I’m not dead

So, I’ve been gone for awhile… Sorry! I have a lot going on right now, I’m finishing my last semester of high school right now as well as dealing with some personal issues. Just wanted to let you know I’m making éclairs this weekend. YES! You heard it! Since the macarons worked out so well I thought I’d delve into some more French delights! Well, now you know what you have to look forward to! You’ll hear from me soon!

Happy baking!

Lemon-y mini crepes!

You can serve these any which way you like, I made little towers, layered with lemon curd and berries. They were awesome.

In Sweden we call these “plättar”, if I were to make them larger they’d just be pancakes. Well, Swedish pancakes… They’re basically crepes. Whatever, this is becoming confusing.

They’re extremely easy to make, even easier if you have a custom “plättlagg”, which is a special skillet with round indentations, like mini pools that you fill with batter. This makes the process of getting even crepes easier, but a regular pan will work just fine. A cast iron skillet or griddle works best!

Fill the pools with batter, let them become golden and…

… flip! Et voilà! Mini crepes!

This makes about 20 mini crepes (7cm / 2.75 inches in diameter)

If you were to make large crepes with this recipe I’d estimate that you could get about 2-3 of them. I’d count on 1 egg per person, so basically just multiply this recipe with however many people you want to feed. Although, if you’re doing this as a dessert, you wont need as many. This recipe made two of those little crepe-towers.

Recipe:

1 egg (preferably organic)

1 dl OR 0.45 cup all-purpose flour

1 ½ tablespoons melted butter

1 ¾ dl OR 0.75 cup milk

2 teaspoons sugar

1 teaspoon lemon zest

1 tablespoon lemon juice

pinch of salt

+ extra melted butter for the griddle

HOW TO:

Whisk the egg, flour, butter and half of the milk together until smooth. Add the rest of the milk, the lemon zest + juice, sugar and salt and stir together until combined.

Let the batter rest for about 15 minutes. While it’s resting, you can begon heating up your griddle. Brush the griddle/pan with butter and plop little rounds of batter into it.

Fry until golden (see picture above).

Serve as I did with lemon curd and berries or in any manor you wish.

Happy cooking!

Macarons and vows! (chocolate/hazelnut & lemon macarons)

So, this past weekend my father got married! Again… Hehe. No, but jokes aside, it was a really nice day, there was a short ceremony in city hall and then we had brunch at the Radisson Blu Strand Hotel. I had made macarons for the occasion which our fifteen person party gobbled down in the suite my dad had booked in the hotel. There was a lot of champagne drinkin’ too, and before you comment, yes, I am old enough to drink. The legal drinking age in Sweden is 18, thank you very much.

I made two kinds, lemon macarons with a lemon filling and chocolate macarons with a chocolate & hazelnut filling. No need for further explanations, let’s get to the recipe.

I used my standard Pierre Hermé macaron shell recipe but I altered it slightly to make them lemon/chocolate flavoured. This batch is also about one and a half of the original (which you can find here). So, this recipe makes about 22 of each kind. I made the meringue in one batch and then divided it between two almond mixtures.

NOTE: If you would like the recipe of how to make 30 shells (as from the original recipe) but in one of the flavours, write a comment with contact info and I’ll e-mail it to you. It takes up too much space to write everything down in one post. Also, if this is your first try at making macarons I suggest you go this this recipe, my instructions are much more detailed in that one as that was my first try.

Macaron Shells:

Italian meringue:

225g granulated sugar

57g water

82,5g aged egg whites

Mix for chocolate macarons shells:

112,5g ground almonds/almond meal

97,5g icing sugar

15g pure cocoa powder

41g aged egg whites

Mix for lemon macaron shells:

112,5g ground almonds/almond meal

112,5g icing sugar

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

41g aged egg whites

HOW TO:

Start by sifting and combining the dry ingredients for the mixes into two separate bowls. Then add the egg whites on top of each mix but do not stir. Once you fold in the meringue, the egg whites will combine with the rest, don’t worry about that.

Make the meringue by bringing the water and sugar to a boil in a pot. While that is bubbling, whisk the egg whites until foamy. When the sugar has reached approximately 110 degrees CELSIUS (230 F), pour them into the egg white foam. Do this while the mixer is on and drizzle the sugar syrup on the side of the bowl so that it goes via the wall of bowl into the egg whites and not straight into them. Keep whisking the meringue until it has reached body temperature.

Weigh the meringue and divide into two portions, add the two portions to the two mixes (one portion goes into one of the mixes but I assume you understood that part).

Fold the meringue into the almond mix until it’s “pipeable”. Sure, that’s a word…

Pipe onto baking sheets and the rap against the counter 2-3 times to pop any air bubbles that might have formed. Let the piped shells sit in room temperature for 30 minutes before baking in the oven for 12 minutes at 180 degrees CELSIUS (355F). During the last 4 minutes of baking, open the oven door at least two times to let out any steam.

Chocolate hazelnut filling:

150 grams milk chocolate with chopped hazelnuts (I used a Swedish brand called Marabou)

130g heavy cream

25g butter

pinch of salt

Chop the chocolate, bring the cream to a boil and pour over the chocolate. Stir until glossy, add the butter and salt. Keep stirring until the butter is melted, if the mix is too cool and the butter wont melt, heat it back up gently and then stir until cooled and smooth. Set in the fridge to cool.

Lemon filling:

100g good quality white chocolate

25g heavy cream

55g lemon curd

juice of half a lemon

zest of one lemon

IF NECESSARY: corn starch

Chop the chocolate. Bring the cream and lemon curd to a boil, pour over the chocolate. Stir until smooth. Add the lemon juice and zest. Set in fridge to cool. If it’s too loose, add some corn starch, little by little and refrigerate in between until your desired consistency is reached.

Assemble the macarons and let sit for about 24 hours in the fridge to set. EAT!

Lessons I learned this time around:

  • Don’t put too much water under the baking sheet. It will mess up your shells!
  • Get a frickin’ piping bag you idiot novice! Plastic bags are annoying as hell and the end result will never be symmetrical.
  • Don’t dust your shells with cocoa before you bang them against the counter, you will end up with cocoa all over and the shells will look like you licked them before assembly or something.
  • The egg whites will diminish in volume as you age them, weigh up the amount you need and age them and you’ll be fine. You might end up with less than what is called for in the recipe but as long as you started out with the right amount you should be fine, you’ll just have to be a little clever with the kitchen scale, that’s all. The total amount of egg whites you should age for this recipe is 165 grams.

Happy baking!