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Mocha Macarons

I think I’m improving in the macaron department. I’m no longer abjectly terrified that something is going to go wrong in one of the many seemingly simple and yet completely complex stages of the recipe. I’ve scaled all the way back to just slightly nervous and questioning of my decisions while still taking *minimal* risks. While macaron batter is portrayed as this delicate flower that will be destroyed at the littlest wrong move, I did some reading and it turns out that while the egg whites still need to be whipped to stiff peaks and the carefully ground and sifted almond flour needs to be folded in, after this and before piping the macaron shells the batter actually wants to be roughly folded/mixed upwards of 60 times before it is ready to pipe. For these delightful macarons (seriously they turned out so much more even and normal looking than my previous batches) are comprised of a dark chocolate shell, recipe courtesy the Korean edition of the Laduree cookbook, and an espresso buttercream, recipe courtesy yours …

White Chocolate Chai Macarons

I really was going to be done baking this week. After three cakes (Ombre Rose Cake, Caramel Macaron Cake, Buttercream Rose Wreath Cake) and one batch of macarons, I told myself that I didn’t need to spend more time in the kitchen before heading off to Portland to visit my brother and some friends. I was out of excuses to bake and I needed to spend time on things like packing. But when your friend texts you and asks if you can make macarons together… How could I resist?! After finding about 20 new recipes for macarons on FoodGawker I gave my friend Jenny a few flavor options, and her vote was for “White Chocolate….But maybe Chai” — which I took as a challenge to create a White Chocolate Chai Macaron. Having just had great success with making macarons a few days before, I was unusually hesitant to try a new recipe, and decided instead to modify the previous recipe I had used, adding in the flavors I wanted as I could. I was a little …

Caramel Macaron Cake

I have no words to describe how happy I am with this cake. Macarons = Perfect. Caramel = Perfect. Butter Cake = Perfect. Cream Cheese Frosting = Perfect. Overall Design = Perfect. Just everything is perfect. And so far social media has agreed with me– I have never gotten more likes on Instagram than I have within this cake! I’ve always adored the look of cakes that are topped with macarons, so I’m not sure why it took until now for me to make one…. But seriously, the doors of creativity have been opened. And there is no going back. I am sensing many more macaron topped cakes in my future. The macarons come from a recipe by Sally’s Baking Addiction that I blogged about recently, the Butter Cake is from Miette’s cookbook, and the frosting is adapted from La Peche Fraiche. The combination and styling was from my own imagination, since I think everything should be a caramel-white-chocolate-butter explosion lightly dusted in cinnamon. Here is a short video of me putting together the cake (ignore the part …

Caramel Cinnamon Macarons

Why have I not been making macarons every week of my life?! Who knew such a seemingly innocent and reputedly challenging dessert would be so simple to make…and so delicious!? I have always loved macarons, as is evident by my undying love for pastry chefs like Pierre Herme and Sadaharu Aoki and the Laduree macaron keychain on my purse. But I have for some reason only made them once in my life–I mostly just dream about them from afar and flock to the aforementioned pastry shops as soon as I step foot in a city big enough to have them. So I made macarons because I thought it would be a good way to challenge myself (and to calm my need to eat them until I make it to Paris this March). And what resulted was completely life changing, because now I am going to make macarons on a regular basis, in every flavor a person can possibly imagine….and also put them on every other dessert that is physically capable of holding a macaron. I …

Caramels Flavored with Tea

I make friends by bribing them into liking me via food. How do you do that when you aren’t on the same continent as them? Well by mailing them sugar of course. While I wold love to send my cakes all over the world, for now I have been sticking to caramels, as they stay fresh for a long time and they travel without becoming mutilated in a mailer envelope. I first mailed caramels to Japan two years ago–but you know me, one time of making regular, unflavored caramels was enough and I was ready to move on to a new recipe and a new flavor. The next time I mailed caramels I made Earl Grey Caramels and Apple Cider Caramels–and while both had good flavors and successfully made it to Japan, the Earl Grey Caramel recipe naturally had a better/easier to handle texture. So this time I dug out my Earl Grey Caramel recipe, but with the intention of making it with a different flavor. Actually, with four different flavors. Yes you heard me …

Ombre Rose Cake

Do you ever needlessly go out of your way to make something more difficult for yourself? Because I just spent four evenings in a row making 66 quarter sized gumpaste roses for no other reason than I felt like making a cake….for myself…. Usually I like to have an excuse–even if it is a light one–such as a birthday or a friend returning from being abroad or a club meeting when I bake things. It makes me feel more justified in spending time and effort on something so extravagant. But this time I just told myself and my family that I was preparing myself for pastry school and looking to update the recipes on my blog and pictures on my business cards. Which I suppose is a valid excuse, but it was also the first of three cakes I planned to make in one week, so then again maybe not so valid. The first round of gumpaste roses actually started so that I could make a video, which I have up on YouTube. Ever since …