Thursday, January 31, 2013

Ordering Macarons



I've closed the psmacarons.com website, here is a list of macarons that are available to order:


The following fillings are paired with vanilla shells:
  • Lemon Buttercream
  • Cherry-Raspberry Ganache
  • Blueberry Ganache
  • Raspberry Buttercream
  • Raspberry Ganache
  • Strawberry Buttercream
  • Strawberry Ganache
  • Sour Cherry Ganache
  • Maple Buttercream
  • Salted Caramel (Caramel Fleur de Sel)
  • Violet-Vanilla Buttercream
  • Rose Buttercream
  • Vanilla Buttercream
  • Milk Chocolate Passion Fruit Ganache
  
 Chocolate Shell
  • Dark Chocolate Ganache with a chocolate shell
  • Salted Caramel (Caramel Fleur de Sel) with a chocolate shell
Combination nut shells:
  • Pistachio Buttercream with a Pistachio Shell
  • Hazelnut Buttercream with a Hazelnut Shell
  • Chocolate-hazelnut Ganache with a Hazelnut Shell
Additional shell option:
  • Candied Violet Shell with Raspberry Buttercream
  • Candied Violet Shell with Vanilla Buttercream

Ordering info:
The minimum order is 12 (one dozen) of any one flavor. I am more than happy to take orders and mix them in different boxes for your convenience.

Pricing is as follows:
12-120 macarons (1-10 dozen) - $22/dozen
For orders of more than 120 macarons, please contact me directly.

*Please note that I require one week's notice for orders up to 3 dozen (36) macarons. For 4-10 dozen macarons (48-120), I require two weeks notice (preferably longer!) 

I make all macarons to order, the more time you can give me to plan, the better!!!

**Macarons require at least 24 hours refrigeration before they can be eaten, and should be allowed to come to room temperature (+/- 40 minutes) before enjoying. The minimum 24 hour period of refrigeration is included in the time needed to prepare the macarons, this ensures that your macarons are ready to be enjoyed as soon as you receive them.

 
Please email me at psmacarons@gmail.com to provide me with the details of your order, and to ask any questions!



I will ship macarons, but will not guarantee the condition that they arrive in.  Macarons need to be shipped two-day (preferably overnight) - please keep this in mind when ordering for a shipment.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Tamales!



I know, I know... They aren't macarons!  I've been so busy with whatever it is I've been doing that I haven't made macarons in well over a month.  Gasp! 

I always crave New Mexican Chile - red, green, doesn't matter so long as it is NM Chile.  With that in mind, I had some pork lying around and said, hey, I'm going to make tamales!  The first batch was with some masa that had been in a jar for who knows how long, and well, the tamales tasted like it.  I am loathe to throw out food, but they were inedible.  Out we went to get a fresh bag of masa and canola oil, soaked more corn husks and got to making the tamales. 

Here are my steps:
1. Saute lots of onion and some garlic in a pot, once soft stir in powdered red chile, Mexican oregano and a couple bay leaves. 
2.  Add the meat (I used meat that was already cooked), stir to cover with the spices, then cover with water and/or stock. 
3.  After a couple hours, check to see that the meat has absorbed a lot of the liquid.  At this point, strain the meat, reserving all of the liquid.  Pick out the bay leaves (I'd let the meat cool a bit before picking through the meat!) 
4.  Take your strained meat and either chop it by hand or run it through the food processor, then return to the pot and add the cooking liquid until the meat is very moist - almost wet. 
5.  To prepare your corn husks (if you can't find corn husks just cut parchment paper into rectangles): bring a pot of water to a boil, place the corn husks in ensuring they are completely covered, then cover with a lid and let sit for at least 30 minutes.
6.  Make your masa: 6c maseca, 6c water, 1.5-2c canola oil (I prefer to use less oil), 1TB salt - stir until combined and smooth. It should look like a ball of dough, mine tends to be more wet than dough-like so use your judgment!
7.  When your corn husks are soft and pliable, remove them from the water and set on a platter.
8.  Now you are ready to wrap your tamales!  I wish I had pictures of the steps that I use, but it is pretty simple and here's a good link to use as a source:  http://www.sonofthesouth.net/tamales/Tamales_Recipe_.htm  - Just think of wrapping a tamale like you would a burrito - you want about equal proportions of meat to dough and the dough touching when you roll the tamale together.  I usually put a glob of masa in the corn husk, smoosh it down with my fingers, then take the meat and almost roll it in my hands into a log, place that in the middle of the masa'd husk then roll it up.  Make sure one end of the husk is folded over so is easier to stack in your steamer. 
9.  Steam the tamales for about 1.5 hours, more if your steamer is jam packed.  Don't forget to check the water level every so often!  You don't want all your hard work to go to waste! 

Note: I broke down all of these steps into two days: Day One - Meat, Day Two - Assembly and Steaming.  Made it so much easier, and I had so much meat, husband and I ended up sitting and assembling for half an hour three nights in a row.  So, you could totally do this in a day or take four or five!

I like to make a quick chile sauce to serve on top of the tamale, though they don't need it.  Husband likes cheese on his, and I like sour cream but we didn't have sour cream the other night.   (For the sauce: take dried red NM chiles, soak overnight, seed, then put in a blender with a bit of water so it will puree)

That's what I've been up to lately!  Pickling tomorrow - cucumbers, beets, etc... 

Sorry for the lack of macarons, it's been really busy and a bit too hot for me to be in a kitchen with the oven on all day.  I have some ideas for new flavors which I am hoping to get to try out next weekend. 

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Macaron Box Special




From now through July 5th, I am selling boxes of 14 macarons in any three flavors that you would like for $22.  (For example, you could get 4 lemon, 4 raspberry and then 6 milk chocolate passionfruit.)

www.psmacarons.com

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Absent Macarons!

I've been absent for a while, have had many things to do - most importantly I've had macaron orders to fill!  My most recent, and upcoming, order is for a dozen each of chocolate, pistachio and raspberry macarons.  Been working on them today, and thus far on this rainy, super humid Sunday, all's well in the kitchen!

Will update with pictures soon!

In the meantime, here's a picture of my new mode of transportation:

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Spring and Macaron Boxes


As I continue working on macarons at home, I've been enjoying the beginning of spring.  Happily, I've been relaxing at home and catching up on some things.  It is a macaron-less weekend which isn't the end of the world.  


I've spent the last two weekends working on these:

 
The box has (clockwise from top left): milk chocolate passionfruit ganache, vanilla, salted caramel, raspberry, chocolate, pistachio.  I finally found boxes that are the size that I like, but they hold 14 macarons.  I'm going to add additional chocolate ones to the next sample boxes that I make so that the box holds them all upright.


I got an order for three dozen (salted caramel, raspberry and chocolate) macarons and here's the result!  I liked these boxes a lot but they were a pain in the but to open and close which was kind of a problem for the person who bought them.  They look super cute though!  It was nice to see a stack of boxes filled with macarons.


Here's what it looks like when everything is all set up, measured out, and ready to go for the sampler boxes:  

Pretty neat huh?  I get really excited when I see everything beautifully laid out in the bowls.  

My hope is that I'll slowly start to get more and more orders for macarons through www.psmacarons.com!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Buy Macarons!

I started a new site dedicated solely to selling macarons online.  So... if you think that I make yummy looking macarons and want to buy them, you know where to look!


Check it out: www.psmacarons.com

Monday, February 21, 2011

Macaron Heaven

I am super excited.  Why you may ask?  Well, for Christmas my parents gave us a microwave/convection oven.  It doesn't hold a half sheet pan, so I purchased some tiny sheet pans to put on the rack in the oven.  If I make a half batch of chocolate macarons, I am able to pipe out two small pans to make about 20 macarons.  I can't tell you how perfect this is.  At first my husband and I were like, where are we going to put this?!  Now, I'm really happy we have it.  Not only because it has made a batch of chocolate macarons perfectly, but because you can do lots of other things with it.  On Friday night I made french toast with the convection setting (loading up a round pan with bread, then covering it with the custard) - it was wonderful having dinner ready in 20 minutes with only one pan to clean, well two because we had some sausage with it.

Here's some pictures from the home-convection macarons:




Right?!  Not bad!!!  I cannot get the shells perfectly smooth using the ultra-fine almond powder that I bought so I might go back to making my own.  Hmmm... maybe not.  Now that I think about it, I remember fighting with macarons a lot more before finding this particular brand of almond flour. 

Then, of course, I couldn't stay away from Orsay for too long, I made pistachio and hazelnut shells.  I didn't get a chance to make the gianduja ganache for the hazelnut shells or the pistachio buttercream because I had a dinner to get to...  The following week I made pistachio macarons with pistachio buttercream.

Aren't they beautiful?!

Pistachio Macarons
Now that's what a macaron should look like!!!


You know what's funny (funny strange, not funny ha-ha)?  For the past two weeks, I haven't made macarons and I haven't missed it that much.  One reason is that my drawings are in a show at Gallery Della-Piana north of Boston.  The Salem News even wrote an article about the show. So, my husband and I went up for the opening.  We ate at Myers and Chang, then Sibling Rivalry the second night.  This past weekend I was spring cleaning and spending time with my husband. It was nice to have a day without obligations or prior commitments to be together.  Went to Shanghai Cafe for soup dumplings, met a fellow macaron maker (can't live a whole weekend without macarons!), browsed around in Strand Bookstore, then had an impromptu dinner invite.  Lots going on for a "relaxing" weekend, I think we do less when I go to Orsay for the first part of the day on Saturday!

Instead of making macarons at 5.30 last night, I started making chicken xacuti, kale and rice - of course I don't have a picture.  I was too busy making the food to stop and take pictures!  Though, the bowl of spices, tumeric infused coconut and all that blended together was quite gorgeous.  I almost stopped, but I was in the groove a bit too much.  Husband made jerusalem artichokes with tomatoes, kalamata olives and balsamic vinegar.  Quite the delicious dinner! 

Maybe macarons this week/weekend?!  We'll see...

Thursday, January 20, 2011

I'm supposed to make macarons tonight but...

I think I'm going to bail out of my homework and go shopping instead.  Perhaps I'll make them tomorrow night, and just prep all the ingredients tonight.  Is that bad?  Hmmm...  Maybe I'm bailing because I don't know what to make?

Monday, January 17, 2011

Long time no post!

I cannot believe it is January 16th and I haven't posted anything in so many weeks!

First, I had my father's surprise birthday party, where I made many macarons and mini-tartlets; then it was Christmas; then two weeks of on and off migraines and now!  I have work in a group show at Della-Piana Gallery in MA in less than a month!  Needless to say, macarons have taken a backseat to the show preparations and migraine recovery - of which I had another migraine yesterday.


I spent the whole day at Orsay on Dec. 3rd making macaron shells (thanks again Orsay!!!)  This is what shells for over 400 assembled macarons looks like:



I made vanilla, hazelnut, pistachio and chocolate shells; then yellow, orange, blue and pink shells in the standard "light" vanilla flavor. 

Luckily I had started the buttercreams well in advance, so had lemon, pistachio, hazelnut, vanilla all set to go; and chocolate ganache as well as passionfruit-milk chocolate ganache.

I made a very thick blueberry ganache which was very good but after the macarons had been in the freezer for a week I felt that the filling took on a freezer taste - almost like freezer burn.  I don't know how else to describe it, it tasted frozen.  Very strange.  Such a disappointment too, as I used many many blueberries that I had picked over the summer at my parent's house! Luckily, I saved some of the filling and used it in a tart - reheated the filling then added more blueberries.  It was great.




When it came time for the party's macarons, they were loaded up on two tiered trays.  We had many many leftover, so I think I brought too many!  (I brought about 25 from each of the 8 flavors - way too many between the cake and the mini-tartlets that I didn't get a picture of!!!) 






The cake was from Almondine Bakery, the same bakery that made our fabulous wedding cake. It was a pistachio giaconde with lemon curd and raspberry gelee with a not too sweet meringue.  And, we put 60 candles on the cake. 


Last but not least, this is what my freezer looked like after bringing half of the macarons up to my father's party.  Now, we're down to that black container and the small blue lidded one because I sold a bunch to a friend. 

Friday, December 3, 2010

Been making a list of current flavors that I make, will add more to the flavors list as I test out new ones:

Milk Chocolate Passion Fruit Ganache
Vanilla Buttercream
Pistachio Buttercream
Chocolate Ganache
Lemon Buttercream
Cherry-Raspberry Ganache
Blueberry Ganache
Hazelnut Buttercream
Maple Buttercream
Raspberry Buttercream
Salted Caramel

If you want pricing/ordering info, check out themacarongirl.blogspot.com

Monday, November 22, 2010

My First Macaron Gig, and How it Went

I didn't take any in progress photos of all the macarons I made for a catering job because I was so focused on getting the job done that I completely forgot to take pictures!  Excuses, excuses.  However, I promise I'll take in progress photos next time I bake at home - since that's still going oh so well...  Thank goodness I have somewhere to go to make macarons.  The caveat is that I made 4 batches for myself and like 6 (of the same kind) for the restaurant!  What a massive amount of macarons!  Luckily, I didn't have to fill the ones for the restaurant, and am happily taking my time filling the ones for the catering job.  Got up early this morning to fill the vanilla ones (with the usual vanilla buttercream) and the lemon ones (with a lemon zest buttercream).  Tonight's mission is to fill chocolate and berry macarons.

I changed my almond flour, and didn't run everything through the food processor like usual and it made a HUGE difference.  Note to self: always use food processor to zip the confectioner's sugar and almond flour together.  ALWAYS.  Granted, the new almond flour is divine and shouldn't warrant the food processing, but I think it is key - mostly because the corn starch that is in the confectioner's sugar absorbs the excess moisture in the almond flour.  I could be wrong on that one, I'm sure I am, but that's my story right now.  As you can tell, I like my theories.

One of the downsides to sharing a fancy schmancy convection oven is that sometimes you have to wait a really long time to bake your stuff, I think that was the problem with the chocolate macarons - they sat on the rack waiting to be baked for two hours.  The tops were are all slidey.  (I know, slidey isn't a word.)  Not only that, they were under-mixed.  This new almond flour allows me to mix the batter more thoroughly than before.  Though, I believe I will switch over to Italian Meringue and see what happens.  My home oven is so frustrating.

The list of macarons made for the catering job:
Lemon
Vanilla
Berry
Chocolate

Apparently they were a hit despite some aesthetic issues.  Next time.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Stuff of Dreams

Too bad I didn't get a picture of the milk chocolate passionfruit ganache filled vanilla macarons before I ate them, they were quite good!  Suffice it to say they were yellow, and tasty, if not a bit too vanilla-ey.  But really, how many pictures does a girl need of the same dessert?  You tell me, how many pictures do you need of the same dessert?

I got scolded for not piping out straight rows of macarons all the same size.  The other day, during lunch, I made three stencils, oh wait, four: 1", 1.5", 1.75" and 2" circles on a bunch of letter sized paper for me to tape together so that they fit ever so perfectly on my half sheet pans and then I can practice piping.  Also, I was unknowingly holding my pastry bag incorrectly.  This is why going to Orsay is a good thing!!!


I've embraced my no macarons at home rule thus far, though I did dream about making straight up meringue and piping it onto a thousand sheetpans...  maybe that was a nightmare?  Someone stole my eggwhites to use for omelets or something and was starting to mix in egg yolks before I rescued them!  Yes, nightmare, definitely.

Here's a tiny version of my stencil, I didn't feel like making individual rings all on one sheet (you know, with 1/4" increments) so I did plain old black circles.  If I weren't going away this weekend, more on that in a minute, I would have my husband pick up egg whites from the restaurant supplier and I'd be in the process of making my nightmare, I mean dream, a reality.






You may be asking, where am I going this weekend?  Well!  I'm going to a teeny tiny town near Binghampton, NY to participate in a pig slaughter/butcher.  I really won't be doing the slaughtering, or the butchering, but I'll be there taking photos and most likely being horrified.  I won't watch the actual slaughter, my nightmares are already vivid enough.  This is a learning experience, knowing where your food comes from and what goes into the processing of the meat, and I am looking forward to it on some levels.  Mostly, I am happy to be out of the city for the first time in two months.  I can't believe I've gone two months without leaving the city, I'm so used to heading out of the city at least once a month to do something!  I didn't even get my peak foliage hike in this year, too much going on!

There was something else... oh!  Apparently I am not cursed all around in the baking department at home.  Made a lovely apple pie last Saturday, with whole wheat pastry flour crust that was actually flaky.  I've never been able to make a flaky whole wheat crust before.  Was super happy.  But, my oven?  Apparently it is either stuck at 300F or at 450F now, no in between.  I think it is time to call the landlord and see about getting a new oven, or a new thermostat for the oven!

Will update soon, hopefully with pics of the piggy.  Poor tasty piggy...

Friday, November 5, 2010

Macaron Hell

Last week, when I made macarons, it was on a very warm rainy day here in Brooklyn.  This week, well, it is raining again though it is cool out; I figured I'd have a better chance at not having grotesque macarons. 

I am just so frustrated with this I think it might be a sign that I need to take a break from making these at home for a while...

Let's compare shall we?

At Orsay

At Home
Same thing, same recipe as always, same same same!  The difference?  Orsay's fancy oven, my crappy oven.  Orsay's relatively cool and dry working environment, my recently damp and warmish working environment.

These macarons give me the blues
I'm hosting a dinner party tomorrow night, wanted to make some chocolate macarons, and blueberry (myrtille) macarons but I guess that's not happening!!!  Even my blueberry filling didn't come out right!

Here's what I think is going on since up until two weeks ago I haven't had any problems working at home:
  1. You see those little blobs in the otherwise smooth shells?  They are air pockets that should have tapped out of the shells when they both settled after piping and after being "banged" out - to remove the peaks.  I think this is happening because it is so humid it is creating an extra layer of moisture (thus gumming up the sugar) not allowing the larger air pockets to release.  This gumming that I think is happening could be due to the confectioner's sugar that I am using (Domino brand) as it contains cornstarch to prevent caking - and we all know what happens when you mix cornstarch and water together.
  2. I think the low pressure is what is making the shells hollow - the crispy outer shell is great because that is what forms first, then the feet/collar/pied, then the meringue inside the shell needs to "adhere" to the outer shell.  But, it can't because of the low pressure - like blowing up a balloon and having it not want to stay in the air but if deflates on the floor.
  3. I KNOW I'm doing everything right, for crying out loud I'm using the same recipes I've been using and the only thing that has changed is the weather, and time of day.  Stupid weather.  Stupid job.


I left the macarons out overnight, on the parchment paper, and the bottoms of the shells are still sticking to the paper!  What frustration!!!  You see the lines on the blue shells?  That was from them sitting upside down on a cooling rack so that I could try and pry them off of the paper.

I was about to cry this morning, and am ready to convert to Italian Meringue for weather like this outside, and even in general because I am so absolutely frustrated that I'm willing to sacrifice amazing texture for consistent results.  Even the chocolate ones didn't work out - they ALWAYS work.  They are the ones that keep me sane.

Sigh...

After checking through a few more blogs, I am also thinking that because of the humidity I should have baked my macarons for a longer period of time.  Also, am going to try making my own confectioner's sugar in the blender.  I'm determined to get these things right, on a consistent basis, without IM.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Weekend Macarons

Another beautiful day at Orsay on Saturday, I made a spiced macaron shell with a pumpkin buttercream filling and then a vanilla shell with vanilla buttercream.  Both were made with FM in the convection oven, set to 140C for 20 mins.  This time, I think I overbaked them - they were much crunchier out of the oven than usual.

I was allowed to form the coconut macaroons and financiers at the restaurant, not making either batter, and I filled the tart tatin molds again which was really nice.  Anything repetitive I'll love, but I couldn't do exactly the same thing all day long every day.  No thank you.  I've been pumping the pastry chef for information, how much of this dessert does he have to make every day/week, how much butter do they go through, stuff like that. 


Now that I've successfully made macarons in the awesome oven, I can figure out ideal times for them.  For example, the chocolate ones only need 20mins whereas I believe that the non-chocolate ones need 15mins. 

I've tried the pumpkin one, it was beautifully softened and chewy, but the vanilla one after 24 hours in the fridge was still too crunchy.  Will try one tonight, hopefully it will be good to eat now!  They were made Saturday morning, so this is 3 days!!!  I have read that buttercreams take up to 3 days because of the low moisture content, tonight will be the test.

Vanilla on the left and pumpkin spice on the right (in their happy to go container from the restaurant)




vanilla on the left, pumpkin on the right
Apparently, the pumpkin ones' shells are crayola crayon "peach".  Hmmmm... yeah well, I think they are pretty and that's all that matters.  They are especially pretty with the contrasting bright orange-yellow filling.  My husband insisted that it was an unusual subtle color combination, and very nontraditional. 

Speaking of pumpkin, I think the pumpkin ones would taste much better made with fresh pumpkin.  I thought that roasting organic canned pumpkin would get rid of the canny taste, but it didn't.  Sorry Chef.  I agree with you, canned pumpkin is gross.  Don't worry, I'll never use it again.  Come to think of it, while I am thinking of it, I don't even use canned pumpkin for pumpkin pie at home!  Shame on me for sullying your kitchen with it.

While I had a good run at Orsay on Saturday, last week's misery in the kitchen is still bothering me.  I truly believe it was the weather and nothing else that I was doing or could have done.   Even so, I brought them to a friend's house for dessert on Saturday and was embarrassed of the macarons for not being just right.  The pistachio ones were too big, the chocolate ones had cracks and were over baked, the only ones that seemed to survive unscathed were the vanilla ones.  C'est la vie.

Not everything can be perfect all the time.

UPDATE:  The Vanilla ones are just right 3 days later, however because they were baked a bit too long there is a gap between the shell and the meringue.  Now I know that they were baked for too long.

Also, found a picture of the disaster night's mise en place (minus one batch's worth of ingredients):
Vanilla, Pistachio and Chocolate mise en place (missing the lemon batch)



At some point in the future: American vs French sized macarons