Sunday, February 13, 2011
I recently had a chocolate macaron with a goat cheese and honey ganache at the The Culinary Institute of America, in Hyde Park, New York (Swoon! I dream of the day I will be able to go there... to learn!) while on my Christmas vacation to the east coast. Mostly I had to try it because the flavor combination was so intriguing.
It was one of the most delicious things I've ever had.
So never having made a macaron in my life, and only having one, yes one! while I was in Paris last summer (epic FAIL) I had to try making them and of course I had to try this flavor combination.
I couldn't find a recipe for goat cheese and honey ganache, probably because it's so strange. So I made up my own, it turned out pretty good I think. I especially liked that you could taste the tartness of the cheese with just a hint of honey in the background. I really liked that you could taste them both.
Unfortunately while making up the recipe I just started throwing things in the mixer and didn't write down what I was doing. (duh!) So I hope next time I go to make these I can remember what I did!
While researching how to make macarons I learned that they are, apparently, very difficult to make and that it's all about the technique. Also I guess it's incredibly hard to get that little "foot" on the bottom of the cookie if you don't mix it just right. In France, if your cookies are cracked, don't have the foot on the bottom, or aren't smooth on top... they're unsellable, and end up in the garbage!
I guess I must have been having a great day, because I only had a few minor problems really. You have to use almond meal/flour instead of regular flour with these cookies, and I didn't have any, so I made my own and my first batch of cookies weren't smooth on the top, they were kind of chunky. I didn't sift the almonds enough.
So I ground up some more almonds and sifted them through a fine sifter this time, twice, which gave me more of a flour than just tiny chunks of almonds. My second batch turned out right, they had the little "foot" on the bottom and were perfectly smooth on top!
Also, while researching I came across all this stuff about aging the egg whites, and letting them sit on the baking sheet for at least 2 hours before putting them in the oven, as well as a number of oven temperatures to cook them at... overwhelming, to say the least. This recipe though seemed very simple... and I followed it pretty closely, and my macarons turned out great, I thought!