Tuesday, April 20, 2010

[MacTweets/ma7] Rum & Raisin, Pina Colada & Earl Grey Tea Macarons

I made these macarons 2 days before Jamie & Deeba posted Mac Attack 7. I got the dates all mixed up..i thought i was making for Mac Attack 6 but in fact i missed the deadline! :p Since i have yet to blog about them, i figured i might as well incorporate them into this month's MacTell Me-A-Story.  My favorite story book while growing up was Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland. Mad Hatter's tea party scene comes right to my mind...and those little cakes that shout "Eat Me"....even more so after I recently watched Tim Burton's version of Alice in Wonderland. I had a couple of ideas for my macarons but couldn't decide which would taste better so ended making all the 3 flavors. I did this after work and it was not a good idea because i baked till after midnight and almost 2-am before i could go to bed. I'm as crazy as the Mad Hatter i think, at times that is..;p... and i had to remind myself AGAIN never to bake all 3 flavors at one go esp. after work!  

Rum & Raisin Macarons
Vanilla Macaron Shells, White Chocolate Rum Buttercream with Rum Raisin Jam centre

Pina Colada Macarons
Coconut Macaron Shells, White Chocolate Rum Buttercream with Pineapple Jam centre

Earl Grey Tea Macarons
Earl Grey Macaron Shells with Honey Buttercream

Rum & Raisin Macarons, Pina Colada Macarons & Earl Grey Tea Macarons

Rum & Raisin Macarons, Pina Colada Macarons & Earl Grey Tea Macarons

Macarons shells all matched up..i still suck at piping even size macarons..
so have take time to match them in their respective sizes..lol!

This time, basic macaron recipe (italian method) is taken from David Lebovitz post on Pierre Herme's Ketchup Macarons.  After doing 3 batches of macarons in italian meringue..i find that the folding of meringue is extremely tough compared to the french way...towards the 3rd batch, my arm and wrist felt like it was going to fall off my shoulder..but then does make chewier macaron shells though.. Also italian way is more forgiving too imo....my 1st batch of Vanilla shells, the sugar didn't really dissolve and had lots of sugar crystals stuck on the pan but my shells turned out ok. The 2nd batch, the Earl Grey Tea shells, the sugar syrup was a bit caramelized..but my shells were still ok. The 3rd batch, the sugar syrup was finally correct and of course the shells turned out great. :)  My conclusion: Pierre Herme's recipe is definitely a keeper! :D

Among the 3 flavors, thumbs-up to my Rum & Raisin flavor!! :D Everyone loved it (me included!..i like the rum in it..lol!).  Pina Colada voted as 2nd favorite. :D  Earl Grey was ok but i guess i didn't add enough of the earl grey tea powder so the flavor wasn't as distinct as i had wanted.

Please do check out other bloggers' macarons & flavors listed on http://mactweets.blogspot.com!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Two Fat Cats Whoopie Pie

Rose's Heavenly Cakes, Page 373: Two Fat Cats Whoopie Pie

I have to confess..i've never heard of Whoopie Pies until i started baking and have never tasted it before...so i was wondering what's all the hype about.  I measured all ingredients properly and followed instructions but my whoopie pies turned out looking more like pancake pies..hahahaha..see..it melted into a flat puddle. I wonder if it is because i put a silicone baking sheet underneath hence the spread. But i really didn't want to dirty my nice shiny pans which i have managed to maintained it so shiny and clean even after more than a year of usage..lol!  So with a bit of batter left, i place the in cupcake-cups and baked it..i think it's better cos at least the batter doesn't spread. 

Disappointed that my pancakes..er..i mean whoopie pies looking so flat..i didn't feel like making the marshmallow cream anymore. So i just topped up the filling using ready made Jet-Puffed...and even the ready made marshmallow cream is not cooperating with me today..it 'melted' after 2 mins...i think it is because of our humid hot weather..

VERDICT:  I have to say the chocolate cake is really good. The chocolate is very intense and the cake texture is fluffy, moist and light. I like it but i don't really know how to eat it so i used a knife to cut it into slices like a cake..lol! Initially, my family gave me the "what's this" look..but in the end they still ate it and said it's good.. lol!  I'll probably bake this again in cupcakes since i do like the texture of the cake but definitely not as whoopie pies..cos i really don't get the novelty of it all.

PS: i think i read the instructions wrongly..lol! i see other HCB's pie are all bite sized and mine was like as huge as pancakes! i should have made 6 pies in total (top & bottom = 12 scoops) but instead i made only 3..(top and bottom = 6 scoops)..lol! No wonder i was wondering how to eat it like so huge..  But my batter was downright watery though..not like the cookie dough-like see others had..*strange*..

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Cappuccino Fudge Cheesecake

When Cherie tempted me with her Cappuccino Fudge Cheesecake, i knew i had to bake it soon, esp. when i have 6 bars of cream cheese in my fridge! LOL! Yup, don't ask me why i stock up so many ..i didn't realised i had so many until i was cleaning up my fridge (cos i'm off to Hong Kong on Monday..yippee! :D).  I'm such a hoarder sometimes..or most of the time! Don't get me counting how many blocks of butter i have in my fridge ok..:p  

So..i baked 2x 9" cheesecake-s.  For 9" ingredient measurement, i used Smittenkitchen's recipe while keeping Cherie's oreo-cookie base.  I used 500g of oreo cookies (reduced fat version....not because i'm fat conscious but because that supermarket i went to had only this left!) and used 100g butter for 2x 9".   

The best thing baking this cheesecake is there's no need for waterbath (I hate waterbath!) and it doesn't matter if the cheesecake cracked on top because it will be covered & sealed with the sour cream topping.....AND best of all ..after it's done baking, you can put it right away in the fridge to cool (yup!..) no need to cool down slowly.  What more can i ask for? LOL! And on top of all these plus points, the cheesecake is thumbs-up DELICIOUS!  I'm a fan of rich cheesecake (ok..even though i can't eat a whole huge slice..but i still can eat half a slice and enjoy it..).  

The thing that frustrates me most about cheesecake is the long baking time and the cooling off time.   I find the waiting part rather torturous..esp. when i want to try how my bakes taste like asap. LOL!  I made it yesterday and had to wait till this morning to try it...so the moment i woke up from bed, i ran straight to the kitchen to unmold my cheesecake, ate a slice and then took some photos... don't i sound rather greedy and obsessed? lol!

Seriously, if you are a cheesecake, chocolate & coffee fan, this you can't miss!  I'm not a coffee person but yet this is my new favorite cheesecake...i had a slice in the morning..then in the afternoon, ate another half-slice..and probably after dinner another half-slice. :)  I can only afford half-slice since i think i have to eat some proper food for dinner cos i couldn't eat lunch earlier after the huge full slice of cheesecake.:S

PS: the piped ganache topping cheesecake is to be given away..it's not as pretty imo since i had difficulty piping the ganache on the wet-condensed top of the cheesecake when i took it out from the fridge. The one that is for my own consumption, i just poured the ganache over the top of the sourcream topping...so much easier too.  :D


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