You’d think once I faced a baking weakness head on, I’d be on a genoise-lined easy street from here on out. Alas, no. Practice is the only way I’m ever going to get to where I want to go and even though the skills required are familiar to me I still get hung up on the same mistakes. Over/under whipping egg whites, folding induced deflation, and blowing right past soft ball to hard crack with my sugar, continue to be major speed bumps in my quest for kitchen success. Since I’m heading off to pastry boot camp at the CIA next week I’ve been doing lots of preemptive homework.
It took me three tries to produce these macarons. Even though I’ve made them before, this was my first attempt at coloring them and batch number one was an unsightly shade of brownish purple- tasty but not at all appealing to look at. Batch number two was destroyed by overcooked sugar but thankfully batch three was relatively successful despite some uneven “feet.”
The eye popping pink color brightened up a very rainy LA weekend and the strawberry ganache filling and hand painted strawberries are reminders that spring is right around the corner.
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup strawberry jam
8 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 tbsp creme de cassis
Bring the cream and jam to boil over medium heat, stirring until jam is melted. Pour cream mixture over chocolate and stir gently with a spatula. Once the chocolate is melted, stir in the cassis. Refrigerate, stirring occasional until ganache is set. If it becomes too stiff, warm in microwave for 10 seconds and stir.