Melting Pot Monday: Making Macarons


Not only is March 20th the first day of Spring...it's also Macaron Day in France. Yay! To prepare for this joyous occasion, I've decided to try my hand at macaron making. I'm also testing the recipe because I have my first author event on April 15th at the Barnes & Noble on Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica at 7:00. I hope you will join me! If my recipe works out, I'll be bringing homemade macarons and a little piece of Paris! Mark your calendars! Tell your friends! Tell your mother! Tell your grandmother!

Since I live in Toulouse, I've decided to make violet and vanilla bean flavored macarons. (Toulouse is called the pink city because of the brick building as well as the 'city of violets,' the Toulouse violet characterized by its dark purple-blue hue).

Violet products are the rage in Toulouse – soaps, perfumes, candies, and everything in between,
like today's main ingredient: Liqueur Violette.

Here we go! Go grab your wooden spoons!

Today, I've made the meringue/buttercream based filling for the macarons. For the little cakes, I have to let my egg whites stand at room temperature for 24-hours-- so that recipe is coming demain.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 sticks butter, unsalted at room temperature
2 egg whites
2 tablespoons violet liqueur (alts: whatever flavored liqueur suits your fancy)
1 Vanilla Bean – split and seeded

* Dash of Vanilla Extract- optional
* Red and blue food coloring- optional


One Vanilla Bean- Split and Seeded

THE HOW TO:

Place a heatproof bowl over a simmering pot of water. Add the sugar and the egg whites to the bowl and whisk constantly until the mixture feels warm to the touch, the sugar is dissolved, and the mixtures looks fluffy and creamy. (About four minutes)

When ready, pour the mixture into a bowl and beat on medium. In about four minutes, you'll have a thick and shiny meringue!

Change the whisk beaters to paddle beaters and add the softened butter one tablespoon or two at a time. Beat until the mixture is thick and smooth – around eight minutes.


Separate the buttercream into two bowls. To one, add the vanilla bean seeds, folding it into the mixture. If you want more vanilla taste, add a dash of vanilla extract.

Fold in two tablespoons of violet liqueur into the other bowl.
Add food coloring if you want more of a violet tone.


(This really is light violet-- but not picturing well!)



The fillings will keep for a week in the frigo, or one month in the ice box. The cool thing? You can make all kinds of fillings-- using fresh or frozen fruit, jams, chocolates...the list is endless.

How 'bout them the macarons?

Check back in with me tomorrow, when I'll be making the little cakes and (possibly) showcasing my macarons! If everything works out, I, for one, will be experimenting with macaron mania! On verra!


à demain

(wish me luck)

UPDATE: click here for part deux



 

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