Friday, December 30, 2011

Persnickety Desserts

I never used to consider myself a type-A personality or someone who focused on the extremely little details in life but I have come to accept my Type-A-ness and persnickety personality.  That is why I decided to take up the art, the craft if you will, of macaronage.  What is macaronage you may ask? The art of perfecting the french macaron.  No, no please do not confuse french macarons with these:

American Macaroons often dipped in chocolate and are always accompanied with coconut.  These are not the dessert I am talking about at all. 

A distant relative of sorts, still using a meringue (egg whites, sugar, almond paste etc) recipe, is the french macaron, the macaron cookie.

Here we have the motherland of all Macarons, Laudree. Brendan and I stopped here while in Paris last spring break and picked up some Chocolate, Raspberry, Orange and Hazelnut treats.  Needless to say, I instantly fell in love.  Over the last few weeks of this semester I began reading more on the background of macaronage artistry and was scared to death of making them.  Labeled in the baking world as nearly the most "persnickety" dessert and nearly impossible to perfect, I decided to take on the task.  

Who cares if the professional baking industry chefs have difficulty perfecting them? I'm sure they taste the same even if they aren't necessarily "perfect". So I did what I promised myself I would do over this break and got out my new apron (gifted from my mother) and got to work.   And yes, I can agree that they were difficult and unruly but oh so tasty in the end.

After a few hours of macaronage artistry at work with my Kitchenaid (I am a fraud, most people whip the meringue by hand!) I have this to show for a final product:

Chocolate Macaron with Orange Spiced Chocolate Ganche Filling all atop the beautiful parisian plates Brendan got me for Christmas!

I must admit, not bad for my first time!  I may or may not share this recipe right away, part of my persnickety, type-A, secretive personality is telling me that you should hunt it out on your own, another part of me is saying that it takes quite a lot of effort to fully explain (if you're really interested check out Bon Appetit Magazine's recipe, the one I used and it's great!).  My next Adventure will be with Orange jellie filled Macarons, to die for.

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