Sunday, April 28, 2013

Tea + Twix

Today we purchased some tea from the Barnes and Noble Starbucks cafe.

I decided to make some for tea time :)

The Raspberry Herbal looked especially appealing, and since I'm a sucker for pale pink, it was the obvious choice.

Not only is the tin cute, but it smelled divine.

I whipped some up in the Keurig....

And decided to have a little tea with some homemade Twix bars for a treat.

One thing about these Twix bars. 

Make your own caramel, or buy caramel chips to melt it down.

I tried to use the kind one might drizzle on their ice cream, and it didn't solidify, so when we cut into it, it just oozed all over the place.

Still tastes delicious, but it isn't the best presentation ever.

Oh well...

The perfect afternoon snack :))

What do you have for teatime?

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Sleeping Beauty Cake

Yesterday, my friend and I watched Sleeping Beauty. We love that movie, especially the 3 fairies :). 

So today, I was inspired.

I decided to make the fail cake that Fauna attempted for Aurora's birthday. 

Three layers.

(A little Mickey tribute, teehee)

The great thing about attempting this cake is that it's supposed to fail. So if you mess up, that's good! And if you don' can claim that you wanted it to be that way. So you can't lose!

I used this recipe

It's a simple white cake recipe that's especially easy, with minimal ingredients. Your options are unlimited for the cake flavors--you can even do box cake, that's fine too. It's just the decorations that transform it into Fauna's fail cake.

The frosting looks sort of green in the pictures, but it's actually a pale blue in person. Depending on how blue you want your frosting, you can use more food color drops--I used 7 for this recipe.

Another point to be aware of: you want your frosting to be sort of on the runny side. So whatever frosting you choose to use (I just winged it with a cream cheese frosting. I threw in 1/2 cup of butter, half a container of cream cheese, a teaspoon of vanilla, and some powdered sugar. The amount of powdered sugar varies depending on the desired thickness), make sure that it's a little soft!

Fauna's cake was going to be 16 layers, but since that seemed a little much for this little replica, I just used three petite four-inch round cake pans.

I also used a little frosting spatula to spread the frosting, but since you're just basically globbing it on anyway, any ol' spatula is fine :)

A tower of cake! 

Now you can do the frosting design however you want, but in the movie, Fauna's cake just sort of collapses under oozing bunches of frosting. You could just leave it the way I have it below, with a mountain of frosting on the top. It looks pretty that way because then you can actually see the layers of cake, and just allow the frosting to ooze over the sides gradually.

(Remember, this is a fail cake! So nothing you do can mess it up!)

Or you can take your cake one step further and spread the frosting around the entire cake.

Doing this next step causes the cake to sort of lean to one side, which is the desired effect since Fauna's cake was falling apart :)

And then I covered the entire thing in sprinkles.

Sprinkles make everything better!

The other great thing about this cake is that you don't have to worry about dirtying up a piping bag for the frosting. I just slapped it on, allowed it to run down the sides, and threw sprinkles all over it (scattering them all over the counters in the process....oops...)

I used blue and white sugar pearls and little round rainbow sprinkles to cover my entire cake. But anything you have is fine. Maraschino cherries would look nice too!

OM NOM NOM!!!!!!

Not only is it delicious, but it looks just like Fauna's :)

Happy caking!

P.S. Here's an idea of Fauna's cake from Sleeping Beauty (just in case you don't watch Disney regularly, which I KNOW isn't true ;);)

Fauna, Sleeping Beauty
(Picture found on my Pinterest)

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Tea Time

Taking tea in the gardens reminds me of Alice in Wonderland, when Alice crafts daisy chains in a tree to escape the monotone boredom of learning history from her older sister. What a perfect spring day it was then, in Oxford, England! 

Much like this one, with blue sky twinkling....

This is how I felt when I took tea in the gardens one afternoon. In a world of my own....

It was beautiful and lovely, sipping English breakfast tea from my favorite teacup, and dining on delightful vanilla bean scones....

The teacup was a gift from my grandmother for my birthday a few years ago, as she knows of my obsession with teacups, and their relationship to Alice in Wonderland.

What wonderful stories attached to that teacup....

Sip, nibble.

Lacy tablecloth and crumbling pastries always make my day better :)

The tea is musical, didn't you know? It melts on the tongue and sings harmonies of reed pipes and morris reels...

As soon as the clock strikes four, and we enter into the time frame specifically labeled tea time, that little snippet of space is magical--but of course, you already know this! You can feel it, right down to your core. Sharing tea with loved ones, perhaps a scone (or three...:)

Alice would be proud, me thinks :)

The tea is of special, magical brew....

Delectable tea time, to be sure.

What do you love most about tea time? How do you partake in that magical little period of time?

You can't buy happiness, but you can buy tea, and that's kind of the same thing.


Saturday, April 6, 2013


Macarons have always possessed a certain allure, some sort of attraction that I could never dispel.

Today, I finally caved. I made some macarons.

Relying on Martha Stewart for success, I googled a simple Parisian style macaron recipe (a French dessert) and set to work.

The outcome?

Vanilla meringue patties sandwiching delightful cream cheese frosting.

I had to make some changes to the recipe because I attempted two batches of filling and each time, my meringue simply went runny. Six eggs and a carton of butter later, I scrapped that idea and went for old-fashioned cream cheese frosting--trusty, reliable, and easy. I don't use a recipe for that anymore--I just go for it, dumping powdered sugar, butter, vanilla, and cream cheese into my Kitchen Aid. (In this case I also added blue food coloring to tint the filling).

I know they aren't exactly five star material, but at least my family liked them. 

Next time I attempt macarons, I'm going to bake a thin layer of cake (box cake will work) and cut out patties from that, then whip up a filling. That should work too.

Multi-colored ones remind me of pretty patties from SpongeBob, but unfortunately I didn't have the time to tint them rainbow.

Ah well, they still tasted the good, and the frosting was surprisingly a big hit.

I love the idea of opening a little confectionary selling cupcakes, macarons, cake pops, and all sorts of other lovely sweets.

Delicious! :)