Mar 24 2011

chocolate peanut butter macarons

 chocolate peanut butter macarons

Well, as I mentioned a couple days ago, I took an awesome class at the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts taught by Master Pastry Chef Delphine Gomes. Macarons are clearly the hot new (well, not as new now…) thing, and I love them, but I just can’t afford to keep up the habit with the prices shops charge for them. Besides, it’s much more fun and rewarding to make your own!

 chocolate peanut butter macarons

 chocolate peanut butter macarons

The problem was that the first recipe I tried was a little more complex and I probably should have read up a little more ahead of time to really figure out what I was doing. I guess I thought since I could handle meringues, macarons wouldn’t be too much harder. I was wrong. Macarons are notoriously finicky, are fragile, and crack easily. My first attempt, did not go so well…. Continue reading

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Mar 22 2011

une leçon de macarons (a lesson on macarons)

 une leçon de macarons (a lesson on macarons)

Did you know that this past Sunday was Macaron Day in NYC? I got an e-mail about it yesterday and then this afternoon a friend told me about her weekend in New York and all the macaron shops she hit up while she was there. Oh man was I jealous. If only I had known! The good news is that Anne told me that the Danish Pastry House, which I absolutely love and is just a short drive from our place (or a longer walk when my knee is up to it), has awesome macarons. Yes!

 une leçon de macarons (a lesson on macarons)

The other good news is that my own macaron making skills have improved. Dramatically. Remember my horribly failed cinnamon apple macawhoopsie pies? That were supposed to be macarons? Right, well, I was kind of afraid to try making macarons again after that. But my wonderful husband got me a class on macarons at the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts as well as a cute little book on macarons for Christmas.

 une leçon de macarons (a lesson on macarons)

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Nov 7 2010

cinnamon apple macawhoopsie pie

 cinnamon apple macawhoopsie pie

So the time had finally come for me to make my own macarons, which Joseph was reminding me on a regular basis.  He had seen a recipe for cinnamon apple macarons on Dessert for Breakfast that look absolutely amazing.  I kept pleading with him, saying that we should probably start with something a little much more basic.  When he finally relented and said, “Yeah, you’re right, we should probably start with something easier” I was suddenly determined that I would not start small.  No, I was going to make the cinnamon apple macarons if it killed me.  And it nearly did.

 cinnamon apple macawhoopsie pie

Ok, that’s a complete exaggeration.  But if you’ve never tried to make macarons, or talked with anyone who has, or read anything about them, you may not know that they are difficult to make because of the very temperamental meringue cookies that make the sandwich.  This particular macaron has many elements, and well, it just didn’t work.  At all.  It completely flopped.  I didn’t get the macaron “foot” (the little bottom that each of the cookies is supposed to have), they were dense instead of airy, and each top was completely covered in little cracks. Continue reading

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Sep 15 2010

macaron colorwheel

 macaron colorwheel

Ok, I’ve been terrible about posting.  It’s been such a busy summer with nearly every weekend out of town and I admit, I’ve totally slacked off on the blogging.  The good thing about all the traveling (besides seeing friends and family!) was getting to try more macarons!  If you’ve been following pixelated crumb at all, you know that I’ve been searching (here and here) for the best stateside macaron.

 macaron colorwheel

While we were in DC a week and a half ago to celebrate my dad’s birthday, we went to Praline in Bethesda, MD.  The chef who instructed my pastry class at L’Academie de Cuisine about 4 years ago told us that Praline had the only decent brioche in the DC area, so it seemed like a good bet that they would have good macarons. Continue reading

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