Thursday, December 23, 2010

Vanilla Olive Oil & Balsamic Caramel Macarons

About a week ago, I had some leftover white chocolate and saw this interesting recipe over here for Pierre Herme's olive oil and vanilla ganache. So of course I had to try it! Honestly, I found it very... interesting. The olive oil flavor came through very strongly! I didnt think it was bad at all and I actually would keep going back to taste and re-taste it. But, I didnt have that "Mmmmm" feeling when I bit into the Macaron. Well, then I became very busy with other Holiday stuff and stuck the ganache in the fridge for later.

Then, I came across MacTweets' challenge for the month - a savory sweet macaron! It got me thinking about the olive oil ganache again. An idea began to form. I realized that while I dont mind dipping some good french bread into some nice olive oil, its never as good plain as with a sprinkling of sea salt in the olive oil or some balsamic vinegar.

So here are my olive oil macarons v.2!

After piping the olive oil ganache I sprinkled on some sea salt and then mixed some balsamic vinegar into some salted caramel buttercream and piped it into the center.

I actually really did enjoy it! I thought I was just weird and offered some to my family and they all actually said they liked it. I guess it was a sucess!

The ganache recipe can be found at the above link.

Salted Caramel Buttercream
200g sugar
1 vanilla pod
200g cream
3.75g fleur de sel
1 cup butter, room temp

In a heavy pan or pot, wet sugar with a little water and heat over a medium-high heat. Meanwhile, boil the cream and have it standing by. Continue to cook the sugar until there is an even caramel color throughout. Whisk in the cream, vanilla and salt until well combined. Remove from heat and stir in butter. Chill until thickened, then beat with an electric mixer. To create the balsamic caramel, I just took a couple spoonfuls of the caramel and stirred in a couple splashes of balsamic to taste. Go slowly, remember how strong balsamic vinegar can be!

Happy Happy Happy Holidays!

Photo Post!

Just some holiday pictures! Later today or tommorow I'll post my mactweets entry, a vanilla-olive oil with balsamic carmel ganache mac. These pictures are courtesy of Jason Chen!


annnd saving my favorite for last!

Tomorrow I'll attempt to make some macs for my family with an ancient kitchenaid and an ancient oven!

Oh, and my friends' friend works for the Kardashian's so I made a little box for them!
Horrible i-phone pics -

I'm pretty lucky working in TV, so far I've baked for Melissa Joan Hart, Emma Stone, the cast of GREEK cause thats where I was working the past few years, and now the Kardashians! Maybe I'll post pics of Melissa & Emma's orders later!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A couple more Christmas Macarons

A couple more decorations that weren't included in the last post. I cant believe I almost didnt do the Jingle Bells, I love how they turned out!

This batch of macs were made for the cousins and one of my friends. The filling is a peppermint whipped white chocolate ganache. I colored half of it red and tried to pipe the filling in so the sides looked like candy cane swirls.

It kinda worked!

In the past I've always made my "candy cane" macarons with peppermint buttercream, so we'll see how the ganache goes over - though I have to say I am a fan. In fact I got a sugar headache from all the tasting I was doing!

Birthday Suitcase Cake

This cake was done for a friend's birthday. A suitcase with "stickers" of the countries he has visited, speaks the language, or loves.

Gluten free chocolate cake using my fave chocolate cake recipe subbing in Bob's red mill gluten free flour and some xantham gum. Filled with nutella buttercream, coated in a ganache flavored with hazelnut, & covered in fondant. The "stickers" are made from sugarveil.

Whenever I try to calculate how much cake to make I seem to overshoot by a LOT. There was about half left after giving out some pretty decent size pieces. Well, too much cake is always better than too little!

Christmas Macarons!

I love these little Christmas macs! But boy are they time consuming!

The decorations are made of sugarveil and luster dusts! Of course my favorite is Santa :)

Monday, August 2, 2010

Baby Shower Macarons

Green - Pistachio
Blue - Vanilla
Brown - Chocolate
Yellow - Salted Caramel

Packed in little boxes... and then tied with a blue ribbon. These were favors for a baby shower and i think they turned out pretty cute!

This order was a little crazy as right after i made the delivery i went straight into working a 24-hour shift with Good Morning America's Oscar Special. (Obviously this entry is very, VERY late!) I have to get better at keeping up this blog!

aaaannnnd all ready to go! Phew, it was a lot of boxes!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

My First Commissioned Cake

Chocolate Layer Cake With Peanut Butter Frosting

This is my first commissioned cake! Woohoo! Its a 2-layer chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting. Pretty simple and actually the first time i've really decorated a cake not using marshmallow fondant. There were really no decorating instructions or even any indication that it needed to be decorated as I was told the cake was basically for going home after work and eating not for a special occasion, ha.

So, I just had fun with it and did
whatever I wanted with what I had on hand - which is 1 decorating tip, star sprinkes and mini-chocolate chips. It's been pouring rain here in LA complete with lightening and thunder (pretty rare) and yes I AM one of those people who hates to go out in that type of weather.

I hope Art likes his cake! :)
Price: $20

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Yummy Pear & Almond Tarte

David Lebovitz's
Pear & Almond Tarte

I'm not sure what made me want to make this pear tarte so badly for Christmas. To be honest I don't usually make pies and tartes. Especially with fruit. I love to eat them, but a lot of my desserts seem to deal with mainly chocolate. Anyway I'm so glad to have discovered this tarte and have made it a total of 3 times already and it was all in the span of a week! I like it because it is not too sweet and it's pretty easy to make!

I poached my own pears as David suggests.

I also added in about 2 tsp vanilla bean paste, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, and a splash of rum. yum.

i always ended up with a couple extra pear slices and they are great to eat on their own.

You can also later reduce the poaching liquid down as David suggests to make a syrup for the tarte, but most agreed that they didn't need it and some thought it even made it too sweet. But the syrup would go great with other fruits, maybe drizzled over some plain yogurt? So don't waste, make the syrup!

*My tip is to buy vanilla bean paste (I got mine from whole foods) because its cheaper than buying the whole beans but you still get the little specs of vanilla when you use it.

SO, to recap, I DO recommend making this dessert!

On a separate note, tonight I've been experimenting with different, more intensely flavored fillings for macarons. In the process I somehow discovered how to make a strawberry ooey gooey play doh! FAIL! Oh well try, try, try again!