Monday, October 26, 2009

In the Mood for Love....and Macaron....The Macaron Series!

The most exquisite form of a pastry that carry a fashion statement, it is almost impossible to not be in the mood for Macaron. The truth is that I fell for them too like most connoisseurs, after discovering Parisian-style macarons as I strolled pass the jewels-decorated cases of Pierre Hermé and Ladurée, I became a victim of this fashion trend when I am known not to be a meringue fan. With a two-day half life, and the reluctance to devour the pieces of art, my very first box of such gems was framed as the decor in my refrigerator. One bite was all it took to elevate it from a simply an exquisite piece of art, into a culinary adventure, as your teeth sink through the crisp egg shell-like crust, the soft fluffy interior, a slight crunch from the pied, then finally the indulgent flavourful centre.

In its purest form, the macaron is a confection composed of finely ground almonds, egg whites, and sugar. The word is a derivation of the Venetian macarone, meaning “fine paste”. The recipe traveled through France and varied regionally, but the ingredients and the basic construction remained consistent. A layer of buttercream, ganache, or jam was spread between two meringue disks.

In the early 1930 the tearoom and pastry-shop Ladurée in Paris started selling the new creation of Pierre Desfontaines, grandson of Louis Ernest Ladurée: two traditional dome halves sandwiched with a sweet filling between: the ganache.

In the mid-nineties Ladurée raised the bar with the help of a consultant, Pierre Hermé, a pastry master who added compelling flavor combinations, such as lime-basil and violet-cassis, to the shop’s offerings. Among Ladurée’s newer creations, a caramel version prepared with beurre salé has been especially esteemed. Every season Parisians fervently await the shop’s innovations.

Hermé, who now has seven boutiques in Tokyo and three in Paris, says the macarone itself is merely a medium for new flavors. With his philosophy, I have decided to throw myself into this adventure of my own....a bi-weekly invention of my flavour combinations.

To debut this Macaron series, I will introduce you to the "le macaron noir", as the link to my earlier article "All Blacked Out!"

~ sésame macaron à la crème de sésame noir ~

Please do re-visit for recipes and my inventions!


Christine aka Mistress of Cakes said...

That is a wonderful idea! I can't wait to see what combinations you come up with!

blanche_yih said...

Thanks so much for your support! I'll be posting my new
macaron creation in a few days. Please do check it out =)

A Canadian Foodie said...

I just started my quest for the elusive macaron, too - about two weeks ago... and pink peppercorn was the flavour I just made yesterday... but I am very new at making these, and the pink looked horrible... the powdered colouring was not nice, and the batter was too thin, so they looked ugly. But, they tasted scrumptious! So far, I can only make chocolate ones, but I am willing to take on this challenge. I want to try violet and lavender and rose - but only have the violet flavouring. Sounds like you are going exotic... I am just working to make ones that turn out. I will have to try to find your recipe and see how it compares to mine. I am almost afraid to try another recipe until i get consistency with this one. Was it easy for you to make these?

Steve Mirsky said...

I never realized there is such a wide variety of macaroons! I would love to do a taste of each featured in the picture you have posted.


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