Delectable Arts

appreciating the tastier things in life


Silicone Baking Mats FTW!

I bought my first silicone baking mat a while ago, and I LOVE IT!

Initially, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to “invest” in one, but now I have no regrets whatsoever. (As a matter of fact, I’ve purchased a second one since then.) Thus far, I’ve only tried baking french macarons with my fancy-dancy silicone baking mat. I find that the mat really evens out the distribution of the heat in the oven such that each macaron turns out consistently, and you don’t get the lopsided macarons that sometimes occurs when you use parchment paper. However, I do find that I need to leave the macarons in the oven for a few minutes longer, which isn’t a big problem as long as they come out looking perfect. So, here’s my breakdown of the pros and cons of baking with a silicone baking mat:


  • Even distribution of heat which allows for consistency.
  • They’re reusable, which means they’re eco-friendly.


  • The baking mats can be quite pricey depending on where you buy them from. I recommend checking on eBay – some silicone baking mats that I’ve seen on eBay even have circular imprints on them so you know how much batter to pipe.
  • You need to leave your baking in the oven for a few minutes longer, but that’s really not a huge setback.

Have you tried using a silicone baking mat? What did you think of it?


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Macaron Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Hollows

As I continue to master the macaron, something strange (and terribly annoying) started happening – I started getting hollow macarons! <Insert sad face here>

I don’t know what exactly changed. It could be that the weather fluctuates so much in my city which causes rapid changes in humidity (which affects baking, or so I’m told). When I first started baking french macarons, they were just right. My macarons were full and chewy on the inside, and crisp on the outside.

But then, one day, I started getting hollow macarons. The large pocket of air inside each macaron made my macarons very fragile. My poor hollow macarons lacked the full, chewy goodness that macarons are supposed to have.

I researched this problem and found out that I’m apparently not the only person who has encountered this annoying issue. Many bloggers have documented this issue and have found their own ways of troubleshooting it. I’ve tried some of their troubleshooting tips, and after four attempts, found a way to deal with the hollow macaron fiasco that was occurring in my kitchen.

Here are the things that I started doing differently:

  • Use a stainless steel bowl to whisk the egg whites and sugar, instead of using a plastic bowl. Plastic bowls are porous, thus they don’t allow the meringue to reach its full volume.
  • Add just a pinch of cream of tartar to the egg whites before whisking. This will stabilize the meringue.
  • Cut down on the whisking time. Instead of whisking the egg whites and sugar for a total of 5 minutes, I cut the time down to 3 minutes, thus whisking in less air into the meringue.
  • Lower the oven temperature to 275°F and bake the macarons for an extra 2 minutes. If the macarons become too hot too quickly, the top will puff up quickly, but the bottom part doesn’t rise to produce the perfect feet that you want.

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Honey Garlic Chicken Wings (Oh, for the love of chicken! Part II)

As soon as I hear any mention of chicken wings, my first reaction is always, “WHERE!?” I probably eat chicken wings way more often than I should, but life is short so do what makes you happy. That said, how about more eating and less talking?

Here’s my recipe for honey garlic chicken wings.

honey garlic wings

honey garlic wings


  • 12 chicken wings
  • 1/3 tsp salt
  • 1/3 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp of white wine
  • a few drops of sesame oil
  • a pinch of pepper
  • 3/4 tsp of minced or puréed garlic
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp honey


  1. Take the first six ingredients (in green text above), mix them well in a medium bowl, and marinate overnight.
  2. Lightly grease a large wok and cook the wings on medium-high heat until golden brown. (About 10 to 12 minutes.) Stir often.
  3. Add garlic and stir well.
  4. Add soy sauce and stir well.
  5. Cover wok with a lid, leaving the wok open just a crack. Turn heat down to medium-low and allow the wings to cook for 5 minutes, stirring in between.
  6. Add honey, stir, and cover again for 5 minutes.


Serve with the remaining sauce drizzled on top of the wings.

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Pineapple Coconut Macarons

Whoever originally came up with the pineapple-coconut pairing is a freakin’ genius. I’m usually not a huge fan of coconut, but I love coconut when it’s paired with pineapple or banana. 

This time, I decided to try making tiny one-bite macarons. With this recipe, you can make lots of tiny macarons so you’ll need three large baking sheets. I piped very small rounds of macaron batter that are about the size of a quarter. They’re so cute when they’re tiny! They’re also less messy to eat too.

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Macaron shells

  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 3/4 cup ground almonds
  • 4 tsp shredded coconut
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 3 1/2 tbsp granulated sugar


  • 2 1/2 tsp crushed canned pineapple (drained)
  • 2 tsp finely shredded coconut
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3/4 icing sugar


Macaron shells

  1. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a food processor, process ground almonds, shredded coconut, and icing sugar for about a minute. Scrape along the inside of the food processor in between to ensure that there aren’t any large clumps and that the ingredients are mixed well.
  3. In a medium bowl, sift the almond mixture.
  4. In a small bowl (be sure to use a bowl that’s not too shallow), whisk the egg whites with a handmixer on medium-low speed for about a minute until light and fluffy.
  5. Increase the speed to medium-high and continue to whisk the egg whites until medium-stiff for about 2 minutes. (If you turn the bowl upside-down, the egg whites don’t slide out.)
  6. Gradually add granulated sugar to the egg whites while continuing to whisk on medium-high speed for another 2 minutes to achieve medium-stiff peaks.
  7. Gradually fold the egg mixture into the almond mixture, adding only about 1/3 of the egg mixture at a time.
  8. Transfer the batter into a piping bag. (Or if you’re frugal like me, you can use a medium sandwich bag instead and just cut a tiny corner of the bag to pipe.)
  9. Pipe batter onto baking sheets. (If you’re making bite-sized macarons, pipe very small rounds that are about the size of a quarter and at least 1/2 inch apart.
  10. Preheat oven to 325°F. Let the batter sit at room temperature for about 15 to 20 minutes.
  11. Turn the oven down to 300°F and put the baking sheets into the oven for 7 minutes.
  12. Rotate the baking sheets and bake for 8 minutes.
  13. Remove the baking sheets from the oven and allow the macaron shells to cool.


  1. In a small bowl, cream the icing sugar and butter. (I use a single whisk attachment on my handmixer and whisk on low speed.)
  2. Whisk in shredded coconut.
  3. Whisk in crushed pineapple.

Fill your macarons, and you’re done!


Baking French Macarons: Is it necessary to age the egg whites? (Macaron Wars: Episode I – The Aged Egg Whites)

As I continue my quest to become a macaron master, I came across many recipes that instruct you to age the egg whites prior to whisking them. What that means is you separate the yolks from the whites, put the whites back into the fridge (covered or uncovered), and then leave them for at least 24 hours. Then, you take the egg whites out and let them sit on the kitchen counter until they reach room temperature before you use them. They say that this process of aging the egg whites is to ensure that your macaron shells develop “feet” when you bake them. Macaron feet are the risen part of the macaron, as shown below.

macaron feet

macaron feet

I’ve tried this process of aging the egg whites, and it did not work out for me at all. It could be due to a number of factors, such as the temperature in my fridge, the oven I’m using, or the way I whisk the eggs. Whatever the reason might be, when I tried aging the egg whites, my macaron shells ended up looking like this:

epic fail

epic fail

MONSTROUS FEET! ZOMGS! I give myself an E for Effort (or E for Epic fail).

Yeah, that’s not the look I’m going for…

Maybe the egg white aging process works for some people, but I ended up with hideous-looking macaron feet. On the other hand, my macarons look just fine when I simply take the eggs out of the fridge, separate the yolks from the whites, and use the whites immediately.

Have you tried aging your egg whites? How did your macarons turn out?

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My new obsession with french macarons

I can’t help, but ♥ french macarons. Just a dab of frosting sandwiched between two meringue cookies; these tasty little treats are so cute, delicious, and simply irresistible.

In my quest to making the perfect macarons, I learned very quickly that they aren’t easy to master.. Like most things in life. 😉

The first time I tried to make macarons, they turned out so badly they almost destroyed all the confidence that I’ve ever had in my baking skills. They were just one big bubbly, gooey mess. It was really sad.. In retrospect, I probably should’ve looked at more macaron recipes first, instead of using the very first recipe that I could find. The problem is that you need very clear instructions, and a lot of recipes don’t give you that.

As I casually browsed for “french macarons” on YouTube one day, I stumbled upon a very helpful video by lovelyladycakes. Her How to make French Macarons video is really easy to follow. I appreciate her enthusiasm and how she genuinely seems like a happy person – who doesn’t like happy people? I’ve been using her recipe as the base recipe for other flavored macarons that I’m currently experimenting with, and I’m finding that the base recipe is working out very successfully.

Here are some things that I’ve learned so far in macaron baking that you might also find helpful:

  • I was really lazy and tried to skip out on sifting the ground almonds and icing sugar. The result is a batch of macarons with bumpy surfaces. If you want the tops of the macarons to be smooth (as they should be), then pour the almonds and sugar into a food processor and process for about a minute, and then sift the mixture. Otherwise, your macarons will look like this:
bumpy surface :(

bumpy surface… fail 😦

  • When whisking the egg whites and fine sugar, you absolutely must whisk until stiff peaks form. Otherwise, your batter will be runny and your macarons won’t rise. I don’t have a fancy standing mixer so I just make do with my cheap handmixer. Whisk the egg whites on medium-low speed for about a minute, then turn the speed up to medium-high to whisk for 2 minutes. The egg whites should look fluffy and smooth by now. Gradually add fine sugar to the egg whites while whisking for another 2 minutes. Stiff peaks should be achieved at this point. However, if you find that the peaks aren’t quite stiff, then whisk for an extra minute on medium-high.
stiff peaks

stiff peaks

  • Piping the macaron batter takes some practice. Be patient! Try to pipe small rounds that are just about 1 inch wide and at least 1/2 inch apart. You don’t want them to stick to each other.
matcha (green tea) macarons

matcha (green tea) macarons

Take your time to perfect the base recipe. Don’t expect to get it right the first time, but definitely don’t give up because once you get it right, you’re going to feel like a million bucks. So, go! Get lots of practice until you’re comfortable enough to start making different flavors.

I’ll be sharing some macaron recipes in upcoming blog posts. Stay tuned!

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Lemon pepper chicken (Oh, for the love of chicken! Part I)

I often avoid using things such as oil and butter when I cook. The good thing about chicken is that a lot of its natural oils come out when you start cooking it – especially when you’re cooking chicken thighs or wings.

I’ve been cooking chicken a lot lately. I find that it’s really hard to mess up chicken dishes even when you put in very little effort.

I was feeling lazy one evening and created this easy recipe below.

Lemon pepper chicken

(serves 2)


  • 6 chicken drumsticks
  • 2 tbsp of lemon juice
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • a bit of parsley (optional)


  1. Debone the chicken drumsticks and cut the chicken into strips.
  2. Marinate the chicken with salt, pepper, thyme and basil for about 30 minutes.
  3. On medium to medium-high heat, grill the chicken with lemon juice in a skillet for about 10 to 12 minutes. Keep stirring the chicken so it doesn’t burn.
  4. (Optional) Garnish with a bit of parsley.

I tried this recipe with chicken wings and it was really good too.

TIP: If you plan on using the oilier parts of chicken, such as thighs or wings, I highly recommend using a deep skillet so that you won’t get a lot of oil splattered on you.

And that’s all. 🙂