Valentine’s Day Edition: Ladurée French Macarons

Ladurée French Macarons
A few years ago, I posted a recipe for Ladurée macarons that seemed to be a big hit with readers. I thought making a special Valentine’s Day edition would be fun. Same recipe with a cute Valentine’s Day Twist. Just grab some edible markets from Amazon and turn these classic treats into a special Valentine’s Day dessert.

This is a macaron shell recipe from Ladurée — the crème de la crème of macarons in the world! And I whipped up the filling recipe myself…

Makes approximately 50 macarons
Bake at 300F
Macaron Shell Ingredients
2 ¾ cups + 1 tbsp (275 g) fine almond flour
2 cups + 1 tbsp (250 g) confectioners’ sugar (aka powdered sugar)
6 +1/2 egg whites (room temp)
1 cup + 1 tbsp (210g) granulated white sugar
3 drops of whatever food coloring you desire
Directions for Macaron Shells:
1. Combine the ground almond flour and the confectioners sugar in a food processor. Pulse a few times until the mixture resembles a fine powder {do not over mix or you will end up with paste! Nooo!}. Sift through a sieve to remove any lumps.
2. In a large bowl {I use my KitchenAid}, whisk 6 egg whites until foamy. Once they are frothy, add a third of the granulated sugar {precisely 83.3 oz}. Whip until the sugar has dissolved. Add another third of the sugar. Whip for 1 minute. Add the last third of the sugar and whip for one minute. Egg whites should be glossy and hold soft peaks. Using a spatula, delicately fold the almond flour and confectioners’ sugar into the whipped egg whites. In a separate bowl, beat the remaining 1/2 egg white until just frothy. Then add it to the final mixture, folding gently to slightly loosen the macaron batter.
3. If you only want to make one color of macarons, then add your desired food coloring to the batter bowl. If you want multiple colors, divide your batter into separate bowls and add coloring to each. Try not to over mix.
4. Transfer the mixture into a piping bag {you can also use zip lock bags with a cut corner}. Pipe small macaron rounds 1 1/2 inches in diameter onto a  lined baking sheet. I like to line mine with a silpat or this fancy macaron mat. Parchment paper will also do. Lightly tap the tray on the counter to release any air pockets. Allow the macarons to sit uncovered for 10 minutes, so a thin dry coat forms on the top {you should be able to gently touch them without the batter sticking to your finger}. Now they are ready for the oven. Only bake one tray at a time. Bake at 300F for approximately 15 minutes or until they form a smooth shell and little foot.
*You can prepare the next tray while you wait for the first batch to bake.
5. Ok here is where you’ll need to be extra patient. Wait until the macarons have completely cooled before peeling them off the mat. If they stick, they are not ready. * My method {because I’m impatient} to speed things up, try placing the hot baking sheet on top of cold damp dishtowels. This can cut your waiting time in half!
Macaroon Filling Ingredients
8 tbsp jam
4 tbsp soft butter
splash of whipping cream
Fills approximately 50 macarons
{If you want to make different flavors on a smaller scale just measure 2:1 ratio for jam and butter}
Macaron Filling Instructions
Easy part!
1. You can use any flavor you want. For these macarons, I made different flavors for each color — peach, strawberry, blueberry and chocolate. Mmmmm. My friend gave me some amazing homemade jams that I mixed with butter and a splash of whipping cream.  Your measurements will vary depending on how much filling you want for each flavor. Just mix jelly, butter and whipping cream until you reach a semi-solid consistency at room temp. This one is pretty hard to mess up.
*I used Nutella for the chocolate hazelnut filling.
Good luck my friends!
Ladurée French Macarons
Ladurée French Macarons

Blood Orange & Passion Fruit Panna Cotta

Blood Orange Passion Fruit Panna Cotta
Blood orange and passion fruit panna cotta with no refined sugars, a little less fat than the traditional method and more protein! Oh yeah! And it’s sexy enough to be the star of your Valentine’s Day dessert – guilt free! Happy almost Valentine’s Day friends. I hope you have some special plans with the one you love, whether is be a night out on the town or snuggled up at home watching your favorite shows…it’s all good.

Makes 6 4oz servings
Ingredients
1 1/2 tsp unflavored gelatin
2 tbsp cold water
1 cup non fat greek yogurt
1 cup half & half
2 tbsp honey
1 tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
2 tbsp freshly squeezed blood orange juice

Directions
In a small dish, mix gelatin powder and water together. Set aside

In a small saucepan, combine half & half with honey and simmer until bubbles begin to form around the edge of the pan. Remove from heat. Add gelatin and greek yogurt into the half & half – honey mixture. Whisk until smooth. Add vanilla and blood orange juice. Whisk again.

Pour into silicon molds or small jars. Refrigerate for 4 hours. Serve with passion fruit and blood oranges.
Blood Orange Passion Fruit Panna Cotta Blood Orange Passion Fruit Panna Cotta Blood Orange Passion Fruit Panna Cotta


Valentine’s Day Ideas {Staying in or Going Out}

Are you staying-in or going-out for Valentine’s Day? I put together a few ideas for both occasions! Dan and I are planning on staying home this year {just like our first year}. We’re looking forward to playing some Bing Crosby and Gershwin records while we cook up some tasty cacio e pepe in our tiny kitchen. We can’t wait to crack open a special bottle of Sicilian wine {that our friend Justin got us on his latest deployment — thanks Justin}.If you’re looking for a fun sappy movie that both of you will enjoy, I would suggest Princess Bride — it’s pretty awesome. I bought my first box of Charbonnel et Walker Marc de Champagne Truffles for a Vday surprise. Ohhhh maw gawd. Officially hooked. Do you think Dan will notice that one is missing? The best chocolate I’ve ever had…literally fit for a Queen {of England that is}. They were Founded in 1875 and are one of Britain‘s oldest chocolatiers that are endorsed by the Royal Warrant as chocolate manufacturer to Her Majesty The Queen. Fun Fact.

vday^^^ For your night in ^^^

Diptyque Rose Candle  / West Elm Candle Snuffer /Portable Record Player /Charbonnel et Walker Marc de Champagne Pink Chocolate Truffles /Princess Bride /Eberjey PajamasFaux Fur Throws / Slouch SocksFresh Peonies /Vanilla Bubble BathBalconette Bra / Lace Panties /  Bodum Cups /  Incredibly Awesome Gold Foil Valentine Card / To My Valentine Card

Sometimes it’s fun to get dressed up and find a fancy place for dinner! I really want to try The BazaarBottega Louie or Red O. I also heard of a restaurant called Perch that is located on the 15th floor of a high-rise with 360 views of Downtown LA. That would be so dreamy.

Love this dress and I’ve really been diggin’ the faux fur lately…

This perfume ^^^ Sexual Sugar by Michel Germain is a thumbs up. So yeah… the name is a tad strange, but it smells amazing! Who cares what it’s called! I’ve only tried a sample of it, but I’ve got to go get a bottle. Here’s how they describe it –> 

Wild berries and orange zest with notes of passion flower and jasmine. Heart notes of fresh roasted almonds, vanilla crème brulee and sandalwood.

And as usual…I’m excited about more chocolate {notice that I have chocolate involved in both scenarios}. I first read about these beautiful little treats on OhJoy. They sound divine. GODIVA Truffle Flight six truffles, placed in a tasting order that build in flavor and intensity.  Inspired by the finest desserts from around the world with flavors like birthday cake, pineapple hummingbird, cheesecake, red velvet,  lemon chiffon, Aztec spice, chocolate eclair, crème brulee, chocolate, lava cake, tiramisu and strawberry crème tarte etc. 

You pick the flight…Well that sounds fun.

Happy soon to be Valentine’s Day to you all! 


Our First Married Valentin’es Day + Happy 6 Months Danny!

On Feb 14th I came home from work and this Rico Suave was in the backyard…very smooth Dan. I love it. He made me crab stuffed lobster, grilled veggies and garlic mashed potatoes. For dessert we had chocolate ganache cake with blueberries and wine. Oh how I love you Danny. Happy, happy Valentine’s Day my love.
Vday Dan
 goober^
Speaking of LOVE, today {Feb 25} is our 6 month anniversary of our first year married! I know, I know…I’m one of those people that counts the months. Actually, Dan was the one who ever so kindly reminded me of the 1/2 way mark. Too cute, my hub is better at keeping track than I am!
I Love You Danny.
Time flies by when we’re having fun. I can’t believe it has already been 6 months. You’re the apple of my eye. I love you with all of my heart and I am grateful for everyday we’re together. You truly are the best.

Pictures: 1-3 A Bit Of Bees Knees, Picture 4 By GusandLula


What Are You Doing for Valentine’s Day?

What are your plans for Valentine’s Day? Dan and I usually spend the evening at home. We tried going out for a few years, but it seems that all the resturants have fixed menus and jack up their prices. So this year Dan said he wanted to make dinner for me! Ooh so romantico. We’ll have a nice dinner at home, drink some wine and snuggle up on the couch with a good movie. Sounds amazing to me.
Here is a sweet card that my Aunt Jill sent us for our first married Valentine’s Day.
A sexy outfit to insire your evening.
Vday

 

AllSaints / Jimmy Choo high heels / Kimberly McDonald , $41,795 / Mimco lip makeup, $26 / Estée Lauder