Monday, November 21, 2011

Macarons - A Visual Treat!

My last blog posts, Macaron Madness and French Macaron Recipe Recap, have been long and wordy - so this time you are in for a visual treat! I'm going to post pictures of the French Macarons I've made so far along with a few notes on each kind.

French Macarons come in just about any color and flavor you can imagine. It's fairly simple to change up a basic recipe and create new color/flavor combinations. If you google "French Macaron" you can come up with some wonderful pictures of them. Try it. You'll have fun!

It's pretty easy to make different colors and flavors - Basically, you add whatever food coloring you want to the meringue mixture to make different colors. For the different flavors you can add a bit of flavoring to the meringue mixture if you'd like (most recipes I see don't add flavoring to the meringue but I've tried it a couple of times) but mostly just change up the filling. Fillings are generally some sort of ganache, buttercream or jam. I have yet to make any filled with jam but I've tasted a few. I've even had a macaron from Patisserie 46 that had BOTH ganache and jam in it. Frankly, though, my preference for fillings is chocolate ganache. Yum.

I'm no food photographer so what the macarons really look like doesn't always match how they look in these pictures. Oh well, you'll (hopefully) still enjoy looking at the pictures and dreaming of eating macarons. It's fun to note that some of the best pictures were taken by my 12 year old daughter, Rose. She loves taking pictures and does a nice job with the camera.

Okay, here we go. Sit back and enjoy!

Raspberry Chocolate French Macarons
I made my first macarons over a year ago from this recipe - Raspberry Chocolate French Macarons - and have made them two times since. I love raspberry and chocolate together so think these are pretty much perfect.
Shells: For the light pink color I added a drop of red food coloring.
Filling: I followed the recipe - which called for making a chocolate ganache with raspberry extract

Lavender French Macarons
I love lavender and grow it in my garden. There's something so wonderful about the smell and the color. I tried the Lavender French Macaron recipe for these and found them a bit sweet. Still, they were yummy! I'd like to try lavender again but maybe fill them with a chocolate lavender ganache instead of buttercream. Or maybe lavender and Earl Grey tea?
Shells: I added some purple colored gel food coloring. If I made these again I might sprinkle some lavender flowers on top.
Filling: I used the buttercream recipe as written in this recipe, which uses lavender flowers (I can find them at my local co-op, Just Food). I added some pink gel food coloring at the suggestion of my daughter. 
Photo by Rose

Double Lemon French Macarons
Ah yes, my first "creation" - Double Lemon macarons. I decided to try lemon macarons so looked around for recipes but ended up sort of creating my own. These were yummy!
Shells: Added a wee bit of lemon extract and yellow food coloring to Lavender French macaron recipe
Filling: I actually threw a bunch of stuff together for the filling. I mixed some lemon curd and cream cheese together then realized I didn't have enough filling to found a recipe (8 oz cream cheese, 1/4 C powdered sugar, juice and zest of one lemon) and mixed everything I had together. 
Photo by Rose

Mint Chocolate French Macarons
I love the pairing of mint and chocolate just as much as I like raspberry and chocolate together so decided to make Mint Chocolate macarons. I've made these three times now (twice with green shells, once with pink shells). They are a favorite!!! I plan to make theses for Christmas in both green and red, possibly with a white chocolate ganache for the red ones. 
Shells: I added green or red to the meringue. I added peppermint extract to the meringue one time. I like the mint in the shell but it's not necessary.
Filling: I added a bit of peppermint extract to a basic chocolate ganache recipe
Photo by Rose

Chocolate Kahlua Mocha Buttercream French Macarons
I decided to try a recipe with a chocolate shell and found this recipe. Anything with coffee and kahlua has to be good, I figured, so I gave this recipe a go. It's a good one! I'll make this recipe again.
Shells: This recipe has you add some cocoa powder to the almond meal/powdered sugar mixture. It also has you add a drop of red food coloring (for a nicer color).
Filling: This is a basic buttercream with the addition of 1T cocoa, 1 tsp Kahlua and 1 tsp instant coffee granules

Rose French Macarons
I had to try this recipe because my daughter's name is Rose and I love roses. Plus I really wanted to make more pretty colored macarons and these sure are pretty. These are not my favorite because it turns out I'm not real keen on rose flavor. I still might make them again and try a bit less rose water in the ganache and see how I like them.
Shells: I added a bit of a muted pink colored food coloring gel for the pink. A wee bit of red would also do. The recipe I found for the filling said that you could put a little crushed crystallized rose on the tops. I didn't have crystallized rose petals (but discovered I can find them at The Measuring Cup, my local kitchen store) so found some rose petal sugar I had in my cupboard. I crushed up the rose petals in the sugar and sprinkled them on top along with the rose infused sugar. 
Filling: I followed a recipe for a white chocolate ganache and added some rose water (found at my local co-op, Just Food) and some bright pink food coloring.

What's next? Well, I'm not sure but I do plan to make Chocolate Orange at the request of my chef friend, Karl, who actually tried my very first batch of Raspberry Chocolate French Macarons - and liked them! I plan to use the Chocolate Kahlua Mocha recipe for the shells and then fill them an orange zest buttercream. I also want to make some more colorful macarons - maybe turquoise blue? bright green? orange? Oh and I definitely want to make salted caramel. Oh boy, the possibilities are endless!

1 comment:

Pamela Hutchins said...

I'd been noticing you are a huge baker-ess lately! Go Myrna. They're gorgeous. Happy Thanksgiving.