I’m not going to sugarcoat this: macarons are finicky little beasts.
Out of the various times (read: 5 or more) I’ve tried to make them, all batches have failed to some degree.
Sorry to say, the batch pictured was somewhat of a failure too. I admit I’m sort of deceiving you with these pictures.
This batch wasn’t a disaster by any means and the macarons tasted delicious, formed adorable ‘feet’ and had a perfectly soft/chewy texture combo, but the other 3/4 of the batch had cracks.
I’m pretty sure it’s because I didn’t let the macarons rest long enough before baking them, given the last ones in the oven had the fewest cracks. Lesson learned.
From my many attempts at macaron making, I can give the following tips with confidence:
- Let the macarons rest!
- Weigh the ingredients. For a while I didn’t have a scale and thought measuring in cups would work just as well. It doesn’t.
- Let the macarons cool before filling. The last thing you want is to ruin a perfectly good beautiful batch of macarons with runny filling — I know from personal experience.
- If the macarons stick, wipe a damp cloth on the bottom side of the parchment. (Works best if they are still warm.)
- Don’t over or under fold the batter. Over folding can cause excessive spreading, and under folding can lead to bumpy macarons. (I wasn’t lying when I said macarons are finicky.)
- If you succeed on your first try, gold star for you (and please, send some of your skills to me!). If you don’t, try again.
- 150 grams powdered sugar
- 110 grams almond meal
- 10 grams dutch processed cocoa powder (~2 tbs)
- 100 grams egg whites
- 50 grams sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Sift together the powdered sugar, almond meal, and cocoa.
- In another bowl, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form, gradually adding the sugar. Stir in the vanilla,
- Fold the dry ingredients into the whipped egg whites until no streaks remain.
- Pipe or scoop the batter onto 3 parchment paper lined baking trays. Allow to rest for at least an hour and a half.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 16 minutes. If the macarons stick to the parchment, wipe the bottom side of the parchment (below the macarons) with a damp cloth. This should loosen them and make them easier to remove.
- Fill with ganache.
- 1 cup semi sweet chocolate
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- In a saucepan, heat the chocolate and heavy whipping cream until a smooth chocolate mixture forms.
- Cool until spreadable.
On a side note, I’m interested in posting more dinner recipes! For some reason, I’m feeling quite sugared out. Lately I’ve been cooking my own meals (or having my mom order takeout), so there’s a bunch I can potentially share!
Five minutes from now you could have seven gluten free pancakes. Seven soft, fluffy pancakes that taste just as delicious as their wheat-filled counterparts. I’m so head over heels for these pancakes that I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to make regular ones again.
I’ve made this recipe six times in the past week — three times plain, once with chocolate chips, and twice with cocoa — and all versions received raving reviews from my parents and peers alike. Make this recipe, fall in love, and never spend more than five minutes making pancakes again.
EDIT: From an attempt to cook these pancakes on a regular frying pan, I’ve realized how important a nonstick surface is. So unless you want to make scrambled pancake, use nonstick!
Five Minute Pancakes
(1 minute for gathering ingredients, 1 minute for blending, and 3 minutes to cook; it’s really that easy!)
- 1/4 cup old fashioned oats
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon powdered sugar (I use 1 pitted date!)
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
- Combine all ingredients in a blender.
- Blend for about a minute, or until the mixture is smooth.
- Cook at medium-high heat on a non stick pan until golden brown.
- Serve plain, or with syrup, jam, ice cream, or chocolate sauce.
Because I’m still pancake-crazy, come back soon for:
Gluten free chocolate pancakes!
(Pumpkin pancakes, banana pancakes, cinnamon bun pancakes are in the making too — I have grand dreams for this recipe.)
These are quite possibly the easiest cookies to make, ever.
They are vegan, gluten free, and sugar free, yet still taste great and are fun to eat. I added some cinnamon and chocolate to make them even more fun.
When it comes to baking on school nights, I’m super lazy, so these were an easy way to use up ripe bananas. Plus, my dad was able to try them, something he isn’t usually able to do because he’s still on his raw food + fish (+ chocolate ice cream, but he’d deny it if you asked) diet.
If you have bananas and want an easy recipe to try, make these cookies. They’re not thick and buttery like most cookies, but they’re still delicious! I ate them with ice cream and melted chocolate - just because.
Three Ingredient Banana Cookies
- 1/2 cup mashed bananas
- 3/4 cup old fashion oats
- 1 tsp cinnamon
Optional Ingredients (I added all):
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/8 cup chocolate chips
- Mash the bananas.
- Add 1/2 cup oats.
- Grind the remaining 1/4 cup oats in a blender or food processor to create a fine powder, then add. OR, simply add the remaining 1/4 cups whole.
- Add the coconut butter and stir the batter.
- *OPTIONAL* Add in the vanilla extract and chocolate chips.
- Let the batter sit for 30 minutes.
- Scoop into round balls onto a baking sheet, flatten with your fingers, and bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes.
I’m currently trying to write my common app essay, which is, to put it lightly, a painful and mind numbing process.
So here are some brownies I made a while ago. (What I would do for one now.)
Classic Chocolate Brownies
adapted from here
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup dutch-processed cocoa powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
- In a large bowl, mix together the oil, vanilla, sugar, and eggs.
- In another bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.
- Bake in a 9x9 or 8x8 inch greased baking pan at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes, or until the sides begin to pull away from the pan.
Last week I came home to six overripe bananas. They were sitting on the counter: mushy, with outsides spotted brown, and no one wanted to eat them.
So I did what anyone would do; I made banana bread. I used a really simple recipe (normally I use one that calls for creme fraiche among other specialty ingredients), and surprisingly, the results were really good!
I topped slices with strawberries and chocolate ganache, and wow, it was delicious!
Classic Banana Bread
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 1/2 cups mashed bananas
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
- In another bowl, beat together the oil, sugar, and vanilla.
- Whisk in the eggs, one at a time.
- Stir in the mashed bananas.
- Add fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, stirring until barely mixed.
- Fold in the chocolate chips.
- Bake in a greased loaf pan at 350 degrees, for about 45 minutes to an hour.