Bonbons and Meringues

… or “that time when I jumped around the kitchen with glee”. But that’s a bit too long for a title, isn’t it?

Basically, this post is me bragging about making pretty things, because man, did I feel on top of the world when these didn’t fail but were in fact a pretty big success!

I mean, I tempered chocolate for the first time and didn’t screw it up. That’s big, you guys. That’s really something. Which is not to say that the whole process went completely smoothly… My mother can attest to the fact that it was a hectic mess. But it worked! The only thing I’m a little bummed about is that the pictures didn’t turn out great – it was a cloudy day and it was already starting to get a little dark… And I’m not great with the photo-editing. But oh well, you win some, you lose some, eh?

P1040379

Continue reading

Meringues 2.0

P1040351

Those of you who’ve been following the blog for a while now might remember that back in the summer I tried my hand at baking meringues. They didn’t come out exactly as planned as I couldn’t get the egg whites to whip up stiff enough, but they looked pretty cute and tasted all right too, so it was a semi-success.

I vowed to try again, and when my parents got me a Kenwood stand mixer for my birthday in October, I was already excitedly planning another meringues-making session in my head. Didn’t actually get around to it until the day before Christmas, but isn’t that always how it goes. Cut to another 2,5 months later and here I am finally posting about it.

Anyway!

Continue reading

Bucket List Baking: Meringues

In my previous post I talked about some of the things I’ve wanted to bake for a while, but haven’t yet. Today, I decided to change that – I made meringues!

Or, at least, there was an attempt. And a pretty good one at that, if I do say so myself.

About the title of this post, “Bucket List Baking”: I’m thinking about creating a page on my blog with a list of all the stuff I still want to bake, mostly for my own reference. I keep thinking of more and more baked goodies I’ve been wanting to bake for ages (yesterday I thought of cinnamon buns and donuts, for example), and this would be a good way to keep track of it. Or maybe I’ll just set up such a list in my bullet journal, who knows. We’ll see!

First, let’s get back to the meringues.

P1030909

Continue reading

My First Try At French Macarons

This week, I set myself the challenge of trying to make the ultimate cookie (although calling it “cookie” seems wrong): the French macaron! I’d never made these before, and I spent quite a few days researching the process and watching many Youtube videos to ensure they would come out at least somewhat decent. All of the macaron gurus I watched said that your first try most likely won’t be completely succesful, but I decided to ignore that and just try the best I can! In the end, I had seven succesful macarons, which tasted pretty decent!

P1010225

They’re still looking quite lumpy and not entirely the way a macaron should look, but I’m pretty content for a first try. I also think I can pinpoint where things went wrong, so hopefully I’ll be able to improve on this version the next time I make these — which probably will be quite soon, since I’m set on making the perfect macaron!

Of course, I didn’t make my own recipe for this, as that would have gone horribly wrong. Macarons are very finicky and everything has to be just right for them to turn out the way they should. I found a wonderful step-by-step recipe for making macarons at FoodNouveau.com, and they also provided a troubleshooting guide for when things are going awry. Seriously, that guide answers every question you might have about macarons.

So, I’m not going to write out a recipe for this one as the above mentioned was the one I used, and I’m just a beginner when it comes to these delicacies. But just to give you an indication of the recipe, here are the measurements:

– 3 egg whites (from large eggs)

– 210 g powdered sugar

– 125 g almond meal

– 30 g regular granulated sugar

– a few drops of food colouring

For the rest of the recipe I would really recommend FoodNouveau!

P1010229

I am still going to give you my experience with making these little ones, though! I spent the entire afternoon in the kitchen yesterday, and made a few pictures along the way as well.

P1010218Since my oven is quite small, I had to bake my macarons in two batches, which was a good thing in the end since the first batch failed miserably. They were undercooked, and by the time I realised that it was too late to put them back in the oven. The macarons wouldn’t come off the parchment paper — at least, not in one piece. Therefore, these ended up in the bin, unfortunately.

So, I knew what  I had to do for the second batch: simply bake them longer and not take them out until they felt firm when touching them. At this point, I was also a little more sure about how to place the macaron batter in nice round circles on the baking sheet.

P1010215

Some of them are still a bit, well, not round, but most of them are looking pretty good at this point! I was quite chuffed with myself, to be completely honest, and had high hopes for this second batch.

I put them in the oven and noticed to my excitement that they were starting to form the little feet (or ridges) at the bottom of the macaron. That’s when you know it’s going well! However, they had a bit of trouble with getting cooked completely, as they stayed a bit squishy and soft even after about 20 minutes.

P1010220

In the end, I decided I had to take them out as they were starting to turn a bit golden brown as well — which is not what you want. They lost some of their bright yellow colour but I didn’t mind since that was an accident in itself as well — I put in little bit too much food colouring. Still though, I think they turned out pretty nice, and I’m still really happy with those little feet.

P1010222For the filling of the macarons I made some chocolate ganache. I used 100 g dark chocolate and 125 g whipped cream, which I then melted au bain marie style, and mixed together with an electric mixer. I had way too much ganache for the 7 macarons I ended up with in the end, so I still have to figure out what I’m going to do with the rest of this stuff, but that’ll be alright.

Well, that is basically my macaron story. Hopefully, in the future, I can provide you with a more helpful guide on these cookies, but this is my experience with it so far! They tasted pretty good, and turned out quite well, aside from the conventional aesthetic aspect. My friends enjoyed these lovelies very much, so there you go — that’s the most important part in the end, I think!

Have you ever managed to make the perfect macaron? 

P1010249

P1010226