Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Baking frenzy.

It was a baking week this week. Eclairs and macarons. The fridge is full of sweet goods - my baked goods, cakes and petit fours (Sister's birthday was just over, and she received quite a few of these) and tubs of ice-cream. It gives me a sugar rush just thinking about the amount of stuff in the refrigerator. Hoho!

I decided on trying out new flavours for the eclairs - earl grey and matcha. Earl Grey cos I know my sister likes earl grey, and matcha for Mua. (:

I didn't really like the earl grey flavour in the end as I felt the overall taste was just weird. Maybe the quality of the earl grey used wasn't good enough (I thought we had Twinings at home, but apparantly not.). My sister also said the earl grey flavour wasn't strong enough and she preferred the matcha ones comparatively.

I made enough to pack some for Mua and Siew and dropped them off at their place that night. Unfortunately for Mua, the box apparantly went "missing" when she reached home and she didn't get to taste any. Awww. Never mind, I'll do some other green tea goodie for you next time dear!

My first attempt at french macarons on 9/12/08. The main motive was to use up the egg whites left over from the pastry cream I made for the eclairs above.

I still had some egg whites lying around, and lots of leftover ganache I made yesterday for the macarons. What should I do? More macarons. ;)

The macarons I made yesterday were pretty pale in colour, I wanted vibrant hues so I added more colouring/powder to the macarons mixture I made today.

I sifted some cocoa powder on the second batch of chocolate macarons, hoping that there would be a nice speckle effect. But alas, I added too much cocoa powder into the macaron mixture itself, so the macarons turned out really dark, and the sprinkling effect was not really obvious.

A few more drops of red colouring turned the macarons into a richer pink hue. Can you spot a vague letter 'M' on the upturned macaron on the right image? I find it so cool - M for Michelle! Haha.

These are actually really really tiny macarons. About the size of a ten-cent coin perhaps. I piped different sizes macarons - mostly tiny/medium ones and a few big ones. I heard that macarons are really sweet bites, so I made them bite-sized so sampling all the different flavours won't leave anyone feeling as though they overindulged in sugar.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Nutty project drives me nuts

I've handed in my 2 assignments due last Friday, with utmost relief. ;) Now all that's left is the assignment due this Friday, and the exam on the 12th. Phew.

Went for a movie How to Lose Friends and Alienate People today with Fiona and Ludwig. Movie was so-so. But the fun part was we had lunch at West End before that and cos we had time, we went St Vinnys! (For those in the dark, it's kinda Salvation Army kinda shop) My first time there. hoho I got a pink patterned bag for $4. ;)

Anyway, cos Therese had said she wanted my help in baking to do some shots for her photomedia, I decided to make Filbert (Hazelnut) Gateau with Praline Buttercream over the weekend. Literally over the weekend. Since the process of making the cake was a damn long list, I spread the job over a couple days. It made things way easier for sure. Then her hsemates, aka the two above, told me on Saturday Therese is not coming anymore. o.o Oh well, since I had already started the job, so might as well finish it right.

Some negative side effects that I had while making the cake were, I overwhipped the egg whites (trust me, you wouldn't want to know how it looks like), so I had to throw away the first batch and do up a second one (which I hand whipped instead of using the electric mixer) and the mountain of washing I had to do. -.- But the effort was worth it (kinda) since the praline buttercream was damn yummy haha.

It's great I halved the recipe so I ended up with lesser portions. One thing about baking so much is that you tend to not want to waste food, so I always cut back on the recipe to whatever proportions possible. I ended up with 6 mini cakes but I only used 5 of those since one of them kinda collapsed tsk tsk. I gave one to Woo as belated birthday, one to my ex-boss (oh did I mention I'm done with my intern thing? (: ), one to Pam who's coming back tomorrow from Bangkok! and one for myself! So there's still one more in the fridge...

hazelnut brittle process
praline paste process
praline buttercream process
assembling the cakes process
the caramalising hazelnuts process with the long long tips.
pouring ganache over cakes process

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