Baking Magic – Churro Bites

Churros are a park snacking favourite, but they’re something I’ve only myself come around to in recent years – my favourite being these adorable Mickey shaped treats from Tokyo Disney:

Tokyo Disney churros

So I decided to give them a shot, and I’ll tell you something right now: those perfectly straight churros you get in the park are damn near impossible to make in a little pan, ha! Hence, I’m calling these churro bites, cos they’re a little bit smaller and a little bit more random looking!

Making the dough is pretty easy:

  • Sift 250g plain flour with 1 tsp baking powder
  • Melt 50g butter and pour into a jug of 350ml boiling water. This is gonna look a little weird, don’t worry about it though! Also add a splash of vanilla extract
  • Make a little hole in the middle of your flour mix, and pour in the water/butter mix, then stir quickly into a sticky dough.

Baking Magic Churro Bites

Let this sit for 10-15 minutes while you prepare the oil for frying.

Prepare a tray by covering with greaseproof paper, and sprinkling this with caster sugar and a light layer of cinnamon.

Fill a large saucepan with oil, at least 1 inch deep, but not less than 2 inches from the top of the pan. You may need up to about a litre! Start to heat the oil over a high flame; it’ll take a little while, but you’ll know its ready when lots of little bubbles start appearing.

Add a large star nozzle to a piping bag, and fill with the rested dough. I recommend doing this in batches as the dough is a tad runny so will leak out of the end if too full.

Squeeze strips of dough directly into the oil, and use a pair of scissors to cut it clean from the piping bag. The dough will probably curl up and make fun little shapes, but that’s ok!

Baking Magic Churro Bites

PLEASE BE REALLY CAREFUL HERE. The oil is so hot and will bubble quite violently once the mix is in, so please mind your hands, and keep any children well away while you’re doing this.

The bites will start off at the bottom of the pan and float to the top after a little while. Once they’re brown and crisping up nicely, flip them over using tongs to give them an even fry. Once cooked, lift out using a slotted spoon or tongs, let the excess oil drip off for a second or two then pop onto your tray of sugar. Repeat the cooking in small batches of two of three bites.

Baking Magic Churro Bites

The churros will actually cool pretty quickly, so you can serve them almost immediately, but if not then let them cool completely before storing in an airtight container, and enjoy for days, yay!

What’s your favourite park treat?

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Baking Magic – Mickey Steamed Buns

With looking forward to my trips to Shanghai and Hong Kong Disneylands, it seems a little crazy that its almost been a year since I visited Tokyo!

Tokyo Disneyland was the most unique experience, and I would thoroughly recommend a trip if you get the chance – I’m dying to go back already! – and one of the many unique features of the parks was definitely the food. Forget corn dogs and fries, the cuisine is almost entirely suited to the Japanese culture, and we didn’t have a single bad meal there!

While you may not be in the Western parks, there are a couple of burger options for you, but before you go searching for a cheeseburger, even these have an adorable Japanese twist: steamed buns, and a touch of Disney magic! Today, I’m re-creating the most internet famous of these..


These buns are available at Tomorrowland Terrace in Tokyo Disneyland park, but other variations include a Donald equivalent in Toon Town, and a seashell bun in Calypso Kitchen in Tokyo DisneySea, and now I’m so excited that I can make my own!

Being totally clueless on where to even start, I stuck pretty close to the steamed bao bun recipe on BBC Good Food:

  • Mix 525g plain flour with 1 1/2 tbsp caster sugar and 1/2 tsp salt in a large bowl
  • Dissolve 1 tsp fast-action dried yeast and a pinch of salt in 1 tbsp warm water, then add to the dry mix with 50 ml milk, 200 ml water, 1 tbsp sunflower (I used olive) oil and 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar and mix into a dough, using either your hands or a dough hook attachment on a food mixer < so much easier than your hands! Knead for 10-15 minutes
  • Put the dough into a lightly oiled dough and cover with a damp cloth, then leave for 2 hours to rise. It should double in size, but don’t worry too much if it doesn’t!
  • Tip it out onto a floured work surface and flatten it out, then sprinkle 1 tsp baking powder over it and knead for 5 minutes.

This is where I deviated a little from the method of the recipe.

  • Roll out the dough until its about 1cm thick. I found this easier by cutting the dough in half and doing one half at a time!

Mickey steamed buns

  • Using a big flower shaped cutter, preferably a five petal design, cut out shapes from the dough. Using your hands, stretch these out slightly, dab with a bit of oil and fold them over a chopstick so that three of the petals are on top (see that Mickey hand shape?) and repeat with all the dough.
  • Cover the buns with a clean tea towel or oiled cling film, then leave somewhere warm to prove for 1 hr 30 mins.
  • The buns should double in size, but again, don’t worry about this too much – mine didn’t!

Mickey steamed buns

  • Before cooking, use black food colouring and a paintbrush or toothpick to add Mickey’s glove markings!
  • Cook the buns in a steamer for 8 minutes, then unfold, fill and close back up!

Mickey Steamed Buns

The buns are best served still warm, but still delicious once cooled! I personally recommend filling with pulled pork or teryaki chicken!

Love the look of these? Have a look at my favourite crazy Tokyo foods!

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Friday Favourite Five – Disneyland Paris Restaurants

Today I’m sharing five of my favourite places to eat in Disneyland Paris! There’s a mixture of table and counter service, all of which serve some incredibly delicious food, because what is a Disney trip without way too much food?

Bistrot Chez Remy

1. Blue Lagoon

I love everything about Blue Lagoon: the setting, the food, the ambience.. Pirates of the Caribbean is always one of my favourite rides and I love that Disneyland Paris has a restaurant inside it like there is in Disneyland California, and the food is SO GOOD!

2. Bistrot Chez Remy

This is the absolute cutest restaurant ever. It really feels like you’ve been transported into Ratatouille, with every detail of the decor being so well thought out!

3. Walt’s

There is so much to love about Walt’s. Firstly, you’re on Main Street USA and if you’re sat by a window you can watch the world go by below you, and even catch the parades if you time it right! I also adore the decor; each room is themed to a different land of the park, but in such a classic way that its not glaringly obvious, but the little details really make it! Oh, and the food is to die for!

4. Earl of Sandwich

Ok, so this is in Disney Village and isn’t specifically a Disney restaurant, but OH SO GOOD

5. Hakuna Matata

We all love chicken nuggets, right? For a counter service restaurant, its a great size and there’s always seating available, and I love that there are healthy options available – even if I don’t always choose them!

Where are your favourite places to eat in Disneyland Paris?

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Baking Magic – The Grey Stuff

If you’re in the know on Walt Disney World secrets, you’ll know that if you dine at Be Our Guest, you can order the infamous Grey Stuff from the song itself.

Photo courtesy of Amy from http://www.paintpotted.co.uk

You also might know that there’s already a whole bunch of copycat recipes for it on the internet, but if, like me, you’ve read them all, you’ll notice that a) they’re pretty much all exactly the same and b) they all involve ‘instant vanilla pudding mix’ which is prevalent in the US, but something that we don’t really have here in the UK, so this is where this recipe has come from today; a UK friendly, real ingredient version!

The Grey Stuff Recipe

1. Melt 175g white chocolate in a bowl over hot water, or in the microwave. While its melting, crush up 4-5 oreo cookies into a fine powdery crumb, then stir half of this into the melted chocolate. Pour this into a glass bowl and set aside.

The Grey Stuff Recipe

2. In another glass bowl, whisk 2 egg whites until they’re stiff, and fold this into the chocolate mix with a teaspoon of vanilla extract. Be fairly gentle so as not to beat out all the air!

The Grey Stuff Recipe

3. Whisk 225ml double or whipping cream until fluffy and firm, then fold this into the mix and add the remaining oreo crumbs in. Looking pretty grey-t, right? (I’m hilarious)

The Grey Stuff Recipe

4. Put the mix into the fridge for about an hour to set, then scoop into a piping bag with a wide star nozzle, and pipe out onto your serving plates. Once you’re happy, get the plates back into the fridge until you’re ready to serve.

The Grey Stuff Recipe

Try it, it’s delicious!

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Baking Magic – Mac and Cheese Bread Cones

THIS IS THE MOST EXCITING BAKING MAGIC POST FOR ME

Bacon Mac and Cheese Cone

If you’re not lucky enough to have tasted the glory that is a bacon mac and cheese bread cone from Disneyland’s Cozy Cone Motel, then you’re in for a real treat today. If you have, then I bring you the amazing news that you can make them at home!

Ready?

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Ok, for the cones you’re gonna need the ready-roll croissant dough that you can get from most supermarkets (one roll will make 4-5 cones), and a load of tin foil. Roll out the dough onto greaseproof paper, and using a knife or pizza cutter, cut it into strips. Pre-heat your oven to 180C

Scrunch up your foil into a cone shape, then wrap it in another layer of foil to give a smooth outer finish, then spray it with cooking oil. Take your first strip of dough, and working from the bottom of the cone, start to wrap it round and round, with a slight overlap with each layer, and keep adding strips until you’re happy with the size.

Grease a baking tray, and pop the cones on their side on the tray. Bake for 5 minutes, then turn the cone and bake for another five. Once nice and golden brown, place the cones onto a cooling rack and let them cool before removing the foil support from the middle.

Croissant cones

Ta-dah! You can make these a day in advance and keep them in a sealed container.

If you have a favourite mac and cheese recipe, whip up a batch, load your cone and sprinkle with some bacon chunks, and you’re all done! If not, here’s my favourite:

  • Cook 400g macaroni normally and drain.
  • Melt 50g butter in a saucepan, and gradually add in 50g flour until a thick paste forms.
  • Whisk in 250ml milk and be sure to beat out any lumps, then add 250g grated cheddar/mozzarella – if you’re gonna use mozzarella, mix it with cheddar otherwise its gonna be crazy stringy – and let it melt in.
  • Stir in 50g cream cheese and a pinch of salt and pepper, then add your drained pasta to your cheesy concoction.

Let your mac and cheese cool a little before loading up your cone, then top with bacon bits and devour in the sunshine!

Bacon Mac and Cheese cone

Have you visited the Cozy Cone?

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Baking Magic – Hunny Pot Candy Apples

I am always amazed with the candy apples you can buy in the Disney parks, and I love watching the cast members making them, so when I tried my hand at them at the beginning with last year with my Candy Poison Apples, I was so happy to find how easy they were, and decided to bring them back in this new series!

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Ok, so you’re gonna need: 12-15 medium sized green apples, 5 cups caster sugar, 1 cup water, white and yellow food colouring (optional), 300g milk chocolate and orange coloured chocolate or candy melts.

Equipment wise, you’ll need a candy thermometer, a saucepan and lollipop sticks

1. Mix together the sugar and water in a saucepan, and start to heat. Pop in the candy thermometer and let it bubble away – it’s got to reach 150C before its ready.

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2. While your sugar mix is cooking away, clean and de-stem the apples and push the lollipop sticks into the tops so they’re firmly in place.

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3. When you’re sugar is close to temperature, add the white food colouring to make the mix more opaque, then add yellow to give it a golden honey colour.

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4. Once it hits 150C, turn off the heat and remove the thermometer. Working quickly but carefully – this mix is HOT, please keep children away – dip the apples into the liquid sugar and swirl around to give it a good coating, then place them onto greaseproof paper. Its going to set hard pretty quickly, so if you’ve still got sugar left over once you’ve coated all your apples, pour it out into a little puddle on greaseproof paper and get your saucepan soaking in hot water to save yourself a tough cleaning job!

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5. Melt down the milk chocolate, then you can either dunk the apples or spoon the chocolate over them, and give them a little shake to get off the excess, then pop them in the fridge for a little while.

6. Once the chocolate has set, take them out of the fridge – otherwise the candy gets super sticky – and melt down the orange chocolate/candy melts. Pour this into a piping bag and get misspelling the word honey – otherwise Pooh might not know what it is!

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What’s your favourite candy apple design?

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Baking Magic – Butterfinger Cupcakes

I’m just gonna prefix this post by saying that this is definitely more of a lazy person’s guide to the butterfinger cupcake due to the fact that my kitchen currently has a giant hole in the ceiling, so I’ve had to make do with the ingredients and space that I had!

Disney park cupcakes are the best, right? Apart from the fact that they’re often too big to finish in one go, YES. Today I’m taking on a Disney World classic, the Butterfinger cupcake.

Now Butterfingers are an American candy bar, and although you can get them in some UK retailers, I’ve made these as totally butterfinger-free butterfinger cupcakes. I feel like I’m totally cheating today, but I’m gonna pretend that I’m just making this recipe accessible for novice bakers.. BUT LOOK AT THEM YUM

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Right, here we go!

1. Start off with a batch of your favourite chocolate cupcake recipe, and to get a proper WDW experience, fill the cases a little more than you normally would! If you don’t have one, cream 125g butter and 125g caster sugar, add a dash of vanilla extract and 2 eggs, then mix in 20g cocoa powder and 105g self-raising flour and bake at 190C for 15-17 minutes. Ta-dah!

2. Once cooled, take a sharp knife and cut a hole into the centre of the cake, like a classic butterfly cake, and pop this to one side for the time being. It doesn’t matter if they get mixed up and you can’t remember which centre belongs to which cake.

3. (Cheat 1, coming your way). Well now you’ve got a hole in the middle of your cupcake that needs filling, so find either your favourite chocolate and peanut butter spread, or just a regular chocolate spread or frosting, and fill that hole all the way up. I recommend spread or frosting for this because its a little gooier than buttercream!

4. Those little cake centres, sit those back onto the cakes on top of the pool of chocolatey goodness to make a little peak.

5. Now grab some vanilla buttercream, or make some using a 2:1 icing sugar to butter ratio and a splash of vanilla extract. To replicate WDW buttercream, thicken it up with a bit more icing sugar – this will help it hold better when we load it onto the cake in a minute. Pop it into the fridge for a minute while we get a few more things ready.

6. Has anyone else noticed that basically every recipe I share involves crushing something at some point? Yep, we’re doing it again.. If you’re one of my American readers, grab yourself a butterfinger and crush it up nicely. UK friends, find yourself a peanut butter KitKat and a few cookies and stick them in a food processor to crumb them down nicely.

7. Grab your buttercream from the fridge, and using a knife or metal spatula, pile it onto your cupcake, then smooth it around the little peak you created earlier. Now grab your cupcake by its case and roll the buttercream mountain around in those crumbs until you get a nice covering.

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Is anyone else drooling?

Headed to the parks? You can get the original Butterfinger Cupcake from Starring Roles Cafe in Hollywood Studios!

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