Ever feel like being fancy?
Most of the week, I look pretty grubby. I actually get to wear a chef’s coat at my job, but it’s not a flattering, fitted one like the celebrity chefs wear on the food network. It’s considered a good day if I’m not forced to quadruple-roll the sleeves of an XL coat because that was all that was left on the store’s rack due to laundry day. My hair is shoved up into a hat, I don jeans that are permanently stained by sheetpan grease, and my 5 am alarm clock leaves me little time to spend on a dazzling makeup job.
All that to say, I need just a little bit of fancy in my life when I’m not at work.
When I think of fancy, I think of France. If I had it my way, I would be magically transported to a quaint Parisian cafe on my day off. As the boundaries of physics clearly do not allow for this, I must do what I can to bring fancy to my Sonoma county life.
French macarons have been on my mental baking bucket list* since I first laid eyes on them. And at my first taste of one, I knew I had come across something magical. Their crisp and subtly sweet exterior contrasts beautifully with a soft and typically more flavorful interior. Perfect all on their own or dipped into a mug of steamy cafe au lait, the balance they strike is something that only the French could have come up with.
For my first attempt, I decided to go with a classic combo: chocolate and chocolate ganache. I happened to have all of the ingredients on hand, with the exception of one substitution I had to make: the recipe called for blanched, slivered almonds, and I only had sliced. Next time, I would definitely like to try the blanched almonds to see if that makes a difference in texture. My macarons ended up have little bits of crunch throughout due to the not-fine-enough ground almonds. I actually liked this, but I would like to try it the correct way next time.
Another tip the recipe suggests is to allow the piped macaron dough to sit for one hour before baking. This supposedly creates a crisper shell. I skipped this step due to time constraints, but next time I will know to allow for the extra time.
For all the time I spent intimidated by these sweet little cookies, they were not very difficult to make. To make them perfectly, however, is another story…
As for sharing the recipe? I am going to leave that to the expert, as I am just a student sharing with you my progress! Go visit Annie’s Eats to get the recipe.