Alaska Cake

My friend was recently on an outward-bound trip in Alaska for a month. I knew that they had been roughing it big time in the wilderness, sleeping in tents, eating basic and not necessarily exciting food, and no communication with the outside world for the whole time. So I decided that it would be a nice to have a welcome home cake waiting for them when they came home.

I wanted it to be an Alaska themed cake, and the first thing I thought about when thinking about Alaska is snow, ice, penguins and polar bears (although they actually saw grizzly bears instead of polar bears, but oh well). Thus I wanted to decorate it in white frosting to look like snow and create little polar bears out of fondant to put on the cake.

Final cakeI knew that one of their favorite cakes is one I have made many times before, and it’s the blueberry cake from the Hummingbird Bakery. It’s a delicious cake and super moist because it contains sour cream, which makes its light and fluffy. Every time I make it, it’s devoured in minutes! Find the recipe here!

Cake BatterNow for the frosting I used cream cheese frosting, which is what Hummingbird Bakery suggests as the perfect pairing, and they are right! I made my own from their recipe but you can always use store bought frosting as well. You can find their recipe here!

The next step was to create the little polar bears to use on the cake. I will admit that I did buy plastic bears and penguins as well, just in case my own attempts didn’t work out. But no worries, my bears worked out surprisingly well and were very easy to make.

I used one of the new Wilton Shape-N-Amaze packets of edible decorating dough already in a winter white. You simply open the packet, knead the dough and then just mold the dough into what shapes want.

248537-3-5And here were my results. I must say I was really pleased by how cute they turned out!

Polar BarPappa & Baby BearI also made a little snowman for the back of the cake with the leftover fondant I had. I used one packet for all 3 figures.

SnowmanTo assemble the cake I covered it roughly in the white frosting to make it look like a snowy mountain range, with lots of little peaks. Then I placed the fondant figures on, as well as the plastic ones on the bottom because I wanted to have more on the cake. Then I sprinkled everything with shredded coconut and white sprinkles to make it look like snow.

CakePolar bear on cakeFinally I used a sparkly blue writing icing to write the words “Welcome Home” to finish it all off.

Cake with writingAnd voila, a delicious and special cake to welcome my friend back from their cold & wet trip to the Alaskan wilderness. They absolutely loved it!

A Blessing and a Curse

Its time again to bring back the weekly quotes, and this is one I could relate to completely, as I am sure many of you will as well.

5080653cb017630255e53ba51138ade9I could not agree more with the quote this week because being able to feel everything so deeply is definitely a blessing but also a curse. Not everyone may experience this but if you are someone like me, who takes things to heart for better or worse, the feelings are strong. It comes down to caring, how much you are about everything will determine how deeply you feel about it.

It means that when there is joy and true happiness it is electrifying and will give you so much energy you never thought possible. In those moments you feel lighter and like you are unstoppable. On the other hand it also means that you feel pain that much more. Things that others may be able to brush off easily, you may not be able to do so because you care much more about it and it will affect you on a much deeper level.

While the more painful moments are tough, I do think that it’s something worth dealing with because in my opinion at least, I think its better to feel very deeply than not at all.   Yes sometimes it can be a burden, but it can also bring about great passion and love, and can help develop some very strong relationships.

The only word of warning is to not let people abuse this fact about you, as some people in this world will use how much you care and feel to their own advantage. Thus always keep an eye out for these ones, but don’t let them stop you feeling those deep feelings, for better or for worse, because they are what will help you grow and become a stronger person in yourself.

GreenHopping App

I swear I have a gift for finding some of the coolest things, products and places on the internet, and I am going to start sharing these finds because I believe that more people should know about them.

Well the latest discovery I am really excited about was this app called GreenHopping. GreenHopping only began last year (2013) in NYC, and is therefore barely a year old, but is very quickly gaining momentum and continuously growing. It was founded by a couple, Catherine Cuello and Alfred Fuente (click here to read their story).

9abdaef210d47a9046bc09742c536053-2What makes this app so unique from others is that its sole purpose it to help you locate the closet green juice and plant-based foods to you. How brilliant is that?!

As you may have sussed from a couple posts ago I am really into my green and cold pressed juices, and in fact I have been generally becoming more health conscious. Having discovered over 2 years ago that I was gluten intolerant with minor dairy & soy intolerances as well, I started to really pay attention to what I was eating and drinking. I learnt how to really listen to my body and know when something is right and when it isn’t, especially after eating certain foods. From this I have discovered that eating clean, green, and raw foods do make me feel so much better.

Screen Shot It’s super easy to use and has all the places I like to go in London plus some that I had not yet discovered, but definiyely will. At the moment it is available in New York City, Jersey City, Hoboken, The Hamptons, Long Island, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Dallas, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Washington D.C., Miami and of course London. But they have many more international cities about to launch including: Toronto, Vancouver, Paris, Madrid, Geneva, Zurich, and Amsterdam.

According to their website: GreenHopping seeks to facilitate access to healthy plant-based eateries by placing all vegan, raw, gluten-free and vegetarian restaurants, as well as green juice bars, cold-pressed juice bars, green smoothie bars and health food stores that offer these beverages on an electronic map for consumers to locate via a GPS mobile application or the Internet. 

Map and Place info

Map and Place info

There is a map that shows the locations, and for each place you can get more info about them and also the menu. They also have created symbols so that you can easily recognize what each place offers, especially if you are looking for something specific like vegan food.

Symbols they use

Symbols they use

The reason I love this app is because it just makes my life so much easier and cuts down on the amount of time trying to find places that cater to my dietary needs. And it’s especially useful when travelling to other cities they cover as it means I always have a trusted source for where to go to get my green juice!

So visit their website, Facebook, twitter or Instagram. I highly recommend you download the app yourself; it is free, so go start your green juice and healthy adventures today!

Design your own Magnum @ Selfridges

I’m back! After a long hiatus I finally have the time to get back to Macarons & Bubbly, and man have I missed working on this blog! Got many fun posts lined up to make up for all the time passed without any updates, although there have been mini updates on my instagram account: macaronsbubbly!

Thus what better way to start off than with a post about ice cream, since of course summer and there’s a heat wave lately across Europe and London! And this is not just any ice cream, this is a custom made Magnum!

Magnum in the Wonder Room

This summer, until August 30th, Selfridges has turned their Wonder Room on the ground floor next to the jewelry department into the ‘Make my Magnum experience.’ (So only a couple weeks left!) It’s been created in order to celebrate Magnum’s 25th birthday.  However it is a fun thing to do when you are out and about, and who doesn’t like ice creams dipped in chocolate covered with different toppings.

Barrier

I’ve been twice already because I love the novelty of designing my own magnum to my tastes. And lets just say, they are finger licking good!!

You can choose to have vanilla or chocolate ice cream, and then choose between milk, white or dark chocolate coating, and then you choose 3 toppings out of a choice of 21. And finally it’s finished off with a drizzle from the chocolate of your choice.

Menu Board

The first time around I had vanilla ice cream, white chocolate coating topped with coconut, white chocolate sprinkles and hazelnuts, drizzled with dark chocolate. The second time I had vanilla ice cream and white chocolate again, with gold flakes, coconut and hazelnuts, drizzled with milk chocolate. I think it’s pretty obvious which flavors I prefer!

So here are the pictures from the experience at Selfridges and all I can say is that I highly recommend giving it a visit!

The area

Table made to look like the ice cream sticks

Table made to look like stacked ice cream sticks

Gold Ballons

The logo wallpaper

The logo wallpaper

Corner window display

Corner window display looking out onto Oxford Street

Silver Decorative Magnums

Silver Decorative Magnums

The toppings you can choose from...21 varieties!

The toppings you can choose from…21 varieties!

Silver flakes topping

Silver flakes topping

The mini shakers used to mix up your toppings

The mini shakers used to mix up your toppings

Chocolate's for dipping & drizzling

Chocolate’s for dipping & drizzling

Dipping the magnum in white chocolate

Dipping the magnum in white chocolate

Sprinkling the custom toppings onto the freshly dipped magnum

Sprinkling the custom toppings onto the freshly dipped magnum

Drizzling extra chocolate on top

Drizzling extra chocolate on top

You can choose either the white or milk chocolate logo button

You can choose either the white or milk chocolate logo button

My first one: White chocolate, hazelnuts, coconut, white chocolate sprinkles and dark chocolate drizzle.

My first one: White chocolate, hazelnuts, coconut, white chocolate sprinkles and dark chocolate drizzle.

My second one: White chocolate, with hazelnuts, coconut, gold flakes, and milk chocolate drizzle

My second one: White chocolate, with hazelnuts, coconut, gold flakes, and milk chocolate drizzle

Window Display

Window Display