With the arrival of spring, I felt inspired by the vivid colors of the season and different smells associated with it. After being injured for a year and a half, I am finally able to go out and run again. I ran the New York City marathon in 2011 and was training for the NYC half when injuries struck and prevented me from jogging. It was devastating! Thankfully, my patience paid off and I am finally back on the roads/trails again! It's during my long runs, that endorphins kick in, allowing my senses to be intensified. On my route, I'll pass that dog who loves to bark at me, anticipate the smell of the flower garden up the street and enjoy the view of the trees in bloom next to the farmhouse I love so much. Doesn't spring make you happy? I feel like a new person at this time of the year and once again, it motivated me to try some new macarons.
I first started with the black currant mac. It is a staple on the macaron menu and I have been wanting to try the recipe since my day in New York on Macaron Day. I don't know if you are aware, but black currants are not easy to find on the market! The closest thing I came accross was a black currant purée from l'Epicerie. Since I wasn't familiar with this fruit, I decided to play it safe and make a white chocolate ganache with it. The result was disappointing, the taste of the berry was too subtle for my liking, I didn't want to play it safe... So even thought the macarons looked good (and people liked them), I wasn't happy with my performance. I, since then, purchased some freeze dried "cassis" and next time, I'll include a fruit in the macaron to see how things turn out.
Next, I gave a try to a passion-fruit macaron. At first, I wasn't sure if I wanted to go with a milk chocolate or couverture ivoire (white chocolate) ganache. Pierre Hermé's Mogador uses chocolate milk, actually he is one of the first patisser to have introduced the use of milk chocolate with macarons. Most chef prefer dark chocolate for they desserts and once again Mr. Hermé broke barriers and came up with something unique and delicious! I was almost sold on this idea until, I remembered the macaron from l'Epicerie Boulud. It was passion-fruit and hazelnuts, fantastic!! I was successful with that one on the first run, definitively a keeper!!!!
|Passion-fruit and lavender macs.|
The last macaron I wanted to give a shot to was the lavender one!!! I purchased lavender from Williams Sonoma to incorporate to the almond-powdered sugar mixture. I blended the whole thing and the fragrance coming from my tant pour tant was amazing. For the filling, I opted for a butter-cream, which I had never truly mastered before. My first attempt was a failure, lumpy, runny, truly hideous. Luckily, I was able to figure out (thanks to the internet) what I was doing wrong and the second attempt was a success. I used the lavender essence brought back from France by my hubby to kick the butter-cream up a notch. It took a couple days for the macarons to mature completely, but, boy oh boy, was it worth it!!! I never thought I would like a macaron so much. I always tend to be a little pessimistic when I try to make flower flavored macarons, but so far, I have always been really happy with the results. I am now thinking of trying hydrangeas and poppies macarons :)
Things have been a little bit slow for me lately, it is not easy to sell cookies when you don't have a storefront! I am exploring the idea of having a gourmet truck; it would provide a kitchen for me and only me (I am sharing one right now), allow me to be flexible on my selling hours and provide a store on wheels, able to go from location to the other. There already is such a truck in Philadelphia, if you are inthe area check out Sugar Philly, http://www.sugarphillytruck.com/. I am also about to approach a few restaurants and coffee shops, I hope something will stick :)
I am planning to have another blog entry very soon! My husband is in Paris (again!) and one of his co-worker has gotten me in touch with a macaron chef who works and supplies Ladurée. So hubby is supposed to bring back 30 different flavors from his store for me to sample. I better start increasing my runs in distance real fast to avoid some major weight gain!!!
|Would it be too much to ask Chris to bring me back this display from France?|