Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Obolo Macarons



i am not a fan of macarons. i had always found them too sweet, overpriced and overrated. so even after CNY baking early this year which left me with over 40, or even 50 egg whites, i was not tempted to attempt macarons. after reading many posts on macarons and people worrying about the little shells forming feet and everything turning into a disaster.

recently, however, lol. i don't remember how and why but i had a strange craving for matcha macarons. maybe i thought that the bitterness from the green tea would complement the sweetness of macarons perfectly and i decided to try one the next time i spotted a place selling.

well i was at Katong i12 the other day for dinner with some friends and i wasn't too hungry. so while my friends settled with their pizzas and lasagna at Gastronomia, i popped over to Obolo to pick up a green tea macaron. IT WAS SO EXPENSIVE. i was so shocked. i had expected it to be a little less than $2 for one, but it was $2.50 for one!! </3 ANYWAY, there was a sign at the counter which said to wait 5-10 minutes after removing from the refrigerator before consuming for OPTIMAL taste. so i waited 5 minutes.

it was GOOD! it wasn't TOO sweet and the green tea taste was strong. AND the filling was solidly green tea/chocolate. i'm not sure because i was convinced it was some green tea paste of some sort but the lady serving me told me it was chocolate. which brings me to the point that the counter ladies weren't very friendly. i guess they were KIND of friendly but i could feel them judging me for buying just one. lol. plus they weren't too knowledgable about the macarons when i questioned them on the fillings. :/

anyhow, i've been dropping by just to get that macaron fix ever since. and then i contemplated making some. so while browsing through blogs and reading, i started craving AGAIN. so this time i bought 6 pieces from Obolo and they wrapped it in a pretty box. picture shows 5 because i had one immediately after buying hehe. i bought 2 matcha, sea salt caramel, earl grey, sakura (limited edition flavor) and champagne at $14.20. but their site seems to be offering a discount at $12.50. hmmm.



 matcha with green tea/chocolate filling and earl grey with dark chocolate filling.

 Earl Grey with Dark Chocolate filling. i was quite excited for this because i'm a huge earl grey person. flavor was relatively strong - you would know you're eating an earl grey macaron. my only minor complain is that it's pretty sweet. i would have liked it a lot more with a stronger earl grey flavor less icing sugar, or a more bitter chocolate.

i think the waiting for 5-10 minutes will make the interior more moist which should apparently taste better? i don't know but i think i'd enjoy it colder and less moist inside. somehow the chilled macaron downplays the sweetness imo.

 Sakura flavor with whipped buttercream. the counter girls couldn't really tell me what was the filling. all they said was cream. ._. ok. so the main flavor was supposed to be the macaron cookie. i don't know how sakura is supposed to taste like, but this was ALOT sweeter than what i had tried so far. i have to admit though, that the cream complemented the cookie pretty well. it kind of tasted like.. a general macaron. nothing special in my opinion.

 So the Sea Salted Caramel sandwiched with Dark Chocolate was pretty good i'd say. one thing though, that the dark chocolate filling kind of overwhelmed the taste of the shell. the sea salt caramel taste was evident in the first bite but became really subtle afterwards, so much so that i paused for a minute and wondered if i had ordered the dark chocolate macaron. i really like the filling though, because the dark chocolate made everything really... solid? in a way? i tend to prefer solid fillings than fillings like whipped cream/buttercream.
 The Champagne one... really tasted like.. any other macaron with a hint of alcoholish-taste thingy. i don't know how to describe it but it felt.. ordinary with a hint of complexity due to the alcohol. i think if i didn't know it was champagne, it would probably take me awhile to realize that it's champagne. but as you can see, there are pretty gold specks on the shells (both top and bottom). the filling was whipped cream. compared to the Sakura, this one was slightly lighter with no hint of butter. i think the Sakura one is buttercream? but this was a lot lighter it seems. i prefer solid fillings. lol.

in case anyone's wondering, no i didn't eat all 5 in a day. i had two yesterday and two just now, and i did up the post and drafted it as i tried. the last one left is the matcha flavored one. (which, is my favorite really) and i don't think i'll eat it now. maybe tonight or tomorrow. i don't think it can last later than that.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Lunch~


This is a just for fun post. *^^* With my brother overseas most of the time, and both my parents working and myself slacking at home during the holidays, i've to settle lunch on my own on most days when i've no plans on. i usually takeout from the mixed veg stall nearby because i insist on having vegetables in my diet and i've found that it's hard to get a good bit of vegetables in my meal if i order say char kuey tiao or chicken rice or noodles. so i'm actually a pretty picky eater out. @^^@

after the mixed veg stall changed hands awhile back, i didn't really like the dishes and so decided to cook my own meals. it allows me to control the exact amount i want to eat and need to eat. (i usually waste a lot of food when i takeout because the stall people tend to be very generous in their servings of rice and everything else). and another thing is that they don't offer brown rice. usually only vegetarian stalls serve brown rice. brown rice really helps maintain my weight and it is so important to take in whole grains and whole foods because they increase your metabolism rate which is responsible for 60~70% of burning off fats/calories. the other 30~40% comes from exercise. yes i could go on and on and on about the importance of eating well. ... :D

with my picky habits i decided to cook my own lunch. hehe ^^

the above is just 3/4 bowl of brown rice, two eggs worth of omelette, sliced tomatoes and baby kailan blanched then stir fried with garlic, oyster sauce and dark soy sauce (Hunger Hunger).

when i'm lazy i'll just cook my own rice and settle with the meat and vegetable dishes from the coffeeshop and the stall holders ALWAYS throw me weird looks when i request for no rice and only order two dishes. and they charge me $2!! one veg and one meat. zzzz. next time i will order three dishes i'm pretty sure it won't be far from $2 as well. ah ohwell.


i also picked up two packets of chocolate chips/peanut butter chips when i was at Tampines the other day because they were one for one! $7 for two packets was so worth it and i totally regret not getting more. maybe i'll go down to pick up more soon.

okay that's all. i finally feel like i paid off my blog debt. lol. okay bye~

Friday, May 25, 2012

Banana Chiffon Cake


The last time i tried working with bananas, it was an awful disaster because i was overly anxious and used bananas which were not over ripe. that taught me an extremely important lesson - always work with super, SUPER ripe bananas when baking.

Bananas are actually starchy, and as they ripe, the starch is broken down into glucose, making them really sweet and great for baking.

Anyhow, i was intending to make a pandan chiffon cake with the coconut cream in the fridge. i even bought eggs and was all prepared to start. but my pandan plant (which i got my grandma to get for me specifically so i can use the leaves for baking), didn't seem to have big and strong enough for me to cut off TEN leaves (as called for in Rei's recipe). coincidentally, dad bought a bunch of bananas a while back and as there are currently only 3 of us in the household, we couldn't finish and dad wrapped 3 of the bananas which were starting to overripe, even oozing glucose syrup. hence i decided to whisk them into bakes before they were due for the bin.





these were REALLY soft, moist, spongy and i was mighty pleased with it. *^^* it stood tall even after pressing it down. it was so moist i had half suspected it was undercooked but since it could spring back after pressing it down, i figured it was all good.

i had used Rei's Banana Chiffon Cake recipe. I've always turned to Rei's chiffon recipes and she provides detailed step by step explanations on making chiffon cakes and almost scientific explanations on how chiffon cakes work. 

the cake kept well for about 3, almost 4 days. as mentioned, given the few people in my household at the moment, and my mom isn't crazy about bananas, i delivered some to my grandma and ate the rest with my dad. because it was so light and fluffy i could grab more than a slice at a time. ^^

Rowenta Oven Setting: I used the conventional top and bottom heat mode and followed Rei's method of tenting the cake. Next time i will try using the bottom heat and fan mode without tenting and see how it works out.