Thursday, April 13, 2017

Overnight Oats: Will if Waffle?

I waffle all my leftovers.  Ok, not quite all, but, most.  As you can see from my master post.  I'm skipping all the waffling background here, since I've covered it many times by now.  But if this idea is novel to you, go start with my earlier posts.
A crazy experiment.
This may be one of the more ridiculous attempts at waffling that I have made.  The base was overnight oats (aka, mushy cold oatmeal), with, uh, rainbow sprinkles added.  More on that soon.  I was experimenting, and I knew it.

It worked better than I expected, although, I wouldn't do this again.
The Original: Overnight Oats.
The original was overnight oats, made with almond milk, strawberry, and lemon zest.  I liked the oats the first day I had them, but by day two, they were a bit too soggy, and, honestly, boring.

So I added rainbow sprinkles for fun, sweetness, and texture.  But, the result still just wasn't great.  I ate most of the bowl, but, I reached a point of just not wanting any more.

I was about to simply throw them out, but the anti-food-waster in me got the better of me.  When in doubt ... waffle it?

My expectation was that any of three things could happen: 1) it wouldn't bind together, it would be a horrible mess, and I'd just throw it out, 2) it would make a hearty, oatmeal-y waffle, and that might be different at least, 3) it would turn more into an oatmeal cookie, which is something I had been wanting to try for a while anyway.  I had no idea which it would be.
Cooking Up Nicely!
So, into the waffle iron the "batter" went.  It actually was more waffle-batter like than most things I waffle, thick, and spread in easily.  I set the waffle iron to 350°, walked away to make more coffee, and laughed at myself.

When I returned to check on it, I was a bit surprised.  It was holding together perfectly.  It, uh, looked like a waffle?  Huh.
Waffled Oats!
It crisped up perfectly on the outside.  It extracted from the waffle iron with no problems.  Huh.  This was going better than I expected.

The inside however was still basically mush.  So, warm oatmeal mush inside a crispy exterior.  Kinda interesting, but, not particularly good.  I added butter and syrup, and ate it like a traditional waffle, and if it was certainly better than just the cold soggy leftover oats, but I didn't exactly like it.

I left a tiny chunk to cool, thinking of it more like a "cookie".  When I returned to it later, I was pleasantly surprised.  It wasn't a cookie exactly, but, it was much better cold, as the oatmeal inside got more solid, and formed more of a soft cookie than warm mushy oatmeal.  Again, not great, but better than expected.

So did it waffle?  Yes, but, I see no reason to actually do this.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Macarons from Tout Sweet Pâtisserie

Update Review April 2017

I've reviewed Tout Sweet, a local patisserie, many times before.  I've found some good desserts, and a really good cookie, but was never impressed with the baked goods or the macarons.  Not that I like macarons in general, but, I really never liked these ones.

So, why the update review?  I was at an event, they had macarons from Tout Sweet, so, I gave them another try.  And discovered one that wasn't so bad ...
Tahitian Vanilla Bean.
"We make this popular macaron by using six different vanilla beans to create the perfect chewy filling. "

The first one I grabbed was the plain white vanilla.  Vanilla filling, vanilla cookie.

I didn't like it at all.  The cookie was too chewy, not light and airy.  The filling was a thick ganache, kinda waxy, and although vanilla flavored, it sorta tasted like white chocolate, if you know what I mean.  Did not like.
Peanut Butter & Jelly.
"We had some die hard fans of this macaron who rioted when we took it out of rotation so we have now made it a staple at Tout Sweet! We roast our own Valencia Peanut Butter and fold it into a sweet Italian butter cream with a hint of sea salt. In the center is a surprise of sweet raspberry confit. Crunchy on the outside, it’s a favorite for sure!"

On my way out, I grabbed another, just to try ...

It fared much better.  I also had no idea what kind it was until I bit in, but once I did, it was very clear. PB & J.  Oh yes.  

The filling was peanuty.  So clearly peanuty.  I'm a sucker for peanut butter, so, I was sold, instantly.  The cookie had a bit of berry flavor, although that element wasn't nearly as strong.  The cookie was kinda crispy, not what I'd expect from a macaron, but, I liked it more than the chewy cookie in the vanilla one.  Still a macaron, but, for a macaron, it was one I liked.

Original Reviews, September 2012

The local food media has been abuzz lately, leading up to the opening of Tout Sweet.  It is the Pâtisserie by Yigit Pura, located inside of Macy's near Union Square.  He was the winner of Top Chef Just Desserts, and even though I didn't watch the show, I'm a dessert lover, and everyone seemed so excited about this, that I had to check it out.

I went to the grand opening, and Yigit was there to greet everyone.  He took the time to meet every single person, ask their name, and if they wanted, have their photo taken with him.  He was clearly on the top of the world, as he's been working on this project for a while.  As I wasn't familiar with him,  I wasn't swooning over him like most of the other people at the event, but he was pretty adorable, and his enthusiasm and excitement were infectious.

The shop had tons of amazing looking pastries and cakes, along with pantry items like flavored marshmallows (the next cupcake, I'm telling you!) and sauces.  The space is beautiful, sleek and modern, overlooking Union Square, with what seemed like not nearly enough seating.

I only tried the macarons, and ... I really wasn't impressed.  They weren't bad, but certainly were not better than average.  I hope to go back sometime and try some of the other treats, as I assume they must be good!
Frankie (?), Chloe, Melissa, Rebecca (clockwise, from back). $1.85 each.
  • Frankie: Bing cherry and bourbon buttercream: I didn't really taste any cherry, nor bourbon.  The buttercream was very ... buttercreamy, and there was a lot of it.  I've never have so much buttercream inside a macaron before, making it seem like a strange cross between a cupcake and a macaron.  I love buttercream frosting, but it really just overtook the delicate balance of the macaron.  The cookie part was a good consistency.  But overall, I was not a big fan, as I still couldn't tell what flavor it was.  Least favorite.
  • Chloe: Pasila chili infused dark chocolate ganache:  I didn't really get much spice in this, but I did like the chocolate ganache inside, it was very smooth and had a nice deep chocolate flavor.  It worked much better than the overwhelming buttercream.  Second favorite.
  • Melissa: French lavender buttercream: Unlike the first purplish macaron, there was no problem determining what this one was!  Intensely lavender flavored, beautifully floral, yet somehow, it did not seem like I was eating soap.  Very sweet, and would have gone great with a cup of tea.  There was again a lot more of the buttercream filling than I'd expect, but since that is where the amazing flavor was, it worked better in this one.  The buttercream was very fluffy and light.  Really a nice macaron, my favorite of the bunch.
  • Rebecca: Salted Caramel: And then ... back to another one with a fairly indistinguishable flavor.  I was excited for this one, since salted caramel, although such a fad, can be so good.  The cookie was just sweet, and the filling had a slight caramel flavor, but I didn't get any salt, and the caramel certainly wasn't very pronounced.  Second to last pick.
Jack-O-Lantern Macaron.  $1.85.
On another visit, I decided to try out the seasonal special, the Jack-O-Lantern, filled with caramel apple buttercream.  Like the others, the cookie part didn't really impress me.  The filling indeed tasted like a caramel apple, it was very sweet.
Plain Macaron.  $1.85.
Plain Macaron.  $1.85.
Both of these macarons had a beautiful shimmer to them.  It is hard to see in the photos however, but they were really shiny, I have no idea how they created that effect!

The macarons didn't really live up to their gorgeous exteriors.  The filling was plain, very sweet, buttercream, and like their other macarons I have tried with this filling, it just seemed out of place, and more belonging on a cupcake.  There was again seemingly too much of it as well.  It was really fluffy and good buttercream though!

The cookie part of each was again a disappointment.  They just didn't have the distinctive awesome texture that a macaron should have.  And no real flavor.  Meh, meh, meh.
El Unicorn Macarons!
For pride weekend, Tout Sweet gave out free macaroons, a special new flavor, the "El Unicorn" :)  It had a pearl jasmine white chocolate ganache filling.  Like all of their macarons, I just didn't like it.  The cookie was too dense, and the filling didn't taste like white chocolate at all.  It did have a really lovely subtle jasmine flavor however.  But, I give up on the macaroons.
Assorted Macarons: Salted Caramel, Tahitian Vanilla Bean, Sicilian Pisachio, Chocolate, Lemon-Yuz, Sour Cherry & Bourbon.
At an event I recently attended, they had a tray of Tout Sweet macarons.  Even though I haven't been a huge fan of the macarons from Tout Sweet, or really, of macarons in general, I still had to give a few a try.  I selected the green and pink ones, not knowing the flavors.

I assumed the green was pistachio, but it didn't taste pistachio at all to me.  It seemed to have sesame seeds on the outside?  Ojan thought it tasted floral.  Still, looking online at the guide, it seems it must have been pistachio, I'm really not sure why neither of us could figure it out.

The pink one surprised me.  Since I wasn't expecting sour cherry, the tartness of the filling was a real shock.  I thought it would be something light like rose!  The filling was quite intensely flavored, and it wasn't a cream filling, rather, it was more like a gel or jam.  I didn't care for the flavor, but I think that if you like sour cherry, this was really a unique one.  I'm sure Ojan's dad would love this.  I did however really like the cookie part!  It was crispy and light, and sprinkled with sugar which added an extra crunch.  I probably liked this cookie part more than any other Tout Sweet macaron!
Tout Sweet Patisserie Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato