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…)


Valentine’s Day Treat
February 15, 2010

Happy Chinese New Year and Happy Valentine’s day!

We had a mini family reunion dinner at my aunt’s place on Saturday and I thought that a light, fresh strawberry mousse cake would please the palate after all the greasy tempura and steamboat.

The supermarkets were crazy packed on Saturday and boy, was I relieved when I saw the last two boxes of strawberries. Sure, I had mangoes at home and they would have worked well too but what was valentine’s day without some pink and chinese new year without some red?

By the time I came back from the supermarket, it was already past noon and I had to leave for my Aunt’s by 5. I was afraid that the cake wouldn’t have time to set.

I was not happy with the cake baseĀ  in the end (so I’ll give you another recipe that had worked previously) and I would prefer my mousse to have more strawberries next time but these didn’t seem to bother my family that much. 3/4 of the cake pretty much disappeared before I even took my first bite.