Friday, January 20, 2012

Mojito Macarons

This is one of my experiment of making Macarons. I really love virgin mojito. It's really refreshing with it's lime soda, a bit of mojito and fresh mint. I wonder what would it be if I could make it as a macarons? I've browse the recipe and found one that I think I could give it a try.

I was thinking to get a sweet and sour from the lime as a taste. The shell would be the sweet part and the filling would be the sour.

Although it wasn't quite as I've expected, but the results was quite OK. The shell has a fresh fragrant from grated lime and the filling tasted creamy and sour :D

 I would try to perfecting the recipe once I get back to my kitchen.

Innards: Cream cheese with lime zest and mint.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Cookies and Cream Ice Cream

Cookies and Cream Ice Cream
Homemade Cookies and Cream Ice Cream requested by my son

My son already bragging me for making his favorite ice cream since last month. He's kinda a boy who never ask for anything if he didn't really want it. So if he already ask about something couple times (or more), that means he demands for it :P. His favorite ice cream was Cookies and Cream from Baskin & Robins.. Last time I bought the ice cream and I was a bit surprised because it's damn too pricey now! I don't really want to buy something that really pricey for a dessert (and it's only for 1 scoop? Blah) specially if you could make one. Well, sure the taste wouldn't be the same, but if you can make it by yourself why bother to buy.

Ice Cream Maker
The Ice Cream maker

Anyway, I'm using recipe from 'Just Desserts' book again. I know that cookies and cream ice cream basically is a vanilla ice cream and you combine any biscuits you like on it. I think most of people are using Oreo biscuits. I made it a night before and the ice cream is ready in the next day. The texture is really soft and creamy, but I think it should be in the freezer for another 12-24 hours.

Crashed Oreo
Crushed Oreo

My son was so excited when he knows that the ice cream's ready. He just ate it straight away after he's having Sunday brunch and said "I want it again after dinner". When I asked him how was the taste? He just said "Really Good Mom!" and smile. Well, Goodbye B&R from now on and Hello Homemade Ice Cream :D. I'll try to make different flavor next time.

Cookies and Cream Ice Cream
Enjoying his favorite Ice Cream

Vanilla Ice Cream
Just Desserts by Daniel Tay
Makes about 500 g
  • Vanilla bean 1, scrapped from seed and pod cut into 1-cm lengths
  • Cream, 125 ml
  • Milk, 220 ml - I used skim milk
  • Egg yolks, 65 g - I used 3 egg yolks
  • Sugar, 85 gr - I used 80 gr only 
  • Crushed Oreo Biscuits - 5 or more biscuits 
Combine vanilla seeds and pod or vanilla essence with cream and milk in a saucepan. Bring to the boil over low heat, then remove from heat.
Whisk egg yolks and sugar in a mixing bowl. Stir in some warm milk mixture to temper egg yolks, then pour tempered mixture into saucepan and mix well with remaining milk mixture.
Return saucepan to heat and bring mixture to 85ºC, then place immediately into an ice bath to cool. Strain mixture into a bowl. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2-3 hours.
Transfer chilled mixture to an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer's instructions (I add the crushed Oreo when the mixture already thick like an ice cream). Store in the freezer.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Chocolate Souffle with Pistachio

Chocolate Souffle with 
Chocolate Souffle with Pistachio

OK, Now it's time to do something else than Macarons :P I had this book from Daniel Tay (owner of Bakerzin) 'Just Desserts' for more than 2 years now. But still I haven't try any of his recipe yet. I bought this book because I want to get the macarons recipe. Reading the recipe again, it suddenly make sense since I could do make macarons now. However, the method he's using as same as what's written on Primarasa Book.

Just Dessert by Daniel Tay
Just Desserts by Daniel Tay

Last time I went to the restaurant, I had this Raspberry soufflé. Attracted by the photograph on the menu and the combination with Raspberry ice cream, I ordered that for my afternoon tea time. Not long after the waiter came with the soufflé, and I ate it afterwards. Unfortunately the taste was not what I've expected, it didn't taste good and sadly I still could smell the egg white from it! The texture was a bit undercooked (I guess).. You could actually spoon the cake and touch with your finger and it just break like a fluffy beaten egg white. And the smell euuwww.. I'm sure if Chef Gordon Ramsay from Hell's Kitchen there, He would be yelling hysterically straight away "It's RAW!!!" LOL.

So I told the waiter about this, but this lady told me that the texture of soufflé supposed to be that way, it's gooey inside. But I could tell which is gooey and raw by the smell and texture... I thought I had soufflé before in a different restaurant, the texture wasn't like that. If just at that time I already had made soufflé by myself, I could really tell them with confident. Anyway, I think I'm gonna try to make one so I could really know for sure either the cake really supposed to be like what she said.

Just Dessert by Daniel Tay

Chocolate Souffle Recipe

I'm using the recipe from the book, and I just realize how simple the recipe is! It doesn't need any flour, just egg white as the main ingredients! I think that's what makes the texture light and airy. The recipe was only for 1 serving which just what I wanted. It's funny how you actually sit in front of the oven waiting and watched how it raised.. just like I usually did while waiting for the feet came out from Macarons. The Funny part was when it raised and already cooked, I take it out from the oven and sprinkle some sugar on top (also pistachio), and ran quickly to the spot when I'm about to take photo of it. I think it's been done only in seconds! As the soufflé will be deflated not too long once it was pop out from the oven. I could only took 5 frame before it's deflated.... How cruel is that? LOL.

The Result: Texture was light, airy but yet in the middle part was a bit gooey. I was using bittersweet chocolate so it's not sweet at all which was actually good! Despite on the healthy ingredients (no butter, no egg yolk, no flour) I'm not really a fan of this kind of cake. Maybe next time I'll try other flavor or combine it with ice cream so it'll be more interesting to eat :P

Chocolate Souffle with 
Gone in 50 seconds!

Chocolate Soufflé
from Just Dessert by Daniel Tay
-makes 1 small soufflé-
  • Unsalted butter - for greasing ramekin
  • Sugar - for coating ramekin
  • Egg whites 55 g
  • Lemon Juice 1 tsp
  • Sugar 1 tsp - I used icing sugar
  • Chocolate 70 g, chopped
  • Chopped nuts (optional) - I used Pistachio
Preheat oven to 180ºC (350ºF)
Prepare an 8-cm (3-in) wide and 4.5-cm (2-in) deep ramekin. Brush the inside of ramekin upwards with butter. Spoon some sugar into ramekin (I used icing sugar), then tilt ramekin around to coat sides with sugar. Overturn ramekin and discard excess sugar.
Place egg whites in a small mixing bowl and whisk until foamy. Add lemon juice and sugar and whisk until light and fluffy, with soft peaks.
Melt chocolate in a bain-marie and transfer to a mixing bowl. Gradually fold egg white mixture into melted chocolate.
Pour batter into ramekin until the brim and bake for 8-10 minutes until soufflé is well-risen. Garnish as desired and serve immediately.

Happy Baking :)

Friday, January 13, 2012

Earl Grey Macarons with Salted Caramel

This is so far the best Macarons that I ever tasted (and made)!! Honest!
 Earl Grey Salted Caramel
Earl Grey Macarons with (melting) Salted Caramel

 I got this recipe through this blog food je t'aime, and thank you for inventing this combination. I already had similar Macarons (bought) with a caramel salted filling (but the shell wasn't taste of Earl Grey Tea) and I like it a lot! So when I saw this recipe, I was so happy and couldn't wait to give it a try. I love Earl Grey Tea so much because of its fragrant. I think I like it more than Jasmine Tea's fragrant.

My K A
The silver chrome.. Oh How I Love the way you look :P

Last time I made an Orange with Ginger Macarons still the recipe was from Primarasa book. The taste was so so, not really my favorite. I think I'm gonna create something with Orange but with different combination later. Beside on the taste, I also made a mistake for not grinding the almond powder really well. It turned out like a disaster. When its baked the shell was cracked, no frilly feet, etc. This got me thinking that, Macarons is really about being obey to the detail and consistency.

Macs before into the Oven
Piping to the Silpat - Somehow I'm getting better on making those same size circles

My Oven
Preheat the oven into 160 C

Anyway, I got all the ingredients for this one and ready to make it. This time I aged the egg white more than 1 day on the fridge (2 days I guess, I forgot). And before using it, I usually keep it on room temperature until it's not cold anymore. Using my basic macaron recipe (I don't use the ingredients measurement as in the blog) and adjust it by adding the Earl Grey Tea.

The exciting part was when making the Caramel! I never (really never) had made caramel before. I don't know why I haven't give it a try. I think because I'm not really a big fan of it. But until this's just changed my mind :P. It was written clearly on the recipe and turns out really easy to make. And the best part is when you combine the sea salt into the caramel. When they both incorporated... Ooh you just can't stop tasting it! I swear If I'm not on my healthy diet, I'd have this everyday!

Caramel Sauce
Making the caramel sauce while waiting

 This time I grind the almond powder until it has no lump at all (I get rid off it). And the egg white was already beaten until it's stiff. The almond & egg white were fold correctly and have watery based after. Resting until it's formed (more than1 hour). Done! Into the oven... let's see how it goes.

Almost There
Inside the oven.. Almost there...

The Happy Feet
Every time I look at this, I couldn't stop smiling

The Macaron raised really good and has a pretty feet again! Although it was not as frilly the first one, I'm quite happy with it :D. I never try to pick off the macarons from baking paper just after it came out from the oven. I usually wait until it's really cool down. This macarons made in two batch with different baking sheet.  One using baking paper, the other one using Silpat. Turns out, the one which using Silpat has a really nice bottom instead of the other. I keep all on an airtight container and give the caramel filling the day after. And Yes, It was Really really good!

Earl Grey Salted Caramel
Earl Grey Macarons.. oh the fragrant!

My hubby is the best tester, because he would honestly say "great" if it's great and "not" if it's really not that good. This one he said really good (beside the lemon macarons), he likes it!. The next day I brought this to my friends and had some too for my friend's birthday. They like it too. Just today my sister came by and she also try this, she said this is the best taste ever too! Unfortunately it's only one left, so she couldn't have more :P

Earl Grey Salted Caramel
The melting salted caramel

I'm so happy with the taste results. This is definitely will be my favorite Macarons!

Now, Where are Those Feet?

After the successful Lemon Macarons before, I did make another batch for different flavor. This time I'm gonna make Chocolate Mint and Coffee Macarons.

Here's the thing. Once it was succeed it couldn't be failed, right? Unfortunately it didn't work for Macarons, or maybe just me? :P I made The first batter for Chocolate Macarons a bit runny. And the Coffee Macarons was a bit thick. But for all those mistakes, I have learned that things that made those Happy Feet rising, it's all about the powder, the consistency of Meringue, the process of folding the batter and also timing to let the Macarons perform a skin before it gets into oven.

Are you working today?
  Hot Teh Tarik for Afternoon Tea

What ever method that you're taking for making Macarons (Italian Meringue, French, Swiss) I think the meringue should be stiff before you fold the dry ingredients on it. And oh yeah, remember that the dry ingredients should be really smooth (specially almond powder) if it's not, it'll make the batter thick and will take longer time to perform the skin. Also a big chance to get cracked when it's in the oven.

Blue Minty Chocolate Macarons
Minty Blue Chocolate Macarons

I still feel the recipe is too sweet so I reduced the granulated sugar. I don't know whether this made a big impact/changes for the macarons, as I've seen the macarons didn't perform a frilly feet like the first one I made. Anyway, I keep looking on the internet and try to get the answer. I found so many valuable tips on the web, The latest  I read was from the owner of Tartelete's Blog: Helene Dujardin Demystifying Macarons and also from here Cure Happiness - Macarons

Coffee Macarons with Chocolate Rhum Ganache
Coffee Macarons with Chocolate Rhum Ganache

One thing for sure I'll remember what Helene Dujardin said on her tips that There's only one thing to tackle this 'little devil': practice, practice and keep practice!. I'll do that for sure :)

Minty Blue Chocolate Macarons
from Primarasa Book 'Macarons'

Basic Macarons
  • 100 gr granulated sugar
  • 80 gr Egg White - (This time I aged them 24 hours on the fridge and let them in room temperature 2 hours before start making macarons)
  • 100 gr ground Almond
  • 100 gr Icing Sugar
  • 1/8 tsp cream of tar tar - (I added this)
  • Blue Food coloring - (I used Wilton Blue)
For Filling - Chocolate Ganache
  • 150 gr Dark Chocolate - Chopped - (I combined Dark and Bittersweet chocolate)
  • 100 ml whipped cream
  • Mint Essence 
How to
Prepare basic Macarons 
  • Combine icing sugar and almonds in a mixing bowl and mix well. Set aside. (These dry ingredients should be very smooth, no lumps at all)
  • Combine egg whites and sugar in a mixing bowl. Place in a bain-marie and whisk constantly until sugar is completely melted. Remove from heat and whisk on a medium speed for 3 minutes. Add cream of tar tar and increase to high speed. Add food coloring, continue to whisk until mixture is light and fluffy, with soft to medium peaks.
  • Combine dry ingredients to egg whites (I usually divide it into 4 times). Fold the ingredients in one circular way, mix the rest until fully incorporated. You should be getting a slightly watery base (When you pull out your spatula it will drops continuously by it self and made a ribbon like patterns).
  • Spoon batter into a pipping bag and pipe out 2-3 cm circles (depending whether you want a small or medium size macarons) 1-cm apart on line baking trays.
  • Let the Macarons rest from 15-30 minutes (depending on the weather) or until if you touch the top it will not stick into your finger. Remember also to check the side. (The Macarons needs to be rest to perform a skin so you'll get those Frilly Feet when its bake).
  • Preheat the oven to 160 C and bake macarons for 10 minutes. Macarons should be start rising after first 5 minutes. Reduce heat to 120 and continue for another 10 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool.
Filling - Chocolate Ganache
  • In a sauce pan, bring to shimmer 100ml of whipped cream. Pour into a bowl of chopped dark chocolate, mix them until it's combined. Let it cool then add mint essence for your liking.
Remove gently Macarons from baking paper, match the same size circles. Spoon chocolate ganache into a pipping bag. Pipe some on an overturned macaron, then sandwhich another macaron. Repeat remaining macarons.

I like to rest the bake macarons overnight in an airtight container in room temperature. Then on the next day I'll put the filling. You can store Macarons into a fridge, and eat them next day, you'll get even more great taste and texture.

Happy Baking :)

Sunday, January 1, 2012

The Pretty Feet is Rising... Finally!

I have lost counted trying to make Macarons from the last 2 or 3 years.. There's a time when I felt really frustrated and wouldn't want to go back and try to make Macarons. I think I've absence quite a long time in the kitchen since then.

I never stop browsing a recipe about Macarons, learn how to, tips and trick and a good friend of mine also gave me a really nice book about Macarons. Still, after all the research and even reading the simplest recipe didn't give me enough courage to give it another try. 

Lemon Curd
Lemon Curd 

Until then, I saw my friend successfully made Macarons, it gave me a booster, another inspiration to be back in the kitchen to try those 'my little enemies'. Few months back, I bought a book about Macarons from Primarasa. It's all written in Bahasa Indonesia, and has a really good information about how to make Macarons. It also give details about what went wrong about Macarons, and so on. It's all stated in clear and really easy to understand. So, I think, why not give it a try before we end this year 2011.

Lemon Curd
Spreading Lemon Curd 

One of my obstacle for making Macarons was the oven. It's an old oven which has automatic setting for temperature. When the oven already hot, automatically the gas will stop running, so it's difficult to have a steady hot temperature. And it could not set into below 180 C, which most of Macarons should be bake between 140-160 C. But since now I have a new oven now, so I don't have any excuse not to give another try.

It's 31 December 2011, I already stock almond powder and other things to make Macarons. And so I followed the directions in the book. This time I'll make it absolutely right, means that I will grind the powder really well first. OK, when the batter was incorporated, I took time for the Macarons to get harder on the shell. It took me about 20-30 minutes. And now... baking time!

The happy feet
The happy feet

I set the temperature on 160 C as written on the book.. and put the tray in the middle. It says only 7 minutes to bake. So I've waited patiently in front of my oven.. hopping that this time will be right. 4 minutes passed.. I started to look the bottom of the round batter getting pushed up.. and.. There you are.. The Happy Feet!!! I'm almost in tears watching it raised haha.. and could not believe that It's actually happening!!! I screamed inside and cheered my self.. oh, so this is what others feels like when they saw the happy feet is raising! I'm so overjoyed! :D :D

A bite is not enough
One bite is never enough

It's totally 7 minutes (yes I got a timer to make it precise) and then bring the tray to cool down. I waited the macarons until it's totally dry, and you could peel it easily without having anything left stuck in the bottom of it.

Lemon Poppyseed Macarons
Lemon Poppyseed Macarons with Lemon Curd

Here they are, my Lemon Poppyseed Macarons with Lemon Curd.
Oh please bear with me if my next posting will be all about Macarons. I'm so gonna make lots more with different kind of taste. What a great feeling to end the day of 2011!