Day 3- Macarons not macaroons.

Sorry for the late post. Been so busy lately.

Alot of people, let’s say 90%, okay that is too mean.. Uhm, 50% of the people i know misspell macaron.

What is the difference between macaron and macaroon?

Well, macaron is a French recipe. Have you seen Marie Antoinette? Well, she had those everyday. French people go crazy with their snacks or desserts. Macaron is made of egg whites, granulated sugar, ground almonds, and powder/icing sugar. Its pretty much like meringues but with almond and tons of sugar. Its a no-no, i repeat NO desserts for a diabetic person. Your blood sugar would be crazy high and you’ll blame me for this. Its okay, I can take the blame. Macaron is pronounced as macaroni without the I.

A macaroon on the other hand, is made of eggs, coconut, and sugar. I used to remember my grandma would make this for us and if I want to, I can finish half of the box. Maybe i should try making macaroons.

Well, today my mom ordered macarons and she wants hazelnuts. So i did my research today like I always do and there was a recipe of hazelnut macarons. Instead of using ground almonds, use ground hazelnuts. Speaking of hazelnuts, I don’t know if you can get ground hazelnuts but if not here is the golden rule if using whole filberts/hazelnuts. Hazelnuts are @#$%ing expensive. Okay, no swearing. Hazelnuts are way too expensive. If buying bulk, it would save you a little bit of cents. I got a big bag of hazelnuts for 14.83 and it was 350 grams at Bulk Barn and i was crying on the way home. It could break the bank if you’re into hazelnuts.

Golden rule: (I bet you know this already, but if not, keep reading!)

To remove the skin, bake hazelnuts in 350 F for 10 minutes. Some say 15 minutes, but that would burn the whole thing. And you’re going to bawl if you did this. After baking, place hazelnuts on paper towel or kitchen towel, then rub off the skins while hot. It’ll be messy, but it’s so worth it.

Then its ready to go.

So here i am waiting for these bad boys to bake so i can go to bed. But i doubt that is going to happen. Mmmm. I can smell the sugar already.

Here’s the recipe for the hazelnut macaron. Oh and if having problems and want to do more research, i will be posting the sites that can help you make these treats.

*Use a scale. I recommend grams for measuring ingredients.*

Hazelnut Macaron

90 grams of egg whites, aged 3-5 days, or in room temperature (3 large eggs)

110 grams of ground almonds

25 grams to 50 grams granulated sugar

200 grams powdered sugar

1/4 cup ground hazelnuts plus 1 tablespoon chopped hazelnuts for toppings.

About the eggs, its really up to you if you want to age it. If you do, prep the eggs in 48 hours in advance. Leave at room temperature, uncovered or loosely covered with a towel atleast 24 hours. Refrigerate after if you want. I did the aging part. Not aging would give you slightly runny batter.

1. Place the powdered sugar, 1/4 cup hazelnuts and almonds in a food processor and give them a good pulse until the nuts are finely ground. (I skipped this part. What i did was combine the powdered sugar and almonds in a bowl and mix it till its together. LOL) Sift a couple of time to remove bits and pieces. Regrind if necessary. Once your nuts and sugar are mixed together, rub them in between your finger tips to break the bigger pieces.

I skipped the first part. It turned out okay.

2. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites to a foam, gradually add the granulated sugar until you obtain a glossy meringue. As what Bakerella imagined, think of shaving cream. Its funny how I asked my mother in law what a shaving cream looked like. Do not overbeat your meringue or it will be too dry. To make sure you’re egg whites mixture is ready, is when you tip it upside down and didn’t fall, its good to go.

3. Once your egg whites got that glossy look and there is a soft peak, you can add color. I use color gel. Most people use powder but its not available for public. Its more for private companies like chemical, pharmaceutical companies. Before it gets that shaving cream texture, add the color then whisked it again till you get peaks.

4. Add 1/3 cup of the almond, hazelnut and powdered sugar to the meringue, give it a quick fold to break some of the air. Then add another 1/3 cup of the powdered sugar, fold, last cup then fold the mass carefully until you obtain a batter that falls back on itself after counting to 10. Give quick strokes at first to break the mass and slow down. The whole process should not take more than 50 strokes.

Overbeating makes it too dry. Underbeating makes the batter runny. More like a pancake mixture.

5. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip (Ateco #807 or Wilton 1A, if you want something cute use Wilton tip #4) with the batter and pipe small rounds (1.5 inches) onto parchment paper lined baking sheets. Let the macarons sit out for 30 minutes to an hour to harden their shells a bit. Once the shells, hardens up a bit, sprinkle the shells with chopped hazelnuts.

6. Preheat the oven to 300F, when ready, bake macarons for 15 minutes, depending on their size. Let cool.

 

If using convection oven, preheat oven to 280 F. Gas or electric is 300 F.

Fillings:

Nutella.

They make cute little bite sized sandwiches.

Picture from http://www.patisserienewyork.com.au/shopping/products.php?Cat=Macarons

I’ll post some of mine tomorrow. Time for bed.

Sites you can visit to do your macaron research:

http://www.bakerella.com/tartelette-these-are-for-you/ – Bakerella’s site for macarons

http://bravetart.com/recipes/Macarons – Bravetart. Her egg whites are not aged.

Have a good night. Ferrero Rocher cupcakes coming soon.

Day 2-Cake Lessons…

I didn’t take any formal baking lessons. I was going to but I ended up being lazy. So I watched food network and bought cake mix instead. Then I was like, cake mix is too common. Even the bakeries nowadays uses cake mix. Yuck. (the one at garneau, whimsical something.. her cupcakes are bleh. its too dry and it was a cake mix. and its 3.75 per piece. rippo!)

Then after telling myself that i should’ve just went to Baking at NAIT, i got my eggo preggo. After the baby, I was on maternity leave for a year. Bored..indeed. But that’s okay. I have a daughter to play with. Her laugh is quite addicting. Then the wedding part. My husband and i discovered a store called Bulk Barn.. If you love candies, this is the store for you. So cheap you can grab more for less. Bulk Barn was offering cake decorating classes. I gave it a thought and was watching Cake Boss so I told my hubby that i wanted to take cake decorating classes because i really wanted to do this since i started looking and reading my mom’s cake book.

I went there and paid for it. Got my kit and ready to get going. Learned how to make butter icing. Butter icing is just vegetable shortening and butter flavor. Buttercream icing is all butter but i add vegetable shortening to improve the flavor and less powder sugar so its not that sweet. Made Wilton roses with icing, regular rose, pompom flowers, shaggy mums that looked like hair that hasnt been washed since last year. Piped stars, wrote greeting, piped shell borders, zigzag lines, straight lines, etc.

Now, I do the Gumpaste and Fondant course. So fun. I will be taking the next course which is the Flowers and Design then the Advanced Gumpaste Flowers. Then the tall cakes. Then I’m ready to make beautiful cakes. Hopefully more customers.

I had a request from a friend to post a recipe. So check it out.

My beautiful cake from the wedding.

Our wedding cake

Baby blue fondant with swiss dots and silver ribbon and a brooch. First 2 layers was Lemon Chiffon. The bottom was Red Velvet.. So goooood.

Cake by The Art of Cake. http://www.theartofcake.ca

Photo by Twyla. http://www.admirestudios.com

Day 1-The Very Beginning…

I started baking cookies as soon as we immigrate here in the coldest region of Canada.. Well, not actually the coldest part but we only get 11 months of cold weather and 1 month of hot and dry weather. (according to my dad) Before though, my mom buys this pillsbury (sp?) puffs with honey/syrup topping and i would bake it on the toaster oven. Sorry, Nay, those things sucks. The syrup will burn your tongue cause its too sweet. Alot sweeter than that orange drink they give you when you’re preggy to test if you have diabetes.

Then, I discovered a website called kraftcanada.com where i found cheesecakes. And of course, these cheesecakes are either bake or no bake. I remembered my mom telling me “ah, hindi binebake ang cheesecake. Saan mo nakuha to?” (Translation: You don’t bake cheesecake. Where did you get this?) So instead of baking cheesecake, i had to improvise on the baking part. It wasn’t baked so it tasted whatever. Best cheesecakes are baked.

My favorite baking show was Sugar by Anna Olson. Oh, I loved Anna and her crazy recipes. I started baking cookies for friends. Chocolate chip cookies. Recipe courtesy of Christine Cushing. She’s my other fave chef. Classmates/friends love it. And especially my brothers. I made brownies before that my uncle thought it was from a brownie mix. It was from my mom’s magazine. I don’t know where it is now but those brownies were good. My brother loves the cookies and cream. My mom wants something with nuts.

I baked alot of stuff. I can’t even remember anything else i made with my own hands. Baking.. believe it or not.. uhmm… it gives me orgas–

Yes, baking makes me hyper. I don’t know if this is crazy or not, but everytime I am sad, i make the best cookies ever. When I am happy, i burn them.

I made rice cake (puto) before way back in 2008. Since my psycho ex boyfriend kept texting me, i forgot to add sugar. So it was tasteless. I blamed it on him and i broke up with him on Christmas Eve. Crazy eh?

So that’s Day 1. Well its more like 7 years. But its Day 1 for me. That’s when i started baking crap. Haha. I’ll post pictures next time.

And I’ll post the Ferrero Rocher cupcakes later after work and dishes. See you later!

Leona

The Adventure Begins…

Hello there!

How are you? I am tired. Well, I made this blog because I want to share my adventures/experiences when it comes to baking. I take pictures of what i bake and post it on facebook but nobody cares. They would rather like it or i get criticisms which i really don’t like. I liked baking ever since I started reading. When I was 7, I always flip the pages of my mom’s baking/icing book. How to make doll cake, basket cake or any type of cake, and i daydream about it.

I always wanted to become a pastry chef and own a bakery one day. But, coming from a traditional family that didn’t happen. I had to take either a Bachelor’s degree or an Associate. So, I wasted my money for a Medical Administrative Assistant, finished in 2009, didn’t get any job so here I am posting a blog about baking. If only they listened, i could’ve had my own bakery by now and making cakes for a living and actually enjoying it.

Now, I am taking Wilton’s classes and I LOVED it. I get to meet other people who likes to bake as well and actually have an adult conversation. I struggle making a carnation and a rose cause my bases kept breaking. So fragile. I really didn’t like calla lily but now I love it cause its so easy to make. Yes, I take the Gumpaste and Fondant classes because fondant are so in. All i could talk about now is cake.

I’d like to try cake pops soon. Well, when i get orders. Hopefully, this blog would bring in more customers. And give me a chance to make your cake for your special day. I am not asking much but give me a chance to do it.

Have fun reading and I’ll see you soon.

I welcome tips and such but please don’t give harsh comments. Thanks.