Friday, 24 July 2015

Happy Accidents

I am no professional baker and I am also owner of a very confused oven. So it comes to no surprise that some of my creations come out as...not quite perfect.

My oven, never minding what temperature I put it on, decided to be way too hot, making my meringues crack left and right. I was pretty down, because I had imagined this really great looking cake with great looking meringues on top, but no, my oven hates me.

But when my sister saw the cracked meringues, she immediately suggested I put eyes on them, so they would look like delicious little monsters!
Which, as she repeatedly told me, suited me much better anyway.

It doesn't happen often, but sometimes little accidents make everything even better! :D

 I only recently bought a cake decorating stand, so this was the first time I was using it, plus the first time I tried making a gradient frosting. Isn't it pretty? :DDD
I might have overdone the ganache a bit though...

Say Aaaah~~!

The cake was a chocolate cake, with vanilla frosting, fresh raspberries and meringue crumbs in between the layers.

Friday, 17 July 2015

Come with me and you'll be~

~in a woooooooorld of pure imagination!

One of the best things ever invented by humans is definitely chocolate. Don’t you agree?
Of course there’s lots of bad chocolate out there (I’m looking at you, Hershey’s), but there is equally as much absolutely delicious chocolate! Much of it is, of course, made by Milka.
Now, if you’re from America, you may have never had the pleasure of eating Milka chocolate, but let me tell you, it’s heaven. With lots and lots of calories.
I always enter Milka giveaways and competitions, and so far I’ve been extremely lucky, if you ask me.
Four boxes of chocolate for the entire family here, even more chocolate over there, chocolate, chocolate, chocolate.
But then I won my biggest Milka prize yet: a trip to the Milka chocolate factory!
Just call me Annabel Bucket. (Although, looking at myself, it should probably be Annabel Gloop…)
The prize was actually intended for two parents and their small children, but with Milka being awesome as they are, they told us it was absolutely fine if four adults went instead. And then they also added an extra day at the hotel, because why not.
So all in all, the prize included:
-          - The transportation (plane and train)
-          - The Hotel (4 stars)
-          - Meals at the Hotel (5 courses)
-          - A tour through the chocolate factory (which usually, of course, isn’t open to the public)
-          - 20€ to spend at the Milka shop
-          - VIP passes for the chocolate festival

Now, Austria, as you may know, isn’t very big, but getting from one end (Vienna) to the other (Bludenz), still takes a few hours, so our day started stupidly early with a trip to the airport. There, my mum had a tiny freak-out about the size of the plane, which really wasn’t THAT small. For reasons I am not going to go into, I did not really enjoy the plane ride, which I could still kick myself for, because I should have taken pictures! I swear there was a nicer view (and more mountains) than when we were flying back. 

A bit of Innsbruck from above

Innsbruck airport is definitely the smallest airport I’ve ever been to, and I was also rather surprised when we got off the plane and pretty much just walked across the runway to the airport building. (Of course my sister and I were quoting Cabin Pressure along the way. Thankfully we were not charged for not wearing safety vests ;) )

People got off the plane and just kind of wandered around

 Such a nice looking plane :D

Then, taking a bus to the city centre, we got on a train and after two hours, arrived in Bludenz, where an Italian guy, who always looked in a hurry, picked us up and dropped us off at the hotel.

 During the flight, the train ride and...pretty much at all times, I was reminded why our national anthem says we're the country of true!

 My sister and I were sharing the hotel room, and for once I didn't accidentally try to kick her out of the bed during the night! :)))

 There were two Milka bags waiting for us...

...filled to the brim with deliciousness!

 Our spacious balcony...

 ...with a nice view of the surrounding mountains.

Early next morning, our group got picked up and brought to the factory. My sister and I got to drive in a Mini Cooper Cabrio, because there wasn’t any space left in the bigger cars :D

 The entrance to the Lädele chocolate shop, at the front of the factory.

Inside the factory, we first had to walk all the way up to the topmost floor, where we got a little safety lecture and were told about the history this particular factory (which  was built in 1890…ish…I really can’t remember the exact date).
And then came the fun moment where all of us donned our new chic outfits, complete with a beard net for the men, and a red hair net so our guide could always find us in the mass of white, blue and yellow hair nets.


Our first stop was at a table, laid out with the different stages of chocolate, and a small chocolate fountain, where we could dip in as many Oreos and wafers as we wanted.
If you ever wanted to know what the Oreos in the big Oreo chocolate bars look like. I actually didn't think that they'd have the Oreo design on top, because it's not like you get to see it, when it's covered in chocolate...

Cameras were sadly not allowed beyond that point, but the machines were amaaaazing! And we got even more chocolate to eat during the tour. Someone asked our guide if the workers were allowed to eat chocolate, and the answer was: yes, as long as you eat it inside the factory, you may eat as much chocolate (or cookies, nuts, etc.) as you want! Of course, if you’re around that much chocolate the entire day, I guess you’ll soon lose your appetite for it, but still, just imagining it…*-*
The tour ended at the Milka Lädele, the shop at the front of the factory, which also has a walk through in the back, with a life sized Milka cow!

After waiting for everyone to complete their purchases, our guide took us through the chocolate festival, to the VIP area. I have to admit, it wasn’t really my cup of hot chocolate, mostly because I’m not a huge fan of sand (it had a beach theme) and definitely not a fan of so.much.SUN. Who thought having a chocolate festival in the middle of summer was a good idea?

 Purple, everywhere~!

 THIS is how it's supposed to be done. Not tiny, little bites, but entire bars! :D

 Such a nice purple, really~

We returned to our hotel not long after, where I just lazed about for the rest of the day, and enjoyed the absolutely amazing shower (which I really wanted to take with me D: ).
We flew back home on the next day, and this time, I actually took some pictures!

 Just so you can imagine the size of the Innsbruck airport: here we are waiting at our gate, looking in one direction...where you can see the street in front of the airport.And if you turn the other way... can see the runway! :D

 Our on board food! Isn't it adorable?

 I also realised that I should study Austria's geography a bit, maybe...because I have absolutely no idea which lakes those are...

 Nearly there!

 Aaaand touchdown Vienna!

All in all, it was kind of awesome! (Even though I didn't see a single Oompa Loompa, although I guess only Willy Wonka has those. Also, I behaved and didn't inherit the factory :( Oh well.)

For another person's view on our chocolaty holiday.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Cakes, cakes and more cakes

Hey, long time no read!

This will just be a post about my most recent cakes (I didn't get a slice of a single one of them ;A;), so enjoy!

Simpsons 30 donut cake
One of my mum's friends requested the cake, a 30 made out of donuts, with Homer Simpson somewhere on it.
I don't think they meant a passed out Homer, surrounded by dozens of Duff Beer cans, but hey, artistic freedom and all that.

Please ignore the tablet the cake is on (which I stole from my grandma) and the unpretty edges of the pink icing D:
But looky here, I even made the middle layer of the cake purple to look like filling!

I know, it doesn't really look purple, but that's just because I had already slathered it with apricot jam. (Although slathered might be the wrong word, seeing how I ran out of jam in the middle of it...)

All in all, I'm quite happy with how the cake turned out!

Robin Hood cake
Another one of my mum's friends requested this one for her son's (grandson?) birthday! At first they actually wanted a tractor cake, but then, realising that the theme of the birthday party was Robin Hood, they changed their request accordingly. (Although I wouldn't have minded making a Robin Hood tractor cake...would have been interesting!)

I wasn't really sure what to make at first, but Robin Hood makes you think of Sherwood forest, so trees are kind of fitting, right?
It would have helped, if someone had told me that Disney's Robin Hood was completely ok, before, you know, I was already almost finished with the cake. Oh well.

Making the cake was actually kinda soothing. Roll a fondant snake, stick it onto the cake...roll a fondant snake, stick it onto the cake...roll a fondant snake...I think you got it.

On the left you can see what the tree looked like before I painted it~
I wish more people wanted tree cakes D:

Halo cake (with the help of a friend)
One of my own friends for once!
I baked the cake (chocolate cake, with cheesecake in the middle) and then she came over to help with the decorating. The little guy on top of the cake was made by me, and my friend had actually made another character, but stupid as she is, she wasn't happy with how hers turned out, so she ate it. Oh well.
We did not have any black fondant, so we just painted black all over the cake and then splattered blue, pink and white on top...yeah, it was a disaster, and we got more paint on ourselves than the cake, but it was fun!

No idea why all the pictures came out so blurry D: I swear I only painted with the vodka, nothing else!

Southpark Cartman cake
My most recent cake, made only two days ago, for our neighbour's son's 25th birthday!
At first she also wanted a Simpsons cake (which I wasn't all that thrilled about, because I had just made one), but then her other son came up with the Southpark idea, and while I personally do not like Southpark, I was super happy when I saw the picture!

I had a few problems with the hat (including the rim breaking off and my dad accidentally throwing something at it and squashing it...), but in the end, everything turned out okay(ish...I still think the hat could have looked better)

Anyway: Taa-daaaa~~~~

I have to admit, I'm actually really proud of this cake >w<

And that's all for today! :)