I’ve tried to remember the first time I saw a macaron, but honestly, I can’t. It surely wasn’t until I started writing here, more and more frequently crossing paths with amazing people who bake amazing desserts at home with little or no formal training. I’d not heard of Pierre Herme, either. No, I was caught up in the the world of savory dishes with only an occasional dessert made for a special occasion coming from my kitchen rather than the circular, often brightly colored sweet sandwiches that comically remind me of tiny hamburgers — or perhaps moon pies.
Even after I’d begun to realize that macarons were a fascination for many and saw them in every imaginable color and flavor, it wasn’t until a year ago that I tasted my first: antique rose in color, delicately crisp, and oh so sweet, it tasted of rose as well. For someone used to sinking her teeth into a nice bran muffin, I was a bit perplexed and beginning to understand what all the fuss was about. There didn’t appear to be much to the tiny thing, and yet I knew it was quite the opposite. A paradox.
I’ve wanted to make macarons for quite a while now, and yet I’ve procrastinated. Instead of delving into the endless recipe variations, comparing quantities of ingredients, and analyzing techinque, I’ve gazed at the beautiful the colors and admired perfect the shapes. Finally, I was forced to consider not only how a macaron is made, but to make them along with countless other bakers this month. The 2009 October Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to us by Ami S. She chose macarons from Claudia Fleming’s The Last Course: The Desserts of Gramercy Tavern as the challenge recipe.
After a few days of reading everything I could find about macarons and sifting through the forum comments and advice at The Daring Kitchen, I decided to devote a Sunday to the task. Not a frilly person by nature, I skipped the gorgeous pinks and bright greens and headed straight for the sturdy, practical flavors of chocolate and peanut butter.
In a house full of men, what would you expect?