I made a Real Fancy Food today, so I thought I'd tell you about it. I started with home made pasta, yeah yeah.
For four servings of pasta, I used 300g semolina flour and 100g whole wheat flour. I had been using a 2:1 ratio of flour to water, but the dough's been a bit tight so I upped the hydration a bit, using 220g of liquid. But today the liquid was not just water.
I made french toast successfully, but too much of it. It probably won't be a regular thing for me.
Just been shown the bit of the Internet Archive that has nearly 11,000 old books about cooking and home economics. You can search by text content too. I'm gonna be looking at this for some time.
If you want to look at it, it is here: https://archive.org/details/cbk?&sort=-downloads&page=1
Master post of tips for making macarons!
Macarons are not that difficult--they just involve a lot of baking skills that require some practice and don't have a huge margin for error. I am by no means an expert macaroneuse (especially since I only learned how to make them this year), but I've made hundreds in the last few months and I think I've figured out most of the tricks.
This is the recipe I use: https://www.indulgewithmimi.com/the-best-macaron-recipe/
This is also a good technique video, but ignore the recipe (it uses volume measurements): https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=MjVgIXccYXA
For the love of God, use metric. Buy a small inexpensive kitchen scale if you don't have one. They are not difficult to find. This is science, and in science, we use metric.
The Tasty video says that using a silicone mat can impart extra moisture, but I haven't found this to be true. Either silicone or parchment works fine, but you will need to use one or the other.
Instead of using a template, I'm able to eyeball fairly even cookies by getting a little rhythm going with my pastry bag. I swirl it with a count of one, two, three, controlling the rate of flow so that each cookie is evenly piped. This does take some practice.
Using a small bag clip and a cap for the ends of your pastry bag (pictured) will save you a lot of heartache. I also like to rest the bag in a tall water cup while I fill it.
The best way to beat the air bubbles out of your cookies is to drop the baking sheet from about a foot above the counter several times, alternating this with more concentrated whacking if necessary.
If you live in a humid place, a small fan is recommended to help the shells dry out before baking. I have successfully baked macarons in 90% humidity this way.
"Aging" the egg whites has not been necessary for me even in humid conditions, but this might help if you don't have a stand mixer and your arm gets tired holding a regular electric mixer for that long.
If you are flavoring your macarons, don't use anything in the shell that contains any moisture or a lot of fat, or which requires a large volume of product to impart the desired flavor. Good: spices, instant coffee powder, matcha. Bad: jam, liquid flavoring extracts, high-fat cocoa.
You may need to adjust your baking time and temperature by single minutes or a few degrees at a time. Probably get an oven thermometer (I did but I can't read it since the light in my oven is burned out, so I just experimented with a few batches until I got a good result)
Don't get intimidated! It gets a lot easier with practice, and even if you mess up a few batches, ugly macarons still taste great.
Ok so I did a bad job with my piping, but they taste great
These are espresso flavored shortbread cookies, I think I need to chill them again before baking so they don't spread
Semisweet and white chocolate decorations
Here's something interesting: the egg on the right is a store-bought free range egg, and the one on the left is one of Evie's little eggs. It's hard to see from this angle, but the commercial egg yolk is softer and flatter in addition to being a lighter color. Evie's eggs aren't huge (she's still a young bird) but they have a nice weight and a lot of "strength."
That's what an egg looks like when the hen who laid it has space to roam and eat bugs and grass
Short ribs & mashed potatoes
Oops forgot to follow up, and this was all in an InstantPot btw
It's a good meal— the potatoes came out soft enough to mash but they taste strangely... concentrated? I guess because they were cooked without water. The only ones I've had before that tasted this way were potatoes cooked in a slow cooker
Savory but not salty, in a way that feels almost too strong
it is ugly looking but it's good, you'll just have to take my word for both of those
What if I do and it's awful
What if I can never get the hang of it
What if I end up regretting ever making the attempt
Too Many Cooks - An instance for cooking and eating!