Coconut Macarons

I’m not sure if I’m the only one but I think I’ve mentioned before that although macarons are pretty, I’m not a big fan of eating them. Sure I love the challenge of making them: getting creative with flavors, the right ‘lava’ like consistency, piping even sizes, and most of all, staring at the oven window praying to see if feet form. ;) But when it comes to consuming it, I normally would just cut one in half just to taste it. Weird, no?

So, I was in the supermarket the other day and while going through the baking ingredients aisle, I saw some almond meal/flour. Finally! Before, I used to buy expensive packs of slivered almonds and grind them in the food processor. This time around, I made some coconut macarons with an easy coconut filling I made up which tasted pretty good.

They have rather uneven coloring but what’s important is that they have feet!

Coconut Macaron Shells
adapted from Raspberri Cupcake
makes 48 shells/24 macarons

100g egg whites (I didn’t age them but popped it into the microwave for 10 seconds)
50g sugar
105g almond meal/flour
195g powdered sugar
2 tbsp. dessicated coconut

-Line 2 9′ x 13′ pans. Set aside.
-Whip egg whites until foamy. Gradually add sugar. Whip until stiff peaks form.
-In another bowl, sift together almond meal, powdered sugar and dessicated coconut.
-Note: when incorporating the dry ingredients to the egg whites, be rough at first to deflate the whites and to make sure that the dry ingredients are fully incorporated with the whites.
-Fold the dry ingredients into the egg whites until a lava like consistency is reached. To prevent overmixing, as mentioned above, I would be rough at folding the beginning until the ingredients are mixed thoroughly then slowly fold. To know the right consistency, after each fold, the batter should be shiny, not overly runny and would hold the form when the spatula is lifted. You can test on a small plate and see, if the batter still holds a peak BUT flattens itself out but does not spread too much then it’s good to go.
-Fill your piping bag and pipe onto lined pans, about 1 1/4″ in diameter. Give at least 1/2″ space between each shell.
-Leave on the counter for about 30-40 mins. or until the shell is dry. You’ll know when you touch it and nothing sticks.
-Preheat oven at 150C.
-Bake for 15 mins.
-Let cool completely before peeling off the paper or else the filling comes off.

looks like porridge, hehe.

Coconut Filling

1/2 cup whipping cream
1 cup dessicated coconut
1/2 cup condensed milk

-Whip cream until stiff.
-In a bowl, mix together dessicated coconut and condensed milk. The mixture will be somewhat dense and may seem like it needs more moisture but when combined with the whipping cream, it’ll be fine.
-Fold whipping cream into coconut mixture.
-Chill for about 10-20 minutes until not so  runny.

To assemble:

-Pair up the macaron shells depending on their sizes.
-Arrange shells one side up and one side down (like above photo) and pipe filling.
-Cover by slowly twisting the upper shell (kind of like the motion you do with twisting oreos) until filling evenly spreads but careful not to let filling spill over.
-EAT!

On a social networking note, on the right sidebar you may notice a widget that for Baking Between Cities’ Facebook page. There’s no other reason I set it up except that I was quite bored the other day and I’m just really curious how many would ‘like’ it. o_o

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Cancelled flight + Cookies that didn’t exactly turn out right.

I’m supposed to be on a flight en route to New York at this moment. Supposedly. Due to the weather over there, my flight was unfortunately cancelled. I was half-expecting it to be honest; probably why I’m somewhat calm about the whole thing. I’ve rebooked for the 29th and hopefully all will go well then since I’ve already lost 2 days in NY. BOOOO! I’m mostly disappointed because I won’t have much time to visit places I wanted to spend more time in, but what can I do..

Anyway, I returned back to the apartment and changed back to my house clothes. A few hours, I had the sudden urge to bake. Baking is a form of therapy for me although not all results turn out well, especially on a bad day.

What were supposed to be nicely round cookies ended up like this.

Yep, I could totally imagine your face. xD

But even I was surprised when I thought of cutting them out instead of throwing them in the bin. Normally, a few months ago, I’m embarrassed to admit that I would frustratingly place the baking sheet immediately into the sink. But today, I looked for something I could cut out the mis-shapen cookies with and cut them into rounds.

excuse the blurry picture :p

They were delicious though! Too thin for my liking but that’s probably because the dough had too much butter which made it spread too much. But on the parts where it was somewhat thicker, it was really good and chewy. After it cooled, the tops were crunchy but the inside still chewy. The extra touch of coffee I added made it really smell good too.

So this got me thinking what my New Years’ Resolution would be; to think positive. I’ve always been too realistic to the point of being negative. So in 2011, hopefully, I’ll be able to fulfill this resolution. ;)

Lastly, I’ve asked this in my previous post but unfortunately my pictures weren’t good enough to get accepted at FB/TS, but anyone have any recommendations of places to visit (aside from Momofoku)? Food and other sites? ;)

Coffee Macarons with Coffee Ganache

I can’t believe it’s just a few more days until Christmas and eventually the New Year. Since I baked, I’ve always given baked goods as gifts to friends. Although some say it’s a good thing since I won’t have to think much about what I’m giving the person, I feel somewhat guilty because truth be told, I’m really bad at giving gifts and I would like to give them something that would last rather than something that would be consumed in a week.

This year, I’m trying to do both; giving them baked goods and material gifts. I’ve been hoping to make some goodies with peppermint but I couldn’t find any peppermint extract or those peppermint swirl candies around here. BOO. So instead of the original plan which was Peppermint Mocha (Fave holiday drink at Starbucks, which sucks since they don’t have it here in Switzerland >_>) Macarons, I’ve left out the peppermint and stuck with the mocha and coffee ganache combo. Yup, since my successful macarons in my previous post, I’ve had the courage and confidence to try them again. And this time turned out even better as all but one had almost perfect smooth tops and nice feet.

They were delicious. I especially loved the coffee ganache! Still a tad bit sweet especially since it’s white chocolate but still delicious. I made these for my friends here by the way, but I had a few extra since the box was full already xD.

Lastly, I’ll be going to NY and LA over my vacation next week, any particular recommendations? Excited to try out delicious food which I’ll be taking pictures of, of course! ;)

HAVE A MERRY CHRISTMAS & A HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Coffee Macarons
adapted from Trissalicious

100g egg whites (I popped mine in the microwave for 10 seconds instead of aging, still worked :o)
50g sugar
125g ground almonds
200g powdered sugar
2 tsp. cocoa powder
2 tsp. coffee powder

  1. In a bowl, beat egg whites for about a minute then gradually add sugar until stiff.
  2. In another bowl, sift together almonds, powdered sugar, cocoa powder and coffee powder.
  3. Pour the dry ingredients onto the egg whites and fold slowly to incorporate. Careful not to overmix. You can tell it’s good to go when you run your spatula in the middle and it would take about 5-6 seconds for the batter to come together. Or test with spoon and it’s still somewhat thick and flattens a tiny bit (it shouldn’t be runny and thin).
  4. Pipe into rounds on lined baking pans. Let sit for at least 30 minutes. When you touch it, the batter shouldn’t stick.
  5. Preheat oven to 150C.
  6. Bake for 12-15 minutes depending on size. Let cool before peeling off the silpat/wax paper.

Coffee Ganache
this made more than needed but it’s oh so goood. lol

150g white chocolate
2 tbsp butter
100g cream
1 tsp. coffee

  1. Place white chocolate and butter in a bowl.
  2. Bring the cream to a boil and pour over white chocolate and butter.
  3. Stir in coffee until smooth.
  4. Chill until nearly hard.
  5. Pipe or spoon onto macaron shells.

Macarons!

I first obsessed (yes, obsessed) about macarons over a year ago when the whole macaron mania began. After plenty of trials, not one batch was successful. Nope, not one. What came out of the oven were feet-less, cracked and/or hollow shells. So you can pretty much imagine my frustration. After my nth attempt and thousands of pesos later, I swore not to make them again for a long time and settled for staring with envy to those who got them right on FoodGawker and Tastespotting. Not to mention I got tired of eating them as well.

Until a few months ago before I set up Baking Between Cities. I also saw this post of Demystifying Macarons which prompted me to perhaps, try again. And I’m glad I did because today, I can finally present to you my macarons. Finally. Although they are not all perfect because some of them did end up with cracked tops, they all had feet. So I’m quite elated!

For the recipe and video instructions, visit Daydreamer Desserts (thank you!)!

Chocolate Chip Cookies with Hazelnuts!

Yeah yeah, I know what you’re thinking. Not another chocolate chip cookie recipe.. Sorry ’bout that but few days ago, I found myself craving for them. So I went to Martha Stewart’s website for her Soft & Chewy CCC which I have made before and absolutely loved!

This time, I added some hazelnuts. Why? Because I felt like it. Because I occasionally like the flavor of hazelnut syrup added into my Starbucks drinks. (Okay, totally random thought ;]) So I thought, why not add hazelnuts to the cookies? And then I thought, why not let them soak in coffee too? Turns out, I don’t think it would have given much of a difference if you left the coffee out so it’s all up to you ;).

Loved it! Definitely will be making this in the future again! Crunchy sides, chewy middle = cookie perfection.

Chocolate chip cookies with hazelnuts

adapted from Martha Stewart’s Soft & Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

I halved the recipe and it made 11 (bigger than average) cookies or around 15/16 normal sized cookies


1 cup + 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

2/3 cup granulated sugar (original recipe called for granulated and brown sugar but I didn’t have any brown sugar on hand)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 large egg

100g semisweet and/or milk chocolate chips — i used a bar of dark chocolate, chopped into smaller piecies

1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts, toasted and as mentioned above, soaked in coffee – totally optional


-Preheat oven to 180C.

-In a small bowl, whisk together flour and baking soda.

-In another bowl, cream butter with sugar. Add salt, vanilla and egg until well mixed.

-Slowly add flour mixture.

-Fold in chocolate and hazelnuts.

-Using an ice cream scoop, scoop dough onto lined baking sheets. Make sure they’re 2-inches apart because they’ll spread in the oven.

-Bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown around the edges.