food & drink, musings

korean shaved ice

 

A hot day, a Korean mama, some ice and red beans is a perfect recipe for …

shaved ice!

I always forget that February is still winter and go out wearing sandals because the sun is outside. Years of living in Southern California does that to people…

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food & drink

matcha green tea macarons and mint ice cream

Hurrah! I almost made myself sick trying to get these right, but I finally did it! I made the perfect macarons! It was so hard to blend the blanched almonds with powdered sugar, get the right consistency of whipped egg whites, and exercise proper macaronage technique. Last year when I had first tried this, my heart broke every time a batch of cracked macarons came out of the oven.

Not this time, folks! Here’s to tenacity and stubbornness— voici beautiful matcha green tea macarons!

The feet are not as developed as it should be (okay, so they’re not perfect), but next time I’ll let them sit out for 30-60 min and see if that helps with anything. Bravetart’s blog has an awesomely helpful post on macarons, which really helped me realize that the main two issues in making perfect macarons are 1. the whipping of the egg whites and 2. the macaronage, or the mixing of the wet and dry ingredients to the so-called ‘lava’ consistency. Unfortunately, I have never seen lava flowing down a volcano, so it was a bit hard to imagine how that would translate to macaron-batter. I think I have some idea now, however.

French Macarons Recipe

Of all the various macaron recipes I’ve tried, Bravetart’s seems to be the best. So below are the ingredients and their amounts that she listed. See her website for more details on process and technique: (http://bravetart.com/recipes/Macarons)

Ingredients

115g blanched almonds or almond flour
230g powdered sugar
144g egg whites— temperature, age, and farm-freshness or store-bought, all not important.
72g sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt

Directions

Preheat 300F

Place the almonds and powdered sugar in the food processor. For the mango mascarpone macarons, I just used the normal macaron batter but added a bit of yellow/red food coloring. Blend and put through a sifter.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, add salt and the vanilla extract to the egg whites. Whip on low speed and when it gets foamy, add the sugar. Increase the speed to medium and then medium high.

Whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form. It should have the consistency of shaving cream.

Place the meringue in the almond mixture and perform the magical art of macaronage.

When you get to that perfect molten-lava consistency, pipe your precious macaron batter on a cookie sheet.

Place in the oven at 300F for 15-18 minutes depending on the size of your macs.

Apologies for the not-so-aesthetically-pleasing photo of the mint ice cream. In any case, this home- and hand-made ice cream was absolutely delicious. I used David Lebovit’s recipe (here) and the mint leaves from the plant in our backyard. The freshness of mint perfectly accompanied the sweet softness of the ‘cream’. For those without an ice-cream maker (i.e., me!!!), it is quite possible to make ice-cream by hand (David Lebovitz has another handy article on how to do so).

I think I’ve got macaron-fever…

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