Wednesday, April 15, 2009


I'm sure when you read Macarons you thought of coconuts, nope these are the cute, crunchy and chewy French almond cookies that comes in different colors and flavors. My "obsession" for sometime now, I remember when i made my first macarons, they look funny compared to what it's supposed to be. I knew i got the flavor but they came out flat and cracked.

As some of you know, i don't bake but these macarons were so irresistible that i didn't and won't give up until i make them "perfect" well not really but at least will look close to what a real macaron should look like.

Also, as far as i know there are no pastry shops that sells macarons in my area that's why i have to know how to make them to satisfy my craving pronto. The nearest i know of, are in Chicago w/c we went during our last visit to Chitown. We went to the nearest from where we stayed. We bought 2 dozens (shelflife is short) thinking that it'll be enough and last for a week...wrong!!! we were munching them on our way home. So, another reason why i have to make them..we like, ahh... let's say we love them.

I'm sharing the recipe so you can make them and see if you'll like them and make good macarons on your first attempt. I know, i'll do better than me, so pls. share how you guys made them "perfect" on your first attempt. I also know baking is science, it's precision and patience w/c i don't have that's probably why i haven't perfected them yet.

These macarons i made are my second attempt...not that bad..but needs more improvement. Hey at least i have the "foot", the ones around the shells. You'll see the difference between my version and the Bonjour Cafe in Chicago.

**This is one of those recipes where i have to bring out my scale.
For the shells:

3 egg whites (about 90 gr)

30 gr granulated sugar

200 gr powdered sugar

110 gr almond flour or finely grond almonds

pinch of salt


1- Preheat the oven to 320 f. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
2- In a food processor, combine the ground almonds, powdered sugar. Mix until you get a thin powder. Remove from the bowl, Sift the mixture. Set aside.
3- Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until soft peak. Gradually, add the granulated sugar and continue to beat until the mixture becomes shiny. At this point, you add the desired food coloring (if using).
4- Sift the dry ingredients over the egg whites in 3 steps. fold the mixture until shiny. Do not over mix.
5- Fill a pastry bag fitted with a round 1/2 inch tip with the batter and pipe evenly the cookies leaving 2 inches between them. Let the cookies rest for about 20 minutes.
6- Cook the macarons for 12 to 15 minutes. Let them cool before filling.
*You can put any fillings you like. I have tried, ganache (chocolate and cream mixture), buttercream w/ pistachios, nutella, pb&j, raspberry and mango preserve.

Bonjour's macarons. Yuuummm!!!!

Pia's Macarons Wow!!!!! he!he! needs more improvement!!! but the flavor is similar to the original ones. Practice, practice, practice until i make my version look "perfect" or professional or perhaps salable?!

My version of Macaron de Paris w/ nutella and raspberry and mango preserves

Monday, April 13, 2009


Sourdough Boule

Cut the top and hollow out the inner part, making sure it's deep enough to hold the soup

Mixed mushrooms


(14 oz) can artichoke hearts

8 ounces mushrooms (I used mixed mushrooms)

3 stalks of scallions (sliced on a bias) for garnish

1 med. onion (diced)

1 medium carrots (diced)

1 stalk celery (diced)

5 T butter

5 T flour

2 cups half and half cream

2 cups chicken broth

S & P to taste

Cayenne pepper (optional)


Chop the drained artichoke hearts into small pieces. Set aside.

Chop mushrooms. Set aside.

Melt butter in a large saucepan.

Sweat onions until onions become translucent.

Add carrots, celery and mushrooms, cook for about 5 minutes.

Stir in flour to make a roux.

Slowly add broth, then half and half.

Simmer, stirring constantly until thickened.

Stir in artichokes and seasonings.

Put soup in the hollowed sourdough bread, garnish with scallions.

Serve hot!