Countess Josephine

An Island Francophile with British roots rolled together with solid Americana, garnished with Asian/African heritage and a whisper of the Mediterranean, I love to practice random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty. Throwing some Sunshine your way - Enjoy!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

French Macarons 2.00 Euros each - Come and get 'em!!!

If you ever hear anyone complaining about the price of a French Macaron, then they probably have never gone far enough to have one. In Europe, you can pay 2 euros, where as in New York, they are over 3 dollars - ah yes - for one.

I have been obsessed with French Macarons for the last month and half.  I see them everywhere and crave them every time I have a cupper. Quite frankly, I believe it will be the new cup cake in that something old has been made new...modernized if you will.

Laduree and Pierre Hermes are famous for theirs and lately these sweet little treats have won over the hearts of brides again. New York City has one (cafe that is) ready to delight your palette or you can always get some at Saks Fifth Avenue. Obsession is a cruel thing and maybe I am exaggerating a bit, but, I had to make them. Of course knowing how special they were, I searched high and low for the perfect but easist recipe I could find. Eureka, when I landed on the Food Network's version of easy.  I knew not to get it from Martha, because like me, she is a perfectionist and I probably would have had to be sent off to the looney bin if they didn't come out right.

Easy yes, degree of difficulty high. Hmmm....the first issue came when I read the second ingredient. Almond flour - of course it would be something not readily available in my neighborhood supermarket, but thank goodness for all the healthy co-ops and stores that did carry it, a couple of phone calls later, I was well on my way.

With apron tied and a little Charles Aznavour song in my head (Toi et Moi), I happily gathered everything together and eagerly jumped in. Sifting and sifting and sifting and sifting. Twenty minutes later, I was almost finished sifting. The confectioner's sugar and almond flour had to mix evenly or it was a done deal. Next whipping the egg white to a fluffy but stiff consistency. I think I under beat mine. The purple color I was going for was a bit off and then came the baking part.

Not having any parchment, I used my silicone baking mat. The first set came out to large and I also ruined them by not steaming then loose. Being a smarter baker than I thought, I realized that dipping the spatula in hot water allowed me to move the macarons from baking sheet to cooling rack with ease. Thank goodness. The next set came out better. I got the hang of making smaller disks and piping it so that they would cook a little higher. I didn't make my own buttercream which in hindsight I should have, because this treat is sweet on its own - very sweet. All in all, I appreciate them even more now; for the two and a half hours of work, for teaching me to always follow a recipe to the letter... and for the mini tea party I had with my daughter afterwards.

I came across a delightful blog, where the writer summed it up perfectly and posted a great recipe for it too. Here is the link to that and more:

http://designismine.blogspot.com

http://macaroncafe.com/

http://www.saksfifthavenue.com/

http://www.pixpatisserie.com

http://www.laduree.fr

http://www.pierreherme.com

1 comment:

by Ambrosia and Epiphany said...

You always seem to know the next big hit. Wish you all the BEST.