a tragic attempt: french macaroons.
macaroons are something i have been dreaming about making all year. unfortunately this is my first attempt after work. and trying to stop my cat from eating raw eggs out of the garbage disposal. probably not the best timing, but i guess practice makes perfect.
upon further internet research, it turns out the perfect macaroon has a lot to do with the technique. like this mixture of 1 cup of almond meal/flour and 1 and 1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon of confectioner’s sugar is full of error. like i don’t own a sifter so i didn’t sift the sugar, so it’s super lumpy.
measure 1/4 cup of sugar and set aside. crack open three egg whites.
this is the difficult part. well, one of them. place the three egg whites in a bowl. mix with a mixer on medium speed. when they become frothy adjust the speed to high. don’t add anything at this moment. no sugar or food coloring. because then they will never ever become stiff. keep on mixing until the egg whites become almost stiff, but not really, so more just medium. and then add food coloring. i used gel. continue to mix. and then add the 1/4 cup of sugar. continue to mix until stiff peaks form. like this. it took me two tries, but it worked out in the end.
and then you fold the almond-confectioner’s sugar mixture from long long ago into the egg white-sugar-food coloring mixture. but, what i did is wrong. it shouldn’t be lumpy. it should be smooth, but not too smooth. and then transfer this to a pastry bag with a large round tip.
squeeze out one inch discs. i don’t have a large round tip, so i used a flower tip instead. you let them sit for about fifteen minutes. you’re supposed to hit them a few times on the counter, but i didn’t because i didn’t know. also i used the bad pastry bag, so it was mildly messy and a slight disaster.
in a 350 degree oven, bake for 15 minutes with the door open slightly. my door doesn’t open slightly. so i just baked them for 6-8 minutes with the door shut. they still were a little too brown. let them cool completely. i filled them with leftover buttercream, but you can fill them with anything and everything. jam, icing, ganache, prunes, whatever. they tasted alright, just not very pretty. hopefully sometime soon there will be a second installment of less disastrous macaroons, and maybe by installment 500 million they will be perfect and lovely and parisian.
(the recipe used was created by martha)
peterrosati asked: Ughhhhh. I want to eat it all.
You could, but it would probably be really difficult. The amount of butter and sugar is super ridiculous. It might cause a number of ailments. It would be really lovely if you baked things and then posted on Peter’s Belly. Like a baked goods belly.
gluten free brownies for mother’s day.
tomorrow is mother’s day. my family is going to the museum. and i made my mom brownies. that are gluten free because she has celiac disease. so there’s no flour, and they are basically chocolate, sugar, and eggs. and pecans. there are a lot of pecans.
these are really easy brownies. which is really a good things because i’ve been so not here today. i messed up maybe six sandwiches at work today and couldn’t stop dropping things. i was very afraid i might just set fire to my house while baking this evening. i didn’t. but you can start by measuring 2 tablespoons of dark cocoa powder and 3 tablespoons of regular cocoa powder. just set it aside.
my cat is super curious. she watches me from the kitchen sink.
in a food processor you are going to blend 2 cups of pecans. they will look like sand. this is a picture of sandy pecans.
and it turns out you make the whole thing in the food processor! add the cocoa powders (2 tablespoons dark and 3 tablespoons regular). add 3/4 cup of sugar. add 1/3 cup of oil. add 1 teaspoon of vanilla. and then add four eggs.
and then you blend it all for approximately 2 minutes. my cat was doing strange things while this was happening. like throwing herself around on the ground…
this is what it will look like.
grease an 8x8 inch pan. set the oven to 350. and bake for 25-30 minutes. during this time i made vanilla buttercream frosting to write a nice mother’s day message. my cat however, loves butter. buttercream is made with butter. she wouldn’t leave me alone. cooking with cats is quite difficult.
and finished. i should probably work on my cursive.
and she doesn’t help clean either.
super easy lovely cobbler.
i recently (just this monday) got a summer job making sandwiches at a sandwich shop. it’s mildly entertaining and far more exciting than retail. but i spend all afternoon playing with cold cuts and not butter. so i decided to make this super easy lovely cobbler à la my friend val à la pioneer woman.
i halved the recipe, just because i had a feeling my family wouldn’t be a huge fan (this was totally true), but here’s the way with the full recipe. everything is basically one cup of everything. one cup of self rising flour, put it in the bowl. one cup of sugar, put it in the bowl. one cup of milk, put it in the bowl. melt only 1/2 cup (one stick) of butter and put it in the bowl. mix together everything thoroughly.
and then you pour the batter into a baking dish that has been greased. measure out 2 cups of berries (i used frozen blackberries and raspberries, whatever will work) and put in the baking dish with the batter. sprinkle 1/4 cup of sugar on top. bake it in the oven at 350 for an hour. and then 10 minutes before the hour ends you can sprinkle more sugar.
it’s really simple, lovely, and pretty. and i suggest you make it.
a very chocolate cake.
unfortunately i do not have many pictures of this cake or the process. bur this is a fairly epic chocolate cake for a party that turned into my friend’s impromptu birthday party. he invited all of his friends and told them it was his birthday party, but never told the hostesses that our gypsy party became his birthday party.
this cake is five layers of devil’s food cake, dark chocolate ganache filling, and chocolate buttercream frosting. this is a lot more complex than a vanilla cake, mostly because there is a lot of melting chocolate and it’s a two bowl method.
mix together 3 cups of all purpose flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda, and 3/4 teaspoon salt in a bowl. in another bowl cream 1 1/2 sticks of butter (3/4 cup) and 2 cups of light brown sugar. it should be smooth, not chunky.
you will need three large eggs and separate the yolks from the whites. lightly beat the yolks until they’re look like lemons. and the egg yolks to the butter sugar mixture. melt 8 ounces of unsweetened chocolate (or you can take 3 tablespoons of coco powder and 1 tablespoon of oil is one ounce of unsweetened chocolate) and add to the butter-sugar-egg mixture.
measure 2 cups of whole milk and 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract. add the flour mixture to the butter-sugar-egg-chocolate mixture and then add the milk-vanilla mixture and then add the flour mixture and then the milk-vanilla mixture and then the flour mixture. so you add the flour mixture in three parts to the butter-sugar-egg-chocolate mixture with milk-vanilla mixture in between. do not over beat. you will have bad cake if you over mix. now take the egg whites you saved from long ago and beat until soft peaks form. fold into the batter.
for the five layers i think i doubled the recipe. but this will make a three layer 8 inch cake. grease and dust pans with flour and then bake the cake at 350 for about 40-45 minutes.
and that is the cake.
and now for the ganache filling. this is made on the stove. so in a saucepan bring 2 cups of heavy cream, 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar, and 1/8 teaspoon of salt to a boil. remove from the heat and add 1 pound of chopped up bittersweet or dark chocolate. don’t mix it for one minute. and then you can mix it until smooth. then refrigerate it for one hour, stirring occasionally. you should really do this because if you don’t and put it in between cake layers it’ll just melt everywhere and the cake will fall. trust me. this has happened before with a 32 layer crepe cake.
chocolate buttercream. this is seriously addicting. you might want to melt 9 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate first. cream 3 sticks of unsalted butter until super creamy. add 2 tablespoons of milk slowly. now it should be smooth. and then add the melted chocolate. and then add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. and then add 2 1/4 cups of confectioner’s sugar a little bit at a time. this is for the outside.
and that is the most chocolate cake i have ever made. all 33 ounces of chocolate. so much chocolate. so ridiculous.
(the cake hails from the complete magnolia bakery cookbook)
(the ganache is from martha)
(and the icing comes out of the complete magnolia bakery cookbook)
cake is the most versatile and beautiful things you can bake. or at least that’s what i think anyway…
this weekend i made this recipe about five million times, so it is now memorized. this accomplishes on of my life goals to memorize a recipe.
first you need to mix together 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour, 1 3/4 cake flour (or just 3 cups of cake flour/all purpose. but cake flour really does make it lovelier), 1 tablespoon baking powder, and 3/4 teaspoon salt.
butter is next. i went through maybe 16 sticks of it in two days. lovely.
this takes 2 sticks (1 cup) of unsalted butter cut up into tiny pieces. add them to the flour mixture until just coated with flour. everything will look super chunky, but that’s fine.
now wet. in a separate bowl/measuring cup mix together 1 cup of whole milk, 4 eggs, and 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract. add this to the flour/butter mixture in three parts. it’ll be super chunky and buttery and thick, but that’s fine.
for cupcakes with liners bake at 325 for about 15-19 minutes.
for 8 inch pans bake at 350 for about 25-30 minutes.
the tester should come out clean.
buttercream frosting. but it’s not really technically buttercream. but it’s far easier than swiss buttercream which doesn’t even taste nice (it legitimately tastes like butter) unless you’re my cat and only likes it because of the butter-ness. but this buttercream is so swell and you can make it while your cakes bake.
you start out with 1/2 cup of whole milk or cream (i like using cream, it has a better texture), 2 sticks (1 cup) softened unsalted butter, 1-2 teaspoons of vanilla extract (or no vanilla that’s fine too), and 4 cups of confectioner’s sugar. Mix it all up with a beater and gradually add 3-4 more cups of powdered sugar one cup at a time.
and you’re done.
unless you decide to color the frosting and mix all the colors together.
you can make so many things from cake and buttercream. like color wheel cupcakes. these were for a color party i co-hosted this weekend.
or you can make cake balls. which are also way easier than they look. basically if you take an 8 inch cake, crumble it up, and add about 1/2 cup of frosting and mix it up you made cake balls. but then you should refrigerate it for about 30 minutes to an hour so you can roll it into balls and then refrigerate the balls before you dip them in chocolate.
this was 8 pounds of chocolate. we have so many leftovers from last night. it’s borderline ridiculous. but melt the chocolate (1 pound at a time) in the microwave. let it cool and then dip the cake with a spoon. set on wax paper or foil and refrigerate for about 15 minutes until set. that’s all. everyone makes it seem so much more difficult.
or you can add fruit to it. 1/2 cup of diced kiwi, 1/2 cup blueberries, or 1/2 cup diced grapes. and some food coloring.
this was an almost fail. before this my friend’s sink wouldn’t stop running and the super had to come fix it and we were hoping this wouldn’t be happening all during the party. thankfully everything worked out. including this cake. which has three different kinds of frosting. whipped cream on top, cream cheese (package of cream cheese, 1/2 cup unsalted butter, and 1 cup confectioner’s sugar) on sides, and buttercream on the inside.
super colorful. and fruity.
the cake actually had two more layers (strawberry-1/2 cup pureed strawberries and orange-2 tablespoons of orange zest and 1 tablespoon of lemon zest) but the layers collapsed, so it was mashed up into a pan, and decorated the top and it became makeshift cake. so lovely.
(martha shared billy’s cake recipe)
(she also shared billy’s icing recipe)