Father’s Day
June 19, 2010

It’s Father’s Day weekend here in Singapore and what’s a celebration without cake. What with the lack of temporary employment, the funds are low but time is in abundance. It has been some time since I last made something chocolatey and my father does have the impression that a good cake must be a chocolate cake. So out came the Complete Book of Chocolate and 200 Chocolate Recipes.

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Opéra
April 28, 2010

April has not been a good month and I am pretty glad it is ending. One post? That’s it? What with all the thesis submitting, problem sets, tests and presentations, I’m pretty happy that I managed this one post.

So, April is my dad’s birthday month. It’s a weird family thing. Our birthdays fall in separate months, one after the other. So we’ll have birthday cakes from December to April and no cake for the rest of the year! Yeaaah… (more…)

My Flat Footed Oreo Macarons
February 28, 2010

Leaning Tower of Oreos

After craving for Oreo McFlurry for the past week, I was itching to try making these Oreo macarons by tweaking the previously successful macaron recipe. So I just added two heaping tablespoons of finely crushed Oreo cookies (sieved) to the dry ingredients and crossed my fingers.

Everything was fine. The feet were developing nicely, though the macarons were a tad to close to each other. After the 5th minute, it all went downhill. The feet started to merge! After taking them out of the oven, I realised that the smooth outer shell were to soft and thin. They tasted quite good though with the dark chocolate ganache but I would really like a stronger oreo taste the next time.

I think the problem with this recipe was that the additional dry ingredients made it harder to determine when to stop folding the batter. My batter was probably over-beaten.

So, yep, the macaron mania is still going strong but I think they’ll be a cake coming along in the near future and of course, the matcha macarons. Till then..

Macarons..Attempt Deux
February 19, 2010

Today should have been a day spent revising for my midterms next week. Instead, I spent it on my second attempt. The urge to perfect this little dessert is way stronger (and way more entertaining) than the call from my lecture notes.

After conducting further research and watching several videos (in French, all I caught were poudre, amandes, oeuf), I noticed that there was a particular way to folding the macaron mixture. I think they called it Macronnage. The powdered ingredients were added in at least 5 batches and they were just folded and pressed in. I think it is best if you watched the video.

I aged my egg whites overnight (apparently, it ought to be aged for at least 48 hours) and added a pinch of salt while it was beaten. Another important thing is to know when to stop folding. According to several sources, 30-40 folds ought to do it but I lost count after a while. The mix should flow like magma and fall in ribbons.

Since I only have a small convection oven, I baked these babies in 3 batches. Before baking, I left them out on my dining table for 30, 45 and 60 minutes respectively. The surfaces should be dry to the touch. The height of the feet increases with the amount of time left out.

So, I had feet today! I was so ecstatic I was shouting and jumping in front of the oven. My mother didn’t know why I was so excited about feet. (more…)

Macarons..Attempt 1
February 18, 2010

Oh those macarons..how enticing they look with their colours and various fillings..

Enticing enough for me to want to try to perfect my recipe.

What with all the various methods to getting good feet, a smooth shell, aged egg whites..I have a feeling that this might take a while.

This is different. Usually, the recipes I attempt yield pretty good results. Mix. Beat. Pour. Bake. Even though there are only a few steps to making these pretty, pretty macarons, getting the perfect macaron is tricky.

On my first attempt, my shells cracked and I didn’t get good feet. The chocolate filling was too thin (though it kinda worked after refrigerating the macarons for a bit). The macarons in the picture were, by some miracle, the product of the last pan I baked.

Therefore, I will not put up the recipe until I perfect it. I’ll be retrying tomorrow. So, if all goes well, they’ll be another post tomorrow.

Till then, any advice will be much appreciated..