Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Kona Coffee Macarons - Run #23

I miss Hawaii.

Before heading home to SF in October, Keat and I stopped by Ala Moana Center to do a little shopping.  I spotted the Honolulu Cookie Co. kiosk in the food court and I made a b-line straight for it.  My favorite out of all of the varieties is the Kona Coffee White Chocolate shortbread cookie.  If you've never had one before, you should really check into it.  Their signature shape is a pineapple - though there is no pineapple in the cookie.  The "leaf" part is left bare, while the "fruit" part is dipped in white chocolate.

They are amazing.

So here is another attempt of creating a Hawaiian-inspired macaron.  I've already made a cute speckled yellow mac with Dole Passionfruit jelly, tried recreating Liliha's Chantilly frosting (and failed), filled my Pink October macs with Honolulu Coffee Co. strawberry guava jam, and made an ultra blue Mauna Loa Chocolate Kiss Mac.  2 for 4 - wah!  Don't get me wrong, the Liliha failure, turned out to be a ftw in the end!  

Honestly, I was not overly happy with these.  I think I should have ground the coffee finer because there were chunks of coffee bean in the mac shell that kind of ruined the experience.  Or next time, I'll brew the Kona coffee in cream and use that to make white chocolate ganache.  The ganache in this one was too runny.  I think I rushed this it's all my fault.

Yes, this is truly a learning experience, isn't it?

3 for 5.

Any suggestions for the next Hawaiian-inspired mac?

11/13/2012 - Kona Coffee Macarons with White Chocolate Ganache

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Mrs. Potts Macarons - Run #22

Something just hit me.

Disney's Beauty and the Beast was released in 1991.

I was 7.

Really?!  Considering I'm almost 29 years old, that's a long time ago.  To this day, I blast the Disney channel on Pandora and 100% of the time, at least one song is heard from Beauty and the Beast....and 100% of the time, you can find me singing along.  Like I said before, don't even get me started!  I adored this era in Disney Animation.  The Little Mermaid.  Aladdin.  All in a few years.  The songs accompanying the movies were amazing as well.  Come on, Celine, Luther, Peabo.

"Beauty and the Beast" sang by Angela Lansbury is so memorable because her voice is so unique and distinguishable.  Speaking of voices, who else was floored when they found out the voice of Lumiere was provided by Jerry Orbach - the actor who played Baby's father in Dirty Dancing?  I was!

But I digress...

Belle in her gorgeous golden gown and the Beast looking handsome in his blue coat dancing in that amazing ballroom is one of my favorite Disney scenes ever.  Romantic and beautiful.

I made a macaron in honor of Mrs. Potts - while the colors came out a bit too muted, I was pleased - especially after my husband said his coworkers wanted to order macs from me after they tasted this one.  The flavor?

Tea, of course!

My cousin worked at a tea shop in San Francisco, and she hooked me up with was awesome Earl Grey tea.  For the filling, I created a curd with the leftover egg yolks and added a generous amount of honey.

11/7/2012 - "Mrs. Potts Macarons" - Earl Grey Creme Shells with Honey Buttercream

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Hello Kitty Macarons - Run #21

I was 16 when I first met my Manang Yolly and Manong Jeff. They were a young married couple from Maui who rented the extra room in our home. They worked at the RC with mom, so she knew they were good people.

I count Manang Yolly and Manong Jeff as a couple whom Keat and I look up to. They met as teenagers and are now a blissfully wedded couple with two smart and beautiful children - one of whom I am godmother to.  They are both so down to earth, kind, generous, loving, and most of all extraordinarily wonderful parents to their kids.  Bonus:  Manong Jeff likes guns.  Keat likes guns.  Get the picture?  If there is ever a zombie apocalypse, I know where I'll run to.  

But I digress...

Fast forward about 12 years and they are about to celebrate their youngest's 5th birthday. Chloe is the epitome of a girly girl. Pink, check. Hello Kitty, check. Crown, check. Manang Yolly throws the greatest shindigs for her kids, and I knew I was going to make macs for the party whether she asked me to or not! It would be an honor and a pleasure...

I made plain shells but colored one batch pink. I used edible inked markers to individually draw Hello Kitty's face on the white ones. I then made a fresh strawberry buttercream and voila!

Hello Kitty macarons!

But today, they were Chloe Kitty macarons.

Happy 5th birthday, Chloe!

11/1/12 - "Chloe Kitty Macarons" - Hello Kitty Shells with Fresh Strawberry Buttercream

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

World Series Champions Macarons - Run #20

It goes without saying that the San Francisco Giants kicked major boo-tay in the 2012 World Series.

Can you believe it's already been a month since the win? 

Like I said in my WS post, I made these macarons before Game 4 even started.  I already had that feeling that magic was happening that night.  Thank goodness they did win because I would have totally been moded otherwise!  These were such fun to make and I can't wait to make more celebratory macarons in the future!

SF 49ers, SF Bulls, Golden State Warriors - let's go! 

(...and here's me crossing my fingers for the SJ Sharks!)

10/28/12 - "World Series Champions" - SF Giants-Inspired Shells with Burnt Caramel Buttercream

#fearthebeard - #rallyenchiladas - #yeswecain - #vogelstrong - #gogiants - #yougetthepicture

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Belle Macarons - Run #19

"Little town, it's a quiet village.  Every day like the one before..."

Don't even get me started with the "bonjours" because once I begin, I don't stop!

Belle was a favorite of mine when I was in the 2nd or 3rd grade.  My BFF's at the time at OLPH Catholic School in Daly City would sit together at recess and sing Disney songs from The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, and yes, Beauty and the Beast.  My love for B&tB grew when my mom took me to see Disney on Ice at the Cow Palace and the Beauty and the Beast musical at the Orpheum. 

Clearly I had to do a Belle macaron and aside from cinnamon, I've never incorporated spices into my macs.  These were so much fun to make and had a unique flavor.  Saffron being one of the most expensive spices kind of symbolizes how Belle came from humble beginnings and found love and happiness in a gorgeous palace with everything she ever wanted.  Lucky b------------ just kidding.  =)

10/23/12 - Belle Macarons - Yellow Saffron Shells
with Chocolate Truffle Filling

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Cinderella Macarons - Run #18

Today is the day before Thanksgiving.  Usually for me, it's the day I am freaking out because of all the cooking I am about to do the next day, but since I'm not cooking anything this year (thank you Fort McKinley and Nations) I'm just chillin.' It's also giving me time to review my year and truly give thanks for all the blessings I have been given.

There are 5 things this year that I am so grateful for:

1)  All the traveling I did
2)  All the good/bad macaron experiences I had
3)  My family and friends
4)  My job/my home
5)  My life - to elaborate: all the memories that make me the person I am at present.  The holidays make me look back on years past and I ALWAYS always think of my grandparents who have given me so much as a child growing up in their household.

I was truly a Disney kid...and come to think of it, I'm also a Disney adult.

My mom would buy me the VHS tapes of the movies that came out. Cinderella, Pinocchio, and The Little Mermaid were always on rotation at home.  Collecting Disney movies was a hobby, and it filled me with so much happiness when I added a new VHS to my bookcase where I kept them.  Pretty soon however, DVDs took over and soon after that digital. I hate to admit, but I no longer own a VHS or DVD player.  It's kind of sad to not being able to have a concrete possession of those movies anymore...but that's another story.

Anywho, after making several types of macarons I thought it would be a great idea to create some that are inspired by my favorite Disney characters. Cinderella was my favorite to watch as a child. You know that opening scene when Cinderella wakes up and proceeds to sing "A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes?" I can recite it along with her.

So for my inaugural Disney mac, I created Cinderella with the help of my friend Jennifer A. of LoveLeis.  Her flavor idea and my baking.  Great team!  Jennifer suggested the pumpkin because of the pumpkin carriage Cinderalla rode to the ball in.  Also, it being the Autumn season, this is perfect to have because of the spice in the pumpkin pie filling.

10/21/12 - Cinderella - Light Blue Shells with Homemade Pumpkin Pie Filling

I also chose to keep them in one of those butter cookie tins because they remind me so much of my grandparents.  They used to take me on trips with them to Powell in Downtown SF.  Never fail, we'd head to the old Woolworth Store (now the Gap store) and they'd get me these tins of butter cookies.  Though they all taste the same, my favorite always seemed to be the sugar-crystal'ed pretzel shaped one.  Plus when Inang would cook, I kept myself occupied by watching Disney movies. All in all, this whole process of making hear particular macaron brought back so many memories I had with Inang and Tatay.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving and Thanksgiving weekend!  Eat lots and love lots!


Friday, November 16, 2012

Pink October Macarons - Run #17

October is a special month. It's in the thick of Fall. The holiday season is about to start. The weather gets a bit nippier. But October is special also because it is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Working at an oncology practice, I see breast cancer patients all the time. These patients are strong and beautiful. Over the years, some have become very special to me and it goes without saying that heartbreak is expected when it comes to cancer...but there is always hope.

I made pink macarons because I wanted to do something for my patients. I know there is more we all can do to help our friends and family affected by this illness. So walk for them, donate for them, volunteer for them until we find a cure. Ladies, please take care of yourself and have yourselves examined by your physician at your yearly physicals.

This is dedicated to my current and passed patients, my friends and family affected by cancer as well as their friends and families and especially to my Auntie Mina: RIP. We love you.

10/18/12 - "Pink October" - Pink Macarons with Strawberry Guava Jelly

Monday, November 12, 2012

San Jose Sharks Macarons - Run #16

I miss my Sharkies. I swear. This NHL lockout is getting me frustrated. With the Giants winning the World Series and the end of the MLB season, I don't know what to do with myself.

The Niner games are on once a week and its proven that it is not good for my blood pressure to watch their games. Tie?! Really?! I never was into the Warriors much. The Chicago Bulls in the 90's were my team. Period. And I'm just catching interested in the SF Bulls hockey team. So what now?!

In the NHL, I appreciate the fact that they can beat each other up when the enforcers get frustrated. I miss it so much. I suppose I can support the SF Bulls until the head honchos at the NHL can figure it out.

Til then I just have to enjoy my San Jose Sharks-inspired macarons. I tried making the shells in the same technique as I used with the birthday cake [cake cake cake] macs I made last month. The teal was on the greener side than blue, but I am extremely please with how the design came out.

Hey, at least my hubbies Ryane Clowe (San Francisco team) and Devin Setoguchi (Ontario team) are playing North America-side while my other faves are signed in Europe. I missed them last Saturday and they have another one coming up on Black Friday.

See you there!!

10/17/12 - "Chomp Chomp Chomp" - Teal Grean and Orange Shells
filled with Mint Chocolate Ganache

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Leche Flan Macarons - Run #15

These macarons were made completely by accident.

Earlier in the week, I was determined to make an "I Miss Hawaii" macaron series.  I already did a Dole Plantation Jelly one and a Mauna Loa Kisses what next?  I fell in love with the famous coco puff from Liliha Bakery in Kalihi that I knew I had to make a macaronized version of it.  Here is a list of some of my favorite bites from Hawaii btw.

The key to Liliha's coco puff is definitely that signature topping.  It's call chantilly frosting and it's different from the "chantilly cream" that is simply composed of whipping cream and sweetener.  Liliha's recipe is kept a secret, but many people have attempted to dissect its properties and make it.  I found a recipe online and stood in front of my double boiler whisking the eggs, butter, sugar, and everything else.  At the end of it, my filling ending up tasted like leche flan (a Filipino custard dessert) rather than chantilly frosting. I know so. I made mom taste it and asked her what it was...and she said leche flan.  I did this blind tasting with everyone in my family and they said leche flan.  Here's another to add to the Filipino mac collection!

Well then, the Liliha chantilly frosting macaron has to be attempted another day...however, this leche flan macaron was amazing!  In hindsight, I might have added too many egg yolks to the mix, but it's all good.  What a delicious mistake!

10/14/12 - Leche Flan Macarons - Light Purple Shells with Sweet Custard Filling

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Macadamia Kiss Macarons - Run #14

Yes, I still was high off of our Hawaii vacation. I brought home pasalubong (souvenirs) for my family, but I ended up eating whatever I brought back myself...including the bags of Mauna Loa macadamia nut chocolate Kisses we got from ABC Store.

Because they are only available in Hawaii, they are not cheap. Whenever I go to Hawaiian festivals here on the mainland, I see them go for $7-$8 a bag! Crazy! That still didn't stop me from making a delicious macaron with melted Kisses for the filling.

They were great and I have never seen Jayla eat so many macs before!

10/11/12 - Macadamia Kiss Macarons - Mauna Loa Blue Shells Filled withMelted Macadamia Nut Kisses

Monday, November 5, 2012

Passionfruit Jelly Macarons - Run #13


Oh, Hawaii.

I have a love/hate with Hawaii. It's like the Philippines, but on American soil. The food is awesome. The weather wasn't too bad. I'm still afraid of the ocean. I adore the culture, but I would freak out if I saw a line of fire torches coming down the mountain. The views are gorgeous; however, tropical islands come with tropical insects who like to eat me alive. After three days in paradise, I was stuck in bed with infected bites and Vicodin-sick-stomach. No bueno.  I did however get a taste of some macs on the island.  My friend Lara suggested we go to the Honolulu Coffee Co. at Ala Moana Shopping Center to try their Hawaiian lilikoi and haupia macs and they were delicious. 

I got really sad leaving Hawaii. It's that aloha spirit that makes me want to come back.

Seriously though, I felt like I was having macaron-making withdrawals by the time I got home.  I knew for sure that once I did get home, I would make Hawaiian-inspired macs.  We didn't make it out to the Dole Plantation, but good thing there was a Dole kiosk at the airport. I copped a jar of the Dole Plantation Passionfruit jelly! Perfect!  I also wanted to try something new as far as design.  I did a yellow shell with green speckling.  I think it looks really cute.  Don't you think?

10/10/12 - Yellow and Green-Speckled Shells filled with Passionfruit Jelly from Dole Plantation

Friday, November 2, 2012

Birthday Cake Macarons - Run #12

It was Cousin Roxanne's birthday on October 6, but unfortunately I was going to be away on vacation! To make it up to her, I baked her birthday cake [cake cake cake cake] macarons!

When we were kids, I used to bake cakes for my cousins. I used boxed mixes from Betty Crocker and Pillsbury and layered the cakes with canned frosting. There's something about canned frosting - the grittiness and how it's always too sweet and artificially flavored - that reminds us of childhood.

So what better filling was there than canned frosting? Yes, I'm very nostalgic. To make it extra special, I used coloring gel to create the different shades of the rainbow and piped a rather dope design for each mac.

This is definitely one of my favorites!

10/2/12 - Birthday Cake Cake Cake Cake Cake Macarons with Rainbow Frosting

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Hot Chocolate Macarons - Run #11

During the colder months of the year, nothing is better than a mug of warm creamy hot chocolate. A marshmallow or two...or three...and some whipped cream is perfection.

I took the sweet flavor of hot chocolate and literally put it in a macaron. Really. I took powdered hot chocolate mix and pulsed it in my food processor with my almond flour and confectioners sugar before proceeding with the macaronage. After whipping up a gooey masharmallow buttercream, I was in heaven.

Honestly, the cookies were great warm out of the oven. I ate four even before they got to cool thoroughly.  Chocolatey cookies tend to do that to me. 

9/30/12 -  Hot Chocolate-Flavored Macaron Shells
Filled With Marshmallow Fluff Buttercream

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Pierre Herme-Inspired Pistachio Macarons - Run #10

My dear friend Lara truly believes in much so that she lent me her Kitchenaid stand mixer while she tours SPAIN! Miss Jelly over here! Just teasing!

Before she left with her husband Kuya Chip for their anniversary vacay, she and I attempted to make pistachio macarons filled with Pierre Herme's recipe pistachio butter & white chocolate filling. I've had Pierre Herme's macarons smuggled to me from Paris by my Twinsy Cristina (God bless you), so I knew how good they are!

Tell me why this was a fail upon fail macaron experience! From over beating the egg whites in the stand mixer since it was our first time using it for this process, over-greening the batter til it became leprechaun-worthy, theb watching the macs bake, rise, and develop feet only to see them collapse. Don't even get me started on the filling! That was drama too!

It was so frustrating, but we got a few that were decent after making a second (less green) batch using my hand mixer and less coloring. Like I keep saying: learning experience! This is one recipe I'd like to revisit for sure!

I am not settling for "decent." They have to be "great."

9/28/12 - Pistachio Macaron Shells with
Pierre Herme-Inspired Pistacio White Chocolate Filling

Orange October Macarons - Run #9

I wanted to make orange macarons because the month of October is all about orange: the fall leaves, Halloween, and Giants postseason!! Another important person who influenced me to make these is my mother-in-law Marion. She loves orange-infused dark chocolate, so these were made with her in mind.

I took the orange and only took the orange portion of the skin.  The white pith is very bitter.  I then simmered the zest in heavy cream until almost boiling and poured the hot mixture (minus the orange zest) over good Scharffen Berger 70% cocoa chocolate to create a luscious ganache.


Black and orange. Black and orange. Black and orange.

9/27/12 - "Orange October" - Orange Shells Filled with Orange-Infused Chocolate Ganache

Monday, October 29, 2012

The San Francisco Giants Are The 2012 World Series Champions!!

We Interrupt Our Normally Scheduled Programming To Bring You ...


What a season!

I remember back on July 31 during the regular season, I brought my godson Keanu to a game at AT&T Park. There were new faces on the team and one man caught my attention.  Turns out we just did a trade to get him.

"Who's Scoo-tah-row?" I asked.

"Auntie, it's 'Scoot-a-row'!" he replied.

Yes, I got schooled by a 9-year-old, but it turned out to be one of the more memorable games I've been to. Soon we were counting down "magic numbers," clinching the #1 spot in the division...then the league...and finding ourselves in the Fall Classic after everyone left us for dead.

Talk about torture!

There are only a few faces left from the 2010 team: Panda, Posey, and Huff for example; nevertheless, the synergy this team had was truly magic. Crawford's boyish face radiating from that newspaper article made us want him to win and live his dream. Crazy-eyed Reverend Pence spreading his gospel game after game. Blanco and Pagan's running catches and defensive plays stopping runners in their tracks. The pitching teams' passion and skill making us binge on rally enchiladas and hashtagging #rally all over the interwebs...and doing it Gangnum Style with Romo after the 27th out. The ridiculously loud bats of Panda, Posey, and Scutaro. Belt's handling of the ball in his glove at first making out after out. Every one of them made an impact, for sure.

Last Friday, I was compelled to make Giants macarons again. My black and orange monogrammed ones were a hit; however, I didn't want to jinx them. I posted my blueprints on Instagram/Twitter/Facebook (killed 3 birds with one push of a button), but proclaiming I would only make them only after we won the series.

The day of Game 4 came, and I was anxious. I had to make them. Something told me I had to. Win or lose, they're still my team and will always be my team. So I did...

This one is dedicated to the TRUE fans. The ones who never stopped believing. The ones who stuck by them after losses, controversies, and injuries. The ones who watched the clincher from their office computers at work only to cheer as quietly as possible when Posey hit the grand slam. The ones who stayed in the rain after Game 7. The ones who were rooting them on from Opening Day and cheered them on through the 10th inning.

Congrats to the San Francisco Giants! 2012 World Series Champions.

...and yes, I really did cry after the win.


I'll post a complete description with our usual collage of the macarons as we continue our "run # sequence" which shouldn't be long from now...until then...

Now back to your regular scheduled broadcasting...

Friday, October 26, 2012

Red Velvet Macarons - Run #8


If you have ever been to my family parties, you will know that it is almost "expected" of me to bring some sort of red velvet "sumptin" fams in Union City, California already be knowing. I've brought red velvet cupcakes, red velvet cheesecake, but what I'm bum rushed for (at the door before I could even stop to kiss-kiss everyone) are my red velvet cookie whoopies. Ever since I got rave reviews for them at an SF Wars competition, I made them for my family parties.

Then I thought, "wouldn't it be fun to create a red velvet macaron?"

And that's what I did. I give you my "Southern Sweethearts":

9/23/12 - "Southern Sweethearts" - Red Velvet Shells
with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Buttercream

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Buko Pandan Macarons - Run #7

I knew one of these days I had to make a Filipino-inspired mac. One of my mentors is Annapet from The Daily Palette whom we fondly call "Ninang" or godmother in Tagalog. Earlier in the year at one of our kapaMEALya potlucks, she brought over amazing ube macarons with Brazo de Jun Belen filling! Thanks to Arnold of inuyaki for the pic. They were to die for! She became an inspiration.

Now that I'm making my own, I cherish all the kind words and advice I receive, especially when they come from her and other macaron makers.

So for my first Filipino mac, I chose "buko pandan" or screwpine leaf and coconut flavor. Buko pandan is a dessert which consists of tapioca, gelatin, sweet coconut gel in a cream flavored with pandan and coconut. I wanted to encapsulate that flavor in a mac. I used a green pandan extract and powdered coconut flavor for both the shell and frosting. While not the best macs (aesthetically/technique-wise) I've made thus far, the flavor was there.

9/21/12 - "Buko Pandan" - Screwpine and Coconut Flavored Macarons

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Stuffed French Toast and Bacon Macarons - Run #6


Chic? Ou passe?

Bacon is just one of those things where it can be good with everything, but I understand when people say that putting it in everything needs to stop...especially when it is stuck in a dessert.  Well, this is probably going to be the last time I will ever put bacon in a dessert...or will it?

Sometimes savory and sweet are meant to be together!
Behold!  All the flavors of brunch in one little macaron:

9/19/12 - "Stuffed French Toast and Bacon" Macarons
Cinnamon shells with Canadian maple-cream cheese buttercream
and studded with Maple Niman Ranch Bacon

Monday, October 22, 2012

San Francisco Giants Inspired Macarons - Run #5

San Francisco. 

The Giants have the best fans.  Through the good through the bad and of course the torture. Can you believe how great they were last night?!  I swear, it had to be all those rally enchiladas!  Vogey was amazing!  I hope the energy we give them tonight will carry them to the World Series!  Keep believing!

Ever since I was a kid watching Willie McGee stealing bases, hanging Kurt Manwaring's centerfold picture on my wall over my bed, and cheering on my favorite trio:  Will the Thrill, Matt Williams, and Robby Thompson, I have been a fan.  Of course, growing up with the Barry Bonds homerun record, getting devestated with the 2002 World Series loss, calling JT Snow my husband, and finally almost coming to tears watching them win the 2010 Word Series have made my life as a fan a rollercoaster. 

Nevertheless, I love my team...and this was for them and all their faithful fans!

GAME 7!!  We got this!

9/16/12 - "Black & Orange" - David Lebovitz's chocolate macarons
colored further with black gel and monogrammed with the official
SF Giants logo filled with salted caramel buttercream

I will forever say "Go Giants!"

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Linkin Park Inspired Macarons - Run #4

On Friday, September 7, my friends and I went to the Civic Tour at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Moutain View, California.  My most favorite band in the world (they are the only artist on my iPhone) would be playing a set of my most favorite songs ever.  Still smitten from the most awesome concert ever, I made these lovelies:

9/13/12 - "LP Fanatic" - vanilla shells topped with chocolate LP logo
and filled with Nutella buttercream

This was my 3rd time seeing them in concert.  I don't think I can ever
get sick of seeing them live.  Such a great show.  I love you, Mike!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

San Francisco 49er Inspired Macarons - Run #3

The City of San Francisco lights up especially when football season and baseball post-season arrives.  We are definitely one of the best places to be a sports fan.  I have been a 49er fan as long as I can remember, so my friend Jnet and I met one night and made these babies:

9/11/12 - "Niner Nation" - Red and Gold shells filled
with white chocolate cream cheese buttercream
  PS: Who else remembers those old school Starter jackets?

Friday, October 19, 2012

Tiffany & Co. Inspired Macarons - Run #2

It all started with this email from my friend Lara:

It was a good two weeks after I baked macarons for the first time that I went back to the kitchen to make them again.

I knew some way some how I could improve on what we did during our maiden voyage.

So glad I did.

The inspiration came from Tiffany & Co. (I adore this company) and I got tips from Hi Cookery.

I would like to add that researching different methods on YouTube and other blogging sites is extremely helpful.  Enormous amount of information is there for you to learn.

Here's a trick for you when you are piping your buttercream: use a star decorating tip.

When you sandwich the macarons, the star tip leaves a nice swirl design on the buttercream.  I only used the star tip because I was too lazy to wash my round tip, but I'm glad I did because it adds an elegant touch.  It's the little things sometimes.

9/9/12 - Tiffany & Co. - Tiffany Blue Shells Filled with White Chocolate Buttercream

Thursday, October 18, 2012

My First Macaron Baking Experience - Run #1

Originally posted on Jo Boston is a Foodie on August 13, 2012:

On Saturday, I had a great time with my cousin Roxanne making French macarons for the first time.  Oh we fancy, huh?  All this time, I had been buying them from cafe's at like $2 a pop.  Yes.  Sometimes I just have to have one.  It's that shell encasing the tender center.  Something about a French macaron reeks sophistication and class.  I am NOT the most sophisticated or classy person, but I can try to be in the kitchen.  I think we did a pretty good job considering it was our first time making them.

Upon review of the methods we used, I can say we need to make some adjustments especially when it comes to making the meringue, grinding the almond meal a little more, setting oven temperature, and making the filling.  We kept saying throughout the day that it was a learning process.  Things can only get better the more we practice.  It is also safe to say that I will no longer buy macarons...actually, unless I'm in Yountville, then I will.

It's one of those things where I ask myself, "why buy when I can make them?"  I was so proud of us when Momma came in the kitchen.  Usually I get nervous whenever she is around because she says I bake too much.  Too much?  Is there such thing as "too much" baking?  We have different minds.  She likes it served to her.  I like serving.  But on Saturday when we took the strawberry macs out of the oven, she walked over and said, "Ohhhh, you know, when the baker makes these at the restaurant, they look like this!"

They had FEET!

Oh, that made us so happy!  Getting a thumbs up from Momma, whether it be for my cooking or how I dress is always a good thing.  You wanna make your Momma proud!  Rox and I are going to make this a monthly thing, and I can't wait!  Thank you to my friends on the internets who gave us advice and "likes" on our pics.  =)  We had so much fun making them.

8/11/12 - Vanilla: Vanilla macaron shells filled with vanilla buttercream

8/11/12 - Strawberry:  Pink sugar topped shells filled with fresh strawberry buttercream

8/11/12 - Chocolate:  Chocolate shells filled with Scharffen Berger dark chocolate ganache

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Welcome to My New Blog!

Hi everyone!

It's Joanne!  You're probably scratching your head and asking "another blog?"...yes, I decided to start a new one dedicated just for the macarons I have been making.  For my travel/event/restaurant recaps, you can still catch them (if I ever post these days) on my first blog Jo Boston is a Foodie.

Since my cousin Roxanne and I started back in August, I've been completely obsessed with making them and brainstorming new flavor and color combinations.

By no means am I a "macaron expert."  I JUST started, so I still have so much to learn!  Trust me, I still have my bad days.  I do want to say thank you to all my friends who have been sending me their love and kind words over the last few weeks!  You totally make this a worthwhile experience.

With that said, here are two of my favorite macaron creations made for my San Francisco sports fans!

Go Giants!  Go Niners!
So why the name "Mahal to the Macs?"

First of all "mahal" in the Pilipino language means "love."  The title can be translated in various ways.  "Love to the Macarons" or "Love to the Max."  The world definitely needs more macarons and love.  I definitely love making macarons.  As temperamental as they are, the challenge gives me a thrill and the process is quite therapeutic, believe it or not.

My soul thrives when given a creative task to accomplish.  

I really don't know where exactly this will take me.  Will I ever be a professional macaron baker?  Who knows.  At this point, I'm not really seriously thinking about it.  I'm just having fun with it.  I'm also not taking orders because I'm creating them for my own pleasure.  Being "hired" scares me!  But like I said, who knows!

Never say never!