Are you ready to tackle French Macarons? Here's my recipe and some tips & tricks.Read More
What a month this has been! There's so much to tell you. First, I'll tell you the really big news. Early this Spring, I presented a book proposal to a publisher who loved it! We've signed the contract so in 2014 I'll have a cookbook. The book will have the recipes I teach here at The Little French Bakery with many others. I'll be doing the photography and adding stories with the recipes. As the writing and editing progresses, I'll keep you posted with details of the book's release. It's incredibly exciting. It will be published by Skyhorse Publishing, New York.
What else? Recently, we were in France, on a barge with friends cruising on the Canal du Midi. Our barge was named Emma. The hosts, crew and views were wonderful. I'll be writing more on the barge life in a future post. I had every intention of blogging on our trip but due to technical difficulties, (a brain cramp on my part) I couldn't get to my blog to write using my Ipad. I debated about bringing my laptop and didn't. Big mistake. I've missed writing, but I have so much to show and tell. Our trip also included a weekend in Bruge, Belgium and several days in Paris before and after the barge trip. We had time to walk the streets and take it all in. There are so many great places I've wanted to tell you about, and now I have photos to help.
Here are just a few of my favorite sights from Paris. My postcard to you.
Cafes. I love the chairs, tables, place settings, and ambiance. The streets were lined with tables filled with Parisians and tourists soaking up the sunshine.
A Fromagerie. Cheese as far as you can see. The smells are incredible (as long as you like cheese!) We had just come off the barge where we enjoyed many great cheeses. It was a treat to look in the case and recognize some of the names of cheeses that were new to us. A new favorite, Mimolette. Bright orange, sharp and crumbly. It looks like of like a cantaloupe. It's in some cheese shops. I highly suggest picking up a small piece. to try. I can't write about cheese without mentioning Morbier. A beautiful semi-soft cheese with an ash layer separating and layers of cheese.
And of course, the Tour Eiffel. When we checked into the hotel for part deux, the receptionist at the Madeleine Hotel asked if we would like to be on the floor that views the Eiffel Tour. She didn't have to ask twice. The third frame is the view out our window at dusk. When we got back to our room after dinner, I sat on the edge of the bed with my camera for a least an hour watching the color of the sky change and took too many photos of this view- if that's possible. I woke up in the middle of the night and looked back out again for a few minutes. It's a view that I never tire of. Gorgeous.
And who can get tired of seeing and tasting macarons? Not me! Our friend stopped by a patisserie and picked an an assortment for the train ride. Here they are. So pretty and so delicious. Did you know that only the middle of a macaron has the flavor? The color is just for suggestion (except for the chocolate ones). These were especially colorful.
One of the highlights of our time in Paris was a meal at Benoit, an Alain Ducasse restaurant. We went to lunch and had great cassoulet, a delicious bean and meat stew. It's the best I've ever had. Okay, I say that every time we go there. After the meal, as we were having coffee, our waiter stopped by with the tray of just-out-of-the-oven Madeleines. They were perfect. It was so fun taking them from the pan tray rather than having them served on a plate. It was like sneaking them from the kitchen before they were ready to be served. Here's my quick snap shot.
Now you can make Madeleines too. I like them left out overnight so they're crunchy. Others like them soft, right from the oven. I think the second bite is always the best. If you need a mold, check with a local kitchen shop. Most stock them. Just ask for a Madeleine pan.
To print this recipe, click HERE
- 200 g melted butter (14 Tbsp) (cool and allow solids to settle )
- 4 eggs
- 170 gm granulated sugar (3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp)
- 1 pinch salt
- 10 gm honey (1 Tbsp)
- 5 gm baking powder (1 tsp)
- 180 gm flour (1 3/4 cups plus 1 Tbsp.)
Melt butter and cool.
Sift flour with baking powder. Mix sugar and eggs to near ribbon stage. Add vanilla, lemon/orange zest. Add flour. Fold into egg/sugar mixture. Add honey. Add butter, leaving milk solids in container. After mixing, place in refrigerator to cool slightly/stiffen. Butter molds well, then flour. Place molds in refrigerator to firm butter if necessary. Use a pastry bag if needed to fill molds about 2/3 full in an oval top to bottom in the center of the mold. Bake at 350 for about 6 minutes or until puffed and golden. Immediately tap/rap on counter to knock madeleines out of pans and cool on wire rack. 1 recipe fills 2 molds.
If you're heading to Paris, be sure to check out my Paris Notebook. There are suggestions on places to go, eat and help with shopping for cooking equipment and more. I'll be adding more info and photos our most recent adventures.
Be kind, and enjoy!
I love macarons. I love making them, eating them, Reading about them, you name it. I'd like to share a really great story about macarons with you. It's written and photographed by Cristina Lasarte and presented on the Hip Paris blog by Genevieve Sandifer. Thank you Genevieve for sharing your wonderful work. Cristina Lasarte is the voice behind the gorgeous blog From Buenos Aires to Paris. Her mouthwatering photography and playful recipes, inspired by her Argentinean heritage and her new life in France, keep us coming back to her blog again and again. Here, she shares her recipe for Blue Smoked Salmon Macarons, the perfect amuse-bouche for your next elegant get-together.
Geneviève Sandifer— Half-French, half-American and 100% cool, Genevieve is based in New York, but visits Paris (and her family) as often as possible. Geneviève’s finger is always on the pulse of the latest cultural happenings. From insider tips on how to navigate Parisian etiquette to artsy recommendations and restaurant reviews, she knows what’s up and she’s happy to share—if you can keep a secret. The Hip Paris Blog is great, and I hope you'll visit it, and enjoy it as much as I do.
Here's the Exerpt:
It was exactly my fourth post ever… Those who had been following my blog right from the very first day (if I did have any followers to speak of then) saw a shy Argentinean blogger producing some mauve macarons, photographed in a ring box.
The photo was picked up by Foodgawker and before I had even really understood what blogging was about, the world was looking at my blog: Singapore, Alaska, Arkansas, Russia… One thousand clicks in two hours. That was back in 2009. You can still find the recipe here, and in Audrey Hepburn’s company here.
Savory macarons are not my invention. In fact, the “father” of modern macarons, Pierre Hermé, started playing with the idea of giving traditional sweet macarons a savory twist long ago.
One day, I thought of making something elegant… Something with salmon, and something black… Yes, black macarons!
I went to G. DeTout to buy black food coloring. Back home, I started adding tiny quantities of this coloring to my Italian meringue, and it started turning…mauve. Mauve? Another half coffee spoon… deeper mauve! I paused and wondered: should I continue adding color, or stop here? I hate it when macarons dye my tongue! And this shade of mauve was so beautiful… And it matched my poppy seeds perfectly! Yes, the match was sealed.
Today, my mauve salmon macarons have become a trademark of my Menu Malbec catering service. After all this time, I decided a new photo shoot was in order. After all, two years of blogging had improved my photography skills.
I have to admit that sometimes people look at me with a skeptical eye: “Salmon in a sweet macaron? Is the crust savory at least?” Until the first bite, when all doubts vanish!
The savory macarons are here to stay… Not only with salmon, but with foie gras now as well…who could think of something more appropriate for holiday parties? Chicissime!
To print this recipe, click HERE
Basic Macaron Recipe (depending on size, you will get approx. 60 shells = 30 macarons)
Courtesy of Geneviève Sandifer
almond flour, 190 gr icing sugar, 190 gr egg whites, 70 gr
For the syrup: granulated sugar, 190gr water, 60gr egg whites, 70gr
To make macarons, we use egg whites that have been kept in the fridge for at least one day…Why? Egg whites from fresh eggs have a firmer structure, they are less supple, and for the process of blending the egg whites with the other ingredients, “old” whites yield better results. Mind you! Remember to take the egg whites out of the fridge a few hours before starting so that they are at room temperature.
Sift the almond flour and icing sugar together. In a large bowl, fold 2/3 of this mixture in with the egg whites, and the food coloring. Remember that colors fade with baking so don’t be afraid if the color is a little intense at first. Combine the ingredients briskly. Don’t worry, nothing dangerous can happen at this stage!
Put the whites in the bowl of your stand mixer. In a saucepan, bring the water and sugar to 115°C. When your syrup reaches 100°C, start whipping the egg whites slowly into soft peaks. The idea is the whites should be ready the moment the syrup reaches the 115°C. Slowly, pour the syrup into the whites, and continue whipping until cool. Bravo! You have made an Italian meringue!
Add 1/3 of this meringue to the remaining 1/3 of the almond powder and powdered sugar mix. Combine everything well. Yes! Don’t be afraid of actually crushing your meringue, this is what you are supposed to do here! Add the rest of the meringue in little by little. The final result shouldn’t be too firm or too runny! Congratulations! You have finished the “macaronage”!
Pipe the macarons (with a pastry bag fitted with a plain 1 cm tip) on a baking sheet with a non-stick liner. For this recipe, my macarons measured 4cm in diameter. Tip the baking sheet slightly for an even final result. Let them sit until they are no longer sticky when you touch
Put them in the oven (150°C). After 6 minutes, rotate the baking sheet for an even result. Bake 6 more minutes, but keep in mind cooking time may vary slightly based on your oven. Take them out of the oven and let them rest on the non-stick liner (remove them from the baking sheet otherwise they will continue baking!). Desired result? Crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside…
1. The syrup should be folded with the whites at 118°C, this is why we remove it from the heat at 115°C….three more degrees will be reached by the time you move the saucepan from the stove to the stand-mixer. 2. If you use two baking sheets, instead of one (one on top of the other), you will prevent excessive drying….
For the filling:
* poppy seeds * smoked salmon, 200 gr * Cream cheese, 300 gr (any cream cheese, not too soft in texture, or mascarpone) * Vodka (enough to “soften the cheese” and according to personal taste)
(for 25/30 macarons, depending on size)
Written by Cristina Lasarte for the HiP Paris Blog.All images by Cristina Lasarte.