It's possible to trade profitably on the Forex, the nearly $2 trillion worldwide currency exchange market. But the odds are against you, even more so if you don't prepare and plan your trades. According to a 2014 Bloomberg report, several analyses of retail Forex trading, including one by the National Futures Association (NFA), the industry's regulatory body, concluded that more than two out of three Forex traders lose money. This suggests that self-education and caution are recommended. Here are some approaches that may improve your odds of taking a profit. Prepare Before You Begin Trading Because the Forex market is highly leveraged -- as much as 50 to 1 -- it can have the same appeal as buying a lottery ticket: some small chance of making a killing. This, however, isn't trading; it's gambling, with the odds long against you. A better way of entering the Forex market is to carefully prepare. Beginning with a practice account is helpful and risk-free. While you're trading in your practice account, read the most frequently recommended Forex trading books, among them Currency Forecasting: A Guide to Fundamental and Technical Models of Exchange Rate Determination, by Michael R. Rosenberg is short, not too sweet and highly admired introduction to the Forex market. Forex Strategies: Best Forex Strategies for High Profits and Reduced Risk, by Matthew Maybury is an excellent introduction to Forex trading. The Little Book of Currency Trading: How to Make Big Profits in the World of Forex, by Kathy Lien is another concise introduction that has stood the test of time. All three are available on Amazon. Rosenberg's book, unfortunately, is pricey, but it's widely available in public libraries. "Trading in the Zone: Master the Market with Confidence, Discipline and a Winning Attitude," by Mark Douglas is another good book that's available on Amazon, and, again, somewhat pricey, although the Kindle edition is not. Use the information gained from your reading to plan your trades before plunging in. The more you change your plan, the more you end up in trouble and the less likely that elusive forex profit will end up in your pocket. Diversify and Limit Your Risks Two strategies that belong in every trader's arsenal are: Diversification: Traders who execute many small traders, particularly in different markets where the correlation between markets is low, have a better chance of making a profit. Putting all your money in one big trade is always a bad idea. Familiarize yourself with ways guaranteeing a profit on an already profitable order, such as a trailing stop, and of limiting losses using stop and limit orders. These strategies and more are covered in the recommended books. Novice traders often make the mistake of concentrating on how to win; it's even more important to understand how to limit your losses. Be Patient Forex traders, particularly beginners, are prone to getting nervous if a trade does not go their way immediately, or if the trade goes into a little profit they get itchy to pull the plug and walk away with a small profit that could have been a significant profit with little downside risk using appropriate risk reduction strategies. In "On Any Given Sunday," Al Pacino reminds us that "football is a game of inches." That's a winning attitude in the Forex market as well. Remember that you are going to win some trades and lose others. Take satisfaction in the accumulation of a few more wins than losses. Over time, that could make you rich!

MINT CHOCOLATE CHIP VEGAN MACARONS

For today’s recipe, I decided to make Mint Chocolate Chip Vegan Macarons because that was by far the most requested flavor. Everyone loves a lil’ mint chip even if they don’t want to admit it.


This time round, I flavored my vegan macaron shells with Mint Extract and filled them with a Mint Chocolate Chip Buttercream and Mint Chocolate Ganache center. I love adding little surprise centers in Macarons because it adds dimension just brings the macaron to a whole new level. No boring macarons here.

On to what they taste like: As you bite in, you will encounter a crisp, sweet and slightly minty vegan macaron shell. Your eyes will widen with pleasure. You will want more. Soon enough, you will find a deep, dark, handsome river of mint chocolate ganache oozing into your mouth, seducing your tongue with its pulsating richness. You will climax. Relief then flows through your veins, and you are comforted by a blanket of sweet, sweet Mint Buttercream.

MINT CHOCOLATE CHIP VEGAN MACARONS RECIPE
Mint Chocolate Chip Vegan Macarons using Aquafaba (Chickpea Brine). Sweet, Minty, full of Chocolate and 100% delicious.



Ingredients
Macaron Shells:
  • 250 grams Aquafaba
  • 1/8 teaspoon Cream of Tartar
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 150 grams Ground Almonds
  • 130 gram Pure Icing Sugar*
  • 110 grams Superfine/Caster Sugar
  • A drop of Green Food Coloring
  • A few drops of Organic Mint Extract
  • Cocoa, for dusting
Mint Chocolate Chip Buttercream:
  • 135 grams Vegan Butter Substitute
  • 55 grams Icing Sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon Non Dairy Milk
  • A few drops of Organic Mint Extract
  • 30 grams Vegan Dark Chocolate, grated
Mint Chocolate Ganache:
  • 50 grams Vegan Dark Chocolate
  • 40 grams Non Dairy Milk (I used Soy)
  • Few drops Organic Mint Extract
  • Tiny pinch of Salt
Extras:
  • Piping Bags with a Round Tip attached
  • Silpat Mats or Silicone Baking Paper
  • Baking Trays
  • Spray Bottle filled with Water
Instructions
  1. The night before you want to make your Macarons, prepare your Aquafaba. In a small saucepan, bring 250 grams of Aquafaba to a simmer. Let this simmer away until it has reduced to 110 grams of Aquafaba. (I pour it out and weigh it on a kitchen scale a few times in-between to check).
  2. Once it has reached 110 grams, pour it into a bowl to cool and then refrigerate overnight.
  3. Macaron Shells: Process Ground Almonds and Icing Sugar in a food processor and then sieve into a bowl, making sure there are no lumps in your mixture. Set aside.
  4. With a stand mixer fitted with a clean bowl and with clean beaters, whisk Aquafaba, cream of tartar and salt on high till it turns foamy and resembles frothed up egg whites. Make sure there is no more liquid left at the bottom of the bowl before moving on to the next step.
  5. Gradually add caster sugar in, bit by bit, whilst your mixer is turned on. Add your food coloring and Mint Extract in and then continue whisking on high for another minute. You should end up with a thick, glossy meringue.
  6. Tip in half of your almond/icing sugar mixture into the meringue, and fold gently with spatula until it has incorporated with the meringue. Add the second half of your almond/icing sugar mixture, and continue to fold it into the batter. You don't have to be too gentle with this, but you don't want to go crazy either.
  7. Once your mixture has been incorporated, continue folding until you end up with a mixture that resembles thick lava. Do not over-mix or your batter will be too runny and you will end up with macaron UFOs. You will know that you have reached the right consistency when you dollop a tablespoon of batter onto a flat surface and it gradually smoothens out into a nice round shape, without any "nipples" forming on top.
  8. Fill a piping bag fitted with a round nozzle with macaron mixture and pipe into 2 inch rounds on a Silpat or Silicone Baking Paper lined mat. This recipe makes enough to make 50 individual macaron shells, so you may need to have 3 or 4 trays ready.
  9. Once piped, slam the tray down on your kitchen counter to eliminate any air bubbles in your piped macaron mixture. Dust some cocoa on the shells. Leave your trays to rest in a cool area for 2-3 hours. They are ready to bake when they have turned matt and you are able to gently touch the surface of the shells without anything sticking to your finger.
  10. Preheat oven to 135 degrees Celsius*. Bake each tray of macarons individually for 22-25 minutes, without opening the oven door inbetween. Smaller macarons or ovens may take slightly more or less than 25 minutes. It's all about trial and error.
  11. Remove tray from oven and leave to cool thoroughly before peeling macaron shells off from Silpat/Silicone paper.
  12. Repeat baking process with remaining trays of macarons.
  13. Filling: In a stand mixer, whisk Vegan Butter with Icing Sugar, non dairy Milk, Mint Extract and food coloring. Add in grated chocolate. Whisk till fluffy and then transfer to a piping bag fitted with a round nozzle.
  14. Mint Chocolate Ganache: In a small pot, heat Non Dairy Milk till it comes to a simmer. Pour over your Dark Chocolate and then add in Salt and Mint Extract. Stir until you have a smooth, glossy ganache. Leave in the fridge to thicken, stirring once in a while until ready to use.
  15. Assembly: Once you have gently peeled off all your macarons from your Silpat/Silicone Paper, place them on a kitchen counter with the bottom side up (rounded side down). Using your spray bottle, lightly mist the bottoms of the macarons with water and leave for 5 minutes before filling.
  16. To fill, pipe a ring of buttercream around the base of a macaron and place some Mint Chocolate Ganache in the empty circle inside your buttercream. Sandwich with another macaron shell and repeat the process till all your shells have been sandwiched.
  17. Place macarons into a box and leave in the fridge overnight, or ideally for 2 nights so that they have time to mature and form the right texture.
  18. Macarons are best served at room temperature or 10 minutes out of the refrigerator, not straight out from the fridge.

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