Friday, May 28, 2010

Cinnamon walnut macarons with apples and burnt caramel filling

For every great macaron, behind lies a supportive ice-cream. Whenever macarons make an appearance on the blog, 90% of the time is because I had made ice-cream and have lots of leftover eggwhites. I made black sesame ice-cream (for another post when I retrieve my currently lost pictures from my 'gone case' laptop) and was debating on what flavour macarons I should make.

I tossed some ideas around and posted on Facebook to get votes on what flavours I should make. I had like five eggwhites and I wanted to make two flavours cos I like variety. (: I didn't end up making the perennial favourite, the Ferraro Rocher, but I did the Hazelnut one (here) which was kinda similar since Ferraro Rocher = chocolate + hazelnut yes? I was very interested in making a matcha one, but then I wanted to sandwich something red bean-y in between and we had no red beans at home. That flavour combo shall be next on my list (I've since bought a bag of azuki beans). In the end, I decided on a making a plain macaron filled with salted caramel filling and apples. But what I first came up with was only the beginning of my flavour experiment...
Cinnamon walnut macarons with apples and burnt caramel filling

Monday, May 24, 2010

Hazelnut macarons

Hooray, all's not lost. At least, partially. While I'm stuck in no-laptop-land now, Daddy has provided a spare laptop for me to use in the meantime while we await the IT show in June (please show, come faster please). The downside is that the laptop is extremely extremely slow. Bangs head on keyboard. Ah, but beggars can't be whiners, so I'll put up with it till June.

Anyway, with the laggy laptop, I've still managed to accomplish some things, like downloading Adobe Photoshop CS5 trial (when did they move on to v5?? The last I heard it was like 3 and I was using 2 all the while. Man am I backdated.) and Picasa. With whatever files I still have in my camera, I've managed to edit some stuff to post so my backlog isn't going to be that bad. (: First up, here's some hazelnut macarons...

Hazelnut macarons with nutella ganache

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Out with the old, in with the what?

My computer's gone dead on me. As in, it totally died on me. How sad. I've been expecting the death for some time now but it is still pretty sudden. I' ve been backing up all my files quite often lately cos I never know when it might crash on me. But then, when it really crashed, I have no idea if I've backed up my latest latest files and I'm all panicky cos I'm wondering if I can retrieve them! I'm mourning the loss of the laptop cos it means I can't edit my photos to blog, can't surf the net and play FB games at home, can't convert videos to transfer to my iPhone to entertain myself for traveling to/fro work. AARGH.

I need a new laptop like ASAP. Just deciding what to get. Another Sony VAIO? Or a Mac? A lot people has suggested the Macbook. My Sis said that for such a virus-proned idiot like me, the Macbook has a lower tendency of virus attacks. But I'm so unused to the interface, I argued. Wenli said just download the Windows interface then. Then what's the point of getting the Mac, I reasoned. Sookee said I'm still young, I can get used to it pronto. Silence from me. Hahahaha.

So until I get a new laptop, less pictures, less blogging, cos the only comp use I'm gonna get is from work, and borrowed laptop usage when Sis is not using her...Mac. Lol. Maybe I should start practising getting used to a Mac. (: What do you guys suggest!

Here's a cute ad to end with. Enjoy!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Scraps from here and there

An avid baker would most likely have leftovers scraps from all over the place. You know what I'm talking about...those scraps of extra dough, the bits of chopped nuts and chocolates, the wee portion of creams or frangipanes or buttercreams, etc etc. That is when the baker's best friend would be, the freezer. The bigger the better I say, to store not only the leftovers, but also prepared goods that can be frozen (think muffins, homemade cookie doughs, freshly churned ice-creams).

I had leftover poached pears in the week I made the Poire D'Eve, I was thinking what should I do with them. So I opened up my freezer, poked around a bit for inspiration, and came up with my own concoction. I used leftover almond tart dough, I made up a fresh batch of almond frangipane (just because the only other frangipane in the fridge was pistachio, and I have doubts that it will mesh with the flavours I had in mind), topped it with sliced poached pears and chopped up some leftover pistachios for some colour. There, I had a dessert ready.

 Almond frangipane poached pears tart

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Shy meets shy

One of my colleagues showed me this at work today. How cute. This could totally be an ad for Post-It or something. (:

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Cocoa nibs almond cookies

Ever since I started baking regularly, I'm always on the hunt for new and interesting ingredients. Before I started following food blogs online, I've never heard of so many stuff and I'm amazed by all the loot. Meyer lemons, rose water,Valrhona chocolate, pecans (yes, how can I not know what a nut is?), graham flour, oat flour, feuilletine, flax seed, cocoa nibs. The list is extensive and I'm always discovering something new in the food community out there.

I get those urges (you know, those that hit you straight "WHAM BAM" that you MUST lay your hands on XXX or else you'll be, I don't know, super sad or something. Haha.) constantly whenever I read about something interesting. It's good if I can find it in Singapore, I'll be like, HOHO! That is definitely going into my grocery bag! Just like how when I saw the bag of cocoa nibs, I felt like I was in heaven.

Cocoa nibs almond cookies

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Banana buttermilk pancakes and coffee

Hot coffee and pancakes

It's a brand new chapter. What best to start off with a good hearty breakfast? I had buttermilk in the fridge, it was supposed to be for a lazy weekend pancakes breakfast, but when I was baking some muffins over the weekend to store in the freezer, I was half-way through the food prep before I realised that we had ran out of milk. -.- Luckily, buttermilk came to the rescue, and since I didn't want it to remain open too long in the fridge after I opened it, I decided to make the pancakes in advance. I had bananas lying around, so yeah, I sliced some up and added them when the batter was in the pan.

A healthy dose of maple syrup (think we can omit the butter in this case yes? The calories...) on the stack of pancakes, brew up some coffee, and I was all set to face the day.

I took a break from coffee after my last job, but I foresee a reunion with it now that work's started again. Here's to caffeine and new beginnings.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Mao's Last Dancer

I had been waiting for this movie to come out in the Singapore theatres for ages. Jamie dear had already caught it long long long ago I think, last year even, and I was so jealous. When I finally saw that it was screening in cinemas, it was like "YAY!". I don't really watch movies nowadays, and sometimes, I end up missing a couple of movies I've wanted to watch, but just didn't have the time or company to go. So it was a real pleasure that I actually got my girlfriend to accompany me to watch the film over the weekend. The film was great. Seriously.

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