No, not really. This post is really just to give you a recap of the macaron flavour combo's I made since my last batch of pink white chocolate macarons - my very first paid baking gig. (And also act as a diary entry of the flavours I've tried out). I've been getting cravings for macarons lately but am yet to satisfy my craving. Last time I ate a macaron was probably a month and a half ago, and I wasn't entirely satisfied with my purchase - overpriced and a little on the tough cookie side =( and overly sweet! I think I am going to prep some egg whites to whip up a batch this weekend, possibly.
I can't say that I've perfected the art of macarons yet either but what I have managed to produce is good enough by my standard for home made macarons. As long as I get my feet that's all that matters. (As mentioned in one of my previous macaron blog posts, I refer to the macaron recipe using the french meringue method via tartlette, with a few minor adaptions e.g I use ground almonds or almond meal in place of grinding my own, replacing a teaspoon or two of icing sugar for my spice/flavouring).
The last two batches of macarons I baked before these were for other people so we never really got to enjoy my hard work which instigated Ryan to request that I make a batch for us to eat. After a little brainstorming of flavour combinations we came up with the idea of chilli macarons with milk chocolate ganache. I may have been slightly heavy handed with the chilli powder and the ganache was a bit on the runny side though. Not everyone took to the flavour combination with some people finding them too strangely spicey. Ryan and I absolutely loved them.
Macarons are generally only flavoured in their filling and not the shell but I am determined to make macarons containing flavours both in the shell and filling. This makes me resort to sourcing powdered flavourings or ground spices that I can use which are dry and will not effect the consistency of the batter, seeing as the only method I know how to do at the moment is the french meringue method as opposed to the italian meringue method.
My next two batches I made were for my cousin's birthday as a present to her (low and behold her friends also show up with boxes of macarons from Lindt). My two macaron flavours here were Cinnamon & Salted Caramel and Cardamom & Rosewater Ganache. I used the salted caramel recipe from Baroque Bistro's Salted Caramel macarons, posted on Not Quite Nigella. Wasn't quite sure what I did wrong but my caramel ended up splitting on me.
The other flavour combination I thought that might be good to try was Cardamom & Rosewater, looking to middle eastern flavours for inspiraton. I just added some rosewater and pink colouring to some white chocolate ganache, again my ganache was a little on the runny side. Thumbs up for both flavours all around but I think the Cinnamon & Salted Caramel was the winner.
Matcha & Rosewater macarons. I had a packet of matcha (green tea powder) which I picked up on my tour of Cabramatta and have been meaning to use it in some kind of dessert and though matcha macarons would be nice. I also do like the combination of green tea and florals (e.g green tea with jasmin) and seeing as I still had heaps of rosewater ganache from the last batch I thought I would use it with my matcha macarons. The rosewater ganache was quite overpowering and sweet and masked the flavour of the matcha. Ryan was right, I should have used a buttercream with the rosewater instead of the white chocolate ganache. They were still good, maybe more matcha next time even.
I always make things in two so together with the Matcha & Rosewater macarons, I also made a Star Anise & Pandan Mung Bean combination. This flavour combination takes inspiration from Mum's vietnamese cooking. I was remembering back to a sticky rice dish where mum would add star anise to pandan flavoured sticky rice and then press it into a mould with layers of mung bean paste in between. She also adds sesame seeds to the top of this sticky rice dish but I thought that might be a bit too much.
So my take on it was star anise flavoured shells with a buttercream flavoured with green coloured pandan extract and crushed split mung bean mixed through for a bit of extra texture and flavour. This was by far the favourite of the two and something I might look at recreating in another dessert.
So it's been since November since I've made macarons. This craving is making me want to get back into the kitchen and whip up some egg whites. I'm also eager to incorporate some Manuka Honey into my desserts seeing as Ryan and I came back from New Zealand with a 1 kg jar of the stuff, Honey Chai macarons perhaps? Possibilities are endless! Stay tuned for some more mac-ventures in my kitchen.