender, even after 5 days!

The filling was a classic buttercream: 250gr butter, 500gr icing sugar, beat together, done!
In it I added 3/4 cup cream cheese, the zest of an orange and 1/2 cup orange juice (about...).

As the cake is very sweet, I wanted to pair it with something fresh and not-that-sweet. The addition of cream cheese really helped tone down the sweetness of the icing sugar in the buttercream.

I crumb coated the cake with butter cream and chilled it.
Then I covered it with white fondant.
For the "Sea" I coloured pieces of fondant in the 3 different blue hues and rolled them in strips. Using a sharp knife, I cut the top of the strips wavy.
I glued the on the white base with water.

Then I shaped the fish, which I also glued with water.

We had her birthday party at our summer house, so I didn't have all my baking equipment with me. Therefore, the fondant is not as smooth as I would like.

Also, at first I kept the fondant covered, but after a point, I was in a hurry and left the strips uncovered. Hence some dryness at the edges...

She loved her cake!
The combination of flavours was amazing!
All in all... success!



Louise!

Friday, 12 September 2014

Holidays!

We are back!

Returning from summer vacation is always bittersweet... You miss your home, but at the same time you miss that relaxing, carefree feeling!

We only went away for two weeks, never the less we had a very good time!

Mountainous Korinthia, seaside Kiato and seaside Kimi. Great time, great scenery, great beaches, great food!

Waiting for the tomatos in our garden to get all red...

 The blackberry season started... We went berry picking!

 We relaxed under the fir trees in our garden....

We played at the beach and searched for sea glass...

Listening to the waves...


I am looking back and feel good with the quality and great time of our vacation.

I am looking ahead and wishing for a prosperous, cold (yes, I prefer the cold to the heat!) winter.


Louise!

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Playing with Barbie dolls !!! - 03

Doll accessories are amazing, but rather expensive...

I wanted a wardrobe for Ioanna's Barbie dolls, but at 35 Euros, well, maybe in the future, not now. So I decided to get crafty...
After all a little girl just wants a wardrobe to play with, she doesn't care how much it costs.

Take a large shoe box.
Create a pattern in Word and print it.
Then glue it inside.
 For the rack I had a little help from G.


Also, I made a pattern for the bottom and the front to make it look more "real".

The nob is a marker cap painted gold. I also painted the exterior of the wardrobe with some left over wall paint.

I made hangers from metallic paper clips and shelves from a small juice box, which I glued on the bottom.

(Please excuse Euterpe, she just got out of bed and is still in her night gown... What to wear today?)

I also glued a hanger on the door for larger items or a shopping bag.

It is really easy to make things for your little one and trust me, you will enjoy making it more than you will enjoy buying it!



Louise!

Monday, 18 August 2014

Playing with Barbie dolls !!! - 02

I love shoes. Period.

I collect them and I do believe I have more than a hundred pairs... And still need more!

This thing I have for shoes is spreading....
My little one already has a nice collection (thanks to her mama) and of course her Barbie dolls!

You didn't think it was going to be any different for the dolls, did you?










 These boots also come in black (actually, I had two pairs and painted one in black with a permanent marker!)


There are shoe styles here that I would really like to have in my own closet! Especially those Mary Janes... Go figure ...


I would like to thank her cousin for them. She gave Ioanna so many pairs and still has more!!


Louise!

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Playing with Barbie dolls !!! - 01

I love Barbie and thankfully Ioanna has about 5-6 dolls for me to play with.... Ha ha, I know, but I don't feel that old to play with them!!

I also like sewing! For me, for Ioanna, for the Barbies! It was inevitable that I would make Barbie clothes. After all I needed to use all the scrap fabric pieces I have!

I rarely use patterns. I simply measure the dolls and draw a rough picture and then I cut the fabric and sew it. I correct what I must right on the spot.

from left to right

black satin belt - red silk dress - pink muslin skirt - beige muslin dress - black gown with orange tulle.

black bell bottom pants - black mini dress - black capris - striped tube top - red dress with satin sash - black long fitted gown.

Burberry dress - water blue silk dress - white tube top - sky blue satin dress - black strapless top - white tube dress.

white apron - army fitted dress - white dress - army strapless top - skirt with red tulle - striped tube dress.

flower pants - blue dress - black and white dress with lace - muslin shorts - flower fitted dress - black tube top - muslin tube top.

blue pants - Burberry tube top - pink dress - Burberry skirt - plive green skirt - pink skirt - red long gown.

And now for some modelling ...











The black, the red and leopard print gowns are Ioanna's favorites (along with a long red gown with large skirt, not shown).
The leopard one was made from an old shower cap. Amazing full skirt, right?


I am going to try and make a coat!

Love playing with my little one and dress the Barbies!!!!


Louise!

Friday, 1 August 2014

Peach upside down cake!

Peach and nectarines = summer!

I stand by this. These are a big favorite in our house and I use them in any way I think is tasty!

Since I like upside down cakes (here and here), I baked a simple cake, using my vanilla cake recipe, in which I grated 1 peach.

I used the peaches raw and covered the bottom of my pan.



So... I forgot to take pictures of the finished cake in its platter......
Please forgive me....
But you get the idea!

Louise

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Daring Bakers - July 2014!

This month our host was Ruth from The Crafts of Mommyhood. Her choise was a real surprise for us....

Surprise - Inside Cakes!

I love these cakes! I also love the reaction of my guests, when I cut into one!

I make these cake a lot, mainly during Christmas. I have also made cookie dough stuffed cupcakes.

This challenge, though, came at a perfect time, because I wanted to make a birthday cake for my little one for her school birthday party. The surprise is in the filling!

Surprise Inside Birthday Cake

I based the colors on the sprinkles, that I put on top of the cake.
I started piping the filling in concentric circles.

The left over filling was used to make the outside dots. .

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When I bake/make/cook something, I always make a small sample, which I cut and taste.

This is how it looks inside when you cut the slices!
The cake layers are chocolate and the filling is white chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream.

For the cake layers I use the recipe by Summer at Cake Paper Party.
For the SMB I use the recipe by Rosie at Sweetapolita.
Both with excellent results every single time!


Amazing challenge!!!

Thank you Ruth!


Louise.
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