Monday, March 31, 2014

Buttercream Filled Macarons

As the weather gets warmer, the sun starts shinning and flowers bloom with color, many families spend more time outside drinking lemonade and munching on small desserts like cookies and brownies instead of rich cakes. Macarons are my opinion of the “spring cookie”. Most commonly served and made popular in Paris, France these classy looking, adorable yet delicious treats have become all the rage. Never having had one before but thinking they were adorable (and being sucked into this trend), I decided to make my own. Maybe it’s the pastel colors or how sophisticated they seem to me that I wanted to be able to say, “Yes! I’ve made them successfully!” I didn’t know what I was getting myself into! They are definitely not as easy as making the classic chocolate chip cookie! The recipe is simple, the main ingredients being almond flour, sugar, and egg whites however; these sweet cookies were probably one of the most challenging things I’ve ever made.

So I decided to talk about my experience making them with the recipe I've found most success with. Have fun baking!

I adapted from THIS recipe. But added one ingredient and did some of my steps differently…

Quirky Combinations

We all love classic dessert combinations such as vanilla ice-cream and brownies, chocolate and pretzels, and one of my personal favorites, chocolate and peanut butter. The list of delicious combinations can go on forever but it even includes many combinations that you might think are gross but you never know unless you try them for yourself. One wacky combination that I have been dying to try is chocolate and jalapeƱos. Some of my family has tried jalapeƱo and chocolate cake and loved the spicy taste that it brings out. I'm a huge chocolate lover so I think I would like it too! At first I thought the combination would be revolting but after hearing so many good reviews about it I will definitely try it whenever I get the chance.

When we think of dessert we typically don't think of vegetables. I don't know very many people that would think that combination would sound appetizing. We have all heard of rice pudding but have you ever heard of rice pudding that is made with cauliflower? Probably not. It's a healthier alternative for sure (if you are looking for a healthier dessert of course!) but not most peoples first choice in a dessert. Rice pudding itself is one of the healthier dessert options out there but substituting cauliflower in makes it even better for you. This is another combination that has gotten good ratings so I would be open to trying it if I ever had the option.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Baking Substitutions!

Although baking is an exact science, changes and tweaks can still be made to recipes. Baking substitutions are becoming increasingly popular because of the health benefits. Some people also make substitutions based on their dietary needs and allergies. I find it fun to experiment with changing up recipes and seeing how different the final product seems. Sometimes it is not recognizable that the recipe is healthier or made without an allergen such as nuts, but other recipes do not tweak well. Products may come out not as sweet or puffy as expected. Here are some common health related substitutions that are popular today:

Dietary restrictions are other reasons for substitutions. Being a vegan, I use a lot of changes in recipes. Here are some common vegan substitutions:

My favorite vegan substitutes are apple sauce and silken tofu. I think that they add health benefits while also being more kind to our fellow living beings.