Wednesday, September 16, 2009

COFFEE MACARONS WITH CHOCOLATE GANACHE FILLING

GIRLS JUST WANT TO HAVE FUN!


Push came to shove and we did it. What we didn’t dare do on our own, we did together. There is indeed power in numbers no matter how many try to prove that wrong. An international affair if I ever saw one. Governments could learn from us.


It started as nervous chatter on twitter and turned into a bit of a dare. Deeba of Passionate about Baking (and truly she is) had never made French macarons, that tender, delicate beauty of a délice, light as air cookie shell made of ground almonds, powdered sugar and meringue, sandwiched around a luscious, creamy filling. Need I say that the prospect was so daunting that it terrified her. Enter Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen, Hilda of Saffron & Blueberry and Meeta of What’s For Lunch, Honey? and me and the twitter conversation twirled and whirled around macarons. Deeba eventually came up with the delicious idea of us all making macarons in our own kitchens in one coordinated effort, alone but together, encouraging, supporting, asking and answering each other’s questions, a huge international communal kitchen, girlfriends baking together over the waves, a virtual cook-along. And she named me Leader of the Pack.


I considered myself pretty much a mac virgin. I had made them once before with Marie who had made Pierre Hermé’s macarons a few times already. But I had never made them alone and never in my own kitchen. So I gathered together my courage, put on my Mac Hat and dove in. Never one to shy away from a challenge and not wanting to let Deeba down (heaven forbid!), I weighed, sifted, whipped and folded. I lined, piped, waited and baked. I melted and stirred a luxurious dark chocolate ganache filling. And came up with, dare I say, perfect macarons? Ever so humbly I proclaimed my Mac Success with only the gentlest of crowing and strutting and the challenge was on. I posted my Violet Macarons and Deeba and I twittered and invited all mac virgins to jump aboard the Mac Express.


Throwing caution to the wind, many other girlfriends, food bloggers one and all, threw the proverbial dish towel into the ring and climbed in (am I mixing my metaphors with as much ease as I mix my whites?). We set a two week time limit, offered a couple of simple recipes, lots of tips and we were off!

Me first! For my second attempt – and I would have been so embarrassed if, after all my crowing, my second macs had fallen flat – I used another of Helen of Tartelette’s recipes. Coffee macarons. I doubled the quantity espresso powder I added to the mix – the batter tasted like the best coffee ice cream! and, once again, turned out wonderful macs. I do believe that I have such success because 1) I adore whipping egg whites, 2) I convinced myself to trust my instincts and not think at all (some smart alecs may claim that this is too easy for me! Ha ha!) and 3) I live in France ☺

Coffee Macarons with Dark Chocolate Ganache Filling

Violet Macarons and Coffee Macarons

And here is the round up of results one and all: some perfect, some less so, some disasters, yet there are a few lessons that we have learned:

1) we loved doing this project, this challenge, together and had so much fun!
2) it was so much easier finding the courage and carrying through on the challenge when we had each other, working together, cheering each other on, helping each other along. Laughing at failures and funny-looking results, screaming Hip Hip Hooray with each success.
3) we have each and every one of us been bitten by the Mac Bug and our baking fingers itch to do it again, reaching for the stars and getting better, more perfect macs with each attempt.
4) Macs, no matter how they look, feet or no feet, gorgeously domed or flat as a pancake, smooth, lovely shell or cracked and broken, macs always taste fabulous and are just perfect with a cup of coffee.

This, we can confidently say, was the first but will most definitely not be the last!

Deeba of Passionate About Baking


Hilda of Saffron & Blueberry



Meeta of What’s for Lunch, Honey?


Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen


Finla of My Kitchen Treasures


Ilva of Lucullian Delights


Rachael of La Fuji Mama



Barbara of Barbara Bakes


Deborah of Italian Food Forever


Megan of A Sweet Spoonful


Ria of Ria’s Collection


Renee of Flamingo Musings


And last, but never least, our valiant Denise of Chez Us (who posted her wonderful mac results with much aplomb without, and I repeat, without eating an entire bowl of chocolate ganache!)


And we all deserve the blue ribbon!

59 comments:

Maria said...

They are ALL fabulous. Great roundup!

Barbara Bakes said...

I love the idea of girlfriends baking together. It's so much more fun! It's a fabulous roundup! Thanks for being our fearless leader!

Ilva said...

Jamie, what a lovely roundup and what a lot of interesting variations. I hope you are coping and that you will be back on the track in a not to far future. XXOO

bethany (dirtyKitchenSecrets) said...

Genius idea and what creativity. They all look beautiful! Job well done!

The Food Librarian said...

What a great roundup!!! Love the old time photos too...just add in some Twitter for today's times! :) Well done by all!

Fuji Mama said...

I LOVE the roundup! It was so much more fun to fail miserably when I knew I had all of my Sistahs to back me up! Everyone did such an amazing job! And you Jamie? You have EVERY reason to be crowing and strutting your stuff! :) Can't wait for the next round!!!

Deeba @Passionate About Baking said...

You are truly the best driver we could have gotten for our express. Fun & just the VERY BEST-EST!! Loved being driven through this dizzy ride, and it's been an exhilirating experience. I don't think I would have EVER enjoyed making my first successful mac any other way. What an awesome round-up. Thank you hun, and much love to you. Take care & come back soon! xoxo

Mowielicious said...

Fabulous! And they all look so scrumptious.

The Cooking Ninja said...

Bravo! They are all beautiful. :) I had so much fun making macs with all of you. Too bad I couldn't get mine out on time. Will join in next round. :)

RJ Flamingo said...

All hail the Mac Queen! Great roundup - fun to see all the variations, and it's good of you to coordinate all of this and all of us!

Lots of Love, Laughs, and Macs in the New Year! L'Shana Tova!

My Carolina Kitchen said...

These are more gorgeous than words can describe. Great round-up.
Sam

Amy said...

What an absolutely incredible collection - they all look outstanding! And now, my turkey/sprout sandwich for lunch seems so disappointing.

Chow and Chatter said...

wow amazingly beautiful work ladies

Happy cook said...

Wow that is indeed a wonderful and beautiful not to mention variety of Macs there . They all look so so pretty.
Beautifully pit together the roundup.
And I am really looking forward to the next challenge.

Heavenly Housewife said...

What delicious looking efforts. Surely with all those macaroons though, you need a little help eating them. I might know of someone who could help you :D

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

A fabulous roundup! They all look so pretty and delicious!

Cheers,

Rosa

Bethie said...

Awesome! I wanna play next time. I have never even seen or eaten one, much less make one, but I am game.

Debbie <3 said...

How cool would it be to have the violet, green and turquoise/teal macaroons all on one plate???? Your blogs stimulate all the senses :)

SKM said...

*Mwah* You guys are all brilliant. My husband can attest that my macs did NOT look anything like your guys. :) Oh well, I'll try again and now I have a list of wonderful resources to consult from.

Jamie - you're brilliant. :)

Jamie said...

Shelley, Heavenly H, Bethie, we will be counting on you and whoever else wishes to jump aboard next month!

Irina @ PastryPal said...

Love this post! I admire everyone for taking the plunge into the unknown and baking outside their comfort zone. The results are fabulous and I love all the variations. Gives me ideas!

eatlivetravelwrite said...

Great roundup - I would love to be in on this next time!!!

Deb Mele said...

Jamie, I finally had time to pop around and check out everyone's macs. GREAT job ladies and thanks again Jamie for being such a great leader and motivator. I have officially been bitten by the mac bug!

doggybloggy said...

fee-nom, nom, nom -ee nal

Bron said...

WOW you ladies did a super job, they all look divine! xxx

Cathy said...

Oh my gosh, all the macarons are perfect. I've been timid about trying to make them, but I'm inspired now.

A great post!

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

What a wonderful job everyone has done! I have to admit, I have never baked a macaron.. or even eaten one! Please send me one of each, so that I may know what I have been missing.

Ciao Chow Linda said...

What a fantastic bunch of macarons. I have always been timid about making them, but you guys give me encouragement. A definite bookmark here.

Danielle said...

oh my gosh....those are all just soo darned cute!

Cinnamon Girl aka Reeni♥ said...

I'm in heaven!!! I wish I could be the designated taste tester!!

Mary said...

I know you all are trying to kill us. Every one of these entries is gorgeous and I'm sure delicious. What a wonderful round up.

Chez US said...

I love this write up - thank you for letting me in with all these amazing girls!! Can't wait for our next girl get-together! We should Skype during the bake session, too!

Everyone did a fantastic job, I love all the feet - GREAT job, you all are amazing!

Megan Gordon said...

Oh my--how cool seeing them all together! We rock! And Jamie: thanks so much for organizing and putting up a marvelous post. And for including me. I can't wait for another upcoming challenge.

Elra said...

Heavenly goood!

görel said...

This looks just too tempting. I have never made, nor even eaten macarons! This must clearly change pretty soon. I want to make all the varieties here and more ... great post!
I hope you're doing alright -- hugs!

MeetaK said...

brilliant brilliant! this is a great roundup jamie. hang in there! we love you!

MsGourmet said...

You girls rock!

Sophie said...

MMMMMMMMMMMM,....the different macarons look so cute & delicious!!

How is it possible to choose?

scraps said...

Wonderful,wonderful! They all look great and tasty! How fun that you all worked to get these together.

buffalodick said...

I made Macaroons once, and screwed them up but good!

Eve said...

Brilliant and so inspiring! I might give them a try myself :)

Beautiful pictures as well.

5 Star Foodie said...

Wow, what a terrific roundup - all of the macaroons are gorgeous! I love how many different variations & flavors there can be created!

Junglefrog said...

I seriously think it is a conspiracy! Ever since coming back from holiday the only thing I see popping up are macarons... And since I've only made them twice I am still a mac-virgin really and scared of attempt number three. But after seeing all the perfect examples you all have turned out I will just have to go ahead and make myself another batch!!

Ana Powell said...

I always love your posts, absolutely beautiful recipes and photos.
Excellent work x

Sweetie Pie said...

They are all so beautiful! I've always loved macarons, but I've never made them myself. I guess there is no deadline for inspiration! I may have to try my hand at macaron making, but, for now, I'm just going to enjoy all of the gorgeous photos!

Donna-FFW said...

Fabulous roundup. My gosh, what a super fantastic post! Loads of creativity,nicely done.

Katherine Aucoin said...

Baking with girlfriends is something i would really like to do!

Chris said...

Great round up! Fantastic job to all involved - they all look so wonderful.

I am embarrassed to admit I've STILL never had a macaron.

Jackie at PhamFatale.com said...

Jamie, I'm in awe. They look perfect. Le big mac(aron). Great team work!

A Year on the Grill said...

Excellent post... Nice job all, wish i could have been part of the fun

Ulla said...

oh so fantastic!

The Cooking Photographer said...

Jamie, I am a mac virgin. Yes, I said it. It's true! You have to make them of course. You live in France!

Someday I'll have the courage. Or time.

Laura

Sippity Sup said...

Congrats to all the girls...no boys allowed huh? GREG

Jamie said...

@ Sippity Sup: Greg, guys definitely welcome. Seemed none were bit by the Mac Bug or none dared :-0 Your welcome next time round!

asiangrrl said...

Jamie, all the macs look absolutely fabulous. I tried to post a comment before, but I was DENIED. It's good to see you blogging again.

Muneeba said...

congratulations on your mac success! I have so much respect for all you ladies ... I have yet to make that plunge (soon, soon!). They're all gawgeous and irresistible!

Nicisme said...

Fabulous macarons, would love to try some of the flavours here!

kellypea said...

Beautiful flavor combinations, excellent photography, and a priceless detailing of experience. Really missing the opportunity to do things like this since I've returned to the world of busy, busy work and have less to blog. Guess I'll have to live vicariously through you. So enjoyed it!

LoveFeast Table said...

And I thought you were tweeting about Mac computers....lol!! They are all lovely, and what a great story to go along with it!! Maybe next time, I can join in! I'll need the most help though!! Chris Ann

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