A stiff drink and finding macaron mojo

Thursday, September 1, 2011

“Kick it up!” for Macattack the macaron mavens said. “Create something intoxicating, heady with flavor and create a macaron kissed by your favorite liquor.”

If I had to pick a favourite liquor, it would probably be dark rum, but I wanted to channel the Cosmopolitan. That drink made famous by Ms Bradshaw et. al. Actually I never watched the series but it was so huge it was pretty hard to escape. Like a juggernaut on stilettos.

Um, where were we? Oh yeah, alcohol.

A Cosmo contains vodka, triple sec, cranberry juice and lime. I don’t keep triple sec handy but Cointreau makes a good substitute.  So I soaked some craisins (dried sweetened cranberries), added some orange zest and a touch more sugar and stewed it up into a thick jam-like paste. Then I took some of the paste and added a splash of Cointreau and vodka to it. The rest of the paste was left un-alcoholed to fill macarons for the MC’s.

Then I made macaron shells flavoured with a bit of lime zest.

Or tried to.

Ack! Macaron fail. Instead of feet, I got brown bottomed almond cookies. What happened?

Ok, I’ll admit, I was extremely lazy and made a couple of errors. I didn’t bother to blitz the almond meal and icing sugar in the food processor, just sifted them together. Unfortunately, the almond meal wasn’t fine enough and the results speak for themselves. Also, I was using an unfamiliar recipe, but just worked from memory instead of double checking. Did I mention I was halving the measurements too? Yup, living on the edge, that’s me.

But the browned bottoms weren’t entirely my fault. That was just the  new oven’s way of getting to know me better. The oven in our previous place heated heavily from above, causing burnt tops. This oven obviously has stonger heat from below.

I had to get my mojo back, so started again. This time with macaron ratios that never fail me (from Tartelette), and double stacked baking trays to temper the heat.

Thankfully, the macs turned out beautifully. I think this little oven and I are in for a beautiful friendship :)

Remember to check out what tipples the other mac-attackers mixed up this month.

(I thought I'd show you my photography set-up. I really don't know all that much about taking photos and they are often a very rushed affair, whenever I can grab a few seconds during the day when the light is good. Here I "chased" the light into the girls bedroom, threw a tea-towel onto the bed, propped a magnetic notice board up against a doll to bounce the light back and snapped. Of course, those macarons didn't go to waste after their shoot ;) )


Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Oh like that. Thanks for the photography tips;-). Have not eaten my first macarons yet.

Hungry Dog said...

Those are so lovely, shaz! I love that pink color. And what a good idea with the comso flavor. It's always a bit of adjustment with a new oven, isn't it? But really, these turned out just gorgeously. (P.S. Have you really never seen SITC?!)

Beth said...

Thanks for posting your photo shoot. It was fun to see the "behind-the-scenes" shots! It always takes a while to get to know a new oven, doesn't it?

Lora said...

Just gorgeous shells. Love the color and the cosmo(ic) inspiration.

HI Cookery said...

Pretty in pink--and sexy and sophisticated "cosmacs"!

shaz said...

Malay-Kadazan girl - hope you get a chance to try soon. They're very sweet though, not everyone likes them.

Hungry Dog - thank you, and no, never sat down to watch SITC properly although I've caught bits and pieces here and there when the TV was on while waiting for something else.

Beth - it does. I've been "testing" the oven with one new thing at a time. So far cakes, pie, roast chicken and macarons turned out well. Cookies (biscuits) will be next I think.

Lora - thank you :) Ha, I like that. Cosmo(ic). Very good.

HI Cookery - thank you ;)

Jehanne said...

Gorgeous looking macs shaz, I swore by tartelette's recipe too..:-)

grace said...

carrie and the rest of the gals would definitely approve...and i do too. :)

pierre said...

your macarons look scrumptious !!Bravo Pierre

Fiona said...

Cosmopolitan macarons! What a great idea, and a glorious rose colour. I can see Carrie with a little hat decorated with these macarons - perched at a jaunty angle on her head.

Deeba PAB said...

You really kicked it up dahlin' girl...and what a way to do it. Love the cosmo macs and also love the photo setup. Happy Spring Shaz {Can you tell I'm envious?} HUGS!!