I am so not gelling…

So, I’m back! For the first 2 weeks of June, I had to attend to my day job plus an influx of macaron orders. Remember I mentioned some exciting projects? One is underway and won’t be finished until the end of August… I am so psyched about it.   The second was supposed to be a minor kitchen renovation to add a second oven but that fell through because we decided to get one of those stand alone kitchen ovens instead – the ones that restaurants use. You see, when you are an IT person like me – a database administrator- you always think of your backups. I’m always afraid that if my one and only oven fails – what do I do with my orders. We also inquired about a generator from the electric company but got a sticker shock – that’ll have to wait.


I was also busy in the Test kitchen. First, experimenting with a new ingredient called gellan. This is what Pierre Herme uses to make some of his gelée cubes. A question that came up often in class was when to use gellan and when to use gelatin, he said it all depends on the texture you want.

So why am I not gelling…

Passion fruit gelee  

      My passion fruit gelée needs some more work. I don’t like the texture- the graininess in the mouth feel – the gellan probably needs to be cooked some more. My raspberry one did not turn out any better either and acquired the texture of tomato paste … yuck! So, if any molecular gastronomy geek can guide me as to its proper use, I will be eternally grateful :).

But I am most excited experimenting with the macaron au sucre cuit. I think I’m close to getting the results I want. I take back what I said about this method before. It is not any sweeter than the French Meringue way. Now whether I will use this for my business still remains to be seen – I find it more involved but has a better rate of return for big orders with multiple flavors.

     Anyway, here’s a sneak peek:


    I will reveal my new flavors for Petites Bouchees towards the end of August. But most of you familiar with PH’s macarons probably could already tell what the cocoa-dusted yellow one is. J

   My grubby little fingers have thoroughly smeared sticky syrup on my PH recipe book – I’m finding some pages stuck together! I’ve also received multiple requests to publish some of the recipes from his class. I am looking to make the Emotion Ispahan soon and maybe… that’ll be the first ;).

   And last but not least, check out this cute watercolor from Cakespy. Isn’t it the most lovable thing to have? I know I had to have it the moment I laid eyes on it. Jessie also has an etsy shop here.







30 thoughts on “I am so not gelling…

  1. Welcome back! Gellan? I thought the trendy alternative to gelatine was agar agar. This is something new for me, I'm curious to see how this works for you.
    I would guess the cocoa covered macarons are milk chocolate with passion fruit…
    And if you are taking requests for recipes, I would love your recipe for macarons au sucre cuit!

  2. Good to read about your experimentation, Veron! And also nice to know you've moved over to Italian meringue — I just couldn't go back to the simple meringue method after trying the more complex method. So much more reliable and, as you mention, not really markedly sweeter. I think most of my readers who've worked with my recipes found the same thing.

    @Astrid: Agar-agar sure is trendy, but the mouthfeel is too different from gelatine. Gellan is in the same stable as spherification agents and such… but looks like they're drifting into the home kitchen:)

  3. Welcome back!!! 🙂 I see you've been busy in the kitchen…nice to see what you are up to! Your macarons look lovely as ever and that illustration is just too adorable 🙂

  4. Hi Tanna :)!
    Hi T.W. – definitely a new technique for me and experience for me. It's kind of frustrating right now but I can't wait for that eureka moment!
    Hi Astrid – yes it is passion fruit and milk chocolate. I will keep your recipe request in mind.
    Hi Duncan – I need to look at my previous recipe for macaron sucre cuit and compare it to Pierre Herme. I think I used Alain Ducasse's and simply messed up my conversion.
    Thanks Joey – you should have seen me the past two sundays in the kitchen I looked like a mad scientist!
    Thanks Lydia! Sharing experiences is therapeutic and you get advice and encouragement from the blogging community as well.

  5. gellan – do you know if you have high acyl or low acyl gellan? depending on the recipe, you might need to add some sodium citrate, or maltodextren.

    Send me the recipe and I will see what I can tell you 😀

  6. If you're the mad scientist then I must be the Frankenstein! …at least I eat great macarons!!

  7. I could not imagine a better home for the burger and macaron piece!! 🙂 Also, I am intrigued by the Gellan. It sounds like something that it will take a bit of work to master, but once you get it, it will be for life! Looking forward to hearing more!!

  8. In the grand debate versus sucre cuit or not for macarons, and given then even the big honchos use both methods, I'd say to try out both and get good at both and then find the one that you like to work with the best. Unlike what people think, one is not the step child of the other!! The only couple of times I have worked with gellan I remembered heating that sucker way up. Veronica, you need to be my sugar mommy! P.S: my "regular" mom (ahah) is looking into your molds.

  9. I'm so curious about molecular gastronomy… I don't know enough chemistry to really pursue it myself, but I think it holds a lot of potential for people trying to skirt around animal ingredients. Chemical gel instead of ground bones for gelatin? Yes, please!

    Hope you figure it out!

  10. Thanks Pjpink!
    Hi Sketchy. The gellan loses effectivity at high saline solutions and depending on the solids in the puree. Instructions said to heat it up to 85C.
    Thanks Susan! It is all so exciting indeed.
    Thanks HH. Glad you are there to finish all my mad experiments.
    Thanks Cakespy. I show your painting to everyone who comes visit!
    Thanks Big Boys Oven!
    Hi helen. Bless your mom! she is a sweetie! I still heart my French Meringue version, no question about it.
    Thanks Hannah! I think there are more and more discoveries that are plant-based gellification.

  11. I am so glad you are back Veron!!! Yay!!! It's good to hear you accomplished the things you wanted to do, that Petites Bouchees is busy and that you are experimenting. Fabulous!

  12. Welcome back! It's so good to see you back and to learn more ! Gellan is totally new to me and am so intriuged by it now. Thanks for the lesson!
    Congrats to a successful business so far!

  13. Veron,I have been missing the taste ofyour macarons since I first had them at the farmer's market! I guess it is time for another road trip! Hope you are taking some time to enjoy summer!

  14. Hi Veronica, I have been following your macaron chronicles with great enthusiasm and am glad i have someone who is just as crazy over them as i am. Could you help tell me where I can find PH's recipes for macarons? In any of his books? and in English too? Thanks!

  15. good to have you back, Veron! Have missed reading about your experiments! Glad your macarons are doing so well, I look forward to trying them some day!

  16. Hi Veron,
    I love to read your blog and very envy that your can made such beautiful macaron. I live in Singapore and have taken a macaron making class with a local baking chef (trainer from a baking school). I have tried many times baking them at home, so far my success rate is 50/50. Still cannot pin down why I cannot get them right 100% ? They either have crack shell or little feet of too hard ? Not sure if the ingredient have something to do with it as I cannot get good almond meal here !
    I love your macaron at Petites Bouchess, just curious if you publish your recipe anywhere ?
    I have been looking for Pierre Herme book, but no able to find any of them in Singapore. Try buying online, either not shipping to Singapore or Just way too expansive, almost double the cost of the book !
    Hope I can at least get a good recipe to try,

    Thanks and regards,
    Anne Chan

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