Sunday, July 8, 2012

Grasshopper Mint Macarons

chocolate mint macarons

My friend asked me to make macarons for her sister's bridal shower and the colors are green and white. I've been wanting to try and make grasshopper mint macarons for a awhile...had full intentions of making them for St. Patty's Day and drawing little clovers on them but didn't get around to I thought this would be a great opportunity to try it out.  

Using the french macaron recipe I always use (see my other macaron posts), I colored the batter green (using Wilton's moss green gel color). They came out a little lighter than I had hoped, the color per the bridal shower invitation is a bit darker, so I'll have to make note of that for the actual shower macarons.

Once I baked up the cookies I let them cool and then worked on the filling.  I actually had to make another batch because my first batch didn't turn out. I thought I could just add half of the beaten egg whites to the batter first, then add my coloring, and then fold in the rest of the egg whites, so that I could get the color right without over-mixing it.  It ending up just clumping up and not mixing well at all. That was pretty and learn.

For the filling I found a bag of Andes baking bits and made a ganache (using 1 cup of mint chocolate bits and 1/4 heated heavy cream).  I let the ganache cool a bit and put it in a piping bag to make it easy to fill the macarons.

Overall, the macarons turned out pretty good. Just need to work on my technique to get more consistency in making them.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July!

 lemon chiffon petal cake
 crumb layer
red, white & blue frosting

8 layers!

I've been dying to try this petal decorating style on a cake ever since I saw it on the i-heart-baking blog. So, for 4the of July I decided to make a lemon chiffon cake and decorate it "petal-style" with red, white and blue frosting. I found this lemon chiffon cake recipe online a couple of years ago and it's so light and yummy.

First I made the cake (four 8" round cakes) and cut each cake in half to create 8 layers. I used a cream cheese whipped cream frosting and put a thin layer of frosting between each layer. Then I put a thin layer of frosting over the entire cake to create the crumb layer. I put the crumb layered cake in the fridge while I separated out the frosting, colored the red and blue and put them into piping bags. Then it was time for the fun part...decorating!

To make the petals you pipe dots in a single column and then smear the dot from the center. Here's a great tutorial on how it's done. This process does take some time but my husband helped me speed up the process. I piped and he smeared. We found that once you've established the first few columns, it is faster to do the entire row(s) of the one color at time, instead of going down each column. This makes it much easier because you don't have to take as much time cleaning off the spreader used to smear the dots (minimizing color contamination).

Overall the cake turned out really well. I do need to work on the spacing between petals and I think next time I'll use a buttercream frosting for the petals instead of a whipped cream based frosting.  This should make it look a little more clean...but I just love whipped cream! So, it might look better with the buttercream but I'm not sure if it'll taste as good.

Hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July!