PRETTY IN PINK

How was your long weekend?

Mine was pretty great – a lot of wine, tv and good food. We took Chumley on a little urban hike and got this great picture. He truly is the luckiest dog on the planet.DSC_0796

I also attempted to make the elusive macaron.

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I have some serious love for macarons. You know the French cookie that is all soft on the inside and crisp on the outside? I have always been tempted to make these myself but how could they even come close to compare to Laduree and Piere Herme?

But when I stumbled upon Cannelle et Vanille’s Grapefruit versions I thought it was worth a try, especially since I love all things citrus. Plus white chocolate in the middle sounded pretty amazing.

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Crazy how the color changes when you cook them!

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Apparently there are a couple tricks to macarons: Make sure you mix the batter just right. If you over mix it, you will have flat cookies, if you under mix it, they will crack on the top. Also, add a little more food coloring than you think as the color will fade when cooked. Make sure you tap the tray on the counter after piping them out to get rid of air bubbles and lastly, let the macarons develop a skin before putting them in the oven (this trick is weird and I am not sure if it works).

To be honest I was so nervous that these little babies would not get the all important  macaron foot (the textured part at the bottom of the cookie) , but was thrilled that they did.  I also watched a couple of these YouTubes on how to make macarons which helped, especially since the batter can be a little tricky.

My cookies are far from perfect – I made them too big and I over cooked them. But they tasted good – that is all that matters right?

Enjoy!

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Grapefruit Macarons

Adapted from Canelle et Vanille 

180 grams almond flour
240 grams powdered sugar
140 grams egg whites, aged and at room temperature
3 grams egg white powder
2 grams fine sea salt
80 grams sugar
1 tsp grapefruit zest, finely grated
few drops of red food coloring
few drops of yellow food coloring

In a large bowl, sift together the almond flour, powdered sugar and sea salt. Set aside.

Whip the egg whites with the egg white powder until very fluffy, almost fully whipped. Start adding the sugar slowly while whipping. Add a few drops of red and yellow food coloring and continue whipping to stiff peaks.

Add the dry ingredients and the grapefruit zest to the meringue and fold with a spatula until a shiny mass forms. We want to achieve a batter that makes ribbons. You might have to test it to see if it’s done. Pipe a small amount on your sheetpan. If it keeps a little bit of a top when piped, then you have to mix it a bit further, if it spreads really fast, you have gone too far and your macarons will turn out flat. Here is a YouTube that shows when the mixing is done.

When you have the right consistency, place the mass in a pastry bag with a number 5 tip and pipe small rounds onto sheetpans lined with parchment or silpat. Sprinkle the tops with chopped pistachios. Let them dry at room temperature for at least 45 minutes to an hour. The tops must be dry when you touch them.

Have the oven preheated to 350F degrees. Place one sheetpan in the oven at a time and reduce the temperature to 300F degrees. Bake for 10 minutes and rotate sheetpan and bake for another 5 minutes.

Let the macarons cool on the sheetpan.

Grapefruit and White Chocolate Ganache

adapted from Pierre Herme’s “Macarons”

10 grams lemon juice
55 grams grapefruit juice
22 grams orange juice
25 grams lemocello
210 grams white chocolate

Melt the white chocolate over a double boiler. Make sure not to heat it too much or it will burn.

Combine the juices and lemoncello and warm them to about 110F (45C). Add the juice mixture slowly into the chocolate while whisking. Mix the ganache with an immersion blender for about 3 minutes to obtain a good emulsion. Pour onto a quarter sheetpan or square cake pan. Place plastic wrap directly on the ganache and refrigerate overnight.

Put the ganache between two of the macaron shells and enjoy!

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