Monday, June 3, 2013

Black & White Wedding Shower

The images are from my best friend's black and white wedding shower.  This is almost a  year overdue!  The event was so much fun!

The dessert table was a group effort between my pledge sisters and I loved how it turned out.

White cake pops with black ribbon made with candy mold

Macarons filled with Salted Caramel & Lee's Coffee filling

Dessert table also included chocolate chip cookie bites, banana pudding, tuxedo brownies, fruit tarts and pie.


Monday, March 11, 2013

Ube Macarons

During a Christmas gift exchange, I was gifted Thomas Keller, Bouchon Bakery. I had this on my wish list for such a long time I squealed when I opened the gift. I LOVE the texture of macarons from Bouchon Bakery and was so excited to try his recipe.   The macarons are made using the Italian method, heating up the sugar and water to a certain temperature before adding it to the whipped egg whites.  As I was reading the instructions, I was thinking, crap, this is a lot of steps, can I do this?  Maybe..?  Yes?  Do it!

I decided if I was going to make macarons the Italian method, I would go full force and make ube macarons.

I went to a local Filipino store and bought my ingredients which included powdered ube. I wanted to take pictures show you step by step how I made these macarons, but ain’t nobody got time for that! Just kidding, there is a great tutorial by Annie’s Eats using the same recipe. Why reinvent the wheel? Annie’s tutorial is excellent! I only made one alteration by adding a tablespoon of ube powder to the powdered sugar and almond flour.

Some notes: Buy a good candy thermometer, the one I had sucked, the top went flying off and I guesstimated when the sugar water got to 248 degrees when the thermometer still read 200. That thermometer is now in the trash.

Once the batter was all mixed, the texture was very marshmallow-y. This may be because I did not heat the sugar water to the correct temperature, or maybe I should have mixed it longer?

I piped the batter and it looked okay, but I had a feeling that something was not right. I shrugged it off and piped some rounds and some hearts.


For the rounds I added heart sprinkles.

I placed the first batch, which were the piped hearts in the oven.



Broken.  Son of a *@&@)!

I lowered the temperature. I placed the second batch of round macarons in the oven.


Better.  I did not throw the broken cookies away, they were still really good! 

These are some of the pretty ones.  See the purple goodness poking out?  That's ube filling!  The filling consisted of frozen ube, conconut and condensed milk. 



OMGTHISISSOGOOD!!!

I used a recipe I found here. << How awesome is that Ube Ombre Cake?! 

The filling is heavy and will make the cookie soften if you keept it in the fridge for a long period of time.  If you are going to use this filling, I suggest you fill and serve the cookies within a day.

Happy Baking!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Gingerbread Macarons

This post was supposed to be published a month ago but I never got around to finishing it.  Oops!

My friend's family host a Christmas cookie exchange every year and it is a lot of fun to participate in.  Last year I was ambitious and wanted to make pretty red and green macarons.  My attempts for red macarons are here. I ended up bringing just a few Peppermint Oreo Pops.

The cookie exchange has become pretty competitive with awesome categories and prizes.  There is a prize for best hoilday cookie, best non-holiday cookie, and best in show.  This year I wanted to start early and stick to one flavor so I made gingerbread macarons.


Check out the competition.

 
I talk a lot about how I’m not one for subtle flavors, so I wanted the gingerbread flavor to be really strong, boom, bam, pow, that is gingerbread!

I used my favorite macaron recipe by Jill Colonna and added the following spices:

1/4 tsp of ginger
1/8 tsp of nutmeg
1/8 tsp of cinnamon
1/8 tsp of cloves
*chocolate brown food coloring (just a few drops)
If you are making the recipe using 150 grams of eggs, double the spices

 

I paired this with a Gingerbread Swiss Meringue Buttercream, I used the basic Swiss Meringue Buttercream recipe and added the same amount of spices to the buttercream.

They were a hit, and I ended up winning Best in Show!  

The cookie also pairs really well with a Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Not Turkey Cake Pops

Turkey cake pops are all over the blogs, facebook and Instagram. I bought a bag of candy corn last year with the intention of making turkey cake pops for Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving came and went and I didn’t have any turkey cake pops to present for dinner. This year I really wanted to use that bag of candy corn and make turkey pops. I scoured the web for cute images for inspiration.

Last night I got my supplies ready to make turkey pops.  I had the Oreo balls, and peanut butter candy melts ready.


I had the eyes.

I had the hearts.


I had the noses.

I had the feathers.

I had no patience.

I made one cake pop, and gave up. I thought of the other stuff I could be doing, like sitting on my couch watching Gossip Girl. So I decided to just dip the Oreos in the peanut butter candy melts and make Peanut Butter Oreo balls.


But ugh, they kind of looked like poo. I did rush through these but I wanted to make them pretty.  I put the melted candy melts in a piping bag, and using a #2 tip piped the peanut butter over the cake ball to disguise the messiness of it.


I topped it with a heart, and put it in a mini cupcake wrapper.  They are not turkey pops, but I loved how this came out.


I think this turkey feels the love.  You can turn something oogly, to something lovely.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Pumpkin Macarons II

Thanksgiving is 5 days away! This year is really flying by! I’m especially excited for Thanksgiving this year because I’ll be celebrating the holiday with my boyfriend and his family in Las Vegas. I’m known to my friends, family and coworkers as the cake pop and macaron girl, so of course I will be contributing one of the two for Thanksgiving this year. I may do both, but pumpkin macarons are a must bring.

From Trader Joe's website

Have you seen this at Trader Joe’s?

Pumpkin butter. Get in the car. Drive to Trader Joe’s. Buy it now!

This was a main ingredient for the filling in my pumpkin macarons this year. It did not disappoint.

I used my favorite macaron recipe from Mad about Macarons by Jill Colonna (the one with 150 grams of egg whites) I added 2 teaspoons of pumpkin spice and a few squirts orange gel coloring to get the dark orange fall color.


The filling for the pumpkin macarons is super easy!  So easy, I didn't take any pictures of it.  It only requires two ingredients, three if you really want it to be super pumpkin-y.

Pumpkin Filling
8 oz of cream cheese
Jar of Trader Joe’s pumpkin butter
Teaspoon of pumpkin spice*
Cream the cream cheese with a paddle attachment until smooth, add the whole jar of pumpkin butter, whip.  Taste. Add additional pumpkin spice as desired.  Continue whipping until smooth.

Fill your pumpkin macarons, eat and let the pumpkin flavors explode in your mouth. 



The pumpkin butter has a slight tartness to it that I prefer over the filling I made last year. You can find the recipe here. I’m all for macarons with lots of flavor. I like to bite into a cookie and know the flavor right away. I’m not one for subtle flavors. You can adjust the amounts of pumpkin spice based on your own preference.

Don't have time to make your own?  Trader Joe's has pumpkin macarons this year!  A dozen for $4.99 What a deal!

They can be found in the freezer section.


Enjoy!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Wax Paper vs. Parchment Paper

Wax paper vs. Parchment paper.  Is there a difference?  YES!  I thought they were the same thing!  How come no one told me?  Maybe I should have asked...

Last night I made a batch of pumpkin macarons and used parchment paper for the first time.  It was in the holiday aisle at Target. 

When I took the cookies off the paper, I had ah-ha moment!  WTH?  Why have I not used this earlier?  Doh!  They work as well as a silpat!

Rule:  Don't use wax paper for macarons!  Use parchment!  Works as well as a silpat! 

Lesson learned. 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Pink Parisian Wedding Dessert Table

On June 1st my sorority sister Jackie married her best friend Samuel. They had a beautiful wedding in Newport Beach. Jackie is an event planner extraordinaire, so I knew her wedding was going to be nothing short of exceptional and impressive.

I was happy to contribute macarons and cake pops to her gorgeously styled dessert table.



The wedding theme was romantic, soft, ethereal  elegant and Parisian.  I think the table captured the theme beautifully.  The colors were pink, blush pink with touches of gold.  I love the petal table cloth, flowers, and of course the sweets!

I made three different types of cake pops to go with her theme. I made simple round cake pops with three different flavors using the mini bow candy mold, mini rose candy mold and and a soft pink cake pop with white non-pareil sprinkles to differentiate the flavors. Jackie purchased the cake pop stand to showcase the cake pops. 



I made three macaron flavors, pink with chocolate ganache, light pink with a Swiss Meringue Strawberry Buttercream, and Salted Caramel Macarons.  All the macarons were brushed with luster dust to make it look elegant.

Other mini desserts included fruit tarts, mini cupcakes, and candy purchased by Jackie.

All photos by Bret Cole Photography.

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