Friday, August 15, 2008


Macarons are these cute French almond cookies that come in different flavors and colors and make everyone goes:" WOW! I want one!". I remember when I made my first macarons here They look funny, don't they!?? the color looks odd and they are too fat! but over all I was quite happy with my result as a first attempt, ehm ehm!!!
The thing with macarons is that you either like them or hate them. but honestly who can resist those cute friandises?? hubby does, he always tells me "what!?? you made them .....again??? they are too sweet! " It is true that they are sweet, and I haven't come across a recipe that uses less suagr than this recipe, but the thing is macaons are so flavorful that you don't need to eat a ton! have them with coffee or tea, just find a reason to eat them!!

Chocolate Macarons

If you ask me what is the perfect macaron? I honestly don't know. I never had macarons other than mine, so - according to "me" - a macaron should Not be too flat nor too fat (like my first catastrophic attempt!). I personally prefer them on the flat side because usually they'll be filled and sandwiched so we don't want a cookie that is as high as the empire state building. Also, it has to be chewy on the inside, but again not undercooked,and should be slightly crunchy on the outside. Finally, the top of the cookies should come out shiny, not grainy or cracked.
Voila, I think that should be the "A B C's" of macarons. Oh! I almost forgot that one of the most important thing to remember when making macarons is the OVEN TEMPERATURE. They should cook in a low oven, no more than 325 f.
after so much talking, I know you can't wait to check the recipe. I used in mine half almonds and half hazelnuts but you can use only almonds and omit the coco if you want other flavors.I also used hazelnut praline in the filling which is basically a cooked caramel and nut that is cooled and ground to a powder. I have to mention that if you are expecting a very chocolaty macarons, you should look for another recipe! or stick with this one and add more coco!

Chocolate hazelnut Macarons

Macarons batter

100 g egg whites (some recipes require 1 day or 2 day old whites. whenever I have leftover whites I use them for that, otherwise I just use fresh ones and they both work fine)
200 g powdered sugar.
65 g ground blanched almonds.
60 g ground hazelnuts.
30 g granulated sugar
20 g coco.

Ganache filling
150 g dark chocolate
75 g heavy cream
4 tablespoons hazelnut praline


1- Preheat the oven to 320 f. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
2- In a food processor, combine the ground almonds, ground hazelnut and powdered sugar. Mix until you get a thin powder. Remove from the bowl, add the coco and Sift the mixture. Set aside.
3- Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until soft peak. Gradually, add the granulated sugar and continue to beat until the mixture becomes shiny. At this point, you add the desired food coloring (if using).
4- Sift the dry ingredients over the egg whites in 3 steps. fold the mixture until shiny. Do not over mix.
5- Fill a pastry bag fitted with a round 1/2 inch tip with the batter and pipe evenly the cookies leaving 2 inches between them. Let the cookies rest for about 20 minutes.
6- Cook the macarons for 12 to 15 minutes. Let them cool before filling with the ganache.

Ganache Filling
1- Finely chop the dark chocolate and put in a bowl.
2- Heat the cream and pour it over the chopped chocolate. Let stand for 1 to 2 minutes then whisk it gently until smooth and shiny. Let the ganache cool a little bit then add the praline.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


I must say that I am not a big fan of clafouti nor blueberries. I tried making clafouti couple times and every time I got disappointed. I either don't like the texture of the clafouti itself, or the cooked fruits. However, this time, it came out different and quite tasty. I actually loved the taste of the cooked blueberries and the clafouti didn't taste too "eggy". Plus, I added some orange zest since I didn't have any lemons on hand. I actually prefer the orange-blueberry combo better.

Blueberry Clafoutis


4 large eggs
1 cup minus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup milk
3/4 cup all purpose flour (if you want it more cakey use a whole cup)
2 cups blueberries
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp orange zest
Pinch of salt


1- Preheat the oven to 350. Spray 8 ramekins with cooking spray and arrange some blueberries on each of them. Set aside.
2- Mix the eggs and sugar until fluffy. Add the milk, vanilla and orange zest.
3- Sift the flour and salt over the wet ingredients and mix until evenly combined.
4- Pour the mixture over the blueberries. Arrange the ramekins on a baking sheet.
5- Bake the clafoutis for 40 to 45 minutes or until lightly golden. sprinkle with confectioner sugar and enjoy warm or cold!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Simple & yummy!

This recipe is really simple, in fact I found it in a food magazine and it was on the kids page. I thought I'd try it for my picky eater, he adored them and I did too. The method of making these muffins is simple yet it yielded to a great result. I've tried fairly more complicated muffin recipes and didn't get a nice result or should I say didn't get what I'd expect from a good muffin: not too sweet, moist and light. I think I can use this recipe as a base and explore with other flavors.

Nutella Muffins

Recipe (10 to 11 muffins)

100 g unsalted melted butter.
1 large egg.
2 heaping Tbsp Nutella.
100 ml milk.
180 g all purpose flour.
70 g sugar.
1+1/2 tsp baking powder.
Pinch of salt.
Chopped hazelnuts


1- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a muffin tin with muffin cups.
2- Combine the melted butter, the egg and the nutella. Mix with a hand held mixer until light and fluffy. Add the milk. Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
3- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ones and mix until just combined (do not over mix)
4. Divide the batter between the muffin cups and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
5- Let the muffins cool completely. Ice each muffin with nutella and sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts.

Bon Appetit!