French Macaron Baking Adventures, Part 19: Morello Cherry & Chocolate French Macarons Recipe & Tutorial

By Lisa Maliga, copyright 2018

Here it is — my first macaron video tutorial! This is a new recipe that isn’t in my book. It’s recommended for people who love chocolate and cherries!

cherrychocolatemacaron

MORELLO CHERRY & CHOCOLATE FRENCH MACARONS RECIPE

INGREDIENTS:
100 grams almond flour
200 grams powdered sugar
3 large egg whites [room temperature]
50 grams finely granulated sugar [4 Tablespoons]
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 drops Americolor Super Red food color gel

Oven Temperature: 300 degrees

DIRECTIONS:

* Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone mat. If the baking sheets are thin, double them up. Macarons are sensitive to heat so they need to be baked on a durable tray that has lots of insulation. You’ll also need a pastry/piping bag with a large round tip ready before you begin.
* Sift powdered sugar and almond flour together. Large grains that don’t make it through can be thrown away or used as a skin exfoliator.
* Whisk the sugar and flour to make sure it’s fully blended.
* In a stainless steel or glass bowl, beat the egg whites until foamy like a bubble bath before adding the salt. Then add granulated sugar in 3 batches. Start at a low speed and gradually increase the speed. When finished, the mixture should have stiff peaks. Add color.
* Add dry ingredients to the meringue in 2 batches using a spatula. Fold until the mixture comes together, scraping the sides and flip batter over. When the sugar/flour mixture is blended, the batter will be easier to mix and will look shiny. Lift the spatula and see how quickly batter falls in “ribbons” from the spatula. A ribbon of batter dropped into the bowl should merge with the rest of the batter in 20-30 seconds. Another test is to “write” the number 8 with the batter.
* Add tip to piping bag and then twist near the bottom to prevent any mixture from escaping. The tip should face upwards and that also helps keep the mixture in the piping bag as you place it in a cup and form a cuff over the rim so it’s easy to add the batter.
* Spoon batter into piping bag. Twist the top of the bag and untwist the bottom, gently pushing the just-poured batter toward the bottom. You’ll remove any excess air that way.
* Pipe the batter onto the parchment or silicone mat.
* Pipe batter on the parchment-lined baking sheets in 1.5-inch circles. Keep the batter inside circles if using a template.
* Rap baking sheet several times on the counter. This will further flatten the macarons, and remove air bubbles.
* Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
* Allow macarons to sit for 30-60 minutes until a film forms. Lightly touch a macaron and if no batter clings to your finger then it’s dry and ready to be baked.
* Bake for about 15-20 minutes. The tops should be firm and glossy and the bottoms of the shells should have formed “feet” or frills at the bottom. The risen macarons should be firm with the slightest amount of give. If it wobbles, they require another minute or so. When done, the cookies can easily be removed from the parchment or mat.
* Remove from oven, place cookie sheet on a wire rack or flat surface and let cool completely.

MORELLO CHERRY BUTTERCREAM FILLING

2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
4 ounces [1/2 cup] unsalted butter [room temperature]
4 Tablespoons chopped Morello cherries
1 Tablespoon Morello cherry juice
1 Drop AmeriColor Red food color gel

DIRECTIONS:

Mix the butter in a bowl for about 30 seconds, and then add half the powdered sugar.

When the mixture is smooth, add the chopped Morello cherries and juice. Then add the remaining powdered sugar. Add color and mix another minute or two.

CHOCOLATE ALMOND GANACHE 

4 ounces heavy cream [120 grams]
4 ounces finely chopped dark chocolate [120 grams]
¼ teaspoon almond extract

DIRECTIONS:

Put cream in microwave for about one minute until hot — NOT boiling. Pour over chocolate chunks. When melted add almond extract and whisk well until smooth. Let sit at room temperature for at least four hours or overnight. Cover with plastic wrap. Use a spatula to scoop the ganache into a piping bag with large 4B open star tip.

LOVE MACARONS???

Watch my blog for updates, as in late April I’ll be releasing another dessert cookbook. If you subscribe to my newsletter, you’ll be notified of the book’s release before anyone else! 

Subscribe to:
The Discerning Readers’ Newsletter
Win free books and more!
http://eepurl.com/UZbE9

Baking_French_Macarons_A_Beginners_Guide_3da

Want to bake macarons? Read my book Baking French Macarons: A Beginner’s Guide. Available in eBook [free with a Kindle Unlimited subscription] and paperback formats.

VIDEO

 

Advertisements

Green Velvet Cupcakes Recipe Tutorial + Video

By Lisa Maliga, copyright 2017-2018

Get ready for St. Patrick’s Day with these delectable green cupcakes topped with yummy cream cheese frosting.

greenvelvet

CUPCAKE INGREDIENTS

2 large eggs [room temperature]
1 cup sunflower oil OR vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk
1 Tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
1.5 Tablespoons green gel food coloring
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda

Makes 24 cupcakes

Oven temperature: 350 Fahrenheit/177 Celsius

CUPCAKE DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven.
In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, oil, buttermilk, vinegar, and vanilla. Then stir in food coloring.
In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda. Slowly whisk in the dry ingredients to the egg mixture until completely combined.
Pour batter evenly into cupcake liners. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. After about 10 minutes, remove from pans and cool completely on a wire rack.

Cream Cheese Frosting

This cream cheese frosting is easy to make and tastes different from vanilla buttercream. As cream cheese is softer than butter, you might want to take it out of the refrigerator a few minutes before making the frosting – especially if the weather and/or your kitchen is quite warm.

FROSTING INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Dash of fresh lemon juice

FROSTING DIRECTIONS: 

Beat softened butter and cream cheese on medium speed for about 3-4 minutes until completely smooth and creamy. Add the confectioners’ sugar, cream, and vanilla with the mixer running. Increase to high speed and beat for 1 minute. Add the lemon juice and beat until thick and creamy.

Video link: 

baking chocolate cupcakes and brownies a beginner's guide by lisa maligaAmazon link: Baking Chocolate Cupcakes and Brownies: A Beginners Guide

Subscribe to:
The Discerning Readers’ Newsletter
Win free books and more!
http://eepurl.com/UZbE9

 

French Macaron Baking Adventures, Part 18: March is Macaron Month!

By Lisa Maliga, copyright 2018

Springtime and macarons – what a beautiful combination! .

Since 2005, Jour du Macaron has been celebrated. Noted pastry chef and macaron expert, Pierre Herme, came up with the idea in order to bring attention to this lovely French delicacy and raise money for his charity.

Usually, Macaron Day is held on the first day of spring. However, this year when I Googled the holiday, I was given three different dates. So, why not celebrate macarons for 31 days this March?

FOR MACARON BAKERS!

I’m inviting anyone who bakes and sells their macarons  — whether online or anywhere in the world! — to let readers know you’re celebrating Macaron Month! Just leave your information in the “leave a reply” box below. I encourage you to share the blog post with others. Let’s let people know where you are and if you’ll be celebrating the official Macaron Day or Macaron Month. 

FOR READERS & MACARON BAKERS!

Watch my blog for updates, as within the next 30-45 days I’ll be releasing another dessert cookbook. Here’s a photo of my Almond Macarons which I baked last month. The recipe will be included in my forthcoming book. If you subscribe to my newsletter, you’ll be notified of the book’s release before anyone else! 

almondmacarons (1)

Subscribe to:
The Discerning Readers’ Newsletter
Win free books and more!
http://eepurl.com/UZbE9

Baking_French_Macarons_A_Beginners_Guide_3da

 

Want to bake macarons? Read my book Baking French Macarons: A Beginner’s Guide. Available in eBook [free with a Kindle Unlimited subscription] and paperback formats.

 

Baking Chocolate Cupcakes and Brownies: A Beginner’s Guide–An Excerpt

Baking Chocolate Cupcakes and Brownies: A Beginner’s Guide

by Lisa Maliga, copyright 2017

My second cookbook has just been released after months of testing various chocolate cupcake and brownie recipes. It was so much fun baking these sweet treats and learning more cupcake decorating techniques. For example, I tried the swirl method and was able to come up with this:

peppermintswirlcupcakes2
Peppermint Swirl Cupcakes

I’ve also learned how to make my own sparkling sugar and the various ways to core cupcakes. So, if you love chocolate goodness, keep on reading!

Chapter 1 ~ About the Ingredients

Your cupcakes and brownies can look and taste better than any found in a bakery. What you put into your batch of cupcakes is up to you and your budget. Are fresh eggs and butter available to you? I’ve been able to use farm fresh eggs in many of my batches of cupcakes and brownies. Those hens are free ranging and while kept in a coop at night, during the day they amble around several acres of pasture and eat natural food from the ground as well as organic chicken feed.

Use whatever ingredients you have in your pantry, cupboards and refrigerator for your first batches of brownies and/or cupcakes. Don’t invest a lot of money in ingredients or equipment if you only plan to make the occasional dessert. But once you make brownies and cupcakes from scratch, get creative and try new brands of chocolate, butter, or any of the other ingredients to learn if you can taste a difference. Oftentimes you’ll find some sweet [I couldn’t resist that pun] deals on the ingredients at your grocery store so you’ll spend less money on finding out what you like to add to your chocolaty desserts. Baking isn’t just science–it’s also art.

As the recipes in this book are all about using the most natural ingredients, as well as the best tasting, virgin coconut oil is recommended. This tropical oil is easier to use in oil form rather than solid. Coconut oil is coconut butter at temperatures below 78 degrees Fahrenheit. Depending on the weather, I can let it sit in the sun to melt or if it’s hot enough then measuring it is always easier. Virgin coconut oil gives cupcakes natural moisture and you won’t taste the extra coconut.

Amazon Kindle: Baking Chocolate Cupcakes and Brownies: A Beginner’s Guide

Amazon Kindle UK: Baking Chocolate Cupcakes and Brownies: A Beginner’s Guide

Paperback edition: Baking Chocolate Cupcakes and Brownies: A Beginner’s Guide

3DBakingcupcakes book&Phone

Results for the Guess the Mystery Berry Contest!

Copyright 2017 by Lisa Maliga

mysterymacswhitebackgroundThanks to everyone who entered the first ever Mystery Berry Contest. It was a fun contest to run and I enjoyed reading the responses and guesses. 

Here’s the page where the contest and comments can be seen:

https://lisamaliga.wordpress.com/contest-guess-the-mystery-berry/

 

The two people who correctly guessed the answer were entered in the  Random Name Picker.

1st prize ~ $25 Amazon gift card plus the mystery berry recipe.

WINNER: robeader

2nd prize ~ eBook edition of BAKING FRENCH MACARONS: A BEGINNER’S GUIDE plus the mystery berry recipe.

WINNER: Mary Rieves

To the winners: please contact me with your email address so you can receive your prizes. You can either leave it in the comments section, or contact me directly at: lisa_maliga@msn.com

Have a berry good week & Happy Baking!

mysteryberryjam1
Mystery Berry = Boysenberry

Subscribe to:
The Discerning Readers’ Newsletter
Win free books and more!
http://eepurl.com/UZbE9

Chocolate Espresso Ganache Filling Recipe

By Lisa Maliga, copyright 2017

I used to think that a ganache was something fancy that went on top of a cake or some type of fancy pastry. I knew it was made from chocolate, but that’s about all. If you’ve never made this lovely and decadent macaron filling, don’t worry, it’s very easy to make. You only need a few ingredients but you should get the best type of chocolate that you find appealing. For practice, use standard dark chocolate morsels that you may have in your pantry, but if you’re a chocoholic, add a 70% cacao content dark chocolate.

chocolatemintganache
Chocolate ganache just before going into a pastry bag

Chocolate Espresso Ganache Filling

Ingredients:

4 ounces heavy cream [120 grams]
4 ounces finely chopped dark chocolate [120 grams]
½ teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
½ teaspoon instant espresso

Put cream in microwave for about one minute until hot — NOT boiling. Pour over chocolate chunks. When melted add instant coffee and vanilla and whisk well until smooth. Let sit at room temperature for at least four hours or overnight. Cover with plastic wrap. Just before getting ready to use a spatula to scoop the ganache into a piping bag with large round tip.

This is a simple recipe to make and it will really perk up your macaron shells. The touch of espresso gives the chocolate more zing! I used my favorite brand of chocolate: Valrhona.

chocolateganacheespesso2

Adding instant espresso to chocolate chunks

chocolateganachecream2

Pour in your cream and vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste

chocolateganache
Whisk ingredients together until you have a shiny chocolate ganache!
orangegreenmacarons
Orange & chocolate mint macarons

Baking French Macarons A Beginner’s Guide

This recipe can be found in my book Baking French Macarons: A Beginner’s Guide. Available in eBook [free with a Kindle Unlimited subscription] and paperback formats.

 

 

“Baking French Macarons: A Beginner’s Guide” Now Available in Paperback

By Lisa Maliga, copyright 2016

acaimacaronsmed

I’ve owned and read many cookbooks over the years. Some have been leather-bound tomes dating back almost two centuries. Others have been spiral bound and contained gorgeous color photos. As a teenager, I used to look at the cake decorating books, admiring the artistry behind each unique design.

Until this year, I never thought I’d write a cookbook. Sure, I’ve shared recipes before, as soap is made in a kitchen. But soap is easier to make than macarons and even a small bar lasts a lot longer than these delicate desserts.

Before the November 1, 2016, release of Baking French Macarons: A Beginner’s Guide, I was trying to get the paperback edition properly formatted. Being on a tight budget, I went to Fiverr and found a formatter who would do a 155-page cookbook with 54 color photographs for $6, including the $1 processing fee. What a bargain! I was skeptical that the newly listed formatter could do the work in less than one day as he promised. A day after the promised delivery time, I received a message. “Hi Lisa, I am high sorry for the delay. I had delay of my new PC yesterday and I cannot continue using the old one. I was highly disappointed the time the agent came in. So, I am greatly sorry for this late delivery of your work.”

A few hours after sending the email, he sent me the .DOC and PDF files. He even changed the name of the file to end with the word GOOD.

The title now read Baking French Macaron: A Beginner’s Guide.

Continuing the singular theme, there was a Table of Content.

The headings were out of bounds and didn’t pass CreateSpace’s interior reviewer. Some of them began on the chapter page. Photos were less than the required 300 dpi. The “good” ones were stretched like in the following example.

cspaceexample
An example of bad formatting

I politely thanked him for his trouble and contacted someone else.

Jackie [not her real name] gave me a rate of $30. That still seemed reasonable. A few hours later, she had finished the project. I was very surprised in the amount of time it took and was naturally suspicious. It was formatted without headings but everything else looked nice; certainly no stretched photos. Before thanking her for a job well done, I uploaded it to the interior reviewer. All the images were less than 300 dpi. I contacted her and she said she’d fix it. A few hours later, I was sent another version. The same thing happened.

For the next four days, it went on. Some of the photos eventually were 300 dpi, others were under that ‘magic’ number. Finally, when all but 7 of the photos were considered good enough, I thanked her and decided to forego a paperback edition. Even if I had a less costly version with black and white photos, it wasn’t worth all the time and aggravation I’d gone through. I couldn’t compromise and publish a photo-less book. I’d spent way too much time and money into making my book the best it could look.

I’d noticed another scam cookbook that was doing well, even though it had no photos and the back cover was completely blank. Some of the recipes had ingredients only—no measurements. That book was selling several copies a day. I was motivated to figure out my photo problems, and eventually I did.

The eBook cover I’d designed was nice, but I knew a professional could do a much better job. Print covers needed strong typography so titles would show up well.

Using my own photos for the cover, I didn’t have to be concerned about copyright issues. I’d been checking out numerous cover designers and I went through their portfolios. I found a very talented artist. The book cover was far better than the one I made on Canva.

Here it is!

Baking French Macarons A Beginner’s Guide

Amazon paperback link: Baking French Macarons: A Beginner’s Guide

Amazon UK paperback link: Baking French Macarons: A Beginner’s Guide

Barnes & Noble paperback link: Baking French Macarons: A Beginner’s Guide

Subscribe to:
The Discerning Readers’ Newsletter
Win free books and more!
http://eepurl.com/UZbE9

 baking_french_macarons_a_beginners_guide_3d