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Macarons are tiny, crispy and chewy, sort of meringue textured, but reinforced with ground almonds, and filled with a variety of delicious concoctions, from chocolate ganache to fruit blends. They're tiny, just two bites and all gone, and completely addictive. After tasting one, I was so hooked, I bought a cookbook and started baking. I mean, who wants to sit in a bakery guzzling plate after plate while people snap photos and shake their heads? Nope, I decided to make 'em at home and stuff myself in private. My first batch wasn't quite right, the second okay, but as I continued to bake them, they improved. Advice from a friend, someone who actually knows what he's doing in a kitchen, helped a lot. Now I make them often, because they are impressive and look way more difficult than they are. Although I now have several books, when I saw this little item, free on Kindle and I couldn't resist.
Martha Stone is a no-nonsense baker. She provides a great basic recipe, a few twists on the basic, and even adds those helpful little things that the expensive cookbooks make you figure out for yourself (or ask that generous friend about). Like wait until the batter has dried a little before baking, don't get over-eager and try to split or fill them them too soon. Little tips, but essential. And some of her recipes are genius. She offers a variation that's made with sumac in the mix. Sumac is a somewhat lemony spice. Paired with the writer's suggested orange filling, it is the perfect balance of sweet/tart citrusy deliciousness.
The fillings are so good, you'll want to grab a spoon and forget the macaron. Some are unusual. Mango and Dulce De Leche is so good, you want to run around stuffing it in people's mouths. Some are traditional unions in a new form, like Pear and Earl Grey Tea. She even has one for ketchup filling, which I haven't tried yet. But it sounds pretty good. I have tried tomato marmalade and like it, so why not a spicy, jammy ketchup filling?
Anyway, the price is right, the writer knows what she's doing, her recipes are easy to understand, you don't have to be Martha Stewart to get good results. Five stars.
Lovely recipes but the measurements are inconsistent- some being in cups, others ounces, still others in grams. Also incorrect number of macarons- one recipe states that filling is sufficient for TWO macarons! Looking forward to baking these though! Irresistible combinations