The Making of a Classic
Updated: Apr 23
So, France… Pastry… Classic Parisian treat…
Indeed, we had a macaron kind of couple of days. As you can tell, I love these delectable treats (I can say truthfully that after what we’ve been together, macarons and myself, that I can truly appreciate them now too; we really have bonded). It’s an italienne meringue almond shell, sandwiching a layer of a smooth knock-down, full and interestingly flavored creams. We had 12 recipes among my group of 10, so we drew names to see who would be doing what.
I drew pink! Well, technically I was to make rose framboise, but they were the prettiest little pink delicate shells, and since we had no corresponding purple flavor combination option that day, I was excited with pink.
Making macarons isn’t super difficult, but its not making box brownies either. You have to know a few tricks and it’s a lot of trial and error before you figure out how it all goes down. I had a few issues along the way…
My first batch came out brown and over-cooked due to our oven people not knowing how they were supposed to look when baked. Second batch, the eggs weren’t whipped enough, so the batter fell. Third batch, the eggs were over beaten and the batter was too liquidy. By the last batch, macarons and I were fighting. They weren’t cooperating, I was losing patience and I had a desperate need to prove to myself that I could do this.
Luckily, I proved it. They came out a lovely soft pink, with the legs (the puffy bottom part) rising up perfectly. At this point though, honestly, I didn’t much care for macarons anymore. They were annoying, temperamental, picky and anything but that wonderful and delicious flavor I remember from my first bite of their brightly colored tempting shells. But I was going to see this through as it was previously something I loved eating and it was a classic Paris pastry, one of the big things I wanted to learn when I went to school.
And I’m stubborn.
I had made the interior cream already, a really interesting blend of white chocolate, raspberry puree, rose essence and red peppercorn. Every time my chef came by me while I making the cream, he grabbed a spoon and took a taste, then swooned. There truly is no other word for the action. I must admit, it was good due to its combination of flavors. It was me purely wanting to eat this cream that I kept up the macaron making.
Well, they came together lovely. The hard parts of making the macarons were clearly done, so piping the cream into the center was relaxing and calming. I was forgiving the macarons for being slightly obnoxious and they were forgiving me for not giving them enough credit from the start. We had completed made up by the time my chef told me to apply swoops on them with a bronzey-rose dust. Yup, I put make-up on my macarons. We suddenly were a match made in heaven.
While I was having my tumultuous relationship with these little guys ride out, my fellow pastry rockstars were getting their various treats made. We were quite the busy little workshop.
We had olive oil and vanilla, apricot and saffron, café, chocolat, citron, green tea, mint, orange, and pistachio. So delicious! Hard to choose just one that I loved the most, but citron and mint were high up there, simply for my love of those flavors.
All ended up well in the macaron world though, as I took two boxes of them with me to a dinner party later that night and everyone declared them delicious. I’m ignoring that they had already had a glass a wine when the praises started.