Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Macaroon Squabble

I'm not really sure I can call myself a baker, although I think my boyfriend would beg to differ. I think he seems to enjoy anything that comes out of the oven that is made by me. But I must tell you, I don't cook...I bake.

Baking to me is instant gratification and involves a much more fun outcome...always something sweet and the baker always gets to lick the bowl ;-)

I wouldn't call myself a baker as I'm no expert on the terminology or such things as Dacquoise, Foam Cakes, a Charlotte dessert, or Boiled Icing.

And...I've always been a bit perplexed with what the heck a macaroon is! I've eaten (or rather, devoured) my fair share of coconut macaroons and I've seen the cutest whoopie pie/Oreo cookie looking French macaroons. But really, what's behind the "macaroon" because a coconut and french macaroon look nothing alike?

Well, according to, a macaroon is, "a drop cookie made of egg whites, sugar, usually almond paste or coconut, and sometimes a little flour."

And according to wikipedia, "A macaroon (/mækəˈruːn/ mak-ə-ROON }}) is a type of light, baked confection, described as either small cakes or meringue-like cookies depending on their consistency. The original macaroon was a "small sweet cake consisting largely of ground almonds"[1] similar to Italian or Moroccan amaretti."

Here (so we all have a visual) is an actual Lemon Meringue Tart courtesy of H Cakes.

By searching Google Images, I noticed Lauduree has to be THE expert when it comes to French Macaroons. As you can see below is the Laduree storefront captured by Moodboard

And their macaroons are absolutely adorable...

Because the coconut macaroon is one of my favorite treats, I was intrigued to try my hand at making them. How hard could it be, right?

This is definitely something I will have to perfect because although the taste was's really all about the presentation, and that is where I came up lacking.

So with some practice, I'm sure to perfect the coconut macaroon. Until then, here is what I imagined mine to look something like...

Courtesy Of:

In the process of making coconut macaroons, I've learned what exactly they are, and I can now say I know what Dacquoise, Foam Cakes, Charlotte style desserts, and Boiled Icing are!

And all in all, my biggest fan seemed to like what came out of the oven, and that's pretty much all that mattered.

Friday, February 25, 2011

A year ago today, perfection walked into my life...

And changed it for the better, for forever.

To think a year ago I was going to work all nervous and giddy for what was pretty much a blind date. Mike and I had met on and had gone back and forth through e-mail at least 10 times before settling on a date at 7pm in Burlingame at Cafe Figaro. It was a Thursday night.

I remember being so nervous because the communication we had through e-mail was beyond perfect. To me. He was perfection on paper, and I had built this idea of who he was in my mind and did not want to be disappointed.

I had brought three pairs of shoes to work and asked all my co-workers which would work best (I'm a tall girl and didn't want to be this overpowering visual walking up to him and scare him off). However, I ended up in high heels anyway, but nothing too crazy ;-)

Once 6:30 rolled around, I jumped in my MINI Coop. I think my heart was still beating rather strongly (as it had all day) and I headed over to Burlingame from work. I found a perfect parking spot (right where I could see him standing at the entrance of the restaurant), took a few deep breaths and noticed he was completely entranced in his phone, so I knew I had a few moments to compose myself.
He of course was perfection just from the glimpse I got from afar. Impeccably dressed....nice Navy/Black striped button down shirt paired with nice jeans and black spiffy dress shoes. Of course, I could tell you what I wore as well, but I'll spare the details.

Anyhoo, I was so nervous, and me being the klutz that I am, I decided I was going to sit on my hands so as to mitigate the risk of knocking anything over on the table. It's funny because Mike swears to this day that I didn't seem nervous at all (I think he could tell though). But unlike any other date he'd ever been on, I was driving conversation, asking questions and listening intently with actual interest as opposed to his previous dates that would just laugh and nod their heads all night long in fake agreement. Our first date was definitely one to remember in both of our eyes.

The major remembrance point for Mike was that I was the one to make the move at the end of the date. He walked me to my car after we had taken a walk down Broadway. I could tell, had it been date 2 or 3 that he would have been fine with making "the first kiss" move. However, being the gentlemen that he is, I knew there was no way in hell he'd be making that move on the first date. Judging by chemistry, body language and pretty much the fact that it had been a PERFECT night....I laid one on him. And he later told me...he couldn't get that moment out of his head to save his life, so I definitely made the right decision :-)

Not seconds after I got into my car did I text my mom two simple words...."He's Perfect!!"

And a year later I'm still reeling...