Tag Archives: Ganache

Matcha Mango Macarons

 

 

Matcha and Mango Macarons

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Wanderlust. 

I’ve always loved adventure and I’ve had a craving for travelling the world since I was just a youngin. I don’t know where I got it from. My parents hate travelling, they just don’t have the energy for it and they’re too tied down with careers, bills and well, me and my sibs. I haven’t done a lot of travelling in the 21 years of life that I’ve lived so far (heck, I haven’t even been to Disneyland or Disney World, even though my parents have promised to take me there on multiple occasions), but I can’t wait to start.

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The phrase “it’s a small world” never resonated with me. The world is a HUGE place and I yearn to explore every nook and cranny of it. I wanna see, feel, hear, taste and touch the face of every country. I want to reach every ocean, every height, every depth and every edge of the world. 

My itch to travel has never been this enduring. I used to put it on the back burner, waiting to finish another term, waiting to graduate, waiting to stabilize my place in my career and earn a steady income. I can’t ignore it anymore, gotta scratch this itch! 

My trip to Guatemala was my first taste of travelling alone (sans ma famille) and experiencing worldly wonders. It ignited my wanderlust. 

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Priorities have shifted around a little. I’m going to try to travel as much as I can now before I get tied down like my parents. At the same time though, I have to be realistic, I can’t just ditch my life in Vancouver. I still have to finish my Dietetics degree which can’t be put on hold. In the meantime, I’m making small trips to nearby places to get my travel fix. Last month, I went on a spontaneous trip to Olympic National Park for 5 days. (I’ll write a post about it soon!)

Anyone else have a bad case of wanderlust? What are your top places to travel? Here’s my bucketlist:

1. Southeast Asia
2. Central America
3. South America
4. US Roadtrip
5. Europe

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Matcha Mango Macarons

Ganache Montee Vanille

  • 100g white chocolate
  • 50g and 150g heavy cream
  • 1 tsp of vanilla bean paste

1. Chop white chocolate into pieces and place in a bowl
2. Bring 50g of heavy cream to a boil and pour over white chocolate
3. Stir until all white chocolate is melted
4. Pour in the 150g of heavy cream and stir to combine
5. Cover and refrigerate overnight
6. When ready to use, whip the mixture using an electronic beater (your arms will thank you). DO NOT overwhip, you will get butter not ganache.

Mango Confiture

  • 2 ripe mangoes
  • juice from 1/2 lemon

1. Cut mango into cubes, place in a pot and softly cook it over medium heat 
2. When mangoes are slightly cooked down into a more paste-like structure, add lemon juice
3. Cook and stir until you get a smooth mango paste. You can also strain or blend it to make it smoother.

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Peppermint Chocolate Cupcakes

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Growing up, my family was never big on celebrating Christmas, or any North American holiday for that matter. In fact, I didn’t know who or what Santa was until I started kindergarten. The day I learnt about Santa and his elves in the North Pole was life-changing. Of course, the excitement didn’t last long:

“MOM! DAD!”

“Hey, how was school?”

“There’s an old fat man named Santa who flies around the world in his sleigh giving presents on Christmas eve!!!!”

“Oh honey, Santa’s not real.” 

Then they proceeded by laughing at me for a solid 5 minutes. (Jerks!)

Weird thing is, I’ve always loved anything and everything Christmas related. Probably because I was deprived of it in my early years 😛 

Now that I’m older, I try to make up for it! I listen to Christmas music (Michael Buble to be exact) from October to January, eat EXTRA chocolate, organize a gift exchange with my cousins, and watch A Charlie brown Christmas at least 3 times. 

I’m going to add these peppermint chocolate cupcakes to my growing list of traditions as well. I made my go-to chocolate cake, filled it with ganache then topped it with a hint-of-mint peppermint buttercream. My sister had one and actually liked it – that says A LOT! 

What are some of your favourite Christmas traditions?

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Oh and if you’ve ever wondered how I take my photos… here’s a picture of my setup. I’m very minimalistic when it comes to photo set-up 😛

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Peppermint Chocolate Cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk or sour milk* (I used 1 cup skim milk with 1 tbsp white vinegar)
  • 1 cup strong black coffee 
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

How To 

1. Heat oven to 350°F. 

2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes (Batter will be thin). Pour batter evenly into prepared pans.

3. Bake 15-20  minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely. Frost as desired. Yields 35 ccupcakes.

Peppermint Buttercream

Ingredients

2.5 cups unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
4 cups icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 tsp vanilla extract 
mint extract (add to taste) 

1. Beat butter and icing sugar together until light in colour. My trick to getting super fluffy buttercream is to whip the heck out of the butter for 15 minutes.

2. Mix in vanilla bean paste and vanilla extract.

3. Add mint extract little by little (a little goes a long way!!!) until you like it. 

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Hazelnut Praline Chocolate Cake

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This cake definitely trumps ALLL the cakes I have ever made. If you like Ferrero Rocher or Bueno, you need to make this cake right now. Your life will be a big black hole until you have a slice of this. (Totally not exaggerating.)

All threats aside, the idea for this cake came to me as I was enjoying some Bueno (not surprisingly) a couple months back. I gotta tell you, if there ever is a Bueno eating competition, I will join it and I will win. I can finish an entire bar of Bueno in like 50.36 seconds. My sister thinks it’s disgusting, but I think it’s natural talent 😀

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The cake consists of 3 layers of my favourite chocolate cake, but changed up a bit with EXTRA coffee (to bring out the chocolate flavour). Between the layers is where the taste explosion happens. I filled and covered this cake with HAZELNUT PRALINE WHIPPED GANACHE. To make this ganache, my trusty 13 cup KitchenAid Architect food processor pulverized the praline into crumbs in a matter of seconds, I kid you not! Then I used my 7 quart KitchenAid bowl lift stand mixer to whip my ganache into the perfect consistency. KitchenAid has made my life so much easier!

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I usually try to avoid superlatives but believe me when I say that this is THE best ganache I have ever had… so far. 

Seriously, I liked this cake so much that it was hard for me to not think about it.

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Lucky for me, I pretty much had the entire cake to myself. I live with a bunch of weirdos who were born without the gene that codes for chocolate-lovin’ in their brain centers. Sometimes I question whether or not my sister is telling the truth when she tells me that I joined the family after I was picked up from a garbage can 😛

I ate about 70% of the cake alllll by myself. Again, this is one of those natural talents of mine to be able to consume copious amounts of chocolate without dying from an overdose. My brother had one slice about 2 days after I made this cake. Yenno what he said to me?! I’ll tell you what he said to me:

“Hey, this is actually pretty good.”

Um what? *Eyebrow raises* “What do you mean by actually?!”

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Hazelnut Praline Chocolate Cake

Chocolate cake recipe here. Make one full recipe for 3 layer 10″ cake.

Hazelnut Praline

100g Hazelnuts
3/4 cup of granulated sugar

1. Preheat oven to 150 degrees C. Roast hazelnuts for about 8-10 mins, then place the hazelnuts between 2 towels and rub the hazelnuts to get the skin off.
2. In a saucepan, caramelize the sugar one third at a time. Place 1/3 of sugar into pan at medium heat, stir and let melt until it reaches a caramel colour. Add in second third and last third slowly, making sure to stir.
3. Once all sugar is caramelized, throw in the hazelnuts and coat them all with the melted sugar.
4. Immediately transfer to oil-sprayed cookie sheet. Let the praline cool until hardened.
5. Break up praline into pieces, process in food processor until it reaches a super fine consistency.

Hazelnut Praline Ganache

320mL and 800mL of heavy cream
10 oz. of milk chocolate (I used Ghirardelli)
All of the hazelnut praline

1. Using a a microwave, warm the chocolate in 30s intervals, stir in between intervals. When there are just a few lumps of solid chocolate left, reduce heating time to 10 secs in the microwave to avoid burning the chocolate. Stop when chocolate is one liquidy consistency.
2. Stir the processed praline into the chocolate. The mixture is supposed to be grainy, don’t worry!

2. Bring 320mL of heavy cream to a boil, then pour 1/3 of it into the chocolate mixture. Stir slowly until evenly combined. Drizzle in the rest of the boiled heavy cream in thirds and stir to combine.
3. Pour in the remaining cold 800mL heavy cream, you will have a very liquid mixture, this is normal, don’t panic!
4. Place the entire mixture into a refrigerator for a couple hours to cool. If possible, put the beaters of your standmixer/handmixer into the fridge as well. You want to make sure everything is really cold, but NOT frozen, in order to be able to whip up the cream and create a thicker consistency.
5. When it is cooled, whip the mixture on medium speed until medium peak forms. You don’t want to whip it for too long or on high speed because your whip cream will curdle and turn to butter. No bueno. 

Source: Modified from Alena Kogotkova

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