I know that a lot of people want the unicorn buzz to be over already, but I can’t overcome it. Main reason is that I do believe in unicorns and for me they are not just a trend, unicorns are more. Unicorns are a symbol, they stand for power, grace and the undying magic of fairy tales. Life is complex and in our daily hamster wheel, we often forget to appreciate the little things. No matter the circumstances, no matter how rough the times are, no matter the stress level, no matter how unfair life seems to be, I believe in unicorns, that all obstacles can be overcome and that it’s all going to be alright in the end.
That and coffee is what keeps me going. And it may not come as a surprise that I celebrate the international day of Macarons with a coffee Macaron in the shape of unicorns. The goodie bag of the last foodblogger camp came with a package of Tchibo blonde roast, which should also be available in Stores and online as of this week, and that inspired me flavourwise. I tasted the coffee during a hand filtering session with Karen at the camp and found it to not be my cup for drinking but the flavour pairs well with the white chocolate in the Macaron filling. Continue reading »
March 20th marks not only the beginning of Spring, it is also Macaron Day and I am honoured that today’s recipe is featured on my favourite blog and one & only fandom: Der Kuchenbäcker. The frequent readers may know that I already sang a hymn or two on him, all others are duly invited to check him out.
Macaron Day or Jour du Macaron was initiated 2005 by Pierre Hermé, the godfather of Macarons and Patissiers around the world sell Macarons on this day to fundraise for local charities. I like the concept but unfortunately there is no Patisserie around that takes part. Instead I want to bake some easter cookies again to donate them for a local group here in my town that meets every Sunday to help homeless and other people in need. It’s not just about supplying the people with food and warm beverages, it is also a communication plattform and a meeting point for people in need. None of the people organising it gets paid, everything they give out is donated and they organise via a facebook group. I have been there a few times, mostly to bring some clothes or cake, and stayed there for a while to watch and listen to the people. Most of them have been through a lot and it always reminds me of how small my own problems are. I am very thankful that those people have somewhere to go, normal people to talk to that don’t judge and give them back at least a bit of their dignity. It reminds me of how important it is to give back and to change the perspective on your own live from time to time.
Burger Macarons on Foodbloggercamp in Reutlingen 2016
But let’s get back to Macarons, because that’s what you came here for, right? I intended to host a Macaron session at Foodbloggercamp in Reutlingen because I think sharing ones knowledge is also a way of giving back. Even though I am not a master myself, a barcamp is a good plattfrom to share what I know and exchange with others. When preparing my session a bit I stumbled over a Macaron inspiration book I bought and wanted to bring to show how diversely decoration of Macarons can be. I don’t like the recipes in there but the decoration ideas are truly great. Thinking about last years cam in Reultingen to be very meaty and since I found my sister-in-meat in last years burger session, I felt I had to burger again. So I spontaneously decided to pack some sesame seeds and a packet of fresh mint I still had at home to pimp my Macarons to be Macaron burgers. Talking about my session at Foodbloggercamp, I still don’t feel good about the chaotic session I held. I really want to apologise to all attendees and thank you for your patience. I can do better than this, I hope you guys at least learned something and if you have any questions just drop me a line! Some special thanks go to Diana, for spontaneously co-hosting the session and sharing her experience, Jana & Isabel for jumping in to help me finish the Macarons, Natalie, for being super flexible and letting me block ‘her’ kitchen throughout most of her Session and Gyöngyi for putting me back together after I was really upset about my chaotic session.
What I have learned about hosting a session on the barcamp:
It’s a barcamp, so expect the unexpected!
Plan more time! After Berlin I thought doing one recipe in 45 minutes with proper preparation would be a walk in the park. Well… it wasn’t!
Team up and ask for help! Taking care of hot sugar syrup while talking is a bit of a gamble. Even though I had a spontaneous co-host, I suck at delegating, the sugar syrup got too hot and lumped which resulted in a very hard meringue mass that comes out flaky and makes ugly Macarons.
Bring a handout! It’s not the recipe, it’s all the little tips and tricks you have to share from your experience that attendees want. 45 minutes pass so fast and it’s just one of 6-8 sessions a day, so a handout helps to remember what you have shared. It also is a good preparation for the host, cause it makes you think about what you want to share in your session.
Go easy on yourself! It isn’t just you in your kitchen at home all on your own, so don’t expect perfection. This is a tough one for me because I always strive for perfection, especially with Macarons. In my session I talked about how to make perfect Macarons every time and then I deliver lumpy and bumpy Macarons?! Though ugly the Macarons tasted superb, the flavour combination was amazing and the attendees learned a bit too (at least I hope).
Last weekend was foodblogger camp time again. After I had such a fantastic time in Reutlingen beginning of the year, I couldn’t wait for the ticket sale for Foodblogger Camp Berlin (#fbcb15) to start. In Reutlingen I had a box of Blueberry and White Chocolate Macarons with me and when someone said the magic word I posted on social media, I opened my box for them. It was hella fun. Saturday night in Reutlingen over a bottle of whatever-beverage-it-was and some Macarons, Johanna of “My tasty little beauties” and I discussed about how we both don’t dare to host a Macaron Session on a barcamp, because we both have experienced Macarons bitch on us when it counts. But it seems that over the year Johanna has grown some balls and decided to offer a Macaron session at #fbcb15 and I couldn’t be happier to tag along together with my Blogsister Wienerbroed. Continue reading »
I know such a headline needs explanation and as you might already assume, this might take some more words. Dorothée of bushcooks kitchen is hosting the 110th (!) Blog-Event on Zorras blog and came up with a wonderful idea: A virtual culinary threesome! I like teaming up with other bloggers, discussing a menu and ideas, planning together and creating a special 3 course menu with one theme.
I wanted to be part of this, this is only the second Blog-Event I attend, so the subject seriously got to me. It was clear that I’d go for dessert, as I am not much of a cook and after all IT’S DESSERT!!!!! I quickly found a Starter and a Main Course as Isabel & Nata, who I also met along with Dorothée and Zorra at last years Walnut Flavour Pairing Event, were looking for a cherry on top that I gladly deliver!
Special thanks to Isabel who hands-on took over most of the planning and kickstarted my culinary dessert endeavours. I’ve been thinking about experimenting with wine for some time, but was lacking the inspiration. A chat with my go-to wine-guy on the local farmers market reveilled a potential combination and I am very happy with the outcome.
So here goes our awesome-threesome menu “Summer Colours”:
Don’t get me wrong, I met a lot of bloggers that inspired me in the past year, but my one and only muse is Tobias aka Kuchenbäcker.We met at a local Foodblogger meet-up last summer and I was really blown away by this guy. Not only are guys that can bake rather rare, but also he was the first kind of famous blogger I met in person. Tobi is down-to-earth, vibrant and full of ideas, he is the brightest, most energetic and inspirational person I have ever met. Even when he is stressed, sick or in a bad mood, he still makes the sun shine through the rain what brought me to nickname him Glücksbärchi (That’s what the care bears were called in Germany). If you do not remember this 80ies cartoon series, I’m happy to fresh up your memory: It’s a bunch of cute furry guardian angels that show up to help you out with their happiness and magic whenever you’re facing problems. And that is exactly what Tobias does for me. He is generously giving advice, sharing his experience, open to any “dumb” question I may have and his enthusiasm is truly contagious. I get such a boost in motivation every time we meet and you light up my blog-world. You deserve one big fat thank you Tobi!
For his double-feature birthday bash contest he asked everyone to bake him a cake. But I couldn’t help ignoring the cake part because I am the Macaron-Girl to him. And that’s why I combined the best of us both: Care bears and Macarons in symbiosis. The biggest challenge for me was to take the stage together with my bakes. I take pictures of my food all the time, but hardly ever show my face. Thanks again Tobi for making me take the spotlight, my “About me” page is now updated with a picture. Continue reading »
My new friend & long lost soul-sister Katharina celebrated the 2nd birthday of her Wienerbroed-Blog and invited me to make something for her birthday coffee table. Katharina is one of those few people you meet in your life that you feel instantly connected with. There might be a significant number of parallels in our lives and it feels like I’ve been knowing her forever. Denmark is to her what Ireland is to me. And she has a serious thing for blueberries and also white chocolate. When she asked me to contribute I knew it had to be Macarons with blueberries and chocolate. And the cute little Hoptimist cheering for Denmark sneaked into the picture to grab one of these delicious little things. I made them just the day before the Foodblogger Camp and again posted a Codeword on Instagram and Twitter for free Macarons. It kind of went viral (yay!) and fellow foodbloggers started to yell “Smaland” at me all day. Why I chose the codeword “Smaland”…? Where else can you jump into blueberries?! All of you IKEA-visitors may now understand 🙂
You can also check out the full German post over on Katharina’s blog or read the English recipe here.
Have you ever tried French Macarons? I got to eat my first Macaron 3 years back when I was brought one from a local Patisserie in my Hometown. I had seen them before but never tried. It only took one small bite to make me fall for them. The shells are mainly made of Meringue and Almonds and can be filled with all sorts of buttercream, fruit, chocolate ganache or a combination of those. I have however tried several times to make them myself but always failed due to various reasons. After I got Christophe Felders Patisserie book for my birthday I was assured that I would have to try one more time or leave it for ever. I decided for the former and gave it one last shot: They were absolutely amazing!
My oven does not bake evenly but I figured where the macarons get too crisp or start to tear after a few trays. But even when they might not look perfect, they taste like heaven, soft and light as air. They also always get those characteristic feet and a smooth surface, just as they should be. As I mentioned before, I have tried various recipes and different techniques, this one might be one of the complicated ones but it works for me every single time. Continue reading »