Everything I've ever wanted to do.

thecakebar:

I found another help guide/troubleshooting guide for Macarons…. Yes another one cuz we need all the help with these cookies as we can get right? RIGHT!
This one has top10 tips….. In reality, practice makes perfect so it will be a trial and error when it comes to making homemade Macarons, but this guide is useful, and helpful.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Top Ten Tips For Making Macarons {click link for full details}
Here are my ten tips for making macarons at home:
1. Almond meal (finely ground almonds) will save you a lot of time, but you can also use regular almonds that you can grind yourself with a food processor. They do not have to be blanched! Other nuts also work… I’ve made successful macarons using pistachios or hazelnuts to replace almonds entirely.
2. You do not need to slowly add in granulated sugar to the egg white mixture when beating the egg whites. Many recipes insist you must add it in slowly, but I’ve always tossed it all in at once, which saves me the annoyance of having to turn off my hand mixer every minute to add a small amount in… it has never made a difference.
3. You don’t have to use aged egg whites (I’ve made macarons with egg whites at room temperature for about an hour or two and they’ve turned out just fine), but when the climate is humid or rainy, this tends to have an adverse effect on the macaron shells… I’m not sure why but I’ve learned my lesson and avoid baking them on a rainy day!
4. Buy a piping bag with a round tip. The bags are available in disposable and reusable versions; I find them handy not only for macarons but also decorating cakes and cupcakes, and there are a huge variety of tips to choose from. This allows better control when piping the circles onto the mat for baking!
5. Use gel food coloring instead of liquid. Liquids can alter the consistency of the macarons and ruin results.
6. I like to toss the gel food coloring into the egg white mixture while I’m beating it to properly distribute the color. This works better for me than folding it in, since the electric beater does a better job. I would not recommend trying this with liquid coloring as it would alter the egg whites consistency but with the gel or powdered colors, it does fine!
7. When you are beating the egg whites till glossy/stiff, beat them till they literally do not move when you turn your bowl this way and that. If you can hold the bowl above your head and nothing moves, (and you don’t have egg whites in your hair), it’s ready!
8. When folding the egg whites with the almonds and sugar, use a flexible spatula. Fold by repeatedly scraping around the bowl and moving towards the middle. Do it no more than 50 times so as not to overmix (Yes, I used to count them!). Many recipes say the consistency should be of molten lava (that comparison doesn’t help me) but if you make it to runny pancake batter, you’ve gone too far. When you lift it with the spatula, it should spread but not too much or too far.
9. After piping the macarons onto the baking mat, let the tray sit out for at least 15-25 minutes or until the tops of the macarons look dried out and are no longer spreading. Leave spaces between them when piping to allow them to spread!
10. Halfway through the baking time, rotate the pans in the oven in case you have an oven that heats one side more than the other.
The ideal macaron should be a perfect circle (achieved only with a piping bag with a round tip), and have solid smooth bases. They should have a ruffled “skirt” or “feet” along the edges where it has risen in the oven. They should comfortably slip off your baking mat, begging to be paired with a delicious filling and another shell. They should be very slightly chewy, yet crunchy and they certainly should not crumble easily.
I tried many online recipes for macarons before I found one that worked for me. When I first made them, I did not own a kitchen scale and used cup measurements. Thanks to David Lebovitz’s recipe, they turned out great! I’ve used that recipe as the basis for all my macarons so far. It can be found here.
I’ll be posting my own macaron recipes (and my slight but tasty variations on them) here soon enough, as well as more tips, so stay tuned.
Good luck and happy baking!

thecakebar:

I found another help guide/troubleshooting guide for Macarons…. Yes another one cuz we need all the help with these cookies as we can get right? RIGHT!

This one has top10 tips….. In reality, practice makes perfect so it will be a trial and error when it comes to making homemade Macarons, but this guide is useful, and helpful.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Top Ten Tips For Making Macarons {click link for full details}

Here are my ten tips for making macarons at home:

1. Almond meal (finely ground almonds) will save you a lot of time, but you can also use regular almonds that you can grind yourself with a food processor. They do not have to be blanched! Other nuts also work… I’ve made successful macarons using pistachios or hazelnuts to replace almonds entirely.

2. You do not need to slowly add in granulated sugar to the egg white mixture when beating the egg whites. Many recipes insist you must add it in slowly, but I’ve always tossed it all in at once, which saves me the annoyance of having to turn off my hand mixer every minute to add a small amount in… it has never made a difference.

3. You don’t have to use aged egg whites (I’ve made macarons with egg whites at room temperature for about an hour or two and they’ve turned out just fine), but when the climate is humid or rainy, this tends to have an adverse effect on the macaron shells… I’m not sure why but I’ve learned my lesson and avoid baking them on a rainy day!

4. Buy a piping bag with a round tip. The bags are available in disposable and reusable versions; I find them handy not only for macarons but also decorating cakes and cupcakes, and there are a huge variety of tips to choose from. This allows better control when piping the circles onto the mat for baking!

5. Use gel food coloring instead of liquid. Liquids can alter the consistency of the macarons and ruin results.

6. I like to toss the gel food coloring into the egg white mixture while I’m beating it to properly distribute the color. This works better for me than folding it in, since the electric beater does a better job. I would not recommend trying this with liquid coloring as it would alter the egg whites consistency but with the gel or powdered colors, it does fine!

7. When you are beating the egg whites till glossy/stiff, beat them till they literally do not move when you turn your bowl this way and that. If you can hold the bowl above your head and nothing moves, (and you don’t have egg whites in your hair), it’s ready!

8. When folding the egg whites with the almonds and sugar, use a flexible spatula. Fold by repeatedly scraping around the bowl and moving towards the middle. Do it no more than 50 times so as not to overmix (Yes, I used to count them!). Many recipes say the consistency should be of molten lava (that comparison doesn’t help me) but if you make it to runny pancake batter, you’ve gone too far. When you lift it with the spatula, it should spread but not too much or too far.

9. After piping the macarons onto the baking mat, let the tray sit out for at least 15-25 minutes or until the tops of the macarons look dried out and are no longer spreading. Leave spaces between them when piping to allow them to spread!

10. Halfway through the baking time, rotate the pans in the oven in case you have an oven that heats one side more than the other.

The ideal macaron should be a perfect circle (achieved only with a piping bag with a round tip), and have solid smooth bases. They should have a ruffled “skirt” or “feet” along the edges where it has risen in the oven. They should comfortably slip off your baking mat, begging to be paired with a delicious filling and another shell. They should be very slightly chewy, yet crunchy and they certainly should not crumble easily.

I tried many online recipes for macarons before I found one that worked for me. When I first made them, I did not own a kitchen scale and used cup measurements. Thanks to David Lebovitz’s recipe, they turned out great! I’ve used that recipe as the basis for all my macarons so far. It can be found here.

I’ll be posting my own macaron recipes (and my slight but tasty variations on them) here soon enough, as well as more tips, so stay tuned.

Good luck and happy baking!

scissorsandthread:

Tips On Thrift Store Shopping | Babble
I’ve often said I have champagne taste on a soda budget. That’s right, not even a beer budget. Beer is expensive y’all! I love flipping through magazines and getting inspiration for my house but seriously, who has the money to ‘refresh their home’ with a $100 can of paint and a $500 new rug!? I wish I did! I’ve come quite adept at shopping in op shops and picking things off the side of the road (which is technically illegal, so I didn’t just say that alright?) It can be quite hard when you start out though, especially trying to see past something’s outward appearance. This is a great guide to read through on where to look, what to look for and more importantly - what to avoid!

scissorsandthread:

Tips On Thrift Store Shopping | Babble

I’ve often said I have champagne taste on a soda budget. That’s right, not even a beer budget. Beer is expensive y’all! I love flipping through magazines and getting inspiration for my house but seriously, who has the money to ‘refresh their home’ with a $100 can of paint and a $500 new rug!? I wish I did! I’ve come quite adept at shopping in op shops and picking things off the side of the road (which is technically illegal, so I didn’t just say that alright?) It can be quite hard when you start out though, especially trying to see past something’s outward appearance. This is a great guide to read through on where to look, what to look for and more importantly - what to avoid!

thecakebar:


How-to Avoid Mistakes Making Chocolate Bowls with Balloons Tutorial

I ran into the picture above of this sweet but frustrated person on the floor after they lost their battle with making chocolate bowls/cups with balloons. xD
Even though their experience wasn’t as fun as they thought it would be they very kindly shared their experience on their Tumblr (and tagged it, thankfully cuz that’s how I found it! always tag people! always!).
Anyway, they inspired me enough to make a how-to or better said a not-to do guide on how to make these chocolate bowls properly… 
And believe me, I should know cuz I had the same experience as they did many moons ago…. You see, chocolate bowls with balloons was what got me interested  in the kitchen! It was one of the first things I learned to do :)
When I was a teen and made these for the first time my balloons actually popped (it was more like an explosion LOL) they popped cuz they were a bit warm.
Needless to say, melted chocolate ended up all over my mother’s kitchen ceiling, walls, stove, floor……. all over my hair, face, shirt and my sisters face/hair. I honestly believe that if I go back to that old apartment there would still be traces of chocolate all over that ceiling today. xD (my family loves to bring this up in the ‘you remember the time you xyz’ moments at family gatherings… brings a lot of laughter at my expense…) :/ :D
Anyway, I learned to make them in a very random way…. I was watching TV/ flipping channels one day and I saw these two little old ladies teaching how to make the bowls! (they should have given me a heads up about the chocolate explosion thing, but I guess that should have been obvious?) :D
Anyway, The ladies did have pretty awesome tips on how to get it right that I never see in any of the “chocolate bowl” tutorials online…. so I’ll share those and some of my tips  from years of experience making them :) ENJOY! 
BUT FIRST: Let’s look at what the original poster had to say about their experience, and view their pics of what went wrong…….then I’ll go into my tips :)
This is what they posted:
theonetruenators:

What I expected to make:

What I actually made:






ROMEO WHAT’S HERE? POISON? DRUNK ALL AND LEFT NO FRIENDLY DROP TO HELP ME AFTER. FUCK YOU ROMEO.FUCK YOU AND YOUR GROSS ASS CHOCOLATE.

The Cake Bar’s Tips:
1) Wait till your chocolate is completely, completely cool before applying unto baloons (not even remotely close to being almost warm) this might sound obvious but the balloons will pop if the chocolate is even remotely close to being almost warm :)
2) For the balloons, you can either make a knot that you can cut or a knot that you can untie yourself later to deflate balloons (very slowly so the cups won’t break)
3) You can use a piece of tape ON the balloon and then put a needle through the tape/balloon to slowly release the air out of the balloon . This way you have more control of how fast the balloons deflates. (the slower the better so you have time to help separate the balloon from the chocolate cup and they won’t crack/break) **the needle will not pop the balloon with the tape over it.***

Don’t choose skinny balloons, nice and strong so they don’t pop
Don’t pick balloons that will make the cups too high/too skinny. Make sure the balloons have a flatter bottom/wide sides look to them. You’ll thank me later when you’re removing the cups from the balloon. :)
After dipping balloons in chocolate, place the balloons on parchment or wax paper so the chocolate bottoms don’t stick to your plate (unless you are going to serve them on those plates, then this method is a good idea because the cups will stay firm on the plate) But if you’re not going to serve them where you place them to dry/cool use parchment paper/wax paper so they don’t get stuck.
Make sure you slather a nice thick layer of chocolate so when you try to slowly remove the bowls they won’t easily crack/break. So two layers of chocolate is good enough.
Use the bain marie method to melt the chocolate. It’s the best way
White chocolate dries up very fast, You have to work faster with it. It dries much faster than regular chocolate. mooooove quickly with white chocolate ;)
If you’re going to use a combo of white chocolate and regular chocolate for design, use less regular chocolate and more white chocolate not 50/50 because the dark chocolate will eat up your white chocolate…. You’ll see what I mean when you make them :) I would say use 25% regular chocolate 75% white for a 50/50 white/black look.
Let the air out slowly on the balloons, make sure u have control of the deflation.
It’s best to serve a cold dessert on the cups because it’ll help keep the cups from melting :) (specially if you’re going to serve them outside like at a BBQ, you don’t want the cups to fall apart/ melt easily)
Instead of using chocolate use colored wafers/Candy melts for fun looks:
Some of the balloons WILL break, don’t sweat it. Just make sure you make back-ups. So if you’re making dessert for 6 people make sure you make like 9-10 bowls just in case. You didn’t fail, some always crack, some always break. no biggie!
I’m sure I have more tips, so maybe check back to this post. If I remember more I’ll add more. (they’re really not that difficult to make, just a bit high maintenance that’s all) :)
SORRY FOR THE UNUSUALLY LONG POST, I just wanted to share :x
and last but not least, thank you Nate for letting me use your pictures, and for reminding me why I have my blog in the first place. Brings back memories of fun times!
picture credits:
original post
taped balloon
wafers
montage pics

thecakebar:

How-to Avoid Mistakes Making Chocolate Bowls with Balloons Tutorial


I ran into the picture above of this sweet but frustrated person on the floor after they lost their battle with making chocolate bowls/cups with balloons. xD

Even though their experience wasn’t as fun as they thought it would be they very kindly shared their experience on their Tumblr (and tagged it, thankfully cuz that’s how I found it! always tag people! always!).

Anyway, they inspired me enough to make a how-to or better said a not-to do guide on how to make these chocolate bowls properly… 

And believe me, I should know cuz I had the same experience as they did many moons ago…. You see, chocolate bowls with balloons was what got me interested  in the kitchen! It was one of the first things I learned to do :)

When I was a teen and made these for the first time my balloons actually popped (it was more like an explosion LOL) they popped cuz they were a bit warm.

Needless to say, melted chocolate ended up all over my mother’s kitchen ceiling, walls, stove, floor……. all over my hair, face, shirt and my sisters face/hair. I honestly believe that if I go back to that old apartment there would still be traces of chocolate all over that ceiling today. xD (my family loves to bring this up in the ‘you remember the time you xyz’ moments at family gatherings… brings a lot of laughter at my expense…) :/ :D

Anyway, I learned to make them in a very random way…. I was watching TV/ flipping channels one day and I saw these two little old ladies teaching how to make the bowls! (they should have given me a heads up about the chocolate explosion thing, but I guess that should have been obvious?) :D

Anyway, The ladies did have pretty awesome tips on how to get it right that I never see in any of the “chocolate bowl” tutorials online…. so I’ll share those and some of my tips  from years of experience making them :) ENJOY! 

BUT FIRST: Let’s look at what the original poster had to say about their experience, and view their pics of what went wrong…….then I’ll go into my tips :)

This is what they posted:

theonetruenators:

What I expected to make:

image

What I actually made:

image

image

image

image

image

image

ROMEO WHAT’S HERE? POISON? DRUNK ALL AND LEFT NO FRIENDLY DROP TO HELP ME AFTER. FUCK YOU ROMEO.
FUCK YOU AND YOUR GROSS ASS CHOCOLATE.

The Cake Bar’s Tips:

  • 1) Wait till your chocolate is completely, completely cool before applying unto baloons (not even remotely close to being almost warm) this might sound obvious but the balloons will pop if the chocolate is even remotely close to being almost warm :)
  • 2) For the balloons, you can either make a knot that you can cut or a knot that you can untie yourself later to deflate balloons (very slowly so the cups won’t break)
  • 3) You can use a piece of tape ON the balloon and then put a needle through the tape/balloon to slowly release the air out of the balloon . This way you have more control of how fast the balloons deflates. (the slower the better so you have time to help separate the balloon from the chocolate cup and they won’t crack/break) **the needle will not pop the balloon with the tape over it.***

  • Don’t choose skinny balloons, nice and strong so they don’t pop
  • Don’t pick balloons that will make the cups too high/too skinny. Make sure the balloons have a flatter bottom/wide sides look to them. You’ll thank me later when you’re removing the cups from the balloon. :)
  • After dipping balloons in chocolate, place the balloons on parchment or wax paper so the chocolate bottoms don’t stick to your plate (unless you are going to serve them on those plates, then this method is a good idea because the cups will stay firm on the plate) But if you’re not going to serve them where you place them to dry/cool use parchment paper/wax paper so they don’t get stuck.
  • Make sure you slather a nice thick layer of chocolate so when you try to slowly remove the bowls they won’t easily crack/break. So two layers of chocolate is good enough.
  • Use the bain marie method to melt the chocolate. It’s the best way
  • White chocolate dries up very fast, You have to work faster with it. It dries much faster than regular chocolate. mooooove quickly with white chocolate ;)
  • If you’re going to use a combo of white chocolate and regular chocolate for design, use less regular chocolate and more white chocolate not 50/50 because the dark chocolate will eat up your white chocolate…. You’ll see what I mean when you make them :) I would say use 25% regular chocolate 75% white for a 50/50 white/black look.
  • Let the air out slowly on the balloons, make sure u have control of the deflation.
  • It’s best to serve a cold dessert on the cups because it’ll help keep the cups from melting :) (specially if you’re going to serve them outside like at a BBQ, you don’t want the cups to fall apart/ melt easily)
  • Instead of using chocolate use colored wafers/Candy melts for fun looks:
  • Some of the balloons WILL break, don’t sweat it. Just make sure you make back-ups. So if you’re making dessert for 6 people make sure you make like 9-10 bowls just in case. You didn’t fail, some always crack, some always break. no biggie!
  • I’m sure I have more tips, so maybe check back to this post. If I remember more I’ll add more. (they’re really not that difficult to make, just a bit high maintenance that’s all) :)
  • SORRY FOR THE UNUSUALLY LONG POST, I just wanted to share :x
  • and last but not least, thank you Nate for letting me use your pictures, and for reminding me why I have my blog in the first place. Brings back memories of fun times!

picture credits:

original post

taped balloon

wafers

montage pics

leviathancrafts:

Awesome!! This nifty little chart helps me to pick out the right glue for my project every single time. Design sponge is an excellent resource blog for everyone from beginners to the most die hard crafters! Go on and check it out, you may even build your own adhesives tool box!!
-Via

leviathancrafts:

Awesome!! This nifty little chart helps me to pick out the right glue for my project every single time. Design sponge is an excellent resource blog for everyone from beginners to the most die hard crafters! Go on and check it out, you may even build your own adhesives tool box!!

-Via

photojojo:

You’ve got 99 photo problems, but a camera ain’t one.

via Reddit

Sewing With Sheers
"Yes, it takes some care and patience, but there’s really no reason to fear the sheer. You just need to follow some simple precautions and basic rules to get sheers to do what you want them to."

Sewing With Sheers

"Yes, it takes some care and patience, but there’s really no reason to fear the sheer. You just need to follow some simple precautions and basic rules to get sheers to do what you want them to."

Pattern Cutting 101
"If you’ve never cut a pattern out before…this is for you!"
Great tips and pointers if you’re unfamiliar with commercial patterns.

Pattern Cutting 101

"If you’ve never cut a pattern out before…this is for you!"

Great tips and pointers if you’re unfamiliar with commercial patterns.

thecakebar:

Cupcake Tip Guide!

(Left to Right)  Large round tip, Open star (Wilton 1M), Closed star (Wilton 2D), French tip

Common frosting recipes:
American Buttercream
Cream Cheese Frosting
Swiss Meringue Buttercream

thecakebar:

Cupcake Tip Guide!
  • (Left to Right)  Large round tip, Open star (Wilton 1M), Closed star (Wilton 2D), French tip

Common frosting recipes: