14 April 2007

French Macarons Part II

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French Macarons Part II

all (or at least most) of us know that macarons are made with ground almonds, but do you know they can also be made with ground hazelnuts? thats what i did for these few attempts. using a one-to-one substitution, the macarons turned out great, if not better. im still really at an experimental stage tho'. macarons are so fun to make and i never get tired of making them! now, i almost forgot what its like to bake with butter as a main ingredient LOL. the thing about french patisserie is they go really light on butter, oil & grease but the flavors and texture are maintained with the use of fresh fruits, nuts, chocolate, coffee, tea etc. and of coz, to compensate for the lack of butter, they use lots of sugar. not a very healthy substitution i would say.

macarons a la noisette, or hazelnut macarons. these are in their original color and i just love the granite-like specks. paired with nutella hazelnut spread, they're so very yummy! but im not really satisfied with the end result since the feet wasnt very prominent and the tops werent smooth. i always hv problem with uncolored batter coz they don't often get folded in well enough.

hazelnut coffee macarons, made using the same batch of batter as before and paired with coffee whipped cream. im totally satisfied with this - prominent feet & smooth domes, just what i really want!

for part III of this, im gonna try making macarons with ground pistachios =)

07 April 2007

French Macarons

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i think by now, most ppl would know what macarons are. nope, they're not slabs of neither-cakey-nor-crunchy coconut biscuits topped with an ugly glaced cherry we used to see in english cookbooks. well, those could be called 'macaroons' but not macarons :p french macarons are elegant little confectionery which is the IN thing and VERY popular now. if you know macarons, then you'd probably know about the high end patisseries in paris selling them, in terms of 10,000 pieces a day - pierre herme, laduree, gerard mulot, jean-paul hevin, lenotre & fauchon, just to name the few. in singapore, only a couple of patisseries sell them, one of them is canele patisserie. to know more about macarons, see this article at wikipedia. macarons are elegant, sophisticated looking and very temperamental indeed. though made with simple ingredients like egg whites, ground almonds & icing sugar, i don't think many ppl actually mastered the art of making them. but fortunately, just very fortunately, i mastered them at my 2nd attempt. they're extremely sweet but super addictive, especially when chilled & paired with a not-so-sweet filling, such as lemon or blood orange curd. of coz, a swiss meringue buttercream would also do, since the "shortcut" buttercream often has 4-5 cups of icing sugar dumped in there.

i'm making macarons like every other day in small quantities, experimenting with different colors & flavors, and its really FUN! seeing your macarons develop prominent feet (or frilly skirt as some call it) and a nice dome shape with glossy top, the sense of satisfaction is tremendous. more when they're difficult to master. just to share with you the pics i took of these little babies.

macarons au rose - paired w/ rose scented buttercream

macarons au chocolat

macarons au chocolat - packed in a box

macarons au citron (lemon) paired w/ lemon curd buttercream

innard pic - how it looks like on the inside

macarons au the vert (green tea) & caramel beurre sale (salted butter caramel)

and my latest addition! pink & purple macs paired with raspberry buttercream. arent they gorgeous?
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