Tuesday, October 27, 2009

French Macaroons - Daring Baker October 2009

Where did time go? I haven't had the chance to blink yet, and it's time for another daring baker's challenge.

First of all, you must forgive the lack of creativity in the photos, nor the quality the photos I might say. I'm in the midst of moving back to Jakarta, and I barely have a chair to sit on, let alone a table to shoot the macaroons. I had to do it on a piece of chopping board on the floor. My apartment is completely empty now. The boxes was picked up today to be shipped to Jakarta. I still can't believe that a tiny person can accumulate so much stuff. My cargo actually weighs a shocking 400 kgs!! These past weeks has been filled with packing, packing and more packing. It's not an easy job to pack 7 years of your life!!

The reality is starting to sink in now.. 15 more days to go.. No turning back!!

Even in the midst of my move, my bestfriend made a request for some of my baked goods. She consider this as her way to ask for a piece of me to stay here with her. She is planning to freeze some so she can enjoy my homemade baked goods, even if I can't be here to make it for her. Not easy ones I might add. She asked for hot cross buns, croissant and macaroons. That's why I was quite overjoyed when I found out that this month's challenge is french macaroons.

Before I start yapping about the macaroons, here is the mandatory lines that need to be said each month: The 2009 October Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to us by Ami S. She chose macarons from Claudia Fleming’s The Last Course: The Desserts of Gramercy Tavern as the challenge recipe.

I made macaroons before, but this recipe is new for me. I was not in the mood of making dozens and dozens of macaroons. My goal is only make enough macaroons for my friend, I don't think I'm up for macaroons these coming days, and M is not the type of person to crave for them unless I put it in front of his eyes. So leaving some in the freezer is definitely not an option, nor carrying them all the way to Jakarta (don't think they travel well). So in the flavours, I have to take my friends taste buds into consideration. She doesn't really like rich desserts, she is more into fresh stuff, something fruity perhaps. So in welcoming Spring which finally has sprung here in Melbourne, I decided to showcase some of spring and tropical fruits like kiwi, watermelon and lychee. I still put in chocolate as it is always a safe option. However, I don't feel like making 6 (oh, I forgot to mention lavender & rose) different buttercream/ganache, so I decided to use cream cheese buttercream and just put the different pate de fruit in the middle. I planned to made the turkish delight for the centre of the rose macaroons, but was just to overwhelmed with everything, so decided to cross the road to Thomas Dux Grocer and pick up a pariya turkish delight. I wanted to colour the shells, but I think I was in a hurry when I did the macarooning after colouring the batch, the white shells are the only ones that work. So I got creative and use the white shells and paint different colours on them to indicate the flavours. It's pretty too =)



rose with turkish delight centre

This would be the last daring baker's challenge I bake in Melbourne.. sob sob.. In the good side, I'm moving to a bigger house with more crockery and tableware to play with. However, an insufficient oven (believe it or not, my mom only have a small microwave oven!!) and the daunting humidity looms.

As always, thank you ladies for yet another fun challenge. Till next month =)

**PS: I'm sorry if I don't have time to comment on your macaroons, I don't have a computer anymore, let alone an internet connection. I'll try my best, but no promises. The only time I can be online is at M's house, and I can't be too long, as he needs the computer too.**

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Time to get the rolling pins out! - DB does vol au vent

4 days late, but I come with 4 different variations of vol au vent. I must admit, I cringed when I read that this month's DB challenge involves puff pastry. I've made a couple of successful puff pastry in the past, but I'm still not comfortable in doing any lamented dough. I always find it quite temperamental. But, when you get it right, it is so worth the effort.

The September 2009 Daring Bakers' Challenge has been chosen by Steph of a whisk and a spoon. Steph chose Vols-au-Vent, which we are pretty sure in French means, “After one bite we could die and go to heaven!”

As always, I want to try to do as much varieties as I can. I have lots of leftover in my fridge, so I decided to use them as I can. I ended up making 2 savouries, and 2 sweets. In the spirit of Ramadhan, I made some opor ayam, and I still have some leftover, so I shredded the chicken and thicken the soup and made it as one of the savoury filling. For the other savoury one, I use up some leftover from the chicken sweet chilly mayo wrap, my yesterday's lunch.

For the sweets, I incorporate leftover salted caramels from my boss' order and the IMBC (Italian Meringue Buttercream) leftover from the cake order last weekend. I transform the IMBC into 2, one gets a burnt sugar syrup added to them to make burnt sugar frosting, and the other one was whipped together with a lavender syrup. I paired the burnt sugar frosting with layers of salted caramel and chocolate ganache. Whereas the lavender frosting got paired with Yuzu lemon curd. This is particularly my favourite. The tartness from the curd complements the sweetness of the frosting beautifully with a slight lavender undertone. Perfect to welcomes the spring (which is suppose to come by now, but it is still bloody cold here).

Check out the Daring Bakers roundup for other fantastic vol au vent. Thanks again ladies for the sweet challenge =)