Sunday, March 28, 2010

Chocolate Hazelnut Macarons

The in thing now are the macarons. It's spelled with one O and pronounced like macaroni with a silent I. Some people also spell it as macaroons. But they shouldn't be confused with coconut macaroons. A macaron is a French almond sandwich cookie filled with chocolate ganache, preserves, butter creams and a whole lot more....the possiblilities are endless. Its meringue-base makes it airy and moist with crust like an egg shell. This is my first macaron so I just made it simple with hazelnut spread as the filling.

I got this recipe from Tartlette.

Confectioners’ (Icing) sugar: 2 ¼ cups (225 g, 8 oz.)
Almond flour: 2 cups (190 g, 6.7 oz.)
Granulated sugar: 2 tablespoons (25 g , .88 oz.)
Egg whites: 5 (Have at room temperature)

1. Preheat the oven to 200°F (93°C). 

2. Combine the confectioners’ sugar and almond flour in a medium bowl. If grinding your own nuts, combine nuts and a cup of confectioners’ sugar in the bowl of a food processor and grind until nuts are very fine and powdery.

3. Beat the egg whites in the clean dry bowl of a stand mixer until they hold soft peaks. Slowly add the granulated sugar and beat until the mixture holds stiff peaks.

4. Sift a third of the almond flour mixture into the meringue and fold gently to combine. If you are planning on adding zest or other flavorings to the batter, now is the time. Sift in the remaining almond flour in two batches. Be gentle! Don’t overfold, but fully incorporate your ingredients.

5. Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a plain half-inch tip (Ateco #806). You can also use a Ziploc bag with a corner cut off. It’s easiest to fill your bag if you stand it up in a tall glass and fold the top down before spooning in the batter.

6. Pipe one-inch-sized (2.5 cm) mounds of batter onto baking sheets lined with nonstick liners (or parchment paper).

7. Bake the macaroon for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and raise the temperature to 375°F (190°C). Once the oven is up to temperature, put the pans back in the oven and bake for an additional 7 to 8 minutes, or lightly colored.

8. Cool on a rack before filling. 

Have fun baking!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Cake Decorating

My sister, Nina and I, are taking cake decorating classes. I have been wanting to take this class, and am glad I finally I did. Learning different techniques on how to make an impressive cake is awesome. It's so much fun! Here are a few photos of our decorated cakes.

                These are Nina's cakes.

My cakes.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Button Sugar Cookies

Button sugar cookies, anyone? 

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Cookie Photo Shoot

I just want to share a few photos of my cookies taken by my cousin Cheryl Reyes.

Viennese Vanilla Cookies

Chocolate Chip Toffee Cookies

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Iced Sugar Cookies

I made these iced sugar cookies for a company's team building. It was a challenge. Didn't know how I would make the writing on the cookie. I tried stamping the words but it was too messy and the letters weren't clear enough. I thought of stenciling it but it was too hard and too much work to cut out the small letters. Thank goodness for edible ink markers. It worked out great. Success!

Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

I love, love, love chocolate! I've been searching for a good chocolate cake recipe and I found this from Chockylit. I cut the chocolate frosting's recipe in half, 6 cups is too much for 14 cupcakes. However, the leftover wouldn't be too bad. You can keep it in a covered container and store in the refrigerator for snacking later.

Old-Fashioned Chocolate Cupcakes

~ adapted from Chockylit
14 regular cupcakes / 375 degree oven

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temp

1-1/4 cups sugar

2 large eggs, room temp

3/4 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 375 degree

1. Beat butter until softened. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

2. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until well combined.

3. Measure the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder into a small sized bowl and whisk to combine.

4. Measure out the milk and vanilla and and stir to combine.

5. Add about a third of the dry ingredients to the butter/sugar and beat to combine. Add about half of the milk/vanilla and beat to combine. Continue adding, alternating between dry and wet and finishing with the dry.

6. Scoop batter into cupcake cups about 2/3’s full. Turn oven down to 350 degrees and bake cupcakes for about 22-25 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.

Mrs. Milman's Cholcolate Frosting

~ adapted from Martha Stewart
Makes 6 cups

24 ounces Nestle semisweet chocolate morsels

4 cups whipping cream

1 teaspoon light corn syrup

1. Place chocolate morsels and cream in a heavy saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula, until combined and thickened, between 20 and 25 minutes. Increase the heat to medium low; cook, stirring, 3 minutes more. Remove pan from heat.

2. Stir in corn syrup. Transfer frosting to a large metal bowl. Chill until cool enough to spread, about 2 hours, checking and stirring every 15 to 20 minutes. Use immediately.