I think it’s been about two months since I’ve posted anything on the blog, but I think I’m back now that it’s after the holidays. November and December have always been crazy for me, since I love to bake and basically, Thanksgiving and Christmas are excuses to bake a lot and bake big!
So what’s been going on with me since my last post? Quite a bit has changed since then!
I am definitely a novice cake baker and decorator, but last month, I made 3 four-layer cakes for a Christmas party. They weren’t very pretty to look at, but they actually tasted decent. I wasn’t too happy with the appearance of them, but this bake did give me hope that maybe I can learn how to bake a good cake. I am hoping to take a cake decorating class sometime this year.
Josh made the mistake of buying me a Nordicware Bundt cake pan for Christmas. I am now addicted to them and want to collect all of them. I will try to post soon about my Bundt cakes… which are so much easier for me to make than a traditional layer cake.
I am slowly practicing as many new (and sometimes unusual) bakes as I can and trying to perfect them. I would eventually like to apply for a cottage food permit here in California and actually sell my baked goods. Where and how I would do this is still up in the air, but I would like to prepare for the possibility!
Last month, I was asked if I could make desserts for a fellowship at my church. I’ve been wanting to make macarons for an event like this for a while, so crazy me planned to make 80 latte macarons and 150 chocolate chip cookies for the fellowship.
Today was my planned day to bake and fill 80 latte macarons with vanilla buttercream frosting. My wonderful MIL, who wasn’t feeling well, watched my kids for most of the day so that I could concentrate on baking the macarons. I wouldn’t have been able to do this bake without her help.
One mistake: For some reason, I thought my usual macaron recipe only made 24 macarons, but it actually makes closer to 40. Yesterday I had prepped my egg whites for 4 batches of the recipe. 40 times 4 equals yes 160 macarons. So I had been planning to make around 96 macarons (in case some of them weren’t pretty enough to go to the fellowship) but ended up making around 160 latte macarons instead because I couldn’t let those egg whites go to waste! Ok, in reality, I knew Josh would be ecstatic that there would be so many “extra” macarons.
Since I used an entire 18 count carton of extra-large eggs for this bake, I now have 18 egg yolks in the fridge. Lemon curd anyone?
In my previous macaron posts, I’ve mentioned trying to get the total prep, bake, and fill time to under 3 hours. And I’ve never been able to do it. Today was no exception! In fact, I started the bake at 9 AM this morning and didn’t finish until 5 PM. Admittedly, that whole time was not spent actually working on the macarons. I had to let the piped macarons crust for about an hour instead of only 30 minutes because it was raining outside and rain means humidity. Piped macarons don’t like humidity! I also had to stop around 1:30 PM so that I could go pick up my kids and did not get back until about 3 PM. I think that my second batch of macarons did need all that time though to develop their crust.
When I try a recipe and love it, I tend to use only that recipe and won’t usualy want to try another. This is the case with macarons. I love Dorie Greenspan’s recipe for macarons and can almost follow it from memory now!
Dorie Greenspan’s Parisian Macarons
I did discover on this bake that this recipe can be successfully doubled. You will probably wish you had more baking sheets like I did though!
The batter probably needed a few more stirs with the spatula though before piping. All the macarons kept their little “hats” through the bake in the oven.
I also found out that the latte macarons on the insulated baking sheet needed more than 12 minutes in the oven. A few of them ended up being soft instead of crispy after 12 minutes in the oven. That was okay though since I still had 120 others to choose from.
And another oddity, the latte macarons in the small cookie sheet had more of a macaron shape than the others. I wonder if the walls of the cookie sheet contributed to that.
For the coffee flavor in the shells, I used 4 teaspoons of coffee extract (homemade by Josh) in the heated sugar syrup then half a packet of Starbucks instant coffee in the almond/powdered sugar mixture.
For the filling, I made a simple vanilla butter cream frosting.
150 g of butter
450 g of powdered sugar
1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
1-3 Tbsp of milk
First, I beat the butter until creamy in my stand mixer. Then, I added the vanilla extract. The powdered sugar goes in next a little bit at a time. Lastly, drizzle in the milk until the frosting is the consistency you are looking for. Even a little bit at a time, my mixer still ended up looking this
after I was finished making two batches of frosting. It seems that it is just inevitable that when you work with powdered sugar, you will make a mess.
Two batches of frosting was enough to fill the latte 160 macarons and some leftover to eat out of the bowl.
This is an interesting pic and video of the heated sugar syrup portion of the recipe. It is so funny how the temperature of the sugar syrup just shoots up to about 210 degrees F and then creeps up to that 235 degrees to 245 degrees F so slowly! In the video, you can see the steam from the boiling sugar syrup. So so glad for a stand mixer! During this part, I stay away from it for about 10 minutes and let the mixer do its job. Side note: coffee-flavored Italian meringue is yummy!
Also, Josh bought me a new oven for Christmas! I love it so much.
Tomorrow is Crazy Baking Day #2, where I try to fill a 6 quart bucket full of chocolate chip cookie dough. Come back soon and thank you for reading!
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I’m amazed that you got all those macarons made. You’re blessed to have such a wonderful MIL who watched over the little ones even though she wasn’t feeling well. All those egg yolks … besides making lemon curd you can also make flan. And hollandaise. You’re so lucky. 🙂
Congratulations on the new stove and the best of luck with the chocolate chip dough/cookie bake.
I am amazed too! They aren’t all perfect but that’s okay. They all still taste good. lol
Or I could make frozen custard. So many options for those yokes.
I guess we need more yolks then since I want to make lemon curd and pomegranate curd. lol
You mean like for an ice cream base?
Sounds delicious too. 🙂
Josh is the one who makes our ice cream! He does a great job too. I love it that he likes to cook too. A few days ago, he made an incredible dinner for us but he didn’t take pictures of it! It was fabulous. It would have made a good blog post.
Yes. Frozen custard uses egg yokes. It is more creamy then ice cream, but is the same basic idea.
PS: I forgot blender mayonnaise. So it’s not just sweet stuff.
What does hollandaise go with? Does it go with steak? I guess I can look it up. I love researching new things. 🙂 Also, the chocolate chip cookie dough making today is so that I only have to bake cookies tomorrow instead of making the dough and then baking them all in one day. I am curious to see if 4 batches of my favorite recipe fills up a 6 quart bucket though!
Yes, hollandaise goes with steak though some FUSSY people insist on a variation of the hollandaise called a bearnaise sauce instead.
Béarnaise sauce (/bɚrˈneɪz/, French: [be.aʁ.nɛz]) is a sauce made of clarified butter emulsified in egg yolks and white wine vinegar and flavored with herbs. … The difference is only in the flavoring: Béarnaise uses shallot, chervil, peppercorn, and tarragon, while Hollandaise uses lemon juice or white wine.
Hollandaise, of course, is used over poached eggs/harm or bacon and some sort of bread though the classic is the English muffin. And any roasted veggies especially asparagus … and poached salmon.
Congratulations of finishing the dough. It’s always great to be able to break up a job over 2 days to cut back on the stress.
Wow these look amazing!!
Thank you! 🙂
Your welcome ??
Well done on all of the macarons! They look delicious – also your Bundt cake looks amazing! I received a bundt tin for Christmas but don’t know what recipes work best with that shape.
Thank you! I love my Bundt tins! I hope to share recipes for them soon. If you want to look up Dorie Greenspan’s Bundt cake recipes though, I’ve had good luck with her recipes! I’m still working out how much batter to put in though so it rises to the very top of the tin without overflowing.
Those macaroons look so good!! <3 I am such a huge fan of macaroons, but have never gotten around to making them, but I will definitely be making these now. Thanks so much for sharing this!
Thank you, Kristen! Yes, I love macarons too! It’s a lot of fun to experiment with different flavors.
Your Bundt cake pan are spectacular! ???
I love my Bundt cake pans so much! I want to buy all of the Nordicware designs, but of course, I cannot. I wouldn’t have any place to store them all!
These look so great! Thanks for sharing!
Thank you! We have gotten a new oven since I made these though, and apparently, I need to take a Saturday to figure out how to bake macarons in it. 🙂