Monday, January 31, 2011

Macaroon or Macaron?

Chef Paul Kennedy - World Chocolate Masters Champion, told us when teaching us the fine art of the French Macaron, (yes it needs a capital letter!) that he divides his friends into Macaron friends and non Macaron friends.   You see, after you've had a few attempts at making this incredibly finicky biscuit, you'll understand why you will only offer them to people who know to appreciate them.  To those that think 'its only a biscuit' ....well, then they probably wouldn't really miss it.

Growing up, a macaroon was one of these things,

Sweet and moist with lots of coconut, they were consumed and savored on our way home from school in the family car.  I remember them to be large piped confections that we almost the size of my hand that I nibbled whilst wondering why my mother liked them so much....

Then whilst foodblog surfing in 2004, I discovered the French Macaron on a la cuisine (one of the first online recipes for the macaron) and then everyone seemed to be attempting them and singing its praises - well, back then, I couldn't really understand what all the fuss was about. 

The first ever attempt worked fine.... hence the incomprehension of what all the fuss was about.... the second attempt failed, as did the 3rd and 4th.  I even had my sister ferry them back from Laduree in London in order to compare them to my attempts.  Over the years though, I've been quite content to have my fill of them every time I visited Adriano Zumbo's in Sydney - (before he was THAT famous)    Still, making that perfect macaron shell was high on my list of to dos, so last year, the trip to Savour Melbourne took care of that.

This weekend I was delighted to share it with a lovely group of Macaron enthusiasts.

On arriving in the lovely home, I was greeted with a giant bowl of curious looking nuts.  (pardon me for going off track here)

I felt that closer inspection was required......

They are actually raw macadamia nuts.  I would never have known that was what they looked like growing on a tree!  And strangely, they have a texture like fresh coconut,  firm but slightly sweet and crunchy.  I learnt something new that day too!

Back on to the French Macarons.....

Demonstrating the Macaroner

Piping the shells with the help of a template

And finally assembling the biscuits.

We made Green tea, White chocolate & Raspberry and Lemon macarons.

The girls had fun and went away thinking about which friends were going to be Macaron friends.  So I told them, don't get too pretentious about French patisserie..... you probably don't need to go around correcting people of their pronunciation to the correct MAC-A-RON, as long as you know its spelled with one O, you're ok,
you can keep calling them MAC-A-ROONS.


And some more photos of the dessert table for Carol & Doug at Kings Park a couple weeks ago.

Photos courtesy of Jess who did the beautiful flowers

1 comment:

  1. Love the pic capturing the mixing action of the batter!

    Well said! I find that macar-O-n just doesn't quite roll off the tongue as easily as macar-OO-n.