Gift ideas for the holidays!

 

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Macaron gift boxes

 

Sorry for the lack of posts, I have been cooking but it’s mostly dishes that really have no recipes – you know the kind that you make up along as you go. ;). Anyway, just want to help the great folks here in Richmond put together their Christmas list.

         For a short-time period, I’ll be offering macarons in half-dozen for $9.00, these make perfect (and yummy) gifts for co-workers. These will be available starting the first week of December.

        The usual dozen for $18.00 and 2-dozen for $35 is also available but now you will have a choice to have an assortment of 3 or more flavors.

        Please email veronica AT petitesbouchees DOT com if interested.

        And if you are wondering how to display a dozen macarons for a holiday table, a compote dish makes the perfect vessel.

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Macarons in a cup

 

 

 

 

The holidays start this weekend with Halloween!

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Halloween Treat box

This weekend, October 30th will be the last weekend for the St. Stephen’s Farmer’s market. I will be having a few of this Halloween boxes made up for sale. It contains an assortment of 6 macarons and will sell for $9.00.

I will also be a member of several online stores with very convenient pickup locations in RVA – details soon.

With the holidays around the corner, I will have almost all my macaron flavors available for tasting at this weekend’s farmer’s market.

See you there!

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delectable treats

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dessert table at Illuminate

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The “Illuminate” dessert table

When Meghan Ely of OFD Consulting asked me if I wanted to be their “Sweets” sponsor for Illuminate – the workshop, I said: “Heck, ya!” For one thing, I love Meghan – she is approachable, fun, and if there’s someone who knows the ins and out of the wedding business -it’s her. Plus she shares my love for science fiction {star wars, lost etc.}, so if we get tired of talking about weddings and other dessert displays we can always talk about whether the series finale of “Lost” was worth all the six years of tv-time we had invested in the show.

I’m gearing up for the Farmer’s Market at St. Stephen’s – I really need a place to push all those yummy experiments I’ve been concocting in my kitchen, so hopefully I’ll have a recipe up here soon.

I just got Dorie Greenspan’s new book in, “Around my French Table” and I spied so many recipes I wanted to try and want to share with you all.

Anyway, here is the rest of the dessert display.

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How cute are these cookies?
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and cake pops?
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Plum-Pistachio Frangipane

I’m slowly working through your lists of suggestions in a previous post on what to add to the dessert table. So now we have tarts and …

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Key lime pies
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the “macaron” centerpiece

I’ll have you know that I used “valencia” almonds {what Pierre Herme uses} for the chocolate macarons and I do detect a subtle difference in the texture.

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Carrot cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

And as always, I do have fun pushing sugar…

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Veronica – the “sugar-pusher”

 

My thanks to Julie Renee Photography for the pictures!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Petites Bouchées Dessert Table, plus a Giveaway!

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Petites Bouchees Dessert Table

(please click on the pictures to activate the lightbox for more vivid display!)

I’ve hinted on a project that I have been working on for a few weeks now. Well, now it can be revealed. Petites Bouchees has ventured into the stylized dessert table business!
This idea has been percolating in my brain since last year, but it was only this year that I had the guts to go through with it.
Wedding professional consultant, Meghan Ely of OFDconsulting has been instrumental in connecting me with great vendors in the area, with whom I am so thrilled to be now working with on current and future projects.

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Wedding Cake – Sweetest Thing Bakery

It’s so easy to get carried away with a first project, but I wanted to pay tribute to the lovely wallpaper I first laid eyes on in an adorable pastry shop in San Francisco called Miette. I couldn’t not include a candy station for which Miette is also known for and their macarons were the first ones I tried that got me hooked on these little Parisian confections.

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Wallpaper Shortbread cookies

I was lucky that they made the wallpaper cookies that matched the backdrop (yes, I’m going to use the “wallpapered” structure somewhere in my house after this project) – whimsical hydrangeas and starburst floral patterns – so I mailordered them to make an appearance on my very first dessert table.

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Peadee Pops by Flour and Iced

I won’t deny that this has been a learning experience – I think I’ve spent enough time at Michael’s and on the internet sourcing paper and crafting ideas to bring into the dessert table. Many times, I thought my head would burst thinking of all the little details that need to be done. Sometimes they just fall into place and sometimes you just have to accept that the tarts and buttermilk panna cottas have no room on your little (or big)scheme of things. It’s picking and choosing and always remembering that there is always that next dessert table. :)

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A little candy station- I just adore the lollipops
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Dainty cupcakes

And of course, how can we forget the macarons?

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Rose Litchi Macarons
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More macs

Thanks to:
Jenny West of the Sweetest Thing Bakery for the beautiful wedding cake
Krissy Salmon-White of Flour and Iced for the gorgeous peadee pops (aka cake pops)
Paper and Pigtails for the adorable labels
Roshan and Dale of Quarterman Photography for the cool pictures
 

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Peadee Pop!

Now for the giveaway. I love Crate and Barrel (CB)! They always have such sensible and cool vessels that lend themselves to showcase your baked goodies perfectly. To celebrate the launch of my dessert tables, I am giving away two CB- $50.00 gift cards, just leave a comment between now and July 19, 2010 stating what you would like to see on a dessert table besides cupcakes and cake pops. I will pick 2 winners using the trusty random number generator. The winners will be announced on July 20th and email notifications will be sent to the winners and they should respond within a week or a new winner will be chosen. The winners will be required to provide a mailing address for the gift-card to be sent.This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.

I have a couple of events coming up that will showcase my dessert tables. The first one coming up is called “An Engagement” which is a Bridal seminar and showcase to be held at the Downtown Hilton on July 25. See you future brides there!

The Macaron Food Pyramid

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L-R,T-B: Hazelnut-Caramel Fleur de sel, Matcha-Matcha Ganache, Chocolate-Espresso Buttercream, Passion Fruit Milk Chocolate, Rose-Litchi Ganache, Pistachio Bittersweet Chocolate

Those of you following my tweets know that I have been covered in confectioner’s sugar and almond flour for 2.5 days as I furiously baked macaron after macaron batch for some orders and Broad Appetit. At last count, I baked more or less 950 macarons – that’s 1,900 piped shells!

I loved every minute of it. There is something so gratifying as you fill them and join the shells together and watching the filling squooshing to the edge. Yep- love.

I’ve been thinking about making another video, something more planned unlike the impromptu one I did on youtube last year.

The "Hungry" Hubby has also improved his video-editing skills so transitions should be better. :)

In the mean time, I’ll try to get a macaron recipe up. I’ve been wanting to make a chocolate macaron version using the Italian Meringue. This is a bit advance since it uses cacao pate but it should be similar to Pierre Herme’s chocoalate macarons that he sells in his shops.

Stay tuned!

Get ready for Broad Appetit 2010!

Mark your calendar for this Sunday, June 6th, because it’s Broad Appetit 2010!

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There will be macarons and cupcakes ofcourse! Macarons are great make-ahead treats because they need a couple of days to mature in flavor. Here are some behind-the-scenes from my marathon macaron baking sessions…

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Chocolate macarons waiting to be filled with Espresso Buttercream

And my favorite macaron to make…

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Passion Fruit-Milk chocolate

My least favorite thing to do is washing dishes…

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Empty bowls of ganache

Don’t worry, that ganache left on the spatula and bowls won’t go to waste and was done on purpose. ;)

Macarons behaving badly and a wedding

I know I’ve pulled another disappearing act on this blog. Hopefully, most of you have tried the simple roast chicken I had in the previous post. What? No? Come on guys, I’ve got one about to go into the oven as I type and it took me less than 15 minutes to prep (okay, I did wash and dry it earlier).

So where have I been? Back to the Philippines, this time to attend a wedding! Me and my family debated around the idea about me making macarons for the event. First dilemma was where to bake them; it turned out that my sis-in-law’s bakeshop was too busy and she only had humongous mixers – and I mean industrial size. My brother’s home kitchen was the obvious next choice until a friend of ours, Mitos Yniguez, offered the use of her brand new restaurant kitchen which had a separate pastry area.

But my biggest unknown was my ingredients. Because of darn luggage limitations of 50 lbs. I also decided against  bringing my own ground almonds and when you change an ingredient like your almonds, all you can do is pray.

I guess I didn’t pray hard enough.

And I remembered why I like grinding my own almonds and stay away from almond meal.

Anyway, meet Mitos. Proprietress of Baguio’s newest "it" restaurant, "The Hill Station."

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Mitos and me

And guess what, I even had two assistants. ;)

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Two spectators looking on

The all important step of weighing your ingredients carefully is what I taught first. Yes, I brought my own weighing scale.

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Weighing the almond meal

And without my trusty beer pitcher to hold my piping bag, it took three of us to transfer the batter. :D

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The blue batter!

I noticed that the batter was too thick to beat but this was further confirmed when I piped them out and the peak did not flatten. You can normally rectify this with a damp finger but these were REALLY stiff.

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Sheetz! Darn peaks!

Because the oven wouldn’t go below 325F, this was what happened to one batch. This phenomenon is what I call "duck beaks"

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I did not have enough iteration of batches to finally eliminate the peak by reducing the almond flour, but I solved the oven problem by sticking a wooden spoon between the oven door so it wouldn’t run too hot.

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macaron kisses :(

Heck, at least they didn’t crack and they had feet!

While waiting for the macarons to dry and bake, I got to sample some of Mitos’ "Hill Station" offerings. Her five-spiced chicken fingers were delicious!

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Chicken fingers

They make their own bread, which makes this charbroiled-burger doubly scrumptious…

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Burger!

The right bread is also what’s important for their version of the Vietnamese Bahn-Mi which Mitos calls Saigon Steak sandwich…

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Saigon steak sandwich

Even the staff meal of Chicken curry was flavor-packed.

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So remember folks, when you get the chance to visit Baguio drop by:

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Going back to the macarons, I did manage to make 150 pieces despite the stars not aligning exactly. Though they didn’t look ideal, they were made with love and for my beloved niece…

Isn’t she a vision….?

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For more wedding pics…

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