Doesn’t  exactly have the ring of  “Julie and Julia” but every single thing in “Patisserie Made Simple” is delectable and doable.  You need a copy of this book, toute suite!  I started with tarts and Edd‘s version (Italian meringue) of macarons.  Yesterday, I made one of the most amazing things I have ever baked — galette des rois.  I plan to work my way through this entire book of french pastry amazing-ness and post pictures along the way.  Here are a few to pique your interest:

Galette des Rois — homemade puff pastry (super easy if you use Edd’s recipe for simple puff pastry) filled with frangipane and chopped dates (my tweak which I prefer to the traditional one with raisins).  The whole thing only takes about 3 hours.  I will definitely be making this again as we ranked it one of the top bakes in our family and next time I will have more pictures.

Macarons with White Chocolate Eggnog Ganache  — I have been converted to the Italian meringue method.  Permanently.  After probably 50 + batches of macarons using the French meringue method there are still things that can go wrong (even with my obsessive scientific notes).  But, there is very little that can go wrong with the Italian method.  The filling I used in these macarons was inspired by some eggnog I had received from a friend a couple of years ago.  It has been sitting — sealed– in the fridge since then waiting for the perfect recipe.  I had seen recipes for white chocolate eggnog ganache but did not realize those were intended for non-alcoholic eggnog.  Needless to say, these macarons were my most popular to date. I simply used the eggnog in place of heavy cream when making my ganache in a 3:1 ratio (white chocolate to eggnog).

I had to increase the amount of water in the simple syrup just slightly to keep the sugar from precipitating.  It is a little tricky to keep the crystals from forming because of the high concentration of sugar and I might try a little bit of an interfering agent such as lemon juice next time.  But even that did not affect the outcome of these macarons.  I also had to adjust the baking temp because from experience my macarons burn at temps higher than 315 in my oven.

One new ingredient I have found that greatly reduces my macaron preparation time…King Arthur super finely ground almond flour!  And it’s available at Wal-mart!  I don’t even have to pull out my food processor anymore.  I just sift the almond flour straight out of the bag with the powdered sugar.


Next up …Brioche Suisse!

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