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21  COOKING / Dessert / I made my own chocolate. How sweet is that? on: April 23, 2012 08:40:12 AM
For the last month our so a new range of ecological products has been extremely popular in my country. Before them, most of us didn't even know than you can actually buy cacao butter. The minute I saw it, I decided I want to try and make my own chocolate:) I love dark chocolate, the darker the better. So I searched the internet for recipes and found out that big companies make chocolate directly from the cacao beans  by roasting them and then making something called chocolate liquor, and then there is a series of other complicated procedures. Which, obviously, I couldn't do.
But a lot of people make chocolate at home using quite simple ingredients: cacao butter, coconut butter, high quality cacao powder, corn syrup/liquid glucose and sugar. So I did that myself! I didn't really measure anything, I just melted the same amounts of the butters, added quite a lot of cacao and some liquid glucose(so the sugars don't crystallize) and some agave syrup (for sweetnes), mixed untill combined, poured in silicone moulds and put in the freezer. After 20 or so minutes, I got chocolate!


(sorry for the crappy mobile phone picture, I'm so excited about this, i couldn't find my camera:))

It's not really like the chocolate you buy, but I like it a lot. The taste is quite similar, with a touch of coconut, but the structure isn't as smooth. I especially love the way it melts in your mouth, which is quite different from the way ordinary chocolate melts and much more pleasant. The best part is that I can control how sweet it is and add different flavouring and experiment. Unfortunately, it's quite an expensive experiment, but hey, Lindt is pretty expensive too:)

Does anyone else have any experiences with making chocolate at home? I would love to learn some tips and tricks:).
22  COOKING / Dessert / spring basket easter cake on: April 15, 2012 10:20:58 AM
I've got a Wilton ultimate cake decorating set for my birthday a month ago, so every time I bake something, I make A TON of gumpaste flowers. This time I also tried basket weave piping around the cake, since baskets are so Eastery:) But I mixed my ganache a bit to long and it became a bit grainy, so I had some problems... I also didn't really think about it, so I din't know, but basket weave piping takes A LOT of time.

The cake itself is from Julia Childs book, but I don't remember the French name (it might have to do with Geneva). It's made without baking powder, so you have to be really careful when mixing the fluffed eggs with the flour. But it is really really good in the end. The cake has 4 layers but I can't find the "insides" picture. It was filled with fruit(cherries, blueberries, raspberries) and Swiss meringue butter cream.



Anyway, i hope you like it:)!
23  COOKING / Dessert / 25th b-day cake - first time making gum paste flowers on: March 11, 2012 12:16:29 PM
I'm 25 today. And my awesome father bought me a Wliton ultimate cake decorating set for the occasion. I, obviously, had to try and make a ton of different gum paste flowers to decorate my birthday cake:) Half of them didn't even make it on the cake and it still looks, ... well, like this:



the holes in the frosting are from the b-day candles. One of my friends said that it kinda looks like a poster with comic sans - but i do hope it is not that ugly:) I can't really tell how it looked like, i'm extremely proud of myself and I loved it:)

I also have a question- it was my first time making gum paste and I had a problem - some of the sugar crystallized, or at least I think it did - there were tiny pieces that look like crystals in the paste. Did anyone else ever make gum paste and had the same problem and then found a solution? I googled it, but didn't find any answers.

oh, and here are the insides- it's chocolate gateau filled with white chocolate ganache and raspberries, frosted with butter cream and then glazed with white chocolate. and then decorated with royal icing and whipped cream. (yes, I experimented with many different techniques making this cake:D)

24  COOKING / Dessert / raspberry rose cheescake on: February 26, 2012 07:30:53 AM
If you have a pinterest account and you like desserts, you've probably noticed the cheesecake with a raspberry sauce and rose water flavouring from design sponge, that has been repined quite a lot of times in the past days:) here is the link if you don't know what i'm talking about:) http://www.designsponge.com/2012/02/in-the-kitchen-with-christelles-raspberry-and-rosewater-cheesecake.html
Well i'm a huge fan of cheesecake, raspebries are my favroite fruit and I love the taste of roses. So I had to bake one:) I also thought this would be a marvellous opportunity to try piping some roses with royal icing, because I have never done it before and I really wanted to try. And i must say I'm really proud of what i made.



I had lots of trouble piping the roses... The first batch melted into litlle poudels and those on the cake are also far from perfect. But I think they still look great for my first attempt. I would love any advice on how to make really nice roses, if you have any personal experience. Those, and C&C are very welcome:)

(there are two more pictures of the roses on my Slovene blog, if you want to see them more closely. unfortunatly you probably won't understand much:) http://fenchurch.blog.siol.net/2012/02/26/ko-bom-vlka-bom-cake-boss/ )
25  HOME SWEET HOME / Pet-Related Crafts: Completed Projects / puppy bed (puppy pics, yey!) on: January 06, 2012 04:57:57 AM
2 days ago me and my boyfriend finally got a puppy. We saw an ad, called, and the owner of the mother told us that we could pick him up the same day... So there wasn't much time for preparation. But I had to sew him a bed, I wouldn't let him sleep in a bought one:)(also they are expensive and puppies grow so fast). So here it is, including tiny Ari.



it is based on this: http://inspirationrealisation.blogspot.com/2011/05/cheap-pet-bed.html,
but i made a non washable one - you can't take out the pillows. i also made it a random size, but it looks like it will be big enough for some time.

here are some detalis:


 the inside pillow has two sides, one is flece and one is coton, so it will also be sutable for warmer months if he won't grow out if it till then.

and here is a picture of the bow. I had this ribbon at home for quite some time, I finally found the perfect project to use it:) and yes, it was sewed quite sloppyly, but i was in a rush... Luckily, Ari doesn't mind



 and an extra puppy picture, just because he is sooo adorable!

26  COOKING / Dessert / Giant Christmas cupcake on: December 28, 2011 03:13:36 AM
I am a bit obsessed with cupcakes (like so many of us are:)). So, obviously, I had to buy a mould for giant cupcake-cakes. The perfect opportunity to make a giant cup cake was Christmas dinner:)



I tried making one before, but didn't make a chocolate cup, and it collapsed. So if you make one for the first time and have a silicone mould,
I would recommend you make a chocolate cup, because it's really easy to make and it looks so much better.

Here are some photos from the process of making the cake:)



Hope you like it:)
27  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions / should i buy a Brother Super Galaxie 3000? on: November 21, 2011 03:14:14 AM
I'm in the process of buying a new sewing machine and I found an add on the internet for a Brother SuperGalaxie 3000 for 850 (that's around 1150 $). The previous owner says he wants to sell it because he bought a new, bigger machine. The machine is 4 years old.
The price is in my price range. the problem is, i have no idea what the general difference is between normal sewing machines and embroidery machines. Is an embroidery machine like a more powerful and fancier sewing machine or is it not useful for sewing clothes and such:)? Or is this machine useful for both? The add claims it is, but I want another opinion. (i really want one that can do both:))

It might sound crazy that someone with so little knowlage about sewing machines wants such an expensive thing, but i bought a very cheap machine 2 years ago and it constantly frustartes me and it is finally broken. i want a new one that will work and that will work for many years to come:)
28  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / foxy! animal friendly fox scarf *tutorial added* on: September 22, 2011 12:47:26 AM
When i was little I used to sneak into my mothers warderobe and admire her beautiful fox fur that was so soft and warm and grown up. I kinda wouldn't like to wear dead animals around my neck nowadays, but i still liked the idea. Then I saw all of those faux fox scarfs poping up all around the internet in the last few months and i knew I had to make my own:)



I wanted it to have eyes, but i couldn't find them in any store in town (i orderd some form etsy, since I plan to make more of those scarfs), but i kinda like it the way it turned out.



If you want, i can make a tutrial and post the pattern for the head in the next days. C&C very welcome

edit: THE TUTORIAL!

1. cutting the fabric:
You will need approximately half a yard of some soft warm fabric like wool (fake fur would also probably work pretty well). So first you cut out two head shapes and two rectangles. the rectangles should be around 15 cm wide and the length depends on your wishes (or on the width of the fabric you chose, if you actually bought just half a yard:)). Then you fold the rectangles in half. (you can cut both at once if you have scissors good enough to cut though 4 layers of fabric). Cut them as shown on the picture (that is really really bad, but stupid illustrator won't work so i had to use paint instead:))).



also a "pattern" for the head. just copy it to a word document and size it the way you like.



2. embelishing

If you want to put eyes or noses or any other embellishments on anything (like contrasting fabric on the paws or on the tail) or do any embroidery, do it now (so the stitches won't show later).

3. sewing

put the right sides of the fabric pieces for the head together and sew almost all the way around- leave a gap to turn everything inside out. Then turn everything inside out, iron it and top stitch around the edge and close the gap that was left. Now do the same with the body. Sew the head to the body and voila- you're done!:)

*i hope you understood everything- english is obviously not my first language:) if you have any questions, feel free to ask:)



29  COOKING / Dessert / rose cupcakes on: July 31, 2011 10:57:03 AM
I simply LOVE the taste of roses. People usually look at me as if I'm crazy when I say that Wink . "Silly girl, roses aren't for eating, roses are for decoration!" Well, if you think the same, I would advise you to try them sometime. But don't just take a bite in your garden, try something like this:

Rose cupcakes are just your favorite vanilla cupcake toped with butter frosting mixed with two spoons of rose syrup (mine is from Bulgaria, I guess you can get it in shops that sell oriental stuff) and a spoon full of dried rose petals and some lemon juice (i squeezed one half of lemon in it). I also aded two drops of red food coloring to make it pink-ish.



I decorated them with tiny rose flowers from our garden (i know they are eco friendly and not poisons) dipped into egg white and sugar. They are mostly decorative, but my boyfriend and father ate the petals and said they were tasty:)



the cupcakes are very sweet delicious and girly and I can imagine they would be perfect for a bridal shower:)
30  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / my (almost) first cross stich project on: July 31, 2011 10:30:12 AM
Some time ago I got an x stitch craft kit in a swap and I decided I was going to learn how to do it. I finished it quite quickly and liked the result, but it wasn't really good and not even as pretty as it was supposed to be, so I just hung it on my wall. So the photo I'm about to post isn't of my actual first project, but somehow I feel that it is, because it is the first one in which I decided what the motive is going to be(which was really hard) and then designed it in photoshop and then stitched it on a hoop:)



When i bought the hoop and fabric I didn't know what I was going to sew, so I didn't buy any thread. But when I decided on the motive I couldn't wait until Monday to go and buy it, so I just used some thread that I found in a sewing kit I got from Aldi. I'm not completely sure it was meant for x stitch. I also know I made thousands of mistakes, but I somehow still love it. The word "kit" means whale in Slovenian and my boyfriend also says the it is the sound the whales make. I decided on the motive of whales because both of us like them and think they are awesome. They symbolize us, where the male whale says "I love you" with the watter and the female one says I love you more:)
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