Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Macarons (not Macaroons)
As big fans of macarons (but not macaroons!), we were both very excited about this Daring Bakers' challenge. After tossing around a few different ideas, we settled on three varieties: orange with Nutella filling (1/4); green tea with Nutella filling (1/4); and vanilla with espresso ganache (1/2). The last variation was an attempt to imitate a macaron from Sara's favorite Parisian bakeshop, Laduree (http://www.laduree.fr/index_en.htm).
[The homemade espresso ganache is in the orange corningware bowl above. And who can resist Nutella?]
While we struggled to obtain many cookies with perfect "feet," we generally felt proud of our results. And all of the varieties were absolutely delicious!
We used orange zest to flavor the orange cookies, which caused them to be a little too wet, though wonderfully flavorful. Since we couldn't find green tea powder at the grocery store, we just ground up green tea leaves in a spice grinder. While this was effective, the flavor was quite faint. Scraped vanilla bean served to flavor the vanilla cookies deliciously.
Sara and I are both Gossip Girl (http://www.cwtv.com/shows/gossip-girl) junkies, and we enjoyed an episode as we assembled our macarons. Above you can see the evil Blair Waldorf rising out of the bowl of espresso ganache.
The 2009 October Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to us by Ami S. She chose macarons from Claudia Fleming’s The Last Course: The Desserts of Gramercy Tavern as the challenge recipe.
The espresso ganache recipe is by Rose Levy Beranbaum, and is from the September 1998 issue of Food and Wine. It is available at http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/espresso-ganache.