Birds of a feather

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

(*adopts best Attenborough voice*) “It is that time of the month again, when the macarons make their monthly trek across the blogosphere. Travelling in pairs, dozens upon dozens swarm to the nesting site. Their multicoloured feet are a sight to behold as they jostle for supremacy, each delicate shelled creature hiding a very tasty morsel within…”

No, I have not gone barmy, it’s Mactweets time again, and MacAttack 8 is all about walking on the wild side.

Luckily, I’d remembered to make some shells before I left for holidays, and stored them in the freezer. 

Pa-dah: Peacock Macarons.

What’s that? Pride comes before a fall? Why  yes, I must admit that this month’s macaron shells were probably the most “un-feety” I have ever made (bar one). And I know exactly why too. Trying to be too clever, I thought perhaps a small teaspoon of cornflour added to my macaron batter might help to stabilise things a little. Apparently not. The shells hardly rose and quite a few developed cracks in the top (a first for me).

Never mind, they tasted great anyway. I flavoured the shells with garam masala because peacocks make me think of India. The filling is a quick microwave “jam” made with pear and ginger.

I used one peeled, cored and diced beurre bosc pear and roughly a full teaspoon of finely grated ginger (and accumulated ginger juices from the leftover stringy bits on the grater) plus a scant tablespoon of water. I placed these in a microwave safe jug and cooked on high for 3 minutes. I stopped the microwave after each minute to stir and test to see if the pear had softened. Once soft, I mashed everything through a sieve, and collected about ½ cup puree. I added a dash of ground ginger to this, along with 3 tablespoon of sugar and nuked in one minute burst until mixture was thick and jammy.

Elephants, ginger and pears...oh my! (always wanted to make one of these creatures. The ears are held in place with toothpicks)

The flavour combo is wonderful, it starts of sweet and spicy, then finishes with a lingering heat from the ginger. At first I didn’t think I could taste pear, but it suddenly surfaces after the ginger, long after the macaron has been eaten.

Surprisingly, this is the first time MC Senior has begged for a macaron, she usually finds them too sweet, but because she likes ginger, she really took to this one.

Check out the other wild creations over at the Mactweets site, watch out, some of them may bite ☺

(Holiday posts coming soon, I promise)


Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite said...

They're beautiful! Love the colours!

Jamie said...

Oh, too clever! Fabulous post and such creative macs! And I agree with you that if the mac tastes great all the rest is secondary (mine came out looking just like yours!). These are beautiful and the flavor intriguing. Excellent animal macs!

Anonymous said...

I like the way you presented them with the peacock and all. I had never seen anything like that! I noticed you mentioned something about stabilizing the batter. I was taught that egg white powder usually does the trick. Works for me. Anyway, love your blog, keep it up!

Hungry Dog said...

These are as pretty as, well, peacocks! Gorgeous as always, shaz. Love that shade of blue!

grace said...

the. elephant. is. adorable. i can't stress that enough--bravo! i love the peacock too, and the fact that you incorporated garam masala into the cookie. very unexpected and brilliant, shaz!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Ooh gorgeous Shaz! I'm loving the peacock macarons and the pear elephant (although I think it almost has a mouse like quality to it too :) ).

Lora said...

These are so beautiful. What a great idea!

Françoise @chocoparis said...

Very pretty macarons, and a great presentation. Love the paper peacock. Pear and ginger sounds like an exquisite flavour combination!

ajcabuang04 said...

I love your pictures. Especially the second peacock picture. Super funny and creative!
Would you mind checking out my blog? :D

Aparna said...

That is so creative, Shaz. LOve your peacock macs. Didn't have the time this month. :(
Love the cutie pear mouse too.

shaz said...

Thanks Mardi, I used a mix of Wilton gel colours in teal, aqua and royal blue.

Thanks for that Queen Jamie, I don't feel so bad about the look of my macs now. I was feeling so sure of myself too until I saw them come out of the oven!

Anonymous - thank you, will try that next time.

Hungry Dog - cheers!

Thanks Grace - I love the elephant too, I think I will print him out to hang in the kid's room :)

Lorraine - I did think he looked a bit mousey too. Question:"Why is an elephant big, grey and wrinkled? Because if he was small, grey and furry, he'd be a mouse". (sorry, I love elephant jokes)

Thanks Lora, great to meet you.

Françoise- thank you! I loved your tumeric mac idea.

ajcabuang04 - nice to meet you and thank you.

Aparna - thank you. There's always next month :)

Heavenly Housewife said...

That is so beautiful and original. I am super impressed daaaahling. I love the sound of your pear and ginger jam.
Wishing you a fabulous weekend ahead.
*kisses* HH

Bonnie said...

The color of your macs are beautiful and the jam is so creative. I definitely am inspired.

Cristina - TeenieCakes said...

Congrats on successful macs this month for MacTweets and a great idea for the theme! I really like the color shade you were able to create (I have such a hard time with coloring macs).

Deeba PAB said...

Oh you are becoming the Queen of macs! You take the feet, oooops, I mean cake Shaz!! Utterly gorgeous and wonderfully inspired, garam masala and all!! Thanks for joining us at MacTweets!

Ken said...

Charming post of your adorable macs. Creative indeed.

3 hungry tummies said...

Brilliant post! It put a big smile on my face!
You are both very funny and creative Shaz!

Cristie said...

Very fun, I love the blue swril on top and your wonderful pictures! Great post, just perfect:)

Barbara Bakes said...

Love your peacock and your pear mouse- lol. So creative and cute!