Thursday, May 15, 2014

Mastering the art of the French macaroon is a skill that many wish to acquire. I myself have decided that this delicious sweet, which is both appetizing to the pallet as well as the eye, is the quest in which I should set myself upon. Here I would pleasantly describe my day of baking macarons if it hadn’t turned out to be a disaster. While it is notably one of the most difficult recipes to make I must admit that I thought everyone was making a bigger deal out of them than they should be.
As you can see from the picture below I decided that wine would be a necessary part to the French baking experience. What I didn’t know was that I should have invested less into the wine and more into an electric mixer. As it turns out muscles that are unfamiliar with the gym are not well equipped to create a flawless meringue.  

Nonetheless I carried on and attempted to pipe them into the perfect little circles that everyone expects from the treat. Instead, this is what I created. (I ate one as you can tell, It was still pretty dang good.)
At this point I decided that icing them would not be necessary and that this would be an excellent place to call it quits for my first attempt. I’ll try again this weekend, only this time with an electric mixer.

Things I learned:

1.       Buy less wine so I can afford an electric mixer.

2.       The French have too much time on their hands.

3.       This blog is going to make for a very long adventure.

4.       I should have fought for the soufflé.

5.       Why did I think I could learn new things?

6.       I can’t make macarons…yet… but I can still make a darn good frozen pizza.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Soufflé Girl

Despite having baked many, many things, there is one thing I had never made because it always seemed challenging. So many people fail at making it, that doing so has become a cliché. The first new thing I wanted to learn how to do was to make a soufflé.

I expected to fail. I had a backup dinner planned for when I did fail. I expected my soufflés to fall.
The soufflés before going in the oven.
So when I pulled out three beautiful soufflés out of the oven, I was very pleasantly surprised.

Right after coming out of the oven.
Not only did they look almost perfect, but they tasted pretty good too. I had never had soufflé before, so I didn't know quite what to expect. Because I'm not particularly fond of eggs, I decided to go with a spinach and cheddar recipe to help distract from the egginess.  The recipe I used can be found here.

One thing that I did that really helped me was measuring out all of my ingredients before starting. I very rarely do this; I'm lucky if I think to get all the ingredients out beforehand usually. This proved to be extremely helpful, and I might start doing it more frequently for other recipes.

I think the most difficult thing in making these was the egg whites. Every thing else was just paying attention to making sure you're following directions. I almost went too far with my egg whites, and was quite worried that I had overdone them. But I didn't.

Oh, and don't open the oven door. The sudden change in temperature is a common reason for soufflés falling. It took some serious willpower to not open the door.