The Mad Cake Batter

sweet treats and savory deets


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Apple Cinnamon & Espresso Buttercream Macarons

These were one of the first macaron recipes I ever tried. At the time, I thought the hardest part of making macs were the shells since they were so finicky and that¬†the fillings were no sweat. I soon found out they too can be just as troublesome if I didn’t have the correct ratio. It, also, never occurred to me that the shells can get soggy if there is too much moisture in the cream!

I made both of these for my sister and mom’s birthday and though the espresso ones came out perfectly, the apple cinnamon were filled with so much moisture from the applesauce that the shells were breaking apart in our hands. There is a learning curve with everything we do, and this is mine, published for the world to see ūüôā

Enjoy!appleespresso-macs

The shells for macarons do not vary in ingredients just the coloring you want to make them!

  • 300g ground almonds
  • 300g icing sugar
  • 110g liquefied egg whites
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 75g mineral water
  • 110g liquefied egg whites

Full instructions are on the Vanilla Macaron post. The recipes for the buttercreams came from macarons by Cecile Cannone. It’s a little different from how I¬†make¬†buttercream, but an interesting experience nonetheless.

Apple Cinnamon Buttercream

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup superfine sugar
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • 1 apple, cored and chopped with peel
  • 1 TBS cinnamon
  • 1 cup plus 2 TBS chilled unsalted European Butter

Beat the eggs and sugar with an electric mixer at high speed until light and fluffy. Pour into a saucepan, stir in appleespresso-macs1the applesauce and chopped apple. Put on medium temp, stirring continuously until the mixture forms a compact batter. Pour in a shallow dish , cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator. When the batter is cold, add the batter, cinnamon and small pieces of butter in a mixer, beat at high speed, using the whisk attachment, until no butter pieces are visible.

Espresso Buttercream

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup superfine sugar
  • 1 TBS instant espresso grounds
  • 1 cup plus 2 TBS chilled unsalted European Butter

Similar to the instructions above, beat the eggs and sugar with an electric mixer at high speeds until light and fluffy. Pour into a saucepan over medium heat and add the espresso. Stir until you have a compact batter. Pour into a shallow dish, cover with plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator.

Cut the butter in small pieces and beat at high speed using the whisk attachment. When the butter starts to expand in volume, add the chilled espresso and whip again.


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Peach Paprika Pie

It’s that time of year again, beach week with the fam! I can never go down empty handed. I recently made peaches2another Blueberry Lavender Pie which¬†went over extremely well with this crowd. Though I am a huge fan of blueberries, I wanted to change it up a bit and went with another seasonal fruit, the peach. ¬†This is, yet again, another recipe out of The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book. I didn’t have any sweet paprika or allspice, and substituted arrowroot for potato starch, but it still went over well with this crowd.

Ingredients:

  • All-Butter Crush for 9-inch double-crust pie
  • 2 1/2 pounds of peaches
  • 2 TBS fresh lemon juice
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 3 TBS arrowroot
  • 1 TBS paprika
  • 1/8 tsp white pepperpeaches1
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 to 2 dasher Old Fashion Bitters
  • Egg wash
  • Demerara Sugar

Have a ready-made pie crust and lattice top in the refrigerator. Bring a large pot of waters to a simmer, and have a large bowl of ice ready on the side. Score an X into the bottom of each peach, and drop it into the simmering water for 30-60 seconds (I had each in towards the 60 sec end). Remove and immediately put it on ice to cool. This will make the skin slip off easily, but be careful. The peach will be super slippery.

Slice the peaches into 1/2 inch slices and place into a large bowl. Sprinkle on the lemon juice. Add the sugars, ppie1arrowroot, paprika, white pepper, ginger, salt, and bitters and toss well to combine. Spoon the filling into the pie shell, leaving behind excess juices. Arrange the lattice and crimp as desired.

Chill the pie for 10-15 min to set the pastry. Preheat the oven to 425 F and position the oven racks in the bottom and center positions. Brush the pastry with the egg wash to coat (1 large egg whisked with a tsp of water and pinch of salt). Sprinkle with the desired amount of demerara sugar.

Place the pie on a rimmed baking sheet on the lowest rack of the oven. Bake for 20-25 min or when the pie is beginning to brown. Lower the temp to 375 F, move the pie to the center rack (leave the baking sheet on the bottom rack in case of spilling), and continue to bake for another 30 to 35 minutes. Allow the pie to cool completely and serve warm or at room temp.


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Confetti Cookies

It has been a hectic summer. I have moved into a new place and am still adjusting to the new changes. It is an old building which in this case also means, old appliances. Don’t get me wrong, this place is super charming. I love it, but I realized I was spoiled with my previous oven. My new one is much tinier and much, much hotter than my old one.

I decided to test it out on my newest baking treat. At work, we are planning a surprise Bridal Shower for my boss and I decided to make cookies. Not just any cookies, but Christina Tosi’s Milk Bar Confetti¬†Cookies also known as “Funfetti Cookies.” I have had this book for quite some time. I have looked at all the recipes multiple times, drooling over the images, and I knew from the get-go this would be my first recipe out of this book.

The day before,¬†I made the “Birthday Cake Crumb” which is a key ingredient in the cookies I planned on making the following night. Not sure what I was up against with my new baking environment, I just dove right in and prayed for the best. The Birthday Cake Crumb is made up of:

  • compare¬†1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 TBS light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup cake flour
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 TBS rainbow sprinkles
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil
  • 1 TBS clear vanilla extract

Heat oven to 300F. Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl and mix until well incorporated. Add the wet ingredients and mix until the mixture creates small clusters. Spread crumbs on a parchment/silpat lined baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, breaking up the clusters occasionally. They should be still moist when pulling it out of the oven. Let the crumbs cool completely and keep in an airtight container at room temp for a week or in the fridge for a month.

When I placed the tray in the oven, I wasn’t thinking and put it on the bottom rack. Well, as you probably could have guessed, it burned a bit. I had some time left before I had to start getting ready for work, and I took another crack at it. This time, placed the tray on the top rack and checked the oven from time to time. The crumb looked much better. I placed it in a Mason jar and went about my day.

WARNING! The crumbs are super addicting, you need to walk away. Trust me, you will catch yourself standing there with a handful of this stuff if you are not careful!

cookiesConfetti Cookies

  • 16 TBS butter at room temp
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 TBS glucose
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp clear vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2/3 cup milk powder
  • 2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup rainbow sprinkles
  • 1/2 recipe of Birthday Cake Crumb

Combine the butter, sugar and glucose in a mixing bowl and cream on med-high for 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the eggs and vanilla. Beat for 7 to 8 minutes. (The batter will be light and fluffy at this point)

Reduce mixing speed to low and add the flour, milk powder, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt and sprinkles. Mix  just until the dough comes together, no longer than 1 minute. Scrape down the sides with a spatula. Add the Birthday Cake Crumb and mix until just combined, about 30 seconds.

When placing the cookies on the parchment paper, Tosi says to use an ice cream scoop and then pat the tops of the dough dome flat. I don’t have an ice cream scoop so I just used a spoon. IMPORTANT STEP: refrigerate for at least 1 hour. DO NO PUT THE COOKIES DIRECTLY IN THE OVEN AT ROOM TEMP! They will not come out the way you want them to!cookies1

I went back and forth on whether or not, I make the cookies today or just prep and bake the following day. Remember how I said my oven was tiny, my trays are about 15″ long and per the directions, I needed about 4 inches of space between the cookies, so I could only fit 6 on a tray. I had to make them tonight. The recipe says to bake at 350 for 18 minutes. My cookies were baking within 13 minutes. I kept an eye on them and when I saw the first signs of browning on the bottom, I pulled them. I let them sit on the tray for a couple more minutes, but let them finish cooling on racks.