Friday, March 13, 2009


I love French macarons. While they come in all sorts of wonderful flavors, I really love the chocolate ones. Of course, I love all things chocolate.

I wish that I could say that I made these in the pictures, but I have yet to achieve that. The pastry chef at Central Market provided these samples.

Usually, I can tackle any type of recipe with courage and ease, but not these French macarons. I have combed all of my recipe books and found several recipes guaranteed to produce authentic macarons like those in Paris. I have diligently studied recipes provided by respectable cooking magazines. I have even spent time researching the best macaron recipe on the Internet. However, I am intimidated by the thought of them.

After all the effort put in to finding the perfect recipe, I struggle at comprehending it. The ingredients are usually listed in grams. Also, what is the "powdered almonds" ingredient that they all seem to list? Many recipes insist that one must beat the egg whites with a wooden spoon - delicately. There are even instructions to do this with a downward motion and back up the side of the bowl. If that is not labor intensive enough for you, each wafer must be squeezed out from a parchment bag.

These little babies can't be baked in a normal 350 degree oven. No, they must be baked in a 180 degree oven with the door propped open. After baking, they have to be removed from the oven with the aid of a glass of water?!! The water has to be placed between the wax paper and baking sheet in order to achieve a water vapor to help release them from the paper when they cool. Now, we have not even gotten to the filling but I think that you get the picture!

Most of the instructions end with a footnote of "This recipe is really delicate, but well worth the effort!" I also failed to mention that these recipes make 50 macarons. Now I really like them, but I do not want 50 of any type of food at my house!

So, have any of you made these? Do you have an incredibly fast and easy recipe for me? Maybe I should post one of my collection of macaron recipes and let some of you bakers accept it as a challenge. I'll be your taste tester!

Another thought is that I could go back to Paris and enjoy macarons on every corner! That sounds like a great idea to me. Anyone want to come along? I know where all the best ones are.

I guess I better continue to be practical. On my occasional trip to Central Market, I go by the bakery and see if the pastry chef felt like doing anything delicate that day. If I am lucky, there are some in the case. I pay my 75 cents and bring a few home.

If I have made you hungry, let me know and you can join me on my next trip to Central Market. It is alot cheaper than airfare to Paris. (At least that is what I keep telling Sonny!)

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