Vanilla Macarons with Ganache Filling

I've been determined to make French macarons for a while now.

It happened today.  They take some time.  It was worth it.

You'll Need: (adapted from Brave Tart)
For the cookies:
- 4 oz. almond flour (or ground blanched almonds)
- 8 oz. powdered sugar
- 5 oz. egg whites
- 1/2 cup caster sugar (regular also works)
- 1 vanilla bean (seeds scraped)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch cream of tartar
For the filling:
- 3/4 cup milk
- 6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 teaspoon Grand Marnier
- 1.5 teaspoons cornstarch


Prep your dry ingredients.  Sift the almond flour and powdered sugar together.  If you're making your own almond flour, grind blanched almonds with powdered sugar until it will go through a strainer.


Split your vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds.  Add seeds to the eggs whites, caster sugar, cream of tartar and salt which should all be in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.

Starting on a medium speed, whip the ingredients for 3 minutes.  On a medium high speed, whip for about 4 minutes.  Finally, push your mixer to the limit for about three minutes or until the mixture sticks inside the whisk when lifted.


Dump all the dry ingredients into the wet mixture.  Fold until smooth and barely stiff. (no need to be too careful, you want the whites to deflate) Then, put the mixture into piping bags without filling them all the way and pipe onto parchment lined baking sheets.  Tap the cookie sheets on the counter, use some force as this is supposed to release bubbles.  If you see any bubbles on the surface you can pop them using a toothpick.  Bake at 300 (F) until the cookies lift from parchment without breaking.


Now, as the cookies cool, prepare the ganache.
Put the chocolate, corn starch and Grand Marnier in a bowl.  Heat the milk until simmering and pour over chocolate.  Whisk until smooth.  Pop in the freezer for about 10 minutes.  Then, spread on cookies and smoosh together.  YUM.


Pancakes 4 Ways

I know I've posted about pancakes before.  But this time, I really mean it.

Since America's Test Kitchen is genius, my recipe deserved a makeover.

Don't worry, still healthier because they include buckwheat, so we're good on that front.

I know you were worried about that.

This morning I made plain, blueberry, raspberry and chocolate chip.  I ate well.

(adapted from America's Test Kitchen)
You'll Need:
- 1 + 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup buckwheat flour (this stuff is so good for you!)
- 2 + 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 cups milk
- 1 egg
- 3 Tablespoons melted butter, cooled slightly
- blueberries, chocolate chips, raspberries (if you want)
- vegetable oil for pan


Whisk together the lemon juice and milk, set aside.  Then, whisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Add the egg to the milk mixture and whisk, then add butter...whisk again.  Add the wet to the dry and mix until there are very few lumps.


Heat skillet with vegetable oil, wipe out excess with a paper towel.  Once the pan is hot, add batter and desired fillings to the uncooked top of the cooking pancake. Flip, cook, eat.


Recent Accomplishments

Yeah...haven't posted anything substantial recently.  I will soon!

Here are just a few of my recent kitchen creations.

Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake


Carrot Cakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Dark Chocolate Cake with Ganache Frosting

So, there is my review.

Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake
Carrot Cake
Dark Chocolate Cake