Archive for the food Category

Macarons: So round, So French, So perfect.

Posted in food with tags , , , , on May 25, 2009 by inspirexpire
A perfectly pink strawberry macaron by bittykate

Strawberry Macaron by bittykate

Behold, the simple splendour of the macaron.

Not macaroon (which are delicious in their own right); macaron.

Who is this mysterious cookie with the smooth, shiny, ever-so-slightly rounded top and crispy little foot that fills the windows of la p√Ętisserie with a rainbow of colours and flavour sensations?

Wikipedia says:

Dating back to the 18th century, the macaron is a traditional French pastry, made of egg whites, almond powder, icing sugar and sugar. This sweet pastry came out of the French courts’ baker’s oven as round meringue-like domes with a flat base… Macarons are sandwich-like pastries made with two thin cookies and a cream or ganache between the cookies.”

The basic recipe for a macaron is so simple, but attention to technique is vital for proper results. Serious Eats spoke with Dorie Greenspan about how and where the macaron craze began, complete with a diagram of the ideal macaron.

An extra draw for me: they’re naturally gluten free! I’m ashamed to admit: I’ve never had the opportunity to try one! Nor have I made my own, with no way to grind my own almonds and nowhere to buy them already ground. I really should rectify this inexcusable situation, but for now, I fantasise…

Pecan pie macaron with caramel sauce by Tartelette

Pecan pie macaron with caramel sauce by Tartelette

I have found some of my favourite macaron flavour ideas and photographs at Tartelette. Helen is French and has worked in restaurants and bakeries. If anybody knows macarons, she does! Just reading the recipe titles is enough to make me drool:

Violet & Vanilla Bean
Saffron Pumpkin & Cream Cheese
Pecan Pie & Caramel
Creme Brulee & Pistachio
Espresso & Toffee

… it’s too much!

ETA: Nutella macarons! Made with hazelnuts, instead of almonds. Guess who has a 2kg bag of hazelnuts in the cupboard?! [Hope they’re not stale…]