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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Rose-Strawberry Macaron Macaron with Strawberry Creme filling

The early morning sun is rising, I actually had the opportunity to watch it come up as I ran 5 miles, on my way inside to begin baking. I grabbed the egg whites from the back refrigerator. Now I am weighing them as my coffee brews in the back ground. They have a few hours to hang out watching  Sydney and I bake before we get to them.
 Each day I realizes how lucky I am to have such a wonderful daughter, who is my friend, confidant, and my only child. I also feel a strong pang in my heart... she, as it should be, is leaving for college in Illinois. I am so proud of her and her scholarships. I want her to succeed, but truth be told I will miss her like crazy.

It will be odd to start a weekend baking without my baking partner, I know a ton of food care packages will be heading East. Today, however she is here to help and have fun.
    The sugar syrup at temperature, Sydney is responsible for this part of the Italian meringue.
I remember the first time I taught her about hot sugar syrup. She wanted some marshmallows for a party and I gave her the sugar syrup to watch. The first pot caramelized and went past usability, but the next pot she prepared perfectly! Now she is a pro and doesn't need any help.
Believe it or not this is the tant pour tant, almonds icing sugar, and colorants ordered straight from france!
I ground it and Sydney sifted.
The egg whites from this morning whipping up as Sydney is finishing the sugar syrup. I have done both the sugar syrup and the meringues, but it is so much more enjoyable with my baking partner.

 The meringue is ready and stiff time to put in some old fashion muscle to work; the folding begins. I probably could work faster if Sydney was not making me laugh, by reminding of this lunch we had on Friday. I would love to share, but my life would be in danger secrets are secrets. My husband can attest to the fact there are lots of secrets between us "girls". Poor guy I know he sometimes feels left out, but Sydney and I have been having little (sometimes big) secrets since she was of talking age. Back to work..the fold.
Still folding and laughing, almost there, just a few more strokes!
Sydney is in white rabbit mode, as we like to call it in our little unit, she clears the decks, getting four 1/2 sheet jelly roll pans lined, pre lined with a silicone mat. I am scraping the macaron batter into my very large pipping bag, and pushing all the air out.

Lined up, so I can work in my white rabbit mode, are my jelly pans, I now pipe each little round circle of Rose naturally flavored batter and bang the pans against counter. Sydney diligently grabs each pan after it has be loudly rapped and hopefully lost most of it's tiny peak. The comma pipe is not my forte so sometimes there are remaining bird beaks, oh well.

Long waiting period begins, we can either take a break or bake more, the latter is chosen and a brioche dough begins. No pictures of this one, but I plan to do a bread brioche blog before the end of summer. Sydney loves cinnamon rolls so we try to prepare a brioche at least once a week. I am hoping she can make cinnamon rolls for herself in the dorms, but I remember dorm life so probably not, maybe she will meet a friend with a kitchen and she can make cinnamon rolls there. I most likely will be overnighting them to her, I guess she will still need me, not the same though.

Colorado, we have feet, the almond batter has descended to the base! In about 15 to 18 minutes this tray will be ready to start cooling, I better put the stainless bowl with whisk attachment in the freezer. These pink beauties will have a strawberry rose creme filling.

Beautiful a flat bottom and a shiny round top. 

Time to start the filling, if Sydney will stop tasting the liqueur so I can pour...

Sydney has already taken all the goodies out for the Rose Strawberry Creme, I would like to tell you she is efficient, but in this situation she is interested in tasting the liqueurs, she proclaims she would hate for a bad flavor to go into the creme. I want a taste, but she insist we must begin.

The piping has started the cookies are all partnered up. I am making Sydney nuts, I seem to grab the cookies and ruin all her time she has spent making sure each macaron has a perfectly matched bottom. I wonder were her obsessive perfectionism stems from? 
Twenty four hours later, the flavors have to marry for optimum taste, we have our Rose Strawberry Macarons! as soon as I stop taking photos my little family can taste and eat them.

Sydney's perfectly manicured fingers hold the Rose Strawberry Creme Macaron, it looks awesome with hard shiny shell, soft cookie centered with a cloudful creamy soft creme. We are happy and ready to crack more eggs for the next batch, which will be in four days. The eggs whites need to age of course.

Still have not ventured on the sour cherry macaron shell, having trouble coming up with a recipe, I hate when I have macaron block. Sydney thinks we should just create more Macaron Citron Vert avec Ganache au Chocolat Blanc crème (A Lime Macaron).

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Being Tart..Guimauves au Citron

With a love of lemon, yuzu, and limes I decided it was time to create a very tart lemon marshmallow. I thought for sure it would just be a special treat for me. Well to my surprise many people not only loved them, but wanted more. Just to make them a extra special we added some limoncello, maybe that is the reason for their popularity.

In fact my daughter, Sydney, could not get enough of them. she normally is a chocolateholic.
I guess it is a good thing that we love creating marshmallows and they are so easy!
This little duck matched the color perfectly.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Triple Chocolate Macaron

Triple Macarons au Chocolat avec Ganache au Chocolat

This past Monday I worked on a chocolate macaron, I wanted to create a recipe for a macaron that would satisfy the most "die hard" chocoholics. I believe I did, since everyone who takes a bite stops what they are doing and proclaims "wow!"
Since I always flavor my macaron shells, chocolate was the naturally progression, most people love chocolate.
At first I was hesitant, I had heard from many sources, chocolate macarons were hard to make correctly. My husband and daughter are both chocoholics and really wanted me to at least try. I started with an Italian meringue and went from there.
I ended up using two different types of chocolate just to have a smooth shiny macaron. I was a little more gingerly with the macarronage, I needed the batter to remain stiff so when the chocolate melted in the warm oven I would not end up with a mess.
I anxiously awaited, with the oven light on, for little crinkly feet. If I had figured this one out on my first try it would be a miracle. Generally I am like a "mad scientist" in the kitchen and work a recipe at least three times before I like the result.
To my delight and amazement feet started to appear after 2.5 minutes, well I knew I had succeeded in making a macaron, but taste. Now I needed to wait till the next day.
While the rest of the macaron trays baked Sydney and I started to work on the filling, this could be no ordinary filling either. I need a chocolate ganache that would stop traffic, and I had a ton of egg yolks left.
I made a Fudge Ganache (they were going to be Triple Chocolate Macarons) with two separate liqueurs and a Swiss Strawberry Butter Cream filling, I needed to cut some of the chocolate.
When the cookies cooled We matched the sizes up and began an assembly line of piping, putting tops on, and storing in an air tight container. The macarons then went for a long sleep, 24 hours, in the refrigerator  and I prepared a banana pudding mousse with the rest of the egg yolks (I still had some left.)
All night long I tried not to obsess about the little chocolate bundles in the refrigerator, but when the morning sun arouse I ran to the back refrigerator  grab three macarons, one for my husband, Sydney, and of course myself. Before either my husband or daughter could open both eyes I was handing them cookies. They both knew better than to say no, and each took a bite. Neither of them said a word, panic, "oh no" went through my mind. With in another minute wide four wide eyes were looking at me and finally both proclaimed WOW!

I had done it, my idea work!

Now I need to work on a sour cherry shell.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Financier with Candied Ginger

A light pastry for early morning coffee or a little mid morning or afternoon break.
Financier is a light and dainty tea cake. Sydney, my daughter, and I first experienced this treasure in St. Germain this past March. As soon as I returned to Colorado I began experimenting with recipes to develop the perfect one.
I love working with egg whites and creating desserts that egg whites are part of the major ingredient.
The Financier is baked with sugar, egg whites, butter that is toasted( which is amazing), almond flour and optional all-purpose flour or for gluten free, rice flour. The batter is then piped into a special financier baking sheet, however if you do not own one mini muffin tins, baby loaf pans, mini cheesecake pans, use your imagination all work for making these delicious treats!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Memorial Guimauves Marshmallows

I could could eat Marshmallows ( Giuvaves) daily i just love the feel, texture, and of course taste. Sydney and I create an array of different flavor marshmallows.

In this picture Guimauves à la framboise. An amazing Framboise taste lighter then air!

These beauties are Dreammallows of Grand Marnier. They melt in yur mouth and leave you wanting more.

Lemony Giant marshmallows tart and sweet YUM! We have designed lime, yuzu, green tea, strawberry, and many more.

With a love of lemon, yuzu, and limes I decided it was time to create a very tart lemon marshmallow. I thought for sure it would just be a special treat for me. Well to my surprise many people not only loved them, but wanted more. Just to make them a extra special we added some limoncello, maybe that is the reason for their popularity.
In fact my daughter, Sydney, could not get enough of them. she normally is a chocolateholic.

Memorial Macaron Weekend Grand Marnier Macaron

For the final Rainbow of colors and flavored Macarons, we created a Blood Orange Shell with A White and Chocolate Grand Marnier Ganache
This concludes our macaron rainbow of

flavors and colors for now.

When I began this Memorial Weekend blog I was so excited to have a full weekend with Sydney, my kitchen, wonderfully fresh ingredients, and time to catch up with Sydney before her high school graduation. I am happy to report the weekend was divine, but time passes before my eyes and in just 48 brief hours she will graduate. 

I know and want her to move on to the next journey successfully, if I have done my parenting job correctly she will be an independent, caring persons. I selfishly am going to miss seeing her beautiful dimpled cheek face, she is an extraordinary young women and a remarkable "chef"!

Memorial Weekend Framboise Macarons

Having very few holidays left with my business partner and more importantly my daughter, I am using every bit of extra time to create fun in the kitchen with Sydney. Sometimes I have to hold my breathe to try and prevent missing one single moment. I am so very lucky we both have a passion for food.

When I say a passion for food, I am speaking of baking, creating, sometimes even crying, and most of all watching the people we love eat the pastries and little surprises we bake together. Almost all of Sydney's secrets have been told to me while we were in the kitchen, our love of baking/cooking has aided in our bond as mother and daughter, and to be honest I have done a share of sharing thoughts too! 

This holiday we decided to bake macarons and marshmallow, plus a few more pastries. Raspberries are one of my favorite berries, Sydney and I saw some beautiful ones at the farmer's market, and just knew we wanted to design a Framboise Macaron.

Here is the finished product filled two wonderful ganaches, we just could not agree on the filling, so rather then compromise we filled the Framboise Shell with both ganaches. The double ganache filling ended up being just what this little biscuit needed. A wonderful lasting sensation between the aroma and taste where raspberry scented and the filling followed the taste to the bottom of the macaron. 

Framboise Shell

A small blast of macron fun

We, believe it or not we decided to brew up marshmallows while the macaron shells rested.
Grand Marnier "Dreammallows," and we thought why not Guimauves à la framboise ( raspberry Marshmallows.)

Grand Marnier Dreammallow
I realize they look like a normal marshmallow, I assure they will having you dreaming all day long. Sydney cannot eat marshmallows out of a bag any more!

Guimauves à la Framboise
This the last weekend of baking that Sydney will be in high school, by mid week she will be a graduate. I don't want to nor will I waste a gram of time with her this summer. I am positive we are going to be mad scientists in the kitchen all summer long, with exclusion of her going out with friends and dates. 

Memorial Macaron Weekend Chocolate Espresso Macaron

We wanted to try making a Double Chocolate Espresso Macaron with two types of chocolates in the shell and a Chocolate Ganache filling for the Chocolate Lover.
It looks and taste like it worked!

An Italian Meringue was the best choice for this macaron. We were working with melted chocolate for the shell, we needed a stiff meringue that was "forgiving," The Italian meringue has less of a chance to brake before folding it into the tant pour tant ( almond, icing sugar, flavor, and colorants mixture).

Memorial Macaron Weekend Macaron au Citron Vert

Starting Saturday at 8:00 am, a late start, but it is a holiday weekend. Most of the day was preparing macarons: Chocolate Espresso with a dark Chocolate Ganache and Macaron Framboise avec Ganache blanc et noir
My new favorite Macaron au Citron Vert with and amazing Creamy Yellow Pastry Cream.

Italian Meringue, egg whites, and sugar syrup ready to be mixed with almond, sugar, and flavoring mixture.
This is the Tant Pour Tant , already ground and waiting for the liquid egg whites.

Starting to mix the two mixtures to make the macaronnage.

Below are the macrons piped out, they need to rest for an hour and half to develop skins. After this they are ready to go into the oven.

We eagerly wait for these little green beauties to develop the "foot." This is what makes these cookies a macaron! If you look close enough you might see little feet on the bottom.

They finished and we filled them! These are my favorite! The taste of the lime pops out while the filling is delicate and sweetly balance the tartness of the lime. Looks like the beginning of summer to me!

The perfect macaron
There is not one air pocket, the filling remains inside the two shells, and the taste is a delicate, delicious tart punch with an lime aroma that teases the senses, you must have a bite!