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The fourth try went really really wrong, I'm afraid. The moment I folded the batter one too many times, I had a bad feeling. The mixture wasn't too runny, but the ribbon that the spatula made faded way too fast and it wasn't ideal. I crossed my fingers and filled my piping bag, for some reason this proved to be a hard task (and I thought I was getting the hand of it!), my batter was all over the place, so I had to wipe my batter from the pan and start over. As if the batter wasn't overmixed enough, all this handling couldn't make it better. Indeed, when I re-piped my macarons, they spread faster than they should, they weren't perfectly round and I could barely move the piping bag from one shell to the other without messing up. I decided to let them sit to form that skin on top anyway, after all, they were not as bad as my first attempt at making macarons, when they all came out as flat as pancakes.

Cracked tops, malformed feet (see how the ruffle didn't form at the very base) and lopsided feet. They're rather bumpy too.

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04 March 2013 @ 02:31 am
I thought it would be a good idea to post all the macarons I've tried! I ate my first one at Ladurée in London and ever since I've been hooked. I've tried a few others ever since, but nothing's been like those first few. I was in Paris and completely forgot to go for Pierre Hermé, but I tried Parisian Ladurée and Fauchon, of course. These delightful sandwich cookies (if you can call them that, this might be a big big mistake) were not available where I live at the time, but now they are and even if they are quite expensive, I've made it my mission to try as many as I can to find what's closest to Ladurée. The best I've tried so far, have been from Smeterling.

Lemon and berries macarons, these were actually very delicate and tasty!

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"Macawrongs? Why?" you might be asking yourself right now, looking at this picture of seemingly decent looking macarons. They have smooth, somewhat glossy tops, nice, even feet, what could have gone wrong? Trust me, these little ones are a deceiving batch, for the approximately 48 hrs. I waited for them to mature, I thought these were too good to be true and...it turns out I was right.

I weep for macaron-ity, these are as evil as mermaids...you fall for their beauty and then you find it's all a lie!

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26 February 2013 @ 12:40 pm
As I said on my last entry, I've been experimenting with macarons. Unfortunately, I don't have any photos of my disastrous first batch, but here's my second! It's an improvement, there are quite a few things to address, but I'm happy that at least the problems are different this time. And now, I present you my macawrongs...

The first one is the one that looked the most decent, then the other two are examples of pure failure. Fun!

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24 February 2013 @ 02:27 am
Life is still very complicated for me and I've decided that for now, I can't maintain a blog the way I wanted to, sharing recipes with you. I'm going to share picture of what I experiment with, for the sake of keeping track since I'm always playing in the kitchen and I love taking pictures of all the food. I have been pretty lazy lately though, I made an apple tart with caramel sauce for grandma's birthday that I didn't take pictures of, as well as a chocolate marquise with whipped cream and berries for mom's that I only have a phone picture of (which wasn't even taken by me) and a Mocha cake which was a little weird for dad's birthday. My family's made a huge effort to take pics of everything as it's about to be eaten though, family members included in the photos, so I'll have to look for those and post cropped cake pictures if the quality allows.

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And now...now I'm experimenting with macarons. I only made one batch and, as expected, it royally failed. I was mentally prepared for it, because I know how tricky they can be, but I'm determined to keep trying, this didn't discourage me in the least. These first ones turned out to be flat and full of burst bubbles. After reading multiple blog posts on macarons, I came to the conclusion that I overmixed the preparation and it was too thin to grow feet and hold its shape. I might have also failed to beat my egg whites and meringue long enough, mostly because the recipe told me an exact beating time (but then mom pointed out that mixing by hand, with a hand-held mixer or with a standing mixer for the same amount of time gives very different results!). Oh, and I added more whites than I was supposed to just because I got confused when converting the amount in my head, silly me, I should do this beforehand, but I'm so stubborn I do it as I go 99% of the time.

For my next batch, of caramel and vanilla macarons (first was chocolate, this is determined by leftovers...caramel sauce from the apple tart, pastry cream from some kiwi and peach mini tarts I'm hoping to take pics of tomorrow), I'm going to keep in mind the hardcore meringue beating, the delicate macaronage to avoid super thin batter and I'll also toast my almonds and mix them with powdered sugar to ground to avoid the oily paste I was so close to getting and to reduce the humidity that will surely be my enemy on this quest. I'm hoping that this time my macarons will develop that thin crust, against all odds in this weather, before baking.
22 September 2012 @ 02:25 am
I just wanted to quickly drop by to say life's rough at the moment and I'm slowly trying to pick up all of my abandoned hobbies once more. I didn't plan for this disappearance to happen, so I'm terribly sorry to have neglected my newly started project and you, my lovely followers, I didn't think anyone would be reading my blog so soon!

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02 July 2012 @ 12:27 am
Every cooking blog seems to have an about page, so I figured I couldn't delay introducing myself much longer!

My name is Lucila, but I would rather you called me by my nickname, Luli, since that's what I hear people calling me more often and therefore I identify myself with it much more. And you probably didn't need such a long explanation about my name! I do that a lot, I just go on and on about things. Mom often tells me I can't just go straight to the point, in an attempt to clarify I just confuse people further. That's one of my special talents for you, not a very gracious one at that.

Another one of my talents (I'm not even sure I should call it that) is baking. I've been doing it for as long as I remember, I pushed my grandmother to teach me some recipes when I was young and I guess that's where it started. I baked a lot of butter cookies and vanilla cakes as a child, then brownies, loaves. I slowly introduced more and more recipes in there and only just recently I attempted to make proper savoury meals from scratch.

I'm pretty lost in life, I'm a Web Designer and an English Teacher, but in reality, I have no idea what I'm doing. Except when I bake! At the beginning of this year I figured I would try to do something while I figure myself out and that's when I started my little business offering baked goods. And then I started baking lots more than usual and found myself looking at cooking blogs and recipe books, doing something I love. I'm not sure what this is, but I'll do it for as long as it makes me happy and I'll let it take me wherever it has to, even if this might not be what I want my career to be. One thing is for sure though, I'll forever be a bakeddict.

A picture of mini me preparing a ham and cheese tart for good measure, aah the early stages!
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I found out about Cupcake Project and Scoopalicious's Ice Cream Cupcake Contest a while ago and I spent all this time trying to come up with a combination that would be irresistible. At first I was going to go for banana cupcakes, but as time went by, more and more entries incorporating this fruit came up and as much as I liked my idea, it had to be crossed out. So I ended up with these...

Oh goodness, what have I got myself into

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I'd been toying with the idea of baking cupcakes for a while, but the options are so overwhelming I just kept delaying the decision until this week. My mother asked me to bake some cupcakes for this party she had with her friends, so that they could take them home as souvenirs and I was so excited to try a couple of recipes. She wanted chocolate and vanilla, something very basic, but I've heard people look for those recipes like I look for the perfect chocolate chip cookies!

This batter made me want to eat them without even giving them a chance to go into the oven, mhm

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18 June 2012 @ 03:53 pm
Up until 2007, I had never tried a savoury muffin in my life. I visited a friend in U.S. and her mom would bake cornbread muffins to go with the savoury food and I absolutely adored the combination. I've longed for them for quite a while, but for some reason I never looked up a recipe. I decided it was time to fix that so I found this lovely recipe and I decided I would bake it as soon as possible. I ended up cooking a meal to go with the muffins and not the other way round, that's how much I love them! I made Chicken Chili because the website I found the recipe on suggested it so...all set!

I certainly am not great with pics, but those did taste good!

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