After a few trials and minor errors (but I’m not counting), I can finally proudly present my first successful Macarons! (Macarons á la vanille) with a mascarpone cream filling. The macaron recipe is inspired from The French Kitchen Cookbook and the filling recipe is from Cupcakes Galore cookbook.
I have grown to love the many cookbook collections that surround my home. One in particular is A Country Cook’s Kitchen by Alison Walker. From the simple pleasures of making artisanal hearty breads, experiencing the delights of churning butter, making the most of seasonal fruits, enjoying the aroma of freshly baked pastries, biscuits and so much more I have yet to discover…this maybe a great addition to your cookbook collection, as well!
Making butter is quite easy: heavy cream needs to be shaken or beaten to a point where the buttermilk and butterfat separate. This can be done in an old-fashioned churn, by shaking the cream vigorously in a jam jar for about 30 minutes (See my last post about a butter kit I purchased), or by the easiest method–I am happy to share, a stand mixer. Just don’t leave it unattended as the separation of butterfat and buttermilk happens instantly within 20 minutes time.
I was excited to try my new cookbook ‘macaroons‘ 30 recipes for perfect bite-size treats so I flipped through the pages and thought to find the ideal and most delectable treat to bake–well, I was hopeful anyway. So once again, off to our kitchen pantry I go, as well as, to the refrigerator , taking out everything I need. Everything was going smoothly BUT somewhere along the way, the texture of the meringue just didn’t look right. Instead of a thick, ribbon-like consistency, I got more of a cookie dough texture. Not sure where things went wrong, but rather than tossing everything out and starting over, which I would never do, I simply scooped the cookie dough-like meringue onto the baking sheets and followed the remaining instruction for the meringue recipe from the cookbook. The results, well…you tell me 😉
Since I watched the last episode of Master Chef (currently on FOX Season 3) when Monti Carlo (one of the home cook contestants and…that’s probably not her real name, really? Monti Carlo, anyway…) made a Scotch Egg on one of the challenges; and actually got great accolades from Chef Gordon Ramsay, I have had an inkling to make them. Well, today (Sunday) was the day!
Saturday late afternoon, hubby, my 9-year old and I were invited to a friend’s house to shoot the breeze–both metaphorically and literally! George, our friend, who was also our realtor when we initially met, (We met George when we were house hunting summer of last year) invited us to come over, meet the girlfriend, meet the family and do some target shooting in their property. So what does all this have to do with fruit tarts?
Last week, after contemplating as to when I was going to finally try some of the new kitchen gadgets I have laying around the house, I opted for the birthday present that I received last June. My cousin gave me a Mini Pie Maker by Bella (not a plug-in for the brand, but wanted to simply let you know that this particular one worked great.) Since I live in an area where there are an abundance of farm-fresh produce and fruits around, I decided on blueberries and cherries–two of the top favorite fruits at home.