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. πŸ˜‰

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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. πŸ˜€

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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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My extended family

I did manage to wangle a portrait shot from my brother. After all, why waste the hair and make-up?

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Aren’t we sweet? πŸ™‚

While the bridal portraits were being taken, we decided to have merienda at the veranda at the club.

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We’re a camera-happy lot…

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niece,nephew,me!

I wonder if my brother was tired or the beer knocked him out?

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San Miguel Beer – Philippine national beer

Views of the grand ballroom of the Baguio Country Club.

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The "stage"
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I laugh so hard with the grand entrance below…

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…of the soup brigade. Leave my niece and nephew to get the waiters to dance. I believe they rehearsed this the night before….

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It’s now customary to get wedding rituals like cake-cutting done first thing.

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Wedding cake courtesy of bride’s mom

So everyone can start goofing off.

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And the young ones kept the party going…

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For us oldies ;).

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My two older brothers and my sis-in-laws

The dancing was so infectious even my mom joined in on the fun. And so we danced…

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Next post… Bohol! When the whole family did the unforgivable and joined the bride and groom on their honeymoon! πŸ™‚

18 thoughts on “Macarons behaving badly and a wedding

  1. Great wedding photos, Veron! It looks like you had a great time! And I have to admit, I didn’t try the roast chicken recipe, but only because I haven’t had time to do much of anything. I promise, when I do, you’ll hear me swooning. πŸ™‚

    Also, it’s okay, I think we both are playing disappearing acts on our blogs, but I’m sure our readers still love us! πŸ™‚

  2. Wow. Kudos to you for traveling across the world to make macarons. You have one lucky niece. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a big wedding. You look absolutely beautiful…love the portrait!

  3. Wow! you have done a great job!

    And congrats to your niece is so beautiful! And you are adorable as always πŸ™‚

  4. Hey welcome back Veron! Sorry the almond meal didn’t work out – was it sourced from the one I gave you? The macs I made from that one turned out smooth. I was searching for a food processor in the kitchen you were working in to further blitz the meal but I guess there wasn’t one. I asked Duncan to diagnose the macs here thinking it was undermixing but he disagreed and said it probably just needed lubrication in the form of raw egg white. Regardless, I’m sure they tasted great – what filling did you use?
    The wedding looks smashing and I can’t believe I was just recently there at the country club (I would have alerted you but I only had one day with my family).

  5. Thanks Everyone!
    Hi Manggy – Duncan is right, in this case though I was reducing my almond meal with each batch while keeping the egg white amount constant. I never got to the batch that was smooth though. The meal was fine enough, if there was a food processor though I would have loved to use it to combine the confectioner’s sugar and the almond meal. I did get it from the source you recommended. It still tasted good. I used chocolate ganache as the filling.
    Hmmn…I wonder if we crossed paths and didn’t know. πŸ™‚ I was always at the club when I was there…it’s a nice place to be away from the city center.

  6. Veron! Miss Baguio and the Philippines just looking at all the pictures! I have promised myself to be back to the Phils soon! And I’ll definitely go to Baguio to try the new restaurant.

  7. Missing you already tita…My mom and dad sends their regards…one time when we were having our mother’s day celebration my mom turned to me and said….hai nakakamis sina veron at sina sana mas madalas silang nandito…And looking at our pictures we surely feel the same way. Me and cheryl sometimes get teary. Anyweiz take care tita and hope to see you soon! God Bless! BTW the macaroons were exceptionally great….my only regret is that i wasn’t able to hoard as much as I can! hehe!

  8. Glorious! Beautiful bride.
    Can’t believe you took a scale but not the almonds! The 50 pound thing is a real drag.
    The Mac-Kisses totally cool memories there I’m sure.
    The Hill Station pastry kitchen looks a dream!

  9. what a beautiful bride your niece was! Kudos for pulling the macarons off. It was really challenging to make them @ a new environment + different ingredients. I know because I recently changed to a new brand of almond flour and been stuck in a rut since. 😦

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