Food Bloggers vs. Macarons

June 29, 2011 § 10 Comments

A few weeks ago a jar of salty caramel, that I made for my brother in law’s birthday  “salty n sweet” chocolate cake, was sitting in the fridge staring at me with a sad glance mumbling “use me, pweez before I go bad”. I pitied it every day wondering what I’m going to do with it… I cant make that torturous cake again!

The first idea… “macaroons! I can put it in chocolate macarons!!” I imagined the flavor and started drooling,” yum! That’s it I’m making macarons. But wait… I never made them before!”. hhhmmm. From what I read they need certain skill and practice, and there’s lots of ways, fresh meringue, italian meringue… oh dear…

I immediately relied on the food bloggers group I joined recently, FIA(famished in arabia) “ask the FIA bunch! of coarse  a few if not all know how to make macarons.”

I posted the question on the Facebook group and got my answer almost immediately with the best macaron recipe, saved me some research and experimenting. Radia  sent me the recipe and we decided to turn it into a hands on training day! My sister and Yasmin , fellow food blogger joined us.

Telling my husband the macaron date I set up his facial expressions changed.

“do you know those people well? are you sure they will not turn out to be some weirdos or sociopaths??”

uuummm

“Its a group of food bloggers! they blog about food!! we share an interest, of coarse they are not!”

While deep inside I was wondering why i didn’t ask myself this question earlier.

Well, despite mine and my husbands fear they seemed to be the most sweet and kind hearted people I ever met!  clear and simple.

It was a wonderful get together and a play date for our kitchenaids! (I stole Radia’s line :p )

We chatted for hours non-stop talking about our families, food and living in Dubai. And to my surprise both had the same reaction from their families about meeting someone you barely know over the internet!!

I found in common between me and Radia something more than the love of food. We were both doctors!!!  Doctors that have put their careers on hold to peruse a greater cause, ya greater than saving a life, its being a full time mom! not only to our children but our husbands too. I finally found someone who understands my point of view.

Radia was THE mentor, and I think the God Mother to macarons, her knowledge and skill was amazing! We kept staring at her trying to devour every step she’s making, asking questions along the way and her patience for answering was so motherly. She told to us how room temperature and humidity can affect the outcome, and how one stroke can make or break a good macaron. She also explained about the shell, the dome, and the feet that a proper macaron should have.

It was such a pleasure to meet the ladies and even a bigger one to be taught how to make macarons from a pro. But it was so sad they had to leave before trying the macaroons.

Radia was fearing the outcome because of the high level of humidity that day but to our surprise they came out good for a first time try in a new oven.

Our outcome was:

  • chocolate macaroons with salty caramel
  • green tea macaroon with white chocolate ganache
  • plain pink macaroon with strawberry rose jam
  • saffron macaron with cardamom white chocolate ganache

Here is the Macaron recipe Radia sent me, it was from Dessert Magazine:

100g egg whites
50g granulated sugar
200g confectioners’ sugar
110g blanched almonds, whole or ground

1. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites to a foam, gradually add the sugar until you obtain a glossy meringue.
2. Combine the almonds and powdered sugar in a food processor and give them a quick pulse if you use already ground almonds (that you have ground ground yourself separately.) It will break the powdered sugar lumps and combine your almonds with it evenly. If you use whole almonds, pulse thoroughly for a minute or so.
3. Add them to the meringue and start to give quick strokes at first to break the mass and slow down. The whole process should not take more than 50 strokes. Test a small amount on a plate: If the tops flatten on its own, you are good to go. If there is a small beak, give the batter a couple more folds.
4. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip with the batter and pipe a small rounds (1.5 inches in diameter) onto parchment paper baking sheets.
5. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Let the macarons sit out for an hour to harden their shells a bit and bake for 10-13 minutes, depending on their size. Let them cool completely before filling.
6. Pipe or spoon some of your filling on one shell and sandwich with another one.

Enjoy!

Fatma

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