Saturday, January 8, 2011

Grapefruit French Macarons with a White Chocolate Buttercream and Grapefruit Curd Filling

Santa brought me a glorious new silpat for Christmas...just so I could learn how to make macarons! This was my first attempt. They tasted absolutely delicious, however my macarons have no feet! Back to the delicious part, check out the recipe for yourself!

The last few days I have spent researching the feet that need to appear at the bottom of the cookie! This evening I am going to try again and hopefully achieve feet! If you don't know what feet are please check them out here. The most useful information that I have found was here, check it out. Wish me luck!

Lemon "Mile High Meringue" Pie

When I was younger my mom, DD used to make mini lemon meringue pies. I loved them for their taste but also their precious appearance. The recipe below makes mini pies if you follow the same directions but just use a mini muffin pan. However the big pie is just as delicious as the smaller ones.

Two summers ago I went through a lemon meringue pie phase. I must have made this recipe once a week. I love the sweet of the meringue and the tart of the curd. This curd recipe is the best I've ever made! This is definitely a crowd pleaser. It only lasted one hour after I cut the first piece!

Lemon Meringue Pie
Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart
Pie Dough
1 1/4 cups flour
1/3 cup butter
4 Tablespoons Cold Water
Lemon Curd
2 cups sugar
6 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
5 large eggs, separated
1/4 teaspoon salt, plus a pinch
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
4 tablespoons butter, softened and cut into pieces

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine the flour, butter and water in a mixer. Stir until the mixture resembles dough. If the mixture is not coming together, add more water. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to an 1/8-inch thickness. Crimp edges, and refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes. Remove from refrigerator, and prick bottoms of shells with a fork. Line pie crust with parchment paper. Transfer to oven; bake until edges begin to turn brown, about 10 minutes. Remove paper and continue baking until golden brown, about 7 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Combine 1 1/4 cups sugar and cornstarch in a bowl. Stir in 2 cups water, and mix until smooth; set aside.

In a saucepan, combine lemon juice, 5 egg yolks, and pinch of salt. Set over medium heat, and stir in cornstarch mixture; cook, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil, about 14 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in the lemon zest and butter. Pour filling into a bowl, and set aside to cool, stirring occasionally.

Pour lemon curd into the pie crust. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.

Heat broiler. Bring a saucepan of water to a simmer. Combine 5 egg whites (I used 7 egg whites and achieved the mile high meringue) the remaining 3/4 cup sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in bowl of an electric mixer. Hold bowl over simmering water; whisk until the mixture is warm and the sugar has dissolved, about 3 minutes.

Return bowl to mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and beat until stiff peaks form. Using a spatula, spread the meringue so the filling is covered and the meringue touches the edges of the piecrusts. Transfer to broiler, and lightly brown the meringue, watching constantly, 30 to 45 seconds. Remove from broiler, and place on a wire rack to cool to room temperature.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Geodesic Balls

An additional element to the Surprise party for GD was the creation of these Geodesic Balls. I thought that these fun black and gold balls would be perfect for new years! I ended up making about 15 of them and strung them around the house and from the light fixtures. I will say that they do take a little bit of time. But the result was worth the time that I put into it. Happy New Years!

Hot Chocolate & Marshmallows!

Nothing can beat a homemade marshmallow. A plump fluffy ball of sugar and gelatin! Delicious! Recently I made these for a Surprise New Years Party-that was put together for Portman aka GD. This photo was taken after the party. I decided not to make hot chocolate for the party due to the 50 degree temperatures that we were experiencing outside. Instead we made a marshmallow tower and presented the display on the dessert table. I regret not taking pictures of the party because the appetizers and desserts were delicious!

Our cherished guests at the party were not disappointed that there was no hot chocolate. Everyone was more than happy to devour these as if they were the most decadent truffle every created. I have made these before-but the recipe is not difficult! I would recommend making these at your next party asap!