Cake for Days….

Literally, it took days to make and as far as I know the remnants are still circulating amongst family members for the past few days. All I know is that I was not taking any of it home with the Hubs and I….

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As you know, I made a batch of whoopie pie macarons last weekend and turned out a bunch of meringues at the same time in festive shades of pink and green….

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Meringues are a whole measure easier than macarons to make and give you almost the same, and I mean almost, satisfaction. It’s egg whites and sugar, whipped to a frenzy and flavored and tinted. And they can also be saved in airtight containers and stay fresh for a long while.

I made a golden cake and upped the game by adding an extra egg, subbing milk for water, and butter for oil. The result is a richer crumb, and softer, richer taste. I made 2 9″ square cakes and filled the layers with buttercream and a little apricot jam for moisture and then frosted the whole cake. You could stop there but as the Hubs said, nothing succeeds like excess, and so I added chocolate ganache, a spill of plain and chocolate macarons, meringues and chocolate dipped strawberries and tiny, edible fairy stars…after all, it’s Christmas!

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“Gal-entine’s” Day

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What better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day on a terrifically frigid winter afternoon than gathering some “gal pals” and celebrating “gal – entines” day? Leave the romantic dinners, wine and flowers for your soul mate, but in the meantime, gather your girlfriends, daughters, nieces and all those creatively inclined for an afternoon of crafting coziness.

Eleven women who met the criteria above were at my house on Saturday to craft and decorate just in time for the holiday. It was a no pressure event featuring a mimosa bar, quick and easy baked but not breaded chicken parmesan with a salad, and tons of goodies.

Here’s some of my projects for the afternoon : chocolate covered strawberries and macarons and meringue hearts for everyone to take home!

For the meringues I placed a  sheet of plain 8 1/2 x 11 paper that I had used my computer to space even, same size hearts on as an outline. I placed the template between my silpat covered baking sheet and the parchment paper. Once the meringues were piped, I just pulled the piece of paper out. This works to make macarons also. Also a little hint for your piping bag is to use a large cup like kind from fast food restaurants or movie theaters snack bars to fill and hold your piping bag. Makes it very easy!

Here are some of the notions and ephermera I put out to help my guests craft!038041042

Hope everyone had a terrific Valentine’s day!

 

 

Khristmas Kitchen

Where I attempt to channel good karma into baked goods…

Episode 2…Gingerbread Macarons, the Magnificent Obsession   

 I haven’t made Macarons for about 5 months, but fell back into the old rhythm with no problem. This weekend I turned out a batch of gingerbread macaron shells filled with vanilla buttercream. Same formula except I subbed a half ounce of combined ginger, cloves and cinnamon at the end.

  

Macarons ,The Magnificent Obsession

Karats for Sale, Part I

How did it happen that I did not make macarons in March? The horror!

So I made up for it and turned out a batch of carrot cake flavored ones, filled with pineapple buttercream I mixed the dry spices for carrot cake ( ginger, cinnamon, allspice) in with the almond flour for that spicey batter flavor.

 

  

I diced dried pineapple and mixed with the whipped buttercream. And because it’s yellow, it’s the first entry for this months color challenge which is yellow! I added some yellow gel food coloring for a totally yellow filling. Looks great with the orange dontcha think?

 

  

Happy Valentine’s Day

The color challenge for February is Red #6
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It’s so cold out and it was snowing here in Worcester again ( before today, the official snow total here was 97″ so far….an important detail)
Anyway, too cold and snowy to do anything but bake, so I made some GIANT heart shaped macarons. I filled them with cheesecake filling and mixed berry jam for a sweet inside. I made the little heart shaped gummy skewers to go with them.

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Macarons….the Magnificent Obsession 2015 series

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See, they started out white, really they did. And so they kind of qualify for the color challenge, but not really.
So January’s macaron is a tiramisu macaron. The coffee flavor is in the wafer because I used espresso powder, one of the few flavorings you can actual put in macaron batter because it’s dry and mixes well with the almond flour and confectioner sugar. Then I mixed mascarpone and heavy cream and vanilla bean paste for the cream filling.

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Then I dusted them with cocoa powder! Delicioso!

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The Way Back Machine…December

Here’s what I was fashioning a year ago in December

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I stamped, embossed and taped some wax bags for baked goodies.

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Then I made some banderoles (banners) to use for cakes and other confections. I’ll post the file so you can print and cut out to use too!

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Hand stamped champagne tags for champagne gifts!

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Lastly my Christmas batch of macarons!

Macarons, The Magnificent Obsession

Considering I’ve been posting on the macaron of the month club that I have going here, I think this is entry number 12. There was a double clutch in January I think.

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I turned out a batch of gingerbread macarons on Wednesday in anticipation of the holiday. Before I even started the batter I had to turn the oven on to dry out the house a bit. I added 1 tsp of ground ginger, 1 tsp of cinnamon, 1/4 tsp of ground cloves and 1/2 tsp of nutmeg and then evened the almond flour out to the prescribed 4 ounces. Not too overpowering. I filled them with orange buttercream and the added some autumn sugar for sparkle. It is a holiday after all!

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I dressed them up by putting them in a baking cup, then a cello bag with ivory ribbon and one of those glitter leaves from a couple of weeks ago.