Making Merry with macarons (Mactweet 14)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Anyone who has ever eaten a macaron will know that they pack a pretty sweet punch. Eat enough of them and you’re staring down the barrel of a sugar coma. So this month’s Mactweet challenge was pretty tricky. “Create a savoury macaron,” said our hosts Jamie and Deeba.

Hmmmm...I wasn’t game to try mucking around with the sugar ratio too much because I’ve been there, done that and the results weren’t good. Instead, I racked my brains trying to work out what kind of sweet-salty combination would work. Inspiration took a long time coming, but when I read the challenge again, something caught my eye. “Invent a macaron to be served ... as hors d’oeuvres with a glass of champagne”. This made me think of a cheese platter, and so the Oat and Parmesan macaron shell was born. I was thinking of those oat biscuits you serve cheese on, so I added some finely ground rolled oats into the shell. But what to fill it with? A slice of brie and some caramelised pear of course. (I know it sounds a bit strange but I urge you to try this combo, it really, really works as a savoury macaron!).


While the flavour combo worked fabulously, my idea of topping the macaron shells with grated parmesan cheese was a semi-fail. I forgot that the cheese would weigh down on the shells and affect the “rise”. The shells with the least amount of cheese on them looked the best.





In hindsight, I should have just made the shells without the cheese topping, and made a cheese disc instead, like this, to sandwich in the mac, or balance on top for a touch of whimsy.  Live and learn.



Normally, I would have tried making another batch of macarons, but I’ve been a tad busy. Doing what you may ask? Making more macarons of course :)

Here are some Christmas themed chocolate macarons.





 I piped circles with a 1/4 inch tip, then put some macaron batter into a baking paper icing bag and used this to pipe antlers. Then I added red cachous for the noses. When the macarons had cooled, I used a toothpick to blob on some melted white chocolate for eyes, and another toothpick dipped in food colouring formed the pupils.



Instead of piping, you can even used slivered almonds for antlers!

Only three more sleeps to Christmas! Come back late tomorrow to find out what the Daring Bakers made for the holiday season :)

See you soon and happy baking.

For the oat and parmesan shells, I halved and modified David Lebovitz’s chocolate macaron recipe. I used 50g icing sugar, 20g almond meal, 15 g rolled oats, 35g eggwhite and 30g caster sugar. I lightly toasted the almond meal and the oats together, then blitzen (ha ha) them in the food processor until fine. Proceed according to French macaron method.




For the pear, I cooked thin slices of pear with butter and a touch of water until soft, then added some brown sugar to caramelise and coat the pears in a thick syrup.

20 comments:

Jamie said...

Wow! Now, I have to say that just seeing the title of these macs had me racing over here to check them out, jaw dropped to my chest with awe! But those reindeer mac are fabulous!!!! Completely pulled my attention down the page. Too perfect! Too adorable! Brilliant! But your savory macs are fabulous, too, and the flavor combo is fabulous and I can just imagine how wonderful it works! You really grabbed this challenge by both reindeer horns (he he) and made it work so well! Thanks for baking again with us! I love it!

shaz said...

Thanks Jamie! I had so much fun with this challenge. Looking forward to more macaron fun next year :)

Deeba PAB said...

Born to play around with feet, you are Shaz! Boy o boy...look at the flavour combination. YUM! As for the reindeer...HO HO HO - ♥ them. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw those perfect mac-antlers. Always fun to see the magic you come up with. Happy Holidays you sweet girl!

PlumLeaf 李葉 said...

You are so so so clever! Oat & cheese macs are very differnt to what you would normally think of macarons - then again, so is teh concept of a savoury one.

I love love yuor reindeer macs! You should make & package as holiday gifts! Too adorable to eat though!

Wishing you and your family festive greetings and may it be full of fun eating!

Lora said...

Love your sweet/savory mac flavor combination. So creative. And those reindeers are off the hook adorable. Cutest macs I've ever seen.

Beth said...

Your reindeer macarons are absolutely adorable!! I don't think I've seen anything cuter for the holidays.

Hungry Dog said...

Wow, I love the idea of savory macarons--brilliant! But what I am really in love with are the little chocolate reindeers. Doesn't get any cuter than that! Happy holidays, shaz!

Vanille said...

No doubt that the brie/pear combo must taste great !
But those chocolate macarons are my favourite, so cute !
Merry Christmas to you and your family !

Juliana said...

Shaz, I sure admire your creativity...love the mix and matching flavors...the Christmas theme ones are sure very cute :-)

3 hungry tummies said...

LOVE the X'mas macarons! I hope you are all sorted for the holidays!

Debugcooking said...

Love yr flavour combo..oatmeal.parmesan..never would have tht of them...gr8 job and those reindeer ones are adorable!

shaz said...

Thanks everyone :)

grace said...

reindeer! too cute, shaz. you've done it again. :)

Hannah @ BakeFive said...

reindeer macarons!! too cute! :D

Seattle Pastry Girl said...

What a great flavor combination-they look incredibly delicious. And those reindeer , you are soooo creative.

dessert girl said...

Oh, I love these sorts of challenges! Your idea is so clever AND it sounds yummy! Love those reindeer, too! So cute!

shaz said...

Thanks everyone :)

Laura said...

Those reindeer macs are just too cute. Very, very clever!

Lisa said...

Wow, shaz...I just saw these in the MacTweet roundup and I am blown away! The oat and parmesan shell is brilliant and so daring! I'm always afraid of adding something other than ground nuts to the shell LOL LOVE the brie and pear filling. Coolest sweet and savory macaron ever!

Jill @ MadAboutMacarons said...

Oh my - what a wonderful surprise. Saw this link at the bottom of your post today and discovered this macaron brilliance! Parmesan? Brilliant. And these antlers? Fantastic!