Tuesday, March 27, 2012

WOW! I got GOOSIES!!

I should sub title this entry as "Tooting My Own Horn" but I admit it...I just cannot help myself. Last Saturday was a very happy day for me. I got up early in the morning to make some macarons because an ardent reader and I were meeting for the first time. We were set to have lunch together at the Empire Subang. I wanted to let her taste my macarons.

We had lunch at a newly opened Thai restaurant. The food was just so-so, but it did not bother us because we had such a great time chatting. In a delightful coincidence, the new friend turned out to be the daughter of the midwife that had delivered me (so many moons ago). Her name is Cindy and she is a very pleasant lady and so warm and friendly that it felt more like meeting an old friend.  She was so thoughtful and generous and had brought a lovely set of earrings and a necklace as a gift for me. What a delightful surprise  and I loved both the design and the color. I wore them to lunch yesterday. I think they matched my purple blouse. Thanks so much again, Cindy. 


As we were having lunch, a young lady came over to our table and asked me if I am Veron and introduced herself as Adrine. She is also a food blogger and a regular reader of my blog. It was a great pleasure to meet her and her family. What a small world this is!   


After our lunch, Cindy and I went window shopping together and then I asked her to tag along to watch a "Berries pie" demo at Jaya Grocers by the young and handsome Chef Ryan Khang.  Chef Khang is quite an accomplished chef. He had written his first book in 2006 and had worked as a consultant chef for a chain restaurant where he had developed new menus and supervised production. Currently he is the resident chef of The Cooking House and the editor-in-chief of a food and health journal called Malaysian Nourishment.

When I met Chef Khang, I offered him a piece of my macaron with my newly invented fillings that was suggested by my Quay Lo. What he said to me sent me to cloud 9! As soon as he took the first bit of my macaron, he said, "This is a French macaron, did you age the egg white for 7 days? What is the filling? This is very good!" I told him it was a filling I invented, kumquat preserves with dark chocolate and cointreau. He told me he had just returned from Paris and had tasted lots of macs while there and mine was better than the Dulce de Leche macarons he had there!! OH MY GOODNESS!! someone please pinch me and tell me that I am not dreaming!  When I felt my feet just about to touch back down to the ground, he sent right back to cloud 9. He asked if I would like to contribute an article to the Malaysian Nourishment food and health journal. I think he must be joking.

Me? write an article for a food magazine? I can hardly believe that. Wow! I got goosies all over!! Fortunately, I had the presence of mind to get a picture with this young handsome chef who is so kind to offer his opinion on my macarons (especially since it was favorable).

I am eager to share with you the new fillings recipe because it must be good when the compliment comes from a chef. 

Vanilla Macarons with kumquat dark 
chocolate and cointreau fillings


Vanilla Macaron shells:

83 grams icing sugar
64 grams ground almonds
53 grams egg whites (about 2 small eggs), aged for 48 hrs at room temperature
28 grams granulated sugar
coloring (optional)
½ tsp vanilla extract

Method to make the shells: (click to see the step-by-step photos)
Sift almond flour and icing sugar into a mixing bowl and set aside.

The old lady at work with Ranger keeping an eye 
to make sure everything was done correctly. LOL!

Please ensure the mixture is dry is entirely dry. After it is well mixed, add in coloring and blend in. In a large clean, dry bowl whip egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Increase the speed to high and gradually add granulated sugar. Continue to whip to ALMOST stiff peaks like in the photo. With a flexible spatula, gently fold in almond and icing sugar mixture into egg whites until completely incorporated. The mixture should be shiny and 'flow like magma.' When small peaks dissolve to a flat surface, stop mixing. Fit a piping bag with a 3/8-inch (1 cm) round tip. Pipe the batter onto the baking sheets lined with parchment paper and try to have equal size circles. If you want to have uniform size of shells, draw circles before you pipe. 


I am so happy that I finally got 
these shells to look more decent

Tap the underside of the baking sheet to remove air bubbles. Let dry at room temperature for 1 or 2 hours to allow skins to form or when you gently touch the top of the batter, it does not stick to your finger. Place baking sheet into another bigger baking sheet. Bake, in a preheated 140°C oven for 20 minutes. Remove macarons from oven and transfer parchment paper to a cooling rack. When cool, slide a metal offset spatula or pairing knife underneath the macaron to remove from parchment paper.

Note: if the batter is overmixed, you will get flat shells and if it is undermixed, you will get Dolly Partons (click link to find out why Dolly Partons). LOL! So, be mindful when you mix the batter. 

Fillings recipe:

Kumquat compote with cointreau:
(adapted from Wendy of Table For Two and More with slight modification)
200gm kumquats, removed seeds
2 tbs cointreau (more or less to individual taste)
80gm Sugar
200gm Water

Method:
Half kumquats and remove seeds. Put cleaned kumquats, sugar and water into a saucepan and cook (on med heat)until the kumquat looks glossy and soft. Let cool and puree. Add cointreau and mix well.

Chocolate ganche:
100gm dark chocolate
200gm cream

Method:
Put cream in a microwave safe glass bowl and heat on high for 2-3 minutes, until just about to boil. Put chocolate in a medium sized glass bowl and pour hot cream over. Let sit for a minute or two then stir with a wooden spoon until completely smooth.

Kumquat dark chocolate cointreau fillings:
Add equal amount of  kumquat preserves and chocolate ganache and mix well. Put into a piping bag and pipe onto macaron shells. 


So what about the berries pie demo? I am sure you would like have the recipe from Chef Khang. I promise I will share with you in my next post. 


I am submitting this to Aspiring Bakers Challenge #17 - March Macaron Madness (March 2012 ) hosted by Alan from Travelling Foodies

99 comments:

  1. *Clap clap hands* :) Congratulations! WHen is the article coming out?

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    1. Thanks Kathy. Haiyah, maybe the Chef just say for fun only but it is still nice to hear him say that:D

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  2. Congrats Veron.
    Yup, Ryan is a handsome young guy indeed.

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    1. Thanks Wendy. Yes, he is. He has excellent complexion and looks like a Hong Kong movie star.

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  3. Wow, beautiful macarons and i can imagine how good is your new invention of flavours! is the egg white aged for 48 hrs at room temperature,is this safe? where you kept this egg white? I am thinking to try this recipe..have yet to make macarons for quite a while..

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    1. Sonia from my research on the whether aged egg white at room temperature, here is my finding. There are three proteins that are deemed effective in maintaining the integrity of the egg white. First is Ovotransferrin, which binds tightly to iron, making it useless to bacteria that thrive on it. Second is Lysozyme, which digests bacterial cell walls, and third is Ovomucin, which inhibits viruses. Futhermore, when macarons are baked at a temperature of over 140 degrees F, every type of bacteria is eliminated, don't you think? So, you tell me, is that safe? hehe

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  4. sorry, forgot to Congrats you, hehehe, when the article coming out?

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    1. Thanks Sonia. No sorry required. I am glad to know you have a bit of Lucy in you too! hehehe There is nothing concrete about writing the article until I hear from the chef again.

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  5. Aww, congrats!!
    Also read about your Dolly Partons ... hilarious :D :D :D

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    1. Thanks spusht. Haha, those Dolly Partons are pieces of work isn't it?

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    2. Sure. But they were hidden with silver ball, couldn't see the original piece of art that your Quay Lo joked about ... haha ;)

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  6. Way to go, Quay Po. Go, go, go for the article. Your macaron sure has international standard.

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    1. Sheoh Yan, thanks for seeing me so up! hahaha, I am not sure if I can accept your compliment but happy to see that you think my macs has international standard. Thanks for being so supportive. MUAX!

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  7. WOW such high praise from Chef Ryan! Have met him before during MasterChef, a really nice guy. And I think you should contribute to My Nourishment, I think you'd write a really fabulous article ;)

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    1. Yen, I not sure if I can contribute a good article to a food magazine because writing a blog post and writing an article for a magazine are two very different thing.

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    2. Thanks again for the macarons yesterday! They were very yummy!

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  8. I'm so excited for you!! These look absolutely perfect and professional! I'm not surprised the young handsome chef was impressed. It's actually quite an achievement for anyone here to be able to produce macs with the correct texture considering the humidity we get ... esp this couple of days! Where do you get kumquats at this time of the year, Lucy? You're killing me with this.

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    1. Thanks Ping. I have to say I am very pleased with the result of this batch of macs. I nailed it this time. I got the kumquat at MBG. I think they are from Camerons because they are so much cheaper than those from US. Not sure if they still have stocks now. No worries, you will get to taste this when we meet for lunch on Friday:D

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  9. Congrats! You are one of the famous food blogger sure the readers recognized you like me. Hehe..

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    1. Thanks Jes. I don't think I am famous, just that I have my face all over my blog and that's why people recognize me lor. hehe

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  10. With kumquat filling, this must be real delicious! Unfortunate we can't get kumquat at this time, maybe next year........... Hope I can get to read your article in the Nourishment Magazine soon.

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    1. Mel, I guess the batch of kumquat I got was the end of season. I don't see it anymore now. Yes to make this again, got to wait for next year. Not sure about the article lah, I really don't think I am qualified to write for food magazine. But like I say, the invitation from Chef Khang really make me feel good:D

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  11. Would very much like to read your article in Nourishment Magazine but i don't think its available down here in Oz :-).

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    1. Windsmoke, I am sure there will be an article from me:D I am truly not a good writer.

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  12. congrats!!!! what a coincidence that I made something very very similar as well! you'd look really lovely!

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    1. Thanks Alan. Great minds think alike! hehe

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  13. Wahhhhh!!!! You soooo famous! Even strangers know you. Alamak!!! I would never dare ask a professional chef to try what I cook or make, so shy lah....my half past six cooking. LOL!!!!

    Hmmmmm...I was hoping I would get some macarons when you came to Sibu, with or without nipples but unfortunately, I did not get any. Sobsssss!!!! KIV ya...for your next trip to Sibu. Then I will roll out the red carpet...Hehehehehehe!!!!

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    1. hehe, where got famous? My face all over my blog, how not to recognise me? Yala, I very thick skin, don't know how high is the sky and how thick is the earth, going ask a professional chef to taste my macaron! Hey next trip to Sibu, I stay longer, come yourself to bake macarons for you, want?

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  14. That's great Veron, what a wonderful opportunity. And your macs definitely looks good! Enough to bag a hot chef's heart. :) :)

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    1. Sharon, I was indeed very happy to receive the compliment from a chef. Very encouraging!

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  15. Congrats Veron...I hope to get the mag when it is out :)) and your macarons no nipples this time LOL! they look beautiful especially the fillings..thumbs up. I have kumquats compote...now scratching the head what to do with them :))

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    1. Elin,don't know if I will write the article or not lah. Oh you have kumquats compote? Try this recipe, you will love it.

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  16. Congratulations ! When one great cook meets another, good things happens !

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  17. Congratulations! It must be a great motivation to cook and bake more. Your macarons sure sound out of this world, and this is proven correct by a great chef himself! :p

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    1. Yes it is awesome motivation to get a compliment from the chef. However, the incentive is to see all your comments and encouraging words.

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  18. Have been reading lots of food bloggers are experimenting with kumquats, is it possible to get it this time of the year?

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    1. Jocelyn, not anymore this year, got to wait for next year.

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  19. Awww Congrats !!! As usual your post made me laugh ! ;D I'm on my 6th no feet macs tsk tsk hee hee But that won't stop me making another batch ...with feet hopefully ... crosses fingers lol I really need that feet because the price of 1 mac at Jean Paul Hevin cost Hk$ 25. :P

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    1. Yes, I hear the macs in HK is VERY expensive. You gotto to make them yourself.Yes, never say die, keep trying and you will get your feet soon.

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  20. Hi Quay Po, congratulation. What a wonderful opportunity, feel happy for you.
    You mac look extremely good, lovely orange color. And the filling look delicious too.

    Have a nice day.

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    1. Thanks Amelia. I am very happy with the result for this batch of mac. Going to make another batch with a different filling.

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  21. Oh my oh my Congratulations to you, Veron! I think you should take the challenge since you've already on air. so everybody knows you well. So jealous of you...can take picture with that handsome chef. haha....
    Have a great week ahead, dear.
    Kristy

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    1. Kristy, haha, Chef Khang is very handsome isn't he? I wish I am 40 years younger! OMG!

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  22. Congratulations Quay Po. Your macaroons looks very delicious! Would love to try them!!

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    1. KItty, thanks. Where are you? You can get to try them if you are in KL. We just have to meet for lunch.

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  23. What gorgeous macarons!! Veron, you are such a star! I tried so hard last year...6 times in a row.....but haven't reached to my satisfaction. Looking at yours I must try again :D If I can make so nice like yours, I think I will have insomnia....haha....too happy! In the mean time, I will just feast on your pictures :D MaryMoh at http://www.keeplearningkeepsmiling.com

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    1. Mary, you can do anything and yes, try again, you will get it. Just don't give up:D No worries if you get insomnia, I can spare you some sleeping pills. No worries, it is legal.

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  24. Congrats Veron, mmmm, the macarons sure looks delicious....

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    1. Thanks Pete. Should let you try this someday but with a different fillings.

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  25. Your macarons look amazing, no wonder they were praised by a Chef! Love the orange colour, and the flavour combination sounds really delicious.

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    1. Thanks Bel. What a delight to see you:D I told Alan of Travelingfoodies that he inspired me to perfect my macs but you inspired me to take better photos:D I will always remember the tips you gave me:D Thanks again.

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  26. Congrats on such an honor! And, while I haven't had a successful attempt at macaroons yet, I'm ready to try your recipe! Great post!

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    1. Yummy, please do. Look forward to see your post on Macarights! hehe

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  27. Oh my goodness - a new writing career or new venture making macarons. Sounds like you could probably do both. Wish I could taste these macarons they sound delicious.

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    1. I am not so sure about the writing career but making more macarons looks more real to me. If you are styaing in KL, I will definitely make some for you.

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  28. I am drooling over your macarons, not the chef ok hehe! Both look pretty good I must say :)

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    1. Jeannie, nothing wrong drooling over the chef. He is such a handsome dude! hehe

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  29. Hey hey, your turn to read my lips ...Fantastic Macarons! Wow..better than Dulce de Leche macarons...I am very impressed!! I like the idea of kamquat fillings.

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    1. haha, Li Shuan, thanks. You got to wait for next season to try the kumquat fillings.

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  30. CONGRATS Veron (: you look so young and pretty in the photo! and your macs look so elegant!! now exam stress. looking at your macs makes me all excited!! when is the article publishing?? see if my friend can get it for me when she goes back to malaysia!

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    1. Jasmine!!! what a pleasant surprise to hear from you again. I know you are busy with exams. Nice of you to drop by. Not sure if the article will ever come out but if it does, I will let you know.

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    2. Psst ... I've actually been reading your blog. Heeeeee. Miss you x((( thank you for your understanding (: if it comes out, do share with us the great news!! (: take care!

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  31. What great NEWS veronica!! I'm so excited for you on these amazing macs and a write up!

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    1. Daphne, I am excited about making better macs but not so sure about the write up:D

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  32. Congratulations with your macarons. It must be nice to get this recognision. Who knows what is next.

    Greetings,
    Filip

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  33. Wow! I don't blame you for tooting your own horn...we certailnly would love to be in your shoes. That is so cool Veron! I'll bet the smile is still on your face!

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    1. Lyndsey, it is not a smile but a BIG grin still! hahaha

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  34. Such a compliment, Quay Po! And you deserve it because you are very creative when come to 'inventing' new flavour :D

    psst, I'm drooling at your macarons ..... and Chef Khang, muahahaha!

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    1. Yvonne, haha I like your frankness... ooo, I drool at Chef Khang too. ROFL!

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  35. Veron it was nice to meet you yesterday. Thank you for the chance to taste your macarons. They are of a way higher standard in appearance, taste and texture than many we have purchased from commercial outlets, well done. Keep up the good work inventing new flavour combinations :-)

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    1. Nice to meet you too:D We had a great time. Wow!! I feel flattered! I will keep doing and experiment with different fillings. You and Yen will get to try them if successful.

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  36. You look nice in that necklace, earring and purple blouse. That's really something to be recognised by your readers. So are you really going to write an article? I do believe Chef Kang's opinion of your macarons. They look so perfect, the taste should be perfect too. And you're so cute with the Pooh t-shirt!

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    1. Carolyn, I am not so sure about writing the article. I need to make sure it is good enough to go into a food magazine. Like I have reiterated, I am not a writer. For me, I believe Chef Khang's opinion because it is favorable hehe.

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  37. That's a pretty necklace!

    The macarons look good. And I bet they tasted awesome! I've recently discovered some yummy macarons instead of the usual sickeningly sweet ones. I'm gonna keep you r recipe and hopefully muster enough patience and guts to make:D

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    1. Ya the necklace as well as the earrings are beatiful. Cindy got great taste:D. Hope to see your post on macarons some day soon.

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  38. I love the smooth top and with kumquat chocolate filling this is really special! Getting a compliment from Chef, these macarons must be exquisite!

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    1. Ah Tze, hahaha, I am really happy with the result. First time, getting look, texture and taste right:D

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  39. wa wa wa, i think my frozen wings will start to flip up and fly if someone were to give such comments on my bakes! These must be darn good!!Perfect looking macarons! your ranger looks very serious in this photo..looks like he's guarding you!

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    1. Hey Hey Hey, make sure you thaw your wings before you flap them because I don't to be responsible for frozen wings become broken wings! hehehehe Thanks Lena for always being so supportive and encouraging. Yes, Ranger is making sure I don't miss a mark. I think he too know I am VERY "LUCY". LOL!

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  40. Quay Po:
    See 1 step closer to what I suggested to you before! You are a good writer & I'm sure that many people are waiting now to see your food article in the next release of this magazine!Please take the photo of the article & share with us later, ok!I suuport you 110%!

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    1. Jessie, you really see me SO UP!! Thanks my dear. I can't promise I would write the article because I "TAKUT" lah! hehe

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  41. Ha! Ha! Ha! Love it!! I would be on cloud 9 too taking pic with a handsome chef!!

    Btw, I always show my hubby your blog and tells him, 'See, I'm not the only one that does those things that you said are 'silly'!!!'

    To that my husband said, 'There is a big difference. She is Quaypo, but you are Kehpo!!!' ��

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    1. ROFL! your hubby cracked me up! Hey but you tell him, many people pronounce Quay Po as Kehpo so there is no difference. Have a wonderful week my dear.

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  42. Oh what a fabulous macaron and great flavor idea! I love kumquat, this should be delicious!

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    1. Yes, my Quay Lo is a genius! he was the one who suggested this combination. It is a knock-out flavor.

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  43. Nearly chocked on my biscuit when I saw my name being mentioned! He he. So honoured! (pssst.... I'm not a food blogger tho. I write mainly about my girls, so I guess that makes me a mummy blogger)
    Oh, and I had no idea that your lunch partner that day was someone you just met. From the way both of you were chatting, I somehow assumed that you were childhood friends or someone you know very well.

    Thx again for the macaron. It was absolutely lovely! :)

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    1. Adrine, OOPS, Lucy moment again!! hahahaha I am glad you like my macs.

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  44. Thank you very much for the kind words, dear Veron. It was such a pleasure meeting you, I had a great time. You are very good company; it is fun being with you. The macarons are the best we have ever tasted, Cheryl thought so too. She sends her thanks n love to you n your wonderful family. xoxo

    Love,
    Cindy

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  45. Cindy, I had fun hanging out with you. I feel like we have know each other forever:D I am SO happy that Cheryl likes he macarons and tell her she is most welcome. Maybe next time she is in KL, she might want to hang out with two old Aunties and the reward will be a box of macarons? hehe My love to you and your family. XOXO

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  46. Gee you have a popular blog! I had to scroll like forever to get to this comment form!
    Love our innovative macarons! Beautiful!

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    1. Thanks for your visit and your nice comment. Hope to see you again.

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  47. I did macarons but i'm so upset, the macarons burnt become dried on the surface layer and sink. I dunno where goes wrong..

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    1. Success rate in making macs is very low. You are not alone. But, don't give up and you will get it one day. Did you aged the egg whites for more than 48 hours?

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  48. hi there,

    i shud hav found your blog site earlier :)
    lov to cook & try out stuff...but i've always steered clear from macarons knowin tat is really "sensitive & temperamental" hahaha...
    but ur recipe seems pretty straight foward...

    may i jus know wat do you actually mean by "aging the egg whites for 48 hours"?

    thanks

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