I’m Turning Into A Hipster

Salted Caramel Ganache

See this lovely piece of dessert up here? That’s a salted caramel ganache from the bakery on the Disney Boardwalk. It was actually my breakfast, but don’t tell my mother. She thinks I’m making smart meal decisions in college.

Not only does this signify a drastic change in my eating habits now that I’ve begun life on my own, it signifies something else, something slightly more serious.

I’m turning into a hipster.

I do not own this photo!

The past several days, immersed in Disney culture, searching out local spots and popular food destinations, I have begun to photograph a ridiculous amount of things, food especially. This might be acceptable with a good, quality piece of camera equipment, but all I have is my cell phone. I’d like to say it’s because I think cameras are too mainstream, but it’s really because I’m broke and can’t afford anything nice. That hasn’t stopped me from posting madly on Instagram, however, and those that follow me probably are sick to death of my crazy Disney/food posts. But I just can’t seem to help it–I have to share!

Anyway, let’s take a quick dash back to the ganache up there. Isn’t it gorgeous? Look at the fantastic bit of gold on that chocolate square. It’s an edible advertisement! How neat is that?

Edible Advertising: DIsney Style

The Boardwalk Bakery, which is where this delectable piece of artwork is from, is located on the Disney Boardwalk and is the cutest little place. Everything on the Boardwalk is fantastic, especially at night when the place lights up like the Fourth of July. It’s worth checking out, and best of all, it’s free!

I’ve made it my mission to figure out all the free Disney magic in the area that doesn’t require purchasing a park ticket, because I can’t afford a ticket like that on my budget. If anyone knows of fun, free things to do, please let me know! In the meanwhile I’ll make it my duty as a new local to get to know all the places I can go without paying maximum price for the magic. The Boardwalk was a great place to start.

Disney's Boardwalk

I have also made a pact with my roommate to eat at every Downtown Disney restaurant throughout the course of our studies, something I’ll keep everyone updated on as well! There’s nothing quite as fun as a Disney food adventure. Our first stop will be Raglan Road, the Irish pub on the West side of Downtown Disney. Partially we’re just suckers for the performers with Irish accents, but I’m sure the food is delicious. (Everything is better while being serenaded by Irish men.)

And so I sign off with a quote from Disney Pixar’s UP: “Adventure is out there!”

 

* Disclaimer: I do not own the Hipster Mickey photo above, I found it on google. But it is ridiculously cute, is it not? If anyone knows who I can credit for the artwork, please let me know!

Kevin’s Ultimate Dessert

If there is one Disney character I can identify with, it’s Kevin from Disney Pixar’s UP. Balloons and chocolate are two of my favorite things. Putting the two together? I couldn’t resist. And Kevin… well, Kevin would hardly be able to contain herself. (I very nearly said himself, before hearing in my head that cute voice, “Kevin’s a girl!?”)

image from disneyandmore.blogspot.com

These chocolate bowls are the quickest, easiest and most adorable desert I’ve found. They’re great when there is little time to make a great impression. Plus, you can fill them with fresh berries, ice cream, really almost anything. The sky is the limit! (No pun intended.)

Plus, they travel well. So if you have the mad desire to get in a blimp, or maybe a house lifted by a million balloons, be sure to take these along! I hear Paradise Falls is a great place to travel this time of year.

http://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=paradise+falls+up&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&docid=tkZXLVylrosSRM&tbnid=oqYTxLk516Le-M:&ved=0CAQQjB0&url=http%3A%2F%2Falbanyee.wordpress.com%2F2010%2F01%2F09%2Fparadise-falls%2F&ei=lzoXUcT9D6zFiwKZ-oGgBQ&bvm=bv.42080656,d.cGE&psig=AFQjCNF5bYsduJjvVuLtP2kkjz0tYestwQ&ust=1360563164838594

The process starts with laying out wax paper–enough to hold all of your balloons without allowing them to touch each other.  And while we’re on the topic of balloons–water balloons tend to work best for this recipe. They’re smaller and make better bowl portion sizes. Regular balloons barely blown up work as well, although they tend to make odd shapes. Water balloons usually are easier to work with, just because they make lots of teeny tiny bowls of a relatively uniform shape. Unless you really want a huge chocolate bowl, in which case, go for it and send me a picture of how it turns out. You can never have too much chocolate!

Melt the chocolate in a microwave or double broiler. If using a microwave, melt in 30 second intervals and stir between each. Once the chocolate is melted and smooth, go ahead and dip the balloon right in the middle. Rotate the balloon to get the chocolate to coat the balloon evenly.

Chocolate Dipped Bowls

Set them on the waxed paper, spacing them evenly in between.

Colorful and delicious!

Give the chocolate adequate time to harden, about twenty minutes or so. The process quickens if you have room to accommodate all of the balloons in the refrigerator. If not, just let them harden at room temperature. In the meanwhile, you can contemplate the idea of Carl spending the remainder of his days selling balloons at Disneyland. How cute would that be?

Once the chocolate is solid, use scissors to snip a small hole at the top of the balloon. You want them to deflate gently to keep from destroying the chocolate.

Deflating

The balloon deflating usually leaves the bowls with slightly ragged edges, where the chocolate was thin and delicate. Luckily, there’s a remedy for that! Dip a knife into hot water, dry quickly and use to smooth the bowl edges.

Ragged edges? No problem!

Smooth edges!

See? Easy and cute!

Just don’t be surprised if you start having snipe issues. I hear they like chocolate. And balloons.

Ingredients:

8 water balloons

wax paper

12 oz chocolate chips

Directions:

1. Melt chocolate in a microwave or double broiler. If using a microwave, heat chocolate in 30 second intervals, stirring in between.

2. In the meanwhile, blow up the balloons and lay wax paper out. Once the chocolate is melted, dip balloons about halfway into the chocolate. Rotate for even coverage. Place on wax paper.

3. Let harden completely, 20-40 minutes. To speed process, place in refrigerator.

4. Puncture balloon, releasing air gently. Discard the balloon.

5. Smooth bowl edges if desired. Fill with your choice of desert items, serve and enjoy!

*If you need to travel with these, stack them with a layer of paper towel in between each bowl and store in a cool, dry container.

Old Key West Resort Key Lime Pie

When the snow and wind start to feel a little interminable and winter begins to drag itself out after the holiday season, sometimes the best pick-me-up is reminiscent of beautiful summer days at the beach. Sand between your toes, sun high overhead, drink in hand. Doesn’t it sound lovely?

So, what could possibly make these cold, wintery days a little brighter?

In this case, a little slice of heaven. Otherwise known as a classic slice of key lime pie. This recipe comes from Olivia’s Café at Disney’s Old Key West Resort. It’s incredibly easy and has very few ingredients.

What is there to lose? You’re only four ingredients away from a taste of Florida!

IMG_6977

Gently whisk together five egg yolks, enough to combine them without letting them foam. Blend in a can of condensed milk and 2/3 cup of Key lime juice. The filling is done! Easy as pie. (Pardon the pun.)

IMG_6972Pour over a graham cracker pie crust. The recipe calls for a pre-made crust, but I prefer to make mine by hand. It’s incredibly easy–blend in a food processor about ten graham crackers with 1/2 cup of melted butter and press into a 9-inch pie pan.

IMG_6974

Bake for 12-15 minutes or until set. Cool to room temperature, then chill, covered, until very cold. Serve chilled, cut into wedges.

Ingredients:

5 large egg yolks

1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk

2/3 cup Key lime juice

1 prepared 9-inch graham cracker pie crust

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.

2. Gently whisk the yolks together in a bowl, do not let them foam. Stirring constantly, slowly blend in the sweetened condensed milk and the Key lime juice.

3. Pour mixture into piecrust and bake for 12-15 minutes or until set.

4. Remove pie from oven and cool to room temperature on a wire rack. Chill, covered, until very cold.

5. Serve chilled, cut into wedges. Enjoy!

Big Mama’s Forest Cupcakes

Autumn is the perfect time for rich, thick cream-cheese frosting and red velvet cupcakes, don’t you think? And with fall-themed cupcake liners, I’m sure Big Mama would agree that there is hardly a better treat out there to chase away the chill! Big Mama is, of course, the motherly owl from Fox and the Hound, and she was my inspiration for these Red Velvet Forest Cupcakes.

I found my red velvet recipe from allrecipes.com, and up to date is the best recipe I’ve found so far. Believe me, I’ve gone through my share of red velvet cupcake recipes! None are perfect, but this one is close. The link to the original recipe is here: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/red-velvet-cupcakes/detail.aspx?event8=1&prop24=SR_Title&e11=red%20velvet%20cupcakes&e8=Quick%20Search&event10=1&e7=Home%20Page.

Once these beauties come out of the oven, let them cool completely before frosting to keep the heat from melting cream cheese all over the top. Speaking of frosting, it can conveniently be whipped up while these cupcakes cool.

Just combine cream cheese (best if at room temperature), butter, vanilla and powdered sugar. Quick and easy!

Of course, the fun part is the actual frosting of the cupcakes. And as if the leaf-patterned cupcake liners weren’t adorable enough, gold edible sprinkles finish off the magical effect! You can find edible sprinkles or ‘disco dust’ like these at specialty food stores.

For an extra-special touch, melt some chocolate and spoon into a plastic bag. Cut off a small tip of the bag and pipe desired designs onto waxed paper. Stick them in the freezer to set them up quickly.

Then stick them right on top for extra pizzaz!

Voila! Cute as can be! And, even better, any leftover melted chocolate can be used for drizzling strawberries or other fruits. Why let perfectly good chocolate go to waste?

Just like…well, magic!

Red Velvet Cupcakes

1/2 cup butter

1 1/2 cups white sugar

2 eggs

1 cup buttermilk

1 fluid ounce red food coloring

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease or line muffin tins (recipe makes about 2 dozen)
  2. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Mix in the eggs, buttermilk, red food coloring and vanilla. Stir in the baking soda and vinegar. Combine the flour, cocoa powder and salt; stir into the batter just until blended. Spoon the batter into the prepared cups.
  3. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until tops spring back lightly when pressed. Cool cupcakes on wire rack.

* Oil can be substituted for butter for a more moist cupcake if desired.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

1/2 cup butter, softened

8 oz cream cheese

4 cups confectioners’ sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Beat softened butter and cream cheese until well blended.
  2. Add powdered sugar and vanilla, beat until combined well.