Posts filed under: ‘Macaron Mayhem‘




A New Level of Crazy: Macaron Madness – Asymmetry

So yeah, I’ve been slack with the posting. Short attention span and all that ūüôā

Asymmetry by Thoraiya Dyer

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One of the first things you may notice about these macarons is that they’re not smooth and even. There’s a reason for that ūüôā Mostly it’s because I’d been cooking macarons for something like ten hours and my care factor had slipped a little (Sorry, Thoraiya!) But I kinda figured that with a title like Assymetry I could get a pass on them¬†being¬†smooth, shiny, perfect little bites of sweet delight.

Which isn’t to say that they’re not delicious little morsels, because these were amazing! The colour was easy to choose. I didn’t. They are macarons a la naturel. No colouring, just the natural colour of the almond meal macaron. The flavour though like¬†Thoraiya’s writing is a twist on the everyday – Vanilla and Elderflower. And the consensus was that it was absolutely delicious!

 

Previously in Macaron Mayhem:

Nightsiders by Sue Isle

Love and Romanpunk by Tansy Rayner Roberts

Cracklescape by Margo Lanagan

 

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Add a comment June 3, 2014

A New Level of Crazy: Macaron Madness – Cracklescape

Cracklescape by Margo Lanagan

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Photo by Cat Sparks

 

 

Of the nine Twelfth Planet books, Cracklescape was the easiest flavour to choose. I always knew it would be the same flavour as the cupcakes I did. Salted Lime Caramel! Because it’s hard to go wrong with salted caramel.¬†And when I make them again, as larger versions, which I will, I’ll be folding crushed toffee shards through the frosting for extra crackle, as well as putting a dollop of goopy pure caramel in the centre of the frosting.

The shells had lime zest grated into the mixture for a hint of citrusy goodness to match the cover,  and there was a good squeeze of juice in the caramel itself as well, and it really worked. I think these are quite possibly my favourite. (Favourite enough that I have made a batch of them this week Рin full size.)

 

Previously in Macaron Mayhem:

Nightsiders by Sue Isle

Love and Romanpunk by Tansy Rayner Roberts

 

1 comment May 9, 2014

A New Level of Crazy: Macaron Mayhem – Love and Romanpunk

Love and Romanpunk by Tansy Rayner Roberts

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Photo by Cat Sparks

I LOVE how strong the colour turned out with this one. Actually, the colours for this one, BAD POWER, and THROUGH SPLINTERED WALLS all came out gorgeous, and I think that was mostly because I let them mature overnight. Alisa and I had been cooking all day and into the night and had only completed six batches, so about 8:30 I decided to make the mix for the remaining three, but cook them the next day. And it paid off. The colours matured beautifully!

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I had come across a flavour combination of Fig and Port Wine, which seemed to be perfect for LARP, but I did encounter a couple of issues with it.

Problem number one is figs aren’t in season, so I got hold of some semi dried figs and marinated them for a day or so. Problem number two occurred when I first attempted to make the filling¬†dairy free. I thought the flavour would go well with a chocolate base, and I had a recipe where you¬†cream an avocado and mix it with cocoa to make a rich chocolate frosting.

Perfect! or so I thought. The base frosting tasted beautiful, and I will be using it again, but remember those marinating figs? When they were mulched up and mixed in, a) I needed A LOT of them to override the cocoa which left me with an overwhelming fig flavour, and b) the look and texture was not something you want to put on anything you are intending to eat. Brown. Lumpy. Sticky.

Yeah. No.

So, I pushed it to the side and decided to try a different variant. Fortunately, when I’d purchased the semi-dried figs, I’d also gotten some of “Maggie Beer’s Fig & Fennel Paste.” The taste was quite mild and was complemented well¬†when I added in a splash of port. The question then was what frosting base I should add it to, bearing in mind I was trying to stay dairy free. I ended up going with the cashew frosting – soak natural cashews in warm water for several hours, then blitz with a bit of oil. A nice subtle flavored frosting that didn’t conflict with the fig and port. Very nice!

 

Previously in Macaron Mayhem:

Nightsiders by Sue Isle

 

Add a comment May 5, 2014

A New Level of Crazy: Macaron Mayhem – Nightsiders

Nightsiders by Sue Isle

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Photo by 
Cat Sparks

 

The cover is yellow, but the flavour of the book is far from bright, nor is it sweet. So no traditional yellow flavour (eg: lemon or banana) would suffice for me. Instead I needed a dark, gritty flavour, and I decided on Vegemite. Don’t laugh! And don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it. The King of Macarons, Adriano Zumbo introduced the world to Vegemite Macarons and the world accepted this offering of ambrosia.¬†And technically is wasn’t Vegemite, coz I needed to use Ozemite in order for all the macs to stay gluten free.

The Vegemite was mixed into a white chocolate ganache and a handful of gluten free breadcrumbs for texture. And the salty tang of Vegemite (Ozemite) balances beautifully with the sweet of the white chocolate ganache and the macaron shell.

At the launch this was the flavour that garnished the most attention, and not everyone was convinced enough to try it, but for the most part, those that did thought it worked.

Add a comment May 1, 2014

A New Level of Crazy: Macaron Mayhem Edition

As you may have noticed, two of my passions are baking and fandom. And the most fun I can have is when I combine the two. And I had an opportunity to do this recently, because Swancon was on, and Twelfth Planet Press had a special announcement to make. The question was, how to do it in style? Remember last time, when I decorated 300 cupcakes in a hotel room? Yeah, I didn’t learn.

And, since this time around I would be in my own kitchen, ¬†I couldn’t just live with that, could I? Noooo, I had to up the difficulty level. Because that seems to be how I define fun. ūüôā

The Challenge: A macaron for each of the nine released book of the Twelve Planets series. Colour and flavour matched. And for an added twist of difficulty I decided to make over half of the fillings dairy free.

Now, NO ONE¬†should eat nine macarons in a short period, not unless they want to go into sugar shock, so by opting¬†for mini macs we figured we’d lower the sugar intake for those determined adventurous enough to try all flavours. What Alisa and I discovered with a full day spent cooking, is¬†minis are way harder to get right than traditional sized ones, which means¬†I have A LOT of leftovers (aka way less than perfect) at home that we are working our way though.

FYI they look a lot like this.

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However, we did end up with around 450 complete mini macarons for the night.

A night which seemed to be a success.

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Last few… they were gone moments later.

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And Alisa selling ALL the books!

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Oh, and the Twelfth Planet Special Announcement? News about a Thirteenth Planet by Isobel Carmody!

In the next few days I will attempt to post the story of each macaron. I’m not going to give a specific macaron recipe, because there are a million out on the net, and what works for one person doesn’t always work for someone else. However, I will talk generically about the shells, and give an idea of what I used for the fillings.

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Photo by Cat Sparks

 

Add a comment April 28, 2014

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