I admit it. I made fun of those girls who first wore skinny jeans...now I wear them. Does that make me a follower? Maybe. Well...I've always loved cupcakes so I am proud to say I didn't just jump on that bandwagon...however...the Parisian or French or Macaroon or Macaron (who knows the real name?) bandwagon just showed up and I'm trying to get behind the wheel let alone just on the wagon. I am so enticed by these little clouds of sugar and egg in all their bright colors that I just had to give it a go....so here is my attempt at the "Parisian Macaron"...
My first try was Martha's recipe...I used way too much pink gel food coloring. As if I was licking a marker tip. They were very pink...and other than the chemical taste from the gel they were very sweet and pretty much tasted like nutty textured meringue. Almost like coconut which is what an American Macaroon recipe calls for. The French recipes call for Almonds... "pulverized" blanched almonds...so I took slivered almonds I already had and blanched them (boiled for 1 min. then shocked with cold water). I put them in the food processor and tried my best to beat the life out of them, but they were still gritty in texture. I assumed that was okay as they refused to get any finer. I followed the recipe as it stated and when they were all done baking they were as I described above...like a little cloud of chemical sweetness. Ick. My mouth was pink until noon the next day. They had no "feet" as a macaron should have and they did not flatten out at all...the peeks from piping them baked in position like little witch hats.
Second attempt...I found a recipe adapted from The Sweet Life In Paris by David Lebovitz. No food coloring just cocoa powder to color and add flavor. Still called for almonds only I opted not to blanch them and they pureed down to a nice powder texture. After following all the steps carefully, I piped them onto the parchment paper then banged the pan on the counter as it said to do to flatten them, but the peeks stayed in place tall, pointy, defiant. So I dipped my finger in cold water and smoothed them out. This worked very well, next time I'll use a spoon. The final product was good, some very uniform photo worthy "french macarons" and some odd shaped, cracked or blown open by hot air. So here are the "presentable ones" and I'm eating the other's as I type this. So they won't feel left out. I filled my macaron's with chocolate butter cream and orange and vanilla butter cream.
You can find the full recipe at: http://www.davidlebovitz.com/
All in all they are gorgeous and delicious...but one or two is plenty.
Chocolate with Orange Cream