Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Joy of Feet

A little over a year and a half ago, Andrew and I went to Ladurée on the Champs Élysée, having been told, via our guidebook, that the macarons were a necessary purchase in Paris. The book was right, there was a stunning array of flavours and colours and I bought two litle boxes full. One of those boxes continues to give pleasure as it is our communal coffee box at work, holding money and the card that entitles us to one in seven free coffees.

I hadn't heard of macarons before I was in Paris, though I had made many an ordinary macaroon. Since then they seem to be everywhere online (there are no real ones to be seen in Wagga, sadly). There are long blog posts and tutorials on the tips and tricks required to make proper macarons. I must confess that while I love baking and do a fair bit of it, I felt the fear of failure. Still, armed with the book Kristy lent me, and some fabulous Harefield pistachios, I made my first attempt.

Without the help of green food colouring, the pistachio tint is subtle. I don't think I stirred them enough in the macaronnage stage (!) as they do still have tiny peaks.

I checked them before they were due to be finished and discovered they were getting very brown, which rather spoilt the green effect. The recipe I followed said to cook them at 190 C, which I thought seemed a bit hot but I took 20 degrees off for my fan-forced oven and went with it. I had a look at Tartelette's recipe when I noticed the browning and she cooks hers, for the same amount of time, at 140 degrees! Consequently, mine are a bit brown and possibly not as well cooked inside as they ought to be. For my first attempt, however, I am thrilled because they have the required feet! (That's the frill around the bottom).

They aren't perfect, indeed they are weeping a little bit now which I attribute to the shortened cooking time, but they taste pretty good. The mixture was delicious too, though very sweet. I decided to fill them with something less sweet to compensate.

I filled them with crème patissière so am calling them pistachio and custard macarons :)

For those uninterested in macarons, I have shots of Bethany in rollerblades. They were given to her by my friend from work, Jen, and she has been desperate to give them a go.

I wouldn't say she can skate yet, but it was a positive experience and she is looking forward to acquiring awesome skating skills.


  1. They look delicious! I've been wanting to try and make've inspired me.

  2. Happy Feet! I think they look very good, particularly for a first attempt. I'm hoping there's one squirrelled away for me to try tomorrow. Love the rollerblades. Jen is a thoroughly generous person.

  3. Congratulations Amy! Isn't it satisfying getting feet. LOL at Happy Feet!