Monday, March 4, 2013

MACARONS!!!! Bread and mini hot pockets?!

Another shameless photo dump of baked goods that I spent my weekend on making. LOL. I haven't touched MGS all weekend but instead spent my entire weekend (starting Friday night) baking loool. Whut. Yeah, I'm not sure but I've been on a DIY kick lately. I figured its a new year, time to try new challenge right? And well, I've been working on perfecting each little recipe I run into lol and well, its just fun making them. Plus its fun eating fun flavors too haha.

This weekends adventure was making matcha sakura milk loaf. The recipe I used was this one and I customized it just a bit by adding Vanilla Extract and Milk Powder to the mix.
If you add a helping of condensed milk into the batter, its gonna make it more runny, so you need to add more flour to balance it out so it forms more of a solid mass.  And honestly, this recipe turns out a pretty  bland, I would honesty adjust this and add more sugar to if you want something with a sweeter flavor. But I ended up toasting it up the next day and drizzling condensed milk over it which made a huge difference!  
The sakura extract actually comes clear so I just added pink food coloring to make it more cherry blossom like. Maybe next week I'll make them into mini breads and fill it with sweet cream inside. LOL!

Wow, you'd think for someone who claims to be a photographer and actually takes decent photos that I would actually take the time to take better photos. Even if it is just on my cellphone LOL
its kinda funny/envious that I see people on instagram /really/ take the TIME to do very well presentations. Blegh, thats always the one thing I suck at when it comes to baking - presentation. The way I see it, if I'm gonna be the one eating it or no one else special.Then Why bother lol...but no really, presentation does play a keyrole on making things much more appetizing x__X now that I figured I can *make* these babies, its time to perfect making them look *nicer* le sigh....

next project was MACARONS the elusive finicky little fuckers that cost a good arm and a leg at most bakery stores. And for good reason too!

For anyone who hasn't tried these, omg you are MISSING OUT. Their basically meringue type cookies - crunchy on the outside but once you get past their shell like exterior the interior is nice moist and chewy then you get the fillings in between! Which is usually cream or jam.

 I've been pretty much intimidated on making these by my self and without the use of almond flour, I used ALMOND MEAL. Which is essentially the same - but less refined? You can always make your own ALMOND FLOUR and there are a lot of videos and how to's to make your own. I wanted to ahead and try using almond meal first which you can get at your local Trader Joes for about $3.99 a bag versus buying a small bag of almond flour from whole foods which runs at about almost $10 for a small bag. Yikes!

I did my research before embarking on this challenging quest on making macarons. I've probably watched  a shit load of videos and read a bunch of blogs on how to make these babies. I also noticed a lot of the recipes call for Cream of Tartar, I didn't have that nor did I want to spend anymore in case this was a total fail. So I finally found a video and recipe that didn't require for cream of tartar and one that was simple enough to follow!  Recipe and instructions added below as well as my own foot notes to add


2 1/2 tbsp sugar
1 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup almond flour
2 large egg whites, room temperature


Sift confectioners' sugar and almond flour until combined. Whisk whites with a mixer on low speed until foamy. Add sugar while Increasing speed to medium and whisk until soft peaks form. Increase speed to high, and whisk until stiff peaks form. Slowly add the egg whites into the flour and powdered sugar mixture and fold until mixture is incorporated.

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.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

Bake 1 sheet at a time, rotating halfway through, until macarons are crisp and firm, about 15 minutes. Let macarons cool on sheets for 2 to 3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.

Sandwich 2 same-size macarons with 1 teaspoon filling of your choice (buttercream, jam, etc). Serve immediately, or stack between layers of parchment, wrap in plastic, and freeze for up to 3 months.

*makes 30 (approx.) cookies
My own personal notations that I took into account when making these and I know a lot of people also suggested the following when embarking on the quest to make these:

Make sure the eggs are all room temperature! I'm not sure if it really makes a huge difference but I wasn't about to go and waste a bunch of ingredients so I followed these notes to a T!
To make your eggs room temp. just dip them in a cup of warm water. You can keep the yolks aside to make custard filling actually :D so nothing is wasted!

Sift everything!!! You want to avoid as many chunks on there as possible.
Pipping - now this is definitely where I need some practice on. Haha. The bigger the hole the better. Don't try to be a smart as sand use a tiny hole and swirl it around like a snails butt. It doesn't work that way. Your cookies will come out looking pretty flat and sad looking lol! So be sure to use a good half inch cut to get a nice even drop! If your not sure how uniformed your circles will be - do what I did. I drew on the parchment paper.

Next and I think  this is pretty important. DONT USE WAX PAPER. Use parchment paper. I used wax paper on one batch and it just wouldn't come off cleanly ;A; such a waste~ And double up the parchment paper to prevent the bottoms from burning especially if your oven doesn't have even heating - like mine )': 

lastly I made mini hot pockets lawl
3 Cups Flour
6 Tablespoon of ice cold water
5 tablespoon sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

You just get marinara sauce or tomoato sauce, roll out your dough into the little molds. Brush on your tomatoe sauce, stuff in your fillings - cheese and pepperoni. FOLD and bake~ hurhurhur

I cant wait to try spinach and cheese in them next *w*  or you can be really bad and use custard filling LMAO. But if your a college student living in a dorm and have a toaster oven, an easy way to do this as well is to get those pillsbury crescent rolls, and stuffing the shit out of it with cheese and pepperoni and throwing it into your toaster oven.

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