How to Make Macarons

These days I have been very much with the mentality that one should “ask and you shall receive”. This past week, I was talking to a classmate about how I wished that we had been able to see more of baking and pastry in our culinary journey as it is a pivotal component that contributes to the dining experience, it is the last memory that a guest gets before leaving one’s establishment.

Leaving class one day, I stopped to say hi to one of the pastry chefs only to see that they were about to start a macaron demo. Nagypsy, a former Johnson & Wales alumni, who works for Antonio Bachour was about to give a demonstration. I was ecstatic as I love Bachour’s work from when I was first introduced at J&G Grill. What great fortune did I have that day as I was only mentioning it hours before that I would have love to know how to make macarons. The stars aligned in my culinary universe that day.

How to Make Macarons

Nagypsy was wonderful in explaining and showing me how to make these magnificent macarons. The recipe can be found below:

MACARON

Ingredients

  • Almond Flour – 375 g
  • Powdered 10x sugar – 450 g
  • Sugar – 300 g
  • Egg whites – 300 g

Tools

  • Robot Coupe (Can also use a food processor)
  • Sifter
  • KitchenAid Mixer
  • Piping bags

Yields approximately 100 macarons* (pending how much was piped out)

Directions

  1. Blend almond flour and powder sugar together in Robot Coupe. If you do not have a Robot Coupe, a food processor could work.
    1. Be careful when blending not to go at too high a speed as almond flour is just pulverized almonds and you could result in a butter. The chance of this happening is slim but wanted to make note of the possibility!
  2. Sift the blend mix to remove any clumps.
  3. Using a KitchenAid mixer, incorporate egg whites and beat high speed.
  4. Once the egg whites are foamy, add granulated sugar in rain form (slightly drizzling it in the mixture) at medium speed, not too slow not too fast a la Goldilocks. (We laughed over this comment)
  5. Once the egg whites get whitish, you can add food coloring
    1. Don’t make the whites too dark with whatever color you incorporate because once you add dry ingredients it gets darker
  6. Once the whites are at a medium/full peak, remove the bowl feature of the mixer and fold in the dry ingredients in two parts
  7. Fold until batter is nice and smooth – not too fast, not too slow
  8. Pipe the macaron mix onto a sheet tray with silpat. It isn’t as easy as it looks, believe me.
  9. Let macaron sit on the silpat for 25-30 minutes depending on the coolness of the kitchen. Once the macaron is dry to the touch and there is no indent if you touch the mix on the silpat, you can place them in the oven.
    1. One can put a bit of pistachio or coconut on top as a garnish; this was done for the coconut mango macaron. Be sure to put a light amount of garnish to allow proper baking of macaron.
  10. Bake at 275 F for 12 minutes.

For the filling inside the macaron, one can use a buttercream or a ganache center.

FILLING

Flavored Ganache – For the pink macaron, we did a raspberry ganache.

Ingredients

The ratio for ganache is 1 part chocolate to 1/2 part liquid. In the case of dark chocolate, one uses equal parts chocolate to liquid.

  • 400 gram milk chocolate (375 grams chocolate 25 g cream)
  • 200 gram raspberry puree

Directions

  1. Hot puree chocolate and cream with the puree.
  2. Let cool before piping to not ruin the macaron base.

Before:

After

Once macaron base and filling is ready, pipe the filling onto two evenly sized macaron cookies and press to combine. These cookies last for a few days, but I’m sure they won’t last that long.

Au revoir for now.

xx.

America’s Best Breakfasts

There is no greater adventure than one that involves going cross country. In Lee Schrager’s latest cookbook, America’s Best Breakfasts, co-author Adeena Sussman, photographer Evan Sung and himself did just that, breakfast style incorporating the best dishes from breakfast spots around the country. This includes recipes from diners, iconic establishments, and the newest local hot spots.

It is of no surprise that t was a hit as Lee Schrager, of South Beach Food & Wine Festival, launched this book in tandem with a spectacular event in Miami. In honor of the launch, America’s Best Breakfasts, he brought together some of the restaurants of the Miami portion of the cookbook as well as many other notable restaurants in the local scene. There was everything from dim sum to squid ink bagels to bread pudding on display. There was a plate for everyone and many a plate at that.

One of my favorite items of the day was Cindy Lou’s Morning Glory Muffins. I can now see why they are never there once I make it to Panther coffee; they are usually sold out in the first few hours.

Sarsaparilla Club has become known for their new to Miami American Dim Sum style service. They showcased their pork belly bacon steamed buns that came with fish sauce caramel and cilantro peanut slaw.

The Local Craft played on biscuits and gravy by incorporating pulled pork into steamed biscuits with benne seeds, jalapeno, and smoked demi. This was another favorite of mine of the day.

There is no question that everyone seems to love a good donut and this resonates with the Salty Donut.

Available that day to try were Brown Butter & Salt, Traditional Glazed Buttermilk, Maple & Bacon (my favorite) and a gluten free Baked Chocolate Cake.

As if things couldn’t get better there were SPIKED donut holes.

Moving more to the savory of things, Tropical Chinese had steamed edamame shrimp siu mai and pan seared leek dumplings. Both were finger licking good. I do not know how in my 20 + years in Miami, I have still not been to this Miami gem.

Sweetness Bakeshop brought espresso flan to the game atop a chocolate Gilda cookie. Delicious.

Fooq’s is known for their feel good food. They brought a Lox Tartine of tasted pumpernickle, soft scrambled egg, creme fraiche and fresh picked herbs.

They also brought my dear friend and culinary school companion, Mariana.

Eileen Andrade of Finka Table + Tap brought a Korean BBQ chicken and waffle. Finger licking good.

To balance out all the dishes out and give us a reason to believe eating over 20 items was okay, D/RT brought a espresso hazelnut Greek yogurt chia seed parfait topped with toasted hazelnuts and cacao nibs.

Airport Cafe brought a new twist to the breakfast dish: bread pudding. This dish is one of my favorites at any point: breakfast, lunch or dinner. It combined cinnamon toast crunch and challah bread in Rum Chata with cereal milk, soaked raisins and roasted apricots topped with candied ginger cardamom, bacon and toasted pistachios. A mouthful, but an incredible one at that. My dad compared it to the one his grandmother in England used to make him. Being transported and reminded of a dish is always a tell tale sign of a wonderful creation for me.

All in all, America’s Best Breakfasts was a huge success, you could tell by how tight my pants felt post morning session. I can only imagine if there were full size portions; thankfully, there were not. I look forward to seeing what Lee Schrager does next!

Raspberry Banana Turmeric Chia Pudding

One might not realize how hectic culinary school can get. I certainly did not think so when I first began this past September: between cooking in the lab to the supplemental reading and homework on top of a social life and work while getting certified as a French wine scholar, my family says that I am burning the candle short on both ends.

In order to keep a healthy lifestyle and not crash from how busy I have been, I have incorporated a good amount of exercise and have tried to maintain a balanced diet. Staying away from the monkey bread over Easter was tough.

With this mentality, I thought of my dear friend who I visited when I was last in New York who had always said that she resorted to turmeric for an immune boost when she felt like she was working to the wire. Recently, I’ve been looking to incorporate that into my diet as an added boost to my energy and health. In addition, this spice is supposed to help with digestion, arthritis, heartburn and skin conditions to name a few. Intrigued by the benefits and did a bit more research only to see it helped with joint pain as well. Hallelujah, a healthy supplement to help counter the pain from my long runs.

There are so many ways you can incorporate turmeric into a recipe; I recently did an egg scramble with it and was inspired to switch up my go-to chia pudding with raspberry banana turmeric one instead.

To make this, I did not want to just incorporate ground turmeric from the store so I decided to create an infusion with my almond milk putting to use what I learned in my advanced pastry class with how we made flavored ice cream bases. In order to do this, one would peel the turmeric and place it into almond milk and have it simmer for 30 minutes and shock the milk within the pot in an ice bath after to allow the infusion to get to room temperature. Typically for ice cream, you do this three times before straining but I only did it once. I did taste it with a spoon to ensure that the notes of turmeric came through in the almond milk prior to making the recipe.

Ingredients

  • Turmeric root
  • 1 cup almond milk (regular milk can be used as well)
  • 4 TBS chia seeds
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • ½ banana
  • 1 TBS slivered almonds
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • Few drops liquid stevia

Directions

  1. Place cup of almond milk in small pot and turn heat to high.
  2. Put turmeric root into the pot and allow milk to get to a simmer.
  3. Leave milk simmering for 30 minutes to allow infusion of turmeric into the milk.
  4. Remove pot from the stove and shock (place pot in a ice water bath) to allow it to cool to room temperature.
  5. Strain milk and reserve.
  6. In a container mix ½ cup turmeric infused milk with sweetener (I used a few drops of liquid stevia).
  7. Add cinnamon and ground turmeric powder (for a slightly stronger flavor) to milk and whisk.
  8. Mix in 4 tablespoons of chia seeds to the milk.
  9. Let sit overnight in the fridge.
  10. In the morning, add chopped banana, raspberries and slivered almonds to the top.

How do you use turmeric in your recipes?

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