I’m slowly getting back into the groove of the business again. I did not realize how hard it was to get back into the swing of things after a long break. I was afraid I would lose my macaron mojo as I have not made these cuties in three weeks – quite unheard of in the Test Kitchen.
The “Hungry” Hubby reminded me that I was supposed to be creating new flavors for the fall. It’s not that I was lazy…well there was the umm…Olympics. Also, a little reality hit me along the way. Even if I could stand in the kitchen for eight hours straight, I was quite out of breath walking a mile. Truth is, I needed to get into shape – so I put time into my health first before the business. This is still my priority – quite hard but I’ve been hitting the treadmill or the exercise video before I even begin to whisk any eggs. And you know what, it feels good!
Anyway, I’ve already determined which flavors I wanted to add to my macaron line-up right after I took Pierre Herme’s class in Chicago. All I had to do was to put the recipes to work – with a bit of tweaking.
My first experiment with passion fruit and milk chocolate ganache was not too successful. The ganache remained hard even after the macaron sat at room temperature. There was also a slight catch in the throat after you ate it. This was not my memory of PH’s version. His was melt in your mouth delicious. So, I poured over the recipe again and tried to remember what his technique was when making ganache. He partly melts his chocolate and does not dump the heated liquid on it (most recipes have you boil the liquid and pour it over the chocolate) – he slowly emulsifies the liquid into the partly melted chocolate. Prevents graininess he said and makes for a smoother ganache. The softened butter also needed to be incorporated at 104F. My second attempt this past weekend was a success! Melt in your mouth ganache with a smooth marriage of passion fruit and milk chocolate.
One of my favorite fillings from all my experiments was cream cheese buttercream. Yep you read it right: cream cheese and buttercream. And boy is it the lightest filling ever! I’m still looking to streamline the process because it is very involved to produce. You have to make an English cream and beat it into the softened butter. And then you make Italian Meringue and then mix it into your English cream-butter mixture. Then you beat your cream cheese and then incorporate your Italian Meringue-English cream butter cream. See what I mean…whew! But what you get is an extremely silky filling that could hold up pretty well in hot and humid conditions.
Lastly, I had to include the rose-litchi and raspberry creation known as the Ispahan fetish of Monsieur Herme. I think I’m going to make my own litchi puree because the ones I got online were a bit watery making for a runnier ganache.
I’ve also ventured into the world of gelee-filled macarons. For example, the cream cheese buttercream definitely needs the tartness lent by the passion fruit gelee to throw the flavor over the top. And although the rose litchi ganache could stand alone, its flavor gets elevated to a higher level when you include the raspberry gelee.
So let me present my new macaron flavors for the fall:
- Milk Chocolate and Passion Fruit Macaron
- Cream Cheese Buttercream Macaron with passion fruit gelee
- Rose-Litchi Ganache Macaron with raspberry gelee
As a tribute to the Picasso of Pastry for giving me so much inspiration with Petites Bouchees, I am giving away two full sets of the Pierre Herme miniature collection (these do not come assembled.) All you have to do is to leave a comment between now and August 31st stating what is your favorite Pierre Herme recipe or creation .
My good friend Helen has assembled this beautifully, check it out here. And the best part is, they are calorie free