Wednesday, February 10, 2010

For The Love Of Macarons♥

I love macarons. About 12 years ago, I tried my hand at making them. I used a recipe that was touted as being from the Queen of French macarons, Lauderee. I painstakingly followed the recipe and they came out like pancakes, with no pied, or foot and a grainy taste. Making them was put on the back burner since there had to be some secret that wasn't spelled out in the article. Since I love them so, I wanted to try making them again and did some research. I bought a book just on macarons and then after reading reviews of it on Amazon, I decided not to use it. My journey took me to Tartlette's blog and I devoured her article "Demystifying Macarons." She gives a full tutorial, which I followed almost to a T. I say almost because she calls for grinding your own almonds and I had already bought almond flour/meal, so I used that. They came out perfectly! They have the required pied, height and a nice glossy crust. Since Valentines' Day is approaching, I made some of them in a heart shape and the rest I made round. I filled them with 2 different fillings. One is a simple dark chocolate raspberry ganache, and the other is a white chocolate raspberry ganache. Both are equally delicious. The heart shapes are charming and easy to make, with the right movement of the pastry bag. I have tasted many a macaron all over Paris throughout the years. Recently I couldn't resist popping in when I saw McDonalds had a McCafe within their fast food venue right in the heart of Paris. I had to try one of their chocolate macarons, just out of curiosity. It was OK...dense with no depth of flavor.... and if I didn't know of the rich and delicate taste of an expertly made macaron, I may have even liked it...well, sort of.A few months ago after a full course meal with dessert at a favorite restaurant in Paris, the waiter brought my friends and I a plate of sweet delicacies. Oh, la, la...meringues, financiers and macarons. We all somehow found room. I, of course, had the macaron....the chocolate one! Have I mentioned I love macarons?

I Love...therefore I am!

Tartlette (thank you!) has such a wonderful article with a tutorial on making the macarons, that I will link to that article here. Just look for the a small box that has a "Desserts" magazine cover to the right on the page underneath archives and click on it. It is in pdf format.

I weighed all of the ingredients, since measuring can yield different amounts each time. After making the macaron batter, to make the hearts,
start out making a small circle, lessen the pressure of squeezing the bag as you pull the bag down diagonally and toward the center. Repeat by making a mirror image just next to it, so they connect. Make them small, since they spread. I used a large #6 piping tip. They came out to be about 2 inches long. If you have the tail at the bottom of the heart go one way, you'll need one to go the other way to match up when they are paired together. I made the White Chocolate Raspberry Ganache from Tartlette's recipe, but used less raspberry jam. To make Dark Chocolate Raspberry, just substitute dark chocolate for the white chocolate, and again I used less jam. I think you'll love them! I will be announcing the winner of my giveaway of the Rose Cake Pan on Valentine's Day.....so if you haven't left a comment there to enter, you still have a few days.

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15 comments:

once in a blue moon... said...

i wanted to say your prettiest post ever, but thats a lie, they ALL are fantastic! but this is extra special! love love love is in the air, oolala i love you hearts!

Linda said...

These are gorgeous!
You should be most proud of yourself...the heart is spectacular!

La Table De Nana said...

Your posts are all lovely..And this one is no exception..when I saw the macaron and the note..I thought..:"Wow"..just so nicely done..Perfect..then I see the Ladurée paraphenalia etc..and I am swooning:)

You do everything well..Or should I say everything you touch turns out!!:)

Well done..

Linda said...

OMG diane...excellent!
i want to bake macarons... but am intimidated...i think that with this post & helen's tutorial i will give it a try!
laudree is such a great spot...
hope to go back to paris soon.

love your heart shaped macarons...little gems!

ButterYum said...

One word - Perfection!

:)
ButterYum

Ju (The Little Teochew) said...

Ever so stylish. You. Your food. Your photos. Your writing. :)

zurin said...

you tinted th e macaroons a beautiful shade of pink ever. I LOVE IT! n the heart shape is delightful...ive never seen a heart shaped macaroon b4.

in answer to ur question Diane ~ its ok if you dont have pandan leaves...theyre just for the fragrance.. vanilla extract would be perfect! U cld add it in when you do the creaming. If your cookie is large you should bake it a little longer so that it gets cooked through. Some of mine were nt baked long enough. :)

Barbara said...

Those are just about the prettiest things I have ever seen! And to think they are macarons too! Love your flavors and the way you have wrapped them up! Kudos!

Ry @ Sotto Il Monte Vineyards said...

As always, so very beautiful and inspiring Diane.

Lori (All That Splatters) said...

I've never seen a heart macaron before - you are so clever! So beautiful. Someday I would like to give these a try, but they intimidate me so....

Gorgeous post, Diane!

Cathy said...

Oh my, I love macarons and dream about the day I get back to Laduree to buy more. In the meantime, you've given me the courage to try making them. Your Valentine macaron is perfectly beautiful.

2 Stews said...

Thanks, all! These aren't as good as Lauderee, but not many are! I'm taking it all step by step. Weather also seems to be a factor. Such temperamental devils, they are!

Monique, the Lauderee paraphernalia is actually from a window in Paris...such eye candy!

Thanks Zurin for the substitution...I hope to give your cookies a try.

Linda and Cathy, I hope you get back soon!

Lori...I was actually surprised when I saw the pied! I rapped the pan on the counter (that gets the air out for the pied to form) and aged the eggs. Things I hadn't done previously. Good luck, if you try...let us know how they come out.

Diane

My Carolina Kitchen said...

These macarons are works of art. Love your photos too.
Happy Valentine's Day.
Sam

Kate said...

Gorgeous! I know that they are delicious too.

I have yet to attempt making macarons. I will have to venture forth...you have provided all that I need.

The Cooking Photographer said...

Wow. I love this post. Sigh...