Thursday, August 11, 2011

"le macarons"

Although predominantly a French confection, there has been much debate about its origins. Larousse Gastronomique cites the macaron as being created in 1791 in a convent near Cormery. Some have traced its French debut back to the arrival of Catherine de' Medici's Italian pastry chefs whom she brought with her in 1533 upon marrying Henry II of France.
In the 1830s, macarons were served two-by-two with the addition of jams, liqueurs, and spices. The macaron as it is known today was called the "Gerbet" or the "Paris macaron" and is the creation of Pierre Desfontaines of the French pâtisserie Laduree, composed of two almond meringue discs filled with a layer of buttercream, jam, or ganache filling.

The city of Montmorillon is well known for its macarons and has a museum dedicated to it. The Maison Rannou-Métivier is the oldest macaron bakery in Montmorillon, dating back to 1920. The traditional recipe for Montmorillon macarons remains unchanged for over 150 years.
The town of Nancy in the Lorraine region has a storied history with the macaron. It is said that the abbess of Remiremont founded an order of nuns called the "Dames du Saint-Sacrement" with strict dietary rules prohibiting the consumption of meat. Two nuns, Sisters Marguerite and Marie-Elisabeth are credited with creating the Nancy macaron to fit their dietary requirements. They became known as the 'Macaron Sisters' (Les Soeurs Macarons). In 1952, the city of Nancy honored them by giving their name to the Rue de la Hache, where the macaron was invented.

Macarons can be so delicious, when done right of course. To me a macaron needs to have a very thin crispy outer shell with a soft chewy center. It also needs to have flavor inside of it, not just in the filling. Thus the filling is as equally important, as it can increase or take away flavor and execution of the macaroon. A macaron is one of the most easiest and difficult things to master by a pastry chef, but mastered need be if you want to consider yourself a well rounded pastry chef. I by far do not consider myself a master in macaron making in any way. I just have the hunger and determination in achieving a great macaron every single time I make it. One thing is to know how to do it, but to know how to do it flawlessly in every batch is the answer I am still seeking.

I wanted to try new ways of infusing flavors into the soul and pours of the french macaron...

peanut butter macarons
I incorporated freeze dried dark roasted peanut butter flour into the mix then topped them of with roasted peanut pieces.

peanut butter macarons filled with berry pate de fruit and peanut butter cream. Served with horchata milk. You have to be crazy not to love a "pbj" with milk.

yogurt-coconut macarons
I folded in yogurt powder and coconut flour. They look like they will be flat, but below you will see how much of a pop they get.

baked yogurt-coconut macarons

smoked chocolate macarons with maple bacon bits
I cold smoked the dry mix then made the macaron mix, pipped out and topped off with maple bacon that was previously cooked to a crisp and all the fat drained off. I then sandwiched them with a bacon-caramel ganache.

chocolate-cocoa nib macaron
Simple and straight forward. The filling is a Valrhona Araguani Creamux.

pistachio macarons
I incorporated sicilian pistachio flour along with a small percentage of almond flour in this mix. I then sandwiched the macaron with a sicilian pistachio ganache.

1 comment:

  1. like I've said before. There's two things I love in life and that's Dead Cops and French Macarons!