Friday, January 21, 2011

i'm a baking machine

having achieved such great success with the macarons last week, i got the itch to make another batch.  plus, it helped that i came across a forgotten stash of frozen egg whites while looking for something to make for dinner.  ha!

anyway, i thought this time i'd make basic shells with no added flavoring, so i could use different kinds of fillings in them.  the teen is a huge fan of the salted caramel sauce that i'd made before, just slathered in there without being whipped up into a buttercream.  and there was still a tub of leftover lemon mascarpone filling in the fridge.  not to mention, i wanted to bring some macs to my junior league meeting.  the black-tie ball we're organizing has a pink and brown color scheme, so i added a bit of bright pink food dye into the mixture and decided to make bakerella's yummy-sounding chocolate ganache for them.  i am such a dork.





i kinda overfilled this one.  she looks like she's sticking her tongue out at you, huh?


i ended up with a boatload of leftover ganache, and after spooning a bunch of it right into my mouth till i felt sick, i googled and learned that i could freeze it.  yay!  so i covered the surface with a bit of plastic wrap and popped it in the freezer to use the next time i feel the need for deep, dark, rich chocolate macarons.

oh, and for the teen:


when i made the whoopie pies this weekend, i thought i'd test out the bake-ahead-and-freeze method.  so i popped a bunch of fully cooled cookies on the sheet into the freezer for an hour until they were solid, and then moved them into a ziploc bag.  a couple of us on committee had been tasked with figuring out a favor to give to a bunch of senior JLPers (yes, they're senior junior leaguers, heh) at a tea to entice them into buying tickets for the ball, and i thought these would be a nice little treat to hand out.  so, of course - brown (chocolate) shells, with a marshmallow filling that i dyed pink.




apparently, i have a problem with overfilling.  sheesh.


i wrapped them up into cellophane bags and closed them with a pink circle sticker.  totally cute, and went over really well at the meeting (as did those macs).  yay for me!

and THEN, a couple of nights ago i'd gotten the wild hair up my ass to try out the ice cream maker that santa had brought me.  i found a recipe for salted caramel ice cream that sounded easy enough, and got started on the "dry" caramel.  which, by the way, is a complete and utter pain in the ass.  you take a cup of sugar and cook that shit in a skillet without stirring once it starts to melt.  it took freaking forever.





and then i added the cream to it and found that most of it had gotten stuck to the damn pan.



but i pressed on.  i stirred and stirred, waiting for it to melt again, and most of it did.  i still had a couple of little lumps of caramelized sugar in the pan by the time i stopped, but the sauce was the right consistency and tasted fabulous.  thank goodness it didn't burn, because i sure didn't want to have to do it again.  and it was even more fantastic with half a teaspoon of this:


that shit is pricey, yo.  see that little container?  it's got a measly 4 ounces of precious fleur de sel in it, and i paid NINE DOLLARS for it.  yeah.  effing france, man.  it's salt!

i mixed up the rest of the custard base for the ice cream, poured it through a mesh sieve, stirred in the cooled caramel sauce, and put the whole bowl in the fridge.


it had to chill for at least 3 hours, but by that time i was zonked.  the recipe said it had to be "very cold," so i figured leaving it overnight wouldn't hurt it.  the next day, when i got home from work, i busted her out:


poured the mixture into the frozen bowl, and flipped the switch.


about 20 minutes later, this creamy goodness was ready.


beautiful, ain't it?  and now i have a new appreciation for those artisan small-batch creameries that are popping up everywhere.  it's a lot of freaking work to turn out a quart of ice cream!

but worth it.  oh, so worth it.

8 comments:

  1. yum! dude, that fleur de sel was FOURTEEN dollars at my grocery store - I about passed out. I ended up buying it at sur la table, which was cheaper. hell has officially frozen over if something is cheaper at SLT.

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  2. So.....when are you opening Wan Bakery?! Cuz, I would so be there.

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  3. let your ice cream bowl thing freeze overnight all the time, works so much better and faster than the three hour thing...I have one too and you know my patience levels!

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  4. Daaaang!!! It's posts like these that make me wish I was your friend in real life. LOL Kinda like how I wish I was Barefoot Contessa's close, close, and favorite relative so I can get in on the deliciousness!

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  5. OMG!! YUMMO!! I want those pink macaroons for Presley's 1st Birthday Party! Are you doing a little bakery side work? :) Super interested if you are! Hit me up on Facebook!

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  6. You are KILLING me with these baking posts. When you start shipping, I'm SO ordering some from you.

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  7. Yeah, that ice cream sounds delish!

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