Sunday, March 20, 2011

vanilla orange blossom

So in the passed week I've made about 3 batches of macarons. The first two were vanilla and the third was a vanilla orange mix. I'm slowly dipping my toes in the crazy taste combinations.


Let's start with making the cream since you have to refrigerate it for quite some time.

125 grams heavy cream
60 grams white chocolate
1 vanilla bean, split and seeded or 1 teaspoon of a good vanilla extract

1. Chop the white chocolate into a bowl. In a saucepan, boil the cream and the vanilla bean/extract and pour over the chocolate. Let it sit for a minute and stir until the chocolate is completely melted.

2. Let it sit in the refrigerator overnight and whip the next day until a thick cream is formed.

* After the macaron shells are made and have finished cooling you can pipe the cream onto the shells.

Ok and now for the macarons...

1 cup confectioners' sugar
3/4 cup almond flour
2 large egg whites, room temperature
Pinch of cream of tartar
1/4 cup superfine sugar
1/2 teaspoon orange blossom extract

1. Pulse confectioners' sugar and almond flour in a food processor until combined. Sift mixture two times.

2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Whisk whites with a mixer on medium speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar and extract, then whisk until soft peaks form. Reduce speed to low, then add superfine sugar. Increase speed to high, and whisk until stiff peaks form, about 8 minutes. Sift flour mixture over whites, and fold until mixture is smooth and shiny.

3. Transfer batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain round tip, and pipe 3/4-inch rounds 1 inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets, dragging pastry tip to the side of rounds rather than forming peaks. Tap bottom of each sheet on work surface to release trapped air. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Bake 1 sheet at a time for about 10 minutes. After each batch, increase oven temperature to 375 degrees, heat for 5 minutes, then reduce to 325 degrees.

4. Let macarons cool on sheets for 2 to 3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. (If macarons stick, spray water underneath parchment on hot sheet. The steam will help release macarons.)

5. Sandwich 2 same-size macarons with the white chocolate vanilla cream. Serve immediately, or stack between layers of parchment, wrap in plastic, and freeze for up to 3 months

6. As you can see...I added a little bit of orange zest on top of my macaron shell for decoration and taste. I didn't have any food coloring on hand so I thought this would be a good idea. Both ideas are optional though!

That's about it everyone. These recipes seem to work really well for me! Does anyone else have any over flavored recipes they want to share???

Monday, March 14, 2011

nilla bean

Ahh! I keep getting caught up in the crazy whirlwind of life. Please forgive me once again for my flaky posting. Lemme catch you up on some things with a little picture show.

out and about in D.C

Chris' mother sent us some macarons when she went to NYC. Before Chris devoured them all I snuck myself 3.

Spring flowers

I actually went to NYC myself for the IBS hair show. I'm not sure why I only took pictures of the city and not any of cool hairstyles. Silly me.

Watching Iron Chef has got me more into cooking lately. It's resulted in me spending a chunk of my tax return on new tools [like my new Staub dutch oven!!!] for my little kitchen. One of my new toys is a digital kitchen scale. I bought this specifically for making macarons of course! We [thanks Chris for all that sifting you did!] made these vanilla ones on Friday. They turned out pretty good especially for us first timers. We are going to make more tonight!

After slaving away in the kitchen Chris thought it would be a good idea to make me take a picture.

aaaand that's about it.