Thursday, August 29, 2013

French Macarons

Before this run, I never made macarons before. I know there was the huge crave for them like a few years ago, the new 'cupcake'. At my job in Australia, we made macarons. Me, being the peon, or rather seasonal girl I got to bang a lot of macarons though. I had to wear ear muffs, because it was so loud. You could literally hear it across the entire hotel kitchen. I would lift this heavy tray in the air and let it drop on a metal table. This gets rid of the little pesky air bubbles.

So anyway. I was pumped and nervous to make these. I decided to use the French Method to make them.

I made the merningue. I don't have a KitchenAid mixer, so I didn't use the time or speed suggested. I went by sight and what I should look for. The mernigue should be glossy and stiff. A good way to check for me since I have traditional beater, is to stick a wire whisk in there. You want it to stay pronged in the whisk.

Then you dump all the dry on top of the meringue. And Fold! This part is probably not my favorite just yet. I folded to the amount suggested. I probably could of done a few turns less. I tested it out on a plate to check the fluidity before piping them on a sheet of parchment.

So I have one good heavy sheet pan, and these two flimsy ''decent'' ones. The first batch on the awesome sheet tray baked well. I got feet. The flimsy ones came out cracked!

 I baked the last two batches on the aluminum tray in turns.

They came out perfect. I just wanted the cute little feet and happy I got them on my first try!

The downside is that they were hollow. You bite into one and you get air.

I made Chocolate Ganache to go with it. It's so good alone by itself. Letting it sit in the fridge for a day really helped with hollowness. Oh they were still hollow, just not as noticeable.

I think they still are so cute!!

French Macaron 
(recipe via Brave Tart *)

4 ounces (115g) almond flour
8 ounces (230g) powdered sugar
5 ounces (144g) egg whites
2.5 ounces (72g) sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp kosher salt

 * Click on link to view Method of Preparation.

Chocolate Ganache
(recipe via Chow)

4 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 Tablespoons butter, cubed (room temperature)

Place chocolate in a bowl.
Heat heavy cream in a pot over medium heat until it begins to come to a boil.
Pour hot heavy cream over chocolate. Let sit for one minute. Add the butter and stir until smooth. Chill until thickened yet spreadable, about 30 minutes.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Icona Pop Concert

I went to see Icona Pop at the Masquerade in Atlanta!

I had a blast! It's kind of rare for me to be out and about at night, so this was a treat!

When I walked into the ''Heaven'' area, the room was visibly filled with smoke. To the left of the door, I saw these booths with women getting their hair flat-ironed. My sister and I joked about getting our natural hair straightened right then and there. It was really hard getting clear shots of them on my digital camera.

The opening act was K.Flay, a rapper/singer. It was pretty interesting, but I wasn't a huge fan. The crowd was hyped up regardless! When Icona Pop was getting ready to come on stage, everyone moves in a little bit too close next to you. It also didn't help that it was hott as HELL in there. It didn't stop me from jumping all over the place.

Aino strummin'
I got to wear a dress I bought from Nasty Gal a month ago, it was during their massive sale. It looks like actual denim but it's a bodycon dress. I fluffed out my old twist-out, and I was ready to go!

dress: nasty gal/// boots:asos/// bag: vintage

 So if you never heard Icona Pop's hit ''I Love It'', I suggest you give it a listen. My two favorite songs are ''Manners'' + ''Good For You''.  

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

2 Year Anniversary!

Whoo hoo!

I can't believe this blog is 2 years old!

I guess it really doesn't feel like it! It feels like I just started. I made so many changes with it... ie. the banner, if you guys remember my last one. It was kind of an eye sore.

Thanks to the new readers, the lurkers, and people who return to read the recipes I'm attempting to try.

So I want to list my top five posts of all time!!

White Chocolate Cheesecake. Amazing recipe. Truly. I loved the chocolate hearts I made too.

Pavlova.  I got thumb up from my Aussie mate, so I knew it was good. Simple recipe to make too!!

About Me. I really liked this post because I got to share a  picture of myself. At first I was so shy about showing my image for several reasons. I'm glad I did though. Plus it's 50 random facts about me :)

Vertical Layer Cake. This post gets the most hits out of them all, truly number one. That alone makes me have to add it. Plus, it was the the most challenging cake. I'm not saying it was overly difficult, but it was tricky cutting. Tons of fun though.

Strawberry Mousse Cake. It's the prettiest cake I ever made. If you don't believe me look at my posts from 2011.

Gnaww looking at my old post make me want to tear up! I'm such a sap.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Peach Bundt Cake

I bought a bundt cake pan from a antique store in Snellville, Ga. I thought it was so cute especially for 8 bucks, a bargain as far as I'm concerned.

My mom asked if I could whip something up for dinner. We were having barbecue pulled turkey, potato salad, and corn on the cob. I know very yummy.

Anywho, I looked through the cabinets. I saw some canned peaches with heavy syrup. We didn't have any fresh fruit otherwise I would of taken another route. I just strained the peaches and I added lemon juice to balance the sweetness, and yucky syrupy taste. It worked fine. I used half a lemon and went from there, adding more to taste.

I made two cakes in the same pan on rotation. I really dislike that, but hey that's what happens when you only have one cute bundt cake pan, that is somewhere between 6-8''.

I will say the first cake was hella dry, and it took forever to bake! I kept checking and it was done in certain areas and not others. I don't even know why. The second cake was fabulous and moist. The original recipe has a syrup that goes with it, and I'm sure that would counteract the dryness because it will soak into the cake. I really wanted some caramel to go with it though.

I went a little overboard, ey?

Peach Bundt Cake 
(recipe via Kuntal's Kitchen)

3 cups all-purpose flower
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks), unsalted butter, softened
1 3/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups diced peaches

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and lightly flour inside of 10 inch bundt pan.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
Beat the butter at medium speed with a mixer until creamy, about 2 minutes. Gradually add sugar and beat at medium-high speed until the mixture is light in texture and color, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs and one at a time, beating for 30 to 40 seconds after each addition. Scrape down sides of bowl as necessary. Beat in vanilla bean. At low speed, add flour mixture in three additions, alternating with sour cream

Scoop half of batter into pan and spread with spatula. Sprinkle with peaches. Scoop remaining half of batter on top of peaches. Smooth with spatula.

Bake cake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan on a cooling rack for 10 minutes, then invert it onto another rack.

Caramel Glaze
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 stick of butter

Melt butter and sugar together in a small saucepan over medium heat while whisking.
Add cream as the butter and sugar begin to dissolve, continue to whisk.
Once it starts to froth and bubble remove from heat while still whisking. Pour into a bowl, set aside.
Once the cake has cooled pour the caramel all over the top of the cake.