When I was in cegep (Quebec's school system which consists of last year of high school + first year of college), I met this group of friends. That was back in 2000 and through the years, the group has changed a little - some have dropped off, sisters and boyfriends have joined in - but at the core of it, it's still the same group :) And this year is a big year because the majority of us will be turning 30! So this week-end, my friend V celebrated her brithday. V is the cook and baker of the group and she decided to spoil us by organizing a feast :)
To thank her for all the sweets she has baked for us throughout the years and because V is also a huge fan of Masterchef Australia, my sister decided that her gifts for V would be a macarons tower. Yeah, you know where this is going LOL. The first challenge in this gift was to find a styrofoam cone... We did find some, but they were too small for what we had in mind. We found styrofoam cubes and I thought we could make a square tower instead... but sometimes, my sister can be very cheap LOL. Why buy two cubes - each 20$ - when you can get a sheet of styrofoam for 10$? So we bought the sheet of styrofoam and guess who was in charge of building the tower? Yes, yours truly :P There was no way I could get a cone out of the sheet so instead, I built a pyramid. The first attempt was pretty bad ^_^; However, the 2nd one worked out! Yay! So I thought my job was done, but once my sister was done baking, we realized that I perhaps had been a bit too optimistic and there was no way we had enough macarons to cover the 4 sides. Oups LOL. So I had to build another pyramid, this time down-sizing it. As you can see below, there was quite a difference in height between the two pyramids ^_^;
It's funny because no matter how early my sister starts baking, she'll always end late. I have no idea why it is, but for sure, this time around wasn't an exception. We started at 11.30am and ended at 2am ^_^; This time around, she used two different recipes to make the macaron shells.. and she had to make three batches. For the fillings, she went with green tea/white chocolate ganache - love that one - and with vanilla butter cream and raspberry jam. For the raspberry jam, we actually used Christine's recipe and it is indeed super easy!! LOL, my sister was worried about the test for gel set because she was afraid she wouldn't see the wrinkles... but seriously, it's obvious whether it has set or not. After letting the jam cool down, it actually was more like jello than jam LOL. However, that works because I was afraid the jam would be too liquid and would ooze out of the macarons, but obviously, it didn't. The only thing though is that the jam was perhaps a bit too sweet, especially when combined with the butter cream in the macarons... but it was still very yummy!
In addition to the macarons, my sister has been wanting to try to make cookie dough truffles. I figured why not do it at the same time? It's actually quite easy to make. The only long step is the dipping in chocolate and that's mainly because my sister and I kept underestimating the amount of chocolate needed and so we had to keep melting more chocolate ^_^;
Anyway, interested in seeing the final result? Tada!
And of course, my sister and I were running late. So as soon as we finished assembling the macarons pyramid, we had to rush to V's house. Let say the drive was quite a challenge LOL, but it held up! Yay!
So that's what kept me away from my computer this week-end. Let just say I feel my week-end was very, very short! LOL. What about you? What did you do?