Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day, A special treat for my mom

This post is dedicated to my mom in honor of Mother's Day. I love you Mom, you are my best friend and my partner in crime. I'm so thankful for you and all that you do.

My mom is a lover of all things French: Hermes, Monet, Goyard, Croissants, Pierre Deux, Crepes, and well basically any French pastry.

Sadly, she stopped eating gluten recently, which crossed off just about every pastry that exists. Except for her favorite one. The one she dreams about. The one that she would never attempt to make because it's an art form. The one you see beautifully displayed in all the windows in Paris.The one that Laduree sells, which are the best in the world. It's the French Macaron.

Imagine biting into something slightly crisp on the outside, chewy on the inside, and filling your mouth with sweet delicious flavor, that's a macaron. And, let's get this straight, these are never to be confused with nasty Passover macaroons.

Tonight we are having dinner at my parent's house to celebrate Mom's Day. When we finish dinner, I'm planning on surprising my mom with some Strawberry Macarons I made today. She is going to be beside herself!

See the recipe:

Strawberry French Macarons

I think this recipe makes around 2 dozen, I'm not sure though because my cookie monster was eating them left and right before I had a chance to count. The finished ones are now hiding on top of the refrigerator, so there will still be some left to take to my mom tonight.

You can buy almond flour, but it costs $14 for a small bag. I suggest making it yourself.

3/4 C. almond flour- see directions below
1 C. powdered sugar
2 egg whites, room temperature
1/8 t. cream of tartar
1/4 C. superfine sugar

strawberry jam

To make the almond flour: place slivered almonds (blanched- without the peel) in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until a finely ground, don't pulse too much or the oils will release and it will get pasty. Once the almonds are ground, put into a sieve or sifter, and sift over a bowl, do this two times.

Place the almond flour, and powdered sugar in the bowl of a food processor, and mix until combined. Then sift this mixture 2 times.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees, and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl whip the egg whites until foamy (use the whisk attachment if you have it). Add the cream of tartar and whisk until soft peaks form. Then reduce the speed to low, and add the sugar, and then increase the speed to high. Whisk until stiff peaks form, about 5-8 minutes. Sift the flour mixture over the whites. Fold the flour into the whites, and fold until the mixture is smooth, and thoroughly mixed.

Transfer the batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 inch plain round tip, and pipe 3/4 inch circles 1 inch apart on the baking sheets. You can wet your finger and press down any peaks, to make sure the circle is completely flat. Tap the baking sheet on the counter to release trapped air. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes.

Place one sheet in the oven and reduce the heat to 325 degrees. Bake for 5 minutes, then turn the sheet pan and bake 5 more minutes (a total on 10 minutes baking time). Remove from the oven, and let stand on the baking sheet for 2-3 minutes, then transfer to a wire cooling rack. If the macaron doesn't release, you can spray water underneath the parchment on the hot sheet, and the steam will help release them, mine came off easily though.

Raise the temp. back to 375, and repeat the same baking process of lowering the heat to 325, and baking 10 minutes with the second sheet.

Once they have cooled off, sandwich 2 same sized macarons with the strawberry jam.

Best if served immediately.


Here is what Prince Hock #1 made at school for me for Mother's Day, melts my heart.

Happy Mother's Day!

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