Green Tea, Lemon, & Pineapple Macarons

Macarons

The sweet life of macarons. They are stunning for photography and even more satisfying to eat. One bite leads to another and before you realize it, they have all disappeared. And once they have disappeared, you go back to craving them. And find yourself waiting innocently in line to choose wild, tangy, or fruity flavors to satisfy your needy stomach. And then the whole cycle happens again. With macarons costing about $3 each, there are only so many that you will be willing to buy. It’s a pretty clever technique as they price them so that you buy a few that invite you for a second visit in the near future.
Macarons
Ready to make your own Laduree style macarons at home? It is challenging for a first try, but going through that struggle will only make the success of your buttercream-filled green tea macarons that much more delicious. Some of my past attempts include Nutella (my first success), pistachio, and peppermint flavored macarons. My ultimate creation with these was making a macaron tree, which I made as a pre-wedding gift for my best friend. Today we can add matcha green tea, lemon, and pineapple to that list! Keep posted as I will be experimenting with more adventurous flavors such as popcorn and Milano.

General Macarons Recipe *Modifications to make the other flavors- green tea, pineapple, lemon- will follow the recipe*

Printable Recipe Here

Makes: 25 macarons

Ingredients:

  • 110 grams almond flour (~ 1 cup)
  • 200 grams confectioner’s sugar (~ 1 2/3 cup)
  • 100 grams egg whites (about 3 eggs)
  • 50 grams white granulated sugar (~¼ cup)
  • pinch salt
  • food coloring (optional)

**Highly recommended to invest in a scale and measure out the ingredients in grams**

Directions:

  1. Blend the almonds finely in a food processor. Add the confectioner’s sugar and blend until very fine.
  2. Sift the almond-sugar mixture about 2 times into a medium bowl and place on the side for use later. If you have any large pieces, food process them again until they are smooth.
  3. Place egg whites in a large bowl and whisk at medium speed, until foamy.
  4. Mix in the granulated sugar slowly until stiff peaks form. If you lift the whisk, the peaks should remain standing and will look shiny and smooth.
  5. Add food coloring at this point. I took a toothpick, dipped it in the gel food coloring, and then wiped it into the mix.
  6. Use a spoon to fold your almond-sugar mixture into the stiffened egg whites. About 40-50 strokes works. Be careful not to overmix it!! It should look like the consistency of lava. If you spoon up the batter and drop it back into the bowl, it will take about 10 seconds to incorporate itself back in. Watch a video here if you are unsure of how to complete this step; it will be well worth it.
  7. Put parchment paper on your baking sheets and draw your desired circle size. You can use a bottle cap or print out a template and trace it.
  8. Spoon your batter into a piping bag fitted with a large circle tip. Pipe the macarons onto your templates.
  9. Pick up the pan (about 12 inches high) and drop it onto the counter about 2-3 times to get rid of any air bubbles.
  10. Let the macarons dry for about 30 minutes-1 hour in an undisturbed area before baking them. You will know that they are ready when you touch the top of the macaron and it doesn’t stick to your finger.
  11. Bake the macarons at 300 F for about 12 minutes. Remove and allow to cool completely.
  12. Make your desired filling (recipes will follow).

Tips

  • use a measuring scale for all the ingredients for accuracy!! Baking is a science and with improper measurements, the macarons may not turn out to your standards.
  • for more help, visit SouthernFatty for step by step pictures and a printable template

Matcha Green Tea Macarons

  • Add 2 tsp of matcha green tea powder to the almonds after you have food processed them
  • Check out ThirstyforTea’s wonderful post on making green tea macarons for more pictures and tips

Matcha Green Tea Buttercream:

Ingredients

  • 1 stick of unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon matcha powder
  • 1 tablespoon milk

Directions

  1. Beat the butter on high until fluffy.
  2. Add powdered sugar and matcha powder and beat until incorporated.
  3. Add milk while beating for another 3 minutes.

Adapted from OhSweetDay

Pineapple Macarons

  • Add orange food coloring at step 5

Pineapple Curd Filling

Ingredients

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 cup pineapple juice, canned
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Directions

  1. Whisk all of the ingredients, other than the butter, together in a small pan over medium heat.
  2. Keep on whisking until it starts to simmer. It will start to thicken and you will start to see bubbles on the top.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in the butter. Let it cool and place in the refrigerator while you wait. Cover with plastic wrap that is touching the curd so that no skin forms on the top.

Adapted from MissHangryPants

Macarons

Lemon Macarons

  • Add 1 teaspoon of lemon zest and yellow food coloring at step 5

Meyer Lemon Curd Filling 

*makes about 1 ¼ cups; double it to fill a 9 inch pie

Ingredients

  • grated zest of 1 lemon
  • ½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¼ cup of sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks

Directions

  1. Zest the lemon over a medium sized bowl. Place a mesh strainer on top of the bowl.
  2. In a medium pan, heat up the lemon juice, sugar, and butter. Still until the butter has melted.
  3. Stir together the eggs and egg yolks in another bowl.
  4. Once the lemon juice mix starts to warm up, pour it slowly into the eggs while whisking quickly.
  5. Pour it all back into the pan and cook it until it starts to thicken. Mix it with a wooden spoon frequently. If you see white bits floating, those are pieces of egg whites which you will strain out later.
  6. Once it has thickened, strain the mixture into the bowl with the zest.
  7. Stir the curd frequently to let the steam and heat out. Allow it to cool and then refrigerate it until ready for use.

Adapted from DavidLebovitz

Macarons

Now sit back and enjoy your hard work, because you deserve to relax! You can choose to eat the macarons by themselves or pair them up with another dessert, such as vanilla bean ice-cream.

Macarons

What are some other ways that you have enjoyed your macarons?

Cupcake Wars

I know it’s been a while, but here is the post I’ve been meaning to write finally. Nope, it’s not a recipe. Even better, a stunning and exquisite presentation of some pretty talented cupcake bakers around my area! We held the competition at a carnival & it’s funny because this marvelous idea popped up randomly during one of our planning meetings for the carnival. I, myself, was very surprised at the extent to which people decorated their cupcakes. Not only that… But the stands as well!!

When the judging time came near to discern the cupcake winner, it was pretty intense. Groups of people stood near the door in huddles waiting for the results. Friends, family, even the bakers themselves as well… No news came for a while. While it was quite noisy outside, me and the other judges were quite busy at a serious task. Tasting all the cupcakes that is. I didn’t think it would be difficult with only 8 competitors, but it was more time-consuming considering we had to discuss each cupcake, pros and cons. We already knew who each cupcake belonged to, so we asked the bakers to come in, one at a time, and describe their cupcake to us and answer any questions we had. It was quite the experience. Y’all should have seen the judges table where we split the cupcakes. Haha what a mess. Anyways, onto the cupcakes themselves :)IMG_7454One of the display tables with a variety of four cupcakes, all displayed differently. These varied from lemon cupcakes to cotton candy even! I absolutely love the creativity that each competitor demonstrated.IMG_7456The second table with the remaining cupcakes. Not all can be seen, but detailed pictures are coming after! Four different cupcake entries were here as well.IMG_7458Rose patterned Red Velvet Cheesecake cupcakes (YES there was indeed cheesecake inside- toooo yummy) & Chocolate Espresso cupcakes. Gotta say, these two cupcakes are my favorite combos ever :)IMG_7437These were 4 different cupcake flavors submitted by the same baker. They range from Red Velvet Cream Cheese, Reeses, Cinnamon, and even Strawberry topped with Cotton Candy.IMG_7452Beautiful Lemon & Raspberry Cupcakes with Lemon filling as well!! Lovin’ these healthy choices. Definitely make you less self conscious as you eat one after another of these cupcakes hahaIMG_7438Yet another creative entry which were topped off the mocha flavored icing along with those addicting chocolate sticks! My favorite flavor-espresso!!

IMG_7451Creativity hands down for this one! This competitor went all out and even designed a humongous styrofoam cupcake along with a colorful Candy Land-like stand with a glittery water interior to compliment the many toned Cotton Candy Cupcakes topped with fondant. Yes, they were just as beautiful inside as well.IMG_7440Dense & moist Lemon Cupcakes with a curd filling. The top was done creatively with chocolate molded swirls, assorted berries, and coarse sugar as well!IMG_7445Lemon Meringue Cupcakes blowtorched to give them the toasty look. A very light and healthy choice as well, although I prefer the other type of icing to this light meringue one.IMG_7443At LAST… The Winner of it all went to these Moist and delicate Chocolate Chip Cupcakes stuffed with Choc Chip Cookie Dough inside as well! The cookies on top were homemade too! This entry was submitted alongside to the Lemon Meringue Cupcakes on top ^^^. The other two places went to the extravagant stand of Cotton Candy Cupcakes as well as the Lemon Curd Cupcakes topped with the chocolate molds and berries.

Hope you enjoyed this medley of fanciful desserts. Do you have a cupcake that you would enter into a competition? Which of these ones was your favorite?

Houston Premier Bakeries

Yup. I’ve finally decided to put a list together of my top 4 favorite bakeries in Houston! Of course I’m sure there are manyyyy more than what I’ve listed & I’m always on the lookout for new finds so I’ll find them slowly but surely :)

Something my friends & I loveeee doing is finding new places to eat out at whether it is a restaurant or a bakery. A successful find = a new go-to place to hang out with friends or to grab a quick dessert. Most of the places that I have found have been through word of mouth. Seriously, after hearing about a bakery for so long, there’s no doubt that you’ll be curious as to why it’s so prominent. And of course, there are those that we discover simply by driving by. You’re driving past the normal everyday stores you see, but wait… Something catches your attention! That new bakery on the street or whatever it may be haha. Well enough already, you get the idea. Let’s just get on with these deelish bakeries. By the way, they are in no particular order!

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SAVANNAH BAKERY & CAFE

http://savannahcafeandbakery.com

This bakery is simply amazing. When you walk in, you really are overwhelmed with the amount of choices you can make. Shall it be that Raspberry White Chocolate Cake, Red Velvet Cookie, or even that Apple Praline Pie? I was actually really excited when this bakery opened, because I thought it would be one of those local bread bakeries. Turns out I was wrong lol, but nevertheless I was very happy with this find! Friendly staff, nice atmosphere, and large portions are more than enough to enjoy with friends :)

*Apple Praline Pie pictured above*

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 DOLCE DELIGHTS

http://www.mydolcedelights.com

Macarons (n):  delicate small cookie sandwich with mystery filling; constantly seen everywhere in a variety of colors/flavors; very addictive.

Any bakery serving these should be beyond amazing. Not only does Dolce Delights serve these, but they also have these miniature mousse cakes that are too adorable (not pictured). I actually discovered this place from my one of my friend’s Instagram pictures. After she told me the name of the place, I went literally the next day with my friends and got some macarons. The best one out of them was the salted caramel hands down! The banana cream one though was not as soft as the others, leading me to believe that few people have probably ordered that one haha. The mocha and red velvet were both equal in my opinion after the salted caramel one. Overall, if you are craving macarons or a cute little cake, this is definitely your place.

*Salted Caramel, Mocha, Banana Cream, & Red Velvet Macarons pictured above*

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NOTHING BUNDT CAKES

http://www.nothingbundtcakes.com

If you’ve been following my blog then you probably know too well my obsession with pumpkin desserts! Haha. I was so excited when I got this Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting. It may look small in this picture, but the cake was so dense that it actually feeds two people. Not to mention, it was super moist as well! I got an extra bonus when I got this bundt cake, because the place had just opened so they had mailed out “free bundt cake” flyers in the mail. The variety here was smaller making it easier to choose something. You know what you’re getting: a bundt cake basically. All you have to do is choose a flavor. Simplicity wins here. I can truthfully say that this was simply delicious ;)

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SPRINKLES CUPCAKES

http://www.sprinkles.com

Oh no…. On to the last bakery on my list! Don’t worry, I will most probably have a second post once I find more memorable bakeries. Anwaysss, Sprinkles Cupcakes is well known all over the US. I’m sure every area has a place that could be comparable to this one (Georgetown or Crave Cupcakes for example). These cupcakes are quite pricey and didn’t seem worth the hype that everyone always makes over them, although they are good. But.. If you go on twitter or their fb page, you’ll be sure to find these secret words that get you a free cupcake. And they post these words every day for the first 50/100 ppl to say it, so be sure you are one of those lucky few!

*Red Velvet & Mocha Cupcakes pictured above*

Any favorite bakeries that you have found worth sharing?