Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year everyone!

Santa (my boyfriend) bought me a KitchenAid (the one with the glass bowl in medallion silver) and my brother and his girlfriend bought me Adriano Zumbo's cookbook "Zumbo"... I have no excuses now but to update this blog!


Saturday, July 9, 2011

Rose/Turkish Delight

Presenting Rose/Turkish Delight flavour!

Very simple to make, but surprisingly flavoursome.

Plain flavoured shells, coloured with pink food colouring... filled with quick almond butter cream with rosewater added to taste. Be careful not to over do it with the rosewater or your macarons will taste like soap ;)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Here's some I prepared earlier... salted caramel

Must admit that I have not been making macarons lately, but here's some I prepared earlier... before I noticed that I was starting to get fat!

I have now tried making caramel using condensed milk and also the traditional method (pictured below) using sugar, cream and butter. Caramel from scratch wins hands down because as they would say on MasterChef - it has more "structural integrity" when it sets and does not ooze out the sides.

I have seen recipes using unsalted butter, with salt added to taste, or made with salted butter - which I have not tried yet. I am wondering which is better.

Boiling the sugar syrup

Sugar syrup with cream added, after which you fold through the butter.


I think I have decided that salted caramel is my favourite.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Peppermint/Mint

My friend recently requested mint macarons.

I did find mint essence in David Jones, but it was $30 for a small bottle, so I settled for good old Queen's Natural Peppermint Essence at only $1 a bottle.

In the end my "mint" macarons were comprised of plain flavoured macaron shells coloured with green food colouring and peppermint flavoured dark chocolate ganache. As an extra special touch I sprayed the shells prior to baking with a light mist of green food colouring using a (new) toothbrush.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Ginger Kisses xx

I am happy to report that my electric oven bakes consistent macaron shells! So far no cracks or hollow shells and best of all, the shells seem to be evenly cooked across the baking tray. I found with my gas oven that the shells in the centre of the tray were always softer and at times undercooked although the shells on the outside of the tray were beginning to brown.

One of the flavours I made for Oakbank to share with my friends was Ginger.

I used small glacé ginger pieces to decorate the plain flavoured shells.

I filled them with plain buttercream with chopped glacé ginger blended throughout.

Having never baked with ginger I was hesitant about making them too gingery given ginger's strong flavour, so in the end the results were quite mild in flavour. I think in the future I will consider flavouring the shells with ground ginger to give the macaron more of a ginger zing.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Easter!

I am going to the Oakbank races for the first time ever tomorrow... what to wear, what to wear? A crazy hat for one thing as the theme for our group is "Mad Hatter's Tea Party".

There will be cupcakes, but of course I have elected to bring macarons... I will post my creations once finished.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Matcha Macarons with White Chocolate Ganache

I was recently asked to post my recipe for matcha macarons... here it is:

Matcha Macarons with White Chocolate Ganache

Ingredients for the shells:
75 grams icing sugar
63 grams almond meal

3 grams
matcha
48 grams egg white
(I used fresh egg whites on this occasion).
25 grams caster sugar


Ingredients for the white chocolate ganache:
200 grams white chocolate
100 ml pouring cream

15 grams unsalted butter


Method
  1. Prepare your baking tray and piping bag. I line my baking trays with baking paper over a macaron template (this helps me achieve evenly shaped and sized cookies).
  2. Combine the measured amounts of icing sugar, almond meal and matcha and process in a food processor until evenly combined. Sift the mixture into a bowl and discard the remaining granules left over in the sieve.
  3. Beat egg whites until foamy, at which point add the caster sugar. Beat until egg whites are glossy and stiff peaks form.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the beaten egg whites and fold. No need to be gentle, the idea is too deflate the mixture and get it to a point that it is smooth flowing and glossy.
  5. Pipe out small rounds of batter evenly spaced.
  6. Allow your shells to dry. This will depend on the humidity in your area, but about 30 minutes to an hour should do it. Drying your shells reduces the incidence of cracked shells and helps the "feet" form.
  7. Preheat your oven to 150°C. I use an oven thermometer.
  8. Bake macarons for about 14 minutes. You will need to experiment with your oven. When cooked properly, they should easily come off the baking paper once cooled.

To make the ganache:
  1. Melt the chocolate. I like to do this in the microwave.
  2. In a saucepan, bring the cream to boil. I cheat and do this in the microwave too!
  3. Add cream to melted chocolate. Combine and cool a little.
  4. Incorporate butter which has been cut into little pieces. Combine until ganache is smooth.
  5. Once the ganache has set a little you can pipe it into your macaron shells.
Bon appetit :)

Saturday, April 2, 2011

A birthday gathering at The Mac Factory... A review

It was my birthday last weekend, and what better way to celebrate than to stuff myself silly with macarons?

My girlfriends and I checked out Adelaide's latest little patisserie The Mac Factory located on Hutt Street in the CBD. I had high expectations to say the least.

As you can see from the picture, we treated ourselves to a variety of flavours. I tried the fig, orange, vanilla and what I think might have been the pistachio, but the flavour wasn't really there. I took home peanut butter and jelly, salted caramel and vanilla for my boyfriend to try (although I admit, I ate some of them too).


Texture wise, my only criticism is that they were a little chewy. I think I prefer my macaron to be a little more delicate. I was very relieved though that they were not crunchy or hollow and that there was a large variety of flavours. They're serious about their macaron making there.

The Mac Factory gets 8 out of 10 macarons. I think they were pretty good and so far served up the best macaron I have tasted in Adelaide. So go there if you are in desperate need of a good macaron... but whatever you do, don't go there if you are suffering from caffeine withdrawal - the only coffee that one can have with their macaron(s) if eating in is a drip coffee!?! Hopefully an expresso machine is coming soon! If not... if you are reading this The Mac Factory... get an expresso machine!!!

Monday, March 14, 2011

...but I'm still eating! Review of a macaron from Providore in the Adelaide Central Market

On Friday my boyfriend and I were much too hungry to even contemplate the drive home from the CBD and then the time it would take for dinner to cook, so we ate out.

For those in Adelaide I can recommend a little restaurant in our little India precinct (did you even know we had one?) located on Market Street in the city, called Maya Masala Indian Restaurant & Take-Away. The menu has a large selection of South Indian dishes, one of which we ordered - the Uttapam. It was a rice flour pancake topped with onion, tomatoes & coriander, served with three sauces. Very tasty.

After dinner we visited the the Adelaide Central Market, because
of course if you are in its vicinity and it's open - you go there!

Being quite full from dinner we were not compelled to buy tonnes of delicious food... we were just walking out when we happened to walk past Providore:

and my boyfriend yelled out "Macarons"!

So of course I bought one, a chocolate flavoured one:


and I ate it:


It looked great and the texture was great (although maybe ever so slightly chewy), but it lacked the chocolate flavour. This may be because a butter cream was used to fill it rather than a rich chocolate ganache. On this particular occasion I liken the filling to that of the filling in a TimTam (but sadly not as good).

Rated: 7 macarons out of 10... A fair representation of what a macaron should look like and feel like in the mouth, however the flavour did not pack a punch - the price did instead at $3.80 a pop!


* Image of Providore from www.adelaidecentralmarket.com.au

Not much baking going on...

Thanks to Girl in Oslo for making my blog and I her "Featured Blogger of the Week" ... although I have not been much of a blogger lately!

With the unpacking that came with the house move and the sprucing up of my old place to get it ready for renting out, there has not been much time left for baking macarons.

I promise though, I will post more of my imperfect macaron creations soon as my boyfriend's birthday is coming up and there will be plenty of guests to feed. I ask you all keep your fingers crossed that my new oven is good to me. I baked fries the other night and even that made me nervous!