Honey Bee Macarons

I’ve been baking a lot of things that needed egg yolks lately, so to use up all the leftover egg whites I’ve been on a macaron baking spree. I’ve been having a play with sizes and flavours and have baked so many macs I don’t even need to look at a recipe any more. This week I decided to have a little fun with the look of the macarons.

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Salted Caramel Macarons

The macaron madness continues! And shows no signs of abating. Since moving to using silicone mats I’ve started to run into macaron errors. I guess it’s better experiencing it now then during my first try of them, but it can be frustrating. It happens most when I tweak the base recipe, so that’s gonna be a given.

But making mistakes is an important part of the learning curve. Through making errors and working to correct them, I’m learning. And hey, an ugly macaron doesn’t mean a bad-tasting macaron. Just an unbloggable macaron. I can deal with more excuses to bake.

Perfectly formed or not, these babies seem to disappear just as quickly as I can make them. So while they’re still desired, I’ll keep on baking!

Time for some salted caramel…

Orange and Cinnamon Macarons

I'm addicted to making macarons lately. And I have no intention of stopping until I iron out the little creases that are the imperfections in my biscuits. As if I'm going to stop when I do finally get them perfect. Ha!

They're so addictive and so appealing to make. It's becoming and\ obsession. There are so many colours and flavours and possibilities just begging to be explored.

My major challenge at the moment is getting the biscuits all the same size. No matter how carefully I drew the circles and how carefully I piped, they'd always be different. I'd spend ages trying to match up same-sized biscuits, getting grumpy about the misshapen ones. So I thought it was time to try something new.

Breaking habits…

Honey and Cinnamon Cheesecake

Of all the people I make food for, my number one priority in life is my boyfriend, Cameron. He's what motivates me to learn and try new things and attempt to impress him with some crazy dessert. He gets to eat almost everything I make, the only exception being commissions, really. I'll upload snaps of my cakes to Facebook and people will be quick to tell him how lucky they believe him to be. They think he must get the most amazing, whimsical cakes for his birthday. They think him blessed to be able to request from me to bring anything to life via this edible medium. But the reality is that he wants none of that. At heart, he's a simple man.

So when his 30th birthday rolled around I wanted to make him something impressive to mark the occasion.

He just wanted a cheesecake.

What the birthday boy says, goes…

12 Days of Christmas :: 5 Golden Wreath Cookies

I couldn’t go past the fifth day of Christmas without making rings of some sort. Cookie wreaths seemed like the perfect option, but which recipe? I was tempted to make some piped shortbread, but after having made some Christmas shortbread already this year, it had to be something a bit different.

These Italian lemon biscuits were the perfect alternative.

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12 Days of Christmas :: 2 Macarons

Macarons are one of those things I've always wanted to try but have been too intimidated to. I haven't even tasted one, let alone baked them. From the horror stories to the legends about how hard they are to bake correctly, I put it in the "one day" basket. I decided I was going to finally tackle this fickle beast for this Christmas. I spent many hours researching recipes and advice and all the what-to-dos and what-not-to-dos. The more I read, the more confused I became. There is so much conflicting information, sworn by recipes, refuted techniques. It's enough to make you want to throw in the towel.

After one such evening I finally closed my internet browser and decided that was enough. It's only a meringue. I can do meringue. I needed to just get in the kitchen and have a go.

Turns out, there's a whole lot of fuss about not much.    These are completely achievable…

Daring Bakers: 12 Days of Cookies

This month in the Daring Baker's challenge, we got a little bit festive. Holiday season is the time for sharing and Peta of Peta Eats is sharing a dozen cookies, some classics and some of her own, from all over the world with us. She gave us 12 cookie recipe to choose from and challenged us to bake at least one of the 12 cookies, as well as our own celebration cookies.

Here's the two I baked for the challenge.

Double the noms…

Triple Chocolate Ripple Joconde

Last Thursday was my sister's 21st birthday. It was a given that I was going to make the cake. I told her with a week to go to have a think about what sort of cake she wanted. She had no idea. It's harder to think of ideas when you're not a baker – you're much less aware of the possibilities. 

A few days out I became resigned to having to work it out myself. Almost as soon as I came to this resolution, she piped up with, "I know what I want! A chocolate ripple cake!"

". . . really?" I replied. 

My heart sunk a little. I'd been looking forward to the opportunity to create something whimsical, test some new skills, have some license to create. Of all the things I could make, she chose the easiest cake in the entire world.

Well, the birthday girl has to get what she wants. But, me being me, I couldn't stop at making just any old ripple cake…

Death By Chocolate…

Daring Bakers Challenge: Crazy For Crackers

Our July 2012 Daring Bakers’ Host was Dana McFarland and she challenged us to make homemade crackers! Dana showed us some techniques for making crackers and encouraged to use our creativity to make each cracker our own by using ingredients we love.

The challenge required us to bake two crackers using two of three methods: hand rolled, pasta machine rolled, or the icebox method. I don't own a pasta machine, so the choice was immediately made for me.

Unlike the last two challenges, these are something I've baked before. I've never blogged any of my recipes, however, so it was a good excuse to return to two of my favourite recipes and share them with you guys.

Let’s crack some open…