Visit to Christmas market.


My winter must haves.

When winter comes, there are certain things that you should have (or what I think I should).Therefore, I'm sharing you my winter must haves. These stuffs are always with/on me. They're very handy during the cold days.

1. Scarf 
Scarves are pretty good in keeping you warm. I personally love infinity scarf. 
They're easy to put on and I don't have to worry about the dangling cloth 
that a normal scarf have (you know what I mean?). 
The scarf pictured above is from Aldo accessories.
2. Hand cream
Hand creams are a must because winter is also the season for dry hands. I am currently in love with Glysomed's cream. 
I totally recommend it to anyone who wants to keep their hands soft. I believe they also offer an unscented one. 
I got this cream from Shoppers Drug Mart (if you live in Canada) or maybe you can find it in any drugstore. 
3. Hat
I love wearing hat. They're comfy, they keep you warm, and it can also be used as a
hair accessory. I got my hat from Aldo accessories.
4. Sunglasses
You never know when the sunshine will hit you. So, a handy sunglasses is a must. 
You will still want to protect your eyes from the sun even it's winter, right? 
I got my sunglasses from Aldo accessories, again. 
5. Wallet
Well, I guess you should always have your wallet with you. No matter what the season is. 
It's always in my bag. I got mine from Kate Spade.
6 & 8. Lip balms
 Cold weather makes everyone's lips chapped and dry. So it makes sense to bring lip balms with you 
all the time. My current favourites are Elizabeth Arden's, and EOS lip balm. 
7. Lippies
Add a little colour to your face using lippies. L'Oreal has a lot of colours to choose from. 
I like their lippies cause they're very easy to apply. You don't even need a mirror.
9. Gloves
Yes my friends. You need to keep your hands warm. The one pictured above is from Juicy Couture and 
I believe it was a present. They're very handy (pun not intended) and 
you don't have to remove it when your phone bleeps.
10. Phone
Again, you should always have your phone with you (I think). 
In this century, most people have one. And you all know what a phone is used for. :)

I guess that's the must haves according to moi

All the lip balms I own. 
I believe there's more but I couldn't find all of it. 
They're literally everywhere, in my coats, bags, and nowhere to be found.
(Maybelline's Baby Lips, EOS, Nivea, and the Body Shop)

Hand creams I own.
(The Body Shop, Glysomed, EOS, and Bath & Body Works)
Hope you liked this post.
So let me know:
What are your must haves?



Downtown Christmas decoration.

As the song goes, "it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas."
I admire all the Christmas window decorations, Christmas lights, Christmas trees (especially a humongous one), 
shiny stars, and everything that reminds you that it's Christmas time (maybe snow as well). 

The last photo that I shared with you was my favourite window decor. 
Three people singing Christmas carol, a woman looking at all the desserts on display (that could be me), 
a man trying to fix the tree (?), and a couple dancing in the room. 
Definitely looks like Christmas to me.

Are you enjoying the festive streets and decors? Cause I sure am!



Cafe au lait macaron

Buying macarons from popular French patisserie takes a lot of money out of your pocket. 
I know this because I do fancy a good packaging and tons of different exotic and new flavours.
Baking macarons on the other hand takes a lot of practice, time, and patience.
This is my fourth attempt in baking maca-rohn. 
The first time I did it, my macarons were burnt a little and they were very crispy. 
The second time, they were still burnt. 
Third time, I gave the Italian method a try but as a result, I got macarons with no feet. 
Fourth time… I’m happy to announce that they turned out pretty well (not perfect yet).

So allow me to share you the process of baking these coffee macarons. 
And I'll try my best to give all the tips I can give.
(pardon the inconsistent lighting in my photos) 

Coffee macaron shells:
3 egg whites at room temperature
¼ cups of sugar
2 cups of powdered sugar
1 cup of almond flour
1 tablespoon of powdered coffee  

After preparing all the ingredients, you mix the three dried ingredients in a bowl and these are the icing sugar, almond flour and powdered coffee.

Tip #1: Sift all the ingredients to avoid lumpy shells. 

You want to have a smooth surface on your macarons. 
Just discard all the leftovers and snack on it later if you want (just like what I did).

Now, lets get to the meringue. You have to make sure that your egg whites are at room temperature. This will make your meringue more stable and easy to handle. 
If you forgot to let your eggs stand in room temperature (which happens all the time to me), I present you tip #2.

Tip #2: Soak your eggs in warm water for five minutes. 

Whip your egg whites in a large bowl and slowly add in you granulated sugar. It's ideal to use a stand mixer or hand mixer because it will take a lot of time when you do it by hand. In my fourth attempt, I decided to use my hand mixer because it gives me more control in whipping my meringue. 
You are looking for a shiny and glossy look. You know you're done whipping when you get soft peaks like the one pictured below.

The next step is the critical part. The macaronage. This is where everything can happen. If you fail to do this properly, all your hard work will go to waste (not really, cause I remember eating all my failed macarons and they taste just as good)

You add the dried sifted ingredients into the meringue. Then you slowly mix it until everything is well incorporated (easy, huh?). The problem is, when you undermixed your batter, your macarons will not be smooth (even though you sifted it). It will not form a perfectly smooth surface on top because the batter is still lumpy. But if you overmixed your batter, your macarons won't have any feet (and tiny feet marks the true macaron). Your macarons will also crack which will be terrible. 

Tip #3: Use the ribbon test

What you're looking for is a batter the falls smoothly from your spatula like a ribbon. And I always apply this ribbon test because some recipes give you how many times they mix it and I always lose track counting. And some people also calls it a "molten lava" texture/consistency. But I am not 100% sure of what molten lava looks like and it's texture.
The photo on the right is undermixed. While on the left, you can see (hopefully) that the batter falls from the spatula easily. Like a ribbon. When you reach this consistency. You're ready to pipe!

Tip #4: Use parchment paper (not wax paper) or a silpat
I actually used the Wilton tip 12 to pipe the batter. But if you don't have one, you can just simply place the batter in a ziplock and snip the edge and voila! You have a piping bag. 

Tip #5: Tap your tray a few times and let your macarons stand for 20 minutes.

Some people don't let their macarons stand, but in my experience drying it is important because it gives your macarons a skin-like surface. And this prevents your macaron from spreading out. Therefore, instead of spreading out, they rise up and produce little feet. Also, you tap your tray just to let the air bubbles pop. 
While your piped macarons are resting, you can now preheat your oven to 280°F or 138°C. I can assure you that the temperature of every oven varies. Usually, macarons are baked in 325°F and after practicing over and over, I learned that my oven is slightly hotter so I turned my heat down. 

When your oven reached it's temperature and your macarons are well-rested. You can now pop it into the oven and hope for the best. Bake it for 18-20 minutes.

Tip #6: Don't be tempted to open your oven and check the macarons.

Give your macarons their time alone in the oven. They're very finicky and you don't want to disturb them while they're being baked.
When the time is up. Let your macarons cool in the tray and transfer them in a cooling rack. When you take the macarons off of the parchment paper/silpat and they come out clean? Then you know that they're baked perfectly. 

Coffee ganache filling:
1 cup of chocolate chips
1 tablespoon of powdered coffee
½ cup of heavy whipping cream

Put the whipping cream in a saucepan and heat it (you don't have to boil it). Place the chocolate chips in a bowl and pour whipping cream. Mix thoroughly to melt all the chocolate chips. Add powdered coffee and continue mixing. Pop it in the fridge and let it cool. 
You want the ganache to harden a little bit but make sure that it is still spreadable. 

When everything's set. Pair your macaron shells and pipe your ganache filling. 
It's ideal to put your macarons in the fridge overnight before consuming. Placing it in the fridge enhances the flavour of the macaron because the filling will soften the shell a little bit and it will give you a chewy texture. If you're serving it, make sure that you let it stand in room temperature for 20 minutes.

Enjoy your macaron made with love and hardwork!
And if you did not get it right, don't worry.
As the saying goes, practice makes perfect! (mine's not even perfect yet)


Let me know if you're giving this a shot in the comments below!
If you tried baking these, I'm happy to see your photo! So tag me. 


If you hate reading all that, here’s a precise one! You’re welcome.
Coffee macaron shells:
3 egg whites at room temperature
¼ cups of sugar
2 cups of powdered sugar
1 cup of almond flour
1 tablespoon of powdered coffee  

1. Sift together the almond flour, icing sugar and powdered sugar in a bowl.
2. Whip the egg whites and slowly add the granulated sugar. Continue whipping until soft peaks form.
3. Add the dried ingredients into the meringue and mix thoroughly. 
To reach the right consistency, perform the ribbon test.
4. Pipe out the macarons in a prepared pan with parchment paper or with silpat.
5. Tap the tray and let stand for 20 minutes.
6. Preheat oven to 280°F.
7. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Let it cool in the pan and transfer in a cooling rack.
8. Pipe your preferred filling.

Coffee ganache filling:
1 cup of chocolate chips
1 tablespoon of powdered coffee
½ cup of heavy whipping cream (or just whipping cream)

1. Place whipping cream into a small saucepan and heat it.
2. Place the chocolate chips in a bowl.
3. Pour the whipping cream into the bowl and mix. Add powdered coffee and continue mixing until everything is incorporated.
4. Let cool and place in the fridge