Thursday, January 13, 2011

macaron love

(photographs courtesy of Helene Dujardin from Tartelette, and

Oh delectable little French cookie, how I do love thee... I've been on a macaron kick since last November. After much research, I finally found the perfect foolproof recipe. It's courtesy of Helene Dujardin of Tartelette. If you haven't been to Helene's blog, I highly recommend you stop by. It's chock full of great recipes and beautiful food photography.

I have to say, that I was very intimidated at first. Every article I pulled up noted how tempermental macaron batter can be. But I studied Helene's tutorial and followed the instructions closely. And I was rewarded with the most delectable, wonderfully textured pistachio macarons I've ever sank my teeth into. The macarons had the delicate eggshell exterior, the coveted ruffled foot and yummy chewy interior. While my macaron rendition wasn't exactly perfect, they were absolutely delicious!

Since then I've adapted Helene's recipe to make Raspberry Marscapone macarons (also on Helene's blog) and Green Tea with Passionfruit filling macarons. While not every batch came out the same, I'm pleased that I was actually able to pull them off! I couldn't have done it without Helene's tutorial. Thanks, Helene for sharing!

I purchased blanched almonds and raw pistachios, grinded them myself in a food processor. Helene's tip to process them together with the powdered sugar prevented the nuts from turning into paste. And yes, I did invest in a little electronic digital scale. If I'm ever going to develop this pastry-making hobby into something bigger, I figured I'd better start investing in equipment now. Speaking of equipment, if you plan on making these wonderful little French confections, I would highly recommend getting a stand mixer. Otherwise, you will be one tired baker.

Piping the macaron batter was a challenge for me. It was my first time and I didn't have the proper Adecco tip. But it worked out well enough. I used fresh vanilla bean and sweet cream butter to make the vanilla buttercream. The buttercream was a nice compliment to the pistachio. It took my family barely two days to gobble them up!

For Helene's tutorial on macarons, please click HERE.

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