Thursday, November 12, 2009

I Heart Macarons. Times 10... or more.

This is a picture I stole from Fred Flare. I'm not going to lie. I'm not going to pretend its mine. I wish it was, but its not. I saw this on Facebook. I'm FB friends w/ Fred Flare, and therefore this little ditty was in my Live News Feed. A book entitled I Heart Macarons. (PS: Hi Fred, or should I say People of Fred. I've been a fan for a long time!)

Let me tell you. I. LOVE. MACARONS. I can't handle how much I love them.

See that? There I am in Beverly Hills (visiting one of my bestest friends who lives in LA) in front of Paulette, a macaron bakery. A STRICLY MACARON bakery. They are such wonderful, beautiful creations. I only wish I could go back to obtain more of the gorgeous goodies so I could photograph them in all their delicate glory. This photo is about a year and a half old now (a long-term love affair I have w/ this cookie) and looking at it makes me want to go into a whole new story (the packaging, the brilliant logomark macaron cut-outs on the bench, etc) but I DIGRESS. I'M TALKING FOODS HERE, PEEPS. I'm talking MACARONS!!

This photo? It's from Paulette Macarons website. I certainly did not make, nor did I photograph these beauties. But I do recommend you go to Paulette and indulge in a serious way. You'll be so glad you did.

The macaron is, like I said above, VERY DELICATE. It's a curious little puffy shape, the entire constructed cookie sandwich looking hamburger-esque. Its sturdy but the second you touch it just a little too hard it will crumble to pieces. Its made of mainly egg whites, almond flour, sugar, and maybe some flavoring for the cookie part. The inside is usually a ganache, jelly, or jam concoction. My favorite flavors involve pistachio and/or anything floral--rose, lavendar, whatever. I'm a sucker for it everytime. Besides cupcakes & frosting, these are such a wonderful vehicle for experimenting with dessert flavors.

I've tried making these many a times. I wouldn't quite say I SUCCEEDED, but I certainly didn't fail (well, I failed once, but other than that...). I'm like...85-90% there. The basic idea is down. It's a tough nut to crack. Its a French creation, which means most recipes (even the ones in English) are in metric measurements. It's one of those moments where you feel like an American hick w/ the rest of the world all speaking metric and here I am, trying to translate 55 grams of egg whites into a measurement in cups. LAME. But its worth the struggle. I never went to any sort of baking school so I go into these experiments blindly. I just really want to try to do something so I don't actually realize how difficult or tricky something might be until the 4th time around b/c... I just don't know better.

In order to find recipes, I scoured the internet and generally fell into the same two or three recipes that were pretty widely used. I received Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook last year for Christmas which ALSO has a recipe for French macarons, which I have yet to try. (I KNOW. I KNOW!!! What have I been doing?!?!) BUT THIS??? This is like a godsend. Or maybe its not, I don't know. But it looks amazing. So between Martha & this? I have to think I'd be able to kick some Macaron ass, right? Maybe? Hopefully?

So this post is in honor of Macarons. It's in honor of this book, in honor of Fred Flare, and even Paulette Macarons. Thank you, wonderful people, for providing us with either the baked confections or just the resources with which we can create our own goods. I'd hold up a champagne toast but I've got no bubbly so we'll just have to pretend. Here's to making beautiful, colorful, luscious treats for one and all! *CHEERS!!!!!!!!*

And just for fun, here are some photos from Paulette's site. Really, if you're ever in LA (Beverly Hills, specifically), make it a point to stop in and take a few bites. The staff was incredibly kind, the space was chic, and the cookies were tops. And the logo & business card? Yup, even those are good too. ;-)

1 comment:

Grace Hester Designs said...

I Heart Macarons too. Sprungli's Luxembergerlis are my fave hands down in the entire world.

But when I am in Columbus and a craving hits, I go to Pistacia Vera.

If you know of another local source, would love to hear about it!

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