Monthly Archives: March 2010

Macaron Mastering

Whoops, it’s been a while since my last post :( Well it hasn’t helped that I’ve been staying at work late (like right now… its almost 12AM). Although I do happen to be baking for a good few hours each time I stay late. Over the weekend and again today I attempted to perfect my baguettes. I also had a little time to sneak in my favorites — macarons!

Interesting thought though: the other day I was chatting with a friend who asked me why I was so obsessed with them. He said that he’s had them and didn’t find them to be all that interesting. And you know what? I agree. Macarons aren’t that interesting… to EAT. I find them to always be too sweet, no matter how much I trim the sugar content by. And they are so expensive. If I didn’t have this obsession with making them, I don’t think I would ever buy macarons in my life. Ha, though I am guilty of over-charging for them myself :(

Anyway, the point is I’m not obsessed with eating macarons, I’m simply obsessed about making macarons. I’m not sure if I can put this clearly into words but I guess it’s striving to achieve something that many others cannot. I mean this could apply to a lot of things in life, to a lot of people. That’s like saying not everyone can be a doctor (true story), but I think the fact that it’s something so small, something so trivial , that’s why it’s attracting to me. And not everyone has the patience for this. How many failed batches of macarons have I made so far? A lot. But how many batches of good ones have I made? Quite a few, too. Maybe I feel like this because normally I don’t have the patience for this kind of crap. That by now, I’d be so far from the line that the line would be a dot to me!

Or maybe it’s just me trying to control something that under normal circumstances is so diffuclt to control. Gee, I wonder what that’s like, not being able to control something you want. I’m pretty sure it’s something we call life.

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PB&J Macarons

I have outdone myself! :D

I had a few hours to kill before picking up Jon at the airport so I decided I would bake him macarons. He’s never had mine before so I had a hard time picking which ones to make… Raspberry with Mascapone cheese filling? My favorite Black Sesame ones? Or be ambitious and try mixing my nuts for the first time and make Peanut Macarons?

I thought Peanut Macarons sound a little funny and even a bit funky, but I found them on Tartelette’s website and let’s face it, I love a challenge. So there I was, grinding peanuts and almonds together in my food processor. About 95 minutes later, I was staring wide-eyed at these beautiful things:

The flavor is a-mazing. I’m not a HUGE fan of peanuts, but the blend here of peanuts and almonds and sugar is perfect. It’s not overwelming but the peanut taste is definitely there. And look at those feet! I was careful this time to bake them just the right amount of time (14 minutes for me) so I wouldn’t lose them. I’m so glad I had that sweet epiphany (see last post).

Now, to my problem. I didn’t know what to fill them with! Of course peanut butter and jelly came to mind, but here I am two days later wondering if I liked the combo. It was good in the way that PB&J sandwiches are good, you know? Comforting and familiar. But was it I-took-a-bite-and-it-changed-my-world good? I’m not sure…

I considered salted caramel, but let’s be honest, I’m too lazy for that. Jon suggested something to do with bananas, which I thought was a good idea, until I considered any realistic options. What goes well with Peanuts? Perhaps you can tell me.

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Green Tea Macarons

Baking soothes me. So does writing in this blog.

Yesterday I was ambitious and made FOUR batches of macarons at once. The only part that failed was when I added the green tea powder (I forgot to multiply by four :( ) and while baking. At least I had a really sweet epiphany, and that’s the reason these darn things are collapsing. Of course it correlates with baking time. Seems so obvious (you probably knew!) I don’t know why I was so puzzled. Clearly they are underbaked, that’s why they collapse. If it wasn’t still wet inside the cookie, instead dry, then clearly it wouldn’t collapse. Just wouldn’t be possible! It hit me on the side of the head right after I took them (all FOUR BATCHES) out of the oven, and boom, there they’re feet went. All of them. Goodness, they were so beautiful in the oven too :(

Oh well. Another sweet epiphany I had was the use of cream of tartar was not helping me. In the last couple of batches I’ve been adding a pinch of cream of tartar to my egg whites because it’s supposed to help them be less fickle. Since I’ve been having such a hard time lately making decent macarons, I decided to go sans-tartar and although I’m not completely sure the problem was the tartar to begin with, the cookies are better today than they were last week.

Since I am quite math-challenged and forgot to multiply my green tea powder by four, the cookies didn’t turn out green at all. Quite sad because they are quite ugly :(

Yucky color

And tip: don’t use even slightly salted butter for buttercream. I thought it would help balance out the sweetness (I was trying to be resourceful!) but god, it was awful. I chucked the whole thing. You’re better off adding a little bit of your own salt and even some lemon juice.

Green Tea with mango buttercream

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