Tuesday, May 20, 2014

[ARchicTECT Baking Adventure #06] Yummy Pistachio Buttercream Frosting

Hey Everyone! As promised on my previous blog I am sharing the pistachio buttercream frosting I used as filling for my Macarons. 

The ingredients are:
- 1 cup (200g) of granulated sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup (50g) ground pistachios
- 1cup & 2 tbsp. (230g) chilled unsalted butter

Pretty simple right?? But the taste?? Amazing! 

Let's make our frosting shall we?

1. Beat together sugar and eggs on one bowl with an electric mixer at high speed. You want your batter to double in volume & become fluffy



This is how it should look like after mixing..
2. Pour the mixture in a saucepan & stir in ground pistachios. 

3. Heat over medium temperature & stirring continuously until the mixture forms a compact batter.
4. Pour in a container and cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge.
5. Cut up butter in small pieces and beat in a bowl until it expands in volume & becomes fluffy.

This is the consistency we are aiming for..
6. Add the chilled pistachio batter onto the butter mixture & whip again..
7. Mix thoroughly and refrigerate until it's time to use them..

Here's my pistachio buttercream in a piping bag ready for my macarons..
Pipe into your macarons and enjoy!

This is a really yummy frosting and I got a lot of positive remarks on my Macaron di Paris for this. Everyone just loved the filling. 

I hope once again I inspired you guys to bake. I will be posting a lot of stuff related to baking in the coming weeks since this has been my favorite activity for my weekends. 

I don't know with you guys but it just gives a good feeling of accomplishment every time I bake specially when I get things done correctly & I receive good compliments for it. 

It is quite difficult at first to perfect things from baking but remember not to give up when you make mistakes and just keep on practicing. 

The only downside of this is Chief & myself have increased our waistlines!! lol!! I think I should go slow on it!

Give this frosting a try and it should not fail to impress!


CIAO!

-CARMI

Sunday, May 18, 2014

[ARchicTECT Baking Adventure #05] My Attempt on making French Macarons

Guess what??!! I am officially a baker.. I recently bought this new baby..


Its the Moulinex Masterchef Gourmet. It comes with a meat grinder, blender, chopper, slicer,juicer..
cool right?
I was actually eyeing to get a Kitchenaid Mixer..
I was saving up for it since it costs a lot. It is an investment for kitchen gadgets to have. I told Chief that when we move to our final home where we want to finally settle (not in Dubai) I will get this little baby. 
As for now I am happy with my Moulinex mixer. It does the job and so much more. Chief is excited to make his burgers from scratch using the meat grinder..lol!

Well, this then inspired me to make French Macarons. 

Since I wanted to make it more special, I decided to make a special pistachio butter cream frosting which deserves it's own blog entry. 

Here are the ingredients to make French Macarons:

- 4 large egg whites in room temperature
- 1/3 cup (70g) caster sugar
- 1.5 cups (230g) icing sugar
- 1 cup (120g) almond meal or ground almonds
- 2g (pinch) of salt
- gel food coloring

1. Preheat oven at 150C
2. Sieve ground almonds and icing sugar three times
3. Whisk egg whites with a stand mixer and gradually add sugar. Repeat this step until stiff peaks are achieved. Add the pinch of salt.






4. Once stiff peaks are formed. Add food gel coloring. I opted for green since Im putting pistachio buttercream frosting.



5. Fold 1/3 at a time of egg white mixture onto the dry mixture
6. Continue to fold gently until a lava like consistency is achieve. Stop immediately because you don't want to over-mix your batter.
7. Prepare a piping bag with a round nozzle




8. Line your baking trays with parchment or silicon mat
9. Since  I have not yet perfected my piping skill I downloaded a macaron pattern on the internet to guide me with the sizes of my macaron. This is very helpful specially on your first try. 


10. Tap the tray to release air or bubbles from your macarons. 
11. Let the macarons sit for 30-60mins depending on the temperature and humidity of your kitchen to forms a shell around the macarons. This is very important because it will give your macarons the feet.

12. Once they're ready, bake for 10 minutes then turn you pan and bake again for another 10 minutes.
13. Let your macarons cool down before removing from the parchment. This is also very important because you dont want to break them apart.
14. Pipe in your filling. i made this pistachio buttercream frosting in advance so that i can use them immediately since it requires being refrigerated. 



Viola!! French Macarons with Pistachio Buttercream Filling!! 

Best served after overnight refrigerating. 

Macarons are very delicate to make. Environment temperature and humidity plays a big factor when making them. First time might not  be a success but this should not discourage you from trying again. This is actually my second try and I have learned my mistakes from the first time. It requires a lot of patience because there is no short-cut in making them. Don't be afraid to make mistakes, in the end even if they dont look so appealing, the taste will always be good.

I've enjoyed making these macarons and Im looking forward to the next time I make them. My next project is malt chocolate flavored ones since i love malt chocolate. 

I hope you guys enjoyed reading about my baking adventure. Try it yourself and let me know how it goes!

CIAO!

-CARMI

Saturday, May 17, 2014

[ARchicTECT Baking Adventure #04] Japanese Cotton Cheesecake Challenge

Hey guys! What's up with everyone? How's summer treating you so far? 

This may be the best season for other countries because of the opportunity to do more activities outside without battling rain or cold. It is quite the opposite here in middle east.

Summer is difficult when you live in a desert. It gets scorching hot!!!! This is the time when we spend more time indoors to protect ourselves from the heat. 

This is why I've been doing a lot of baking!!! 

I've always loved baking since I was young. I remember the weekends when my mom would ask me to bake something that we can have as a snack for afternoon weekends. I would then have my demanding brothers go back and forth in the kitchen to ask if what I'm making was ready. lol!  

Now I've put my baking to the next level and been trying out more complicated recipes and so far I am enjoying the challenge :) 

Few weekends ago, I made Japanese Cotton Cheesecake and here are the ingredients:

-228g cream cheese in room temperature
-200ml milk
-60g butter
-6 eggs separated
-140g sugar
-60g flour
-20g corn starch


By the way, I got this recipe from Baking with Mi on Youtube. I am currently subscribed on her channel because she makes the yummiest things! I also like how she makes things look so easy which encourages you to bake. She inspired me to make French Macarons!

1. Whisk cream cheese, and milk on a bowl.. placing the bowl on top of hot water makes it easier to whisk. Set aside.
2. Add butter on mixture and mix well.
3. Separate the eggs (yolks & whites) in two bowls.
4.Whisk half of the sugar on the egg yolk until it becomes fluffy in texture with a lemon yello color.
5. Fold together the cream cheese mixture and egg yolk mixture
6. Sift the flour and cornstarch into the mixture
This is how your mixture should look like. Set aside.
7. Put partial amount of sugar on egg yolks and start beating with a whisk. Others might prefer to use a mixer with this one but as advised by Mi, I will be whisking with hand to have more control of the egg whites. We want soft peaks meringue. 
8. Whisk and add sugar gradually. Repeat this step until you've mixed all the sugar in. 
9. Continue whisking until you form soft peaks. Make sure that your meringue folds back on a curl when you whip it up. This is the consistency we are looking for.
10. Fold 1/3 of the meringue mixture onto our cream cheese mixture at a time.Make sure to be really gentle since we dont want to lose the fluffiness that will give our cake the cotton-like texture.

11. Line your pan with parchment. I am using a springform cake pan that's why I had to wrap the bottom of it with 3 layers of aluminum foil to prevent water from seeping in since we will be cooking this baby on a water bath.
12. Pour the cheesecake batter onto our pan and make sure to tap it on your table/counter to get rid of bubbles/air within the mixture.
13. We will cook it on a water bath, about an inch of hot water then inside the oven at 150C for about 70mins. Check your cake with a toothpick from time to time. 
14. Once your cake is cooked, leave it inside the oven to cool down. Put a wooden spatula between the door of your oven to gradually let out steam and slowly cool down your cake to prevent it from collapsing.
15. Viola! Your Japanese Cotton Cheesecake!!
I actually placed the cake back in the oven to bake for a few more minutes until the top becomes brown in color. My mistake was forgetting to take the photo of the finished product. We were just too excited to try it!

It was fun and relaxing to make this beautiful cheesecake. Chief loved it. I like that it is not very sweet. I hope you guys had fun reading and hopefully inspired you also to bake. 

Until my next post..

CIAO!

-CARMI

Friday, May 16, 2014

M.I.A.

Okay guys.. I know I've been missing in action (M.I.A.) lately.. and it's not something new lol! The thing is, my weekends have been completely occupied since I went back to baking and I enjoy it so much. It just takes my weekends to the next level which resulted to me not updating my blog...sorry!!

I will be posting a lot of it soon and just to make you guys excited on what's coming let me show you thing's I've baked in the last weekends..

French Macarons with Pistacio Buttercream frosting..


Japanese Cheesecake...


'Til my next post everyone!


CIAO!

-CARMI