Thursday, July 22, 2010
Hi Everyone! Boyfriend here. It’s been a while since I’ve done a Funny Food Fotos Friday section. Both Kirbie and I have been super busy this week, so while we’ve been eating, Kirbie had not had as much time to write up her posts as usual. So, here is a post from me. We recently visited a Korean supermarket in Irvine, and I couldn’t help but laugh at some of the snack images:
Either these folks have had a long night of partying or they’re
still at this party… on the shelves of the children’s snacks!
I don’t think there’s any spinach near or inside this bag of
snacks, but this guy can be Popeye’s relative who gets buffed out from
Everybody loves pandas! How much more would they like Crazy ones?!
Have you ever tried to get a cat to do what you want or ride a
tortoise? This little fellow was taught correctly, now only if it could
clean windows and do my laundry…
I’m a little pot…
What did he make that pile of what looks like crap from?
Hopefully not feces.
Cannibal crabs! I’m pretty sure those are crab flavored snacks that those live
crabs are playing with.
Finally, Kirbie loved this image because she thought the cookies were so cute:
Thursday, July 22, 2010
As I alluded to in my macaron ice cream sandwich post, after my first attempt at macarons, I was eager to try again. Of course, I needed to have aged egg whites first, so I had to wait a little.
I debated whether to stick to the same recipe or check out another one. Annie’s Eats had blogged about chocolate macarons as being her first successful attempt. This seemed like a sign. Of course, like Annie, I was slightly concerned. I had read an article by David Lebovitz that chocolate macarons are the hardest to master.
However, Annie’s recipe seemed simple enough and she had success with it. So I gave it a shot. Learning from my mistakes on my first attempt, this time the process of making macarons went pretty smoothly. And rather than having some misshapen shells, almost all my macarons puffed up completely and had perfectly round circles. Horray!
The wait time between piping and putting these in the oven is a lot longer than my previous matcha macaron recipe. However, I think this may have helped the shells to developer a nice, firm exterior prior to being baked.
While I’m definitely no master yet at making these, I did feel like this bunch was a lot easier to make than my first one. I can’t wait to try lots of other flavors now that I know how to make these.
I talked about my main tips on my last post, but here they are again:
1. Make sure you use a scale to measure out your ingredients. This is
something I kept reading about over and over again. You want precise
2. Age your egg whites. I aged mine for 48 hours at room temperature.
When I first read about having to age egg whites, I was a bit taken
aback about this, but I was reassured by reading this on other blogs.
3. Here is a great video showing you the different steps: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yDo0SgDKLVw&feature=player_embedded
Chocolate Macarons (recipe found on Annie’s Eats who got the recipe from Use Real Butter, who adapted it from Tartlette)
For the macarons:
110 gm blanched almond flour (I used JK Gourmet Almond Flour)
200 gm minus 2 tbsp. confectioners’ sugar
2 tbsp. cocoa powder (Dutch-process preferred)
100 gm egg whites (from about 3 eggs), aged at room temperature for 24-48 hours
50 gm granulated sugar
For the espresso ganache:
½ cup heavy cream
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 tbsp. granulated sugar
4 tbsp. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1½ tsp. espresso powder
1. Add the confectioners’ sugar, almond flour and cocoa powder to the bowl and process
until blended. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk
attachment, whip the egg whites on medium-high speed until foamy.
Gradually add the granulated sugar and continue beating until a smooth,
shiny meringue with stiff peaks forms. Add the ground almond mixture
to the bowl with the meringue and quickly but gently fold together using
a wide rubber spatula until no streaks remain. You want to achieve a
thick batter that ribbons or flows from the spatula when lifted.
two baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper. Transfer the batter to a
piping bag fitted with a plain wide round tip. Pipe into small rounds
on the prepared baking sheets (each round should be about 1-1½ inches in
diameter), spaced about 2 inches apart. Let sit at room temperature for
about an hour to develop a hard shell.
3. Preheat the oven to
300?F. Bake for 8-10 minutes, depending on size. Transfer the pans to a
wire cooling rack and let cool completely before moving the cookies.
the cookies are cooling, make the ganache. Combine the cream, butter
and sugar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Place the chopped
chocolate in a small heatproof bowl. Bring the cream mixture to a
simmer, remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate. Let stand 2
minutes, then whisk gently in small circular motions until the ganache
forms. Blend in the espresso powder. Let the mixture cool until it is
thick enough to pipe.
5. Once the cookies are totally cooled, match them up by
size. Pipe a layer of ganache onto the flat side of one cookie of each
pair. Sandwich together with the remaining cookie, pushing the filling
to the edges. Store in an airtight container.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Pretty in purple. I love all things purple, so when I was first introduced to ube, I liked all these ube flavored foods because of the vivid purple color. Ube is the filipino name for purple yam and is often seen in filipino cuisine, especially in various desserts.
So here's my little rant. Ube and taro are often mixed up, which irks me to no end. Mainly because I have a special fondness for taro. Taro and ube are two completely different things! I don't really know who to blame for the mix-up. I've seen many filipino food blogs that translate ube as "taro" instead of "purple yam." I've even seen things in the grocery store saying ube/taro.
Ube = purple yam. Taro is a root that isn't actually very purple. There are small taros which are usually white. And the big taros have a light purplish to it. But it's very light. If you cook with taro, it'll usually be almost a greyish hue. Only if you steam it, does the purple come out and even then, it's a very light purple. As a result, when you see taro flavored desserts or drinks, you'll often see food coloring added to it that makes them look light purple. Ube is a much darker purple. When you cut it open, you see the dark purple. The two plants also look different from the outside. And of course, they taste different too. So that's my rant. They are not the same thing people!
Burnt Lumpia had some ube cupcakes on his blog that I was interested to try. I went out and bought some frozen grated ube which I found in the freezer section at Ranch 99. They've been sitting in my freezer for a while.
The cupcakes were easy to make. I love how vivid the color of the raw and cooked ube is. It's a bit sad that the color gets diluted in the cupcakes. The cupcake batter turned a pinkish purple. It reminded me of mixed berries yogurt. I was tempted to keep adding ube to the batter to deepen the purple color, but I didn't want to mess with the recipe.
When the cupcakes were first baked, I couldn't resist eating one. The outside was pink, but the inside was a light purple. So pretty. My cupcakes was moist and sweet. However, after they had cooled, I tried one the next morning. The batter was a bit more dense now and slightly dry. I think I might play around with this recipe slightly to get a fluffier/moist cupcake. It wasn't too dry though. And with the frosting, it gave it the moisture it needed.
I was debating what kind of frosting I wanted to put on. Ube is often mixed with coconut. I thought about a coconut frosting, an ube and coconut frosting, a marscapone cheese frosting. Finally, I ended up with a whipped cream frosting flavored with ube. I used a bottle of ube flavoring I had picked up at Seafood City. It made the frosting delicious and added a beautiful purple to the frosting. Of course, with the purple frosting, the cupcakes looked more pink. Oh well. The ube flavored whipped cream frosting was really tasty and somehow very different from a regular whipped cream frosting. I thought it was the perfect complement to these cupcakes.
Ube cupcakes (adapted from Burnt Lumpia)
1 cup grated ube yam (can be found frozen in Asian markets)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
12 Tablespoons butter (1.5
2 1/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
3 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Thaw and drain ube yam. Place ube on a small sheet of foil, place
foil in steamer basket and steam for 15-20 minutes until ube is soft.
Remove ube from heat, place in small bowl, and mash ube with a spoon.
Allow ube to come to room temperature, then add milk and vanilla to ube
and mix well. Set aside.
3. Using the paddle attachment of a stand mixer, cream the butter and
sugar together on medium speed until well combined. Add eggs, one at a
time, until blended after each addition. Add oil and mix to combine.
4. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda,
5. Add a portion of the flour mixture to the egg mixture and mix on low
speed until just combined. Then add a portion of the ube mixture to the
egg mixture, continuing to alternate between the flour and ube until
everything is just combined.
6. Place paper baking cups into muffin pans and spoon batter into cups
until 2/3 full. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 25-30 minutes until
a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Remove cupcakes
from pan and let cool on a wire rack.