Posts tagged baking
Posts tagged baking
Thanksgiving macarons (not a thing, now a thing)
I now use box mix only once a year, per request of my mother, to make cornbread croutons for Thanksgiving(I can explain more later)
Macaroons, take 1
Way back in January, I casually mentioned a few "baking New Year’s resolutions" and among them was French macaroons. A little while ago, I realized it’s almost December and I hadn’t even read a dang recipe (apparently I say “dang” now). So of course, action had to be taken! For a first try, it wasn’t a total flop and I’m pretty proud of myself. The delicate cookie sandwiches didn’t look like total monsters, and were actually very yummy. Let me take you through the photos… left to right:
1. Out of focus almond flour, confectionary sugar and some egg whites and sugar, next to meringue being whipped. I am still not so comfortable or familiar with meringues, but I was by myself and had to decide when it was done. 2. Cross-refrencing recipes. I mostly followed the recipe and technique from Thomas Keller, and am not sure how I feel about it. Obviously it has to work, it’s TK, but the method was quite different from the other two books… the amount of meringue added to the almond flour mixture is flexible, no wait time after the cookies are piped before they go in the oven, etc. 3. I am so smart!! I broke the buttercream. Of course I broke the buttercream, I had no idea what I was doing. But, I remember reading somewhere that the bowl might be too cold, so I took a hair dryer to the outside of the bowl, and I fixed it! I was so excited I almost called someone to let them know. I made non-American buttercream at home for the first time successfully!! THIS IS A BIG DEAL 4. Attempting to match cookies. A lot didn’t make it, and they’re a little spotty (either a result of improper mixing or old almond flour), but whatever. 5. The most perfect macaroon I could find in the batch!! In the background you see a pile of broken cookies and meringues and Kyle, being Kyle.
I can’t wait to give these guys another try! Sidenote, if you’re interested in someone who actually knows what they’re doing with macaroons, check out KatCakes.
It’s Friday, treat yourself to something sweet.
It’s gloomy outside. I’m making cookies.
I’m also wearing an apron with flowers on it. Because after all, it is Friday.
I am currently on hold with MA Health Connector… It’s going to be a while. But it’s necessary so I don’t have a break in my health coverage. So while I’m listening to the repetitive hold statements, advertisements, and same bars of music, I thought I’d share this tart with you.
Our home is finally all out of apples. The last large sum of them went into this tart. The whole time I was making it while thinking, “I have no idea what I am doing” but I did it anyway, and it came out okay. The recipe comes from Pastry: Savory & Sweet, a book given to me for my last birthday by the Pastry Chef I used to work under. It’s a great book on basics of tarts and puff pastries and whatnot. The technique for the crust involves throwing the flour onto the table in a mountain, making a well (at this phase I call it a volcano) and then adding the butter, eggs, salt and sugar and combining it all with your fingertips and then adding the water. The filling involved peeling and cutting up a butt-load of apples (more than I needed to) and cooking 1/3 of them down to a mush with a vanilla bean and water and then layer the slices as pretty as you want them to be. After the tart cools, you brush it with a sugar syrup glaze. I didn’t wait for anything to cool because I needed to leave the house so it was a little soggy, and I left a great pile of dishes, but also the tart, so I’m a good person.
Forget this, I’m filing for health insurance on paper.
When I got my first job as a baker last December, and learned it was totally acceptable to wear stretchie pants all day every day, I decided that Friday, I would break out my stretchie florals, and thus my floral Fridays began. Since then, every Friday at work, I’ve been sporting a flower-patterned something. This was my way of celebrating Friday, even though it wasn’t “my Friday” because I had work on Saturday (see Wellness Wednesdays). Also, when I was a bread baker, the flour delivery was on Fridays, so it was a nod to that too (flower/flour Fridays.. Do you get it yet?). I mostly wore these same pants, that I got a Target yeaaars ago as a last purchase before I gave up shopping for a couple of months (this isn’t a thing anymore) but a few Fridays I sported a Hawaiian shirt and recently purchased a second pair of flower-power pants. Except last Friday. Last Friday I wore my black stretchie pants, and some sort of regular tshirt (and floral socks) because I had a stage and I wasn’t sure if that was the best introduction of myself (Google “stage,” not the theater kind. I don’t feel like explaining it.) It was my first time in the kitchen of a real restaurant (not bakery or cafe), a nice one too, and I’m glad I did it. I was nervous the whole time, but it wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be. The idea of a stage kind of feels like an audition, and I hate auditions, which is part of the reason I stopped performing. But I tried to treat it just as an eye-opening experience. I visited another bakery earlier this week and it was great to see how things run there. Production interests me. Today I’m going to step inside yet another kitchen, this time a more homey restaurant. At this point I’m not sure what it is I want to do right now. I kinda have goals, but am no longer certain I can accept the life that goes along with being a baker (waking up really early, missing out on social engagements, being tired when I’m not working so much that I have motivation to do very little). I left my job yesterday for reasons other than the “life of a baker” stuff and now I need to find the next thing, and I need to figure out if it will be a place for Floral Fridays.
Apple almond cake.
I thought to myself… “I have apples, I have almonds, I want to make a cake” so I googled it, and of course apple almond cake is a thing, and there are tons of recipes and I’m not a super genius (obviously, I can’t even spell genius without autocorrect). I’ve never had a cake like this, but I loved it! The cake was dense and moist and not super sweet. And the texture of the topping matched really well. I want to work on the recipe to make a completely gluten free cake. From the original recipe, found here, I changed a few things already. I subbed in almond milk for the yogurt and replaced 1/2 cup AP flour with 1/2 cup almond flour.
I went apple picking for the second time this season this past weekend, so look forward to more apple things… if I remember to take pictures.
Making apple pie together.
I’m currently sitting in my pajamas with a cat on my lap and a glass of wine by my side, listening to Call Chelsea Peretti. It’s Monday night, and I’m going to get myself to bed ON TIME. Four days a week I wake up at 4:30am and my body really wants me to have more sleep, and I rarely do. So tonight, I treat myself.
In other news…
Here are some more pictures from the apple pie Tyler and I made last week. It’s nice when we make things together. I still have yet to really enjoy cooking, and therefore don’t help Tyler out as much as I should. But every now and then, we collab on a yummy thing… I did Joy the Baker’s buttercream crust and really just wanted to make an apple crumble, because I love crumbles, but Tyler requested we make a “traditional” pie. We tag-teamed tackling the apples and then threw them in a big bowl with a bunch of stuff (raisins, spices, lemon juice, walnuts, whatever). And then it turned into a pie.
And then I ate pie, for every meal, for days.
Result of last night’s flour-covered wine glass picture
Today at work I made this.