Thursday, 7 November 2013

'My Love for Macarons"

After about a year an a half after attending a class, my blog entry -  "In Love with Macarons", on how to make macarons the correct way by Chef David Lee of Epicurean Cuisine & Patisserie, I finally managed to put the task to a test! Let me tell you, my first try at macarons was an epic failure!!! Hahaha... I even laughed when I saw the outcome of my macarons. I knew I had fumbled with the recipe somewhere along the way. I knew the batter was a bit runny and something was just not quite right when I piped the macaron shells. My sixth sense proved that my intuition was right on the money when my macaron shells came out of the oven. For one, the shells expanded while baking and became bigger than I anticipated. Secondly, the macaron shells were really sticking to the baking paper. It should have been able to come out easily. This one didn't even though they shells had feet and all that!! LOL
I then decided, I am going to try again and re-read the recipe properly before I embarked on my second try. This time, my macaron shells turned out quite beautiful and tasted awesome too. The macarons were not too sweet and the texture was amazing! I basically followed the Italian method recipe, whereby the caster sugar needed to be boiled with water until it reaches about 116 C, then poured into the egg whites that have been whipped to soft peaks. I find that using this method gives the macaron a really nice smooth finish. 
The macaron batter ready to be piped

The texture of the batter has to be ribbonlike when held above with a spatula

I separated the batter into 2 colours, pastel yellow & pale brown 

The piped macaron shells must be left outside for a minimum of 30 mins
before baking in the oven

The pale yellow batch
 Oven must be set at 150 C and macaron shells are baked for 15 - 17 mins

Pardon my reflection seen on the glass oven door!! Look how beautiful
they have risen complete with the feet, yeay!!

The macarons ready to be eaten, one with dark Belgian chocolate ganache & the other with peanut butter

I will make the colours darker next round as the colour dramatically
changes to a lighter shade while baking
I just recently made another batch and they turned out great too! I made macarons with a white chocolate & lemon ganache and tasted just as good as the chocolate & peanut butter macarons!
Five Important Tips When Making Macarons :-
1) Egg whites need to be aged at least 5 days, the longer the days, the better
2) Ground almond must be grinded in the food processor before sifting it with the icing sugar
3) Use only a digital scale as measurement must be very accurate
4) Please buy a digital thermometer before even attempting to make the macarons
5) Leave the piped macaroon shells at least 30 mins in a cool room before baking
Thanks again to Chef David Lee for this wonderful macaron recipe!

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

"Homemade Waffles"

I have always wanted to make my own waffles for my kids. So, when I saw the Kenwood waffle maker, I knew I had to get it. I am so glad I did!! The first recipe I used to make the waffles turned out to be not so good. The waffles were a bit soft and didn't have the right kind of texture that I wanted, which was light & crisp!
Not giving up, I searched through the web to look for the best waffle recipe that could produce wonderful light & crisp waffles. Found a few recipes but I tried this recipe by Pamela Anderson of Fine Cooking and her recipe was fantastic. The waffles turned out beautiful and my kids loved them. I've made them a few times already and each time they turned out really great!
The recipe for the waffles by Pamela Anderson is:-
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstrach
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup mik
6 tbs vegetable oil
1 large egg, separated
1 tbs sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Mix the ingredients as per the photos below
Part A

This is the dry ingredient that is made of flour, cornstrach, salt, baking powder and baking soda
Part B
The wet ingredient made of buttermilk, milk, vegetable oil & egg yolk
Part C
Egg white  and sugar whipped until the peaks are firm and glossy
Then, pour Part B into Part A and whisk until just mixed. Drop the whipped egg white onto the batter (Part A & Part B) in dollops and fold in with a spatula until just incorporated.

Pout the waffle into the waffle maker and cook the batter until waffle is no longer sticking to the pan and the colour is golden. Do not forget to butter the waffle pans before pouring in the waffle batter!

This is my Kenwood waffle maker. I've poured the waffle batter to fit in just nicely around the square shape of the waffle maker

Ta da... my waffles all light & crisp ready to be taken out

My homemade waffles

These waffles are really good eaten hot out of the waffle maker with butter and maple syrup. also good with ice-cream, strawberries and chocolate fudge!!

Have a try and am sure you guys will love it! Thanks again to Pamela Anderson for sharing such a brilliant waffle recipe :)