Friday, June 24, 2011

Espresso Macarons with Mocha Filling

So I have some exciting news to share with all of you...I am moving!

My husband and I are relocating to Denver, Colorado and we couldn't be more excited! We have lived in Houston for almost exactly 5 years and next week we will be packing a truck and driving the 18 hours to our new home in Denver!!

I know you all understand how busy moving can be and I haven't gotten much baking in lately, but the last thing we decided to pack up was the kitchen. How could I go without baking for that long!? Also, Wednesday was my birthday and for the first time (after many years of protest) I got to make my own cake! I will share this divine chocolate cake with you later, but today I will share the other item I had been itching to try again. Espresso Macarons!

My lovely sister-in-law bought me a huge bag of almond flour to make more macarons with so I aim to please :-) Before you begin please go read my tips from my first macaron post will help, I promise!

Espresso Macaroons with Mocha Filling

300 grams ground almonds or almond flour
300 grams confectioners' sugar, sifted
110 grams egg whites, room temperature
2 tablespoons instant espresso
15 grams water
300 grams granulated sugar
75 grams water
110 grams egg whites, room temperature

1 cup butter, softened
1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, melted
1 tablespoon instant coffee
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons of milk 

To prepare cookies, preheat oven to 330 degrees F and line baking sheets with silicone baking mats, set aside. In a small dish combine 2 tablespoons instant espresso with 15 grams of water, set aside. In a large bowl, combine almond flour, confectioners sugar, first set of egg whites, and prepared instant espresso, set aside. In a separate mixing bowl fitted with a whisk attachment pour remaining egg whites, do not starting mixing yet. In a medium saucepan combine water and sugar over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Using a candy thermometer, once the sugar-water mixture reaches 110 degrees C, begin whisking the egg whites at a high speed. Once the sugar-water mixture reaches 118 degrees C remove from heat and slowly pour into beating egg whites, do not stop the mixer to do this. Continue whisking till the volume has almost tripled in size and you have a shiny, smooth, white meringue. If you remove the whisk from the bowl you should have stiff peaks.

In small amounts fold the meringue into the almond flour mixture, blend only till all white streaks have disappeared. Be sure to scrape sides and bottom of bowl to incorporate all of the mixture, anything not incorporated may cause cracking. Fit a pastry bag with a 10mm tip and fill with macaron batter. Pour small (about 1-inch diameter), even circles of batter on prepared pans, make sure to leave room for spreading. Once each pan is filled with circles, give it a few taps on the counter and let rest for 15-30 minutes. Bake each pan for 13-17 minutes. Cookies will be done when you touch the top and it wiggles, if top breaks off it is not done and if bottom comes off the silicone sheet, it is overdone. Let cookies cool on sheet completely, then remove gently.

To prepare the filling, melt the unsweetened chocolate in a bowl over simmering water or the quick and easy way, microwave it, let cool slightly to room temperature. In a large bowl beat butter on high till light and fluffy, scraping sides as needed. Add in melted chocolate, coffee, and vanilla and mix till incorporated. Sift in confectioners' sugar one cup at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping sides and bottom of bowl. Once all the sugar has been incorporated add in milk and beat till light and fluffy.

Pair up your macaron cookies with a dollop of filling in the middle. Taste will appreciate after a few days.

If you hadn't noticed, I did not use any coloring in the cookie this time, I wanted to see the macaron au naturel!

Hope you enjoy, I am off to pack away my kitchen!

Happy Baking y'all!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Chocolate Waffles

Chocolate for breakfast, YUM!

I woke up this morning at 5AM not able to fall back asleep, I decided to get up and make PW's famous Cinnamon Rolls....two hours later and still no cinnamon roll progress I knew it wasn't going to happen. I needed a quick breakfast kind of morning. The hubbie mentioned waffles and I was off, I had been eyeing this chocolate waffle recipe from the Ghirardelli Chocolate Cookbook for a few weeks.

At first you might think who can eat a chocolate waffle for breakfast, or like me you might think chocolate is OK anytime of the day! Well this recipe could be used for both a dessert waffle or a breakfast waffle! It uses unsweetened cocoa and only two tablespoons of sugar, so the sweetness really comes from whatever toppings you decide to use!

Chocolate Waffles

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups whole milk
4 large eggs, separated
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Preheat waffle iron according to directions on box, I heat mine to the highest setting. In a large bowl sift together the flour, cocoa, and baking powder. Whisk in the sugar and salt and set aside. In a medium bowl separate 4 egg yolks and whisk together with the milk and oil. Slowly add in the milk mixture to the flour mixture, mix only till combined, set aside. In a clean, dry, medium bowl beat the 4 egg whites till soft peaks have formed. Gently fold the egg whites into the flour and milk mixture. 

Once waffle iron is preheated, pour 1/3 cup of mixture into waffle iron and cook for the time suggested by your waffle iron directions. Note that the amount of mixture may vary based on the size of you waffle iron. Serve hot waffles immediately and enjoy!

I used the typical butter and syrup toppings for breakfast, but confectioners sugar, chocolate chips, chopped fruit, whipped cream or even ice cream are all good topping ideas!

This recipe makes about 8 medium sized waffles. I keep the waffles warm by placing on a pan in the oven set to 200 degrees.

Don't forget to enter my World of Cakes cookbook giveaway until Monday, May 30th HERE!

Happy Baking!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Puerto Rican Chocolate Rum Cake and My First Giveaway!

Can you believe, it has been over a year since I started this blog and I have yet to do a giveaway?!

When I was asked if I would like to review and giveaway the new cookbook World of Cakes by non-other than Krystina Castella , you know her from the famous Booze Cakes cookbook, I was excited to accept!

My only problem was trying to decide which cake to make for y'all!

This book goes way beyond just recipes for yummy sounding cakes, Krystina shares all her knowledge of cakes from around the world and each cake recipe comes with a complete history. For those of us with a sweet tooth all year-around, she gives a list of every cake holiday throughout the year and from which country the cake or tradition originated.

In the spirit of the approaching summer and dreams of sipping a sweet rum punch on the beach, I decided to make a rum cake! And what is the only way to make a rum cake better?

Adding chocolate!

Puerto Rican Chocolate Rum Cake


1 and 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 tablespoon Puerto Rican rum
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks

Rum Sauce:
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup Puerto Rican rum

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter and flour a bundt cake pan or five individual bundt pans, set aside. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter till creamy, then add sugar and beat till fluffy. Add in sweetened condensed milk and rum, mix till incorporated scraping sides and bottom when needed. Slowly add in flour mixture, just until blended. Add in the eggs, one at a time and mixing after each addition. Add in chocolate chunks and mix with a spatula. Pour cake batter into prepared pan/s and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour for large pan or 35 to 45 minutes for small pans. Cake is done when a toothpick entered in center of cake comes out clean. Remove cake from oven and begin to cool.

To prepare rum sauce, combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook, while stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Remove sugar water from stove and let cool for a few minutes. Add in rum and use immediately.

The only thing I changed from her recipe, is my secret trick to rum cakes: pouring the rum sauce over the top of the cake while it is still hot in the bundt pan. Let the rum sauce soak slowly into the cake and by the time the cake is cooled, all the rum sauce is gone! If you prefer to stick to the original recipe, once the cake has cooled remove from pan and pour the rum sauce over the cake, let it sit for at least 6 hours before you serve it.

This cake did not disappoint! It contains all the moistness that you would expect from a rum soaked cake, but also nice richness from the cocoa and added chocolate chunks.

So for those interested in getting your hands on a copy of Krystina's World of Cakes...

  • leave a comment and don't forget to include your email!
To get receive additional entries you can do any of the following and leave a comment letting me know:
  • follow the blog 
  • follow me on twitter @squirrelbakes
  • tweet about the giveaway
Deadline to enter is Monday, May 30th at 11:59pm CDT. A winner will be chosen at random and has 48 hours to respond with a US shipping address.

UPDATE: Congrats to Kelly @ KraftedbyKelly

Good Luck and Happy Baking!
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