Hello! Yes I’m still alive and well but been super busy with work and uni lately. Luckily I was sent some snacks from Lindt Australia to power me through! Those of you who follow me on twitter and instagram (jacq_in_a_box) know that I’ve still been getting out and about as usual but I just haven’t found time to blog until now. Regular broadcasting will resume shortly but here’s a quick post about some of the things I’ve been cooking and eating recently.
The cold and rainy Sydney weather that we’ve been experiencing just makes me want to sit down with a bowl of piping hot noodles to warm my soul. Two of my favourites are the ox tongue udon from Ju-Rin, Crows Nest; and the tonkotsu ramen from Ramen Genki, Artarmon. The ox tongue udon has changed recently, becoming cheaper and with different toppings on the noodles. The ox tongue is just as tender and juicy, and the broth is still just as delicious. Continue reading Random Eats→
Since starting work I’ve developed a bit of a morning routine. I’m not usually hungry at 7.30am on a weekday morning but my stomach is growling by 9.30am when I’m at work. So this is my breakfast time – and it always consists of two slices of smooth peanut butter on toast, and usually a mug of hot chocolate on the side.
I don’t think I will ever be sick of the peanut butter and chocolate combination. I love the sweetness of the chocolate against the nutty, slightly salty flavour of the peanut butter and I thought it would make the perfect macaron flavour. What makes these macarons even better is that you don’t even have to make a filling for the macaron shells. I just simply heated up some peanut butter so that it was easy to spread and sandwiched it between two macaron shells. It’s best to leave these to sit in the fridge for a night or two since the peanut butter doesn’t have too much liquid in it so the filling will take a bit longer to soften the shells and for the flavour to permeate into the macaron shells.
You could of course go ahead and make a peanut butter buttercream but I think the saltiness of the peanut butter tends to get lost with the addition of sugar so I think just using plain peanut butter for the filling is perfect. Of course, you can always use crunchy peanut butter but I’m a smooth peanut butter kind of girl :)
And since it’s now acceptable to have cake for breakfast (muffins and banana bread are really just an excuse to eat cake for brekky, am I right?), I don’t see why you couldn’t have chocolate peanut butter macarons for breakfast. After all, breakfast is the most important meal of the day and you might as well have something tasty heh =D
I’ve mentioned before how I love to make foodgiftsforfriends, but recently I also discovered that baked goods could also be used as bargaining power.
As an incentive to give me some much-needed information for one of my uni assignments, I offered to make FeFiFoFum some macarons for her trouble. The bribe must have worked since she was very helpful and thanks to her I did pretty well on my assignment too!
I’ve been wanting to bake something with Nutella in it for a long time and I thought that it was time to tackle the humble macaron again. After a lot of false starts and a few stumbles along the way, I think I may be beginning to master the art of making macarons because this time I got them right first go! I don’t think I will ever be as awesome as the macaron queen though :)
The Nutella is in the chocolate hazelnut ganache that’s sandwiched by the macaron shells. I think I went a little crazy with the Nutella which made the ganache a little runnier than it should be but I was really happy with the flavour overall – definitely one for Nutella and hazelnut lovers out there! You can never have too much Nutella anyway I reckon…
And while you might want to dig straight into these macarons, it’s best to leave these overnight in the fridge for the best flavour. Trust me, it’s worth it! Continue reading Hazelnut Macarons→
After making some successful macarons with lemon and passionfruit fillings, I wanted to try and flavour the shells themselves. Sir D is a big cinnamon lover, and since cinnamon and apple go together like a fat kid and cake, I decided to make cinnamon flavoured macaron shells with an apple compote.
It’s been a while since I made my last batch of macarons and I seemed to have lost my touch. The first batch of cinnamon macaron shells failed miserably with cracks appearing on the surface. The second batch was much better because I stood in front of my oven and watched them like a hawk, but some of them still had a few imperfections on the surface. Seems like I need a lot more practice!
To make the cinnamon flavoured macaron shells I replaced 5g of the icing sugar from the basic macaron recipe with 5g of ground cinnamon. If you like it more or less cinnamon-y just adjust the amount of ground cinnamon you replace for icing sugar.
I was really happy with the overall flavour and that the shells actually tasted like cinnamon. Sir D thought that the combination of the apple compote and the cinnamon shell reminded him of McDonalds apple pie! And anything that reminds people of pie has to be a good thing :)
It takes something special to motivate me to get up early in the morning, but the promise of 66 flavours of macarons at Adriano Zumbo’s Macaron Day has me jumping out of bed bright and early on a Saturday morning. Despite the rain and the cold, the crowds have gathered for the event and though we arrive at 9am, there is already a queue outside the store.
An hour later and we’re finally just about to step inside the shop and look who else is here! Suze and Phuoc weren’t far behind Sir D and I in the queue.
The whole window display and the glass display inside the shop is filled with macarons galore! Such pretty colours!
(L-R, T-B) Salted butter popcorn, Salt and vinegar, Salted butter caramel, Salmon
With the macarons priced at only $2 each, it was hard to not go crazy and get all of them. The store was completely decked out in macarons with only a few loaves of bread sitting on the shelves on the wall. It was like entering Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory except with macarons instead =D Macaron-tastic! Continue reading Macaron Day at Adriano Zumbo, Balmain→