French Baking

I LOVE baking!!  Anything from cookies to pizza.  But, my favorite things to bake, come from France.

From: Food Network

Maccarons

1 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 cup almond flour
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup superfine sugar
2 to 3 drops gel food coloring (see below)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla, almond or mint extract
Assorted fillings (see below)
Special Equipment:
Oven with convection setting
4 baking sheets
3 silicone baking mats
Fine-mesh sieve
Pastry bag with 1/4-inch round tip
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Directions
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F using the convection setting. Line 3 baking sheets with silicone mats. Measure the confectioners’ sugar and almond flour by spooning them into measuring cups and leveling with a knife. Transfer to a bowl; whisk to combine.
Sift the sugar-almond flour mixture, a little at a time, through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl, pressing with a rubber spatula to pass through as much as possible. It will take a while, and up to 2 tablespoons of coarse almond flour may be left; just toss it.
Beat the egg whites, cream of tartar and salt with a mixer on medium speed until frothy. Increase the speed to medium high; gradually add the superfine sugar and beat until stiff and shiny, about 5 more minutes.
Transfer the beaten egg whites to the bowl with the almond flour mixture. Draw a rubber spatula halfway through the mixture and fold until incorporated, giving the bowl a quarter turn with each fold.
Add the food coloring and extract (see below). Continue folding and turning, scraping down the bowl, until the batter is smooth and falls off the spatula in a thin flat ribbon, 2 to 3 minutes.
Transfer the batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4-inch round tip. Holding the bag vertically and close to the baking sheet, pipe 1 1/4-inch circles (24 per sheet). Firmly tap the baking sheets twice against the counter to release any air bubbles.
Let the cookies sit at room temperature until the tops are no longer sticky to the touch, 15 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the humidity. Slip another baking sheet under the first batch (a double baking sheet protects the cookies from the heat).
Bake the first batch until the cookies are shiny and rise 1/8 inch to form a “foot,” about 20 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely. Repeat, using a double sheet for each batch. Peel the cookies off the mats and sandwich with a thin layer of filling (see below).
Almond-Raspberry:
Tint the batter with 2 drops neon pink gel food coloring; flavor with almond extract. Fill with seedless raspberry jam (you’ll need about 3/4 cup).
Mint-White Chocolate:
Tint the batter with 2 drops mint green gel food coloring; flavor with mint extract. For the filling, microwave 3 ounces chopped white chocolate, 2 tablespoons heavy cream and 1 tablespoon butter in 30-second intervals, stirring, until smooth. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon mint extract and 1 drop mint green gel food coloring.
Blueberry Cheesecake:
Tint the batter with 3 drops royal blue gel food coloring; flavor with vanilla extract. For the filling, mix 4 ounces softened cream cheese and 3 tablespoons blueberry jam.
Lavendar-Honey:
Tint the batter with 2 drops violet gel food coloring; flavor with almond or vanilla extract. For the filling, mix 3/4 cup mascarpone cheese, 2 tablespoons honey and 1 teaspoon ground dried lavender.
Pineapple:
Tint the batter with 2 drops lemon yellow gel food coloring; flavor with vanilla extract. For the filling, press 3/4 cup pineapple jam through a sieve, discarding any large pieces.

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/french-macarons.html?oc=linkback

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Hobbies

What do you like to do for fun? My three favorite things are drawing, writing ,and best of all cooking. I LOVE cooking and baking! I make anything from omelets to brownies. This is one of my favorite recipes:

New York-Style Cheesecake

From Nerdy Nummies

Crust

1 1/2 cups cookie crumbs

1/4 cup sugar

5 tablespoons salted butter, melted

Filling

4 packages ( 8 ounces each) cream cheese, at room temperature

1/4 cup sugar

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoon cornstarch

1 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 F

Make the crust: In a large bowl, whisk together the cookie crumbs and sugar. Stir in the melted butter until the crumbs are evenly moistened. Press the crumb mixture onto the bottom and 2 inches up the sides of a 9-inch springform platform pan. Bake for 10 min to set the crust. Remove from oven to cool, but leave the oven on.

Make the filling: In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese and sugar until smooth and light.

Beat in eggs, vanilla, and cornstarch until just combined (do not over-mix)

Mix in the sour cream until well blended.

Pour the mixture into the prepared crust ans spread evenly.

Bake at 350 F for 45 min. Turn the oven off, prop the door open slightly, and let the cake sit for 1 hour.

Remove the oven and place on a wire rack to cool to room temperature.

Cover and refrigerate until well chilled before serving.