Sunday, March 11, 2012

Chocolate Macarons: Take 1

 Today, being that I am off for March Break,  I decided to do something that I've been meaning to try for a while but just haven't had the time. Macarons.... These delicious treats are becoming increasingly popular over the years with the origins coming from France. My devirginizing moment with Macarons was back when I was teaching in France in 2007. It was my roommate's birthday and she had never been bowling so my other friend and I took Melissa on a devirginizational tour.  We tried things she had never done before and came across "Grand Mere Auzou".  Now Auzou is my FAVOURITE chocolate shop in Rouen.  I love love their 'larmes de Jeanne d'arc' (Joan of Arc's tears in English).  They are a yummy version of chocolate covered almonds with little extra yumminess!

Anywho, on with my story.  Melissa, Tamar and I had our very first Macarons in Rouen on that special day in February and we all fell in love.  So light and fluffy yet so full of goodness!

Moving along to 2012.  Since I've been back, I keep saying 'one day' to all the French things I want to recreate. Today was the day! I set off to the grocery store to get the ingredients and thanks to Choco Paris' recipe I was off to the races!

Disclaimer:  I am not one of those blogs who shows you the best possible result.  As much as I love those professional blogs who show you their 500th batch when all the kinks have been ironed out, I do appreciate those who tell you what their problems were so that you don't continue to have the same mistakes!
1st batch had slight problems.  I started out dropping the batter on the wax paper rather than piping it into a blob.  I now see why this was important as the macarons are supposed to be smooth on top.  Secondly, I was supposed to wait 20-30 minutes before putting them in the oven but didn't.  This might be why the cracking was on top....  

2nd batch was a bit better and most have the frothy bottom that is the trademark to macarons but still have cracking on the top which I don't really understand considering they were left out for a good 30 minutes before being put in the oven.

Now on to the filling.... heat cream then pour it onto the chocolate, add a little bit of butter and voila..... Ummmm newsflash, the cream didn't rise and it is still very much liquid.  The recipe called for heavy cream.  The heaviest that I could find in the store was whipping cream at 35%.  Maybe it wasn't thick enough....  Tomorrow I will test out the filling and if it hasn't thickened by then, I will whip it to see if that works.  Otherwise I have no clue, do you?

March 12th update:
 After refrigerating, the filling became hard enough that I could spread the filling onto the macarons.  Voila!
Some came out looking pretty nice!
One of my best ones up close!

All in all, I am quite pleased with my first attempt!  I am usually pretty lucky with my baking, having never had to do a recipe twice unless I wanted to!