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23.4.14

1 Jewel-Toned Cake with Meringue Kisses

Contributor post by Lyndsay Sung of Coco Cake Land



Bright, jewel toned cake layers topped with matching sweet meringue kisses - this cake sparkles and shines, and might just be as swoon-worthy as real gems. Follow along to create your own pretty party cake, perfect for your best friend's birthday or a truly bompin' bridal shower!


To Make The Cake

You Will Need:

A vanilla cake recipe or box mix of your choice. Make batter according to recipe's instructions, then divide equally into three bowls. Tint each batter with hot pink, teal and emerald green (kelly green with mixed with teal gel food colouring). Pour batter into three 7 x 2 inch round baking pans. Bake and let cool completely.

5 cups of vanilla buttercream, tinted a light mint green (or any colour you choose)


To Make The Meringue Kisses

You Will Need:

3 piping bags fitted with piping tips of your choice, such as a small star or open circle tip
Gel food colouring in pink, electric purple and teal.

Ingredients:
3 egg whites
A pinch of salt
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup icing sugar, sifted


Make It!

Preheat the oven to 225 degrees. Line three baking sheets with parchment paper. 

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer using the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites and a pinch of salt at high speed. Make sure that the bowl is completely grease-free before you start, otherwise the egg whites will not whip up properly!
2. As the egg whites stiffen, slowly sprinkle the granulated sugar into the mix. Stop whisking as the meringue becomes stiffer and glossy; do not overmix.
3. Add the vanilla extract, and fold in the icing sugar carefully with a spatula.
4. Separate the meringue into three bowls, tinting with gel food colour to the shade you desire.
5. Fill your piping bags with each meringue colour.
6. Pipe meringue kisses onto the parchment paper covered baking sheets.
7. Bake for 2-3 hours until they have completely dried out; set aside.


Assemble The Cake!

Note: A small offset spatula and a bench scraper are great tools to have on hand for frosting a cake!
 


Place the first layer of cake onto a cake board or cake plate. Add a generous layer of frosting!


Place the second layer on top - add another layer of frosting.


Finally, add the third layer - now it's time to frost the whole cake!


Mmmm... creamy dreamy buttercream.


Next, using your metal or plastic bench scraper, smooth the entire exterior of the cake by pressing the edge of the scraper against the cake and going around the cake with it. Chill your cake in the freezer for 10 minutes to set; apply another layer of frosting, smooth it out and you're good to go.



Start placing the cooled meringues on top of your cake - press down lightly to adhere. I chose to space them out evenly as well and in no particular pattern for a more a structured yet natural design effect; feel free to experiment!


But the most exciting part is to come... cutting into this beauty of a cake!



I simply adore how the cake layers match the gem-like, crisp, chewy meringues! The extra meringues make beautiful little fillers for candy dishes , plus you can also use them as confetti-like decor! Sigh... cutting into a cake like this is what dreams are made of! Happy cake making, everyone - til next time!





Meet The Contributor
Lyn­d­say Sung is a baker and blog­ger at Coco Cake Land. She loves super cute cakes, sweet design and snacks. She lives in Van­cou­ver, Canada with her hus­band and tod­dler son.

22.4.14

8 Green Day


This particular minty industrial green has been on my radar lately and it seems IKEA might be the culprit perhaps, especially with the above vignette from Livet Hemma with their HOLMSEL chair and LERBERG trestle.  Love what they did for the other leg with matching vintage green books.  A few more hues below:


1.  FABRIKOR Cabinet, 2.  SNIKA Box, 3.  PINGLA Box, 4.  DRONA Box, 5.  SKOVEL Wall Clock




Happy green Earth Day friends!  What colour are you loving?

21.4.14

7 DIY Gold Glitter Heart Tote Bag

Guest contributor post by Sarah Hearts


When I cleaned up and organized my office last week I came across some extra cotton tote bags that I had left over from a craft party I hosted awhile ago. Since my sister in law is getting married this weekend I thought it would be cute to make some tote bags for each of the bridesmaids. So I gathered some supplies I hand on hand and created 10 of these cute gold glitter heart totes.

I used freezer paper to create the stencils. Just like my gold stenciled pillows, I also used my Silhouette Cameo to cut the freezer paper. If you don’t have a cutting machine, you could also cut the stencil by hand using an x-acto knife. If you do this, be sure to cut on a cutting mat or scrap of thick paper, like chipboard.


Supplies:

- Natural cotton tote bags
- Fine glitter in any color you like
- Mod Podge (I used the gloss finish but the matte finish would also work as well)
- Freezer paper
- Heart stencil (download the SVG file to use with your Silhouette or Cricut or the PDF file to cut by hand)
- Paint brush
- Plastic cup
- Iron and ironing board

1. Cut the heart shape out of a piece of freezer paper (if you’re using a Silhouette Cameo, here are a few tips on creating a freezer paper stencil). Adhere the shinny side of the freezer paper to the tote bag using a hot iron without steam.


2. Mix equal parts Mod Podge and glitter in a plastic cup. Paint the inside of the stencil with a thin even coat. It will look slightly milky but the Mod Podge will dry clear.


3. Once dry, paint a second coat. Allow that to dry completely then add a third coat of the glitter and Mod Podge mixture.


4. Once the third coat is completely dry, very carefully peel off the freezer paper stencil. Then you’re done!


About our guest contributor:
Sarah Khandjian is the crafty maker behind the DIY and lifestyle blog Sarah Hearts. She is a graphic designer turned maker with a passion for creating lovely things. When not blogging or hosting workshops, Sarah can be found at the barn with her horse (her other passion).



17.4.14

5 8 Fresh + Pretty Ways to Decorate Easter Eggs


Are you decorating eggs this weekend? We usually make it a Good Friday activity, and so I searched out recently for some fresh inspiration. You'd think after a point there would be no different way to decorate, but the internet still amazes me!  Here's 8 new ones I've noticed this week:



1. Decoupaged Eggs
Pretty colours of birds and butterflies from Livet Hemma.


2. DIY Natural Easter Egg Decorating
Beautiful colours using natural colouring. From Nourish and Inspire Me.


3. Mr. Humpty Dumpty Eggs
A playful retro-inspired cartoon face by Confetti Sunshine.


4. Watercolour Eggs
Painted pansies using water colour from Craftberry Bush.


5. White and Black Marbled Eggs
These pretty ones were made using nail polish by Henry Happened.


6. Botanical Decoupaged Eggs
Beautiful eggs with a free printable to make your own.  From The Paper Mama.


7. Egg + Box Printable DIY
A cute idea to give as a gift. From Carrie Can Blog.


8. Cascarones Easter Egg Surprise
A fun take on the traditional shell hits by The Paper Mama.

4 DIY | A Spring String Garden


I've been wanting to try my hand at making a string garden for a while now and this past weekend was so nice, I decided to try the idea out on our back patio using spring bulbs and blooms.  I thought they would also make a cute hostess gift or something you could give to a neighbor for Easter.  They are fairly easy to make, in fact I want to try making some in "upside-down" mode.  Here's how I made them.

What you will need:
A plant or plants of your choice (for spring—pansies, tulips, hyacinths work well)
String (cord or wool —colour of your choice) or you could go with fishing line to make it invisible too.
Sheet moss (enough to envelop each plant)
scissors


How to:
Start off by emptying the plant out of it's original pot (being careful not to damage the roots too much). Surround the plant with wet soil creating a ball. Cut a piece of sheet moss, enough to completely wrap around the ball.  Wet the moss and then wrap it around the ball.  Tie at the top to start.  Then take another piece of string and wrap around the top a couple times and start to then wrap the string around the ball, wrapping tightly, and at the same time keeping the shape of the ball.  Keep wrapping the string around the ball in random places until you have covered the entire ball to your liking. Tie a tight knot to secure.  To hang, cut a piece of string and tie a knot tightly, on each side. Hang and enjoy, or give to a special someone as a spring gift!





Happy Easter and happy making!