It’s Valentine’s Day! I love Valentine’s Day. It’s a special day for lovers to express their love for each other by giving stuff like flowers, chocolates, cards etc. For me, I extend my Valentine’s Day to my wonderful children, too. Beside my husband, they are also the joy of my heart.
This year I called my Valentine’s Day as ‘My Big Fat Valentine’s Day!’ Why? There’s no good reason except that the name makes me SMILE! It sounds quite like the show ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding’. It’s one of my favourite show….so funny….haha. Oh wait, there’s actually some good meaning to the title of my post.
Firstly, Valentine’s Day is always a BIG event for me and my husband. As our children grow up, our love for each other grow deeper and stronger and we just love to surprise each other with nice, cute gifts. It’s a big day because it renews our love for each other, reminding us that love is a COMMITMENT and not how we feel. We may even annoy each other sometimes but true love covers it all and move on stronger. More importantly, we leave behind a legacy for our children to follow, giving them the courage to live out a strong marriage when it is their turn.
Secondly, it’s a FAT Valentine’s Day because of what I made specially for my husband and children….luxury desserts! The past week has been very busy for me because of marathon baking on top of all the Chinese New Year parties at my friends’ houses. Ever heard of marathon baking? It just means long hours in the kitchen. It takes iron will for me to stay so long in the kitchen. My cooking are usually simple, easy and quick but I was trying my luck in baking 2 of the most difficult and expensive desserts for Valentine’s Day……Indonesian Layer Cake and Macarons. I had never tried both of them so you can imagine the challenges and nightmare that I put myself through.
Lastly, Hotel Chocolate had made my Valentine’s Day even greater this year by sending me a fabulous box of Valentine’s chocolate for my winning giveaway challenge at Ann at Pig Pig’s Corner. You can read more about it at Valentine’s Day Gift From Hotel Chocolate.
To start off, I told myself I wanted to make my husband his favourite cake, the Indonesian Layer Cake. We used to buy it when we were back home in Malaysia. It’s a very expensive cake. When I saw it at Ann’s blog, I told myself I have to make it. It is very time consuming grilling it layer by layer. This is one cake that is going to put my patience to great test. But I reminded myself that LOVE is PATIENT and LONG SUFFERING.
This must be one of the most fattening cake I have made so far. It uses 25 egg yolks!! Well, I am very proud of myself that it came out very successful, delicious and pretty. It was success at the first attempt. Will share the recipe and steps to do it in another post.
Then came the macaron. It was macaron craze on the food blogosphere last year. While many were not aware, especially non bloggers, I’m sure many were like me….watched in awe and wonder at the many failed attempts of many bloggers who tried to make this little delicate macaron but celebrated with those who eventually succeeded. I told myself I must take up the challenge to try this year. If there’s anyone who had inspired me is Deeba at Passionate About Baking. Deeba has always been very friendly and helpful. She bakes very well and I love her blog.
I knew I am in for some fun macaron baking but I had to keep reminding myself to smile at any failed attempts. So, here comes my macaron making journey. My macarons are not perfect yet in terms of look but they taste awesome….mmmm. I’ve just managed to get a fairly successful one JUST before Valentine’s Day….pink macarons with ‘feet’ and lovely white chocolate filling. My family likes these pink ones very much. I’m so happy!!….*BIG smiles*
1st Macaron Attempt
I used the chocolate macarons by Pook at Daily Delicious. My macarons failed…so sad! They had no ‘feet’ and cracked all over. I know it’s not the fault of the recipe but my way of doing it. I just have to try again.
2nd Macaron Attempt
I tried to used a different recipe. This time I used the chocolate macaron recipe by Deeba at Passionate about Baking and the filling of the first recipe. But they turned out to be perfect almond meringues. How interesting! I was actually so thrilled and thought it hilarious. So I turned them into meringues kisses, perfect for Valentine’s Day. Don’t they look pretty? It’s totally interesting how a mistake can turn into something beautiful in baking. I’m sure it’s not the recipe but my way of doing it again.
3rd Macaron Attempt
I used back the first macaroon recipe, careful to follow the instructions more closely. Yeah, at least they had tiny, little ‘feet’……very happy.
4th Macaron Attempt
I tried to adjust the second recipe to make pink macarons. They failed…NO ‘feet’…so sad. They looked like whoopie pies.
5th Macaron Attempt
I tried the first recipe again. Yeah….higher ‘feet’! But the outer shells look rough. At least most successful of all. Really happy.
6th Macaron Attempts
Phew…what a relief that I managed to get a fairly successful pink macarons with white chocolate filling at last, just in time for Valentine’s Day. My family likes them very much. I find them SO good. Mind you, they can be very addictive. Will share more how I make them in a later post.
For your info, I was in London with my daughter, Sharon, recently. We went to Harrods. My girl told me that the macarons there are very popular. She wanted 3, all different flavour. Know how much they cost? It was £6 for 3 tiny ones, about 3cm in diameter!!! I was shocked. But like all mothers, you lose most of the time when your children like something so badly especially food. Well, now she can eat all she wants. You can read more about our macaron adventure at Sharon’s blog post Laduree Macarons.
It’s a true lovely start to Valentine’s Day! What a lot of things I learned the past week. Keep Learning Keep Smiling!
Oh……..my daughter, Sharon at Fun and Life, has just posted Young Love Old Love on her blog. It is an interesting read to hear what my daughter shared for Valentine’s Day, how she sees love and be inspired by true love.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Quote of the day……
“Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead. The consciousness of loving and being loved brings a warmth and a richness to life that nothing else can bring.”
- Oscar Wilde