deliciously american

PB&J macarons... how deliciously american

I can’t tell you what got into me, because I don’t fully understand where it came from. All I can say is, I’ve been craving PB&J.

It wasn’t the kind of thing that we made at home. My mum wasn’t American enough to think it was anything of interest… & my dad had a thing for peanutbutter & banana sandwiches. It was the kind of thing that was fed to us on school outings though.

They always put too much jam for my taste & not nearly enough peanutbutter. I like peanutbutter. It’s thick & sticky in my mouth making it hard to talk or swallow. Some how those characteristics make it good. Make it worth the extra energy it takes to eat it. Make it fun.

I didn’t want to post a PB&J sandwich on my site though. The snob in me told my conscience that it wasn’t sophisticated enough to make an appearance. The child in me argued otherwise. Somewhere in all that chaos, I found a compromise that satisfied both the inner snob & my conflicting, obnoxious childlike self. It all blended together in the form of a macaron… & well all know how much I love making those. Seriously, there’s a problem with how much I adore them.

These aren’t for everyone. They weren’t for Mel. If you’re into it though & PB&J makes you think of being a kid, they’re probably for you.

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boozing it up with lime, rum & chocolate!

lime, rum & chocolate macarons

For months now, every time I post up a macaron recipe, I get a private message from my mum saying how I better make her macarons when she comes for a visit.

I’m talking about a woman so obsessed with the little cookies that she used to occasionally frequent a bakery in Paris that was renowned for its macarons & pay €4 for a single cookie!

….talk about setting the bar high.

Suffice to say, I wasn’t about to say “no” to her request. It just so happened that I’d been dying to try a new flavour combination & I had been holding off for her arrival so as not to overwhelm everyone with my fascination with constantly making these french (italian) cookies.

Want to hear about the flavour I’ve been dreaming about?

Chocolate. Lime. Rum!

Tell me that you aren’t drooling….

Actually, maybe you haven’t heard of the combination before so you don’t know what the appropriate level of excitement is here. Let me help you with that. The correct level of enthusiasm would be a “HELL YES!!!!”

I’m telling you, chocolate & limeexcellent. Lime & rum, excellent. Rum & chocolate, excellent. You just can’t go wrong with it. Now wrap that all up into a single macaron which is a breathtakingly good cookie all on its own, you just have pure magic.

I’m not ashamed to say that my mum was over the moon about them. I think she even managed to disappear 7 of them in a row without blinking. I’d call that a success.

I even got an “these are excellent” from Mel… & he’s not an easy person to please when it comes to food.

So there you have it. I made excellent macarons with a flavour combination that was just killer. Do it, do it now!

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chocolate lady fingers

gluten-free chocolate lady fingers, perfect for making an italian tiramisu

These cookies are supposedly meant to resemble a lady’s finger, hence the name…. Whilst I can admit that I, myself, have rather short & thick little fingers, they resemble nothing like the cookie.

Maybe that’s me being naive though.

I also personally believe, that these cookies don’t make such of a statement on their own. Sure, they are flavorful & nice. Simple & easy to eat five or six without really thinking about it, but I’d never sit & crave one. You know what I mean?

There would never be a moment in my life where I would say “Oh, I could REALLY go for a lady finger right about now.” It just ain’t happening.

I can however sit down & say “oh my god, I HAVE to have tiramisu right this very moment or else I’ll just burst into flames & melt!” (a touch dramatic, I know)…. & then THAT statement would lead me to saying “you know what, if I’m going to make a tiramisu, I’m going to have to make lady fingers.”

See how that all works out? One thing always leads to another.

That’s what happened in this instance. I desperately wanted tiramisu, (I also needed to make it for work) & so I needed to whip up a batch of lady fingers in order to fulfill my deepest desire at that moment. Going one step further, I decided to make my little gems chocolate flavored, I thought it might just add an extra little “UMPH!” to my finished dessert.

Ok, so make these, & then immediately use them to make my tiramisu recipe. Do it. Do it now!

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midnight macarons

dark chocolate macarons with a vanilla vodka buttercream filling

I have something extra special for you.

They’re my midnight macarons. Dark chocolate macaron shells, filled with a creamy vanilla vodka buttercream. As an extra special touch, I dusted them with luster-dust so that they’d resemble the stars in a moonless sky.

It wasn’t easy getting here though. Two failed attempts & a lot of frustration took place before I reached these miraculous little gems.

I learnt a bunch along the way too. For example, I learnt that I’d really wished someone had told me that chocolate macaron shells were the hardest macarons to make. Or that cocoa is very absorbent & if you take too long, your shells will crack during baking.

No one told me that luster-dust is an incredibly addictive substance. All that glitter. All that sparkle!

The most important lesson that I learned, is that I have a very long way to go before I can consider myself a master of the macaron.

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