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."
Mitos and me
And guess what, I even had two assistants. ;)
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.
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
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.
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"
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.
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!
They make their own bread, which makes this charbroiled-burger doubly scrumptious…
The right bread is also what’s important for their version of the Vietnamese Bahn-Mi which Mitos calls Saigon Steak sandwich…
Saigon steak sandwich
Even the staff meal of Chicken curry was flavor-packed.
So remember folks, when you get the chance to visit Baguio drop by:
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….?
For more wedding pics…