Saturday, April 2, 2011

Vanity, thy name is macaron...

I am sitting at work with color on my hair, wincing as the peroxide breaks through the "tingle-factor," into a realm of straight up sting and even pain.  So it must be if I want to be this blonde, and I do.

Oh, the torture of beauty desired.  Tomorrow there will be welts, and perhaps a blister or two.  And now you know precisely how vain I am.

Yes, I know what the Bible says about that.  And onto macarons.

I started gazing at food blogs nearly a year ago, when my father introduced me to "stumbleupon."  Somehow I stumbled onto, and my life forever changed.  My eyes were titillated (ha.  titillated) by photo after photo of carefully prepared delicacies, and being the wife of a photographer- I thought, "Why aren't we doing this?"  I toyed and toyed with the idea of starting a food blog, and now- 3 months, 50 posts and 5300 page-views later, I would say it is a success.

Thank you.

As you all know, I have stuck around the layer cake corner, simply because I love cake, and most people do as well.  I love that I can put two sticks of butter, a block of cream cheese, 1/2 cup of peanut butter, and 3/4 pound of powdered sugar in a bowl, stir it together- and people knowingly indulge in every calorie.  I think it is glorious, and I don't mind if I grab a spoon myself and get in on it.


But through the pictures of cake and cupcakes, brownies and cookies, there has been a treat that eludes me- horror after horror story has kept me from playing in their delicate French batter.  Not to mention that almond flour is virtually inaccessible in Augusta, GA, save Bob's Mill $10/lb bag- which I couldn't justify paying for something that will inevitably end in total failure and despair.

Yes, I am talking about the macaron, and after a very tacky attempt to garnish ingredients from facebook friends, one of my dear friend procured a bag of almond flour for me, and I went to work.

Now, I really had very little of an idea about what a macaron should taste like, as I have only had one in my life.  The last time I visited Charleston, I eagerly went to Baked on East Bay Street.  I ordered one of virtually everything, and among those items was one $2.50 Strawberry Balsamic Macaron, spelled "macaroon" on the signage.  It was unlike what I was expecting, with a slight outward "crunch," and a soft, marshmallowy texture inside.  It was delicious, and I have since dreamed of creating one myself.

Last Tuesday was my first attempt, and with an excellent article and recipe via Stella at Brave Tart (rain temporarily subsided), I carefully measured out my ingredients.  I decided to keep things simple, and I added 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract and a drop of blue food coloring to the mixture (should have added more food coloring).

After piping the finished batter onto my tray, I knew that I should have stirred the substance 4-5 more times (as they stood up a little too much in the middle)- drat!  Oh well, into the oven with crossed fingers they went, and 18 minutes later- out they came: a few of them cracked, but otherwise pretty good for a first attempt.  Their gorgeous little "feet" were precisely poised, and when filled with rich chocolate ganache, they were perfect in my belly.

How I cannot wait to get back into the kitchen to perfect my "macronage."  I hope you are hungry, as there will be plenty laying around!

My color is finished, and just as I like it: blonde on the ends, fushcia at the scalp.  Next week might be slow on the blogging for me, as we are determined to potty-train a toddler.

Love that kid.

Have a great weekend!

Rachel Bee


  1. Good luck with your macrons - and your potty training. I can be of no help with the first but if (or I should rather say "when") you get to your wits end with the second and need to rant for a bit - well, you know how to find me :)