Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Earl Grey Tea Macarons

I've been so ecstatic about having an over 50% success rate in the macaron shells from my last post that I had to try again to make sure it wasn't a fluke.  And two batches later my success rate is increasing - I think only the green tea ones had a few hollows, and they again all had feet and were smooth! ヾ(@^∇^@)ノ*happy dance*  I made the matcha sesame macarons again (though I forgot to add the black sesame seed decoration on top this time), and an Earl Grey tea flavored macaron, also from Shiawase Days (senpai noticed me! o((*^▽^*))o).  Seriously though, check out Amy Lu's blog - love her beautiful photos of all the super cute desserts she makes!  I always get so hungry looking at them.  Since I did a couple things differently, I'm posting the recipe here with my changes as a note to myself.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Green Tea Macarons with Black Sesame Buttercream

YUUUUSSSS!!! >50% of this batch of macarons came out perfect. (*/∇\*)And they were all smooth topped and had proper feet! The failed ones were the ones that came out hollow but hey, those are still edible and I'll take it! It's been ages (if ever) that I've been this happy with a batch of macarons.  They are the cookies that refused to be conquered.  Honestly, they aren't even my favorite cookies!  I keep making them though because I'm stubborn and I love the challenge of trying to make them precisely because I have not mastered it.  Every time I have an extra egg white I try to practice making a small batch, and although I sometimes feel like it's playing roulette, it is so rewarding when they do come out correctly.  There is also an infinite number of flavor combinations that one can play with so it never gets boring.

This attempt came about because I've been on a black sesame kick and had a spare egg white left over from making kasutera.  I love this recipe from the food blog Shiawase Days as it makes a small batch using just one egg white (extra large egg), has a simple ingredient list, and her ingredient amounts made exactly the right amount of batter and filling.  One thing she does differently that I hadn't seen much of was to bake at a much lower temperature for a longer time to prevent browning, which I think I will be doing now too as my oven tends to run hot.  She also piped 2" rounds, resulting in fewer cookies, but my template was closer to 1.5" so I was able to get about 26 shells.  I still need to work on my technique (sometimes I wonder if it's the way I pipe the batter that causes some to be hollow and others not??) but will definitely be using her proportions going forward.  (⌒▽⌒)☆

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Black Sesame Chiffon Cake

Been months since the last post...but o welps, better than no post right? (#^.^#)  I made this cake completely on a whim - just randomly thought to myself, "Hm, wonder if there's a good black sesame cake recipe out there?" and of course there was.  Yay Google Search.  This recipe comes from a Taiwanese food blogger from Australia going by Green Cilantro, though sadly, it seems she hasn't posted anything new in the last couple of years.  I pretty much followed it to the letter with an extra step, and listed more weight measurements.

For the most part I think the cake turned out great, except mine was no where near as tall as hers, despite using a pan that was about 9 1/2"- 10" in diameter like she had said in her post.  Perhaps I over-mixed it and deflated the egg whites too much when folding them in, but my batter just did not fill up my pan very much even before baking.  The finished cake was still plenty fluffy and light in texture though, so not sure what's up with that.  ヽ( ̄д ̄;)ノ At any rate, it was an after-the-fact trial run for my tot's birthday cake next month and I was pretty happy with the results, especially as it is not overly sweet.  Hopefully I will get better pictures of it next time with a proper camera and update this post later. (^v^)